- I like "Family Guy." I like the "manatee jokes," I like the obscure-reference-based humor, I like the general attempts to offend just about everyone and the jabs at offensive stereotypes. Sometimes I think they go over the line, but I also think that's often the point. The biggest problem I have with them right now is that they're relying too much on callback jokes and reused jokes--the most egregious example being that they ended the second James Woods episode in exactly the same way as the first. On one hand, it was ballsy and funny, on the other hand, it was really lazy. In general, though, I think the show has mostly improved over time.
- I also still like Kevin Smith movies. I haven't watched "Zack and Miri" yet, but since I'm the one person who enjoyed "Jersey Girl," I don't suspect I'll dislike it. I'm a big fan of Shakespeare, I enjoy Oscar Wilde, but every once in awhile I like to hear an hour and a half of dick jokes.
His comics? Okay, I'm totally with the crowd on that one...except "Green Arrow," which was quite enjoyable last time I read it.
- Similarly, I don't have any real problem with Brian Michael Bendis's dialogue. I credited that recently with why I don't have huge issues with the dialogue in Diablo Cody's movies (or at least, the two I've seen), and I think it applies to Kevin Smith movies as well. The scripting is heavily stylized, certainly artificial, overly clever, and sometimes results in multiple characters sharing a single voice--and those are all flaws. But in most of those cases, they're occasional flaws. My biggest issues with "Jennifer's Body" were all with the story; my biggest issues with Bendis is when the "Ultimate Spider-Man" dialogue that fits high schoolers carries over into "New Avengers;" my biggest problem with Kevin Smith is how much of his Twitter feed is about analingus. Dialogue that's somewhat more stylized than normal dialogue (because all written dialogue is stylized)? Not a big problem.
- I like Alex Ross's art. I've seen complaints about his photo-referencing, and I think that's kind of ridiculous. There's a big difference between staging and taking your own photos to use as specific references, and pulling out the latest Hustler like Greg Land. I understand the complaint that he makes characters look old, and I guess that's just a taste thing. I don't mind it, although I do think it's a bit odd that there's no real difference facially between "Kingdom Come" Superman and "Peace on Earth" Superman. Still, I enjoy his work, and I think it deserves a lot of the credit for helping comics attain some of the legitimacy as mature art that they've developed over the last couple of decades.
- I'm enjoying "Blackest Night." I suspect that at least some of this owes to my deliberate avoidance of certain tie-ins, like "Justice League of America." But the core story and the Green Lantern tie-ins have been generally quite good. Oddly enough, I think there's been less senseless death and gore than most Geoff Johns crossover events, and I think the story's been pretty compelling all along. Plus, I sincerely doubt that much of this death will stick, and a zombie story's not a zombie story without a few infected heroes. Some tie-ins have been admittedly fairly weak--I've already forgotten pretty much everything about the Batman and Superman miniseries--but that's the case in most crossovers, isn't it?
The Wonder Woman thing? Yeah, that's just stupid. Johns backed himself into a corner by making all the Star Sapphires female; otherwise Diana and the Atom should have been swapped. As a matter of fact, the only DC heroes I can think of right now for whom the Violet ring would be appropriate are all male: Wally West, Superman, Kyle Rayner, etc.
- I have almost no desire to see "Avatar." Cameron's hit-and-miss for me; "Terminator 2" was great, sure, but "Titanic" was an overlong cliché story populated by one-dimensional characters. It was "Dirty Dancing" on a sinking boat. Everything I've heard about "Avatar" suggests that it's a lot closer to the latter than the former: an amazing visual spectacle with a crappy paint-by-numbers story. Well, watching that CGI dude smack balls-first into a propeller wasn't enough to make "Titanic" enjoyable, and so I doubt that it'll be enough to save Smurfahontas for me. The only two things that make me want to see the movie at all are that I imagine it'll look better in IMAX than on my crappy TV, and I hear it does a good job of portraying scientists as people rather than cardboard cut-outs. Does that add up to the cost of an IMAX 3D ticket and three hours of my life? Not yet it doesn't.
- I've still never read anything by Warren Ellis to make me want to read things by Warren Ellis. I want to want to read things by Warren Ellis, but so far the desire's just not there.
- Similarly, the only Mark Millar book I've ever read that wasn't underwhelming and wasn't co-written by Morrison was "Red Son"--and even that apparently had Morrison input. "Chosen" was disappointing, "Civil War" was crap, and two issues of "Kick-Ass" were two more than I needed to realize that I didn't want to continue reading it. The latest idea--what if Batman actually were the Joker?--sounds like Millar read "Irredeemable" and decided to do it with a Batman analogue instead of a Superman one.
There, that'll do for now. I might as well wait for them to come take my comic blogging license away. I wasn't using it anyway.