Thursday, December 20, 2012

Inexpensive, stainless steel dice ring!

We've all seen those nifty spinning rings before, yes? And I think dice rings have actually been around a while. But these dudes have a cool stainless steel model for $15 through Kickstarter.

You can pay more and get more of course, but for that cheap--plus a few chuckles from their charmingly low-budget elevator pitch video--it's well worth it.

 Better move--there's less than 72 hours left in the Kickstarter!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Man of Steel" Trailer has given me hope!

When the Superman franchise was rebooted in 2006, I wanted desperately to have that feeling I had when I was a kid watching Chris Reeve zoom around in the sky and beat up super villains from the Phantom Zone. And while the guy who played Superman was fine, the movie was really an homage to those films. There was no journey to take with the character, he had already been there and was now coming back, hence the title, "Superman Returns".

 And hence, it didn't work.

I'm not going to bore you to tears with fanboy theories as to what didn't work or how it could have been better. The only thing that really matters from that experience is this: it focused too much on trying to relive the past instead of bringing something new to the mythos of the last son of Krypton. "Man of Steel" by director Zack Snyder, has a real chance of being the movie that "Returns" could have been.

The preview seems to have all the hallmarks of a solid attempt to tell a different Superman story. One where his senses as a child need to be tamed. My first thought was that this is a real boy--almost as if he were a child affected by autism. He's flooded with his surroundings.

This is a movie willing to take risks with the notion of Ma and Pa Kent. They're not thinking "he's going to be Superman." They're hoping he can live without being dissected. Those kids on the bus are collateral damage!

And while it's obviously ironic that Superman allows himself to be handcuffed by Earthlings, I think the bigger question is--is it that he feels responsible for us regular people? Or does Superman feel guilty for having this much power. Is this the real reason he's helping Earth instead of ruling it with Zod? Maybe the cuffs symbolize his need to make up for his "defect".

One of my favorite stories about the Man of Steel is "Superman: Birthright." In that story Clark Kent/Kal-El is someone looking to fulfill his potential and ventures not just to Metropolis--but to Africa where his do-good aspirations are tested.The result is a Superman who's believable as a guardian of more than just the his fair adopted city, but one understands and cares for the people on the other side of the planet as well. I can't recall a previous rendition that delved into how someone becomes "super" with such pathos. And yet, it wasn't overly-sentimental.

I'm beginning to think that this new version will have some of that seriousness--without the nostalgic eye-winking the Singer film.

Now, I'm not a Snyder fan. I really didn't like "300." Visually stunning, but the story was shit. And Watchmen was okay. But a "just okay" "Watchmen" film is like a waterslide on a cold, windy day. It's too much work to have so little fun. But this movie has hope. Snyder's flair for visuals has a script writer: David Goyer of the "Dark Knight" movies. Chris Nolan however you feel about him or his trilogy, has brought about the era of the "smart superhero film." I think Superman is in good hands--at least it would seem so by the look of the trailer.

 In any case, these are themes I hope are expressed in the film. Superman has tackled these issues in the comics for years. It's nice to see a film that might finally do him justice.