Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Tick (2001, Netflix)

Behold: The two headed cobra of justice!
Rating: 4 out of 5 Nigh Invincible Bug Themed Heroes

Review:  I totally missed out on The Tick show when it first aired.  I remember Fox making a big deal out of the pilot, directed by Barry Sonnefeld and maybe I watched it and maybe I didn't.  But if I did watch that pilot then I missed the rest of it.  Much later, in 2010 I watched the series while under the influence of a terrible flu and didn't really remember much of that experience.  Here and now I have watched the series again and it's pretty good.  I don't really understand why it was cancelled really.  It always surprises me what get's cancelled and what runs forever.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

If I Made It: Silver Surfer: Herald of Galactus (video game)

Silver Surfer: Herald of Galactus
Overview:  Recently I re-watched the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of the Silver Surfer game for the NES.  I remember, as a kid, a friend of mine having that game and me borrowing it, playing it and just being frustrated by it, much like The Fucking Nerd himself.  But the review got me thinking, is it possible to make a good Silver Surfer game?  Is that something that can be done?  It would be difficult just based on what the Surfer is and his original comics were less high octane action fuel and more meditations on being filtered through psychedelic space imagery.  It's hard but not impossible, like any good game you need to break a character down to its basics and try to recreate that in the gameplay.  Here's how I would do it...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Batgirl: I heart Yvonne Craig

When I lived in my old place I was watching old episodes of Batman on the ME channel, I currently don't have cable, I can't afford it, so I haven't seen an episode in a while.  But I have to say my favorite episodes are the ones with Yvonne Craig as Batgirl.  Look at that picture to left.  Look at the fringe and the lace and those colors.  The episodes are terribly, terribly sexist.  One episode in particular is about a female activist, who is played as the villain, organizes the women of Gotham against the men.  Eventually the mayor gives into her demands, which include an all female police force and a female commissioner, because his wife hasn't cleaned his shirts for a week, and he's running low on laundry, his house is dirty and he hasn't eaten a decent meal in days.  Meanwhile the idea of a female doing anything beyond these cooking and cleaning duties is treated like some kind of preposterous joke.  Granted the men are shown be sort of hopeless and helpless but are also the ones in charge.  As the plot goes on the female police force allows a bank robbery to happen because the two bank guards are swapping recipes, one beat cop just painted her nails and another beat cop refuses to chase the criminal because she just got new shoes.  However that is not the crux of the evil scheme, the point of replacing all the police force was so that when the big bad released explosive mice the police would be too afraid to act and allow her to either destroy the city or hold it hostage.  That part is a bit vague.

  But I share that as an example, albeit an extreme example, of the kind of thing regularly happening in Batman '66.  This is the kind of madness they spew at you on a per episode basis.  But then there's Yvonne Craig as Batgirl and the way she handles everything.  In the above episode she's always there as the strong counterpoint.  She doesn't soapbox about women's right but dismisses the men as being ridiculous with how she converses with them or the looks she gives them.  More importantly she demonstrates, by example, why the men are being stupid.  She jumps in there and is just as competent and capable as Batman, sometimes even more competent and capable than Batman.  She is the frequently the bastion of sanity in this crazy ass universe that they've built and often it's simply through body language.  Rarely is it a verbal throwdown that makes her seem like a bad person, they don't portray her as "bitchy" or "preachy" but she comes off as THE ONE person who has a good head on their shoulders while the rest of the world is drenched in hammy, pastel lunacy.  That character, for its time, is actually a really well written female character.  You never hear her carrying on about boys or needing a man.  She lives on her own, she supports herself with a job as a librarian and fights crime without anybody's help.  She is a totally separate, strong entity that is also a woman and who acts as a counterpoint to the male chauvinism that occurs.  The only other strong female characters from that era that come to mind are probably from The Dick Van Dyke Show.  In that show you had Rose Marie and Mary Tyler Moore playing good female characters but Rose Marie is probably close to Batgirl in her level of independence (although I do remember Rose Marie being kind of man crazy and Mary Tyler Moore was kind of defined by her role as wife, but Mel Cooley was fucking hilarious).  Also probably Uhura, but I never like classic Star Trek so I know nothing about that role.  That's really all I wanted to say because I found that picture on a blog and it made me think of that and reminded my that I love Yvonne Craig for being Batgirl.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Super Capers (2008, Netflix)

This thing is shit.
Rating:  1 out of 5 Jokes Per Second That Actually Succeed

Plot Synopsis:  Ed Gruberman is a superhero fish out of water because…FUCK YOU… he runs into problems….FUCK YOU… there are more jokes per second that the human brain can handle FUUUUUUUUUCK YOU!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

If I Made It: Iron Man 3 (Act 3)

Good movie, flawed ending.
Overview:  I liked Iron Man 3 and didn't hate the climax.  In the context of the story the climax worked fine.  But it was also a pretty flawed 3rd act in how it totally neutered the big bad, set up a rather strange series of events and took Rhodey almost completely out of the story.  I think this can be contributed to Shane Black who wrote and directed the film.  I like Shane Black just fine (credits include Lethal Weapon, Monster Squad and Last Action Hero.  All movies I really like) but I think the problem comes from the fact that he is a comedy action writer with an emphasis on comedy.  If given a chance to go for a laugh or go for the action he'll pick the laugh and there was plenty of laughs to be had at Trevor aka Mandarin.  Up until Tony meets Trevor you have an incredibly solid film but after that point it could use... something else.  If it were me, here's how I would have done it...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ladies and Gentleman, We Have Our Ant-Man

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man.

  I was going to write a whole big thing about this, which is why I'm late to the party, I sat on it hoping inspiration would hit me.  There just isn't much to say beyond how awesome it is.  I think the movie will be great, I would have like to see Simon Pegg but I think both those actors can play socially/romantically awkward people.  There will have to be a plot with Janet Van Dyne and Rudd can to do hopeless romantic in over his head (wife beater Pym can go fuck himself but I think Rudd could go there if the plot required it).
  The biggest thing I'm looking forward to is Rudd playing off Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark and Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner in Avengers 2 or 3 (it would be cool if they threw him into 2 as the lead up to his own movie).  The interplay between Tony and Bruce was great in Avengers so adding Rudd to the mix, I think, will make something even more special.  I, for one, am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

If I Made It: The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (video game)

Outline:  A game with this title already exists and I haven't played it but by all accounts it is terrible with a Metacritic rating of 32/100.  Also Telltale games has a Walking Dead game out that by all accounts is awesome and totally encapsulates the feeling of the series.  But we aren't really here to encapsulate the feeling of the series.  We're here to chop up some zombies with previously established badass characters.  Now the actual Survival Instinct game follows Daryl and Merle Dixon. Daryl is an awesome badass with a heart of gold underneath a tough exterior and Merle is a racist.  That's great but I don't think you can make a game out of their exploits.  At most you can maybe spend a couple of  hours with them.  That's pretty much true with any one person in this world there just isn't enough variety to justify a full length game, especially one that doesn't fudge the current cannon.  A game is hard to do because Dead Rising exists and I was thinking about making the whole game about Morgan Jones who holds an entire small town by himself but that also already exists and it's called Dead Rising: Case Zero and it's downloadable for the 360.  I think the best way to get around this is to make the game about more than one character, four characters to be exact, each character getting about 6+ hours of gameplay.  The goal of this game isn't to capture the ennui of the show, especially since we already have that game (and it's won all the awards), the point is to play as the shows biggest badass' and focus on the survival and fear aspects.


The Walking Dead (Seasons 1-3, Netflix)

Rating: 4 out 5 Walkers Decapitated With a Badass Sword

Review: I suddenly decided to get back into The Walking Dead.  Several years ago, probably around midway of season 2, I tried to get into The Walking Dead but I didn't make it past the second episode.  It was mostly because I didn't really understand what I was seeing and, perhaps, I wasn't really in the right mindset.  I really enjoyed the first episode and most of the second episode but when Lori has sex with Shane and then is shown living this seemingly idyllic life out in the country while her husband is covered in gore trying desperately to survive and find her and their son.  I saw that and I thought "Great, this is going to be episode after episode of this guy getting figuratively kicked in the nuts looking for his family while his family lives on like he never existed.  Then he's going to find them and he'll move on because they don't need him anymore."  It also made me immediately hate Lori because if I were in her situation, and in fact it is shown, in those two episodes, that if Rick were in her situation he would be celibate out of respect to the fallen spouse.  I don't know why it made me so mad but it did.  So I just decided that this show wasn't for me.