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Nikita Series Finale – Nikita Comes in From the Cold

28 Dec

Nikita, CW TV series

Nikita, the CW mini-series, just ended after three full seasons and a truncated six episode fourth. The series was based on the original idea and loosely based on the character created by Luc Besson for the 1991 film, La Femme Nikita.

Nikita Cast for the Series Finale

Story recap: Nikita is one of several hundred young criminals that are pulled out of the legal system and given a new shot at life in a highly regulated, ultra secret government agency called “Division”. The criminals-turned-agents are trained and used for wetworks (assassinations), extra-territorial extraditions, illegal spying, and essentialy anytype of activity that technically runs contrary to U.S. laws that protect its citizens and respects the sovereignty of other countries.

Nikita is one of the best agents but develops a conflicted perspective of her work. After too many missions where her morality cannot abide the orders she is given, she decides to go rogue. This essentially gives her a death sentence and Division’s leader, Percy, sics Michael (his head of operations) on her at every chance possible. Michael too has his own conflict because he has feelings for Nikita. He is also a man of principle and some of Percy’s dealings, particularly his for-gain side projects, run against Michael’s better sensibilities. Nikita, now on the outside, makes it her mission to bring down Division and expose the operations it has been involved in. She enlists the help of Alex, a drug-addled girl not unlike her previous self by getting her clean and trained to infiltrate Division. In doing so, Nikita has access to the operations from the inside.

Maggie Q as Nikita, from the CW TV series

Two other characters stick with us from the beginning: Amanda (Division’s  master manipulator) and Birkhoff (Division’s computer whiz). Both play very important roles that grow over the series. A small group of additional characters rounds out the show and adds some dimension and complexity that is much appreciated.

Percy and Amanda, Villains in Nikita

There are several things about the series I really like:

1. Maggie Q is a surprisingly credible actor physically. I normally scoff at the use of a lithe female actor for a heavy hitting role, but Maggie convinces me that she can outmaneuver and outgun her much bigger opponents (although I still will never believe that a 120 pound woman can punch a 250 pound man in the face and knock him out without shattering her wrist). Maggie is also essentially … hot. The series wouldn’t have gotten off the ground if a butchy veteran of the MMA had been cast in her place (although Gina Carano might have been interesting).

Nikita and Alex, Femme Fatales

2. The characters and the chemistry between them is solid. Alex, the former drug addict, starts as Nikita’s disciple but evolves into a very independently strong woman. Michael and Nikita do get to develop their relationship and appealing to watch. Seymour Birkhoff fills the necessary role of tech-geek but does so with occasional twists (who knew nerds could fight) that reward. Percy is brilliant as the amoral and shrewd villain. Amanda is a hair-raising sadist that proves to be even more cunning than Percy.

Nikita, Michael

3. One of the reasons I love spy thrillers are the location shots. Nikita takes us around the world (maybe not literally, but the sets (mostly based in Canada) are believable). This feels like a slick, high-priced series as it should.

4. The plot carries complex sub-stories and a decent forward movement of the primary story throughout the series. I’m actually kind of glad the series ended when it did. It could have lasted through the end of the fourth season and the writers could probably have come up with a justification for a fifth, but after a while, I think the loyal viewership would have said “ok, get on with it!”

Division, HQ in Nikita

5. The story’s presentation of black ops is so outrageous it actually makes it more interesting. I’ll bet conspiracy theorists point at their screens every week and say “See? I told you so!”

Scene with Nikita and a row of guns

Lots of guns!

Nikita, Owen/Sam

Lots of action!

As for the season finale, it starts out going from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds and runs over 200 mph throughout the show shooting past all of the rest stops. It most certainly felt rushed. But, you have to remember that the writers were given short notice to wrap up the series after it was announced that the show was cancelled. I’m actually very grateful to the CW for allowing the series to have an ending. Brilliant finales are rare (Breaking Bad was one of the few that I think nailed it), but I actually felt like this one worked out as it should. Nikita achieves her primary objective. There is a bittersweet victory, not a tidy one. And, the villains get their come-uppance in a satisfying way.

In all, I really enjoyed Nikita and am hoping another quality spy thriller won’t be too far around the corner to fill the void.  For your information: the first three seasons are available on Netflix and you can watch the last season on CW.com.

Guimp: The World’s Smallest Website

7 Nov

Sometimes small is better. Guimp touts itself as the smallest website in the world. Try playing pong by clicking on the gif below.

 

Guimp: The World's Smallest Website

Pinterest Posts

26 Oct

I’ve gotten lazy. I have so many pictures that I want to add to my site, but I haven’t been enjoying writing anything lately. So, I’ve been posting most of them to Pinterest instead. I now have well over 2,000 images on Pinterest including a few hundred I’ve re-pinned from other Pinterest users. Here’s a breakdown:

Comic Books • San Diego Comic-Con and Cosplay • Salt Lake Comic-Con and Cosplay • Sexy Cosplay • Lazy Dude Cosplay • Cosplay Sexy Daredevil, Batman, Punisher • Humor  Comics A-Go-Go • Movies Star Wars • Non-Sport Trading Cards • Travel Eclectic • Celebrities • Chocolate Political Humor and Legitimate News • Music • TV Shows • The Sad and Outrageous • Steampunk Art Trees Mena SuvariMonica Bellucci in Black & White • Nature, the Outdoors, Quaint Places, and Space • Black

Comics A-Go-Go Pinterest Boards

 

G.I. Joe Action Figures

9 Oct

Back in the 1960s, Hasbro, the toy maker giant experimented with the idea that boys would play with dolls if dolls weren’t called dolls. So, the term “action figure” was coined. G.I. Joe is the original action figure. G.I. Joe was different in several ways from the dolls girls played with during that period:

  • He was exceptionally posable. Every joint was movable as opposed to the dolls in the Barbie line which could only move their heads, their arms at the shoulders, and their legs at the hips.
  • He sported realistic (close enough) hair (not in the original version, however), whereas Ken in the Barbie line had plastic hair.
  • He had a tough-guy scar on his right cheek.
  • He had bad-ass accessories.
  • He had a “Kung-Fu Grip!” which meant he could securely hold his gun while he pistol-whipped Ken.

Funny side note: G.I. Joe figures were originally issued for each of the armed services. They all had names that sound would sound totally gay today: Rocky, Ace, and Skip. Add in the muscles and facial hair and all he was lacking were leather chaps. Well, hellooooo sailor! I have to think that homophobes have something to say about boys playing with G.I. Joes. Where’s the damn study proving whatever their nonsense is this time?!

I had a couple of G.I. Joes growing up. My parents bought me the two best accessories that a kid could hope for: the Sea Wolf and the Sky Hawk. Since we had a pool in our apartment complex, I was in it constantly with the Sea Wolf submerging and surfacing it with the accompanying pump. The Sky Hawk was kind of a kite-glider and I loved it … for about the first 10 minutes. Like a kite, you attached a string and pulled the glider into the air. After it was fully extended, you stopped, letting the string detach and the Sky Hawk glide down. It worked, except that it ended up in a tree and my Dad had a really hard time getting it down. After that, I only got to fly it a few times since we didn’t live near big open fields.

In the 1980s, G.I. Joe was re-imagined as an ensemble of specialists combating a megalomaniacal  horde called Cobra. The figures were scaled back from the original 12″ models down to under 4″ figures that were far less posable. They were merchandised alongside a very popular run of comic books and TV cartoons series. I didn’t much care for them.

Like a lot of older toys, older G.I. Joes are now very collectible. I wish I still had mine.

G.I. Joe Action Figure Humor

G.I. Joe humor

Lazy Dude Cosplay

6 Oct

So, I walked out of the exhibitor hall to find an outlet where I could charge my phone and cool my heels. While I was hanging out in the lobby, I saw cosplayers all over the place and realized I was missing opportunities to get closer to my goal of 1,000 cosplayer pictures. My phone cord isn’t very long and my dogs were barking, so I sat against the wall and shot pictures of people as they went by. I felt incredibly lazy because I was sitting down and shouting out to people to get their picture as they passed me.

Homer Simpson in Superman shirt and white underwear

I wonder if I could get away with this.

I kind of like this approach. Next year I think I’ll bring a fold-up chair with a beverage holder and do the same thing until the bullies in the blue and yellow uniforms come tell me I can’t have a chair in the hall. Of course, then I’ll have to figure out what to do with the chair since I am not paying the bag check people to hold on to it. Aw. Screw the chair. I’ll just sit on the ground again. So, if you see some dude hanging out against the wall yelling at you to take your picture, it may be me. I am dedicated to getting 1,000 pictures next year. You could be one of them. Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

 

 

Cosplay in the lobby at Comic-Con 2013

 

 

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