Eden of the East: Anime in Search of the Promised Land

Posted by John Martone on May 31, 2009 in Animation

Eden of East opening titles

Plot: In a world where Japan is spiraling out of control, an enigmatic and powerful man gives twelve Japanese citizens 100 million dollars to spend on “saving” Japan. Using the network he lays out for them, they have merely to issue the command, and it is done.  Our protagonist, one of these twelve, begins the story stark naked in front the White House, holding a gun. Its at this moment he loses all of his memories, and must begin to unravel the mystery of who he was, and if that will affect who he wants to become. Read more…

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Clint Eastwood: A Living Legend One Year Shy of Being an Octogenarian

Posted by John Martone on May 31, 2009 in Cinema

An early publicity photo of Clint Eastwood

Today marks the birthday of one the cinema’s living legends: From The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood taught us early not to mess with him. With a career spanning over fifty years, we’ve seen Clint Eastwood direct, act, and on occasion… sing. The most impressive facet of it all is that his most recent endeavors, such as Million Dollar Baby and Grand Torino show us he’s not done for the count yet. Happy Birthday Clint! I’d like to celebrate by sharing a personal favorite scene of mine, from a movie called Paint Your Wagon: Read more…

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The Time Traveler’s Wife: A Romantic Twist on a Time-Tested Plot Device

Posted by John Martone on May 30, 2009 in Pulp Fiction

The Time Traveler's Wife

Editor’s Note: The film adaptation of this 2003 novel will be out this Summer directed by Robert Schwentke.

What makes for good literature? Now, this is only an opinion, but the best stories… the ones that really make you squirm with delight, are never about the guns, the gadgets, or the girls, its about how these objects move our characters. Was the “Final Frontier” about uncharted space, or was it really about how exploring the last unknown effected our heroes? In The Time Traveler’s Wife we see how an all too overused plot device, time travel, is used to stretch a conventional romance to the brink and back.
Read more…

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Vintage Video of Isaac Asimov: The Golden Age of Science Fiction

Posted by John Martone on May 30, 2009 in Pulp Fiction

Isaac Asimov was an engaging speaker. I found myself almost unable to avoid being hypnotized by his soft, yet well modulated tones. Taken from a 1971 interview, Asimov comments on the “Golden Age” of science fiction. This sheds a sharp perspective on this genre during the 1940’s an era before moon landings, color televisions and the internet. Point of incredible interest: In this first excerpt Asimov logically explains why Science Fiction was so “adventure” laden leading up to this time frame. The this second expert focuses on the changes that took place after 1949: Read more…

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My Five Favorite Videogame Bargains Rescued from the Used Bin

Posted by John Martone on May 29, 2009 in Videogames

Go buy bargain games!

Times are hard, and this recessions effects us all. However, we cannot let this economic crisis beat us. People will tell you that “gaming” is just a habit that they can not continue to support, that they should just “grow up.” Well, that’s inaccurate, and those people are capitalism hating fascists. This isn’t to say you cannot get your digital jollies and save a few dollars. Today I’m here to help the destitute gamers amongst you find great entertaining games at a fraction of the cost. To this endeavor, I went to my local gamestop: Read more…

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Resident Evil: Now Extra Improved with Muppet Flavor!

Posted by John Martone on May 29, 2009 in Horror

Everyone knows that the two scariest things in the world are puppets and zombies. Now, imagine if these two horrifying objects were combined, ala Freddy versus Jason. Horror masterpiece, right? Wrong! However, what you do have is a novel one minute and forty-eight seconds of your life you can’t have back. You’ll still click it though, come on! It has zombies and puppets in it… Read more…

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My Favorite Animated Soviet: Gunbuster’s Jung Freud

Posted by John Martone on May 28, 2009 in Animation

Gunbuster's Jung Freud relaxing

As most fans of the series will tell you, there’s just something magical about Gunbuster. Also known as Aim for the Ace!, Gunbuster was a six episode OVA released by the mostly unknown Gainax in 1988. The show also marked the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, who’d go on to create other fascinating shows like Evangelion. True to that form, Gunbuster is also a series where the robots and monsters are merely the pretense to show kids growing up/dealing with their problems. Among them, is Jung Freud, my favorite Soviet. Read more…

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Highly Animated Japanese Street Art

Posted by John Martone on May 28, 2009 in Animation

This video, by the Japanese group of artists Rinpa Eshidan is one of the coolest things I’ve come across this week! Rinpa Eshidan, which is loosely defined as “To bring people together, art crew,” is a collaborative art effort that I am entirely too enamoured with. Focused on making art for the sake of creating, not the sake of preserving, the group has managed to come up with some amazing projects. This one, for example, is a time lapse video of them, in public, painting on the same wall for a week. Using each completed painting as a springboard to the next, the results are mesmerizing to say the least. Here are some photos of them in action: Read more…

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Three Boardgames to Make Your Videogame Friends Hate You

Posted by John Martone on May 27, 2009 in Videogames

You wouldn't be laughing at these two if you didn't have some friends like this growing up...

If you’re like me, you secretly hate all of your friends, but only secretly. If they ever found out you hated them, you’d go, “no I don’t,” and then buy them some ice cream. Well, if you’ve ever wanted to know about the kind of games to make them start secretly hating you too, then you’re in luck. Read more…



Uncanny Compassion: X-Men Fan Artists Helping to Heal Hemophilia

Posted by John Martone on May 27, 2009 in Comic Books

kitty pryde fanart by Aleks Sennwald

It strikes me as amusing that Kitty Pryde, the girl who can’t be touched, is being used to touch all of our hearts. I’d complain, but she phased through the soft spot of my soul years ago. In Full of Pryde over 70 artists created new fanart of Kitty Pryde as a part of a fundraiser for the Oregon Hemophilia Treatment Center. Shown above is a purrfect illustration by Aleks Sennwald and below are just a few highlights from the show: Read more…

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My Favorite Team Fortress Character: The Engineer

Posted by John Martone on May 26, 2009 in Videogames

Team Fortress Sentry Operating Manual

Every person is a player, and every player has their game. Valve’s Team Fortress 2, on top of being just delightfully hilarious and fun to look at, achieves an environment that sums up nine different “Players.” Some people are spies, some people are snipers, I however, am an Engineer. Read more…



Meet the Spy: Valve’s Comical Take on James Bond

Posted by John Martone on May 26, 2009 in Videogames

“Free Team Fortress Weekend” just ended, and I’m not sure my body could take any more knives in the back. With the renewed focus on “Spy” and “Sniper” content, swarms of players seethe with a desire to make my game life miserable. However, this video paints a different picture. The wonderfully colorful themes, the delicious one liners, this video reminds me of the game is all about… style. Though I may not like the spy, I respect him, and approve of his relations with the Scout’s mother. Read more…



Vintage Homebrewed Cartoons from World War II

Posted by John Martone on May 25, 2009 in Comic Books

Illustrated Envelopes from World War II from Corporal Weinert

Happy Memorial Day! While most of us usually commemorate this date with hot dogs and hamburgers, sometimes it’s awe inspiring just to remember what this date is is all about: Those who made sacrifices for the rest of us. One such person was Corporal Weinert, a soldier during World War II. Weinert made a habit of personalizing his envelopes sent home with rich cartoony illustrations that can only be described as pure Americana. This amazing collection has a good number of his envelopes, but unfortunately lacks the letters within. Although they paint an charming picture of the thoughts of a GI sharing his insights with his family and friends on the home front: Read more…

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24 Patriotic Achievements of Jack Bauer

Posted by John Martone on May 25, 2009 in Television

24 Patriotic Achievements of Jack Bauer

If there’s one thing I know, its that the United Fictional States of America owe more to Jack Bauer than any other American Figure. Washington? Beat up British tea drinkers. Lincoln? Preserved a Union… once? Nearly singlehandedly, Jack Bauer has saved us from biological attacks, nuclear weapons, and manipulative First Ladies. While in no way a complete account, I’d like to highlight 24 such accomplishments. Oh yes, and spoilers fly like candy… Read more…

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Terminator Didn’t Offer Me “Salvation” from Boredom

Posted by John Martone on May 23, 2009 in Cinema

terminator salvation

While I’d be hesitant to say the movie was enjoyable, I’d be hard pressed to point out what I liked about it. As you may or may not know, Terminator Salvation is both a prequel and sequel. Terminator 1-3 took place in a present day world haunted by apocalyptic figures from a future we dutifully marched toward. Terminator Salvation is the first movie to take place after our “Judgment Day,” but hides safely snuggled between the piles of mythology yet to be turned into a movie. (Spoilers from this point forward) Read more…



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