The LOST X-Man: A Brief Comparative Study of Wolverine and Sawyer

As a connoisseur of all things unimportant, I recently contemplated the similarities between The X-Men’s Wolverine and LOST’s Sawyer.  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Both men were born with the name James.
  • Both men have a predilection for beer.
  • Both men took the name of his father’s killer as an alias.
  • Both men think nothing of murder.
  • Both men have anger-control issues.
  • Both men tend to lust after his leader’s love interest.
  • Both men enjoy assigning unflattering nicknames.
  • Both men display amoral behavior.
  • Both men will assume leadership when the chips are down.
  • Both men killed his father’s killer.

Did I forget anything?  Feel free to add your two-cents.

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Y: The Last Man: Motherland – A Graphic Novel Review

In case you’re not familiar with Brian K. Vaughan’s Y: The Last Man, the premise is that a catastrophic plague has wiped every man on the planet but one, Yorick Brown. For an inexplicable reason, Yorick and his pet monkey, Ampersand, were spared. Now Yorick desperately wants to traverse a planet in chaos as women work to establish order once more so that he can reunite with his girlfriend. He travels with Agent 355, who has been charged with protecting Yorick, and the scientist Allison Mann, who tirelessly works to determine what made Yorick and Ampersand different from anything else with the Y chromosome.

Motherland is the ninth volume in this graphic novel series. When Y first started, it was unlike anything else I’d ever read in comic books. Action-packed with a real sense of plot and purpose, Vaughan broke barriers with every installment. However, on this volume, I feel things are starting to drag out a bit. Still an enjoyable read, but it’s definitely treading water compared to earlier volumes.

But, be that as it may, I have every faith in the world that Vaughan will regain steam as he comes to the conclusion of this series. It was understood from the get go that this was a finite title, and I really think it will be a joy to read from start to finish once it’s concluded.

For those of you unfamiliar with Brian K. Vaughan, he is a master storyteller in the world of comic books, but he’s also the guy they brought in to get the television show LOST back on track when it waned a bit last season. Did you notice a discernable improvement in LOST towards the end of last season? You can thank BKV for that.

Please realize that Y is not your mainstream comic book such as Superman or Batman. It is a comic book, yes, but it is more like the HBO of the comic book world. There is adult language at times and adult themes. However, if you’ve ever been interested in seeing sequential art at its best, give Y a try.

Mission: Impossible III – A Movie Review

You know, I have to tell you, I didn’t hate this movie.  I know Tom Cruise somehow went from being America’s favorite son to its most popular antichrist, but J.J. Abrams, the director of the film and creator of hit shows like Lost and Alias, managed to put together a pretty good little action movie.

And, please don’t fool yourself, that’s all M:i:III is-an action movie.  But, it’s exactly the kind of action movie I want to see.  There were moments when I literally couldn’t take my eyes off the screen because there was so much happening and my pulse pounded so hard.  Car chases, fight scenes, explosions, boom! bang! zoom! vroom!  Awesome stuff . . . if you’re into action movies.

Now if you’re not into action movies, this baby still has a saving grace-Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  He’s the bad guy of the flick, and when he’s on screen, he is baaaaaad, and I mean that in a good way.  The only problem is, he’s really not in the movie that much.  On the other hand, we (obviously) have lots and lots of Tommy boy.  And you know, here’s my thing with Tom-Tom, I don’t think he’s a terrible actor.  I mean, The Last Samurai is a fantastic, fantastic, fantastic movie.  I just think that Tom the man has gotten bigger than Tom the actor, and so we can no longer differentiate between the two.  I think that happens to the best of them.  Not that Cruise is the best of them by any means, but you get the point.

At any rate, as I watched M:i:III, I didn’t see Ethan Hunt, I only saw Tom Cruise.  There’s Tom jumping off a building.  There’s Tom being slammed into a car.  And so on.  But I didn’t have a problem with that, because I wanted to see an action movie and that’s what Tom and J.J. gave me. 

Unfortunately, I really enjoyed the first two thirds of M:i:III but I have to admit the last third truly fell into the venomous waters of cliché.  It just got kind of hokey and felt as though it betrayed everything it had been up to that point. 

Nonetheless, if you’re an action movie person, except for a few attempts at trying to find America’s next catch phrase and a tired ending, M:i:III is definitely worth a rent.

My New Favorite TV Shows

Note: Originally Posted 10-18-06

If you know me personally, you already know I’m perpetually behind the curve when it comes to all things, “cool” in the world of television and music.  Because I don’t have time to write a twenty-page entry, we’ll focus on TV today. Take LOST for instance.  It was well into its second season before I got hooked.  Same thing with Arrested Development

Well, keeping with my trend, I’ve recently discovered two new shows that I LOVE (new to me, that is).

The first is the HBO original series, Rome.  I love Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, so this one is right up my alley.  My wife is a big history nut, so it fits nicely into her tastes as well.  The show highlights Caesar’s rise to power while focusing on all the power players of the time period as well as the daily lives of two Roman soldiers.  It truly is a fascinating show as it gives us glimpses into what history may have been and the drama of lives purely imagined.  As you may have heard, the costumes are incredible, the acting is very well done, and each episode feels like a mini-movie, which makes sense on a network called Home Box Office.  My wife and I were stunned at the level of nudity and sex in the first two episodes (even for HBO, it was very graphic), but that quickly tapered off and the meat of the storyline got rolling with episodes three through five.  I personally think that they included all the sex and full frontal for the causal viewer who couldn’t care less about Caesar or Rome in order to get them hooked on the actual story as it took place between sex scenes.  We haven’t finished the entire season yet on DVD so I can’t comment on how it ends.  I don’t believe the second season has started yet.  It will be interesting to see if they merely take it up to Caesar’s assassination (don’t tell me I spoiled it for you, you’ve been in World History), or if they will take it all the way through the aftermath of his murder as did Shakespeare.

My other new favorite show that I’m way behind the curve on is Entourage.  It’s just plain funny.  There’s no other way to say it.  The characters are completely hilarious and charismatic.  The show has that something that makes it hard to resist.  If you’re not familiar with it, it is also a show on HBO that follows a young up-and-coming actor in Hollywood with his two friends and older brother.  One of his friends is the responsible pseudo-manager, the other friend is the wanna-be ladies man gopher, and the older brother (my favorite character) is a washed-up actor living vicariously through his younger brother and picking up any scrap parts he can manage.  The young actor’s agent is completely a scum sucking jerk and side-splittingly funny.  I’ll admit it, this show is kind of a guilty pleasure.  If you give it a shot, beware.  The F-Bombs drop like they’re going out of style. 

So there you go.  My new favorite shows.  I’m well on my way to becoming a TV junkie.  Crap.

Feeling Satisfied After LOST

Last night the fourth season of LOST wrapped up and it left me feeling intensely satisfied. 

It is inarguably clear that the writers now have an end-goal in sight and are steadily working towards it.  I’ll admit, in earlier seasons, they played it pretty fast and loose with previous plot elements and characters.  That didn’t bother me, mind you, I enjoyed the ride no matter how bumpy, but I understood how it could be frustrating for some.  Those days are over, though.  Season four was tight from the get-go and only got better with each episode.

In fact, this fourth season was probably the most consistent, reliable, and well-written of any previous seasons.  And as all season finales must, it left us with plenty of questions.  Consequently, it also unquestionably answered some gargantuan mysteries posed throughout the season as well.  I’ll say it again because I think it bears repeating, I think this was probably its strongest season in terms of pure story-telling from the first episode to the last and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the pure craft and creativity involved in delivering such an intricate and well thought-out tale.

There’s such beauty in how the title has taken on a whole new meaning!  (Spoilers  ahead!)  How perfect that it is literally the island that is now lost.  I love the irony as well that Jack previously wanted nothing more than to get his friends off the island so they could be found, and now that he’s accomplished that task, he’s the one who must gather them together to take them back.  Of all people, how befitting that he’s the one most lost without the island!  It’s the classic case of not knowing what you truly want until you can’t have it any longer and then subsequently feeling empty.  Aren’t we all guilty of that in some aspect or another?

Oh, sure, there are still plenty of questions, but isn’t that entirely the fun of the show?  Those questions that leave us with such a plethora of possibilities, I can’t help but get excited to see what’s in store of us!  For instance, where (or when) is the island?  What has Sawyer and Juliet been up to for the last three years?  Was that really Locke in the coffin?  (Totally NOT who I thought it would be, by the way.  My money was on Michael, and I’m pretty sure they manipulated me into thinking so from the beginning.  I’m such a sucker.)  What is the significance of the name Jeremy Bentham?  Did Jin and Michael really die?  Is Hurley really nuts, and if not, why is he talking to dead people?  Best of all, has Sun turned evil because Jack let Jin perish?  (Oh, what a wonderful villainess she would make after being repressed for so long!  I’d love to see all her spite and anger unleashed!)  Furthermore, what’s in store for the fantastic additions to the cast in the fourth season-Miles, Charlotte, Frank, and the wonderfully quirky Daniel?  What’s Claire’s connection to Jacob and Christian?  Is that really Christian, or is that pesky smoke-monster doing impersonations again?

This season’s finale delivered the “wow-factor” in terms of surprise, action, drama, adventure, and pure excitement.  I know season five is a long ways off, but like so much in life, anticipation is sublime!  Thanks to all involved with LOST for giving us a season to be proud of!