Clash of the Titans – Another Wasted Opportunity

By swenson | April 5, 2010

I am not against remakes or reboots of old movies from the eighties but if you don’t understand why people liked a movie then you have no business remaking it. Kids might like Clash of the Titans 2010 because it is basically a nonoffensive hero story with big monsters and effects, I, however, was thoroughly disappointed.

I’ll sum it up:

1. Harry Hamlin was no great actor but he had an interesting face and presence. Sam Worthington looks like an extra, the kind that would be killed off in the first half of the film by some creature. I felt the same way about him in Avatar. He’s not even interesting as a bad actor in his action films like Keanu Reeves is.

2. They destroyed the entire premise by eliminating the love story involving Andromeda. Why does Perseus defeat the Kraken? So he can defeat Hades who killed his family–only Hades being a god, cannot truly be defeated. Hades is simply banished to the underworld (oh gee). And at the end they do this stupid transfer of power from Zeus to Perseus’ sword to throwing lightning at Hades. What would have been more interesting is if Hades fought directly with Zeus.

The reason the original Clash of the Titans worked was because it built itself on the ideas within Greek myths, one of which is an overwhelming love for a woman which causes a hero to do his thing. The original version makes a mess of Greek myths but it keeps their spirit. The Sam Worthington version is so much macho American style that it felt like it didn’t belong (which is ironic because Worthington is Australian and the director Louis Leterrier is French). The hero ends up with Io, who admittedly is hot but not the love of his life which should have been Andromeda.

3. The new Medusa is beautiful? That’s her curse? I think the idea of Medusa’s curse is that it was supposed to take away her beauty? This Medusa is not scary, not cheezy, not nothing–belongs in a video game.

4. The Stygian Witches. Could we have done something more to play with the scene concerning the eye they share? I thought the redesign of their faces was pretty good and horrific, but they didn’t do anything except jump one of the soldiers and then backed off. Sam Worthington apparently was the one who did not want Bubo the Owl to be in this movie, otherwise, where is the cleverness of the hero here in stealing the eye? I think Bubo was a cheezy gimmick in the first version but at this point I would have welcomed him. Worthington just barges in and takes the eye like someone from Law and Order, then asks questions. The Stygian Witches are no threat and again the scene is boring. Couldn’t we have found a way to trick them out of their eye or steal it somehow by using a trick?

5. Pegasus is a black horse. Alright, I guess I can accept that. H’bout letting Perseus get to know the horse and have a larger role in the story. Like a special effect, the horse is brought back at the end and Perseus is an expert flyer–I guess, much like his immediate sword fighting skills, the god in him can do anything.

6. According to Wiki, King Acrisius is now Calibos, though it wasn’t really clear in the film. Originally Calibos was the cursed son of Thetis, the sea goddess and then became lovesick for Andromeda. This rewrite again eliminates part of the love story where the hero rescues Andromeda from Calibos. All that Calibos is in the new film is some sort of demon thing aiding Hades to attack Perseus–more like another special effect, no characterization.

7. Overall the film misses the fun of Ray Harryhausen’s classic. In my opinion, I think the film should have been remade by someone like Tim Burton. He would have done it justice. Or there was talk of Sam Raimi or Robert Rodriguez directing–they might have done well by it too considering Sam Raimi used Harryhausen type effects in Army of Darkeness. This new version is simply an action flick that doesn’t even feel like a fantasy adventure. There’s no wonder to it, no reason for it to become its own cult classic. Why call it Clash of the Titans at all? Sam Worthington didn’t want Bubo The Owl in the film, I think Sam could have used Bubo’s help.

SIDENOTE: The Djinn or Sand Genies wasn’t a bad idea, but an odd design for the costume. Fact is, the costume effects look pretty cheezy which I actually approved of. I’m just not sure why they were introduced into the story. Did anyone notice though that the Djinn when trapped by Medusa blew himself up? Djinn are Arabic–thus was someone making a joke about Muslims blowing themselves up?

Topics: Cartoonist Movie Reviews, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Comics Gone Bad

By swenson | March 30, 2010

For once I am actually excited to work with an online entertainment company. I’m partnering with Unicorn Multimedia, not only to do Iphone apps, but to start ComicsGoneBad.com.

Now the site itself is being spearheaded by two owners who are making their dispute public and don’t seem to mind. It’s a bit silly but one of them wants traditional comics while the other one wants more grown-up comics–I hesitate to say “adult” because his argument is that comic strips need to keep up with the pace of humor, and I tend to agree only I’m still a fan of old-fashioned funnies too.

So if the readers get their way, the comic strips will feature adult situations and nudity much like if you were to watch a series on Showtime or HBO, but to get there in order to prove the other site owner wrong there will have to be reader signups indicating that’s what people want. I suspect with all you pervs on the net that that is exactly what you want (yes, yes, I’m included).

For now we are running The Cynic, Frenetic Funnies, Joovia (a Unicorn Multimedia product) and random comics. The Cynic is the first contender to feature nudity considering it already has plenty of adult humor. I know a lot of guys have been interested in Heather since she is a buxom bi-sexual so drawing her nude wouldn’t be too hard to do. The character Kevin, on the other hand…

I’ll keep adding updates on the sites progress. For now, stop by and subscribe if available so you can get the word when all of the “comics go bad.” Because even if I do draw some traditional comics, they too may go bad due to the site owner’s dispute.

I’ll give updates here too. You can rest assured, that if Heather goes topless you’ll be the first to know. Actually, she has been shown topless once on this site if you find it in the comics section.

Topics: Life Of A Cartoonist | No Comments »

Stupid Breast Facts

By swenson | March 25, 2010

I was doing some research for one of my many projects and in particular I was searching for factoids on boobs. I came across the site http://www.ayurvediccure.com/breast_facts.htm and was so floored by how stupid the facts were that I had to post them here. A screenshot is below.

I’ll highlight a couple of these:

In response to Fact #2 about breasts being oversexualized in Western Society this is an opinion, not a fact. While I would tend to agree with this opinion one would have to ask why breasts are oversexualized and who is perpetuating it? Western men like big breasts and Western women if they have them use them to get their way with men (as a general rule). I do understand that puberty must be hell for women with big breasts because guys are pigs, especially at that age. The problem with this opinion is that it doesn’t seem to be recognized in the rest of the supposed facts which basically state “you’re beautiful just the way you are.” So who is defining beauty? Society or the individual? Or just this author? I say society defines beauty but that the individual can always defy society (which may or may not work). Rosanne Barr is not thought to be beautiful by most Americans, however, Roseanne doe

In response to Fact # 6 about large breasts not being sexier–this seems to be in direct conflict with Fact #2. Again this is a feel good opinion. In terms of sexiness, the author has already stated that Western Society oversexualizes large breasts which means “large breasts are sexier.” Now personal opinion can dictate differently, but again, what is this opinion doing on a fact list?

In response to Fact #10 about “All breasts, no matter what size and no matter what guys may say, are beautiful and amazing to the opposite sex.” What a bunch of bullshit and what a contradictory sentence. In the first part of the factoid the author says “no matter what guys may say” and then in the last part she (and I’m pretty certain this is a female author) says all breasts are “beautiful and amazing to the opposite sex”–including the guys who may say differently, huh? In other words, the guys who may say that a certain pair of boobs isn’t amazing and beautiful still think all boobs are amazing and beautiful.

Only a chick infected brain could come up with that factoid and I say that not against most women who I think can recognize the BS. If this woman author were honest they would say biology is unfair and that some women get nice breasts while others get ho-hum breasts, the same thing biology does to men with their muscles and their members. And women do not think all guys have amazing and beautiful chests.

You may wonder why I went off on this site and that’s because I was looking for facts, not opinions. These are poorly thought out opinions disguised as facts by someone trying to appeal to the insecurities of women and giving them unrealistic expectations. Otherwise, why do we have boob jobs–to even the odds for flat chested women!

Some bitches get the nice tits, nice bodies and gorgeous faces, while other others get shafted and have to make up the difference with their personality and brain power. As a man, I totally understand even as I can be guilty of lusting after a perfectly nice pair of large breasts. Women have my sympathies, but I can’t stand the lying.

 

SCREENSHOT of BOOB LIES!

Topics: Life Of A Cartoonist | No Comments »

Stupid User Reviews of Princess and the Frog

By swenson | January 3, 2010

I was not planning on seeing a Disney movie this last weekend until I read a user review at Moviefone.com that convinced me I had to see it: VERY DISAPPOINTED! This movie is not just bad, it is evil. The premise of the movie is based on voodoo. Disney should have more discretion in selecting content for a movie with such a young audience. Had I known, I would not have taken my children.

In other words, this person is a conservative Christian who thinks stories about magic are evil unless you slap the name C.S. Lewis on it.

I paid the outrageous ticket price and dragged my wife with me so I didn’t look like a lonely, old child molester scouting for victims in the dark. The Princess and the Frog was an absolute delight, an old-fashioned fairy tale with a twist–yes, it’s the first black princess and the first Disney movie besides possibly the now buried Song of the South that primarily features an animated black cast.

While not perfect, it hit all the right spots and for this reviewer who thought the movie was evil because it had a bad guy using voodoo–just because a cartoon features villainous magic doesn’t mean the entire story is evil, otherwise you can throw your Bible in that category too.

Here’s one more idiot comment, one which I figured would pop up somewhere: The animation was great with the music..but I thought the movie had racist…..I mean the white frog catchers chasing the frogs of a different color….Cant we get past this?

The movie was hardly racist, in fact, it had the guts to have a poor black woman trying to overcome the odds in–much like the very white Cinderella. This reviewer is reading way too much into that scene and besides, those “white” frog catchers were the racist depiction if any–they were drawn like redneck hillbilly swamp stereotypes.

Large media companies putting out popular entertainment are often fearful to depict a “poor” black person for fear of contributing to stereotypes, that’s why we get inaccurate period pieces with everyone thinking the races got along. That scene of white frog catchers trying to nab “black” frogs was one of funniest in the movies and the kids loved it.  And the frogs prevailed.

The main character Tiana is black and wonderful and she believes in hard work even when the white dominated landscape is apathetic to her dreams. Isn’t it time we had a black fairytale from Disney? And the music was such a refreshing change with New Orleans inspired jazz. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is, old fashioned animation fun.

Lastly there was this user comment: word to the wise that movie wasnt good at all i dont no why it was so bad but it just was i am very sorry

Word to the wise, punctuation is still necessary and I don’t know why you’re an idiot, you just are–sorry!

I can’t stand people who review something as “bad” but can’t give a reason. Reflect a little first. Maybe it will come to you. You don’t have to like the movie, but you should know yourself enough to know why you don’t like something.

 

Topics: Life Of A Cartoonist, Random WTF | No Comments »

So I’m back to being a starving cartoonist…

By swenson | December 28, 2009

About 2 and half years ago, I bought a townhome with a mortage and then had one of my largest clients for cartoons cancel on me. I had had enough. There had to be a better way to make a living than drawing cartoons and animation because I never seemed to get paid what the work was worth. It turns out that life outside of cartooning is no better.

Okay to be fair there are winners and losers in every game, but I gave it a shot. I tried working my way up in a mortgage branch, starting in compliance then moving to office manager and then training to be a loan officer, and for awhile I thought I was actually headed “up” for once as far as income even though the work scared me shitless (sales is never fun). Piff! Housing crisis crushed that avenue. Lost my job after the company investor pulled out.

Then I figured, well, with all of the article writing on the web I could maybe find a way to write for money–at least part time. So I did get a crappy call center job and started to write for pay per post blogs like Associated Content, Today.com and Examiner.com (where I tried posting cartoons as well).

Associated Content is the only site I believe treats its writers decently. Today.com kept changing the rules and after I left they removed the header graphic and placed in a bunch of ads. They also treat their writers like kids in a grade school with “special rewards” instead of monetary compensation (which is what they originally offered). Examiner.com buried me after a little while by constantly dividing every writer up into sections and new categories and then even duplicated my title for ”Horror Movie Examiner” by giving it to another writer. So to hell with that.

In theory, Examiner.com is a great place to write–but they have so many writers now you only get a small piece of the action. It’s like thinking you’ll get paid well at a newspaper when there are 100 other people writing for the editorial page and maybe you’ll get seen and maybe you won’t. A paper has to believe in a writer and then promote them which is why they put money on the line first. Examiner.com just makes sure you can write and then it’s all about boosting content, not the name value of their writers. If you already have name value you might be able to exploit their system since their pay per view rates were quite good.

Then I took an internship with CDInsight.com where it was pitched that they hire off of internships. That doesn’t seem to be the case, because I now believe they sucker interns in to get free article writing. I will say, to be fair, the editor did give me some feedback and tips to improve my writing, but there was no further opportunity and I never received a thank you from the owner of the site for participating or a recommendation/referral for my writing resume/portfolio even though I was told I did a good job (unless they were lying to  me).

All of the CDInsight.com interns helped boost the site content up and push for images and videos to be added–the site was in the dark ages and still is to some extent (and I thought my old school HTML was bad!). The parent site is TheCelebrityCafe.com which has since relaunched with a more professional layout. Three months of free work and I was at another dead end.

Then I tried partnering up with a colleague from my old job at the mortgage company which looked promising. I would take care of the marketing while he sold the loans. Unfortunately, I think he bit off more than he could chew. He just got married and his wife gave birth to a son.  I never heard back from him after doing a database setup and then had to call the whole thing off.

So I’m back to cartooning because I’m sick of chasing money. Originally I burned out on doing it fulltime because I was always stressing out about getting payments, having a check bounce, or having a project take forever because there were so many changes needed. This time around I plan to keep a parttime job of some sort to alleviate the stress and then aim for projects I want to do and manage them better. My problems in the past resulted from not setting proper expectations with clients and I believe I’ve learned quite a bit from my mistakes.

And really my goal this year is to get several book collections done. I have 3 done now and I’m working on a fourth one. Then I’m drawing new material for several collections with exclusive material. I’ll be showing previews of the work on the homepage.

For this New Year I realize what I want and that is to return to my creative efforts. I am a cartoonist, whether it makes financial sense or not. When I worked in the mortgage biz I saw the brutality of the business–people who wore nice suits and ties and then came to me to vouch for them to get a loan from the Advanced Checking store because they couldn’t make their car payment. I mean I saw grown men cry because they had to go home and tell their wives they got laid off for not meeting their sales quota. On the flipside I saw guys earning 7000 a month. Winners and losers, but even those making it in the game didn’t seem very happy about the work and wanted to switch careers. 

Sales is an ugly profession, but even I as a cartoonist have to sell my work. You put yourself on the line and wait for somebody to either say “Yes!” or crush you with a rejection. I don’t judge salespeople too harshly for sometimes being annoying–it’s either that or they can be under someone’s thumb in a regular desk job (which is where I’m at now). There isn’t much escape from the grind unless you’re a Hilton.

True freedom really is if you can be paid for your own artwork, a rare gift indeed.

Topics: Life Of A Cartoonist | No Comments »


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