Studies in Pop Culture

Pop culture, from my point of view.

Archive for April 2009

Ashton Kutcher is Officially the Biggest Twit

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Ok, so this is news? Ashton Kutcher, who is best known for showcasing his diverse acting abilities by playing a stoner douche on “That 70’s Show,” a drunk douche in “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” and a possibly-stoned douche on “Punk’d”  is apparently the first person to garner 1 million Twitter followers. Really? Who is following this guy? People who love celebrities who haven’t done anything noteworthy in over 5 years? Besides marrying a washed-up actress old enough to be his mother, I mean. He beat out CNN. What does this say about America?

More people care about what this guy's finger smells like than what's being done to fix the economy.

More people care about what this guy's finger smells like than what's being done to fix the economy.

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Written by Jason Stroming

April 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

Marilyn Chambers Found Dead

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I just read this story, and it made me really sad. I wasn’t really a huge fan of Marylin Chambers. Not because I didn’t like her. Quite the contrary. But she was in her prime of porn a little before my time. I only had one porn movie with her in it, and right now, I honestly can’t remember the name of it. But she was older at this point, and in the movie was playing a sex therapist who helps a younger couple spice up their sex life. This being a porn movie and all, she of course eventually joins in the fun. But even though she was a bit older, I kinda liked her style, her sultry voice, and she had more of a natural beauty (and body) than the younger, blonde Barbie doll-type who was cast opposite her. Note how I can’t remember the name of that actress. I never owned another Marylin Chambers movie, but I’d occasioanlly come across movies or scenes of hers on the internet, and I always found myself attracted to her. Again, that voice would drive me wild.

Marilyn Chambers

Marilyn Chambers

Sadly, there is the ugly side of porn, and exotic dancing, and prostitution, and any of these “red light” professions. Their lives are usually riddled with drug problems, financial woes, cases of abuse and domestic violence, and even diseases. The article mentions how she was found dead in a mobile home. She was only 56 years old. Police say they don’t suspect foul play. But I think we can all suspect financial difficulties and drug abuse here.

I hope she’s in a better place now, and at peace.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Xbox 360 Releases (or Video Games I Need)

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So since I got my Xbox 360 for Christmas, I’ve played a few games. I started off with the original Fable and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Once I beat those two games, I moved on to Fable 2, and I’m now playing Fallout 3, quite possibly one of the greatest video games I’ve ever played. And I’ve played a lot of games over the years. I picked up Assasin’s Creed a few weeks ago, but I’m just not feeling it. The graphics are great, but it just feels a little stiff and way too structured for my tastes. But there are a few games coming out in the next few months that I’m really excited about. And I will need to own.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1): Video games based on movies usually aren’t very good, but this one is generating some buzz. For one, you’ll actually be able to use Wolverine’s claws like they would work in the real world. That is, slicing, dicing, eviscerating, decapitating, etc. Previous video games featuring Wolverine (like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance or the X-Men Legends games) have basically made his claws into blunt weapons. No blood, not guts, no slicing or dicing of anything. Pointless. But this game is looking to change all of that. Add in the fact that you’ll see Wolverine’s healing factor in action and it’s shaping up to be quite realistic (as realistic as a game about a fictional mutant can be). When he gets shot, his clothes will rip away, his flesh will rip away, eventually revelaing his adamantium skeleton, and you’ll see him regenerate flesh over time. Sweet.

 

Sacred 2

Sacred 2

Sacred 2 (May 12): There’s really nothing I like more than a good hack and slash video game. Start out low-level, go kill things, take their weapons, armor and gold, sell said loot for more gold in which you use to buy even better weapons and armor to slay bigger enemies with better loot so that you can sell it and buy better weapons and armor so you can…well, you get the idea. My favorite games of all time have been the Champions of Norrath games and the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games, and Sacred 2 is looking like it will fall into those genres, just with a more open world. It’s also out for the PC, but I prefer my hack and slash on a console, where I can button-mash, rather than the point-and-click interface of the mouse. Quite excited about this one.

 

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters (June 16): Ok, how could I not be excited about this one? Ghostbusters is one of my all-time favorite movies. I’m a ghost hunter in real life. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson are all back to reprise their voices. Ramis and Akroyd wrote this game. The graphics look amazing. And how many of us have been dying to strap a proton accelerator to our backs and bust some ghosts since 1984? Well, quite possibly just me, but I like to think not. This one looks like it’ll be great fun, and a nice game to play when I need a break from the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3. The last Ghostbusters game I played was back on my old Commodore 64. Geez.

 

 

Fight Night Round 4

Fight Night Round 4

Fight Night Round 4 (June 30): Boxing games are usually a mixed bag, but the Fight Night series has always been highly respected. I never played Round 3, but I heard it had its problems. That’s looking to be changed with Round 4. The Fight Night series has always been pretty realistic, or at least as realistic as any boxing game has been thus far. I’ve always liked the Career Modes, creating a fighter and bringing him up through the ranks from an amateur fighting in gymnasiums in Queens, to a heavyweight prizefighter. I’ve always liked the strategy in the Fight Night games, too. You can’t really just go in there and pummel your opponent. you have to make each punch count. This will be my first boxing game on a next-gen console, and I can’t wait.

 

 

Champions Online (TBA): Ok, so you get to create your own superhero. you get to choose your superpowers. You get to create your own unique superhero costume from thousands of individual parts and colors, creating nearly limitless possibilities. You get to creat your own arch-villian. And you get to play this online with thousands of other players. How cool is this? I played City of Heroes, and while it was a good game, I felt it lacked a little depth. It was pretty much running around beating up thugs, and joining other superheroes to beat up tougher foes. Not a bad way to have some mindless fun, but not quite sure it was worth paying $15 a month for. I’m hoping that the Xbox version of Champions Online lets you play online with no extra charge if you have a Gold Xbox Live account. I suppose we’ll see. this one won’t be out for a while, but I’m still anxious for it to come out.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 10, 2009 at 11:20 pm

A good “Star Trek?”

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According to this CNN.com article, as well as Ain’t It Cool News, the new Star Trek film coming out in May is really good. I really hope so. I haven’t been too optimistic about this, as reboots or “early years” takes on classics usually don’t work well, but J.J. Abrams seems to be on a streak. I really liked Cloverfield, and if what people are saying is true, he may just have breathed some much-needed life back into the Trek franchise. Voyager had its moments, and I’m enjoying it more now in syndication than I did during its original run, but that may simply be because there’s been no new Star Trek on in a while. It didn’t really have any “Wow!” episodes like The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine had. Enterprise was a syndicated abortion. A seemingly intentional non-Star Trek feel, almost weekly screw-ups with continuity, and a cast nobody could really care about or get behind. Not a good formula.

Reinventing the series, and replacing icons such as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy is a risky venture, but if buzz is to be believed, the risk paid off.

 

The "new" Enterprise

The "new" Enterprise

Written by Jason Stroming

April 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

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Madonna May Have To Adopt A White Baby

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I can’t say I’m unhappy about this report on CNN and other sites this morning. I mean, I’m all for wealthy celebrities trying to help out kids who are less fortunate, but this whole thing about white celebs adopting black kids just has a whole slew of things wrong with it, in my opinion.

I mean, it just reeks of something that is done because it’s fashionable or trendy. I mean, Angelina Jolie can’t seem to stop, and now Madonna wants a second. And yes, it’s a great “lottery-winning” moment for the kid that does get adopted. But what about all the kids who don’t get adopted? Wouldn’t it make more sense for these celebrities to use their fame and fortune to bring more awareness to helping children in the third world? Bono does this, and yet people think he’s annoying. Because apparently everyone hates that bipartisan, let’s-put-our-differences-aside-for-the-sake-of-the-children crap, right? So I don’t quite get that. I think he’s done far more for the children of Africa than Brangelina or Madge have.

Also, last time I checked, there were hundreds of thousands of kids right here in the good ol’  US of A that needed loving homes. But I guess it’s just not cool to adopt American kids.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 3, 2009 at 8:25 am