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2017: Kong: Skull Island (spoilers)

I thought I was done with this blog. I haven’t posted in 9 months, and I’ve lost focus of the original goal. But every so often something comes out that I HAVE to write about. Last time it was DC: Rebirth. This time, I’m surprised to say, it is Kong: Skull Island.

Image result for kong of skull island silhouette

Yet, here I am. I loved this movie. I thought that it was a fresh enough take on the character to revitalize the franchise, while neither ignoring the origin, nor being bogged down within its structure. Casting was great. Setting was great. Most of all, I just had a lot of fun watching it. Continue reading

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(2016)DC: Rebirth

It’s been a while since I posted here and what better time than with the rebirth of the DC universe. (Spoilers ahead)I want to start by making it clear that I am pretty much out of current comic reading. The only book I am collecting monthly is Dark Knight III, and I am only somewhat following Justice League and Batman. But I will not blame that on the quality of the New 52 or the state of comics in general. Yes, I do prefer to follow certain writers and it is harder to do that when there is little to no crossover with their other works such as was the case when the big writers weren’t leaving for indie projects. No, this is mostly a result of my focus being elsewhere and not having the time I want for reading. I am writing a comic of my own which I put a lot of work into, and I am trying to exposr myself to other works outside of comics more.


But I did feel like I was at the point where comics couldn’t really show me something new. I had become stagnant.

And then Geoff Johns punched me in the brain with yesterday’s DC Universe: Rebirth #1.

For those of you who have not read it, I heavily advise you to. For those of you who have, then you know that it is a highly self aware analysis and testament to what has been going on in the world of comics since Watchmen. Essentially it told us that Watchmen brought a darkness into the world of comics, that the New 52 was a result of that darkness, and that there is a brightness returning to the world.

In the book that brightness manifested itself through our protagonist, the original Wally West. This felt perfect to me. Being that this is one of Johns last issues for the next little while, it felt right that it touch upon many points of his great (both in size and in quality) career. He built on Wally’s story, built on Flashpoint, brought us back the JSA (a book he spent a long time on) brought back the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle (one of my favourite  characters, that he killed back in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, my first ever DC buy), and reunited Aquaman and Mera. All this while still pushing forward from the happenings  of his JLA run and the recent Superman comics.

I know that there is a lot of controversy with the decision to bring the Watchmen into the fold. Personally, I feel he did them justice, and for those that don’t like it, there is no reason they have to let it affect how they feel about the original works. Johns said something about how Watchmen  made an impact on comics 30 years ago, it is time comics made an impact on the Watchmen. Something like that. The way he said it made it sound justified.

I appreciate the book for taking me to the edge of emotional turmoil, thinking that Wally was finished, then snapping me back. The book is one of the most emotional I have ever read (maybe second to the death of the Question).

I am in a place of feeling positive, hopefull, and excited for both the past and the future. I always love these crisis style shake ups and how they introduce me to things I know about but have not explored and this was no exception. The first thing I did when I was done I ran out and bought all of the All New Atom series so I could learn about Ryan Choi. I also brought out my old blue beetle comics and Watchmen.

Actually the first thing I did was read it again.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading.

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1958: The Fly

  This a movie I have always known about, but never had the desire to watch. That is until I discovered that it wasn’t just an 80’s horror flick (which I understand is a classic itself) but also a series of B movies from the 50’s and 60’s. In an episode of the X-Files, Mulder is sleeping with the original playing in the background. I am always up for classic 50’s cinema, and it must have some appeal if the producers felt the need to through a nod out to it. 

I thought there were some really good storytelling devices, and the last half of the film was very enjoyable, but I would have enjoyed it more if it were a half hour shorter. 

For those who haven’t seen it, and don’t care to, the film begins after the majority of the action has taken place. Helene Delambre has just killed her husband Andre and goes to Francois, her brother-in-law (Vincent Price) for help. This type of plot device I don’t really care for. Smallville often would start an episode part way through the action, often when Clark was about to do something completely out of character. I feel like it is a waste of my time, when the main story is told I forget about the flash forward until the moments leading up to it. I would rather they just told me the story. 

It makes sense here somewhat, as we see film through the great Vincent Price’s character, and the main plot is told to him by the wife of the man who would be the fly, but a 3rd of the film is wasted leading up to her telling of what happened. 

The next section, the beginning of her tale, is wasted on character building and the showing of the family dynamic, and leading into the real action. I normally wouldn’t mind this except that we have already wasted half an hour building to the story, just kind of seems redundant.

  But when act 3 begins, I’m all in. Andre, the dead man from the beginning, is a scientist who has invented a teleported (called here a disintegrating/reintregrating machine) but a fly gets inside during a test and their DNAs mix. Andre now has a fly face and appendage, and there is a fly with a white face and arm flying around). The handling of the fly revelation is done excellently. We see only his arm until the final scene when his face is finally revealed. The emphasis on the white faced fly is subtle at the beginning then highly important when you realize why – that the white parts are Andre. Even better is the death of the fly itself, now half human and yelling in a high pitched voice “HEEEEELLLP MEEEE!!!” 

The effects are great for the time. They really help your make the jump from “this is a 50’s drama that happens to have a scientist turn into a fly” to “Oh yep, this is Sci Fi now.”

I also appreciated the subtle humour of the film. I love the Marvel films, but they focus a little to much on humour, at least for me. In this if you miss the jokes it makes no effect on anything, it doesn’t pull you out of the film. And it was all done in subtleties is the acting, rather than scripted punchlines in the dialogue. Maybe this is a thing of the time?

  I do like that this film does not have a happy ending. Just like The Incredible Shrinking Man, in a time of romantacism and the hero always winning, it is nice to see the protagonist lose. Not because I’m sadistic, but because sometimes things go wrong, and media telling us that everything will work out in the end is unrealistic. Especially in dealing with ethically questionable science. 

Overall, I would only give this a 7 out of 10. It’s good, but I would have preferred it as an Outer Limits episode. I will watch it again though. 

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Schrödinger’s Batman v. Superman

  I know I’m guilty of doing this in the past with other movies, but we’ve got calm down with the judgement of a movie that hasn’t come out yet. Like the titular characters of the film, fans (and haters) have taken up arms on whether or not Batman v. Superman will please moviegoers and whether or not it will be able to support an ongoing franchise. In fact people are saying some outrageously strong remarks about this film that they have not seen.

It is really easy, sometimes, to get caught up in mob mentality and brutalize a person we know nothing about, or to road rage and say whatever we feel like from protection of our home, but we need to remind ourselves that we are not privy to what is going on behind the scenes.

The fact is, unless you are part of a select few, or have psychic abilities, you don’t know yet what is going to happen in the film, how solid the acting is, what the director is aiming for, or the emotional reaction other viewers will have of the film. Neither does having read a ton of comics or seeing other films in the genre mean anything. We shouldn’t even judge it on Man of Steel. In fact, having watched other films should tell us to expect the unexpected. It could go in a million directions.

For example, in public opinion

Spider-Man by Sam Raimi, the sequel were arguably better, the 3rd was much worse. All from the same director.

The same goes for X men, but with a different director for part 3

Nolan’s Batman was a roller coaster, Dark knight Rises is when the roller coaster is slowing down, yeah it seems disappointing, but don’t forget you’re at a freaking amusement park.

Iron Man was great, the same director did not meet our expectations with 2 (in popular opinion, not in mine), 

Avengers 2 did not live up to the sequel, but appeared as though it could have without studio interference.

Star Wars was heavily controlled by the studio, and a Star Wars writing group, and was great. 

Abrams gave us exactly what we wanted for Star Wars and we ate it up, while he gave us something completely different and new for Star Trek… And we completely ate it up.

And finally, knowing what The Amazing Spider-Man was like helped us enjoy the Amazing Spider-Man more than we probably should have.

There is no mold.

Zack Snyder is laying down new ground with Batman v. Superman, and we need to wait until we get a chance to walk on it before we judge. We also need to remember that this is a piece of art for him. 

Is he in it for the pay check? Yes. Are you in your job for the pay check? You might say, “No, I do it because it is what I love to do” and that is great, but ultimately, the pay check helps you to live and is a necessity. But if it was only about money, you would not be doing what you are doing, and neither would he. He is making this movie for the fans, for the studio and for himself. So don’t go shitting on it. This is his career. He is not trying to piss people off, this is his story, give him, and the other people who worked on it, the chance to tell it. He has been picked specifically for this project, so have faith.

It is time that people who think a movie is going to be good go see the movie, and those who do not, don’t go. I think that buying a ticket for the sake of giving yourself some ammo for the online bashing of the creators is unhelpful, counterproductive, and frankly, against what most of these characters are all about.

So I challenge you. If you did not enjoy Man of Steel, and don’t think BvS will be any good, take your family out to dinner on March 25th, maybe play a game, and stay away from BvS fan sites . If the movie doesn’t look good but you love superheroes, save your judgement, buy a ticket, then critique it fairly, and if you can’t wait to see it, awesome, but understand that not everyone will agree with you.

Until we see it, it is both the greatest movie in the world and the worst, Schödingers Batman v. Superman, if you will, so we should save action until we know.

This turned into more of a rant than I wanted it too. Thanks for reading anyways.

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1955-58: X Minus One

Countdown for blastoff… X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one… Fire! From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you’ll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Street & Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents… X Minus One.

Both of my recent posts – X-files and I, Robot, have their ties to a show that I love, The Outer Limits. The thought about Science Fiction evolution has encouraged me to take a couple steps further back this weekend, past The Outer Limits, to X Minus One, a staple from the golden age of radio.

X Minus One, like its not as well known predecessor Dimension X, was a Sci Fi anthology program featuring a mix of both original stories as well as adaptations of popular tales (typically from partnering magazine Galaxy Science Fiction) from the popular writers of the day, men who became legends in the genre, like Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and Ray Bradbury. Adaptations and original stories were written by Ernest Kinoy or George Lefferts.

Continue reading

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1993: The X-Files Season One

 According to the Internet, 93% of the world’s population is currently watching the nee X-Files miniseries. Approximately. The other 7%… nobody cares about. I can’t be part of that 7%, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing what I can to jump ship. Something I never thought possible. Getting into The X-Files.
It’s not that I thought it would be bad. Quite the opposite actually. I knew it would be good. It’s about aliens and abductions, and had good enough writing to gain a large following, how can it be bad. But with it’s 9 seasons, spin off show, 3 movies and now miniseries, it is quite the undertaking. And until now, it hasn’t been to culturally relevant. It’s also a very 90’s show. A show I was too young for. That’s what I told myself until a 20 year old told me to watch it. Then I had no excuse. So last week I started season one.

And I’m so glad I did. Continue reading

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1939: I, Robot and Other Amazing Stories

 I, Robot is a name that many people are familiar with. But this I, Robot is not what you think it is. It is not the Will Smith blockbuster film. Nor is it any of the short stories from the collection of the same name by famous robot fiction author Isaac Asimov, who’s work inspired that film. It’s not even the novelized script from the unproduced film written by Asimov and another famous sci-fi author, Harlan Ellison.

While unrelated to the previously mentioned works, this story came first and did influence Asimov’s work. It was Asimov’s publisher who chose to call the collection of work I, Robot, against the writer’s objections.

This is the story of Adam Link, as told by brothers Otto Binder and Earl Andrew Binder under the suedodym Eando Binder (E and O Binder).  Continue reading