Month: March 2007

One bad cover and one puzzling trailer

One bad cover and one puzzling trailer

Books, Movies
A few items of interest were released in the last few days. First, the cover for the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released. I gotta say, while our friends across the pond usually have better covers for the Potter books, they really blew it on this one: Contrast that with the much better American edition: The American edition may be a bit sedate, but apparently the back and inside covers combine to form a pretty cool scene that involves Lord Voldemort. The British cover is a giant, goofy mess, by contrast. Although I guess pirate booty is somehow involved in the story if the illustration is indicative of the book's plot. Switching gears, the first teaser trailer for the third and final movie in the Bourne trilogy (The Bo...
“The Only Thing You Have to Do, Is to Shoot Humans…”

“The Only Thing You Have to Do, Is to Shoot Humans…”

Games & Toys
I've never played any of the Grand Theft Auto games, nor any of their supposedly ultra-violent brethren. Quite honestly, they don't seem all that appealing to me. And I'm too cheap to spring for an Xbox, PS3, or any other high-end gaming system. So while I don't care to enter the already heated debate about the impact of video game violence on kids, I guess I'm going to anyway. You see, according to my crack research staff violence in video games has been around for years. Like, many years. Take, for example, this little gem from 1986 -- Robert Pfitzner's Commando Libya. I played this game more than a few times on my beloved Commodore 64, and somehow didn't feel the urge to bring a machete to school. As you can see, the tone is pretty much set right away -- "Welcome to 'The Sadis...
Got milk?

Got milk?

Music
I sure hope so. Here's a rather disturbing video for Low's "Breaker," from their recently released Drums and Guns album. I wasn't wild about their last album, The Great Destroyer, but between this single and the video I may have to give the new album a listen or two. But as far as eating any chocolate cake, I think I'm done with that for awhile.
Retrotisement – 1967 Magnavox TV

Retrotisement – 1967 Magnavox TV

Advertising, Retrotisements
You can have your fancy-pants plasma HDTVs -- for my money ($339.50 to be precise) there is nothing better than this Magnavox beauty. It's everything a TV should be - large, wooden, and... well, large and wooden. And classy? Mister (or miss), this friggin' set oozes class. It comes with its own flower arrangement and tambour doors. I have no idea what tambour doors are, but I want them. Perfect for kicking back on a Saturday afternoon and watching that local yacht team. Oh yeah, there's also a small one available for all you Neanderthal football fans. You get a tray.
Venture Bros. Season 2 DVD teaser promo!

Venture Bros. Season 2 DVD teaser promo!

TV & Radio
Courtesy Jackson Publick's blog, there is now a viewable teaser trailer for the upcoming DVD set of The Venture Bros., Season 2. It debuted at the recent New York Comic-Con, but is now available for our viewing pleasure. I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into the 2nd season when it started. The whole "Hank/Dean as clones" plot device didn't sit well with me, but I got over it and enjoyed the rest of the season. One thing I loved -- lots of Dr. Orpheus! It's probably a good thing I ended up digging the season, because it looks like Season 3 won't hit the airwaves until next Spring. Bummer.
Deep Cuts: Queen

Deep Cuts: Queen

Music
Here's the first in a series of entries dedicated to exploring songs from my favorite groups that don't get a lot of attention. These represent the ten best songs (in no special order) from an act's catalog that were never released as singles, don't get radio play, and are typically appreciated only by hardcore fans. Up first is Queen, for no other reason than they showed up on my iPod today. "In the Lap of the Gods" (Sheer Heart Attack, 1974) - What makes this song great is the completely over-the-top opening and some of Queen's sweetest vocal harmonies ever. Listen to the super-high part - that's drummer Roger Taylor, a key element of the band's vocal presentation. "Football Fight" (Flash Gordon, 1980) - Although not fully fleshed out, this is still a gem of a tune. It features...
2 new Snakes & Arrows reviews

2 new Snakes & Arrows reviews

Music
Thanks to a heads up from the Rush is a Band blog, I got to read a couple advance reviews of the upcoming Rush album, Snakes & Arrows. The first one is rather brief, and I'm not convinced it's all that accurate anyway. The reviewer compares the "Far Cry" single to the Permanent Waves album, which suggests to me that he either didn't listen to the song or has never heard Permanent Waves. Further compounding the confusion, he implies that Vapor Trails wasn't all that heavy. Wha?!?! That's a new one. Well at least the review is positive, so that's nice. The second review seems a little more with it, but is also positive. I won't go into the details, but it's worth reading. It is very nice to hear that we will finally get some Alex Lifeson solos - I was worried after hearing none...
No-Go Logos

No-Go Logos

Advertising
I've always considered myself an armchair graphic designer, particularly when it comes to logos. A logo is a really easy and effective way to convey an image about your business/club/whatever. And while I'm all for modern styling, logos are one area where I'm old-fashioned. Too often, companies will update their logo for seemingly no good reason, and it's usually for the worse. So let's take a look at a sampling of logos and emblems, both old and new, and see if my stodgy views are justified. Burger King The original BK logo was simple, yet effective. A nice, quirky little font and the bun halves got the point across. Not as iconic as the golden arches, but still good. The font on the logo was made blander in 1994, then five years later BK unveiled a SLAMMIN' new look: Yeah...
Mysteries of the universe

Mysteries of the universe

Rants
*Why do ads for workout equipment always feature people who obviously don't need the equipment in the first place? I'd gladly buy the first workout machine that showed a realistic ad - a clumsy, sweaty fat guy struggling on Level 1, and eventually giving up altogether. *Am I the only person left who has not been to the Outer Banks, North Carolina? It would seem so, based on the fact that every other car in the free world has one of those stupid OBX stickers on it. *Wouldn't it be easier at this point to list the comedians that Carlos Mencia hasn't stolen material from? *Do car companies intentionally design hybrids to look like weenie-mobiles so people won't buy them, thereby giving them an excuse to produce more ridiculously oversized SUVs? *Why do people insist on writing...