Posted inComics / Movies

Superman Returns!

Superman ReturnsI caught the sneak preview of Superman Returns last night. Very good movie, but you have to have a Bladder of SteelTM to make it through the whole 2 1/2+ hours.

My first impression is that Batman Begins was a better movie, but this one really conveys the sense of having both godlike power and human sensibilities. I need to see it a few more times and let it soak in. I thought that the flying special effects were AMAZING! I remember one of the taglines of the original movie was “You’ll believe a man can fly” and that’s never been more true.

Contrary to what some might expect, this is not a retelling or remake of the classic Christpher Reeve movies (the first couple anyway). This should be looked at as a sequel to those movies, and as an homage to Christopher Reeve himself. I highly recommend it if you are any kind of fan of truth, justice, and the American way.

Seeing this movie brought back to mind an extremely interesting forum posting entitled “Superman V: The Whole Sordid Saga” that made the rounds via e-mail a year or two ago. I’ll let it speak for itself…

I found this online: the stange and evil tale of the production of Superman V. It spans decades, $50,000,000 is spent before they even have even settled on a writer or director. It’s so horrible. It’s out of date as it stops in the middle of 2004, but it’s so horrible, you have to read it.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how much of the information in the forum posting is true. As the saying goes, “Disinformation wants to be free.” And as far as I’m concerned, the Internet has become its natural habitat.

Since the original posting is so long, I’ve decided to be kind and summarize the highlights (and lowlights) in the extended body of this entry…
Continue reading “Superman Returns!”

Posted inBooks

Rowling: Two ‘Potter’ Characters Will Die

According to the Associated Press, author J.K. Rowling said two characters will die in the last installment of her Harry Potter series, and she hinted Harry himself might not survive either.

“I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final because I’ve always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books,” Rowling said Monday on TV here.

“I can completely understand, however, the mentality of an author who thinks, ‘Well, I’m gonna kill them off because that means there can be no non-author-written sequels. So it will end with me, and after I’m dead and gone they won’t be able to bring back the character’.”

Rowling declined to commit herself about Harry, saying she doesn’t want to receive hate mail.

“The last book is not finished. But I’m well into it now. I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I’ve known exactly how the series is going to end,” she said.

Some characters might die, but the blockbuster movie franchise lives on. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that the fifth installment will be released in U.S. theaters, including Imax screens, on July 13, 2007.

In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” directed by David Yates, the teenage Harry continues to battle the evil Lord Voldemort (again played by Ralph Fiennes) and his followers. Daniel Radcliffe is returning as the title character, and Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reprise their roles as Hermione and Ron. Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton plays the malicious, frumpy Professor Dolores Umbridge, who tortures Harry.

In her Monday interview on the “Richard and Judy” show, Rowling said people are sometimes shocked to hear that she wrote the end of book seven before she had a publisher for the first book in the series.

“The final chapter is hidden away, although it’s now changed very slightly. One character got a reprieve. But I have to say two die that I didn’t intend to die,” she said. “A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil here. They don’t target extras do they? They go for the main characters. Well, I do.”

Rowling is the richest woman in Britain – wealthier than even the queen – with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine last year at more than $1 billion.

Whatever she writes next, Rowling is sure of one thing: It won’t be as successful as Harry Potter.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to have anything like Harry again. You just get one like Harry.”

Posted inAbout

New Design

The new site design (“version 1.50”) has been up for about a day now. There’s still a few minor tweaks that I’d like to make, specifically some shadowing for the main “page” of blog entries and something different with the entry dates. But overall, I’m very happy with the way that it turned out. Hope you like it too. :-)

A little history about the name “Deck Monster” and the change in logo at the top of the page… I was an undergrad at the University of Illinois just a few years before the World Wide Web exploded onto the computer screens and consciousness of well, the world. (In fact, Mosiac, the first popular Web browser was developed at NCSA on the U of I campus.) Back in those days, we were using 9600 bps modems to connect to bulletin board systems (BBS’s) to download files and exchange bulletin board messages (hence the name). Just like many Web sites today, the BBS systems often required a login to do anything interesting. Don’t remember exactly why, but I started using “Deck Monster” for my user name.

This was also prior to graphical user interfaces, so some of us did our best making use of the various line characters included with the extended DOS character set. As best I can recreate, the banner above closely approximates the “sig” (signature line) I used to use in the BBS days…

Deck Monster

So, when I decided to take the plunge and start this blog, there was no other name (or logo) I could’ve used.

OK, history lesson over. Hope you enjoy the new look of the site…

p.s. For the sake of posterity, a screenshot of the previous site design has been saved in the extended body of this message…
Continue reading “New Design”

Posted inHumorousness

The Joy of Web Development

OK, I realize that this is probably most humorous to Web development geeks like myself, but this is my damn blog so y’all just suffer through it… :-)

Time Breakdown of Modern Web Design

Brought to you by the clever folks at Poisoned Minds.

p.s. If all goes as planned, I should have the new site design up by tonight…

Posted inOn The Web

Just checking in…

Still working on a new site design, and also installing Windows Vista. I’ll let you know the next couple of days how that’s going…

So, I have just one link for today. Makes you think just a little bit exactly how miniscule (and precious) we really are in the grand scheme of things.

See, I told ya there’ d be random comments about the universe. ;-)

Posted inMusic

Local Music

Two excellent bands have upcoming shows in the Springfield area…

Captain Rat and the Blind RivetsBack in college, I used to practically be a groupie of Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets from Champaign, Illinois. They put on a terrific show featuring hits from the 50’s and 60’s, and they are going to be in Springfield this Saturday, June 24th at Buster’s Sports Bar and Grill up by the State Fairgrounds from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

And on August 5th, the BoDeans will be back in the area at the Decatur Celebration. The BoDeans are probably most famous for “Closer To Free”, which was used as the theme song for the TV show Party of Five.

I don’t think I’ll be able to go see Captain Rat this weekend, but I’m definitely making plans to go see the BoDeans. Hope to see you there!

Posted inComics / Movies

Things that make you go huh?

According to, Jack Black is supposedly in the running for the starring role in a Green Lantern movie?!? Don’t get me wrong, I like Jack Black and think that he’s a funny guy and a fine actor. But Jack never ever struck me as superheroic.

So, in the attempt to illustrate my point, I super-imposed (Photoshop rules!) a photo of Jack next to an Alex Ross painting of GL….

Jack Black and Green Lantern

And now I’m having second thoughts… It almost looks like Alex had a younger buffer Jack Black in mind when he did this painting. What do you think?