Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Blu-Ray

Rating: 3 out 5 Inexplicably Mutated Animal Experts of Karate

Review:  I realize I'm late to the party on this one so I'm not going to make a huge deal about it.  It's kind of weird that this thing just came out in July and already it's on DVD.  I guess the same could be said about Dame to Kill For and Guardians of the Galaxy but it feels like this was just in theaters.  Anyway... I sat down and watch TMNT.  All in all I've got to say I'm pretty happy with it.  The lack of Casey Jones gives the original the edge however.

  I haven't seen the original in a while but it's very clear that this concept works best as either a comic book or modern CGI-fest movie.  The original I remember as being more plodding, more character focused with few fights and limited choreography.  They did what they could with what they had and as a result aimed it in a totally different direction.  This thing has Michael Bay written all over it.  When there aren't action beats there's comedy beats and when there aren't comedy beats there is movement.  I would defy you to find a single second of film where something isn't moving.  That being said I enjoyed the hell out of it.  It is the Pizza Hut pizza of movies, appropriately enough.  The action scenes are solid, the Turtles have distinct and fun personalities, Will Arnet is pretty funny and while I'm not a fan of Megan Fox she has some great comedy acting moments during the course of the run time.  Both Splinter and The Shredder bad-ass it up, another thing that wasn't and/or couldn't be done in the original film.  I really liked Shredder's new suit and while the character has zero character development he did what he needed to do which is show up and kick ass.  Oh boy does he kick ass.  They push him as such a heel that when he does finally get beaten it seems like a total fluke.  It almost seems like he CAN'T be beaten so when he inevitably is it feels undeserved and unearned.

  You can't really compare this to the original but at the same time it's impossible for someone like me to not make comparisons.  The original movie came out right in my childhood, the Turtles were a huge part of my adolescence.  The cartoon, the action figures, not so much the comics, but the movie helped define my time as a child so it's very hard for me to not use that as the measuring stick to evaluate the new movie.  So I have to keep in mind that this is not my time anymore and these aren't my Turtles and I have to let go of those preconceived notions and I think if you can let go of those pre-concieved notions you'll have a lot of fun with this movie.  But it may only be a one and done situation so I'd encourage the average person to Redbox or Netflix it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Flash vs Arrow/The Brave and the Bold

Epic Crossover
So, this happened this week.  I have to admit that I came into the two episodes with a lot of apprehension.  Flash has been amazing, one of my favorite shows of the year at this point, but Arrow has been disappointing.  I didn't even finish "Draw Back Your Bow" (the episode previous to The Brave and the Bold) and I read some of the reviews online and they weren't favorable.  Needless to say I was expecting Arrow to drag down the greatness of Flash and create kind of a muddy mess.

  Well, I was wrong.  I actually quite enjoyed this block of television.  Probably top three or five Flash episodes and, I'd say, the best Arrow episode of the season.  There is no doubt they take some heavy handed jabs at a couple of subjects they have no business taking, namely the very thin theme of torture, but overall it's the best of both worlds.
Starting out I was ready to hate but when that Arrow-esque music sting hit with it's own Flash score twist I totally popped.  Follow that by the Arrow tinged opening credits and I was all in.  I also popped thinking that we were seeing the debut of Psycho Pirate but it turned out to be jabroni scrub Prism.  Eh, I'll let that one go.  The Flash side of this is it's usual light hearted, colorful fare with a couple drops of Arrow darkness to grunge it up.  Seeing angry Barry was great as Grant Gustin proved he can be truly intimidating as a heavy.  The Arrow/Flash conflicts were great showing Ollie's ability to think faster than Barry can move and keeping the duo on pretty even footing.  The final conflict between Ollie and Barry was a really solid fight, not only a top tier TV fight but something that could go up on the big screen.  Obviously not as a main event but a page 20 action beat definitely.  The episode is solid just not as "meaty" as The Brave and the Bold, but it's fun and engaging.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Arrow: Escape from Lian Yu (2012, PS3)

The Arrow game in question.
Rating: 4 out of 5 People Who Have Failed This Island

Plot Synopsis:  Oliver Queen is a rich, entitled frat boy on vacation with his brothers and friends when they skydive onto an island filled with pirates, drugs and human traffickers.  This game follows a young Oliver Queen as he transitions from rich asshole to plain bad-ass.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Season in Comic based TV

I wanted to touch on this season of shows just briefly.

This just hasn't done a lot to grab me.  The first episode was a little overwhelming with how many concepts and characters they were trying to establish.  It was good though, despite that it was a relatively solid premiere.  Since then the series has totally dropped off my radar.  The baddie-of-the-week premise is kind of lame and the overall story arc isn't very interesting.  Some of the characters are good while others tip the scale towards the bad.  Penguin is interesting, as is Bullock, Nygma is intriguing but doesn't get enough screen time.  Young Bruce is on a slow boil and Catwoman is a highlight.  Meanwhile I HATE Fish Mooney, I don't care about Falcone or Maroni, Gordon is boring and Barbara has been given a bi-sexual past for no real reason I can see.  If it serves a purpose I can see doing it but it just seems meaningless and is rarely used for anything interesting.  I haven't made this a priority to watch so I'm a little behind, maybe when I get caught up something will change, right now I'm on the fence.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Movies are Getting Frayed...

When he's right he's right. The superhero film genre is a bubble getting ready to burst but it's not the first time Hollywood exploited a genre for guaranteed money until it killed it. What immediately comes to mine are the Westerns and WWII movies that dominated the "John Wayne" era of movie making. It was very similar because among these guaranteed money makers you had the same output of book adaptations and a small amount of critical darlings.

It's also not the first time the bubble burst on superhero movies. From the near stillbirth of the genre by the, criminally underrated, in my opinion, Howard the Duck to the coma that Batman and Robin put the genre in to. There have been a number of stumbling blocks for comic adaptations in the past and this seems to be the golden age they finally deserve. The stories are being taken seriously and being given the time, effort and money they need to flourish. The movies are no longer dismissed as "Only a comic book." which is something Joel Schumacher said in defense of Batman and Robin. But it will pass, people will get sick of it and the easy money will dry up and the big IP's with it. Ah well, hopefully we'll get to see some more great things before that happens.

Here's what I want to see before the genre dies (or at least goes back into a coma):

-An Avengers movie with Fal-cap and Lady Thor.
-The Marvel Netflix TV verse ending up with a made for Netflix movie of New Avengers (sans Spider-Man and Wolverine of course)
-Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage
-X-Men: Salvation
-Avengers cameo on Agents of SHIELD
-Mongul in a Superman movie
-The JLA movie
-An Aquaman movie
-A Howard the Duck remake
-Armless Tiger-Man in a Cap movie
-The Question on Arrow
-Flashpoint on Flash
-Flash's Rouges being bro's like they are in the comics
-Joker on Gotham

Keep in mind that when the bubble bursts we probably won't see the last of the superhero genre. Unlike westerns or even WWII films the superhero genre taps into something primal, something basic, and provides that fantastic escapism and wish fulfillment in a way that few genre's can. Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins was sort of like the superhero genre equivalent to Unforgiven which made it "okay" to like and make westerns again after a pretty long hiatus and it just came back stronger than ever whereas the western is still in short supply. What will likely happen is the current Marvel "Phase 2" and DC's "Movie Clusterfuck" will run it's course, making less money as it goes and "Phase 3" along with DC's "Movie Clusterfuck 2: Clustershart" will be put on ice until they can make that next comeback masterpiece that will make everyone pay attention again.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Awesome Mix Vol. 1: an analysis

  I recently saw Guardians of the Galaxy, twice.  I might go see it again.  But the experience drew me towards, almost a character in and of itself, the soundtrack.  Now keep in mind that I haven't read anything about the soundtrack other than a few comments from director James Gunn so I may be retreading some ground but I wanted to share my thoughts and my interpretation.

  First off the soundtrack lives up to its name.  It plays very powerfully in the movie and stands up to multiple listens in the real world.  It's been the only thing on in the CD player in my car lately.  So not only is it a great set list that plays well in sequence but it does something else that's pretty interesting: it connects you to main character Peter Quill aka Star-Lord.  I listen to these songs and imagine a person with only these songs to listen to.  You have slower more melancholy songs that I imagine a teenage Peter Quill playing over and over again when he missed home or after a yelling at by Yondu.  There are harder songs I can imagine he played to get amped up before a confrontation as a Ravager.  Songs he played when entering atmosphere on a planet and songs he played when trying to romance a lady alien.  More than anything it connects you to that character and by listening to it you can empathize and imagine yourself there, living his life, listening to the same songs he listens too.  It makes it so much more than a collection of music used for a fancy moving picture.  Now that that's out of the way let's get to the analysis.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Brief Commentary on Changing Races in Comics

Originally two posts from my Facebook page.

This is, apparently, offensive to some people.
  If I may rant a bit. Should DC, or really any entertainment entity (such as the movies with the new FF cast) stop changing things for diversity? No. That's my simple response. The reason for this is because most of the characters were created back when the default setting for a character was "white male". Nearly every major character came out of the white guy machine and into the comic universe leaving women and other demographics relegated to stereotype, bit players or comedy sidekicks. So, yes, it is important to modernize comics. As a white guy I'm spoiled for choice when it comes to role models in the comic world. Someone who isn't a white guy and is looking for role models is going to be hard pressed to find one that is popular, well known and well written.

As for changing favorites? Yes, they should. They should because otherwise nobody latches on to the characters and they get pushed to the side. By changing Wally West to make him more diverse they take a character and thrust him into the front stage. He now has to be used, he has to be made to work and now we have a major character, a big player, who represents diversity. Otherwise what we have is a bunch of fanboys whining about how their favorite character isn't getting enough panel time because of some "PC bullshit, affirmative action character" who then gets slowly phased out.

This isn't about being PC, it's about inclusion. It's about included everyone and providing a role model for all kinds of people, it's about providing escapism for all people. That's what comics are about, when things are crappy or when you need someone to look up to you have that world and it's important to be able to see yourself in that world. What kind of statement is being made if you have to tell someone that the only way to escape, or the only way you can look up to someone, is if they first imagine themselves as a completely different race or gender? What if when you were growing up the first thing someone said to you was "Alright, first imagine your aren't anything like you are. Step one is you have to picture yourself as a white male because being a black woman isn't good enough. Now have you completely disassociated yourself from everything you are both physically and culturally? Good, because those things mean that you'll never be as good as this white guy. Now that you are distanced from everything you actually are, here enjoy these stories about all the white people better than you." That's kind of a bullshit position and if you hold that position you maybe need to re-evaluate some things.

Finally it seems fans or, at least, a vocal minority of fans, want zero change. They just want everything to be the same always. If that's the case then read the old stories! They aren't gone, they're still there. They'll always be there. They'll never go away. That's the beauty of a print medium. If you're so invested in the status quo just read the old stories. That's basically what you're doing anyway. Why force a brand or creators to write the same shit over and over to appease your fear of change? Just stick with the old stuff you like, shut up and give other people a shot at finding a beloved character.

  To me here's the circular argument you get into when it comes to changing race or gender of a character using Wally West as an example:

"Wally can't be black."
"Does race affect the character?"
"No, that's why he should stay white."
"If race doesn't affect the character then it doesn't matter if he's black. Why can't he be black?"
"Wally can't be black!"

And it just goes and goes. Race can't both be something unimportant to a character but also be vital to a character. Either race/gender don't matter and you can make anyone anything or it is the only thing that matters and they have to stay what they are, which is mostly white.

As for the "They don't make Luke Cage/Black Panther white!" argument. Many ethnic characters were created as a commentary on race or specifically for people of other races. They had to be or they would have been pooped out of the white guy machine. So you can't do that to them BECAUSE race would severely affect that character.

Friday, May 30, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) Theatrical Release

Days of Future Blast (fan poster by Squiddytron)
Rating:  4 out 5 Mutants Thinking With Portals

Review:  This is a good movie.  It's a shitty sequel but it's a good movie.  Ostensibly this is a sequel to X-Men: First Class but it isn't, not really.  I would really classify this as more a sequel to X2 than a sequel to First Class.  It doesn't carry over any of the plot threads, tone or theme from that movie.  I dare say that it makes First Class at totally superfluous film, it negates the reason for that film to exist other than to act as a glorified appendix for a bunch sight gags and references.  I have heard it referred to as a "soft reboot" and in that sense it really succeeds because it eliminates the chaff and the mistakes made from the cash ins that were Last Stand and XMO: Wolverine.  Essentially everything from X2 onward, with the exception, perhaps, of The Wolverine, has been eliminated from cannon making those movies superfluous as well I suppose.

  Allllllllll that being said I really enjoyed this movie.  There are things that are left out, like Kitty suddenly able to send someone back into the past, but, for the most part, it's a very enjoyable movie with a pretty solid plot.  A lot of what's left out, I don't think, would benefit the movie and would just serve to increase its running time.  What's there is fun, well acted, well paced and generally good.  Acting highlights include Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask who just fucking nails this role.  I can't imagine a better actor for this.  He comes in a just knocks it out of the park in every scene.  He has just a very intense presence that serves the character well.  The second is Evan Peters as Quicksilver.  I admit to being skeptical at first.  I saw Aaron Taylor-Johnson (in the upcoming Age of Ultron) to be the obviously superior Quicksilver.  He has the build, the accent and the chops.  Evan Peters used to just kind of be "that guy in Kick-Ass who isn't Kick-Ass".  I was wrong, his performance in this is fantastic and he steals the show for the short time he's in it.  The super speed scene in particular is quite impressive and amazing to watch.  Other than that just his attitude, his fast talking, his constant questions and his general fun loving demeanor is a joy to experience.  I think those are really the two worth mentioning.  Obviously the main cast does an amazing job, they filled those roles with incredible actors.  Actors whose reputations proceed them, it would be more surprising if they sucked, as it is they put in routine, for them, fantastic performances.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Blog Update: There's Nothing But Setbacks

  Once again, as per usual, I have over extended myself at work.  I have taken more hours and beyond that I've taken on some freelance work more akin to what I went to school for and the career I left behind several months ago.  This is kind of what I do.  If this blog were my primary income source, well then you would really see what I can do.  All the effort I tend to put into my money making would be focused here and there would likely be content every day.  As it is I find myself with less and less effective free time and since the blog is for funsies that has to drop in priority as needed.

  To that end reviews are going to kind of be as I can do them basis.  I will be seeing Days of Future Past but not until Friday (the 30th).  This months Honored One-Hundred is going to be late.  I'm sorry.  At the most it will be a double post next month of the next two chapters.  It kills me to fail at putting a chapter out a month but you have to understand that I don't start even thinking of the chapter until the 1st and I go through 4 drafts by the 25th and with basically a full time job and a part time job that gets hard.  That's a hectic writing schedule and it probably shows but I'm actually pretty happy with HOH so far.  I still want to do 12 chapters in 12 months ending in December.

  So that's it, I hopefully have some time off in June and I plan to play catch up then.  Thanks to all of you who have found and read this blog.  I'm also on Facebook as Fancy Deadpool's Stupid Comic Tramp Shack, I continue to share things I find because that is easy and I can do it as I check my feed normally.  If you like what you read spread the word.  Thanks again.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spider-Man Sunday: Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) Xbox 360

Amazing Spider-Jerk
Rating: 1 out of 5 Terrible Controls, Combat and Crappy Story Elements

Review:  Since I just wrote my frustrations out in my first impressions and not much has changed this will be an incredibly short review.  Here's what I liked:

-Kingpin is in it.
-Kraven is pretty cool.
-I liked that they made Carnage the result of nano-technology instead of an alien being.
-There's a bunch of little references including Man-Thing.  There are also less subtle references to Mr. Negative and such.
-This version of Shocker is awesome.
-There's a bunch of costumes with various additional attributes.
-The stealth mostly functions alright.

  Most of what I said in my first impressions still apply.  I hate the controls, I finally found a better way of getting around but it involved using the "web-rush" mechanic a lot which, in my opinion, takes all the interactivity out of the game.  The hero or menace mechanic is just plain stupid and I ignored it for the most part in a final cannonball suicide run just to finish the game and at about the halfway point I was desperate to finish the game.  The story makes no sense and in no way resembles the movie.  I would much rather take the movies shallow plot over this none-sense.  Another bragging point was being able to play as Peter Parker but those segments are pointless as they don't add anything and just take up time.  There are conversation options but they are, again, pointless because if you chose to simply end the conversation you get all the plot that you need to continue forward.  It would have been nice if they hid some additional objectives in the conversations or some kind of Paragon/Renegade system but as it is the mechanic is just more filler than interesting addition.

  I can't think of a single reason to pick up and play this game.  I was super hype for this game thinking it could be the second coming of Spider-Man 2 for PS2 but it's not that.  It's barely Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six for the NES.  There's no Rhino, no Gwen Stacy, Electro and Green Goblin come and go with NO context.  We don't even see the origins of either, they just show up, you fight them and they disappear.  Which brings to mind the boss fights.  They suck.  It's just a face punch contest until one of you falls.  Skip this game and play something better, it shouldn't be hard, almost anything would be better than this game.

Spider-Man Sunday: Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) Theatrical Release

Amazing Spider-Meh
Rating: 3 out of 5 Villains Running Rampant in New York

Review:  I've been sitting on this review for a while.  Not a long time, on opening weekend I was at a Con and then I got Con Crude and was sick as balls the following week so I finally saw this last Wednesday but I've been waiting to write a review.  The problem is I don't really know what to say about this movie.  It's just kind of meh.  Also, just so you know, there will be some major spoilers in this review because some of my observations include major plot points so if you don't want SPOYLARZ don't read on.  The non-spoiler version is, wait for DVD, you don't really need to go out of your way to see this one.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

X-Men: The Pryde of the X-Men (1989) VHS

Sadly not Dazzler's Disco Power Variety Hour
Rating: 2 out of 5 Brotherhood of Mutant’s Members Taken Out Like Common Street Trash

Plot Synopsis: Magneto escapes imprisonment, never mind how or why he was imprisoned, and goes after the “Mutant Power Core”(?) of Cerebro so that he can hurl an asteroid at the Earth. Despite the fact that he lives in a larger asteroid that he could just aim at Earth and despite Earth being where all the mutants live. The mutant’s he’s fighting for. It seems like a flawed plan is all. Also Kitty Pryde helps out the X-Men.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Xbox 360, 2014) First Impressions

The Amazing Asshole
I just got Spider-Man 2 yesterday after work and total I've spent almost 3 hours, maybe, with it.  I just finished the second major mission and defeated The Shocker.  The Shocker, who by the way, looks totally badass.  But, I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to vent some frustration.

  I will admit that I'm early enough into the game that this opinion may completely change by the time I finish it.  So far it hasn't been a great experience but I'm not quite at the point where I'm going to give up.

  First, the positive.  The Noir Costume looks great.  All the costumes look great and following the Spider-Man game page on Facebook has previewed a lot of great costumes.  I'm a mark for costumes and each costume offers a buff and I'm an even bigger mark for costumes that actually DO something.  Also the stealth system is greatly improved and much more like Shattered Dimensions rather than the first ASM game where it was just not very good, from what I remember you could do stealth attacks from the ceiling but now you can do them from seemingly anywhere as long as the enemy isn't aware of you.  There are lots of collectibles and a challenge mode.  Um... well... let's see... already there are a bunch of smart, little references to the greater Marvel Universe which I appreciate.

  Alright, now I get to vent.  The game doesn't look that great.  Yes it's in pretty high definition but the people look off and move unnaturally.  The controls are not intuitive in the slightest.  I was given the simple mission to stop a car and I failed it the first time because I had no idea what the fuck to do and when I tried stuff I just ended up getting shot off the fucking car.  I eventually got there through trial and error but why is it so difficult?  This is supposed to be the TUTORIAL part of the game.  Tutor me!

  The combat looks weird and is sort of herky jerky.  I don't have any sense of flow and you get one attack button and one dodge so it's pretty much "mash A to win" and if there is any strategy to be used I haven't experienced it yet.  I'm not really having a great time with the combat and I kind of liked the combat in the last game because, while it was much slower, it looked nicer.  Aaron Schoenke (writer of "Patient J", co-founder of Bat in the Sun Productions) did the mocap for the game and I got all the respect in the world for him but I don't think they did him justice in the animation of the combat.  It certainly doesn't look mocap'ed by an awesome athlete.  It looks like someone who didn't know how the human body moved.  The movement is just to fast and, again, doesn't flow.  It's just here's a move, here's another move, here's a flippy do, etc.  I don't think it's visually engaging and I'm bored by the combat.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher (2014) DVD

Avengers Crap-fidential
Rating:  2 out of 5 Anime Bullshits

Plot Synopsis:  Some guy is making super soldiers and, for some reason, the Punisher is involved.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Honored One-Hundred: Chapter 4

Chapter 4

  Ninety-nine people were gathered in front of him, the man now named Grandfather. To his left was his colleague Grandmother, to her left Mother and to his right Father. Their identities wiped clean from their respective countries of origin. Ever since they discovered Virtue, the Symbiote and the Parasite their lives haven’t been the same. Now they stood before ninety-nine candidates to deliver the welcome speech knowing that already one of them died due to exposure to Virtue. She died weeks ago when she volunteered to be first, she was supposed to be the big reveal of this speech, the shining example of what they could do. They had an idea of the effects of Virtue by working with test subjects using small amounts. The memory loss, the random power manifestation and the burning painful death that was all too possible. However now they were about to make it real and they couldn’t show weakness in front of this group.

  Grandfather wore a bright cream colored suit with a pink shirt to try and appear welcoming. It contrasted with his mocha colored skin but provided a striking figure nonetheless. He ran a hand through his curly salt and pepper hair before scratching his matching colored moustache. Grandfather looked out across these ninety-nine people, smiled warmly, a smile that would become famous among the Honored, and cleared his throat before talking.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Agents of SHIELD, Arrow and Random Thoughts

I haven't said much about Marvel Agent's of SHIELD, at least I don't remember saying much.  After kind of a slow start things started to pick up with the episode TRACKS but mostly I want to talk about last weeks episode Turn, Turn, Turn which tied into the Captain America sequel.

First off I've enjoyed MAOS for the most part but good god it felt slow, Hulu, which is where I watch all my TV now, only has the last few episodes so I'm unable to go back and revisit the earlier episodes to see how my memory holds up but I don't remember most of the episodes.  I remember the pilot because that was a really solid episode.  Then there was something in South America, Peter MacNicol had a good cameo as a refugee Asgardian in a pretty solid episode following the Thor sequel.  There was a rogue agent at some point... what I'm getting at is that there have been 13 episodes, up to TRACKS, and I remember maybe 6 of those.  Graviton and Blizzard also come to mind and the big Coulson reveal.  After TRACKS the pace picked up and there were some great stories that built on each other and made you want to come back.  Since TRACKS I've been anticipating MAOS more than any other show (those shows being Arrow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Community and Parks and Rec).  We've gotten the reveal and evolution of Deathlok, more follow up about Coulson, Lorelei and Sif cameo and some expansion of the characters.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Theatrical Release

Rating: 5 out of 5 Secretive Government Assassins

Review:  I'm sure by now you've heard all the hype and the movie lives up to that hype so there isn't much I can say about it.  The movie is excellently paced, the action set pieces are awesome, the plot is rock solid and the acting is stellar.  I've heard people say that it's the best Marvel movie ever.  This is certainly in my top 3 but I really like Avengers and the Thor movies, especially the first one, is endlessly watchable to me because of the balance between comedy, drama and action.  We'll have to see how many times I watch it when it comes out on DVD because my opinion of it may go up.  I just want to touch on two things.

  First off Anthony Mackie as Falcon is just totally badass.  He owns his screen time and has made that version of the Falcon a really desirable character to me.  I now want more Falcon, I want the Falcon action figure, I want a Falcon movie, I want a Falcon poster, I want everything Falcon.  I never really gave much of a shit about Falcon but now I can't wait to see more.

  Secondly I just wanted to touch on something I read from Sebastian Stan.  In one interview he evoked Heath Ledger's name and Ledger's Joker as a major influence.  I just didn't see that in his own performance as Winter Soldier.  As the Winter Soldier Stan doesn't really have a whole lot of lines but holy shit does he pack in a whole of emotion in his smallest action and especially in his eyes.  Right from the start Winter Soldier is established as a threat, he is a credible threat to Captain America.  You wonder how Cap could possibly go up against this guy and win.  He is shown to be capable, fearless and relentlessly violent.  The people that challenge him barely escape intact, nobody gets a clean win over him and it makes you afraid any time someone gets into direct conflict with him.  He is just pure, focused hatred and anger not really the anarchist psycho that Joker was.  What I'm saying is his performance is excellent and the character is really well done (stay until after the credit for probably the best non-action Winter Soldier scene).  As far as a Joker-level tour de personality?  I just don't see it.  I do look forward to seeing more Sebastian Stan though, I really hope he has a long Marvel career ahead of him.

  Well, that's Winter Soldier, go see it, it's awesome.  The plot will definitely affect the Marvel cinematic universe from here on out but what I'm MORE interested in seeing is how it affects next weeks Agents of SHIELD.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Batman: Arkham Origins: Blackgate Deluxe Edition (2014) Xbox 360

Rating: 3 out 5 Origins That Have Nothing To Do With Arkham

Plot Synopsis:  Blackgate has been taken over by villains, again, and it's your job to stop them, again.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Watchmen: The End is Nigh (2009) Xbox 360

Watchmen: The Potential is Wasted
Rating:  2 out of 5 Illegal Costumed Vigilantes

Plot Synopsis:  Nite Owl and Rorschach beat the hell out everyone ever.  Out of both types of people, big and tank like as well as normal proportioned.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Honored One-Hundred: Chapter 3

Chapter 3

  Brace sat in the former mayor’s office in the overstuffed, plush leather chair and looked out the large window overlooking the city as he considered the revitalization of Waukegan. A day had passed since Brace “retired” the former Senator of Illinois and the former mayor of Waukegan. He sat there awaiting the machines from fellow Honored The Futurist. The Futurist was almost solely responsible for the great strides in technology as well as the massive reforms that the technology allowed. Soon the reformation machines would dot the horizon as they ate the wall and knocked down the fence reclaiming the materials for future use. Then the people would be moved around so that blocks could be demolished and rebuilt to allow for the new housing that every citizen was entitled to. As that happened the mag trains would be installed providing free public transportation while the harbors were built to allow trade. With the technology available to him this could be accomplished in a matter of a few months rather than years.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Justice League: War (2014) Blu-Ray

Justice League: Ass
Rating:  1 out of 5 Heroes Who Isn’t a Jerkface Dummyhead

Plot Synopsis:  Darkseid invades the DC universe and it’s up to our rag tag team of assholes to stop him in the war-iest way possible.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spawn (1997) Cinemax movie channel

Spawn?  More like...flan.  Am I right?
Rating:  2 out of 5 Crappy CG Demons

Plot Synopsis:  Al Simmons gets himself killed and then makes a deal with a PS1 demon.  He is then annoyed by a fat John Leguizamo in a clown suit.  There’s a lot of angst and an English accented, magic homeless man.  It ultimately doesn’t matter, none of it ultimately matters.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Top Tenth of the Month: Animal Farm - The Top Ten Animal Superheroes

Animal Farm: The Top Ten Animal Superheroes

  The Concept:  When being human isn't enough you have your super humans but what if super human isn't enough?  Well for those time when being a super human just won't cut it you can count on our furry friends or amphibious friends to come in and save the day.  These are the top ten animal superheroes!

This is just a subjective list, this isn't a brawl scenario like the others.  Mostly because that's just kind of cruel.

10)  Ace the Bathound

--Who They Are:  He's Batman's dog sidekick.  Depending on the source he is either a German Shepherd (pre-Crisis), a Puggle (post-Crisis) or a Great Dane (New 52 and Batman Beyond).  He originally showed up in Golden Age, when things were batshit crazy, and has come and gone throughout Batman continuity since.

--Why They're 10:  He's Batman's dog and that's pretty much all we know.  He had a stint in the Krypto animated series but I didn't really watch that so that would probably provide WAY more characterization and might actually make me care.  As it is I always smile when I see a reference to Ace because I know he exists but I don't particularly care about him.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998) DVD

You should never hassle the hoff.
Rating:  2 out of 5 Humanoid Robots Clearly Used As A Plot Point

Plot Synopsis:  David Hasselhoff is Nick Fury.  That’s pretty much it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Terry Gilliam Wrote an Alternate Ending to Watchmen

A little while ago I saw a story about Terry Gilliam's ending to the Watchmen movie and I posted the story over on Facebook and then just dismissed it.  But I ran across some other articles that I wanted to take a moment and just mention.  I also have the flu so I'm not really capable of great insight.  I know, not really all that different from my normal level of commentary.

I would read THIS first where Zack Snyder acts as cinematic Jesus and takes the burden of telling the story to save it from the bad ppeople.  I actually really like the Watchmen movie.  As I said on Facebook, I don't particularly enjoy the comic and I think it gets up its own ass at points at the expense of the audience.  That's my opinion and not for trying, I attempted to read that book 4 times before succeeding and then read it an additional 3 in an attempt to understand it.  I still don't like it.

But here's what started all this an interview with Joel Silver, HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER!  The interview itself is rather boring so I'm just going to steal the relevant parts.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bulletproof Monk (2003) Netflix

Lies!  He's holding nothing but lies!
Rating: 3 out of 5 Monk’s That Are Actually Bulletproof

Plot Synopsis:  There is a monk, he’s a like a super monk, and this lineage of super monks gets handed down from master to student, who then becomes master.  Okay?  So then there’s this Nazi, right, and he wants the scroll so he can be an immortal racist dick.  But the Monk, who gave up his name to be the super monk, escapes.  Suddenly we’re in New York, story go!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Honored One-Hundred: Chapter 2

5 years after the fall of the democracy

                Two gentlemen sit in the kitchen of a tiny apartment.  The apartment overlooks the disheveled courtyard of the massive housing project the two men live in, the highlight of which is a dead tree inside the dirty stone ring of a dried out fountain.  The grass is patchy and dying made all the worse by the dark clouds and when added to the dark brown brick fa├žade of the high rise apartment it created a monochrome world.  There wasn’t much point in gathering in the pea green and mustard yellow kitchen and looking outside but it was a habit these two men indulged while they waited.
                “Jinx, what are we doing here?” Finally one of them said raising his head off his hand, taking his thick frame glasses off his prominent nose and rubbing his eyes.
                “We’re waiting for the bus Bug.” The other replied his head leaning on his closed fist.
                “I mean with our lives Jinx.”  Bug said exasperated, it was a conversation they’ve had many times since the fence went up.
                “God damn it…” Jinx said with a sigh before running his hands through his red hair.
                “I mean, why didn’t we join up with Brace when we had the chance?” Bug asked leaning back his lean frame in his yellow, shabby kitchen chair.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Darkness II (2012) Xbox 360

Behold greatness!
Rating: 5 out of 5 Perfectly Executed Fight Sequences

Plot Synopsis: Jackie Estacado got control of The Darkness and managed to suppress it. Suddenly a mysterious group of people show up and start a war with Jackie, his mob and his Darkness.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Darkness (2007) Xbox 360

Surrounded by idiots
Rating: 3 out of 5 Darklings That Are Fucking Useless

Plot Synopsis: Jackie Estacado goes on a mission for the mob on his 21st birthday. It also happens to be the day he inherits his family legacy and becomes host to an incredibly powerful shadow creature.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Top Tenth of the Month: You Dropped a Gamma Bomb on Me

Top Ten Gamma Powered Characters

The Concept:  Gamma radiation is the number three source of super people in the Marvel Universe.  It takes perfectly normal people and imbues them with fantastical and varied powers unlike the real world where excessive gamma radiation just kills you.  This is my top ten list of gamma characters.

Side note:  Rulk and She-Rulk are not strictly gamma created characters.  Their origins are suggested to involve some version of the super soldier program which, in the main universe, clearly doesn't involve gamma radiation.  I already make a few exceptions (including blood transfusions) and I prefer the exceptions I made.

10) Leader -

--Who They Are:  Samuel Sterns was basically a janitor when he was exposed to gamma waste.  He then grew a dick shaped head that later turned into balls shaped head.  He has mental powers, telepathy and telekinesis but, to me, he's THE most worthless Hulk villain ever.  I guess some people think the Leader is the opposing force to Hulk's brute strength but he doesn't become more powerful the calmer he gets.  In fact he doesn't become more anything the anything he gets.  The guy's a scrub, plain and simple.

--Why They’re 10:  His head looks like balls.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008) Netflix

The Future of Avenging
Rating:  4 out of 5 Robo Avengers Trounced by Children

Plot Synopsis:  The children of the Avengers are kept safe on an island by Tony Stark after Ultron kills the other Avengers.  Eventually Ultron finds the kids and the kids decide to take the battle to him.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Don't "Get" Linkara...

Seen here espousing his genius.
    I hardly know where to begin.  I suppose at the beginning.  I learned about the Nostalgia Critic through his "rivalry" with the Angry Video Game Nerd.  I learned about the nerd by the time he released his Karate Kid review.  So I've been around a while is what I guess I'm saying and I learned about Linkara basically from jump street.  I was there for the first video and I read his blog entries which are just massive walls of text and nearly impossible to slog through.  I don't like his videos but his written stuff is interminable.  I hung around until about AT4W's Top 15 Worst Superhero's Becoming Villains, at that point my interest evaporated.  To add a little bit of extra insight into this, you see, Linkara and I live in the same town.  Or at least in the same general area, or at least used to live in the same general area because I don't see much of him anymore.  I used to go to the bookstore he worked at because that was the closest bookstore to me, I stopped going when I ran into him there.  I've run into him in Gamestop and the gas station.  Probably a half dozen times total.  There were a few months where it probably looked like I was stalking him but, really, we just happen to travel in the same very small circles.  I didn't always talk to him but the few times we exchanged pleasantries he wasn't a nice guy, he was kind of a dick.  Which, you know, I get, dudes getting gas or buying a video game what does he care about me?  You are out living your life, it's not anybodies fault that I know who you are and you don't know me but I feel I know you enough to try and talk to you and we keep running into each other.  I say that it's nobodies fault but it's kind of Linkara's fault.  I mean you are on the internet, some part of you should be prepared to talk to fans, where ever you may be, and not be a dick about it.  Also I was here first, it's not my fault you were born in my general geographical area.  Anyway that's my history with that fellow (I know his real name but it's not like we're friends so I'll refer to him by his internet name).

I'm now on Facebook.

So, I'm on Facebook now.  No, I don't know why either.  But I share stuff there.  In my real life I have a news feed full of superhero stuff and I share the most interesting stuff I find to my page.  I also post the many pictures I've collected.  I will also put smaller thoughts and stuff on the page as time goes on, stuff that doesn't really fit here.  Check it out!  Or not, I'm not your boss.

Fancy Deadpool's Stupid Comic Tramp Shack

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Monkeybone (2001) Netflix

This movie is bananas! (kill me)
Rating:  3 out of 5 MONKEYS!

Plot Synopsis:  A cartoonist gets into an accident and ends up in a coma.  He ends up losing his body to his monkey alter ego and then adventures into another body to go after his other body.  The plot isn’t really anything special or coherent.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Batman: Arkham City (2011) Xbox 360

Rating:  6 out of 5 Awesome Cakes Made by Magic Elves

Plot Synopsis:  Batman takes it out of the Asylum and into an abandoned chunk of Gotham City that’s being used to house all of Gotham’s criminals.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Honored One-Hundred: Chapter One

       “This is an emergency broadcast, we now take you the President of the United States.”
        The screen with the Presidential Seal gave way to a view inside the Oval Office.  It was dark and the lone light shown down on the Presidents and it took a moment for the audience to recognize him under the bloody and bruised face.  The President sniffed a trickle of blood back into his nose and adjusted his rumpled tie.  His suit was dirty and damaged, several fingers were clearly broken.  He fixed his posture and trained his non-swollen eye on the camera.  A shadow stood behind him and the perspective made it obvious the President was on his knees.
         “My fellow Americans,” he composed himself and spoke “…my fellow American’s… I am… proud… to announce my resignation.” His voice was strained and hoarse as he clearly read from a prompter.
          The words struck a note of panic in everyone watching.
          “As of this moment… I am resigning my post… as The President as well as title of Commander and Chief of the United States of America… and am turning over all rights, powers… and responsibilities to Master Sargent Lane Wells… also known by the codename “Brace” from the Honored One-Hundred.”

            A black gloved hand reached from the shadows and grabbed the top of the President’s head.  As it squeezed blood began to run from each place where a finger grasped.  Finally blood trickled from the eyes and nose of President before a loud cracking was heard and the President fell limp to the side.  The shadow shook the blood off his hand, stepped over the body of the fallen President and grasped the camera lifting it to so he could look directly into it.  The camera showed a short blonde crew cut and the black and yellow stripped eyes of an Honored One.  He was clean shaven and square jawed.

            “I am Brace of the Honored One Hundred and I am now the head of the United States of America.  Tomorrow I will dismantle the three branches of the government.  All members of the central government will submit to interviews to determine usefulness, continued employment and reassignment.  I will then tour the country and revise all government structures.  Make no mistake, you are not living in a democracy anymore, you are now living under a benevolent dictatorship.  There will be changes and there will be progress.  Anyone who obstructs progress will be removed, forcefully, if needed.  I welcome any challenges to my authority.”

            He paused and stared intensely into the camera as if he were making eye contact with every person watching at home.

            “Let this be a warning to the heads of all other nations.  If you prove unable to handle the responsibility of running a nation that privilege will be taken from you and I will take on the burden of running your nation correctly.”

            He dropped the camera and as it hit the ground the feed cut off and the Seal of the President was shown again.  The high pitched beep was all that lingered for several minutes before the regular programming resumed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Honored One-Hundred intro

  I wanted to try my hand at a monthly serial so in four days I will post the first chapter of a novella called The Honored One-Hundred.  Expect a new installment the 25th of every month for the rest of the year with each chapter being 1500-2000 words.  I hope you all enjoy it!  If it all works out this might end up being a yearly project.

Monday, January 20, 2014

If I Made It: R.E.D. 3

The Concept:  I decided to pop in R.E.D. 2 today and watch that.  In watching it I had some thoughts for a sequel.  Since Bruce Willis clearly doesn't want to action anymore, pretty much any interview in the last five years would tell you that so with that in mind it would probably be a good idea to free Bruce Willis from the franchise and conclude the trilogy on some growth.  So our plot catalyst will be the death of Frank Moses and who is our replacement?  Well we've been building her up for the last two movies, Mary-Louise Parker as Sarah Ross.  Here's my three act breakdown of R.E.D. 3:

My Fan Entitlement Analogy

  Fan entitlement comes up a lot it seems.  Pretty much anytime you get a bunch of fans in the room, fans of anything, you have a few people who steer the conversation into a negative direction and the basis of that is typically some form of entitlement.  That you are owed something because of your fandom.  I've already touched on that (here) pretty extensively but I thought I would add this as sort of a defining analogy to bottom line it (with some yelling afterwards).

  When I go to a restaurant, just a restaurant, not one that advertises or pivots on being "the best restaurant" or a "5 Star restaurant" but just an eating establishment, I am entitled to food.  That much is obvious.  I go there with the expressed intention of getting food and the establishment is designed around the concept that I exchange money for food.  So if I paid money and didn't get food, or got something entirely inedible (like a car engine) that's a whole different matter.  But I got food.  Now I'm not entitled to GOOD food, I gave them money to give me food.  The quality of the food is irrelevant because that was the extent of my transaction.  I give money, they give food.  Even if it wasn't what I ordered, I still got food.

  Now, if the food was good I go back.  If the food was bad then I don't and the economy will eventually work itself out and if the restaurant was truly bad it will go away.  But what I don't do is stand up on my chair and yell about how much eating has changed since I was a kid, eating used to be so much better when I started eating and things have really gone downhill in recent years, I can't believe all you sheeple can just blindly eat while I have a bad meal and do you know how much money I've put into the food industry over the years?  I've been eating my whole life, unlike some of these other people who don't deserve to eat, and I've put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the food industry and I demand a better meal, I deserve a better meal, a meal exactly the way I like it because I've been eating a really long time and have spent a lot of money eating.  I can't believe I wouldn't get a five star meal from Denny's, eating sucks now!  AND THIS CABERNET IS TOO DRY AND DOESN'T COMPLIMENT MY MOONS OVER MY HAMMY!

  Obviously things are slightly different if your doing a review of something, then you need to be somewhat critical and open to consuming bad stuff on purpose for the sake of reviewing.  But as a fan we paid our money for entertainment, regardless of what that entertainment was.  We buy a comic therefore we paid for 20-30 pages of sequential art designed to tell a story.  That's the extent of the transaction.  I can't stress this enough, WE.  ARE.  NOT.  OWED.  ANYTHING.  BEYOND.  THAT.  It doesn't have to be a good story, it doesn't have to be one we like, it doesn't have to have our favorite characters in it and it doesn't need to be tailored to our specific tastes.  The thing to consider is that other people might like it and you should let them.  Move on, find something else that makes YOU happy.  The great thing is you can DO that and STILL hold on this other awesome thing that makes you happy.  It's called growth.

  There used to be this guy at my local comic store when I was a kid and I'd go there on Tuesday's during the summer when there was no school.  But this guy, this adult, would show up in a suit, obviously on his lunch break and buy at least $100.00 of comics.  Every Tuesday.  So he was dropping around $400 a month on new comics.  They were reserved under his name so he just had to go up to the counter and they'd pull his stack and he'd stand there for probably 15 minutes and complain about how shitty comics were now days.  Openly and engage customers, he'd engage me to tell me how terrible my tastes in comics were and if I wanted to read REAL comics then I had to collect Silver Age or this or that.  MOTHER FUCKER, you are spending almost half a grand on comics a month, at least, and you HATE it!?!  What the hell!?!  Don't be that guy.  Buy what you like, keep what you like, if you buy something you don't like give it away to someone.  But don't stew in your entitlement, shaking your fist at the sky while you hand over money, angry and bitter the whole time.  You paid your money and you got your entertainment.  The End.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009) X-Box 360

Rating:  4 out of 5 Batarangs Whipped at the Heads of Thugs

Plot Synopsis:  Joker takes over the Asylum and it’s up to Batman to stop him.

Friday, January 17, 2014

If I Made It: Doctor Strange TV series

The Concept:  With a Doctor Strange all but cast (rumors point to Jon Hamm, which actually sounds pretty cool) I thought I would take a stab at a TV series, an hour long drama to be exact.  The idea is to make the show more of a medical procedural with supernatural elements as sort of House meets X-Files.
  So the confines are a 12 episode first season and I'll detail outline up to the mid season hiatus.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

All Superheroes Must Die (Vs) (2013) Blu-Ray

Death Traps: The Movie.
Rating:  3 out of 5 Superheroes Surviving a Game of Death

Plot Synopsis:  A villain somehow captures a bunch of hero’s and says to them “Let’s play a game.” Forcing them into series of challenges under threat of killing a whole town.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Top Tenth of the Month: Street Fighting Man

Top 10 Contenders in a (mostly) human bar brawl

The Concept: When you get a bunch of tough guys together and then fill said tough guys with booze something bad is bound to happen. But these aren’t the super powered toughs they’re just the regular Joes looking to blow off some steam and have a cold one. No one’s packing weapons or gimmicks it’s just a down and dirty brawl with the weapons at hand: bottles, bar stools, table legs and pool cues.

10) Jesse Custer-

--Who They Are: The Preacher himself, trained by the man who killed his daddy Jesse learned the art of street fighting from hardass hick Jody. Nothings fair or off limits to Jesses, eye gouges, bottle bashing, using said broken bottle to stab someone, jamming his fingers up their nose or just straight kicking them in the groin. The only thing that’s off limits is using his Word of God to make someone do whatever he tells them. It’s not about finesse with Jesse, it’s about doing damage and causing pain.

--Why They’re 10: Because it’s not about finesse with Jesse, he’s just a straight up brawler and probably the most human person on this list. Jesse can take punishment but it’s not going to do much against the guy who makes dying a major part of his life.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011) Netflix

More like Thor: Tales of Shit, am I right?
Rating: 1 out of 5 Characters Who Talks With an Appropriate Voice

Plot Synopsis: Young Thor is a terrible person.  He's followed by Loki who is almost entirely one dimensional.  They follow the Warriors Three who are cowardly liars and tell Sif she isn't man enough to matter.  Nothing happens and nobody cares.