Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Spider-Man

I saw the new Amazing Spider-Man film in 3D.
Here was my attitude going into the movie:
I don't have a huge motivation to see this in the theatre, I could wait until it's out on NetFlix or somewhere else. I do like the main actor Andrew more than Toby, but I can't imagine the story is different enough. Hopefully I will be proven wrong.

Well, I'd say it was worth the trip.
To me it felt less campy, almost realistic (if you ignore some of the over-the-top only-CG sections) and a bit raw.

I like that Peter's not perfect, he's human (for the most part). He's awkward at times, injured, struggling to control his abilities, learning on his own, creating his suit, causes his uncle to be shot and cannot save him, seeks revenge against a bully and his uncle's killer. He brings some nostalgia to me as a hoodie-wearing chain-riding and skating kid. And of course I'm glad he's not a wrestler in it but I like the reference to creating his mask.
We see his parents with a better backstory (apparently to be continuted in later films).

I really liked the few funny scenes like the smart-talking spidey "i'm scared of knives" (reminding me of the animated TV series a little) and the Stan Lee's cameo in the library. Oh and the accidental beat-down in the subway "sorry sorry".

I also didn't like the number of people that saw his abilities as Peter: kids at high school playing basketball, people on the subway, police and public out in the street. Maybe it goes to show how inexperienced and vulnerable he is starting out.

I'm not a big fan of the lizard, definitely low in my rank of enemies, but it ended up being a great start to a series of films. I had completely forgotten about Dr Connors appearing in the earlier Spider-Man 2/3 films (not as the Lizard but as a professor/physicist).
The film did have me wondering about how Spider-Man and the Lizard were transformed.
For Spider-Man, did the spider bite transfer part of the spider DNA with the serum to allow merging across species/materials (assuming spiders were spliced with a strong material).
But Peter's appearance does not change to look like a spider (as happens to the Lizard). He gains speed, strength, senses, climbing ability. Is this from such a small exposure allowing a partial transformation with possibly multiple bites from the spider required?
Since the Lizards transformation is different, I assume the formula/serum used is also different. Was the formula from Peter's father wrong? If so why? Did Peter's write it down wrong (he did just memorized it)? Or had his father left it flawed in-case found? It's interesting since both point to Peter being flawed (not remembering correctly or being in over his head).

In comparing this film to comics/animated TV:
  • Core theme of Spider-Man is the same as the comic: relatable teen with no mentor, learning for self.
  • Peter bit by modified spider (not sure if radioactive as in comic).
  • Spider-Man shooting web from devices is same as comic (but unlike earlier films).
  • Peter does not catch his uncle's killer (not yet atleast), unlike the comic (and earlier film).
  • Peter's parents backstory is different from comic (meeting and death, and probably also working for CIA)
  • Peter meets Gwen in college in the comic (some also have this in high school).
  • Gwen's dad is a cop and does have a fight with Peter, but he instead dies from Dr Octapus in the comic.
  • Gwen is an intern with Dr Connors similar to the animated TV.
  • Lizards backstory is different from comic (lost arm in army and works from home in Florida) but similar in animated TV (lost arm from accident, working for Oscorp).
  • Lizard also wants to turn NY into lizard-people in animated TV.

There are many different comics and TV shows, so there is sure to be a combination of these that can match the movie.

So why was this film needed?
Apparently there were stories missed in the earlier films that can now be explored. 
An obvious opportunity is a tie in to the Avengers, such as Dr Connors working for SHIELD or a Captain America connection with the Red Skull and Peter's parents (similar to the comics, although probably not since the film appears to blame Oscorp).
I missed the ending providing a sneak peak ahead into the next film, but hopefully we find out the truth about his parents.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Code Warfare and Seam

pinned down after a short skirmish the previous day
it was too quiet, spirits were dampened
earlier morning brought some hope, help would be coming
which eroded throughout the day, it was not enough
deep in the trenches, we waited still, scounts had not returned
our only option was to retreat and go around
all were hesitant, so i made the move...

summary: i hate jboss seam
or rather we all do at this point

for the past 2 days, we (the entire team including even other teams) have been researching seam issues.
including class conflict issues, instances not matching expected classes, not being able to cast, for seam core classes.
the errors had been occurring for the past few months but not caused any observable issues... until now.
and were threatening to hold up deadlines.

today we found what appears to be the cause: having two seam ears in one jboss 4 server
this apparently causes the apps to randomly step on each other,
including loading/creating core seam components from wrong classloader, from other ear.

eventually, i gave up on trying to find out why, as we all slowly did.
it didn't make any sense, all ear isolation settings had been set and no obvious causes.
many fixes/attempts were made, many possible solutions, but none had any effect.

in the end, i went forward with removing seam from one of them.
since it had been added recently for one and thankfully used very little.
so it was a viable option, and better than setting up a new jboss to run each ear in its own.

... and so the battle was won,
but the war will continue
(haha war, get it? ear-war, ok, over and out).

Monday, July 2, 2012

More Star Wars Reading

Continuing my earlier Star Wars post,
I finished reading Dark Lord: Rise of Darth Vader and Labyrinth of Evil from the library.
I enjoyed both these stories filling the gap in between the films (before and after episode 3).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Walking Dead S2

I finally came back and finished season 2 of the Walking Dead
After recovering from the (disasterous) end of season 1
but thankfully the second season moved a little closer to the comic

Of course there are things i didn't like about season 2
the obvious one is dragging out sophia missing, i know it had a purpose but it was annoying to EVERYONE

It's hard with such a popular show now to avoid SPOILERS (which there are of course some below), so i knew most of the big surprises

and on that topic, i didn't like sophia getting turned and killed
sophia made me realize how different the tv show is from the comic,
i think of them now as the two universes or timelines (like Fringe), with the same characters (roughly) but different outcomes, which is good, anything can happen.
it's fitting that rick should be the only one willing to shoot her, making me think back to the beginning of the pilot.

the sophia search was an interesting twist, where shane is actually right that it was a waste of time, and rick admits to being wrong, which fits with rick's struggles to lead in the comic.
also fitting that otis was the only one who could have known where she was.

Dale! i was shocked to find out he would be dying this season as well.
the opposite of shane (in many ways on the show), his time was cut short compared to the comic, but close in gruesomeness.
but he avoided being bitten twice and being eaten by cannibals, and eventually was shot (per the comic).
his death fit well with the episode, representing the humanity of the group.
great to have a couple episodes with rick struggling over killing the innocent to protect themselves, where rick fails to shoot in front of carl or to end his friends suffering.

i didn't like that shane was still alive, but this was eventually fixed. 
and he was shot by carl matching the comic. well except the was a zombie. 
we get to know shane a lot more in the tv show. how bad of a person he really is (killing otis). and i think it's a fitting end for him, since he hates zombies so much, it's his worst end.
great to have an entire knock down fight episode with shane versus rick.

and of course the best part of season 2 is the ending.

getting some idea on the rules of zombies and how this all works. apparently romero based with any death resulting in a zombie. and we see zombies eat animals as well.

and then there's the finale with the herd/horde, rick being solidified as the leader, and then a teaser of michonne and the prison.
such a great season, despite having its differences with the comic. it's standing on its own.

as for the comics, i am months behind at the moment, not entirely into it being in a slow spell, still back on the hilltop issues and wondering what is to come.