Artificial Continuum

Friday, October 30, 2009
Although suspected since the day Bioware announced their upcoming Star Wars mmo, the Jedi Knight class has officially been announced on the mmo's official site. No new ideas were posted regarding the class.

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Holy sh*t! The newest trailer for James Cameron's Avatar has premiered, and for once it delivers. Having seen the underwhelming Avatar Day preview and the confusing, and somewhat boring teaser trailer, my faith in Cameron's newest sci-fi epic has been restored.

Hi all! Happy Early Halloween! Anna speaking.

Who's got their costume? Who doesn't have their costume? If you fall into the latter category, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, MAGGOT!!!!... Heh heh, sorry, I get really into it.

Anyway, if you are in that costume-less category, I can help. I am going to give you the top ten kids' costumes and teen costumes of 2009 according to, which is unfortunately not the best site, but what the hey, I'm working with it. Here are the top ten kids' costumes.

Rolling in at number 1 (I am not surprised...) is OPTIMUS PRIME! I mean, what kid doesn't want to be a giant, transforming alien robot eighteen-wheeler? (I never did, but now I'm writing a blog for nerds, so I guess that explains everything...)

Gimme a two! Guess what's next?! Cheering its way to uber-perkiness is the USA Cheerleader. Tell me, what's cuter than a little girl in pigtails and pompoms, screaming for letters to spell something? (Tribbles.....)

A twist (or should I say, bobble?) on a Halloween classic, number 3 is the Bobble-Head Ghost costume. Personally, I think that it's a trite, kid-friendly variation on the classic Scream costume, but if it'll make money, then bring on the bobble-heads!

Number 4, a costume that I actually wore as a kid, is the Fairy costume. Tinkerbell would be jealous! But, then again, when isn't she?

Number 5 is our favorite silent ninja (if any of you out there said Naruto, bang your head against a wall right now!), Snake Eyes! The awesome, stoic, and silent ninja of the G.I. Joe team, Snake Eyes was my favorite character throughout the whole movie. (But don't get me wrong... Channing Tatum...)

Number 6 (and I seriously don't understand why this wasn't number 1...) is STAR TREK! Unfortunately, the costume in question is not of my favorite Vulcan, but of a security officer.... Any trekkie out there will agree when I cry out in outrage! Not just because it is not my beloved Spock, but because YOU'RE PRACTICALLY PUTTING A TARGET ON YOUR CHILD'S CHEST! THE GUYS IN THE RED SHIRTS ALWAYS DIE FIRST!!!!!!! Any self-respecting trekkie parent would never be so illogical as to put their child in that costume.

Number 7 is another classic that has been kiddified (patent pending) is the Vampiress costume. And get this, it's not one of the classic vampiresses (is that a word?) with the long black and white hair, fangs, black and red dress with the high collar, and the ruby choker, nooooo. It's all hip and cute and pink! PINK, I TELL YOU!!!!!!! Nope, no, not right.

Number 8 is probably one the best known, angsty-est Marvel superheroes. You guessed it! Wolverine! Not Spiderman. Hah!

Number 9....I can't believe I'm actually writing this down....I'm so ashamed. Witch Lite-Up costume. The hat lights up.... I'm going to go away now. Come and get me when society gets some brains.

And finally, number 10, drum roll please! Power Ranger Reversible costume! Is it just me, or does everything made for children have to have a second function? Light-up, reversible, bobble-head, talks to you, DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE A PATTERN HERE?!?!?!?!?!

All right, next up are the top ten teen costumes.

Number 1: Punk Rock Princess... oh come on! You've got to be kidding me... I see people dressed like that all the time, that's not a costume.

Number 2: Referee. Nothing like a sexed-up sports official to get the Halloween spirit going!

Number 3: Hippie. Going to an all-girls school, I will be seeing an awful lot of flower-children.

Number 4: Honey Bee. (Headwall, need I say more?)

Number 5: Cheshire Cat. Normally I would applaud this use of classical literature!(I'm dressing up as the Mad Hatter, after all.) But this usually kooky kitty has been turned into just another sex kitten costume.

Number 6: Zombie. Not surprised.

Number 7: Tighty Whitey. Okay, you guys have got to see this. Can I get a 'What, what'?
Number 8: Punk Zombie. The illegitimate child of Number 1 and Number 6. With a mohawk.
Number 9: Michael Myers. After all, it is Halloween. And he still hasn't died!

Number 10: Oscar the Grouch. Now that surprised me. Who would've thought that Sesame Street would make a come-back?
Well, if this is what's going to be coming to my house trick-or-treating, I'm locking the door.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two years ago, I was stumbling around, and I saw the show Arrested Development, with all 52 episodes listed (the good ol’ days). With a weekend to blow, I hunkered down, and watched every single one. I went back to school on Monday a changed person, touched by both its side splitting humor and its more subtle jokes, like the lawyer’s name: Bob Loblaw. The show had the BEST chemistry between characters I’ve ever seen, even outdoing Seinfeld. Not to mention the quality and quantity of comic gold that was packed into every episode. Even now I can quote Tobias, GOB, and Michael. Hopefully Arrested Development: The Movie’s tagline “Get Arrested” is not an indication of things to come for the franchise’s humor. But I have high hopes for AD’s script, which is usually witty and hilarious. Maybe if the movie does well enough the show can strike a deal with Fox and regain a time slot. One problem is that not everyone who will see the movie will have seen all of the shows. Unfortunate, because many of the jokes make no sense unless you have seen the previous 52 episodes.

It seems fitting that the show that won the 2004 Emmys for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series,Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series be reinstated as the cornerstone of Fox’s comedy line up. Another downside: the movie is set for release in 2011.

David Cross explaining why AD was canceled (EXPLICIT):

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Okay, okay I know I said Otaku sleep and I'm serious about that, but I did some last minute searching across the web and found the New York Times Manga Bestseller list for this month . The results came as a shock to me, not so much the content, but the order.

Coming in at first was, Duh duh duh dun, Naruto #46 (cuz who doesnt love Pain?) this was pretty expected.

Coming in second (shockingly enough) was Rosario+Vampire #9 (Which I just recently purchased). This was suprising, especially considering it did better than Bleach.

Third was Yu-Gi-Oh R, which is awesome that they made such a twisted alternate storyline (mabey i'll do a review sometime).

Fourth, Chibi-Vampire #14. Still not surprising, it's also a good read.

Fifth, Vampire Kisses #3 (damn, so many vampires that don't sparkle).

Sixth, Full Metal Alchemist #20. Hellz yes (I had a literal obssession with FMA for awhile, this is a personal victory).

Seventh, Skip-Beat #19. Unfortunatly I don't know much about this series, but i'll read it eventually.

Eigth, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order #12

Ninth, (finally *sigh) Bleach #28. I was totally shocked that such a popular series is so far down the list, I blame the internet (interpret that anyway you like).

And e-last-ic but certainly not least (please, feel no obligation to laugh at my horrible jokes), One Piece: Hope!! #22.

Okay now I promise to sleep and be right back, running off of sugar and empty carbohydrates tomorrow.

P.S. the picture was meant to confuse.

Hey there everyone in the ever-growing geek world, it's me, Luke, back after a rather short haitus to recomend a new manga series to ya. This time it's Rosari+Vampire. Although I may have been *Ahem Drawn at first to its suggestive covers, it's a rather good read. The story follows all around average guy Tskune Aono as he is accidentally enrolled in a school for monsters. Yokai Academy, a school where monsters of all types of mythical and historical background come together to learn the fine art of not going berserk and killing humans (which appearantly is too much to ask), seems like it will be the death of easily shaken Tsukune. It's not all bad though. He does scored a ridiculously beatiful friend, only there is something a tad off about her, she has sharp teeth and a particular taste for an anemic Tsukune's blood.
Moka Akashiya, while still a vampire, is a super sweet girl and Tsukune quickly falls for her. Moka also falls in love with Tsukune after they meet. He decides to stay and be near her, despite the fact that he nearly gets killed at least four times per manga. He must hide his human identity from the faculty and other students or ,well, they'll kill him. Tsukune soon discovers that when he removes the "rosario around Moka's neck, she transforms into a real vampire, stronger and more powerful than any other creature at the school. However, in this state, she kinda hates him (well early on, anyway), she often dons a cold personality, so the rosario is only removed in dire emergencies (like y'know, constantly). Tsukune is the only person who can physically remove it to transform Moka, and only in the case of an emergency.
As time continues, Tsukune, in typical anime fashion, makes tons of other friends including a werewolf, a succubus, two witches, a cat-woman, and a literal ice-queen. It really starts to get interesting later on in the series, but I don't want to spoil it. Overall it was a very immersive read, all be it a bit cliche. The biggest concern of mine is that they add at least one more main male character, seriously, the guys surrounded by hot women to the point where even I think there should be a balance. Also the conflict is more about Tsukune removing the Rosario before he's killed, then about the fighting itself. Nevertheless, this one is a thumbs up in my eyes (after seven hours of reading six manga consecutively[which if you listen to the podcast this is the manga they're talking about soooo]).

Well it's three in the morning and even Otaku sleep at some point after the sugar high has ended so Oyasuminasai

Yes you heard me right twelve readers of Artificial Continuum. Our audio podcast has finally been finished and ready for your downloading pleasure or displeasure. Already availible at: It should also be up on iTunes shortly. Expect new episodes several times a month.

Hi all! This is Anna, reporting from quarantine.... stupid cold. Anyway, during my subsequent sickness, I have been reading a lot of manga.

Title: One Pound Gospel

Author: Rumiko Takahashi

Age group: Teen

General Synopsis: Young boxer Kosaku Hatanaka is the pride of Mukaida Gym...most of the time. After only two bouts after leaving high school, he went pro, stunning the audiences and his opponents with his strong punches. But due to his bottomless pit of a stomach, Kosaku has had to change his weight class since graduating, going from flyweight all the way up to featherweight. His coach, in constant struggle with Kosaku's constantly fluctuating weight, begs him to get his head in the game. Enter Sister Angela: a novice nun who tries to help Kosaku take control of his life. Slowly but surely, Kosaku develops feelings for the kind and gentle sister. And to her frustration, she begins to feel the same way.

My Rating: 2 Stars

One Pound Gospel gave all the punch of a wet paper bag. It was incredibly predictable and rather boring. In the fashion of its sucessors, Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha, the protagonist has multiple run-ins with some very...colorful (okay, down-right bizarre) characters. I found the relationship between Kosaku and Sister Angela to be weird, desperate, and spark-free. In fact, I was hoping throughout the entire series that Angela would have an epiphany or Kosaku would get hit hard enough so they would remember that SHE IS A NUN, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!! The fights were tame, the opponents were wimpy, the coach was whiny, and Kosaku had no real drive except food (and Sister Angela). If he has decided to box as a career, don't you think he should be serious about it? From where I was sitting, he was just a kid doing an extracurricular activity. All in all, Ranma 1/2, which has a very similar protagonist (rough, tough, and macho), had much more interest and flare than its predecessor.

One Pound Gospel vs. Anna...

1, 2, 3, K.O. Anna wins!!!!!!!!!!! (Crowd cheers wildly)

Its been a rather eventful two weeks for the Marvel Universe. We've got a huge slew of news involving all the world's greatest heroes, and villains. Ranging from news from new standalone issues, to the next major cross overs, to the newest movie news, Marvel was bursting at the seems with announcements this week.


Marvel right now is still in the midst of this years big event, Dark Reign, in which Norman Osborne became leader of H.A.M.M.E.R., the replacement of shield. This series, which so far has overlaped almost every Marvel book in existence, has brought a new dark and ominous tone to the MU. A world once protected by heroes, is now one ruled by villains.

However this week Marvel announced their next big step, Siege. Osborne having completed his mysterious List, now sets his sights on one final target, Asgard. Asgard, home of the Norse gods including: Thor, now must face a virtual Siege form Osborne's new army of rogues. The following is to be one of the largest events in Marvel history, not only capping off Dark Reign, but leading to a climax of everything Marvel has been building since Avengers: Disassembled back six years ago. Brian Bendis, writer for the Avengers, claims that Siege will usher in a new Golden AGe for Marvel Comics. He's also stated that the main goal of the event is to reunite the big three heroes of the MU: Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Each of which haven't worked together in almost a decade.

In addition to Siege Marvel has several other major cross overs planned out. First being, Doom War. Doom War follows the Fantastic Four, and Wakanda's efforts to defeat Dr. Doom's efforts in Latveria once and for all. The result is another all out assualt. (Apparently Marvel Likes those)

Marvel also plans to wrap up the X-men: Messiah trilogy this year, as well as feature a Deadpool centric event entitled, The Deadpool Corps.


Its' been a huge two weeks on the Movie side of Marvel to.

The Thor film, due for a 2011 release, recieved a ton of news these last few days. And for once, I was actually there when the news occurred, yes I feel special. During the Baltimore comic con panel, Bendis mentioned that the new Thor script was "really, really good". Of course, me being ignorant didn't think this qualified as news, and when I saw it on the internet later that week I felt kind of dumb. There have also been rumors that Robert DeNiro, Jude Law, and Dominic Cooper might be appearing in the film.

Captain America

In other news that isn't really news, but people report otherwise. Joe Quesada, the evil head of Marvel Comics, said that the new Captain America movie is going to be shockingly good. I'm psyched for the film, but coming from the guy who invented such ideas as Spider-Man: One More Day, I'm not that confident.

Spider-man 4

Spider-man 4 has been getting perhaps the bigest news of all. Sam Raimi has confirmed that this film will once again return to the basics, and focus on less villains the uneven third installment. Also, Dylan Baker has confirmed that he will reprising the his role as Dr. Curt Conners, leaving many to believe that the Lizard will finally appear as the villain in the next film. Bruce Campbell has also mentioned that Raimi promised him a large role in the fourth installment, sparking some rumors taht he might appear as the villainous Mysterio.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Konban wa! Anna speaking. Firstly, may I express how totally psyched I am to be working on this blog!

Secondly, lady geeks, have I got a book for you to read!

Title: Soulless (Book 1 of The Parasol Protectorate)

Author: Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.
First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is bother Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social ettiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire - and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia is responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Rating (out of five stars): FIVE STARS

Review: If you loved Twilight, Soulless is your new favorite book. Aside from being much better written than the teen fanfavorite, Soulless has a level of humor that caters to a more...what's the word...mentally awesome group. Set in Victorian London, the story follows the adventures of Miss Alexia Tarabotti, an almost literal 'black sheep' in her family of dumb blondes. Witty and resourceful, Alexia uses her wits and wiles to solve an intrigue that normal people can't even hope to understand. With the help of Lord Conall Maccon, an ancient, cynical, and Scottish werewolf leader, she braves the mysteries of the supernatural aspect of society and finds love along the way.
This book had me laughing, gasping, and reading until all hours of the morning. The novel has some steampunk aspects to it that made little old me a very happy little nerd. Alexia was a very relatable character: self-conscious, emotional, independent. She even has a gay best friend...even though he's a four-hundred-year-old vampire with a penchant for sparkly things and outrageous color combinations. And do not get me started on Lord Maccon. Bow-chicka-wow-wow!
There was some sex in it, but fear not, this is no bodice-ripper, my friends. Even during the steamy bits (which were honestly not that steamy), Carriger maintained her wicked sarcasm and biting humor. Nothing romance novel-y here. Just good writing.

So, to sum it all up, a great beginning to a series and a phenomenal book on its own. Definitely worth your time.

Well, that's all I have to say for now, ladies and gentlemen. Until next time!

Jaa mata!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Well well well! Alec here, and it looks like Activision has decided to start releasing DLC for a game that most of us have probably already picked up and beaten the hell out of. I'm talking, of course, about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. And man, what an announcement it is! Carnage, the first of five DLC characters, has already been announced, and we're expecting more news to trickle down from the MUA site. So far, from what we've gathered, the DLC will be a pack, containing five characters each with their own boosts and alternate costume, a few new stages, and even some special goodies which I'm sure would be best found out for yourself. So if you've already beaten MUA 2, don't put it away just yet. There will be more content for the game coming rather soon (probably before the holiday season rolls around). It will be a long wait, but why not make yourselvs comfortable and enjoy some art?
Above: Carnage's Main Costume (Cletus Kasady, Original)
Below: Carnage's Alternate Costume (Ultimate Carnage, Gwen Stacy)

EDIT: A bit late, but I might as well put it all in one post. Seems as though there's a nice little leak that just came through the crossing, and boy, it's BIIIG. It has been confirmed that Carnage, Psylocke, Cable, Black Panther, and Magneto will all be playable DLC when the pack comes out. Here's two images to prove it:
Friday, October 16, 2009
Dream Logic

(WARNING Review Contains Spoilers)

After last weeks stellar episode, I expected to be disappointed by this weeks installment of Fringe. I just didn't expect to be this disappointed.

The episode follows a series of victims throughout the country, who find themselves in a dreaming state while they are awake. However, not just any dreams. They find their worst nightmares transported into their every day lives, with often disastrous results. Olivia and Peter then travel to Seattle, site of the first attack, to attempt to solve the issue. (Yes they did solve my problem with last weeks episode, so I am happier now.)

What follows is almost a flashback to Fringe's struggling days of its youth. Almost every episode of season 1 of Fringe followed a very basic formula. An attack occurs, and through that attack Olivia and the team trace down the assailants to their lab, there are some moments of tension and maybe some gunfire, and the team emerges victorious. This episode strays dreadfully close to this hopefully abandoned idea.

The episode also does a poor job of hiding its twists. You know from the beginning they are introduced what role a character will play in the episode. The “shocking” reveal of the episode villain is so expected that I was literally clenching my fists in frustration. Luckily, “Dream Logic” gives its villain an interesting and bizarre motive that make up for his predictability.

The dream sequences are also full of wasted potential. Not truly frightening enough to evoke the emotion they need, they end up falling flat on their face. It is sometimes hard to believe that anyone would feel compelled to kill their friends over some of the events that take place.

However, the episodes main saving grace is how it deals with its main characters. The dream centered storytelling leads to some interesting pieces of information about Peter's childhood, that correlate with what we learned last season. Walter's refusal and reasoning why he doesn't want to go to Seattle is also well acted by Noble, and proves once again just how great an actor he is at playing the deranged scientist. However, best of all is Olivia's emotional fallout from last weeks ending sequence. Handled beautifully, if slightly confusing, Anna Torv pulls of the necessary grief and mourning.

Yet, sadly this is not enough to save an overall sub par episode of Fringe.

Score: C+
Momentum Deferred

Fringe has finally delivered its first masterpiece episode of season 2. “Momentum Deferred” is emotional, exciting, well directed, well acted, and delves further into the shows mythology then ever before.

The episode begins with an attack upon a cryogenics lab in Boston, Massachusetts. (A side complaint: 90% of the episodes take place in Boston or the Boston area, where Fringe Division's headquarters are based. Although this makes it easy for the characters to have first hand experience with the events that occur in the show. It seems like poor writing to have all the attacks focus on such a specific area.) While the team scrambles to discover the reasoning behind this attack, they discover a body, which displays similar traits to the shape shifter they discovered several episodes earlier. They also discover the device that allows the other-worldly creatures to perform the attack, which will hopefully lead them to the attacker. However, it also leads them to discover that one of their own has been infiltrated. On top of the intricate shape shifter plot, Olivia during a bizarre sequence of events regains her memories from her trip to the alternate universe. This well shot and revealing scenes reveals more layers of Fringe's mythology and conspiracy then ever before. My jaw was literally on the floor as William Bell (Leonard Nimoy), Olivia's strange host, laid down the circumstances that so far had lead to everything Fringe had been following since day one. Not only did the scene reveal the plot, but it revealed an incredibly original, and interesting premise, something you would hardly expect to see on a network television show.

John Nobel's Walter receives even more depth in this episode in the form of an equally bizarre and eccentric love interest. Nobel plays Walter with such giddy excitement and awkward love for his interest that it is hard not to warm your heart.

The whole episode culminates in a violent discovery that breaks both Olivia and the audience emotionally. Everything in this episode was spot on, and is easily up there as one of the best hours the show has ever produced. Delivering on everything the fans wanted and more “Momentum Deferred” is a magnificent episode, that only escapes my highest mark due to my minor quip listed above.

Score: A

(WARNING Review Contains Spoilers)

Fringe returns with another one off episode filled with twists and turns. Filled with fun set pieces, and a shocker of a beginning this was one of the better standalones.

“Fracture” begins when a police officer crystallizes then explodes in a crowded train station, killing almost everyone in range. With an opening like that, you know your in for an exciting hour of television, and “Fracture” in many ways delivers. The plot involving a strange drug administered to a group of Iraq veterans leads the Fringe team on one of their first out of country assignments to a rather bland looking Iraq. However, despite this the scene comes off as poignant and powerful.

However, many elements of the episode are left open for interpretation. It is discovered that the attacks are being caused by a rogue Army leader who hopes to use his human bombs to prevent a mysterious group from transferring information. How he discovered this plot, and why he decided to turn his men into living crystalline bombs is a plot line that is never truly delved into, and the episode feels lacking because of this. However, all this ends with a perfectly written ending, that genuinely shocked me.

Score: B+
Night of Desirable Objects

(WARNING Review Contains Spoilers)

Fringe has always been a show of ups and downs. Its filled with complicated and intriguing multi-episode arcs that not only deliver, but excite. Its also known for its equally fun, and creepy one shot episodes. However, for every interesting one shot, there is one that just doesn't fit in ,and seems not only pointless, but just overall bad. This episode falls somewhere in between those two one shot categories.

The episode follows the teams search to find out the kidnapper/killer of several men in rural Pennsylvania. Attacked by someone or something from underground the men disappear leaving no trace behind them. Once again Olivia, finally out of her bed, but experiencing strange headaches and sensations, Peter, and Walter travel to discover the origins of these attacks. There investigation leads them across the county investigating law stations, and happening upon a cranky farmer widower.

The shape shifter plot from last episode also continues, providing some of the episodes creepier and visually interesting scenes. The two way typewriter device is incredibly cool to watch and imaginative, and it is a pleasure to see it used in any scene at all.

The episode is intriguing and fun for the first two thirds, but then reaches a point of total unbelievability and just overall poor quality that makes the episode drop in quality. It is revealed that the farmer had a wife, whose unusually harsh womb was incapable of carrying children. So the farmer, having once been a geneticist (trust me it gets weirder), decides to make an artificial child out of scorpion and mole DNA so that it will survive the mothers womb. Apparently scorpions are incredibly resilient and moles are well moles. I mean honestly? A scorpion baby? What were the writers smoking when they wrote this? Fringe has never been one for realistic premises, but most of the time it is done so in away that seems remotely believable. All this would've been believable if the payoff of the creatures appearance was well handled. Although, the initial jump scare that it appears in is well handled, it becomes apparent rather quickly that the creature is a poorly created puppet. One scene when it attacks Peter literally looks like some crew member threw a dummy at him. The creatures death is even lame. It burrows under a car, and it falls on him. I'm not joking.

However, the episode ends on a good note. Olivia is introduced to her strange bowling alley owner tutor, who is to help her regain her memories about her pandimmensional trip. Gladly, this was a storyline that would actually lead somewhere.

Score: -B
A New Day In The Old Town

The season opener of Fringe opens up as strange as ever. As FBI agents are rushed to the scene of a bizarre car accident, a strange being shoots down a man and takes on his shape. Yes, welcome to the bizarre, odd, and sometimes quiet wonderful world of Fringe. The episode starts out quickly and violently and the momentum hardly slows down.

The set pieces move quickly from plot point to plot point, as we deal with Olivia's (Anna Torv) chaotic and confusing return from another universe, while the team copes with the idea that they are being assaulted by shape shifting soldiers. Walter (John Noble) continues to steal the spotlight, continuing his new and exciting take on the mad scientist archetype. Peter (Joshua Jackson), who had the most surprising twist of the finale, takes a larger role in this episode taking over Fringe Devision after its leader is incapacitated. Fringe Devision itself also comes under attack from the US government. Feeling that their efforts and money are being wasted on some strange wild goose chase, they pull the plug on the operation leading operation leader Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) to deal with the implications. All the plot points eventually come to a head as Olivia, confined to a hospital bed, is attacked by one of the shape shifters, and the following chase scene is both haunting and shocking in its conclusion. All culminating in a twist that was expected, but wrenching all the same. Fringe knows how to handle its delivery.

The only real down point to this issue is Agent Amy Jessup (Meghan Markle). Jessup is an FBI agent who becomes accidentally involved with Fringe devision and becomes involved in the plot. Her conclusion in this episode comes off as odd and some times distracting from the main story. However, what bothers me the most about Jessup is just her overall point. She is set up through the whole episode as being a new and essential character, but she only appears once in the following four episodes, and even then for a few minutes. Its as if the writers decided that she wasn't worth the trouble incorporating and just decided to drop her all together. This comes off not only as distracting, but just sloppy production side, and it really takes away from the episode as a whole.

Score: -A

Bioware's sci-fi epic sequel has just recieved an official release date, January 26th 2010. So us sci-fi rpg fans can finally get our fix on what is shaping up to be yet another masterpiece.

Also on an unrelated note. As readers may know I was largely offline this week, due to personal issues. (Yes contrary to belief Luke and the rest of us have lives.) So today will mark a great day of massively huge amounts of posts. I should have Marvel and movie news as well as reviews up very soon. Stay tuned my readers. For tonight is going to be quiet awesome in the nerd degree.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ever find yourself so bored all you do is meaninglessly search the internet? No? Well then screw you. For those of us that do, I'm introducing this new topic "100 Ways to Waste Boring Days" which will solve those many problems. Today's topic, as strange as it may be, is papercraft. Papercrafts can come in many different shapes, sizes, and difficulties but can all be done with just glue and your hands (though smaller tools make it a helluva lot easier). There's bound to be a papercraft out there for every type of geek known to man or alien. I fancy the work from though most are rather difficult, but what better way to waste a day then to spend multiple hours meticulously folding paper? Well heres a few I did to kill time:

I used the Godot template for a base to build the one in the background (and yes there is a head inside that box). If you feel up to the challenge of wasting precious hours of your day which could be spent doing more productive things, here is the template:
Until next time your bored with nothing to do, be seeing ya!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-man film series, was interviewed this week by MTV, regarding his involvement with Spider-Man 4. When asked about possible villains he said the following: "What we're trying to do right now is really understand the journey Peter is going to go on this time and have the villain maybe be a counter to that growth, something that he has to overcome," Raimi said. "Or maybe he has to grow in a way to overcome the villain, because there always seem to be stories of coming of age, of a young man growing up and learning things about life, so once we are identifying the exact movement that Peter has to grow to, I think the villain—and we're trying this right now; we're trying to choose a villain based on who would be the proper counter to that growth, so we really have dramatic conflict." So what does this mean for the series? What characters will appear in the movie? Alls up for speculation people. Don't forget to comment. (Sorry for the brief post by the way. There was a s*it load of comics stuff announced today, and coupled with a rather stressful day in my life I was not able to cover it. Tomorrow should bring news, plus maybe a Fringe or Clone Wars review, you never know)

As each frightfully short week comes to a close, the chances of Heroes season 5 becoming original becomes smaller and smaller. This week was no real exception. Nathan turned back into Sylar, a guy gets pushed out a window, and Peter struggles for some form of attention from dear old mom. At this rate we may be stuck in a perpetual loop of overused plots and repetative character developments for a long time. Any hope for a new fans to join the series has been destroyed by Tim Kring's appearant love of overcomplicating stories and constant referals to season one. While I may not be able to see the future, it looks grim for season 5. (Also if they're going to throw in a lesbian in love with Claire, would it kill them to choose an attractive actress?).
(Yes, Spirit ^ got the plug this time )
Now does everyone remember my post the other day about Soul Eater? Of course you do. I know you savor all the words that cascade from my mouth to artfully articulate into sentances. Well I decided to do a review on this rather interesting anime series. I'll break it up into three categories: The good, The bad, and The WTF. To start with whats good, the original concepts in this anime are wonderous and insane. I loved the idea of the bond between characters as meister and weapon, as well as the fact that they put a strong girl as the protangonist. The story, while not perfect, is immersive and the characters are enjoyable (even though some may have a screw loose). Finally for the good, the combat. The combat in Soul Eater is intense at times and can't really be explained. It's sorta like This (Return post to Gormy). But combat is different for every character, for they all have their own unique flaws. Also while the art may have a cuteness in style, it's not reserved when it comes to blood. While this anime may not have nearly as many bad as good, it still has a few problems. The plot is somewhat familiar to other well known anime and not really that original. It revolves around the protagnists saving people, fighting demons, and constantly overcoming within themselves. All of this, while not new and exciting, makes for a pretty good anime. And finally we come to the WTF, the biggest one of all for me was, Where Does This Anime Take Place??? Which is a rhetorical question cause I know it takes place in Nevada, but I don't recall there being this in Nevada.

Overall I'd say this is an enjoyable anime for hardcore (if it's possible) and casual otakus alike. It definatly has my seal of approval.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th to be exact (what with Dante already taking up nine for some poetry), and I'm not really in them, so much as they are spinning around me. I see my mother to my left, and my brother's college roommate (for some odd reason) to my right, and they both thrust their round Mii pelvises in my general direction. I am of course, talking about the atrocity that is the Super Hula Hoop mini-game in Wii Fit.

This is too horrible for words to describe it, but being an internet blogger and all, I shall do so anyways.

Nintendo, in a fit of laziness I'm assuming, decided to, instead of just adding a changeable difficulty to the hula hoop mini-game like they did to the others, just make a second hella hoop(I made a pun!) game. All I have to say to Nintendo is "DAMN YOU."

First, they force me to hula hoop to the right, specifically, for three minutes. Then, just when I'm about to kill myself in some avant garde way, they give me the finger and say that I have to do it for three more minutes, except that it's to the left this time. Damn them.

At this point, I've accumulated five hula hoops, and I'm convinced that there has never been so much pelvic pain and so many rainbow sparkles in one place (except maybe in this).

So finally it's over, and the Wii tells me that I have the balance of a drunk with one leg. Then it goes through it's whole "You're a fat loser and will never find love," thing that it likes to do when ever I crawl back to it.

So this is basically Wii Fit in a nutshell. A bunch of horrible flashing lights, hellish labor set to cheery music, and and the same scale that is being crushed under my feet is also telling me what an obese slob I am. Thanks, Nintendo.

The zombie apocalypse fad has been growing in size for many years. Though the exact origin of this new zombie craze isn't apparent, it is known that the undead, infected, or cell phone crazies have been growing in popularity for years now. Spanning books, movies, and of course video games, Zombies have now officially been assimilated into the Borg of American popculture. It was only a matter of time before a good and proper American zombie comedy got made, and happily Zombieland delivers on this.

The film follows Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a skittish loner, who finds himself alone after a zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of the human population. Columbus, who gets his name from the city is headed to, lives by a strict law code that keeps him alive against the hordes of ravenous cannibals. Columbus lives and survives by being a reluctant loner, something that he begins to take for granted. All changes however, when he meets Tallahasee (Woody Harrelson) a rugged zombie killing badass, who is the exact opposite of Columbus in every way. Tallahasee's main goal in life outside of killing undead is to find the world's last Twinkie, a treat that in his mind holds all the happiness he needs in life. The two become almost reluctant partners, and are eventually joined by two female conmen/car thieves Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and the horror comedy becomes a misfit/ buddy story of epic proportions.

Zombieland works on almost every level. Columbus's inward commentary is vaguely reminiscent of works by Douglas Adams, and his mannerisms and overall geekitude make him not only empathetic, but hilarious. Harrelson steals the show in almost every scene he appears in delivering amazing one-liners, delivering sidesplitting acts of slapstick humor, or surprising and unexpected depth. Stone and Breslin also work well in their roles, and though not as funny as Eisenberg or Harrelson they deliver solid acting jobs that are commendable in their own right. The set pieces are used effectively and creatively to provide brilliant scenes of action, comedy, and yes horror. Zombieland does provide some quick jump scares, but this scares are done so in a comedic element, that once recovered from the initial shock you will find yourself laughing at. The jokes come flying at a unrelenting and perfect pace, and manage to tickle even the most hard hearted funny bone. There is one cameo in the film that had me laughing harder then any film I've seen in years. Zombieland is easily one of the best overall films I have seen this year. However, Zombieland is not perfect. The film is not for the squeamish as gore and blood are not shied away from at all. It also suffers from occasional slips in pace. Despite this Zombieland is somewhere you will want to visit, and despite its horrific premise you might even want to return there.

Score: A

The state of the Star Wars universe has long been a subject of debate for fans of George Lucas's sprawling space opera. The original trilogy considered to be among the best films of all time, have become tarnished by the less then stellar prequel trilogy. Though I and many other fans have a certain appreciation for the prequel saga, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith remains one of my favorite films. However, the increasing commercialism and critical slump of Star Wars has tarnished its once high reputation.

Star Wars fans continue to love their saga though, and Lucasfilm has seemed to find the right balance between pleasing their adult fans, with video games and novels, and their younger fanbase with toys. However, the biggest announcement in years of Star Wars fandom came during 2005, mere months before the prequel trilogy was to be concluded. Two Star Wars television series were in the works, one animated and one live-action. The announcement thundered through all of the nerd community.

The excitement was electric. Then came the first warning sign. The animated series was to be based upon the controversial prequel trilogy. The series was to chronicle the Clone Wars, the event that took place between Episodes II and III of the saga. This decision seemed odd to many fans. The Clone Wars was an area in the Star Wars chronology that had already been extensively covered, and the idea of creating a series upon the event seemed bizarre to say the least.

However, Lucas promised the fans that their worries were unfounded. He promised a high quality, action packed show that would rival the movies in quality. This quieted some of the anger, but many were still skeptical. This was the same man that had conceived of Jar Jar Binks after all. Then the first preview premiered, and the skepticism fell quiet once again. The animation was beautiful. The CGI provided for a great 3D feel that felt beyond that of any television series. The action, music, voice acting were all there and the show looked phenomenal. Faith was once again behind Lucas's newest baby.

Lucas couldn't keep his fans pleased for long though. Almost minutes after the jaw dropping first preview, another bizarre announcement was made. A new character was to be introduced to the series, Ahsoka Tano, and she was to be Anakin's Jedi Padawan. Fan's jaws dropped. A padawan!?! With Anakin!?! Fan's were outraged. What would happen to the continuity!?! What would be come of the years of story and work that the films, comics, and novels had built around Anakin!?! However, once again Lucas asked us to believe in him, a phrase that was slowly becoming a double edged sword.

Yet Lucas's greatest mistake was still to come. As 2008 opened, the Clone Wars animated series was to make a television debut that fall. Lucas's love for the series had grown great, and he felt that a show of this caliber deserved a better venue, the big screen. Dave Filoni, supervising director of the series, was shocked and hurriedly took his team together to try and splice together the first four episodes into one cohesive whole. The idea was doomed from the start. The Clone Wars were never fit for the big screen. The animation style though spectacular for a television series, was out of date and almost wooden in appearance when compared to the work of Pixar and Dreamworks. The characters were also seen as flat and uninteresting, the action as boring, and the writing a mess. Another common complaint about the movie was its use of bland and uninteresting humor, given by the villainous battle droid grunts. Their use of lame puns, and slapstick was seen as unnecessary and distracting. Overall, what might have worked on the small screen, was never fit for film. The act was almost as bad as forcing a talented child star to perform in competition with a group of trained professionals.

The fan view of the Clone Wars had slipped from excitement, to skepticism, to disdain. Thousands of older fans turned their backs on the series never to watch again. Many more became embarrassed that their once proud franchise had become children's fare. Despite the controversy, Filoni and Lucas decided to continue the series as scheduled, and on October 3rd 2008 the series premiered on Cartoon Network. At once some issues with the film were solved. The writing, animation, and action all worked much better in the scope of a half hour television show. Each episode worked easily as a cohesive whole.

However, one major problem remained with the fledgling series, and that was one with tone. The show, as stated by Lucas was written for both young and old fans in mind, but overall the series has had trouble finding its footing. The show featured many blatantly childlike areas, particularly the bland humor. It's focus on Ahsoka also made it feel as if the show was preaching towards a younger audience. The series also wanted an older audience as well. Death, and violence on the show were common, and often felt out of place. It seemed as if Filoni wanted to tell a story about war, but had trouble showing it on a program that supposedly favored a young audience. This was especially apparent in the shows' first major story arc revolving around a large battleship constructed by Seperatist leader General Grievous. The episodes featured many dark moments and themes such as loss, betrayal, and murder, but all these elements were undermined by the need to make the show appropriate to children. This dumbed down the action, and emotion to what would have otherwise been an amazing addition to the Star Wars mythos.

Then Clone Wars introduced the great game changer. An episode that would not only energized the fan base, but likely saved the series as well. Entitled “Rookies”, the episode followed a battalion of clones, who find themselves defending their outpost against an onslaught of droids. For the first time Clone Wars found its footing. Telling a mature, violent, humorous, and even emotionally wrenching story, “Rookies” proved that Filoni and the team could create not only true Star Wars material, but good stories overall. Energy had finally been pumped into a series that very much needed the love of its core fanbase.

The series would have several missteps and stumbles throughout its first season, but the series had found where it worked, and churned out such stellar episodes as: “Trespass”, “Lair of Grievous”, “Cloak of Darkness”, and “Storm Over Ryloth”. The show ended its first season on a positive note with the incredibly violent and dark “Hostage Crisis” ,following the invasion of the Republic Senate building by bounty hunter Cad Bane. The introduction of Bane marked a high in the series. This old school badass of a character has become an over night fan favorite, and smartly Filoni has made his role in the upcoming second season larger.

Overall, the Clone Wars has quickly jumped from being lackluster attempt at Star Wars to being a powerful and well produced show on its own. It has personally become one of my favorite shows, and the novelty of having quality Star Wars entertainment on a weekly basis is something that leads almost any nerd to pure electric excitement. The shows faults are still there: the writing can still stumble into corny cliches, the humor is still poor, and episodes can vary in quality ,yet these are small complaints. Expect to here more about the Clone Wars every week on Artificial Continuum.

Friday, October 9, 2009
Bioware has released a new developers diary on the making of Coruscant, one of the planets for their upcoming Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic.

Fringe, the brainchild of JJ Abrams (Lost, Star Trek) and Robert Orci (Transformers), has long been fighting an uphill battle. The series premise, loosely based on modern day terrorism scares and the X-Files, follows an FBI sect that deals with a paranormal activity that ranges from mutated children to alternate universes. The original six episodes were unoriginal, bland and formulaic, but then, something happened. Fringe developed a plot, and a rather complex and intricate one at that. People often criticize Lost for its overly convoluted and complex plot, but compared to Fringe it is first grade fare. Fringe delves deeply into such topics as metaphsics, alternate universes, and highly volatile political and social issues.

Now due to personal reasons involving the date of creation regarding this blog, I will be starting weekly reviews for Fringe at about three episodes into the second season. Now to help readers catch up to the current point in the show, I have included a handy little video up above. Ah the wonders of youtube.

It seems the highly anticipated Spider-Man sequel has finally escaped from the very bowels of development hell. Director Sam Raimi (Drag Me To Hell, Evil Dead) announced to MTV today that the film was to begin shooting next month with a May 5th 2010 release date. Raimi has also stated that he will have a heavy part in the production of this latest webslinging outing, as the script will be co-written by him and Gary Ross. This is greated with many sighs of relief from fans after seeing what happened to the largely studio written Spider-Man 3.
Yo everyone, it's Alec. First things first, don't read this until you read the post below me. Luke has given us a review of KH: 358/2 Days, which all of you should get immediately. :)

So, many of us have played Super Smash Bros. Brawl. We've loved it's quirky-ness, and the fact that it's got a ton of content. Sure, we're all satisfied with what Nintendo's got there. But, have any of you wondered where Lucas, that blonde-haired, fraidy-cat wonder came from? Well my friends, I'm here to educate.

Lucas is from a game called Mother 3, originally stemming from the lesser known game Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) for the SNES. Although many of you probably knew that much, here's what you don't know: Mother 3 is one of the greatest masterpieces of the last handheld generation. From the utopian visions of an insane king, to the loss of a wife and mother to an already failing family, this game is chock full of sheer drama and luscious storyline. I can guarantee that by the end of this game you'll want to cry, scream, and beat the crap out of the main villain (whom to this day, is my most hated villain in history).

The way in which the game is presented is very reminiscent of the Alice stoies from way back when, and the characters are so well thought out that they'll keep you guessing as to true motive til the very end. You can bet this game will be the emotional ride of your life. And did I forget to mention you do shrooms? (You do, actually, get high in this game. I kid you not.)

So what's left to say? Only this: Get this game. Do not miss this, or you'll be sorry.

Taking a step beyond my boundaries just this once to review the new Kingdom Hearts game, 358/2 days. This game is yet another example that Disney and Square Enix together can make one hell of an addicting game. After buying 358/2 on its release back in late September, I became a virtual shut in for 3 days. The story of 358/2 days revolves around Roxas's days as an Organization XIII member. This means the story spans the days of Castle Oblivion and up to the beginning of KH:2. You play as Roxas and venture to and from various Disney worlds completing missions for Saix. These mission can be simple tasks such as collecting hearts or organization emblems, or more difficult tasks like defeating Darksides or more dangerous Heartless. You are not alone in this venture, for you have the entire Organization to help you (well in the beginning anyway) and the mysterious new member XIV, Xion. The story is long, the enimies are adequetly challenging, and the combat system and spells are that of KH 1 and 2 (no damn cards, well unless your Luxord). Even once the game was over, Mission Mode is fun, especially the multiplayer. Being able to link with your friends to create your ultimate KH dream team was one of the best attributes of this game. Overall I'd give this game an A in storyline, B in controls, and an A for appealing to my FanBoy devotion.

Also new in the sunlight deprived world of anime, FUNimation posted a preview of the English Dub of Soul Eater, The hit manga by Atsushi Okubo and published by Square Enix, on Thursday, October 8th. The first few episodes will appear on DVD sometime in 2010. For anyone not familiar with the plot of this sensational series, to quote from FUNimation, it goes a little something like this:
"Maka is a Meister and Soul is her Weapon. As students at the Grim Reapers Death Weapon Meister Academy, their study habits couldnt be more different. But in battle against the supernatural forces of evil, theyre a freakin lethal team.Thats when Soul transforms literally into a razor-sharp scythe, and every defeated wicked soul he sucks down makes him more deadly. Thats when Maka unleashes the merciless slayer within, wielding her partner and dropping monsters. Seriously. Monsters. Like the witches, werewolves, and zombies that lurk in the shadows and feed on the souls of the innocent. Every freakish ghoul Maka and Soul take out strengthens their bond, and fighting alongside their fellow Meister/Weapon classmates, Maka and Soul are the worlds last line of defense against evil". From the preview they posted on youtube and the FUNimation site, the voice acting seems pretty solid including: Todd Haberkorn (Allen Walker-D.Grey Man, Hikaru Hitachiin-Ouran High School Host Club) as Death the Kid, Laura Bailey (Tohru Honda-Fruits Basket, Shin-Shin-Chan) as Maka, Micah Solusod as Soul, and many others. I would highly recommend picking it up, especially if your a fan of Full Metal Alchemist.

You can find the preview here:

Some new and possibly exciting news in the world of anime recently. It seems a movie is in the works for the anime, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The movie is titled "Suzumiya Haruhi no Shōshitsu" (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya) and is set to release in 2010 in select theaters. For anyone not somewhat familiar with the series (If any, after so many fan-girls obsessing over it), it revolves around high school student Haruhi Suzumiya and her powers to unintentionally alter reality. Much of the story is also about her club, The SOS Brigade, who investigate mysterious occurances. Kyon, a classmate of Haruhi and forced member of the SOS Brigade, narrates the story. The first teaser trailer of the movie was released recently and features SOS Brigade member, Yuki Nagato, in a winter setting. You can find it here:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This summer JJ Abram's Star Trek made waves throughout the film community making both financial and critical success. A sequel was announced later last summer, to no surprise from the public. The film has already begun the writing process with Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, and JJ Abrams has expressed interest in returning. However, one major component from the original film may not return, Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy, who played Spock in the original Star Trek series, reprised his role in the new film to help bridge two generations of fans and crews. His role, which was tied heavily to the films time travel driven plot, was a central part of the film. However, Nemoy doesn't feel that he will be needed in the new installment. Nimoy said the following in a recent interview:"My understanding is they're working on a script right now. I expect there's going to be some time before they really know exactly who they need and what they need. I frankly, frankly doubt that I will be called upon again. I think I was useful in his last film to help bridge between the original characters, the original actors, and the new cast. They have a wonderful new cast in place, and I'm sure they'll move ahead with them. I don't see, at the moment, why they would need me in the next film, although, if they called me, I'd be happy to have a conversation about it."
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If your as big a geek as I am, then you may have heard that Futurama season 6 is in the works. After many months of discussion and angry fan-mail, 20th Century Fox and the entire cast of Futurama have finally signed a deal. While they may not have recieved as large a salary as hoped for, Fox did raise the pay enough for them to return. This means we will see all our favorite Earthicans in brand, shiny, new episodes featuring the entire cast of Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Morbo), Tress MacNeille (Mom, Linda) and Katey Sagal (Leela), Phil LaMarr (Hermes), Lauren Tom (Amy), David Herman (Scruffy) and Frank Welker (Nibbler), and of course Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Zapp) and John DiMaggio (Bender). As for me, I can't wait for the new season to premeire, but all we can do for now is set the timer on our cryogenic tubes and wake up when it does.

Hey, again! It's Alec, and I'm kicking off the week with a new Indie game for all of you to play! It's called RunMan: Race around the World, and I gotta say, this game is really something. The object of the game is simply to get to the finish line as fast as possible using whatever means you want. The game has a style of it's own, using an interesting paint-like atmosphere that just makes the game that much more enjoyable. Filled with lots of levels and plenty of achievements to try out, you won't be disappointed with the end product. And the best part? You can't die. Well, sort of. You can, but it's extremely difficult to do so. So no more jumping off into an endless cliff, or running into enemies and getting killed. Nope, here is all speed, and you've gotta be fast if you want to win the World Cup! (Not like there's any competition, mind. Who'd want to race against a ninja starfish? No one, that's who.)

The game plays like the old Sonic games, however, you can do several other ninja-like moves to propel yourself in just the right way to rocket past the finish line. Just pulling off that right combination of moves to get past a tricky obstacle gives you that awesome feeling that no other game can give you. I guarantee that you will have a lot of fun with this one.

Warning: This game tends to be glitchy, and also tends to have quite a few error messages with Vista. I got by by simply clicking accept through all of them, and I strongly urge you to do the same. However, if you have an older computer, I'd use that to play it instead.

Hey guys, this is Alec, and I'm gonna be updating with Indie Game stuff as well as basic news from time to time. So look forward to some posts in the near future on some quality stuff!

As for right now, apparently Capcom has done it again. They've decided that Street Fighter IV wasn't enough for us and have made some additions to the Street Fighter formula. Well, okay, that's a lie. Basically they are taking the last one they made and adding some extra content to it. Well, apparently, this doesn't just include more eye candy from Chun Li and Cammy. No sir, this means new characters, as well as some returning faces. So what will this mean for the franchise? We aren't sure yet, but one things for certain. I bet a lot of SFIV fans are pretty angry that they didn't wait a little longer.

News is pretty shaky, but a new character (pictured above) named Juri, as well as old hats T.Hawk and Dee Jay will be making an appearance. Just like the title says, the game is expected to come out Q1 of next year, so put the gloves on, and be ready to knock some more teeth out on the streets (perhaps even with a tomahawk this time).

Juri is property of Capcom. This image was found at

Announced last month, the newest Pirates of the Caribbean film is to be released summer of 2011, to a crowd of screaming fangirls. Reportedly following the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow and his search for the Fountain of Youth, the movie is to be based upon the famous fantasy pirates novel of the 80's On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. The book featured among many things the famous pirate Blackbeard and ,of course, the Fountain of Youth. The explanation for this is simply that the authors wanted to write a story about Blackbeard and the Fountain of Youth, and the book just happened to have a similar story.

The movie ,however, is not going to feature a majority of the characters from the original trilogy. Overall, the idea stinks of a corporate money grab. The Pirates films slowly declined in quality throughout their original run, and the decision to make a sequel not even related to the previous films seems like a dumb move. The idea to base the fourth film off a book seems even more like the creators are short for ideas. The original films atleast had stories that were original, if not based off famous pirate mythology. Pirates, especially in its latter installments, had difficulty pulling off even these stories. The third pirates film was so bogged down in subplots and characters that it nearly ruined the movie. Pirates is the one movie series that I can say works with a simpler story. The first film was great because its story was fairly straightfoward, but the actors and characters pulled it foward, not the other way around. So perhaps covering a template would result in a more comprehensible and entertaining story. '

The only redeeming quality about this new film is that Johnny Depp, arguably the best part of all the films, is on board for the new film, but even this might not happen. Recently, Disney chairman Dick Cook resigned his position after 38 years of working it. This came as a surprise and shock to Depp, who claims that it was Cook that helped both him and the Pirates films become what they are today. Whether Depp's hesitance to take part in the film will affect it in the long term is to be seen. However, it is doubtful that Disney would make the film if he were to step down.

Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides seems like a trainwreck waiting to happen, yet who knows. It might be the fun and independant Pirates film that we wanted ever since At World's End was released two years ago. Time will only tell.

It was announced today by that work on the new Spider-Man spin off film Venom had moved foward, and that Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) will be writing and possibly directing. It was also announced that he will be writing Spider-Man 4 (about the 20th person to do so).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
On a non-anime related note, the new season of Heroes started up last week. For anyone new to the show I highly, highly, highly recommend watching first three seasons first. The fourth season, which started on September 29th with a two hour premiere, started off like your basic Heroes storyline that we have all come to know far too well. Sylar's still causing havoc, Peter is struggling in his own special way, Claire is trying (yet again) to be normal, Hiro is romping around time with trouble controlling his powers, and Bennet is trying to quit the business of hunting down people with abilities. Same old Heroes with a few added twists. But all is not dark on the horizon, as the setup to this season has potentiel. With the addition of some very original powers (such as manipulation of ink and the ability to see and manipulate sound) and what seems like even better special effects (I.E. Water manipulation and transforming tatoos), this season has promise. Only time will tell what twisted story Tim Kring and the writers have in store, but in my opinion, Masai Oka will definatly be a part of it.

~ Luke

Casting for Robert Rodriguez's (Grindhouse, Spy Kids) Predator reboot, Predators, was announced by Variety magazine today. The film followers a group of mercenaries and killers who find themselves stranded on a foreign planet overrun with Predator aliens. The film is set to feature Adrien Brody (King Kong, The Pianist), Topher Grace (Spider-Man 3), Danny Trejo, Walter Goggins (Both from the Shield) , Alice Braga (I Am Legend), Oleg Taktarov, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali ("The 4400"). Shooting is to begin in Hawaii later this year, and the film is penned for a July 2010 release date.

Last week, director Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon) announced that work on the third Transformers movie had reached the planning phase, and that release was to be penned for summer of 2011. The move comes as no surprise seeing as Transformers, and its sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen were both huge financial successes (the critical end is another story). However, two contributors to the series will not be returning for the third outing, writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The writers, known for their work on J.J. Abram's Star Trek and Fringe, announced today that they will not be returning for the third installment. One might argue that this might be one of the best moves of their career seeing how panned the second installment was. In fact, it is hard at times to believe that the same people who write the complex and moving stories of Fringe and Star Trek are responsible for the same drivel that is the Transformers saga.

To kick things off in the world of manga, I decided to start by recommending one of my favorite series (And no its not something super mainstream). I chose to start by reviewing Gimmick! by Youzaburou Kanari and Kuroko Yabaguchi. This series revolves around Sfx artist Kohei Nagase and Studio Gimmick. essentially Kohei, a woman-loving, childish, prodigy of a Sfx artist who wields what he calls the "Sacred Silver Spatula" helps many indivuals with their various problems by means of clever thinking, slight of hand, and alot of metal music. But he is not alone in this venture. From the start of the series, you are introduced to a load of unique characters and situations. For example, a celebrity friend of his is being stalked by an insane woman, so he goes to Kohei for a mask that will allow him to safely go about his business. Thats a very cut and dry synopsis of that particular story, but its just to set a scene. A key element to this story, however, is that it uses many references to present day special effects and movies such as how CGI revolutionized film when used in Jurassic Park. Also it is very specific when detailing how Kohei creates the many illusions in the manga. Overall I'd say this manga gets an B+ in artistic style, an A+ in overall story, and an A+ in overall orignality and readability. There are eight realeased in the U.S. so far.

"Special Effects aren't about recreating reality, it's about using Gimmicks to do reality one better" (Book 1).

Welcome readers to the Artificial Continuum. Your one stop blog for nerd news of any kind. Games, Movies, Anime, Manga, Comics, TV, and more. You want news we got it. We'll be offering reviews, commentaries, web features, and podcasts. Expect to see updates about every day with podcasts coming on a biweekly rotation. The site is to be moderated by Luke and I (Nick), but expect many other authors to join in. Remember to follow us, and keep comments flooding in.

To start this thing of right, my name is Luke. I am the epitome of otaku and geekiness in general. I work under Nick and will be a most gracious of hosts. I review and recommend both Anime and Manga, and other related topics. Please feel free to comment on any topic or post of mine and to leave your opinion or views. Also keep it clean, I mean, I love Hentai as much as the next guy, but try PG-13 themes if possible.

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