-So we've managed to buy a car. While we were out buying stuff for it last night, we caught a a few minutes of Spider-Man 3 playing on a Blu-Ray display at Best Buy. Geez, did it look terrible. I mean, it looked good in the ways it's supposed to look good--you could see every pore, every bead of sweat on Topher Grace's face. That's pretty neat, the kind of thing that makes me wish we had a high def TV to watch sports or documentaries. But it also had the effect of making the scene (the climax at the end of the movie where Venom has Mary Jane webbed up in a car way up in the air) really fake-looking. The actors and the car were all extremely crisp, but everything else looked blurry and ill-defined. It reminded me of a cheap-looking sci-fi show my dad would force me to watch when I came home from college, c. 1997.
Admittedly, that's partly due to the nature of CGI effects, which can only be as sharp as they are originally rendered. And it's not like the scene was especially compelling to begin with (it's arguably the weakest part of the movie). But am I wrong in guessing that many, if not most, of the eager Blu-Ray adopters are going to be fans of CGI-heavy blockbusters like Spider-Man 3? Will computer generated effects have to get even more detailed to keep up with the incredible detail present in mundane reality? Substantial increases in sfx budgets will surely mean higher exhibition costs, which will naturally be passed down to the movie-going public. I don't watch too many movies (maybe that will change now that we have a car), so this isn't such a big deal for me. I did, however, work as a part-time projectionists for a couple of years back in college. If the movie theater industry collapses under the weight of exorbitant exhibition fees, it's really going to make me feel old to think I worked in a now-obsolete field.
-Oh boy, it really is convention season again, isn't it? The nice thing about the number of blogs out there is the relative ease in finding summaries of convention news without having to read the rather depressing details of the panels. I'm well past hype fatigue at the moment; in fact, I'm well past fanboy-reaction-to-hype fatigue, and even laughing-at-fanboy-reaction-to-hype fatigue (which generally has a lot of genuine, unadulterated fanboy-reaction-to-hype mixed in with it). The creators I follow in mainstream comics generally have enough of a following that word of their new projects spreads pretty quickly. Still, I didn't know about Matt Fraction getting involved in writing X-Men until I read about it fifth-hand. Maybe most folks reacted to Ed Brubaker's work on the title the same way I did, and have similarly determined that the X-Men are some kind of creativity black hole. Or maybe, like me, people can't stomach the idea of reading a comic with Greg Land artwork (the comics equivalent of Spider-Man 3 on Blu-Ray).
As always, though, it's the parade of costume photos which most depress me. I don't linger on these deplorable images, but the very thought of them sucks all the joy from my heart. I'm sure that many of the people dressed like Cobra Commander or whatever have rich, fulfilling lives beyond the convention floor. But there's something about these pictures that say "late Roman empire" to me. Wouldn't this time be better spent playing Halo, downloading porn, and consuming large quantities of Mountain Dew (preferably in the Halo-branded cans)?
Of course, this might be some kind of projection on my part--perhaps in reality I desperately want to dress up like these characters, but I'm too scared to do so. One impediment is my desperate desire to never, ever, ever set foot in a mainstream-oriented convention. And yet! This summer I'll be moving pretty close to a city which hosts one of the big alternative-type conventions. Cosplay isn't usually a feature of these things (at least to my knowledge), but sometimes you have to make due with the materials at hand. Which character from the snobby realm of comics should I dress as? David Boring? Glenn Ganges? Satchel Page? The duck version of Lewis Trondheim? Harlan Ellison?