Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It’s Canon Now, You’re Just Gonna Have To Live With It

While I had my problems with the movie, all in all I liked Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was enjoyable and had lots of surprises to it.

But there are those who do not share my opinion. 

There is an on-line petition to have Disney remove the film from being canon and do a new episode 8. And they have gotten over the desired amount of signatures for it. I’m sure someone at Disney or Lucasfilm will make some kind of statement in reply, but not much more.

One of my co-workers signed the petition. He was one of the fans like myself who had enjoyed the books and comics that for over two decades had built up an amazing and enjoyable continuation of the Star Wars universe. In talking with him I found it interesting that he actually believed that it had been the plan to adapt those stories into movies. I had to explain to him that even if Lucas was the one doing the new movies, that whole storyline would have been ignored and that Lucas had nothing to do with creating the Expanded Universe.

The one conclusion I told him he had to accept was that no matter what, Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi is now canon, no matter what his views on it are. It has been long understood that no matter what, the films are the final say. Aspects of the EU have been undone so many times due to the films. This is nothing new.

So even if The Last Jedi were a total bomb and everyone hated it, it would still be canon.  However, it has received critical praise from reviewers. People are flocking to see it world wide and it is on track to hit the billion dollar mark. And the movement against the film looks to be largely inflated by organized trolling efforts.

There really is no reason at all for Disney or Lucasfilm to remove support. All efforts are going to focus on the next film to finish up the trilogy, followed by more one shot movies and a new trilogy not focusing on the Skywalkers.

So for all those who dislike the Last Jedi for whatever reasons, it is canon and nothing is going to change that. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

It Just Keeps Getting Better

Earlier this year when Fox started airing commercials for The Orville I was rather unimpressed, but curious. The ads did not really draw me in and gave me no real idea about the show. The humor looked like it was going to fall flat and all in all just not work.

I actually was picturing the show to last a few episodes and then fade away.

I watched the first episode and it seemed to back up that belief. You could see what it was trying for, but it was missing its mark. The humor all felt forced with an awkwardness I couldn't explain.

Yet there was something there that made me want to give it a chance.

Episode by episode it has grown better. They seem to have figured out the pacing and how to work the humor into the episodes so it feels natural.

Fairly early on the show made it clear it wanted to deal with some serious issues. In their third episode 'About a Girl' they jumped right into some significant moral and societal issues, that did not seem to fit with how the show had been sold to us. It was truly surprising.

Now from the get go this was clearly Seth MacFarlane's ego project. This is the guy who gave us Family Guy and the Ted movies. For him to try to do serious sci-fi... Even though he was behind bringing us the brilliant reboot of Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson, picturing MacFarlane writing a serious show just didn't seem possible. I was expecting the bizarre, unhinged humor of Family Guy, without morals or good taste getting in the way. With such mature writing, it is hard to believe this is the same guy.

And Seth MacFarlane's Captain Mercer is not an interesting character. It is clearly MacFarlane is playing space captain because he wants to. But I am all for letting him play if he can keep the rest of the crew interesting and give us these stories.

What we are getting with the Orville now is an old school style Sci-Fi, looking at sci-fi tropes in a episodic format. One of the most noticeable differences between Orville and say Star Trek:TNG (which is the show I would say it most closely resembles), is that the characters in Orville are relaxed, not taking themselves overly serious.  While this does make it feel nonmilitary (seriously, I do not think I would want this team out there protecting me) it allows for a much more honest dialogue between characters. When you have the second in command say "this may sound like I'm talking out of my ass" with the reply "then please make sure you enunciate" during a briefing, it works.

The Orville is not the show I was expecting it to be, but it has become enjoyable and the farther along we go the better it seems to become.  MacFarlane seems to be figuring out how to make it work and will hopefully keep following what we have seen in the last few episodes that have worked so well.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Disharmony of the Spheres

My story 'Time of the Bursting' has been published in the anthology 'Disharmony of the Spheres:

It is an anthology of stories that focus on mental illness. This is the most meaningful anthology I have been in.

Half the profits from this book will go to the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Organization, a group that battles teen suicide.

The following is from the product description.

"Mental illness is very common in our society, but it’s also very misunderstood. Many view those with mental illnesses as being weak, but there is a great deal of strength in those that must battle their own minds on a regular basis. Disharmony of the Spheres focuses on characters with mental illnesses that are still able to be successful. They may not completely overcome their illnesses, but they are able to beat them back and succeed."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Oh No!!! There Is Politics In My Entertainment...

Note, this post will talk about politics. This is your only warning.  If you keep on reading, it is all on you.

I know a writer on Facebook, who for various reason I decided to unfriend. His views were just insulting and often he would say 'no comment zone' when making a political post and delete any comments left. Too often these post were as inaccurate as it gets, with no facts to back them up, and obviously you were not allowed to correct him by telling him the facts. So I had enough once he tried to compared homosexuals wanting to not be discriminated against with the KKK, which was for me was crossing an unforgivable line. However when I wish to see what the other side is saying I check out his page. The other day he had a political cartoon going after Marvel Comics for being 'Social Justice Warriors' along with his rant about how Marvel went downhill after getting political.

And I am fine with that, as it is his opinion.

Jump a week or so, and I learned the original The Day The Earth Stood Still was on Netflix and my girlfriend had yet to see it.  So we watched it.

Did you know it has a strong, obvious political statement to it? And that statement is clearly liberal? And that it was made over sixty years ago?

I wonder if my former FB friend knows of this?

Sci-fi in general seems to have a lot of strong liberal messages to them, and has for some time. Roddenberry never hid the liberal ideas in Star Trek. The whole series was highly political.  Roddenberry would be labeled a 'Social Justice Warrior' nowadays and most likely would wear that label proudly.

I could go into a list of books, movies and TV shows that back me up here, but that would be long and boring. There does seem to be an historic truth that the future favors progressive thinking and that truth pops up in our fiction regularly for a reason. Instead I will do some generalizing.

Are there are stories where the unregulated corporations are the good guys and not the villains? Capitalism left unchecked is the go to bad guys for a good deal of stories. Our fiction very clearly says that the free market will NOT fix itself, even in the more conservatively written stories. We as a society would not find a story where a corporation left to its own devices, without some form of oversight, being the good guys and putting doing what is right above making money just because it is the right thing - just too unbelievable. Tony Stark doesn't become heroic until he suffers at the hands of his company's unchecked greed and realizes there needs to be regulation there. And very often Iron Man's enemies are his business rivals who do all they can to be unregulated.

 Any political messages there?

Marriage equality, gay rights and accepting homosexuals is pretty much everywhere nowadays. Is there any mainstream sci-fi right now that is not promoting a pro-LGBT message? Both Marvel and DC comics have been pushing such a message for several decades now.

Maybe my FB friend is bothered by Marvel being critical of a President they disagree with?  That's brand new right? Sorry, but back in the '70s Captain America was fighting a bunch of bad guys and found himself fin the Oval Office and that the President (We never see his face, but it was obvious as to which President) was actually behind this criminal plot. Steve Rodgers gave up being Captain America for a time because he was so disillusioned.

But I guess that was not being political somehow.

Politics has been in our entertainment as far back as human history goes. For someone to suddenly get upset because any form of entertainment has a political message they disagree with seems to be overacting to me. If you are serious about such things, there really is little out there for you to enjoy. If you can't handle political views you disagree with being expressed to you, it would be best to avoid reality in general as well as most forms of entertainment.

Politics are always going to pop up in entertainment no matter what. It comes out in the creative process and it would be insulting to imply any artist should censor themselves for your comfort. People like my former FB friend much live in an odd state of denial if they are just now getting upset over how political their entertainment is.

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Very Pleasant Surprise

I was sitting around, feeling like watching something, but no idea what to watch. I went randomly  scrolling through Netfllix to find something. Saw a film I had never heard of starring Simon Pegg and figured that was a good bet.

The film was titled Absolutely Anything.

Just watching the credits I was already gaining faith in the film.

The full surviving cast of Monty Python as the voices of the aliens, written and directed by Terry Jones and with Robin Williams in what would be his final role as the voice of Dennis the dog. Such a huge batch of talent.

The story is that aliens have discovered Earth and have decided to judge us. This is done by giving one random person the power to bend reality as he pleases and see how he handles it. They do not inform the individual, just get him the powers and see what happens.

So Simon Pegg's character is given the powers and slowly learns he has them. The powers work by doing what they are told do without concern for the intention behind the commands, which is where most of the comedy for the movie comes from. There were good stretches where I just could not stop laughing. He really is about the best comedic actor out there right now.

Kate Beckinsale pays the love interest. Her character is dealing with an obsessive ex-boyfriend played by Rob Riggle, who ends up being the main human antagonist in the film. Beckinsale's character also serves as the human anchor for the all powerful Pegg, giving some morality to what might had otherwise just been a crazy comedy.

With all the talent and names connected to the film, as well as being Robin Williams' last role, it surprises me the film didn't get more attention during its brief, limited, theater run here in the states. I found it highly enjoyable and fun, and a truly pleasant surprise for a movie I had never heard of, but should had.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Perverts and Pictures in the Harry Potter Universe

While making out with my girlfriend in a room filled with family pictures, I made the comment about how in the world of Harry Potter, parents most likely do not keep any family photos in their bedroom. She understood what I was saying. When pictures are in a sense a copy of the person's soul, that can interact with you as well as display the full range of emotion, you're gonna be cautious as to what pictures you have in areas where you get intimate or undressed. Family photos in the bedroom, any bedroom really are just not going to be a regular thing and could actually serve as a sign of questionable perversions. Of course if you're into voyeurism, there would be an interesting kink to pictures of yourself by the bedside.

This whole idea takes us to some interesting places when it comes to decorating one's house. You would actually do an interview process before buying a piece of art, in order to make sure those in the art are of the proper state of mind for the room you intend to display them in.

I could see a bachelor looking for paintings of women who are flirtatious, with no issues about nudity for his bedroom or office. A planned out bachelor pad would most likely have strategically placed pictures. You could have a live band always available.

Adult magazines would be a whole different thing. There wouldn't be the need for as many pictures, just different angles and costumes. You could actually direct the models and create your own story with them. The models could also play the roll of censor, covering themselves up and refusing to put on a show for underage boys. Would make muggle magazines highly desirable in the magical world for teenage boys.

Then we would almost have to break away from the stereotype of the teenage girl covering her walls with posters of her crushes. In the Harry Potter universe this would be highly problematic.  Twenty-something men watching young girls in various states of dress, as they explore their bodies or as they sleep. High creep factor there. And reading your teen magazines in bed or the bath presents the same problem. In fact any magical magazines or newspapers present such a situation, as bringing them into the restroom with you, has all manner of issues.

In a world where your pictures are living, thinking, feeling beings, there should be all manner of moral considerations for that society on how you treat them. The possibilities for perversions would seem limitless in that world. Someone who was into real kinky stuff would most likely find new ways to explore those kinks. And privacy would be noticeably harder to control when you are literally being watched wherever you go.

Just one more twisted area of the Harry Potter universe that was clearly there, but never explored.

Monday, September 25, 2017

So That is Star Trek Discovery...

Watched the pilot episode of Star Trek Discovery last night and was rather unimpressed, despite everyone else seeming to claim it to be great television. I'm not a die hard Trekkie, but I generally enjoy Trek. Yet I did not find anything enjoyable about Discovery.

I'm going to go through my thought process as I watched the show.

First scene we got the Klingons that are not really Klingons. They look nothing at all like Klingons, none of the tech feels like Klingon tech and while I am fairly sure their were speaking Klingon (I don't know the language) they spoke it far softer than every other time we've heard Klingon, even when humans have spoken it, so it didn't sound like Klingon. Everything about these creatures felt like a whole new species. Even the switch from the ST:TOS Klingons to what they became in the movies and into the future series felt more like they could be the same species, as they had a similar feel to them. These new branch of the species has nothing to give that similar feel. It is like saying that cats and lizards are the same species because they walk on four legs. You wouldn't believe such a claim.

Maybe the show will give a working explanation for this (I had already come up with one concerning this being a religious off branch that got caught up in a lot of inbreeding) , but I'm not that interested in watching any more to find out. I also doubt the reasoning will be believable.

If they want to use Klingons, then use Klingons.  If instead they wanted a new species, then go with a new species. It really is that simple.

Next scene we find ourselves watching Rey and friend in a cut scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A boring cut scene where nothing interesting is happening, that turns out to actually be a scene stolen from Star Trek: Into Darkness, with  none of the humor or excitement, including having the starship enter a planet's atmosphere.

So already they have done nothing that has felt original, nothing that has drawn me in. The characters have been boring, the action has been boring and I am ready to turn it off. At this point the show had nothing to offer. Any other show that had such a start without the Star Trek name would most likely lose all its viewers.

And now they are repairing a satellite...

After a drawn out exploration scene we get a five second fight followed by a commercial break and an awkward time jump.

Oh, our main character was raised by Vulcans, with a close relationship to Spock's father. Some character development, which no other character gets at all in the least. Of course Vulcans are as illogical as ever by expecting humans to not have emotions, as if humans would not act like humans for some reason. This has always been one great flaw with any Vulcan. If they were as great as they wish to believe themselves to be, they would understand the usefulness of emotions. It is one aspect of Trek that was over used and old, which needs to be worked on for once, instead of reused.

Then we start getting the awkward camera angles and the lens flare that did not work in the Abram's movies and does not work here. At times it feel as if they took all the parts of the Abram's movies that did not work, and used them, while ignoring the aspects of those movies that made them enjoyable.

Finally we get to the first real conflict in the episode (with five minutes left) as our main character knows better than her captain, who refuses to listen because of Star Fleet regulations. This is followed by our main character assaulting her commanding officer and then attempting mutiny. So by any logic at all, our main character should be court-martialed in the next episode. We all know that won't happen, as this has been done so many time before in Trek and the character never faces real consequences and even gets promoted.

The first episode then ends with the Klingons getting reinforcements. It also ended with me saying 'that's it?' I do not really care about any of the characters, as most served as nothing more than background for out man character who I have no desire to follow.

Now I know there is a part two available online, but I'm not interested in checking it out. I doubt it will fix the problems I have with it.

Over all I saw nothing original in it. The story was just not there. No real drama or conflict to be found. No humor. I don't care about any of the characters, especially the main character, as none of them are interesting. I really believe that if not for the Star Trek link, this show would not be getting so much praise.

I felt like I had seen all of this before and done better.

In the end this is just CBS trying to get it streaming service started by using an established franchise. We'll see how that works out for them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Piss Poor Lock-Ups

Been watching Super-Girl this week (just glad that for once they actually got the whole super-person character right for once) and have been enjoying it, thankful that they are avoiding a great deal of the laws that have always made Super-Man an uninteresting character. However, there was one great flaw in the series that is a common flaw in general fiction.

So many sci-fi/fantasy prisons just do not work and are so poorly conceived, they become insulting.

In Super-Girl, the Kryptonians are so enlightened that have do not have the death penalty. Instead they have a far worse, less humane way to deal with unwanted individuals. They put the criminals in a place called Fort Rozz, which is in the Phantom Zone.  Time does not pass in the Phantom Zone. And we are given the impression that all trips to Fort Rozz are life sentences  with no hope of parole. This basically means the prisoners are held in a place where they are outside of time, not aging, forever. No surprise at all that when the prisoners finally get free, they are pissed off and wanting revenge. Nothing about the Fort Rozz concept works. The dangerous criminals get to stay young, and spend their lives being tortured by captivity on a truly inhumane level. There is nothing enlightening about that concept.

Same goes for the Phantom Zone in the 80s Super-man movie. General Zod and his crew were trapped in a real confined space and shot into the Phantom Zone, which they escape from and were even more dangerous than before, in no small part due to their anger over being treated so inhumanly.

There is no doubt that death would be far more humane than being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.

Yet this idea of being enlightened and not having the Death Penalty pops up a lot and creates stupid form of imprisonment. One we see often is the idea of suspended animation.  The perfect example of this is the movie Demolition Man. Both our hero and villain are frozen as their punishment (will ignore the fact that the hero was frozen over testimony from the villain and nothing more.) Once unfrozen neither of them have experienced time. The villain basically got a long nap for being a mass murderer, and is fully rested when awoken. When the punishment deprives the criminal of any sense of being punished, it really just goes against the whole purpose of a punishment. There is no chance at all of rehabilitation. Being forced to take a nap will not give the bad guy any time to reflect on his/her actions. Any time-based sentence in suspended animation is really just a waste of time, and any life sentence to such is just silly.

Then we have Azkaban. No matter how much you might enjoy the world of Harry Potter, any thinking person has to admit it has a good deal of poorly thought-out concepts, and it is fair to say that Azkaban is at the top of that list. Azkaban is a truly horrible place where people are sent to be tortured in a manner that is beyond inhumane. This is from the Harry Potter Wiki: "Most of the prisoners inside its walls died of despair, having lost the will to live. This is due to the presence of Dementor guards on the island. Dementors drain people of all happiness and leave them with their worst memories, long-term exposure can also lead to insanity." To make this all the more deranged, we know that individuals are sent there for just being suspected of committing crimes. You hope there are other less dramatic prisons in that world for those found guilty of minor crimes, but we never get the sense of that. The logic of sending criminals to a place that will either kill them from sever mental torture or drive them dangerously mad just does not work on any level in any manner of an even mildly humane society. With that kind of thinking running the magical world, it should be highly surprising that they are not producing Voldemorts every day.

I am not sure where the idea of such poorly conceived prison concepts come from. Those concepts are a weakness in so many fictional worlds and could easily be avoided with a little thought. In all the examples I have given here, death would be a truly more humane choice, so the claim of being enlightened falls flat in all these cases.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

At The Edge of Disappointment

A few years ago Marvel comics did a huge Spider-man event called Spiderverse. As a huge fan of Spider-Man I was excited for it and found it very enjoyable, loving all the ideas of alternate versions of Spider-man as well as making use of all the versions we had seen before in unique, creative ways. I wrote a few posts on it at the time.

As a follow up event, Marvel is right now doing Venomverse, which was being promoted to look a lot like Spiderverse. I started regularly reading and collecting Spider-Man right before Venom was introduced, so I have been there since the beginning with him. And while there were aspects I liked of the character, it took them a while to give him real growth, most of the time he was at his best when he was breaking away from the crazed killer mentality, fighting with his duel nature. In recent years they did some drastic changes with the character, curing the alien symbiote of its madness, creating a heroic version of the character called Venom Space Knight, with a real purpose for once.

With no explanation given, Marvel comics took Venom back to his original character on just about all levels, seeming to ignore the past decade of its history.

With the Spiderverse event, it all started with the Edge of Spiderverse, where we got to see various takes of Spider-man, each was unique and different, with Spider-Gwen (Where Gwen Stacy ended up getting bit instead of Peter Parker) taking off as and receiving her own regular comic. The regular Spider-Man comics also had extra stories introducing other new concepts, each one being its own character with a new take on Spider-Man (A young Aunt May as the Steam Punk Spider-man). And then they all came together with their uniqueness and each having their own place in the story. As some o the version were darker takes on the character, that created conflict and opened up the story to possibilities.

With Venomverse they did an Edge of Venomverse. With EoV they took two version of Wolverine, two versions of Deadpool and Ghost Rider and gave them an alien symbiote. So you now have already dark characters each becoming more like the generic Venom, with the basic madness. They all felt to me like almost the same character. All of them were Venom, just now with extra super powers. There really was nothing at all inspiring or interesting it these new versions of the character. Four of those stories ended with a Venom Captain America recruiting the new Venoms to fight a war.

Everything about Venomverse already comes off as lacking in all the areas that matter. I really have  no desire to read a story where they have half a dozen versions of the same character, at its least interesting, teaming up for some reason that I'm not sure I care about due to having no sympathy or interest in the characters. After reading Edge of Venomverse, I really don't care about the characters or their stories. I am a little beyond the sixth grade mentality that these characters seem to be trying to appeal to.

While the initial concept intrigued me and I had so hoped they would follow what worked with Spiderverse, while making it into its own story (Which was possible). It looks like I will be skipping this event and invest my efforts elsewhere.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Supporting Small Artists

For those of you who check out this blog and do not know, I am a writer. And as a semi-pro I can tell you it is not easy and getting any level of notice feels great.

I also know a good amount of other small artists, one of them did a whole video on how to support small artists. Check her video out and check out the Losing Lara channel, as she has a lot of fun geeky stuff there.

If any of my readers want to see what I have been up to lately, check out:

All of them are also available on Amazon, where someone I do not know has left five star reviews for me, which feels real good.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Movie of Countless Easter Eggs

A while back I wrote a review of the book Ready Player One. It will not be long now until we get the movie adaptation.

You can see the trailer for it here:

I enjoyed the trailer, but was disappointed that it did not give any hint of the story. The action was good and we were given a flood of the visual effects. We are given the most basics of the world. The problem is anyone not familiar with the book will not know what the movie is about.

I also found it interesting that most of what we see in the trailer does not appear in the book (unless I am misremembering something). While I loved those scenes, I am wondering how they fit into it all. I have never been a purest when it comes to the source materiel. I've seen great adaptations done that have taken great liberties from the original souces. So that is not bothering me, I just want to see more so I know the story is there.

No matter what, Ready Player One will undoubtedly have more Easter eggs in it than any other movie.  You couldn't do the movie right without that. The book had so many geek/pop culture references to begin with. Any movie of it would have to go beyond that with all they can do in the background now days. The only limit would be making sure they have the rights to do it and with a movie like this, being produced by Spielberg, most of those companies are going to be fine with allowing it.

My predictions are that when all is said and done, we will be talking hundreds, is not thousands of Easter eggs. It most likely will be a movie you have to watch over and over again just to catch half of them. Now they just need to make sure it is watchable enough for that to be doable.

With the trailer alone, we most likely already have people setting up web pages to point out the few dozens Easter eggs it that alone. And each new trailer from here on out will most likely just add to that list.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

I'm Hot For The Doctor

So the big news today is that the 13th Doctor will be Jodie Whittaker (, our first female Doctor. I am binge watching Broadchurch today in order to get familiar with her

I have no problem at all with the idea of a woman playing the Doctor, outside of the idea of finding the Doctor attractive, which does feel a little odd after a life time of male Doctors. I am ready to see what direction they take this change and how this alters the dynamics of the series. There is no doubt this is a big change that will attract attention, both positive and negative.

Everything I have seen so far personally has been people all for this and ready for a female Doctor. Of course that is the crowd I associate with.  I have heard reports that I do not find surprising, just disappointing, that there has been those who have a negative reaction to this news.

Found this pic for anyone looking to read comments about the casting:

Regretfully chances are real good that you could get bingo in no time at all on twitter today.

Hopefully the new series will be here next year and we can see how effective a female Doctor can be.

Monday, July 3, 2017

And My Army Grows

If you didn't know, I am a bit of a Star Wars fan, and I do a little collecting here and there.

I also have an army of R2-D2s

And there are more of them in other displays, as well as packed away because I am unable to find room to display them.

R2 has always been my favorite character and he is so easy to merchandise. I love it when I run across a new piece that corresponds to me having money (It is annoying how those two have to come together).

This last weekend I was at Denver Comic Con, which I always enjoy. As of late for various reason I have not been picking up pieces too often, so I was not going out of my way to look.

But on my last trip through the dealers room, I stopped to look at a booth selling Japanese merchandise of all manner.

And I found this guy:

It is an R2 on a bottle cap. The bottle cap itself does not have any groves on it, so you just place it over the opening. Not sure how they were distributed, as there is not really a practical way to have them on the bottles at the stores. Would be interesting to look up that info. I have a bunch of them that I picked up years ago with mostly episode 1 characters on them, but this version of R2 is far cooler.

Always a good find when you can pay a couple bucks for a piece that is not easy to find here in the states.

Update: Did some quick research and learned that in Japan the bottle cap figures are sold via gashapon, or what we call gum ball machines here in the states.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Is This The Movie We've Been Waiting For?

Today we see the release of what truly may be about the most anticipated super hero movie ever.

Wonder Woman.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not a DC comics fan. I have never been able to get into their comics (With a handful of exceptions) and rarely find their movies worth seeing. Superman vs Batman is one of the worst, most poorly convinced movies I have ever suffered through. Suicide Squad was...not sure how to describe a movie that empty in story, plot and character. Despite all the praise, I found The Dark Knight lacking, with only the portrayal of the Joker being well done. Which may not saying much, as I find the character of the Joker to be weak at its core.(I may have a future post to write on why the Joker is a poor character in general)  I have not had any desire to see a single DCU film in the theaters due to just how poor they have routinely done with their movies.

Yet something about Wonder Woman is making me want to see it in the theaters to learn if it is a good as it looks like it might be.

I also have hopes it will do good because I do think there are a great deal of female super heroes that would be great as the lead character in a movie.

And I am not the only one thinking this. Alamo Draft House decided to celebrate this possibility by hosting women only showings of the film, which has upset a batch of people who are proving such an event is actually needed by their protesting of it. I am a white, heterosexual male who agrees that there are too many movies that focus on white, heterosexual males as the main character.

The reviews for Wonder Woman are the best there have been for a DCU movie, so that is hopeful.

The one thing that kept bugging me with the Wonder Woman trailers is that it looked a lot like Captain America: The First Avenger. Yes, Wonder Woman is set in WWI (Even though that was not how the comics went), but it is still a period piece super hero film, where the main character fights in a world war before somehow ending up in the modern era. Hopefully there will be a storyline that makes Wonder Woman unique enough to stand on its own. Would be nice to see a DCU movie actually have a well thought out plot for once.

Even if Wonder Woman is as good as everyone is saying, is that the beginning of a change for DCU movies? Right now I do not have any faith at all that Justice League will be any good. From everything I have seen it just feels like it won't be able to deliver what it is trying for. While they may have improved the looks of Aquaman, just making him look badass for once does not mean they will get anything else right in the film.

In the end, Wonder Woman is a movie that will be heavily watched by all the film studios to see how it does. It has a huge weight on its shoulders, due to just what it will mean if it does well. Time to wait and see what comes of it.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

40 Years Ago Today

While I may have only been 2 at the time 40 years ago when the first film hit theaters, the impact of the event on my life is unmistakable. I do not remember a time before Star Wars, it has always been there as far as I am concerned.

Out of all my collecting, none has measure up the my Star Wars collection. It has been where my passion has been the most focused. While I kept a handful of pieces from my childhood, I have been actively working on my Star Wars collection since I was 16 and that is where the bulk of my collection has come from.

Both  my boys have grown up surrounded by Star Wars and openly embracing it. My oldest's first words were 'R2' and 'Bacca'. They both were swinging lightsabers as soon as they could hold one.

Me as a Jedi at the first Star Wars Celebration
Next to the X-Wing fighter at the first Star Wars Celebration

I have countless Star Wars related memories from various events and conventions.

Waiting in line to see George Lucas at Star Wars Celebration 3

Meeting Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) for the first time
Tonight I do plan to watch Episode 4 with my family.
Most likely we'll have a few lightsaber fights this afternoon.
I have no doubt we will be able to figure out various was to celebrate.

Interestingly today is also Towel Day, in honor of another unique sci-fi franchise (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy). So got find your Star Wars towels to carry around in celebration of both events.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Trailer Made Me Less Interested In The Movie

Last night we got out and saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Really enjoyable, well worth seeing, great sequel.  Very much did what a sequel should do in advancing the over all story line that had been started in the first film.

This post is not about Guardians of the Galaxy though.

One enjoyable aspect of seeing films in the theater for me is the trailers. Had some good ones and some not so good ones.

I was already looking forwards to Spider-Man homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars episode 8. I'm still unsure about Wonder Woman. Have no desire to see The Mummy, mostly becasue of Tom Cruise(Any more his name is something that keeps me away from a film). Saw my first glimpse at the new Kingsmen movie, and it has promise. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets looks good.

Then we got Transformers:The Last Knight.

The Transformers movie series was not that good to start with after you get over the flash of it all and what you thought was a coolness of seeing the Transformers in a live action movie finally.

These movie got worse and worse as they went on with what can only be described as a clueless journey of repetitive, mindless action with next to no story connected to it and no effort at all put into character.

Needless to say the idea of fifth movie in the franchise held no appeal at all to me. Their one teaser trailer just seemed pointless and had no effect on me.

Then last night I got to see their big full length trailer...  Yeah, I did not think it would be possible to make me have any less desire to see what is clearly going to be a huge piece of crap movie. Understand, I am a huge Transformers fan.

The trailer for the most part was what you would have expected. Very little story given. Lots of action for the sake of action. Nothing in the way of character.

Then they cross a line. In one line of dialogue they show they have no clue at all about the character of Optimus Prime, giving us all we need to know this is going to be a truly worthless film.

Basically the one line suggests that Prime is ready to destroy Earth in order to save Cybertron. This is 100% against everything Prime is about. That storyline has been done in other Transformers universes, but Prime has never once tried to justify it or encourage it. He has always fought against it, always made it clear you do not sacrifice innocents under any circumstances.

Even if they tried to do a brainwashing kind of thing here, it just does not work. It is too out of character. It is also a storyline we've seen before, and Prime has fought it and his true self came through before he did anything that went against his character.

While this is supposed to be Michael Bay's last time as director of the franchise, he has already damaged it so horrible that unless they step back and do a full on reboot with someone who actually gets Transformers, I see no hope for the movies. They have sunk too low at this point to be able to fix by it in the same universe.

How much did they have to pay Anthony Hopkins to be part of this? They must have some big bucks to throw around to get the acting talent they do to for these every worsening films.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Now That Was One Geeky Conversation

My son and I were out doing some Pokemon hunting today.  We got talking about how the Remoraid (A sardine like fish style Pokemon) makes no sense at all to evolve into a Octillery (Basically an octopus like Pokemon). It is the kind of thing that makes it very clear the creators of Pokemon were on drugs while watching Animal Planet when they came up with most of these creatures and their evolutions.

We went through most of the Pokemon and made judgement calls as to how much sense the evolutions made. I think less than half of them really looked right. The creators clearly didn't care at all about logic or study nature when they came up with most of them. They have a basic teddy bear somehow turning into a monster grizzly bear with nothing more than them being bears connecting them, as they physically are clearly not the same species. There is a fat flying rabbit/squirrel then somehow becomes a ferret. Seriously, WTF were they on?

And of course if you get enough gold fish (Known as magikarp in the game) you can turn one into a giant sea serpent...

Then beyond the clear we don't give a damn about rational biology that s obvious, some of the Pokemon are a little disturbing and not necessarily well thought out with their storyline.

Cubones are little rodents who wear their mother's skulls on their heads, as they deal with the death of their mothers.... So I guess all females cubones die when they give birth for the first time to just one offspring. Not a good trait for survival there.

Then we have the truly creepy Drowzee, a creature who sneaks into people's bedrooms and steal their dreams through their nostrils while they sleep... Yeah, no drugs involved in the creation of that one.

I am enjoying Pokemon Go well enough, but it is really hard to take the franchise seriously when so much of it seems to have just been thrown together without any thought put in. Of course we are dealing with a 'cutified' concept of cock fighting where it is considered sad if the creature you are having fight using deadly powers, gets hurt.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Taking on The Round Robin Challenge

Good friend of mine and fellow Blogger, Mr. Smith, has drawn my attention to a Round Robin Blog Challenge that he has participated in.

This week's challenge is called Two Great Tastes That Are Great Together.

This challenge is actually an easy one for me, as the topic I am going to talk about is one I was planning on doing. DC Comic has been doing a He-Man and Thundercats limited series crossover event. I was going to wait until the series finished up to write about it, but it fits this challenge too well.

The series starts off with Mumm-ra and the Spirits of Evil working on a plan to find a way defeat the Thundercats by acquiring a weapon more powerful than the Sword of Omens. They are able to move Third Earth to the orbit of Eternia during a coming of age ceremony for Prince Adam. Of course all chaos break loose.

I'm not going to go much into the details of the storyline, as right away things get interesting and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Just trust me that it does not take long before you ask 'did that really just happen?'. Of course Skeletor and Mumm-ra do team up, but it is not as simple as you might think.

Right away we are given a good connection between the two worlds that made sense. As these two franchises have a lot in common with their mixture of magic and technology, so connecting them was not an issue as they fit together just fine. In fact I have always felt it was fairly obvious that Thundercats was trying to get in on the popularity of Masters of the Universe.

What I found most interesting was what canon was used from both.

They both came out it the 80s with their basic storylines, although Masters of the Universe did take a years or so to stabilize its best known storyline. While thanks to what MotU started, Thundercats was able to come in strong with their storyline from the get go. Both of the franchises faded away and had recent reboots that were actually much better than the original, but regretfully neither took off even though both were worth watching.

So in He-Man and Thundercats, the writers went with the most basic Thundercats canon, staying with the original characters unaltered from what we had been given in the 80s cartoon, not even making use of any of the characters introduced later in the series.

For MotU however, they used the hybrid storyline that Mattel has been using for their on-line collector's club figures. This storyline is a mixture from just about all things MotU starting with ideas from the early pack in mini comics all the way through the last cartoon reboot. The official canon is about as complex as it gets with all these elements mixed in there, even though He-Man and the Thundercats does not do much in exploring this new hybrid canon.

So we have one issue of this crossover event that was a long time in coming remaining. While I do expect somewhat a cliche end to the story, since they have done an impressive job with surprising us so far, I am looking forwards to seeing how they wrap it all up and what final surprises they have waiting for us.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Still as Bad as I Remember it Being

It is always interesting to watch something from your childhood and see how it lives up to your memories. I've had a mixture of such experiences.  Something actually have gotten better and work on a whole different level that I didn't realize as a child.  Many have aged well and are just as enjoyable now as they were decades ago.  Some of it I can see how bad it is, but I can appreciate the corniness of it due to when it was made and the various elements that might have limited the production.

Then you find something that was horrible back then and is still undeniably horrible now.

Today I just rewatched the live action film version of Masters of the Universe for the first time in thirty years. I only watched it once all the way through when I was young and didn't remember it well. It didn't draw me in and from what I could remember it was bad all around.

Well, it is still just as bad. And bad on every level.

Some bad movies can be enjoyable, with a corniness that works. Prime example of this is the classic 1980 Flash Gorden movie. It is a highly enjoyable bad movie that I have never grown tired of. I know many dislike Howard the Duck, but that is a bad movie I enjoy and feel is highly under rated.

Masters of the Universe is just bad. Idiotically bad. I know why that in thirty years I have had no real desire to watch it again and there is a real good chance I will never watch it again. There is just nothing in it even remotely enjoyable.  Horribly written, acted, directed with really bad fight scenes with cheap special effects that just didn't work. It was clear there was just piss poor choice after piss poor choice.

So this is one movie that held no nostalgic value for me and in the rewatching of it has left me knowing why.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Most Perfect Movie Trailer Ever?

The next movie in the X-Man film franchise is to be Huge Jackman's last time playing Wolverine. This is his third solo Wolverine movie. The first was a true flop and the second was good, but felt to be missing something.

A few month ago we got this trailer:, for the third movie simply titled Logan.

I was at a full lose of words when I saw it for the first time and it still has not grown old. It is a powerful trailer than does everything needed to get you interested in the movie. And the music pick is beyond brilliant.

They just released a new trailer:, and it works, but it was never going to be able to match that first one.

The first trailer is worth watching over and over again. It tells a story that you want to know more about. It makes you care about the characters. And the music just fits the character of Wolverine.

Could this be a case where the trailer is more worth watching than the movie?

I hope not. This looks as if it will be the best movie of the X-Man franchise. Just a month and a half before we find out.

Hollywood needs to learn from this trailer.  This is how you do trailers right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

20 Years Later, Gargoyles Is Still A Great Series

Recently I was able to acquire all three sets that make up the complete series of Disney's Gargoyles from the mid 90s. I loved the series when it first aired and caught all the episodes back then.  However this as the first time I was able to watch the full series for start to finish.

It has aged well and is actually better than a lot of the popular cartoons out now.

Gargoyles is the story of a clan of gargoyles, who are stone by day and flesh by night. It ran for three years as part of the Disney Afternoon programing.  Unlike most of the other Disney Afternoon cartoons, Gargoyles featured all new characters and told an on going story.  Most of the other shows with Disney Afternoon were basically half hour long Disney cartoons, based on already known Disney characters, that reset after every episode. From the get go it was clear that Gargoyles had a story line and a history that mattered throughout.

The world of Gargoyles is interesting. It is modern day New York for the most part (Although we do get to see much more of the world at one point) but where Shakespeare meets Arthurian Legends with a huge dash of myths from all over the world mixed in, all connected together. And it works so well.

They also did a remarkable job of building up to some of the big reveals near the end of the series.  Watching it from start to finish for the first time I saw this build up and just how well done it was. The seeds were clearly there early on.

Not sure if I am going to go after the short lived follow up to Gargoyles, Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicle. I don't remember it being as good and it does not tell a complete story in its 13 episodes.

There is no doubt that Gargoyles have stood the test of time and does not feel dated in the least. I recommend them for anyone who enjoys good story telling and well done cartoon shows.

Friday, January 6, 2017

A Fantastic Trip Back to That Magical Universe

Opening weekend for it we got out and saw Fantastic beasts and Where to Find Them. While I enjoy the Harry Potter universe, I am not a huge die hard fan of it. As I wrote in a previous post here Cursed Child was disappointing. I also have issues with a fair amount of not too well thought out aspects of the original seven book storyline. I understand why it is a fun series and why so many people enjoy it, but I too often felt it was overrated and that many fans tried to turn the series into something greater than it was.

The original eight movies were fun, but too much suffered from the same problems of the books with the added lose of story that is too often seen when turning a book into a movie. I did enjoy them though for the level they were.

So as usual I gave that background of my feelings for what has come before to help put my views on the new movie in perspective.

I though Fantastic Beast was the perfect way to reintroduce the franchise. Movie studios need to take a note from this example and learn just how to break away from the mold and be able to play in an established universe without having to use anything we've seen before. There is no Harry Potter or Voldemort in this movie and that is a good thing. Dumbledore and Hogwarts are mentioned, but are not essential for the story in the least. This could easily be a stand along movie that does everything it needs to in just the one film.

The story is about creature hunter Newt Scamander, who studies these amazing creatures and tries to protect ad help them.  Newt comes to America on a personal agenda.  Much of his philosophy goes against the ideas of the magical community, who seem to believe it is better to kill off a believe dangerous species than study them and try to understand them. The movie shows how ignorance and fear cause problems. Newt also is not a charismatic person and is very aware of this, admitting that he makes people uncomfortable.

Beyond that, the character of Newt is also not a powerful wizard or a chosen one of any of that. We have no prophecies or great expectations of him.  No one is pushing him to be great. He uses his actual skills and knowledge time and time again to make a difference. It is the aspects that make him something of an outsider that allows him to do what he does and it is under appreciated by just about everyone he encounters.  In some ways he is a 180 degree turn from the character of Harry Potter and that makes him far more interesting for me.  Harry fit with what children play as being, a chosen one with great potential and everyone knows it, while Newt is more human and down to earth, a guy who is just trying to do his best with what he has. With that one element we see a maturing of the franchise that is going to help to bring people into this world. I can see it appealing to those who gave up on the original movies becasue they were too childish or repetitive.

While the title itself is not accurate, due to being based on a fictional text book that Harry and friends use, the movie does deliver on showing us a rather impressive cast of fantastic beasts. There are many well down scenes that have a truly magical sense to them showing us these creatures.

And while it does not look like we will see the other three main characters in the sequels, they were well done as well.  The no-mag/muggle Jacob Kowalski was a perfect counter to Newt, as a generally likeable guy who gets caught up in something beyond anything he thought possible.  His fascination with the discovery of the magic world is so perfectly shown. In some ways he plays the average Harry Potter fan getting to play around in the magic world for a bit, with child like wonder at it all.

Porpentina Goldstein and her sister Queenie are a perfectly pair. Fun and charming characters and the main source of our knowledge of the Wizarding World of America.

I am looking forwards to see where this film series takes us. My understanding is that each film will take place in a different country so that in the end we will get to see the magical communities around the world. There is a lot of potential here. It may take ten years for us to get the full story, but if they can keep it all at this level is will be an enjoyable journey.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This May Be The Worst Comic I Have Ever Read

If you've been reading my blog, then you know I am a big Marvel comics fan and I have a thing for $1 comics. The other day I hit up the $1 comics and picked out a batch of The New Defenders from the mid-80s

First issue I read was 148. It was just horrible. I have no idea why this comic got written or approved for publication.

I think it is supposed to be a murder mystery, but you really don't care in the least about anything that happens in it. It is so boring and pointless that the murder in it just seems to be there to be there.  And all the 'clues' are just put there to have clues for the sack of having clues.

The Defenders themselves are completely unneeded for any aspect of the story and are just hanging out because it is their book. Of course none of the character seem to need to be there, as many are thrown in suddenly just because the writer needed more characters to have more characters in the story.

I also think it was supposed to be a humorous story as they had Groucho Marx showing up, trying to be funny and almost saying Groucho like things, just lacking any real wit or humor. He is more or less just there to be annoying, not funny or useful in any way.

One thing I always try to do with comics is to look at the era they were written in. This is the mid 80s, during a time where comics were maturing and when writers could really start to create some incredible story lines. It was also during the time Marvel was putting out Secret Wars 2, so this was a low point for Marvel Comics. I would put New Defenders 148 as being worse than any issue of Secret Wars 2.

I am going to go ahead a read the rest of the issues I picked up, but I do not see myself buying any more New Defenders comics.