Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Houses Divided

Please pardon the following rant, I was recently blindfolded and taken against my will to Guatemala.  Nothing against Guatemala, but it can be a little disorienting.  Huge shout out to my legions of readers from Guatemala!!!!

In this entry, let's talk about other people behind their backs.  I'm talking about fanboys who take their craft vey, very seriously.  "Hey Steve, what the heck are you talking about?"


"Marvel is better than DC."
"DC is better than Marvel."
"Star Wars rules!!"
"Nu uh!!  Star Trek is WAY better!"

You get the idea.  This is obviously most prevalent in sports, where rivalries have existed for a long time.  It is also prevalent with Israel and the Palestinians.  Also, it was pretty common among the Grunnbgh and Chootahhhhh tribes who were at war with each other in the Paleolithic era.  Basically, the ability to act stupid has been present for a very long time.

We know that is not going to change any time soon as social media has given us a platform to engage in new levels of idiocy under the blanket of anonymity.  Whether we like it or not, social media has an influence.  Why?  Because there people out there who are willing to let their opinions be formed by others without forming an opinion for themselves.  One example that you have probably never heard of: politics.

So what can creators do about this?  They can stop listening to vocal minorities, for starters.  When I see a Rotten Tomatoes critic score of 28% but an audience score of 69%, chances are, I'll take the audience's word for it.  When I see ANY comments on YouTube, I know I am reading the worst of what humanity has to offer. 

We all have opinions, and that is awesome.  How we convey those messages is another thing entirely.  When I say that I think Salma Hayek is unbelievably attractive, others may think differently.  That is okay.  Who am I kidding?  That's crazy talk.  But you get my drift.  How we communicate with each other is important, and it's an art form that is all but lost.

I am as guilty of this as anyone, particularly in my Spawn/WildC.A.T.S. review.  While I try to bring an absurdist view to my ramblings, there are real people who put real effort behind it.  I don't have to like it.  And I didn't.  Maybe we should stop being so hateful.

Except for the Batman & Robin movie, then it's ok.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dumpster Diving: Batman & Robin

My friends and I at Field of Geeks (click on the link to the side) recently did some movie commentary on the 1997 disaster, Batman & Robin.  As you can imagine, we had an amazing time being able to review a movie that shows us that life just is not fair.  It showed us that Satan had a strong grip on Hollywood.  It also showed us that Alicia Silverstone's mole was there one second, and gone the next. 

If you are like me, and pray that you aren't, you love comic book movies.  As a comic book fan, it stands to reason that I am part of the target audience, right?

Proof that we are not deserving of nice things.
Not with Batman & Robin.  My sources tell me that the target audience for this film was the Ik'Scctey, and evil alien race who is hell-bent on destroying planets for their natural resources.  Below is an excerpt of my interview with said source.

Steve: I understand that the film was actually commissioned by the government, is that correct?

Source: Right you are, Steve.  You have to understand, we, as a nation, were at the height of the Spice Girls' popularity, and we were all just tired after the Lewinsky thing.  Batman & Robin was our way to commit planetary suicide.

Steve: So then why are we still here?  What happened?

Source: The Ik'Scctey warlords thought Alicia Silverstone was cute.

So there it is, ladies and gentlemen.  Straight from my fictional source's mouth.

If you have NOT seen this film, save yourself.  If you have, you'll recall the therapy you have gone through to try and quiet the night terrors.  You might also recall Uma Thurman breathing on people a lot.

George Clooney actually takes the blame for this.  While that is gracious, it is not his fault.  There is so much blame to go around, from Warner Brothers straight down to the caterer.

As a serious film-reviewer (of which I am not, I like some pretty terrible movies), I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the good with the bad.  So without further delay, the best part of the movie?

We did not have to endure the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne for the 400th time.  That is absolutely one thing the movie got right.  We know all about it.  Same with Spider-Man.  We know he was bitten by a radioactive spider.  I was bitten by a radioactive spider once, and all I got out of it was 6 months of chemotherapy.

Rating: One out of five George Clooney head bobs.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Killing Joke

Let's start here...

The Killing Joke is a heavily anticipated animated movie brought to us from our friends at DC Comics.  If you are not familiar with the source material, let me introduce you to Barbara Gordon.  Barbara is the daughter of Gotham City police Commissioner Jim Gordon.

In real years, she is 48 years old, having her debut in 1967.  She was created for both the comics and the Adam West Batman series simultaneously, and has been a fan favorite ever since.  In March of 1988, as depicted in the beautiful Brian Bolland artwork above, Ms. Gordon was shot by the Joker, to be left paralyzed.  In the following panels, the Joker starts to undress her so he can photograph her.

Pretty gruesome stuff, right?

In the years that followed, Barbara Gordon would become an integral part of the DC Universe as Oracle.  Her prowess behind a keyboard assisted more than just the Bat-family over the years.  And yes, in true comics fashion, she eventually regained the use of her legs, becoming Batgirl, once again.

The movie, set to debut later this year, is either going to knock it out of the park, or it is going to inspire Batman v Superman levels of critique.  Obviously I hope it does well.  It is the iconic Joker story.  Ask any comic fan to name one story that comes to mind when they think of the Joker and The Killing Joke will top the list.  A Death in the Family would probably be second (Joker, less than a year later, kills the Jason Todd version of Robin).

How could this movie fail?  Well, the voice acting will not, as Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their roles as Batman and Joker, respectively.  See?  We are off to a great start!  If they deviate from, or dumb down the source material, then a lot of die hard comic fans will be up in arms.  If they do not deviate, the armchair activists are going to get upset all over again over the treatment of Barbara Gordon.

This is a controversial story to animate, and I look forward to it.

Steve's prediction: too early to tell.  I'm not predisposed to hate things (like critics and DC movies).  :)