Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dawn of Justice Vs Civil War

I'm not really a proponent of comparing Marvel and DC.  It implies that there is a competition there and that both movie series should be judged on the same criteria, and by association, this leads to compare the two rather than just enjoy them.  If anything, DC will be benefiting from Marvel in the same way Marvel benefit from DC's Dark Knight trilogy, in the same way the Dark Knight Trilogy benefit from Spiderman (in particular, Spiderman 2) bringing a new perspective in what super hero movies could be.  Neither would be where they are now without the efforts of the other. 

But, people are going to do it anyway.

So, yeah, Dawn of Justice (DoJ) and Civil War both feature two of our favorite heroes squaring off against each other and they both happen in 2016 within about a month and half of each other.  That's basically where the similarities end though.  And, as side note, if we're being honest, doesn't Iron Man fight everyone, all the time?  Iron Man 2, he fights War Machine.  Avengers, he fights Thor and almost picks a fight with Cap.  Avengers 2, he fights Hulk. It basically comes with the territory with Iron Man.  If you're in a movie with him, he will probably pick a fight with you.  I personally love it.  I hope he picks a fight with everyone.  He should start an Iron Man fight club.

I'm going to point out first, this is petty.  I'm going to be petty.  Extremely.  I just feel like, if comparisons are going to be drawn, they should at least be done in a way that makes sense.  A person can prefer DC or Marvel, or prefer Iron Man or Batman, and as a result, the movies themselves can't really be judged based on whatever formulaic rendering the directors have chosen.  Critics seem to thrive in this arena of personal preference, proclaiming DC a failure and Marvel a success.

To be objective, it seems like it makes more sense to use box office earnings.  Critics are applauding the drop off in successive weekend earnings for DoJ, heralding the end of the DC universe before it gets going. So, it's clearly something that people who don't like what DC is doing will use when they think it benefits that argument at that moment.  Box office earnings aren't an opinion of a fanboy or critic, it's just raw earnings.  It seems like that would be a valid way to gauge franchise performance.  The box office draw of the movies as the respective franchises move forward should, hypothetically, reflect the health of the franchise as a whole.

Dawn of Justice isn't a full franchise movie like the Avengers or even Civil War despite it being a 'Captain America' movie.  DoJ is a set up movie, introducing additional characters to launch their larger, extended universe.  Dawn of Justice is the 2nd movie of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), whereas Civil War represents the 13th movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There's a good character pool to reach back on after 13 movies, as well as character development and story telling.

I think it's safe to say that the MCU is considered a success.  Critics seem to think so.  It's hard to argue.  You don't make 13 movies and 7 spin off TV shows if it's not.  So, if all that makes sense and is an acceptable bar in gauging how a comic franchise performs and is considered successful, then comparable box office earnings should reflect a similar level of success or failure for DC.  Savvy?

Man of Steel being the first DC outing for their extended universe, functions the same way Marvel's Iron Man did.  It was the first film, and the announcement that they were "part of a bigger universe" as Nick Fury explained in the first Marvel easter egg.

As the opening volley of their particular franchises, Iron Man and Man of Steel performed relative to each other. If the MCU is considered a success and this was the performance of it's first outing, and Man of Steel performed similarly, then DC at this point should be on the path to similar results. 

Marvel's 2nd movie was The Incredible Hulk, which didn't do so great.  Generally disliked by critics, which I suppose isn't all that different from Dawn of Justice.  I liked Incredible Hulk, and I loved Dawn of Justice, so I guess I don't agree with the critics on either movie.  But, the movie was tarnished before release by some bad media in regards to Marvel and Edward Norton not seeing eye-to-eye.  For arguments sake, it seems like Iron Man 2 had more in common with Dawn of Justice in that it introduced additional characters to the world (War Machine, Black Widow, Nick Fury) that had important roles in the story line.  It also didn't suffer from the bad press before release that hindered The Incredible Hulk.  I'll include all 3 just to provide perspective though. 

  Right now, Dawn of Justice seems to be tracking for a similar performance as Iron Man 2.  If this constitutes a success in the MCU, then it seems pretty fair to say it's a success by the same standards for the DCEU.

Apparently WB agrees, Suicide Squad is coming.  Wonder Woman is in post production, Justice League Part 1 just started production.  WB is moving the ball down the court.  I think it's a good play for them.  DC has an all together different tone from Marvel, which I'm enjoying.  I love what Marvel is doing, I love what DC is doing.  And it looks like DC is on track to enjoy the same level of success as Marvel for right now.  That's lead to some amazing stories from Marvel, and I hope it does the same for DC.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Arrowverse Viewing Guide

Arrow, Flash, Vixen and Legends of Tomorrow are on CW.  Constantine was on NBC.  Supergirl is on CBS.  With Constantine canceled, and Matt Ryan reprising his role on Arrow as Constantine, and Flash jumping to CBS's dimension in Supergirl, I've included them in the viewing guide and based the viewing order on the release schedule. *Supergirl has been brought to CW now, so I don't know if this will confuse things and make them easier to follow.*  Gotham isn't included because it hasn't been sucked into the Arrowverse via Legends of Tomorrow yet, but maybe in time we'll get that one too.  If so, I'll add it in.  It'll create some options; watch in chronological order which would have us starting with Legends of Tomorrow somewhere in the past, or release order based on the air dates of the shows like I have it now.

I'll loop back and update  this periodically.

Arrow - Pilot
Arrow - Honor Thy Father
Arrow - Lone Gunmen
Arrow - An Innocent Man
Arrow - Damaged
Arrow - Legacies
Arrow - Muse of Fire
Arrow - Vendetta
Arrow - Year's End
Arrow - Burned
Arrow - Trust But Verify
Arrow - Vertigo
Arrow - Betrayal
Arrow - The Odyssey
Arrow - Dodger
Arrow - Dead to Rights
Arrow - The Huntress Returns
Arrow - Salvation
Arrow - Unfinished Business
Arrow - Home Invasion
Arrow - The Undertaking
Arrow - Darkness on the Edge of Town
Arrow - Sacrifice
Arrow - City of Heroes
Arrow - Identity
Arrow - Broken Dolls
Arrow - Crucible
Arrow - League of Assassins
Arrow - Keep Your Enemies Closer
Arrow - State v Queen
Arrow - The Scientist
Arrow - Three Ghosts
Arrow - Blast Radius
Arrow - Blind Spot
Arrow - Tremors
Arrow - Heir to the Demon
Arrow - Time of Death
Arrow - The Promise
Arrow - Suicide Squad
Arrow - Birds of Prey
Arrow - Deathstroke
Arrow - The Man Under the Hood
Arrow - Seeing Red
Arrow - City of Blood
Arrow - The Street of Fire
Arrow - Unthinkable
The Flash - Pilot
Arrow - The Calm
The Flash - Fastest Man Alive
Arrow - Sara
The Flash - Things You Can't Outrun
Arrow - Corto Matlese
Constantine - Non Est Asylum
The Flash - Going Rogue
Arrow - The Magician
Constantine - The Darkness Beneath
Arrow - The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak
Constantine - The Devil's Vinyl
The Flash - Plastique
Arrow - Guilty
Constantine - A Feast of Friends
The Flash - The Flash is Born
Arrow - Draw Back Your Bow
Constantine - Danse Vaudou
The Flash - Power Outage
Constantine - The Rage of Caliban
The Flash - Flash vs Arrow
Arrow - The Brave and the Bold
Constantine - Blessed Are the Damned
The Flash - The Man in the Yellow Suit
Arrow - The Climb
Constantine - The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 1
Constantine - The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2
The Flash - Revenge of the Rogues
Arrow - Left Behind
Constantine - Quid Pro Quo
The Flash - The Sound and the Fury
Arrow - Midnight City
Constantine - A Whole World Out There
The Flash - Crazy for You
Arrow - Uprising
Constantine - Angels and Ministers of Grace
The Flash - The Nuclear Man
Arrow - Canaries
Constantine - Waiting for the Man
The Flash - Fallout
Arrow - The Return
Arrow - Nanda Parbat
The Flash - Out of Time
Arrow - The Offer
The Flash - Rogue Time
Arrow - Suicidal Tendencies
The Flash - Tricksters
Arrow - Public Enemy
The Flash - All Star Team Up
Arrow - Broken Arrow
The Flash - Who is Harrison Wells
Arrow - The Fallen
The Flash - The Trap
Arrow Al Sah-him
The Flash - Grodd Lives
Arrow - This is Your Sword
The Flash - Rogue Air
Arrow - My Name is Oliver Queen
The Flash - Fast Enough
Vixen - 1
Vixen - 2
Vixen - 3
Vixen - 4
Vixen - 5
Vixen - 6
The Flash - The Man Who Saved Central City
Arrow - Green Arrow
The Flash - Flash of Two Worlds
Arrow - The Candidate
The Flash - Family of Rogues
Arrow - Restoration
Supergirl - Pilot
The Flash - The Fury of Firestorm
Arrow - Beyond Redemption
Supergirl - Stronger Together
The Flash - The Darkness and the Light
Arrow - Haunted
Supergirl - Fight or Flight
The Flash - Enter Zoom
Arrow - Lost Souls
Supergirl - Livewire
The Flash - Gorilla Warfare
Arrow - Brotherhood
Supergirl - How Does She Do It?
Supergirl - Red Faced
The Flash - Legends of Today
Arrow - Legends of Yesterday
Supergirl - Human for a Day
The Flash - Running to Stand Still
Arrow - Dark Waters
Supergirl - Hostile Takeover
Supergirl - Blood Bonds
Supergirl - Childish Things
The Flash - Potential Energy
Arrow - Blood Debts
Legends of Tomorrow - Pilot, Part 1
Supergirl - Strange Visitor from Another Planet
The Flash - The Reverse-Flash Returns
Arrow - A.W.O.L.
Legends of Tomorrow - Pilot, Part 2
Supergirl - Bizarro
The Flash - Fast Lane
Arrow - Unchained
Legends of Tomorrow - Blood Ties
Legends of Tomorrow - White Knights
Supergirl - For the Girl Who Has Everything
The Flash - Welcome to Earth-2
Arrow - Sins of the Father
The Flash - Escape From Earth-2
Arrow - Code of Silence
Legends of Tomorrow - Fail-Safe
Supergirl - Truth, Justice and the American Way
The Flash - King Shark
Arrow - Taken
Legends of Tomorrow - Star City 2046
Supergirl - Solitude
Legends of Tomorrow - Marooned
Legends of Tomorrow - Night of the Hawk
Supergirl - Falling
Supergirl - Manhunter
The Flash - Trajectory
Arrow - Broken Hearts
Supergirl - World's Finest
The Flash - Flash Back
Arrow - Beacon of Hope
Legends of Tomorrow - Left Behind
Arrow - Eleven-Fifty-Nine
Legends of Tomorrow - Progeny
Supergirl - Myriad
Legends of Tomorrow - The Magnificent Eight
Supergirl - Better Angels
The Flash - Versus Zoom
Legends of Tomorrow - Last Refuge
The Flash - Back to Normal
Legends of Tomorrow - Leviathan
Legends of Tomorrow - River of Time
Legends of Tomorrow - Destiny
Legends of Tomorrow - Legendary
The Flash - Flashpoint
Arrow - Legacy
Supergirl - The Adventures of Supergirl
Legends of Tomorrow - Out of Time
The Flash - Paradox
Arrow - The Recruits
Supergirl - The Last Children of Krypton
The Flash - Magenta
Arrow - A Matter of Trust 
Legends of Tomorrow - The Justice Society of America
Supergirl - Welcome to Earth
The Flash - The New Rogues
Arrow - Penance
Legends of Tomorrow - Shogun
Supergirl - Survivors
The Flash - Monster
Arrow - Human Target
Legends of Tomorrow - Abominations

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Dawn of Justice

It's out. Setting aside the big debate of critics vs fans and how much money it made this weekend, I wanted to focus on what I enjoyed in the movie. Too many people are focusing on what was good or bad, or why someone is wrong about their opinion, but... well, it's all opinion. It's just a movie. Relax.

Will contain spoilers, read at your own risk.

First, I loved pretty much everything about this movie. I'm trying to think about something I didn't like, and all I can come up with is that the Aquaman cameo watching him doing nothing very interesting for about 2 - 3 seconds too long. That's it. I'm a huge Aquaman fan, but I felt like they just held the scene a bit too long. I get it though. Aquaman is conflicted, he was just discovered underwater, no breathing equipment.  They aren't attacking him, but he can't let them go further, but if he does anything, it'll cause more interest in the location, but he has to demonstrate power because of Atlantean culture... does he hide or attack, what would that mean, etc... I get it.  I would probably do the same.  But, for the purposes of the movie... just seemed to linger a bit too long. Everything else, I friggin' loved.

Second, there's the tone. It was not an uplifting movie. It was all about consequences, which I thought was great.  You can't just level a city and half a town, then high-five everyone the next day.  Where Man of Steel was about just how destructive a being like that could be in our world, Dawn of Justice deals with the fallout. The world has found out he exists and is questioning everything. Many are looking to lay blame, others are reaching out for help.  The world, like the audience, is split.

The movie opens with a ground perspective of the climax of Man of Steel, and it's devastating. Where the previous movie was astounding visually, exciting and intense, the amount of destruction Zod and Superman inflict on Metropolis in their fight as a regular person caught in the middle is absolutely terrifying.  It really conveys the helplessness of the average person if something like this were to happen.  Something not really covered in comics or comic book movies.  We might get passing glances of the crowd to show they are afraid, but this lingered.  Every direction they turned, the fight was flying around the city too fast and they just couldn't get away.  They were trapped.

It was dark and lets the viewer know from the beginning, this isn't going to be one of those fun movies with oddly placed one-liners to provide comic relief during intense situations. And this isn't to knock Marvel. I love Marvel and what they're doing. It's easily the biggest thing in cinematic history.  I just don't want DC to do that.  We already have Marvel doing that.  I want DC to carve their own nitch. And they are from what I've seen so far. I love the intense, brooding atmosphere Snyder is creating. It's not original, it harkens back to Chris Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. But, let's face it, that's a mood that works with the DC characters.

If you recall, they tried to do something more fun with Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern. It just didn't hold up. I enjoyed that movie, but the general audience didn't take to it. I mean, there's the whole space cops thing which is a little strange to grasp, the idea of harnessing will power as a weapon which the traditional audience might not get, and the final fight resulting in punching a cloud into the sun.  From a comic perspective, it's all great stuff.  For the basic movie audience, it's a little out there.  For DC, going a darker direction is a good move for the stories they appear to be looking to tell. A Death in the Family. The Dark Knight Returns. The Death of Superman. War. Injustice. The Trench. The Throne of Atlantis. Flashpoint Paradox. Under the Red Hood. Death of a Prince. If we're lucky, Darkest Night. These are inherently darker story lines. 

And it's not as if DC/WB didn't know what they were getting when they brought in Zack Snyder.  He had to pitch his vision to both DC and WB to get the movies to start with.  He has a body of work to refer back to.  You hire a director/producer like him to bring a certain mood.  That's what he's doing. The only people that seem to be surprised by this are critics apparently. 

These stories would not work in a brighter, witty-humored cinematic universe.  It's just not Disney's Marvel Universe.  They aren't going to hold your hand through the movie and reassure you that everything will be ok, cause in DC's world, it may not be.  The hero could die or fail.  There's not a big happy, Hollywood endings that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy because everything turned out ok and the characters won't be affected in the next movie by what happened to them.  There's real consequences and loss, and there should be with DC stories.  They don't get everyone out of the city before a psychotic robot destroys itThat's what DC did best, and that's where they succeed.

Looks like they are shooting additional scenes now to lighten Suicide Squad, which I think is a bad idea unless it's to add more of the dark humor that works so well in the commercials.  But it's a movie about villians. It doesn't need to be more 'fun', whatever that means.  I don't think DC will benefit by caving to a few, really annoying detractors.  They have a plan and a vision mapped out.  They should stick with it.  The box office should tell them what they are doing right or wrong, not some couch potato philosophers at home hurling insults from their mom's basement. 

Additional, it seems like there's been some complaints that DC is moving into a multiverse without much in the way of origin stories to build up like Marvel did. But do they need to? We know Batman's story. We know Superman's story. We know Flash's story. We know Green Lantern's thanks to the recent movie.  We're not as familiar with Wonder Woman's, Cyborg's, Shazam's or Aquaman's back story, but those are in the works right now. Marvel would not have been able to pull off an Avenger's story right away, so it made sense for them to build into one. It was the right call for Marvel. I think DC's decisions are showing that they know their material and how to get it across. I would say the box office is reaffirming their decisions. DC can open by with a story that will Unite the Seven (seven seas or seven heros? Clever)

But step back for a second.  Is DC jumping straight into the Justice League?  I've made the argument that they could, but are they?  Marvel did 5 movies of build up before the Avengers. Why is no one acknowledging that DC will have 4 before Justice League?  Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. So, while I stand by that they don't need to establish their characters to do a team franchise movie because their characters are so iconic, they are still putting in the leg work just like Marvel did and no one is giving them credit for it.  

They just aren't doing it via stand alone flicks.  It's a different formula.  Instead, they've set up the DC world in Man of Steel, introduced the heroes in Dawn of Justice. They will introduce the villians in Suicide Squad. And in Wonder Woman, we'll get some history and context to launch forward with.  After all, she establishes 'I've killed monsters from other worlds before' during the climax of Dawn of Justice.  It's a pretty safe bet her movie will deal with that in World War 1.  In essence, these are the building blocks for a universe.  Seems fairly straight forward and logical to me.   

It's a similar concept to their New 52 launch. They bring the Justice League together, and then migrate to a bunch of isolated character and team-up stories. DC has opted to grow the multiverse together rather than apart; through team-ups rather than a series of stand alone films.  I don't see a problem with that. It reflects the way DC tells it's stories in their comics.  Superman and Wonder Woman.  Green Lantern and Flash.  Batman and Aquaman.  etc... They do whole runs like that.  Most of the big stories involve multiple heroes and a lot of overlap. It shouldn't be surprising to see Batman show up in Suicide Squad, or Wonder Woman to show up in Metropolis. It's a shared universe.  Haven't you wondered, where the hell was War Machine during the Battle of New York (he was on a mission in the Middle East, btw.  Answered in a comic, but never in a movie, one-shot or TV show.)  Where was Iron Man when Cap was crashing helicarriers into the Triskelion?

Third, one of the biggest wins to me from Dawn of Justice, was just the raw brutality. No kiddy fight scenes. Batman was merciless and unrelenting. He did whatever it took to win.  He simply out-willed his opponents at times.  Wonder Woman was almost gleeful in cutting off limbs. Superman was taught a tough lesson about holding back by Batman, which I think will come into play later and shape the way he views humanity. It was ballsy.  Let's put it this way: They killed friggin' Superman.  Who does that 2 movies into a franchise?  That's a brave move.  

But they also brought Doomsday to life, showcasing the technology to resurrect Superman is on board the ship.  Most of which would echo the actual Death of Superman comic run. It also places the DC universe in an interesting dilemma.  The world discovered Superman existed and he brought hope to some, despair to others.  In the comics, others tried to rise and fill his shoes after his death.  In this new DC cinematic universe, the introduction of Meta-Humans starting to come out of the shadows may gain acceptance with the people mourning the loss of Superman.  In a way, his death is helping build this new multiverse.  It's kind of genius when you consider it.

And that leads into what it set up. So many story lines were hinted at. Flash's message hints at Superman going bad, setting the stage for Injustice. Supported by Superman's comment, 'Nothing stays good in this world', showing his frustration with humanity; the constant references to how important Lois Lane is to him, and the lesson on holding back dealt to him by Batman. It also shows Flash's time travel ability, and combined with the casting of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne creates the stage for Flashpoint Paradox. Robin's armor spray painted by Joker implies A Death in the Family, and the rumor is Geoff Johns and Ben Affleck are working on a Under the Red Hood script, which would probably take us back through the events of A Death in the Family and show us why this iteration of Batman believes, 'How many people started off good? How many stayed that way?', echoing Superman's 'nothing stays good' sentiment. There's even rumors the Joker may be Robin, although I doubt it.

Aquaman having the trident; which belongs to the King of Atlantis, opens a few doors. Story lines with The Others. Mamoa has talked about the discussions he's had about what direction they want to go with him; about how conflicted he is between Atlantis and the surface which makes me think Throne of Atlantis. Add to that, the average viewer doesn't really care about Atlantis. Taking the fight to the surface world creates conditions the viewers can relate to because they see people like them in cities they know getting attacked. And then through that, they'd get to know Atlantis and start to care about it as well. 

Director James Wan has talked about monsters in the deep, which creates a great opening for The Trench. However, he's also said he wants his movie to be less serious than Dawn of Justice, which I'm not super thrilled to hear. Leave swashbuckling adventures to Captain Jack Sparrow.  Aquaman is an intense character shaped by unbelievable loss and alienation.  His mother abandoned him.  His father died while he was still trying to figure out who he was.  He was exposed to the world by a doctor seeking fame and alienated.  Banished from his kingdom.  His infant son is murdered.  His wife goes insane and tries to kill him after their son's death.  He loses his hand.  And somehow manages to come back from all that.  I'm a huge Aquaman fan and I can appreciate how the comics take the mockery and ridicule of the character head on.  I don't think you cast Jason Mamoa with the intention to make a 'fun' movie. You cast someone like him to make an intense movie. You cast someone like him when you want a character to be feared and respected by those around him.

Then there was the more obvious Mother Box in Cyborg's cameo; as well as a recently released deleted Luthor scene with Steppenwolf, clearly setting up Darkseid. Further supported by Luthor's slightly unhinged rantings to Batman. Any Darkseid story line is going to be a big one, but using the mother box to make Cyborg is reflective of the new version of his origin, used for the animated feature Justice League: War based on the Justice League: Origin New 52 reboot. Great story line. 

Something else I like on a related note is Zack Snyder has also been fairly plain about Brainiac.  He doesn't understand why; and neither do I, he's never been used in a movie.  Actually, a lot of people have wondered that.  Hopefully we'll gethim in the next Superman movie.  

K, back to Dawn of Justice.  The character castings were questionable at the time, but now that I've seen the movie, I'm completely on board.

Henry Cavill's Superman is revealed to the world.  He's not as unsure of himself as he was, but still trying to understand what and who he is or should be.  All he really knows is that he's trying to do the right thing the best he can.  The problem is, it doesn't always work out in a good way, and innocent people are hurt or killed in the process.  I think, in terms of what he would actually be like, it's a very real interpretation.

I was one of the offenders that ruthlessly mocked the casting of Ben Affleck in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Having seen it, I owe him an apology because he is hands down, no question, the best at both in movie history.  His Bruce Wayne is cynical, he's curmudgeonly, he's world-weary.  His losses have taken their toll.  His Batman is an actual detective, doing the leg work and chasing down leads.  His action scenes are the most like the comics I've seen on screen so far.  He's brutal and unforgiving.  This is a Batman that has survived for 20 years, fighting crime.  He's fluid, not restricted by his costume. He has tech, but he isn't defined by it.

Gal Gadot's Diana Prince/Wonder Woman won me over.  As Diana, she was secretive and charming; playful and flirtatious.  As Wonder Woman, she was wild and blood thirsty, surprising Superman and Batman with her aggressive fighting and ferocity.  The major selling point for me was when she started to smile while fighting.  She's a warrior and combat is her home.  Where I couldn't give a damn about a solo Wonder Woman movie before Dawn of Justice, I'm excited for it now.  I want to know more about her.

Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor was probably the biggest difference. Supposedly. Where the previous played into their comic persona's, Lex Luthor was a millennial businessman for DoJ.  And there's good reason... it's because he's not actually the Lex Luthor we know.  It's the lesser known Lex Luthor Jr., our much more infamous Lex's son.  Eisenburg states it in the movie, 'my father put the 'Lex' in 'Lexcorp'.  Critics pretending to know something about comic books seem to forget the more well-known Lex Luthor's father's name is Lionel. But, details. They don't matter when you've got a movie to insult.

 Lex Jr has connections to crime syndication and is xenophobic, both of which reflect more sentiments in the comics.  He's also manic.  In a psychotic way, he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and uses that to push Bruce Wayne with the returned checks of a former employee; sees an opportunity to rid himself of a business adversary, put an end to Batman's interruptions of whatever plans he must be associated with in order to have dealings with criminals, defame Superman and turn the world against him which would remove a potential omnipotent piece from the board of his future plans (largely driven by his xenophobia), and gain further access to alien technology that he can turn to his purposes as a tech entrepreneur and other less legal endeavors in a single stroke.  Only a genius could piece that together, and it was working until Superman said Martha.

Strangely, I hear that he lacks motivation in the movie, but it seems to me like he has the most motivation of all the characters in the film for his actions.  His total development was lacking, but does he need to be?  Do we have to develop everyone right away?  Eisenberg's, straddling the line of insanity and genius in his presentation of Lex was amazing to watch as he bounced from funning, to charming, to manipulative, to angry, to awkward... I thought it was brilliant. 

 I found that many of the complaints about it being shallow are more revealing of the people who made the comments needing to have everything spelled out for them in simple, obvious plot lines, rather than making the connections themselves.  It follows the old saying that people project onto others what they are themselves.  In that, Snyder and Co being subtle geniuses, expecting the audience to also be and may have given critics too much credit in that regard.  I'm sure it's depressing for them to believe their audience was as perceptive as they were, only to find that critics want the story telling dumbed-down.  Thankfully, most fans disagreed, and I hope that adds fuel to moving forward as planned.  Not to mention, the purpose of leaving questions unanswered was to set the stage for the rest of the multiverse.  We weren't supposed to get all the answers wrapped up in a little bow within the confines of a single movie.  

 I think this movie is fantastic, but I understand it won't be everybody's cup of tea.  It's not supposed to be.  The best way to know is to see it for yourself.

And I made a petition, encouraging DC/WB to ignore petitions.  On one hand, I hope they read it.  On the other, I hope they ignore it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Marvel, Phase 7

Marvel is still kicking so much ass right now.  But a thought occurred to me.  They have this massive overarching story with Thanos building up, but what about after that?  In Guardians of the Galaxy they introduced Knowhere and the concept of massive celestial beings destroying worlds.  They could easily build toward a massive Galactus story line.  

Problem: Marvel doesn't currently own the movie rights to the Fantastic Four and several of the associated villians like Galactus.  

A lot of fans are trying to pressure Fox into selling the rights back to Marvel or getting into some sort of Sony/Spider-Man contract with them.  But, if I were Marvel, I would just wait it out.  They've had several of their characters revert back to their ownership without paying a dime.  Punisher, Daredevil, Ghost Rider... Fox is failing miserably with Fantastic Four.  Marvel has already discontinued the Fantastic Four comics due to lack of sales.  There's not real incentive at this point to pay anything for the franchise.  Marvel can essentially just wait Fox out.  

Fox, on the other hand, faces paying $200 million for another bad movie in a 3rd attempt to create a successful franchise.  They can try to sell the franchise back to Marvel in attempt to recoup some of their lost money.  Or, they can do nothing, and the franchise license expires. 

There's no rush for Marvel.  They've demonstrated with Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy that they can take less popular comic characters and build a successful movie with them.  Actually, two of my favorite movies so far.  There isn't much of a question that they could do the same with F4. And fans have had enough exposure now to characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, War Machine and Falcon that it's not unreasonable to see them get their own movie. On top of that, with Doctor Strange, Black Panther and now Spider-Man back in the mix, and it's looking like Downey Jr is going to do an Iron Man 4, likely focused on the real Mandarin... there's no real shortage of the 'top shelf' Marvel brand characters coming to an end anytime soon. Marvel has time to plan. 

If and when the F4 franchise and all the villians come back to their ownership, they can do a proper reboot.  While, in the mean time, be building with small nods and easter eggs toward a Galactus story.  There's no time table, and the more head nods they have at it, the more epic the story becomes over time.  Fans will be able to reach back to Guardians of the Galaxy.  It'd be pretty much a shoe in for a big Avengers flick.  You have a F4 movie, Silver Surfer arrives as the herald of Galactus, F4 finds a way to turn him and then the Avengers get a movie where they are brought in to deal with the coming threat of Galactus. Done deal. 

Just a really great idea of the top of my head. 

Friday, November 13, 2015


I've been playing Destiny now for about a month or two. I still don't know what it's about. The story feels as though it's been gutted somehow. There's so much missing.
A giant space ball called the traveler shows up and send man kind into a golden age, like the monolith in Kubrick's 2001.  Man moves out into space in or own solar system and colonizes.
Then bad guys show up. Not one group. Several. The Fallen, which are war like aliens. The Hive, which are like space demons. The Vex, which are evil robots that turned Mercury into a robot? And the Cabal, who's basically like the mafia. Think the Huts with Mars instead of Tattoine. 
As a player, you can be human, an exo; which is some sort of machine being, or an awoken; which I have no idea what they are. But you run into some in the asteroid belt. 
Are the exos made by man? The traveler? The Vex? You have no idea. And it doesn't appear to matter on the game. The awoken, where did they come from? And it doesn't seem to matter when you talk to the queen if you're like her or not. 
Going through it... I still don't quite know what the hell is happening. All I know is that the game looks beautiful and play is so smooth. It's a fun game. I just wish Bungie didn't dumb down the storyline and add a result make it incomprehensible. 
I hope they add to the storyline in the form of DLC. It seems like there was a lot more there, but for this reason out that, it was cut out. Unfortunate.
That being said, the chances that I will be playing the game much longer is unlikely outside of group play for special events. That's where the DOC should be focused. Not the story.
Additionally, an opportunity seems like it was missed with characters of different races. They should have had parallel story lines, but different dialogue that represented the different character races. The queen could have questioned the Exo race about ' killing it's own kind' in hunting the Vex.  Could have accused the Awoken character of abandoning their people to help the humans. Etc...
Just seems like opportunities missed.
I've also heard a lot more story was included, but prior to release, whoever manages the pocket book got the idea to release story content over time and make more money.
As a capitalist, I'm all about making money. But, one thing you need to do that with gamers is a dedicated fan base. Lol at Bungie's other venture with Halo. They made tons of money from that game BECAUSE of the story. They made tons of money on DLC because of the story.
Destiny had the potential to be a story of unbelievable proportions, but by trimming the story (if that is true), you lost a good portion of the audience thay would've paid for DLC.  I know I personally won't.
I'll just wait until it's free a couple years from now. If it doesn't become a free download, I'll just watch a long play on YouTube.  Course, I'm so uninterested in whatever the story might be, I won't lose sleep if I don't find out what happens or what anything means in the game.

Gamer's + Tiny Houses

Back when I was in IT, A/V tech, graphic arts and other computer based careers, I played a lot more video games than I get to now.  It's a choice I've made, to catch up on music recording and run a YouTube channel.  I don't have the time to do those AND work a full time job AND still have time to game.  Not right now.  I plan to come back around to it in another year or so.

A side rant about that.  In having to choose which games to play in the little time that I have, I've found that 'Full Movies' and 'Long Plays' are a great way to enjoy the story lines of the games I opt not to play.  I started doing something similar a while back, but in an episodic format, so when I wanted to get the story line to a game like Halo prior to the release of the next installment in the franchise, I could revisit the storyline in a condensed format.  Now that Full Movies and Long Plays are something many people are doing, it's giving me the choice to skip certain games and just watch the those later.  Loved the Deadpool, Injustice and Alone in the Dark this way.  

Back on topic.  I would go to work, and then go home and game. My whole life was spent behind a screen. And to be clear, I'm not knocking it at all. I love to game. I love that capitalism has freed us as humans to a point where we don't have to spend every hour of our waking lives to try to scratch out a living.  I love that we can work 40 hours a week doing something productive to society, and frankly that isn't that difficult because we can do it just sitting at a desk drinking coffee, and enjoy the remainder of our time.  

Certain things became apparent to me while doing so. First, it doesn't matter where I live because I'm always in some sort of climate control. Second, I was wasting a lot of money renting an apartment or owning a house. Money I could potentially be spending on gaming.  Gaming systems.  Higher definition TV.  Etc... Just generally improving and expanding my overall gaming experiences.

It's often made me wonder why gamers don't look more into RV or Tiny House culture. If gamers are like me, and the ones I know generally are, I had too much space. I basically spent the majority of my time at home in my gaming room, which was 9x9, or sleeping. Which also doesn't require much space. But I was paying to heat and cool a whole 1200 sq ft house. Dealing with neighbors. Dealing with room mates. Cleaning. Maintenance. Property taxes. Yard work... omfg... I hate yard work. Bane of my fucking existence. But why? Why was doing all that? 

It was cutting into my gaming time. 

Now I live in an RV.  And my first year in the RV I got A LOT of game time in.  The lifestyle is cheap.  An RV or tiny house is essentially a glorified gaming room.  It's just the fridge of mountain dew is a little closer to the game chair.  Win.

The generally accepted gamer haven is an apartment.  Apartments maximize time by leaving the maintenance of the living space to a land lord.  But they are expensive.  And static.  Moving sucks.  If you get a great job in IT security in Dallas and you're currently in San Diego... fuck.  That's expensive.  And for a lot of people, prohibitively so.  I personally lost out on 4 different job opportunities in cushy IT positions because I couldn't afford the move.

Now, I understand there is a stigma with RVs.  They are just too similar to trailers to outsiders.  So, for perspective, here's some tiny houses.  Tell me that wouldn't be good enough for a gamer's bunker of mega-painful doom.

Gamers and nerds are total life hackers.  What could nerds accomplish if they set their sites on these tiny houses?  How could they tweak these things?  Doctor Who Tardis?  Enterprise themed?  Tron themed?  Just saying.  Even with no geek tweaks, as a gamer, you could be living debt-free, chasing job opportunities and spending more money on games.  How in the hell is that not a total win?


I've been packing these out for a bit at work but never once bothered to pay attention to it.  Last night, I actually looked at the box and realized this wasn't some rehash of an old game system with a revamped look, but an actual gaming system I had somehow completely missed. 

I got home and looked it up and found that it's not just a gaming system, it's a Linux-based, open-source gaming system.  For $99.  Open-source meaning, you can do anything you want to any part of the device or operating system.  It also comes loaded with a dev kit, which means you can plug the system into your computer and design your own games, load them to the market place and sell them.  Well, you have to have a certain amount free to play because the deal with open source is everything is free.

Even more amazing is the size.  

Are you kidding?  That's it.  I've been trying to merge gaming culture with RV living and this thing may have just given me that wonderful missing piece.  And, now, for more info, is a banging hot, brilliant, gaming, nerd chick that I wouldn't be opposed to sleeping with if given the choice:

Like android based phones (Android being Linux based, and this system being Android based) there are normally two versions of an app... the free one that is limited in some way, and the full version for a $1 or something like that.

I'd always thought designing a game would be a fun thing to try because it combined all of my hobbies into one: writing/recording music, computer graphics, story writing/telling, video editing and... obviously... gaming.  The reason I never have is because I know myself.   I'm the type of person that; if I love something and have to do it as a job, I begin to hate it.  I didn't want to ruin video games for myself by designing them.  I had already ruined music, video editing and computer graphics for myself at one time or another as a result of doing them as a job and it took me a long time to get back into them.

But, it seems silly not to now.  It's all right there, it's all free.  Blender, Gimp, Ardour, Celtx, Unity, Ouya, Kdenlive... Every possible tool I would need for any type of game is now at my finger tips for free thanks to Linux, and having had the time to learn them thanks to Scott AFB giving me an extended unpaid permanent vacation to explore myself, I've learned them all pretty well.

For more information on the systems themselves, here is a series of really well done videos by a bloke from Aussie-land.

Air Droid?  Fuck yes.

And, for reference, I would not sleep with this man.

Alone in the Dark!  What a great old game!

In the 3rd video, you may have noticed he talks about all the emulators you can load.  I literally just did a video about loading an N64 emulator to your Ubuntu based system and finding out I can use it on a console with all kinds of other games makes me kiddy.  Like this video of a hot nerd girl washing the batmobile:

Part of me thinks I should end every blog with this video.

Oh, and here's my video about loading Mupen64Plus on your Linux based computer: