Archive for the 'Showbits' Category

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Batman vs. Captain America

18-Jul-12 10:29 AM by
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Showdowns and smackdowns are a popular impetus for comic book action sequences. The film The Avengers featured a contentious team-up of some of Marvel Comics' greatest heroes, while a recent comic book plot pitted this same team against the mutants known as the X-Men.

But rarely do we see authorized battles across the universes, those being DC and Marvel. Each has its own stable of superheroes, and never shall the twain meet (with the exception of the rare amalgam). Thank goodness for fan films, which know no limits and can pair the likes of Captain America and Batman.

I love that the film is completely plot-free, allowing the viewer to make up a reason not only for why these two good guys are fighting, but how they encountered each other in the first place. Did the Infinity Gauntlet breach the galactic barrier? Did Mr. Mxyzptlk play a trick? As believable as each explanation may be, I find it hard to believe that the hand-to-hand combat skills of a serum-enhanced super soldier could even temporarily overcome the extensive training the Dark Knight has had in all the world's martial arts — just watch how much more reliant Cap is on his shield than Batman is on his utility belt. Fortunately, the battle lets you choose the winner, with a separate concluding video for each: Batman or Captain America.

At the moment, this video is the only one in the "Ultimate Fan Fights" playlist. Given the production values and choreography (and excessive use of dramatic slow-motion) of this first battle, I hope to see more showdowns from this group, IGN's START.

(Hat tip to Gene Demaitre and ComicBookMovie)

Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas

24-Dec-09 9:30 AM by
Filed under Fade to Black, Showbits; Comments Off on Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas

We are about to close what has been a difficult year for the acting community — not in terms of low box office sales or a lack of acting jobs, but due to the loss of many storied performers. Ed McMahon, Karl Malden, Dom DeLuise, Bea Arthur, Majel Roddenberry are among those who we lost.

As always, we here at Showbits send holiday greetings in a musical style perfected by the inhabitants of the Satellite of Love. I'd like to use that tradition to honor one of the great actors we lost this year, Patrick Swayze:

The Showbits Family

15-Dec-09 1:52 PM by
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Three years ago today, Showbits had its soft launch. It was my first time using a content management system (CMS), which opened by eyes to the possibilities — and fun! — of online publishing. Infected with enthusiasm, I've now grown my portfolio to fifteen different installations of the WordPress CMS, having converted all my sites (and even some other folks') to the software and using it to create several other sites, some of which I've not yet launched.

On December 1, 2007, one such conversion occurred on Gamebits, my first Web site from nearly a decade ago, dedicated to discussion of the electronic entertainment industry. Though I've not maintained that blog as well as Showbits (it takes longer to finish an RPG than it does to watch a movie), it's definitely seen more regular activity under WordPress than it did as hand-coded HTML.

Today I'd like to add another member to the blog family: Wordbits. Just as the Showbits blog was designed to replace a defunct message board, Wordbits was conceived as a successor to the literature review and composition forum known as Prolific Quill. Of late, it's taken a slightly different approach, as my interests have been caught by the accelerating field of electronic publishing. Whereas movies and video games are remain relatively consistent experiences regardless of improvements in technology, the publishing field stands to be completely revolutionized — or dismantled — based on the success or failure of both traditional and emerging print models. It's a fascinating time to be a consumer or producer of written media.

Each of these three *bits sites has in its navbar links to its siblings. I hope you'll navigate among them and enjoy each blog for its various perspectives on digital media. Please use their RSS feeds or email subscription options to keep abreast of new discussions as they emerge!

Summer Slowdown at Showbits

26-Jun-09 6:51 AM by
Filed under Showbits; 1 comment.

I try to keep my personal life from Showbits, but sometimes it's my personal life that keeps me from Showbits. Such is the case with the lack of new content recently, as other commitments have gotten in the way:

Each of these landmarks required many nights of rehearsing, editing, and training — time that would otherwise be given to Showbits. I regret that it's left me unable to offer commentary on the passing of such luminaries as Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson. I hope to eventually do so, and to review films such as Fanboys and Up.

In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying your own holidays. If you haven't already, check out the seven films that made up Showbits' summer shorts special. It'll give us something to discuss when I return!

Read Showbits on your iPhone or Kindle

08-Jun-09 1:17 PM by
Filed under Showbits; 2 comments.

If you have either an Apple iPhone cell phone or an Amazon Kindle eBook reader, you can now read the Showbits on these mobile devices. For the iPhone, you'll need the free Kindle for iPhone application. Then you can find us in the Kindle Store, where a subscription to the blog is only $.99. (Accessing this site directly, or receiving it via email or RSS, will both always be free.)

If you read the blog using either of these methods, please let us know what you think! Or if there are additional ways you'd like us to get content to you, please leave a suggestion.

On the Road Again…

21-Jul-08 3:01 PM by
Filed under Showbits; Comments Off on On the Road Again…

As with this time last year, I'll be AFK for a few weeks as I enjoy a summer vacation in Missouri, then Washington and Missoula. I have some Showbits content queued for the next two weeks, so there will be something to read while I'm gone.

I didn't want to leave the site in a precarious position while away, so once I'm back and available to smooth out any bugs, I'll be upgrading Showbits to WordPress 2.6 (that being the software that powers this blog). If, while I'm under the hood, there are any additional features you'd like to see implemented, please let me know!

In the meantime, I may be blogging on my journeys for my day job, so if your interests are not just cinematic but also retrocomputic, surf on over.


08-Dec-07 10:58 AM by
Filed under Showbits; 1 comment.

A year ago today — one week after the closure of Syndicomm Online — I was exchanging emails with Peter Watson. Peter and I had both been regulars of that community, and I had lamented to him the personal impact of the shuttering of my film and movie forum:

"The toughest part for me is changing my thinking habits. Every time I see a movie or read a book, a part of my mind is dedicated to relating what I'm experiencing to someone else in the form of a message or email. Now, without that audience, I have nowhere to express those messages — so it seems pointless to be mentally composing them."

Peter's inspirational response:

"Maybe you'll just have to start a blog. You know, there's no blog I read regularly at present, but yours I think I would. I really did look forward to Showbits each day — even when I didn't really have time to read it!"

Thus did Peter flip my mental switch. The next week was a flurry of activity, and on December 15th, had a soft launch in the form of an email sent to a small number of Syndicomm Online refugees. After two weeks of their feedback, the site officially went live on January 1st. So though the actual one-year anniversary is not for another three weeks, today marks the genesis of a year of activity, community, and writing — 184 posts so far, or nearly one every other day.

Today also marks the one-week anniversary of the relaunch of That site maintained an almost identical structure and style since its creation seven years ago, remaining immobile while the Web around it changed. The lessons learned in creating and finetuning Showbits has afforded me the opportunity to recreate Gamebits while preserving its 700 pages of content. And there are more 'bits to come, too, which you'll hear about as they go public.

So thanks again to my first reader, Peter — and to everyone else who ensured he wasn't the last!


17-Sep-07 9:46 PM by
Filed under Showbits; Comments Off on Subscribits

A couple of site updates:

— The new subscription page offers a variety of ways to access our content, including email subscriptions: if there's a new post that day, you'll receive it, in full, via email around 6 PM EDT. If there's no new post, there's no email. No annoying ads, no teaser excerpts to make you come to the site; unsubscribe anytime. Simple!

— Also by reader request: the sitemap now includes a page of external links (aka the blogroll).