Well since the Days Inn has kindly provided FREE Wi-Fi service we're able to give a rundown of day one of the CGS Super Show. We've just returned from an awesome day which was capped off with a very emotional live recording of Comic Geek Speak.
But what a great day it was! Too Old to Grow Up literally spent the day recording from the CGS podcasting area and its going to be one hell of show this week. Just quick glimpse of what to expect on the show this will include Adam Umak (Mellvillsfist), Katie Cook, Harold and Wayne creators of MIMES, a special appearance by Peter Rios, and a complete half hour with Brad and Frank from Half Hour Wasted.
Let me just say that the CGS guys have put on a class act of a convention and there are so many great artists and writers and people involved in this show that it has been a wonderful time. And there's still more to come tomorrow!
The best part of the day for me however was winning the very first raffle, a FREE David Peterson, creator of Mouseguard, sketch!
If you were unable to make the show this year, there's another in the works for next year so fear not.
And check out all our coverage this Tuesday on Too Old to Grow Up!
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is the latest direct-to-video animated film by Lions Gate Entertainment and is the fifth in a series of animated films based on Marvel Comics. It is the first of the Marvel animated films to be rated PG as opposed to PG-13.
Next Avengers is set in an alternate future and features the Avengers' teenage children, an elderly Tony Stark, The Vision, and an elderly Bruce Banner.
After five of the eight active Avengers die facing the enemy Ultron, Tony Stark takes their children - James Rogers, son of Black Widow and Captain America; Pym, son of Giant-Man and the Wasp; Azari, son of the Black Panther; and Torunn, daughter of the absent Avenger Thor - to a refuge hidden in the Arctic Circle. He raises them for nearly thirteen years before Ultron discovers their existence. When the Vision emerges after a 13-year absence and reveals that he survived the attack from Ultron, Stark learns that Francis Barton, son of Hawkeye, is also alive. Unfortunately, while the kids are spying on Stark, trying to figure out who the Vision is and what's going on, they accidentally set off the launch of a series of robots designed in the Avengers' image. As a result, Stark's base is revealed to Ultron. Fortunately, Stark stalls Ultron long enough for the kids to escape, but he is ultimately captured.
Heading to rescue Stark, the four young Avengers meet Barton (whose father survived the initial fight that killed the other five, but was recently killed by Ultron), and team up with him to rescue their guardian. The six then escape Ultron's citadel, and head for the desert, to seek help from former Avenger Bruce Banner, alias the Hulk.
What surprised me about Next Avengers right off the bat is how much I enjoyed it. The last animated movie I’ve seen was of course The Clone Wars so going into Next Avengers knowing it was based around the kids of former Avengers I had very low expectations. Since most of the promo artwork and design was more reminiscent of Teen Titans than any of the other Lions Gate Marvel animated movies I did not expect much of this one.
Yet despite what this may look like on the outside the story is not just kiddy flair. While this can easily be converted into a weekly kids cartoon featuring the further adventures and exploits of the Next Avengers this story is more about Tony Stark than the kids. First and foremost Tony Stark I don’t believe would be anyone’s first choice to be guardian for their children, yet here we find Stark taking care of not one but four young children. Later we find out that not only has he taken these children in but he is also solely responsible for creating Ultron therefore also responsible for the deaths of the children’s parents and the demise of The Avengers. While there is not a complex struggle between Stark and the children for what has happened you get what this has done to Stark and how he has had to change to cope with it. One of the best scenes in the movie is when Stark asks Barton to help him and Barton say in anger “do you know what my father would do to you” and Stark replies, “Yes, he would punch me in the face, and then he would help me”, Barton replies back with a great understanding “wow, you really did know my father”. It’s the little bits of the movie like that that make it much more than just a kid’s movie. Add to that the struggle for James Rodgers to become a leader like his father and the struggles Torunn has between her real family and the family she belongs to and finally add in the humor of Pym and you have a group of super heroes I’d be glad to join up with each weekend.
The inclusion of the Hulk and Betty Ross also fits the movie nicely, we find Bruce Banner as an aging old man hiding in the desert still struggling with The Hulk and Betty Ross still finding love and creating comfort for both Bruce and The Hulk. Hulk is a character that could have been thrown in for cheap thrills but it fits the storyline completely.
I don’t suppose it’s any big surprise that we find both Iron Man and Hulk in Next Avengers seeing as they headed up two of the biggest blockbuster movies for Marvel this summer but I enjoyed seeing both in this movie very much. Iron Man does make an appearance early on but the focus remains on Stark throughout and we are left with our new heroes to save the day in the end.
The artwork and animation is on par with the other Lions Gate Marvel movies which is to say it’s pretty darn good for a direct to DVD movie, voice acting is pretty spot on and as I said the story and writing feels good for this type of movie. You never feel like you’re watching a kid’s movie instead it feels like a continuing story in the Marvel Universe as it should be.
It’s always interesting to read and watch stories that tell of a time when our heroes would fall and what the time after them would be like. I’m happy to say that Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow fits that bill and is an enjoyable ride not only for the kids but the adults as well!
Remember the days of video game music consisting of beeps and MIDI tunes that quite frankly you thought sounded better than anything you'd ever heard before in your life. Back when a very careful programmer could make just about any combination of one tone notes stream together and sound like the theme song from your favorite movie or TV show. For many video gamers two of the most popular video game themes that have been etched in our mind would probably be the themes from Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, oh how many hours were spent on those two games. You probably didn't think at the time that, 20 odd years later, you have that same tune be the ring tone for your new cell phone!
Today however we look at video game music in almost the same way that we look at theatrical movie scores, perhaps even more so. Let’s face it you spend a lot more time with most video games than you do with even a two hour movie these days. Some of that music you hear is even worth listening to outside of the game. Some of the most notable musical scores are those attached to any of the many Final Fantasy games or any other major role playing game for that matter and it was surely that way for me.
I've spent a good amount of time playing through the world of World of Warcraft and because of that have grown attached to the musical score and can certainly appreciate and listen to it outside of the game. Perhaps listening to video games scores outside of any give games is better since you can listen to the entire score of a certain track that may be limited while playing the actual game. By the way both the soundtrack for the original World of Warcraft game and its expansion The Burning Crusade can be found on my Zune (yes I'm a Zune person not an iPod guy).
Some of the earliest game soundtracks I came across and I believe the first one I had came with Killer Instinct for the Super Nintendo probably as a promo for at the time the most expensive game ever! Later I would get a nice soundtrack to a famous Japanese RPG (and one of my favorite games) Grandia II as the soundtrack came once again packed in with the game.
Much later on I would purchase my first game soundtrack, the soundtrack for Halo. Halo has some of the most inspired, exciting and relaxing game music I've come across in a long time. As it continues today game scores have really reached a new level of excellence.
When Halo 2 came along the soundtrack featured more music inspired by the game and while it’s a great soundtrack it’s not music you hear within the game. Perhaps it showed though how far video gaming in general has come as popular musicians create music based on games they play and appreciate. A long time ago back in the early nineties a game called Mortal Kombat hit the scene and introduced a sort of “dance song” for the game and who could forget yelling “MORTAL KOMBAT!” as the song beat played on.
I'd be remiss in talking about music inspired by video games if I didn't mention Buckner and Garcia and a little album named Pac Man Fever! This album from the eighties featured songs based on Pac- Man, Asteroids, Defender, Donkey Kong, Berzerk, Mousetrap, Frogger and Centipede. Of course if you'd like to hear more about this album it's featured in Episode 24 of Too Old to Grow Up!, which you can find at www.totgu.com.
If you're looking for something a bit funnier you can head over to Palette-Swap Ninja's My Space page and check out some funny songs they've recorded including Padding Your Gamerscore, Three Red Lights and The Viva Piñata Song. These songs are funny mostly because they're true.
I'm sure I missed a lot of great video game scores and music in this brief overview but hopefully I've jogged your memory or got you interested in video game music a little or perhaps if nothing else next time your fragging away you'll at least for a brief moment take a minute and enjoy the music!
As of Episode 16 Too Old to Grow Up realized we outgrew the current situation for our recording. In the beginning we were simply just a small mixer and two microphones hooked up to my computer with an audio cable, we've grown big-time since then.
When Ken arrived to record episode 16 we realized there was just too much equipment to haul back and forth, and trying to hook everything up and troubleshoot was taking too much time. We now have the full gamut of equipment, a nice big mixer, four mics, wireless mics, headsets, USB connectors, audio programs and more.
So we've moved to Ken's house where I simply bring my mic stand and my laptop (for notes etc) and he hands me a mic and we're off and recording. Our Dreamcast look back was the first episode recorded at his house and it’s what I feel is one of our best, maybe it’s a nice tip of things to come.