A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh, Really?

Smallville: Arrow
So Smallville is doing Green Arrow, and now Chris Arndt, over in the comments on the last post, is eager to hear me rant about it.

Your wish is my command.

I haven't been watching Smallville much for about the past year; it got kind of tedious for me when they went off into all that kryptonian mumbo-jumbo with Jane Seymour and french witches and Brainiac the T-1000. But of course I heard that Green Arrow was coming, and so I set the Tivo. So here we are.

It sure is easy to be an impressive archer when your arrows are computer-generated. And apparently it's even easier if your bow is equally computer-generated. So let's see, what sins against archery are committed here? (I mean apart from the insult to Lois' intelligence; she can't figure out that the archery-themed bandit might have something to do with the new boyfriend who dresses up as Robin Hood?)

The telescopic-night-vision targeting sunglasses. What's wrong with letting him just be that good? He's supposed to be a superhero; maybe it would help if he were a little bit, well, super.

The semi-automatic crossbow. With a retracting cable, no less. I'm still trying to figure out how that thing reloads and draws itself. But that pales beside...

The self-folding compound bow. They made a point of only showing this gadget in the dark and on the move, so you never really got a good look at it, but no matter how much they tried to hide it, they have a few serious problems:

1. The limbs fold down. That is, they fold in the direction that the string would normally pull them. This means the bow can't function. The force of shooting the bow would surely damage or overcome whatever locking mechanism holds the limbs up until they're released. The bow should collapse in Ollie's hands when he draws it. If the producers wanted to be marginally believable, they should have had the limbs collapse forward over the handle, away from the string.

2. Where'd the string go? Ever get a good look at a compound bow? The string is this really elaborate affair that winds back and forth over cams and pulleys. There's no way to remove it without a very large, very heavy piece of equipment called a bow press. Somehow, at the click of a button, the string on Ollie's bow vanishes.

3. The wheels. At one point, Ollie uses his folded-up bow to ride down a line, riding on the bow's wheels which he's placed on the cable. Problem: One of the "wheels" is not a wheel at all. It's an elliptical cam, and it only turns about 3/4 of a revolution.

On the positive side, the taser arrow and the gas arrow were both pretty cool and pretty plausible. And the guy doing the shooting seems to actually know something, at least as far as compound shooting with a mechanical release is concerned. I didn't get a good look at his form with a recurve when he shot the pull-tab off the soda can last week, but what I saw looked reasonably decent.

On the other hand, the writing was atrocious.

I'm a graphic designer by trade. I've spent 40 hours a week for the last 16 years staring into a monitor. I breathe Photoshop. Exactly what software is Chloe using that can enhance and refine images the way she does in the last episode? She works at the Daily Planet, not NASA.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm in today's newspaper

First off, let me apologize for having neglected this blog as of late. I've had a shortage of time due to the election, and also a shortage of material. Things should be back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Or there's the small possibility that they could be very different. Today my campaign got its first widespread press attention, which I thought I'd share here:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 3 vie for McKinney's former Congress seat

(Registration is required.)

As the article mentions, I've had the opportunity to be part of two candidate debates thus far, and I have my next one tonight. I'm not sure how many votes I'm winning over, but the reception has been rather positive.