Custom Homepages

I was really inspired a while ago from a thread I read on the Local H Message board regarding browser homepages. For the longest time I have had my homepage set to Google. I could never really think of any resin to change it. But that thread made me re-think it.

When I sit down at my computer I don’t do searches all that much. I have a handful of websites that I go to everyday. In the past I would just type in the URL and go. But having a custom page with the links of my commonly visited websites saves a lot of time. Just middle click the links and they open up in a new tab.

This is pretty useful when your not always on your own computer. You can save your custom home page to a thumb drive, CD, or even upload it to your web server if you have one. This allows you to have access to all your favorite websites from any computer.

Below is a screen shot of my custom homepage that i built. Because I am such a Transformers fan I wanted to use an image of Megatron and Optimus Prime battling it out. With a little CSS I am able to make sure that no matter how big or small my browser window is the two will alwasy be fighting on the bottom right of the window.

I also use CSS to control the font and the link colors. Now your custom homepage dose not have to be this involved. It could just be a list of links you like to visit. It could be more involved with widgets, and backgrounds, and animations. Sky is the limit.

If you would like to download my custom homepage, Modifiy it, and use it for yourself you can by downloading it here. You will have to set the links in in the “index.html” file. Once that is done just point your browser to that index.html file.

Juneau Comic Books

There are no comic book shops in Juneau. I came to this depressing realization after living here for a few months. The grocery stores are the only places in the city you can go to and get comic books. The Selections at the grocery stores are minimal and poorly handled by the staff that stocks the magazine racks. You just want to slap some comic book edict into every store employee that walks by.

Last Saturday I forgot about all of that. Last Saturday, everything changed for just one moment. I was at the “Friends of the Library Book Store” by the airport with Hannah. This is a store where people donate old and used book to be resold. Just as we had finished browsing and started to walk out the door I gasped.

“What” said the old lady clerk, startled.

“You have comics?” I said pointing to an old bin with haphazardly placed comics books.

“oh yeah, just that one bin though” she replied.

Transformers Comic Issue 10 - Dawn Of The Devastator
Transformers Comic Issue 10 – Dawn Of The Devastator

I gently dug through the bin while Hannah waited. Inside I found what was to me, a small treasure. Comics like the first issues of “The Crow” and “Marvel Universe” and “He-Man”. I could not believe it. I kept on digging and found the first few issues to the “Marvel Saga” and “Rawhide Kid”. But then I struck pay dirt.

Transformers! In the bin where a couple of issues of the original Marvel Transformers Comic. One of them was one I did not already own! Issue number 10. Dawn of the Devastator! I have not found an original Transformers comic that I did not already own since my trip to Maui several years ago. I have been trying to complete my Transformers collection forever, and now I am one more issue closer to that goal.

Dear Michael Bay

Dear Michael Bay,

I would like to invite you to see Batman: The Dark Night which opened in theaters this last weekend. It will give you the chance to see what a good movie adaptation of a comic book looks like. I am hopping that if you can see this picture before it leaves theaters you might be able to save movie audiences from the cinematic abortion that will be Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and maybe make a good movie instead. You know, one that is not an embarrassment to Transformers fans.

Respectfully,
Youseph Tanha

Movie Comparison

Transformers means a lot to me. I can’t help but feel the need to point this out. Below is the original Mach 5 car from the Speed Racer cartoon.

And here is the Mach5 From the live action Speed Racer movie that just came out.

There is almost no difference between the two.

Now please look at this. Below is an image of Optimus Prime from the Transformers cartoon show.

And here is Optimus Prime from the live action Transformers movie.

Now, what the hell happened? How can one movie try so hard to preserve the original aesthetics of what made the show so great, and another movie go out of its way to visually rape their fans of what they have known and loved for so many years. What the hell went through the mind of director Micheal Bay when he was mangling the characters of Transformers?

To quote Kevin Smith.

In Hollywood you just fail upwards

Transformers – The Live Action Movie – My Thought

So for the last week i have been trying to write this post. It’s not been easy for me because their are so many things i want to touch on about the Transformers movie, but at the same time i don’t want to boar everyone to death about it.

Originally this post started off as a letter to Micheal Bay (the director of the Transformers movie) pointing out some basic time and money saving things he could have done. But as you will read you will see that Micheal Bay’s own personal two year vision of the Transformers is what he wanted to make. Not the already existing and well known 20 year old mythology of the story.

I have been an avid fan of the Transformers most of my life. I feel that this makes me some what of an authority on the subject. I have seen all the Transformers cartoons and I have read all the Transformers comic books. I remember growing up and my older brother coming home from college on the weekends and bringing me a new Transformers toy just about every time that he visited.  When I was a teenager, I remember saving my allowance for months sometimes, just to buy Transformers comic books I could find from local comic book shops. I have so many memories, wonderful memories around these robots and their adventures. I have waited my whole life for a live action Transformers movie – and on July 3rd, 2007, in Juneau Alaska, I was the first person in line for the first showing to see that movie.

The movie that Micheal Bay has made is fantastically inaccurate and was very disappointing to me, personally. I think that he has made one of the best movies of the year, if not the best movie of the year. It is a visual symphony of special effects, acting talent and some of the best directing I have ever seen. The film that was made, however, is not representative of The Transformers.

Micheal Bay mentioned in a blog post that I read before it was taken down, “I cut my fee 30% so I could make this at home.” I think that is very amazing and I don’t think an act like that should go unacknowledged. As a Transformers fan I have so much respect for him because of that single act.

In the same breath, I want to tell Micheal Bay how I think he could have only cut his fee by 20% instead of  30%. I don’t know very much about the movie making business.  But, I do think he could have saved a lot of money with the writing. The script for Transformers film had already been written for him. In September of 1984, Marvel Comics released “The Transformers” ( http://www.thetransformers.net/review.asp?MenuID=207 ). Looking at this, he would have already had a completed written script. Granted, you might have had to hire a writer to update a few things‚ so that it would be current for 2007. This solution, to me, sounds much cheaper than hiring 2 writers to create a whole new Transformers story. But again, I don’t know much about how to make a movie … it just seems that he could have saved some money by doing this. Micheal Bay also would not have upset numerous Transformers fans like me, because the story would essentially be correct.

To quote Micheal Bay again from his blog post, “Tom had one creative meeting with me for one hour and ten minutes to be exact about a year ago. He told he was the uber fan boy and was going to protect me from the minefields. The type of minefields on the Net like‚ “Damn you Michael Bay‚” ‚”You wrecked my childhood Michael Bay‚” and other various web death threats I received. Tom proceeded to tell me how much he had problems with the robot designs and script issues. I realized he was worlds apart in my vision.”

This, I think, was his biggest mistake.  The Transformers rejuvenation in recent years has not been a result of his vision of how they should be. Fans are not walking around talking to each other thinking “Wouldn’t Prime look so much better as a long nose truck?” The return of interest in the Transformers has been because of the iconic characters and the classic story line of good vs evil.

Micheal Bay has stated in past interviews that he is not a fan of the “blocky” shapes of the original G1 Transformers, so he decided to have them changed. To me, that is like saying Superman has been wearing his red cape for too long. Maybe it should be green, and perhaps shorter. Or, maybe just remove it altogether. Changes like this do not make sense to me. Later, he stated that Industrial Light & Magic would not be able to make the blocky G1 style of the original Transformers work. The arms and legs would not be able to move in all the ways that would be required by the movie. I can understand making minor modifications to the G1 style of characters so that they could physically move the way you would need them to. But to flat out say that ILM could not make it work is something I have a hard time swallowing. ILM is the world’s best at special effects. If they would not be able to get G1 Transformers to work, then I think their work as special effects artists does not deserve the credit that it has been so highly given.

“I never spoke creatively with Don. I read his notes kind of trashing the script and making me and the writers feel like a big shit pile.”

It sounds to me as if two people that Micheal Bay worked with knew more about the Transformers mythology than he did.  They tried to correct the mistakes in the script that he was working from.  Perhaps, he should  correct his two year vision of the Transformers to be more accurate with the twenty year-old mythology that Transformers fans are familiar with.

Waiting as long as I have for this movie to be made, only to be disappointed with the results, is very depressing. I can only hope that with time someone will remake this movie to more accurately represent the Transformers as loyal fans have come to know and love them. They are already doing this with other franchises like Batman and Superman. I really wish I could get a refund for my ticket.

Transformers

Transformers Movie TicketsI picked up my Transformers movie tickets last week. Tuesday afternoon is the first showing of the movie here in Juneau AK and that’s the tickets I Got. By boss has been warned I will be taking the afternoon to go see this film.

I am both exited and upset about it. This movie has been something I have waited for since I was 4 years old. I watched Transformers on TV all the time in the 80’s and as I got older i collected the comic books. I know the Transformers mythology like the back of my hand. So if something does not go like it’s supposed to in this film it is going to stick out like a sore thumb to me.

<i>I feel my self going in to a rant here</i>

Michael Bay directed this film. That alone makes a lot of core Transformers fans flinch. A lot of us fans followed as much about this film as we could on line. I think we were all pretty vocal about what we were expecting to see out of this film. (The producers of this film and even the Director asked us on line want we wanted to see.) As each day went on we are coming to realize that they are not making a film that the fans want to see. Bay was just making a film he wanted to make.

For the last year or so we have slowly seen new Transformers move trailers hit the net. As I watched each one as they came out it became quite clear that Michael Bay was not listening to fans, did not care about the Mythology, or even held a Transformers comic book in his hands. He clearly does not understand why the franchise is so popular to warrant a movie. I think he was just happy to have work after Pearl Harber bombed.

But here i am. With two movie tickets to see the first showing of Transformers in Juneau. I am in denial. I think that maybe. Just Maybe i am wrong, That maybe this movie will not be as bad as i am predicting. I truly hope it is not.

If anyone is interested i have been documenting a lot of what has been going on with this movie over at AppleGeeks.com. You can read my posts on their forums by clicking here.

Transformers Teaser Trailer Released

transformers_poster.png

Today on TransformersMovie.com they released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming 2007 movie Transformers. The trailer does not give a lot away as far as the look and feel of the the robots them selves. But after watching the trailer you can see how the story of the film starts out. They tie in some facts with the fiction. It reminds me of a line from the X-Files.

“A lie Mr Mulder, is best hidden between two truths.” Enjoy the trailer!!!