Category Archives: welcome to hell

What This Blog Is About

Yesterday, I received two messages, one on Facebook before I posted the Miley Cyrus piece, and one by email after it went up. They were both of the same ilk, and I’m not talking about the hideously bad spelling and grammar. Both folks thought I was adding fuel to the apathetic fire by writing about Miley Cyrus. One gentleman indicated I was un-American and didn’t care about politics because I wasn’t writing about Syria, and worse than that, writing about Miley instead of Syria. Both of them threatened to stop being readers of mine.

It bugged me at first. I am political, and I care intensely about the Syria situation and the lost lives both present and future. But you know what? That’s not what I’m about here. Welcome to Hell is a blog, just a blog, and I talk about pop culture here. I talk about movies, television, comics, music, books, the industry in general, basically anything that turns my crank, in either direction, in entertainment. This blog is not about politics. Surely these two folks wouldn’t want me to talk Syria over at French Fry Diary or The Non-Gamer’s Gamer’s Blog, would they? Then why should I do it here? Stay on topic.

My take yesterday on the Miley Cyrus thing was not one of exhibition or hedonism. If you read carefully, it was one of concern. The woman is on a path of self-destruction. If she shows an entire nation, no, the entire world, that she is crying for help – why isn’t anyone helping her? Yes, she put on a freakshow, but that wasn’t my message, like it was for many in the entertainment news business.

For the record, my views on Miley and Syria are pretty much mirrored by one of my favorite bloggers, Liz Henry, over at The Broad Side. You can read it here. I love her writing, I love her voice, and you should too. I’m just the comics and fry guy, she takes on the tough stuff.

To my two upset readers – I hope you keep reading, but I’m sorry, I won’t be talking politics here. It just ain’t happening, folks.

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First Contact, First Blood, Lego Batman

The night the PS3 came into our lives, we had folks over. Friends Ray, Jeff and Crystal were there for the installation and helped with all the technical stuff. They also went to the store to pick up accessories, as well as a game or two and maybe a Blu-Ray to test out the system. They knew I wasn’t thrilled with the purchase, so stealthy steps were taken to soothe me.

First they, and The Bride, got a Blu-Ray, our first Blu-Ray, Megamind, a film that I actually liked. Those of you who know me, know that’s hard to find. We watched, I was amazed by the crisp, clean, clarity of the picture, and was somewhat soothed. This was close to what I wanted (a Blu-Ray player or a Roku), after all.

The second purchase was a game, one that preyed upon two of my favorite things – comics and Legos. It was Lego Batman The Videogame. We’ve talked about me and comics before, but Legos I have always been fascinated by. It was a toy I never had when I was a kid and was always so jealous when I saw the other kids with them, so as an adult, I became a collector of sorts. Nothing hardcore, like with comics, but I have a couple building sets, and of course all the Lego (and Lego knock-off) versions of my favorite superheroes. Sigh, it worked. Sure, what the hell, let’s play this.

I love the animated Lego commercials and OnDemand has something called The Lego Channel where you can see animated shorts featuring Lego versions of Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and yes, Batman. These are just darn good fun. The introduction to this game is similar to that, and quite enjoyable. The game itself is also like that, but let’s face it, once you’re playing – you can only do cool things if you know how to do cool things.

Like the bits on the Lego Channel, there is no dialogue so that anyone from any culture can understand what’s going on. The problem is, with no English, it also makes it hard on nimrods like me to play it properly. Yes, I do know about the online instruction manuals on the PlayStation Network – and once I figure out how to navigate that, I’m sure that’s a useful suggestion. And I sure hope you like the Danny Elfman theme music from the Tim Burton Batman movies or you’ll have to play this one on mute.

The game itself is kinda hard once it starts. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Why? Controllers. I think this will be a recurring theme of this blog, I just can’t get my head around the controllers. I am quite honestly better acquainted with Atari joysticks, and maybe a little less so with NES controllers. To me, the PS3 controller is like giving an MP3 player to a caveman. I can push buttons, but I have little idea what they do. So I just push all the buttons and move the levers every which way and hope for the best.

I love the mime personalities of all the Bat-baddies, especially Clayface. It’s a hoot, until you’re actually in play. I was able to play a two-player game with The Bride that first night while Crystal was there to walk us through everything and tell us what buttons to push when. Hey, we actually got through the first level.

I have to admit though, I had more fun using my Batman to beat on The Bride’s Robin. Yeah, that’s pretty cool being able to fight other players. And when you ‘kill’ them (as much as there’s a kill in Lego Batman) they just fall apart into their component Lego pieces. That always breaks me up, pun intended. When I play by myself days later, I get nowhere near as far as I did that first night, but I loved busting up Robin, over and over and over again. Too much fun.

There is hope, of course, that I will eventually learn to play correctly. As soon as I figure out how to get this disc out of the damned machine…

Who Is This Jerk And Where Has He Been?

Damn, I have a blog. I forgot all about it.

Movie reviews, huh? How about some random thoughts and snippets instead? Here goes…

National Treasure

Never film a movie in a major city if in the chase scenes you’re going to have characters go from one place to another that is nearly a mile away in seconds. Dumb dumb dumb, and I’m not even talking about the plot.

Catwoman

You know that feeling of having to throw up while you’re driving, and you know you really can’t throw up, so you you swallow what’s already in your mouth? Yep, that’s this film.

Lady Death

What if the animated Pax program “Greatest Heroes of the Bible” were done by horny thirteen year old boys obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons? That’s this film.

The Great Muppet Caper

Lots of great tributes to the old 1930s and 40s Hollywood musicals, some grin-worthy Muppet moments, not enough pig jokes, too much Charles Grodin and a special effects overload on Muppets riding bikes.

Maybe I’ll do more later…

Sorry for the Inconvenience…

Welcome to Hell is currently under re-re-reconstruction. I’ll be back online and current reeeeeal soon. Don’t sweat it.