Around Chicago• Not a lot going on for me now around my beloved town, but aside from a few rainy days/moments, I love the recent weather! It’s very nice to go by the beach on Lake Shore Drive for a nice run or chill at the beach with lots of cute ladies, blasting my iPod to my beloved 80s/90s music, and catching up on some fine literature (well Marvel/DC Comics mostly for me.)
• I’m missing Anime Central dearly, but I’m in big excitement for Wizard World (aka Chicago Comic Con.) It’s taking place August 19th-22nd. Lots of celebrities and pro wrestlers will be there signing autographs (more on my opinion on some of this later), my friends Little Brass Bird (www.littlebrassbird.com) will have a booth, and Disco Stu, er, Disco STVO will be there. :D More details about the event are here. http://www.wizardworld.com/home-ch.html
• Taste of Chicago is coming soon, woo-hoo!
Video Games• Just received my copies of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Alan Wake, both are very fun! IGN gave Mario Galaxy 10 out of 10!!! I haven’t gotten that far in the game yet, so it is very early for me to determine whether I agree or not with it. So far it’s very similar to the original Galaxy (which isn’t a bad thing) just they added a little fun with the return of Yoshi!! I’m liking the controls for him a lot so far, hopefully this game will continue to rock. Alan Wake has been REAL fun! It’s a third person action game from Remedy, the people who brought you Max Payne. It’s very unique because it is narrated like it’s a book. So far it has an interesting story and things should get pretty crazy later on.
• So it looks like Sega has another Sonic the Hedgehog title in the works called “Sonic Colours (or Sonic Colors.)” The plot currently is about Sonic and Tails finding a weird alien race of different colors that can help Sonic move faster in the game. People are speculating that this may be Sega’s “Super Sonic Galaxy.” That has been a problem with some of the more recent Sonic titles: Shadow the Hedgehog (Xbox/PS2/Cube) was trying to be like Grand Theft Auto, Sonic the Hedgehog ’06 (PS3/X360) had a Final Fantasy X-XII vibe (at least with cinema graphics), and Sonic Unleashed’s Were-hog gameplay reminded me of God of War. Personally, I could be just a little judgmental but Sega hasn’t been as solid with their delivery of Sonic titles (barring portable titles) since Sonic Adventure 2 (and I have complaints about that game.) Maybe it will surprise me, who knows. I just hope that Sonic the Hedgehog 4 will end up delivering! In the meantime, Sonic Colors’s trailer, watch and comment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcD5K_mqOLM&feature=fvst
• E3 is coming up and in honor of that tradition; CrossTopix will be celebrating the event for that week! That’s right, stay tuned for All-Gamers Week on June 13-June 19! I’m excited! So far Matt B. Wild of Explicit Gamer.com and good friend/hardcore Xbox 360/live gamer Mark S. will be doing multiple discussions for this event. Sorry fellow readers, no movies/TV/music discussion on that week, this week belongs to those who love their game consoles (and any PC-related announcements that might occur, though I’m personally a console man.) Stay tuned for more details!
Movies• Last week I saw Shrek 4 in 3D with friends CharlieCat, Matt McCollum, and Dexter (a future guest on CrossTopix.) I wasn’t expecting too much but I was very pleased with what I saw, much better than 3 and just as good as the first two! For those of you parents reading, plenty of well-hidden adult humor is in the movie.
• I know I’m one of the only few interested in it, but I still want to see Prince of Persia. Those interested in it may want to see it soon though, last weekend it only score $30 Million of its $200 Million budget. It’s getting some decent reviews out there and has a 6.9/10 average on IMDB, which is decent. If I do see it, maybe I’ll post a full review on the site…
• So why did Sex and the City 2 cost $100,000,000 to make? The first movie cost $65 million and I understand the actresses are getting some very nice pay days to be in the sequel of the successful first movie and the ridiculously successful series, but $100 mil?!?! I know they’re wearing expensive outfits in the movie, but did they buy extra ones and just kept them and didn’t wear in the movie?
• Some concept art for the Captain America movie has been disclosed: http://www.411mania.com/movies/news/140914/%5BMovies%5D-Concept-Art-For-Captain-Americas-Suit.htm In my opinion, he looks alright, the belt and suspenders look a little weird though. Never been a huge fan, but if the trailers look decent, perhaps I’ll see it.
Random• Okay, how many of you have been to a convention? Okay, now how many of you have gotten an autograph from a celebrity you liked? I remember at Wizard World when I first went and spent around $55 for the weekend pass then got told by the first person I met “I’d love to give you an autograph…. $25.” I was stunned! So $55 for this con, $15+ for 1-day parking, and you have to pay to meet a celebrity?!?! Well I warmed up after awhile met a few celebs I’ve wanted to meet for awhile: George Lowe aka the voice of Space Ghost on Coast to Coast for $10 and Mick Foley for $25. The greatest people there were Jamie Maddrocks and Monoxide Child of Twiztid, they charged… $0. They were kind, willing to talk to the fans, sign anything given to them, offered small pictures for you to get signed, and said some of the truest words: “We charge nothing and that’s how it should be for events like this!” I could not agree more guys! Sure it is one thing they make you buy a book or at least bring your own memorabilia of them for them to sign or proceeds go to charity. I don’t mean to trash the next few celebrities as I respect their works but I feel that honestly this is a bit ridiculous: William Shatner charges $75, Patrick Stewart charges $60, and Mark Hamill… $100!!! If you paid for an autograph for each of them at one show, you could have bought a Nintendo Wii, paid a cable bill, take multiple friends/family out to dinner, etc. On top of that, Wizard World now charges for a photo WITH YOUR OWN CAMERA with the celebrity in addition to autograph. Because of that, I only get photos now because I think a picture represents me meeting someone more than an autograph. But picture if you wanted both a picture and autograph from someone like Mark Hamill, you will spend $200! Again, I don’t mean to slam the celebrities nor the event, but I would like some explanation why some people would charge so much!
• Speaking of things not likely worth the price, ever heard of Tweetfan.com? Take a look. http://tweetafan.com/vips Ever wanted to follow the tweets of Shelley Martinez, Joey Kovar, or Blair Thomas? $1/month please and… who are these people? Of the list I posted, I only know Shelly Martinez because she played Ariel in WWE’s ECW. Look, I understand they’re all doing it for charity which is very nice and it is only $1/month, but to follow something like Tweets? That’s kind of like McDonalds deciding to let you have one of those paper place mats on the serving tray if you donate $1 to them or much worse… me telling you all that you can read this article for $1/month! Haha.
Well that’s it for my column, hope you guys find it somewhat interesting. Send any suggestions on what I can do to improve it. CrossTopix should debut with a new column soon featuring Dave Jones. Also, next week, look for an all-new Cross X-amine featuring an interview with local band (the band that) NEVERWHAS and a new CrossTopix featuring NEVERWHAS member, Nik Rubicz!