Archive for May, 2015

They Just Don’t Get It

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Really lame special effects and “The Department of Paranormal Something,” lends a light touch to the CBS series. But it stinks of camp and, while it may appeal to (they hope) some younger people, the core DC fans–or, maybe just me– are likely to be a little insulted by this, which seems to mock superhero fans in an attempt to appeal to them. But, then again, that’s what The Big Bang Theory does, so what do I know. Disappointed. I figured, surely by now, Hollywood understands the more seriously you take this genre, the more money you make.

Hillary Clinton & Black America

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

I remember the exact moment Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 presidential nomination. It was at approximately 9:25 AM on February 7, 2006, a little less than a year before she announced her presidential run in January of 2007. Clinton sabotaged her campaign before it started by choosing to speak at the funeral of our revered first lady of African America, civil rights advocate Coretta Scott King. There Clinton made the fatal error of following her husband, former President Bill Clinton, on one of the best speeches to the African American community any white person in history had ever given. President Clinton was nothing short of luminous, the highlight of the homegoing celebration. The goodwill flooding the former president was assigned by proxy to Senator Hillary Clinton, who was surely going to run for the White House and who, to that moment, had the black vote in her pocket.

President Clinton had said all that could or should possibly be said about the late civil rights leader. All Hillary needed to do was smile, wave, and sit down. I firmly believe, had she done that, she would be president of the United States as I write these words. Instead, she decided to take the stage herself, following her husband’s over-long but deeply moving speech. And the worst thing happened that could possibly have happened to her: Black America realized, for the first time, that Hillary was not Bill. (more…)

Eeba Waddle Doo Hickle Muddy Dah

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

10 AM Monday, cold, heavy rain, figured it was safe to venture out. As I mention, I Hate Going To The Movies. Theater mostly empty, the way I prefer. A trio of loud teens a few rows back gabbing loudly and digging through noisy candy boxes wrapped in cellophane (why do they allow cellophane wrapping for movie candy?!?). A row ahead: some geek brought his toddler. *Shakes head* Right on queue: every quiet moment, the talking scenes, what have you, the toddler starts talking and has no “indoor voice.” Eeba waddle doo hickle muddy daH? EEBA WADDLE DOO HICKLE MUDDY DAH!!!

Just kill me, now.

Micro review: liked it more than the first AV film, really surprised by how “grown up” it was and by Whedon’s (Marvel Studios’) redefining of the genre specifically to know the difference between humor and camp; having the audience laugh *with* the heroes and not *at* them. That paradigm shift, in and of itself, may extend the super-hero film genre from a passing fad to a permanent industry staple (along with Westerns and Science Fiction, etc.). Much of the film’s plot will sail way over the heads of the average eight-year old, but, like Bugs Bunny cartoons, the kids were never invested in that stuff anyway. *Marvel* comics were never, ever, written for eight-year olds to begin with, and pandering to the lowest (and shortest attention span) common denominator is what has traditionally crippled attempts to build successful SH franchises.

I’m sure 8 million other people have pointed this out by now, but Joss missed a huge opportunity in the hammer-lifting contest by not having the final contestant, Black Widow, simply pick up the coffee table and effortlessly carry it (and Mjolinir) off-stage. As demonstrated by the Vision, *people* can’t lift or move the hemmer, but you can presumably move whatever the hammer is resting upon/embedded within.

Pleased by the Black Panther groundwork in Ultron by the Ulysses Klaue cameo.

Would be nice if, eventually, parents figured this out and stopped bringing toddlers to these things, but that’s not likely to happen until the Adam West Batman generation dies off (including me).

Guest Review: Batman vs. Robin

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Batman vs. Robin: DC Comics – A follow-up to the recent Son of Batman direct to video movie, which I liked enough to take a chance on this one.  And this was…okay.  It had some pacing and storytelling problems, but since I never read the comics it’s adapting, I can’t say if the structural flaws were in the original or a result of the adaptation process.  The main antagonists, the Council of Owls, never really struck me as a good idea.  They felt like someone trying to hard to explain Owlman’s identity as something more than “picked a different nocturnal hunter,” and even implying that they might have been behind the death of Bruce’s parents feels too much like a writer trying to claim they’re better than all Batman writers before them.  But, given that this movie isn’t to blame for the story it’s adapting, it’s a decent way to spend an hour and a half.


Mildly recommended.  Price varies by store and format.  Batman statue included with the high-end bundle  didn’t look remotely worth the extra $15+.

Guest Review: Daredevil Netflix series

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Priest asked me to put a couple of my “other-media” reviews up here as separate threads, so here’s the first:

Daredevil the series: Marvel/Netflix – Normally, I’d just wait for this to hit DVD, because I dislike watching streaming video for more than a few minutes at a time if I can avoid it.  But a friend sent me copies which I burned to DVD and watched on my TV anyway.  (I’ll still be buying the pro copies when they come out.)  Unlike what seems to be almost everyone else, I didn’t binge-watch it, so I’ve only gotten about halfway through the series so far.
What I’ve seen, I like.  The series is clearly set in the MCU, but has plausible reasons for not involving the fantastic (and expensive to film) stuff.  They even downplay the radar sense, primarily indicating it via sound effects and just leaving it as a given that Daredevil can somehow “see” without trying to get inside his POV like the Affleck movie did.  A good choice, really.  Avoiding looking cheap when translating something like that to live action is VERY hard, so they save it for rare occasions.
This season (S2 has already been greenlit) is basically an 11 hour (episodes usually around 50 minutes not counting credits) origin story for Daredevil and several of his supporting cast and villains.  This lets them avoid the kind of bare-bones shorthand seen in 90-120 minute big screen movies, develop some emotional content here and there, and still get in enough action and arc plot to satisfy.  There’s a few places where it feels like they didn’t QUITE have enough content to fill the 11 hours, and maybe the story could have been told just as well in 8-10 episodes, but it’s definitely better than they’re likely to have gotten with a 2 hour movie.

Recommended, currently on Netflix, but will eventually be on DVD.


Since posting that, I’ve watched a couple more episodes, including the very good Kingpin focus ep, which does a very good job of dealing with the “inevitable couple” problem that so many superhero shows founder on (i.e. spending a season or more pretending that Barry and Iris or Ollie and Laurel or Jim and Barbara won’t end up together), while still providing drama and uncertainty.