I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Some nerd shit for you here

starwarshereticWarning: I’m about to dive deep into the Nerd Shit. It could be upsetting to nerdiness sensitive readers. This is to be read by serious Star Wars people only. Unfortunately they aren’t gonna like what I have to say either. Sorry everyone.

Sometimes you get together with some friends, one thing leads to another, you end up watching THE PHANTOM MENACE on blu-ray again… you know how it is. All the sudden you get a late night notion about the Star Warses that you decide needs to be said because you know for god damn sure nobody else is gonna say it. And that’s what I’ve decided to do here.

I’m afraid this is not me playing devil’s advocate. This is my sincere opinion. And I swear it, friends, I’m not trying to be a contrarian, I’m not trying to get attention. I’m just being honest. To prove it I didn’t give this post the “wh-wh-WHUT!?” spit take click bait headline it could have: Why Hayden Christensen Should Be In Episode VII, But They Don’t Have the Balls To Do It. Don’t go spreading it around, but that is my thesis.

Hear me out, fellas. I’m gonna lay out my argument below, and you can do as thou wilt.

Let me run through certain star-events in each episode that relate to my point here:

EPISODE I:

Mr. Qui Gonn Jinn is the master to Obi Wan Kenobi, and later to li’l Anakin Skywalker. But he gets killed, his body is burned and Obi Wan takes over as Anakin’s master.

EPISODE II:

Anakin’s training is a mixed bag, and when he gets into some trouble (murdering Sand People) we hear Qui Gonn’s voice from beyond the grave. He’s yelling “Anakin, noooo!!!” but he’s helpless to stop or help Anakin, or even be heard by him. He’s dead, after all.

EPISODE III:

Anakin turns evil and abandons the Jedi, sending Obi Wan and Yoda off into hiding. But Yoda tells Obi Wan that Qui Gonn has found a way to talk to them from beyond the grave.

EPISODE IV (STAR WARS):

Obi Wan becomes the master to the next generation, represented by Luke Skywalker, to fight what remains of Anakin, now known as Darth Vader. Obi Wan is killed and his body weirdly disappears. During the climax Luke can hear Obi Wan’s voice encouraging him. Somehow he’s taken Qui Gonn’s technique and used it to inspire Luke to do what he needed to do to save the day.

EPISODE V:

A blue ghost of Obi Wan appears to Luke and advises him. Using the Force this deceased Jedi master can can actually communicate with the living. This is Qui Gonn’s legacy: the sneaky bastard invented the blue ghost!

EPISODE VI:

The blue ghost of Obi Wan appears to Luke again. This is how Jedis operate now. Yoda dies and his body disappears like Obi Wan’s did. Luke manages to get Darth Vader to remember who he once was and redeem himself by killing the Emperor before he dies. Vader’s cyborg body is burned on a pyre like Qui Gonn’s was. Then, in the final moments of the movie, we see the blue ghosts of Obi Wan, Yoda and Anakin watching the victory celebration and smiling.

Like many things involving the Star Warses, this moment is hugely controversial. Originally, when that movie was just RETURN OF THE JEDI, the conclusion of the Star Wars trilogy, the ghost was actor Sebastian Shaw, portraying an Anakin who never existed: a 78 year old non-burnt-up, non-cyborg man in a Jedi robe. But we figured out who it was supposed to be. We let it make sense in our heads. Maybe we figured Anakin was already an old man when he became Darth Vader. We didn’t know.

But by the time the movies came out on blu-ray it was a world where Star Wars was a six episode story, and Anakin was not an old man when he became Vader in part 3, he was young Hayden Christensen. So to make RETURN OF THE JEDI fit as part 6 of the series George Lucas altered that scene so that Christensen was the blue ghost. This drives people crazy because 1. Don’t change a great movie 2. They want to pretend the prequels don’t exist and don’t want to see the guy from them in the new movie 3. Why does Anakin’s ghost get to be young but Obi Wan’s doesn’t.

The first two complaints are legitimate. The original theatrical version of the movie should always be available. But it’s not, and what exists is this altered version that has become part six of a series, and in that context blue Hayden Christensen makes sense. Yeah, I know, Obi Wan looks the age he was when he died, so you think Anakin should look older too and should be a burnt up guy with no arms or legs just floating there. But the fact that he’s not tells us something important: that Anakin has been absolved of his sins. The Jedi Anakin died when he became Darth Vader. When he is redeemed and dies he returns to the form of young, promising Anakin. The real Anakin.

If STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ends up being labelled EPISODE VII as expected then it should continue this story, shouldn’t it? And the natural progression of this story requires that at some point the blue ghost of Anakin appear to Luke to advise him. Otherwise, why did Qui Gonn give the Jedi this gift of communication between the living and the dead? Why did Anakin redeem himself and become one with the Force or whatever? After all that they have gone through to get to this point, would Luke really just consider his father dead, forget about him, not communicate with him?

Well, it doesn’t matter what he would do. George Lucas’s Star Wars was about telling a story that he hoped fans would like, I think Disney’s Star Wars will lean more toward giving the fans what they think they want. Hopefully there will be some surprises and some risks taken, but I think they will cater toward the older generation who tend to not like the prequels. They’ll go out of their way to avoid referring to the prequels, even when it’s natural.

J.J. Abrams might put a Yoda ghost in there. He might even make up Ewan McGregor to look like Alec Guinness. But I don’t think he has the balls to put Anakin in there, even though the six previous movies are about him. Even though the story demands it.

Prove me wrong, Mr. Abrams. Or have Pac-Man be the bad guy and say that he ate all the blue ghosts in between trilogies. Nothing else makes sense.

. . .

MY APOLOGIES EVERYONE, SOMETHING BETTER TO READ COMING SOON. thanks, Vern

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
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492 Responses to “Some nerd shit for you here”

  1. Cheque’s in the mail, buddy, as discussed.

  2. Disney will have to tell the story of how Boba Fett escaped the Sarlac Pit. Or every first born child will be slayed. This is very important.

    From Star Wars wiki:

    “Though no one in recorded history had ever escaped from the Sarlacc, Fett was able to escape, though not unscathed. Thanks to his iron will and Mandalorian armor, he was able to fight his way out of the beast’s belly. Back in action, he resumed his work as a bounty hunter. “

  3. Hahaha. Seriously, though…sound, your logic is. And I’m one of the nerds that would rather pretend the prequels didn’t happen. I’m sure there is some nerdist explanation for why this can’t happen. Maybe blue ghosts expire after a finite period of time, and hence none of them survive until episode seven, providing Abrams with a convenient out on that one.

    Or perhaps he will cast Christensen as an enigmatic character named John Harrison, who will feature heavily in the marketing, but of course is NOT Anakin Skywalker…

    Either way, I’m certain that you’re in deep shit for even bringing this up. I’m off to get some kindling. Sorry heretic.

  4. I agree. That’s all.

  5. Whatever anyone may think of your thesis (I agree with it), I can’t imagine anyone arguing that the Pac-Man joke is not fantastic.

  6. Yeah, regardless of what the super nerds might think about the prequels, this theory does hold water. Well put, Vern.

  7. I just hope we get some cool new characters. I couldn’t give two shits about a Yoda cameo.

    I like the idea of a young Han spin-off movie, but they probably won’t do that. Most likely they’ll try to build an expansive cinematic universe with the spin-off movies (Marvel style) and, much like modern fantasy literature, lose my interest entirely.

  8. I’m just gonna continue my “Fuck these movies and everything they stand for” policy until like the Tuesday after the first one comes out and I abandon all of my principles and go see the matinee. I call it The Expendables Effect.

  9. »When he is redeemed and dies he returns to the form of young, promising Anakin. The real Anakin.«

    This is the best reason to not include the young Anakin Skywalker in the new movie. There wasn’t one scene in the prequels with a »promising Anakin«. The old Obi Wan wasn’t in his mind when he talked to Luke about Anakin Skywalker as if he would have been a honorable Jedi knight and a good friend. Is this some form of dementia? Didn’t he remember young Anakin? For me as an audience member it wasn’t really sad when Obi Wan finally killed this obnoxious, dangerous, whining and psychotic teenager.

    Can you imagine a scene with this young Anakin as a ghost? What has this moron to say? I hope nobody listens to him. Did you hear what he moaned about the whole time when he was alive? Ask Amidala. Or Obi Wan. There is no wisdom in young Anakin.

    But even if he would have found some charisma in Jedi heaven – I need Teenage-Vader as much as I need a Pre-School-Prequel to DIE HARD.

    The Darth Vader of the original trilogy was a great character and a great villain – but making him the »hero« of the prequel trilogy was a great mistake. Maybe if George Lucas had the guts to make it a real tragedy it could have worked, but what he delivered was a not only tonal nightmare with terrible pacing, sterile dialogue scenes, childish humor and overblown, soulless CGI battles – it was way too much Anakin Skywalker.

    Did you really need to see Vader as a child, stumbling clueless through a battle he doesn’t even understand and save the world accidentally? That’s the part of the story you don’t tell because it makes a great character less awesome.

    The original trilogy wasn’t about Anakin Skywalker. He was just one awesome character. The prequels tried to rewrite the STAR WARS saga as the story of Darth Vader while adding nothing important to the story we knew already from the classic movies. Every important story point from the prequels was told in a few sentences of exposition in the original movies.

    So whatever you think about the prequels, can we just agree that there was enough of Anakins story? How unoriginal is the story for the new film that it demands the appearance of Anakins ghost?

    I’m all for new STAR WARS movies without shitty fan service. I don’t need to see old Han Solo, even if it’s better than I hope it is. Simply a bold new movie in this universe, with new fascinating characters and worlds we have never seen.

    Adding Hayden Christensen as the blue ghost of Anakin is exactly the opposite. I would rather give him some make up and the chance to play a new, interesting character.

  10. Sorry to nitpick, but Anakin “died” as a young man, then was reborn as an old man when he decided to save Luke from the Emperor, then died as an old man. So Young Anakin Blue Ghost doesn’t really make that much sense, unless we consider that his redemption was caused by the death of his physical body, not by the decision he made as he was still alive to help the good guys win. Not to mention the fact that appearing as a young male model to your wrinkly old son after not being there for him as a father when he was a kid is kind of a dick move.

  11. It’s ok Vern, we all get drunk sometimes, we forgive you for this post

  12. I think you’re on to something Vern, but I still prefer the old ghost Anakin. I always found Anakin’s ghost tragic, because it was a person who had never existed. If he hadn’t turned evil he would be a kindly old Jedi, but he made the wrong choices and ended up as an evil Sith cyborg monster. He lived the last few minutes of his life as hero and father Anakin Skywalker, so that’s the way he appeared as a ghost. He’s more heroic and a better Jedi in the last few minutes of Return of the Jedi than in everything combined he did in Episodes I-III. Making him young is like Space God giving him a pass on everything that happened since going Dark Side; making him an old ghost is a tragic reminder for everyone of what he gave up to be the Emperor’s henchman.

    It would be cool to have an Anakin ghost for a minute or two, just to tie things together. I just think there’s no need to rub everyone’s faces in the prequels again, or in the Anakin/Jedi plot which was done to death. There’s alot more ground (or space I guess) that can be covered.

  13. Vern, just in case you had any doubt, I’m 100% in agreement with every single word you wrote, and will be willing to support you with one or more pitchforks if necessary.

  14. http://www.slashfilm.com/j-j-abrams-star-wars-trailer-friday/

    Expect incredibly shaky copies to be all over the net seconds later.

  15. I’m not too concerned about Star Wars or it’s lame, derivative, aggressively market-driven “mythology” at this point in my life, but I think you’re missing the point, Vern. No one objects to this change because of the in-story logistics, people don’t like it because it’s a pathetically tone-deaf creative decision that reeks of corporate synergy; ie there was a period of time in the early to mid 2000’s where Lucasfilm and their licensees could make more dough off of Hayden Christiansen than they could off of a kindly old pop-pop wearing a bathrobe, so they altered the movies accordingly.

    Like, at the risk of sound flip…Star Wars didn’t happen, y’know? They’re not documentaries. George Lucas is not bound by journalistic filmmaking ethics to go back and alter the original movies to more accurately reflect new information he discovered in 1999, 2003, and 2005. This was a conscious, calculated creative decision that some nerds feel constitutes part of a pattern of contempt and disrespect by George Lucas towards his consumers. Like I said, doesn’t really matter to me personally, but I think the question of whether or not the change “makes sense” is a big ole windmill you’re tilting at.

  16. Does Senator Padmé Amidala have the midichloristical ability to become a blue ghost, too?
    She made the twin saviors who can use The Force, she should be able to get in on this beyond-mortality Jedi action.

    In conclusion, I like watching Natalie Portman do stuff for my viewing pleasure.
    It’s what I have in common with Clive Owen (obscure CLOSER (2004) reference).

  17. Even if you extracted a better performance out of Hayden – which is possible – it would be a poor choice to put him in for reasons other posters have already stated (ie. that’s he just a horrible character that no one likes).

    You’re right, Vern: Luke would absolutely spend time with ghost dad. But mending that relationship is something he’s probably taken care of in the last 30 years, and because Luke’s (I assume) more of a supporting character now, I predict they’ll avoid this all together by not having any ghost scenes with Luke in them.

    I mean, sure, I can imagine a scene where one of the new Jedi characters sees Luke talking to ghosts from far away – we see that one of them is probably Obiwan and the other is most likely Anakin (I dunno, maybe Yoda will be there) but before we get close enough to hear what they’re taking about, the ghosts disappear and Luke’s all like, “Oh, those were just some old friends. How can I help you?” Remember that Luke has completed his hero’s journey; we don’t need to see any intimate scenes between him and some other characters not in the story.

  18. Scott Mendelson suggested the trailer end with Jar Jar appearing and saying “Heyza kids, meeza back! Youssa miss me?”

    I say it should be like the Porky Pig “That’s all folks.”

  19. The thing is, in the later seasons of the CLONE WARS TV show, Anakin’s actually shown to be quite a reliable, competent guy – a good friend and leader. I’m not sure why Lucas didn’t think it important to show any of that in the movies, where the character’s merely a dense, whingeing arse.

    So, if any version of Anakin HAS to show up in EP VII, it ought to be the CLONE WARS one. (Preferably not looking like a stylised, wooden puppet in this case – although that’d be kinda unique)

  20. I kind of feel bad for Hayden Christiansen. Starring in the Star Warses seems like a good way to derail all of your future roles, and his career has appeared to languish after his time as Anakin. I also remember watching an interview where he said he wanted Anakin to be more of a badass, but that Lucas kept on wanting him to be more like a whiny teenager. It sounded like he had the right instincts, but Lucas kind of held him back. I thought he had a few strong moments in Revenge, so I don’t think he’s automatically a bad actor. My guess is that he could turn in a good performance if given the right role and support. Of course, since he’s more successful than probably 99% of all people who get into the acting business, I can’t feel too bad for him.

    But I would be open to seeing his ghost show up in the Star Wars sequels. In the end Abrams bends over backwards to give the audience what he thinks they want, so it will never happen.

  21. In fairness, Lucas took a bunch of solid actors (if in any doubt that Hayden’s got a genuinely great performance in him, watch ‘Shattered Glass’) and made them all come across pretty bad and unrelatable. Always enjoy this random stuff between the reviews, Vern.

  22. The Original... Paul

    November 25th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    I’ve seen a couple of movies where Hayden’s been very good. SHATTERED GLASS in particular springs to mind. With that in mind, I have no objection whatsoever to seeing him in anything. I suspect my reasons for not seeing STAR WARS 7 will have nothing whatsoever to do with the cast.

  23. Vern, your post has opened a can of midichlorians…

    Hayden Christensen playing the Force Ghost appears to be a literal infantilising of the whole idea of redemption. “All those bad things you did Anakin, don’t worry about it! You get to start over with your former youth and promise!”

    The ghostly image of Sebastian Shaw carries far more emotional weight as Anakin’s spirit takes on the form of his possible future self. Knowing Vader could have essentially become a kind, old man if he made different choices seems to resonate with me as opposed to the choice that Lucas made. Like all of us, Lucas is not getting any younger and he may have been unconsciously engaged in youthful fetishism by swapping Hayden for Sebastian.

    This whole force ghost business could be explored further in the spin off movies. I for one would love to see a movie set between episodes III and IV about Obi Wan defending Moisture Farmers against greedy Space Ranchers. In between action scenes you could have moments of deep introspection between Obi Wan and the Blue Force Ghost of Qui Gon Jinn. Play it like a western. Instead of Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman we would have a strange buddy picture with Ewan Mcgregor and Liam Neeson.

  24. I like your Obi Wan pitch, Tim. I’d watch that.

  25. …thank you! That’s an argument me and my friends have had since the Blu-ray came out. Older people tend to hate the change and reject the perfect explanation of when Anakin really died. And yes, I think Disney will do as you say and that’s one of of the main reasons I’m avoiding future “Episode” Star Wars movies (I’m curious about the spinoffs because they have some real talented guys lining up for those). I liked the way George Lucas made his Star Wars movies “take it or leave, I’m doing what I want”

  26. I really like the new teaser. It’s all sort of variations on familiar things from the old trilogy (as opposed to THE PHANTOM MENACE teaser, which was all new shit) but I love that it’s still really mysterious. I have questions about who is talking, what he’s talking about, who various people are, what they’re doing, what the title refers to. That’s what a Star Wars trailer should do, especially since we got a year to wait.

    I also like that it has its own look, different from either of the other trilogies. And that cool Millennium Falcon shot (which is kind of like the great opening shot of REVENGE OF THE SITH, let’s be honest) relieves some of my worry about Abrams shooting action. I saw Matt Zoller-Seitz on Twitter complaining about shakycam but that’s weird, there is exactly one shot with completely appropriate shakiness (the stormtroopers on a drop ship), every other shot is clearly framed, steady and long.

    Also let me take this opportunity to pitch my idea for the plot. In a big reveal, we learn that the Emperor’s whole plot and all the events of the previous trilogy were orchestrated by the late Greedo’s family in order to get revenge on Han Solo. In this one they finally capture him and explain that if, say, Greedo had tried to shoot him first and then he killed him that would be one thing, but he shot first in cold blood, and millions will die because of it.

  27. It’s a cool trailer, but I’m wondering, why are there Stormtroopers? isn’t this supposed to be 30 years after the Empire fell?

  28. Griff- maybe they are part of a forgotten outpost. That they have been stranded and entrenched on a planet all these years having no clue the war ended and the Empire demolished.

  29. That is the one major continuity boo-boo, the stormtroopers. They must’ve felt stupid when somebody pointed that out!

  30. They’re probably just cosplayers on their way to Skywalker-Con. That’s why they needed the old actors back, so that they appear as retired adventurers signing holo-8x10s for the kids there.

  31. It’s a great teaser, and yeah, seeing a bunch of stormtroopers popping up does come across as out of place.

    Maybe, after blowing up the Death Star Part 2, the main dudes all went home but the war still kinda carried on, in little pockets, across the galaxy, far, far away. The Empire became the Rebellion, in a way.

    Or maybe the new big bad just digs old skool shit.

  32. Makes sense to me that there’d still be stormtroopers- a vast intergalactic empire isn’t gonna disappear overnight. Would’nt they just swear in a new emperor and try to keep everything ticking over as usual? Also it seems like the force was literally awakening in that first stormtrooper, so I guess the movie is gonna be about a stormtrooper that realises he’s a jedi fighting for the wrong side? I hope so because that actually sounds pretty fucking cool.

  33. Also I thought that shot with the x-wings was fucking beautiful and I like the new lightsaber even though it makes so sense whatsoever.

  34. I guess I just don’t understand what it means to be a STAR WARS fan anymore. Most of these guys haven’t liked a STAR WARS movie since (maybe) the first half of JEDI in ’83. What are they holding onto? What are they actually fans of? Because it sure as shit ain’t a motion picture series. Is it the cartoons and video games and toys and shit? Is that what all this is about? Or are they just in love with their memories of a time when they once were capable of loving something without destroying it? I don’t get how can they so vehemently hate something and yet every time a new carrot gets dangled in front of their noses they practically bite their tongues off trying to get a taste of it. What is that instinct and why do I find it so off-putting that I would rather STAR WARS just stop forever than watch the cycle of anticipation–>disappointment–>burning at the stake continue anew again and again and again until the end of time?

  35. In all fairness, the reaction to the teaser are WAY more positive than I expected them to be.

    But man, that weird nitpicking of the nerds is still too visible. Apparently they hate:

    – The “fake looking CGI” (especially during that photorealistic shot of the Millennium Falcon doing the looping)
    – The tiny ball robot (Because it’s tiny and can be considered cute, I guess)
    – The lens flare (although there is not one single scene that has it)
    – The shaky cam (Because there is one scene on a moving starship where the camera is shaking)
    – A storm trooper who is not looking like Django Fett (Because there is no other possible reason why that guy could wear that armour)
    – The light broadsword (I admit, it does look super impractical)

    Bonus:
    – An admittedly surprisingly small percentage hates Boyega for being black (But most seem to hate him because they hate ATTACK THE BLOCK)
    – I saw one guy saying that his skin colour doesn’t matter, but the fact that both he and that new woman are according to him super ugly, are the biggest problem

  36. I had zero interest in a new Star Wars until I saw that broadsword lightsabre. If this is gonna be the BRAVEHEART in space I’ve always dreamed of, then I am IN. Though something tells me I should just keep my dreams to myself and go in with an open mind…

  37. Of course they’re excited now. Evil meanie George is gone and now they’re finally gonna get what they want, whatever the fuck that is. Except Abrams couldn’t tell a tight, satisfying story if his life depended on it, ARABIAN NIGHTS-style, so in one year’s time they’re going to rip this fucking movie to shreds and demand his head on a platter. Then the cycle will begin again with some ridiculous spinoff movie and some new director will be offered up as the new sacrificial lamb. I don’t get it and I don’t want anything to do with this ceremonial bloodletting. I’m feeling like Felicia Day with the video game nerds here: I see someone in a STAR WARS T-shirt, I cross the street.

  38. But did you like the teaser?

  39. Please. I didn’t watch that shit. If it comes on in the theater, fine. I’m not gonna close my eyes. But I’m not seeking it out. Abrams has always been more of a huckster than a storyteller, so of course the teaser is gonna have the right imagery to get people talking. Motherfuckers loved the PHANTOM MENACE trailer, too. It don’t mean shit.

  40. I sense… bitterness.

    Seriously though, what if Abrams knocks it out of the park? Unlikely but not impossible, right? What if he succeeds in making a better SW movie than Lucas? What if he somehow unites the nerds and ushers in a thousand internet years* of peace and prosperity? It could happen.

    *about 6 months

  41. I apologize for this pointless and ultimately hollow rant. You and I and all of us know damn well I’m a goddamn hypocrite and I’m gonna go see the fucking thing the first week it’s out, and more likely than not I’ll end up being less pissed off about it than most of the nerds who wear robes and bring lightsaber nunchucks or whatever to the premiere. It’s all just part of the never-ending Two Minutes Hate that STAR WARS fandom has become. It sickens me but I’m part of it, whether I like it or not. It’s the price the free market makes us pay for having once loved something.

  42. I think they should all be there. Luke retires to Swamp Planet and periodically hangs out in that hole chatting with all the ghosts, talking about the old days, enjoying a refreshing beverage. Old Puffy Vader can get into quarrels with Young Teen Vader. They can fight over the nature of sand and who gets to wear the Vader helmet. Old Obi Wan and Young Obi Wan form an unbeatable two man team at the fussball table and Oscar Schindler drinks too much and gets surly. Occasionally Luke has to remind him to not refer to his mom as “a sweet piece of ass.” Every once in a while they crank call Spock on their Space Phone.

    Also Chewbacca has to be persuaded to leave his profitable treehouse property management business on Teddy Bear Planet to kick someone or another’s ass.

  43. I know that this is probably reading too much into the small snippet of film we’ve glimpsed at this point, but there’s some indication that the film might hew too closely to the original trilogy in look and feel. The prequel trilogy had some massive problems (especially the first two films), but one thing I always liked about them is that they felt like Star Wars, but with a slight difference. Sure, there was an over-reliance on CGI, but the bright, shiny feel of the Republic really matched the fact that this was a society that had been building itself up for generations. Lucas managed to capture the feel of his fantasy world while simultaneously expanding on it.

    The trailer for the new film captures the feel of the original trilogy, but it seems a little too close. In the prequels, even the spaceships and design elements that purposefully hearkened back to the original trilogy had little interesting twists, like those proto-X-Wings with the extra wings. Judging by Abrams’s past work, this film looks like it will be straight up fan service. He figures, fans like X-Wings, so we’ll give them X-Wings. Fans like the Millennium Falcon, so we’ll give them the Millennium Falcon.

    It also appears that the Empire or something similar is still around. We still have some version of the Stormtrooper still around. I kind of wish they had come up with a new villain to fight rather than return to the Empire thirty years later. I understand that a massive galaxy spanning military force like the Empire wouldn’t fall apart overnight, even if their leader were killed, but I think they could have come up with something new. This always bothered me in those Star Wars books from the 90s as well.

    Okay, end of geek rant. Even if the trailer sucked (and it doesn’t) I would still be there on opening weekend.

  44. #StormTrooperGate – The Stormtroopers are not out of place. It takes anywhere from between two hundred to three hundred years for an earthbound empire to collapse. It is reasonable to assume a Galaxy spanning empire may take a little longer than thirty years to curl up and die.

    Mr. Majestyk – Your use of the term “ceremonial bloodletting” is accurate. From the perspective of the Uber-Star-Wars Fan, the ‘Divine Force’ was personified on earth as one Mr. Lucas. When it appeared that the powers vested in him began to falter, he was slaughtered in a ritualistic fashion. Now the ‘Divine Force’ has transferred to one Mr. Abrams and he must be shown respect. If this new King / Priest falters, i.e. uses CGI, creates a new droid based on a soccer ball, adds anachronistic elements to a laser sword, shows X-Wings and Millenium Falcons (or does not show them), he too will be placed upon the altar in another messy ceremony. The cycle will repeat again and again. You’re next Mr Johnson.

  45. Tim – I’m not saying that it’s unreasonable that Stormtroopers still exist. I’m just saying it would be more interesting if they had decided to expand on the world and develop a slightly different antagonist. But who knows, maybe they’ve come up with an interesting twist. As I mentioned, I understand that I’m nitpicking a very small collection of images from the final film.

  46. Maybe the Empire exists as a smaller territory, having a shaky truce with the new Republic to leave each other be, and the events of this film threatens that. Maybe the Empire isn’t such a bad place when they don’t have a megalomaniacal Dark Side guy running things?

  47. Tim Horan – Putting aside everything else from the trailer (which was fine; I’m not really likely to get excited or angry about anything from this point onward), the greatsaber or whatever didn’t work for me for reasons that have nothing to do with anachronism. Why would you have crosspieces on a lightsaber? Aren’t they supposed to be simple and elegant weapons for a fighting style based in meditation and spirituality? More to the point, how do the crosspieces help you fight? They don’t seem like they’d do anything but threaten to cut off the user’s hands on a wrong move.

  48. Okay. Now I get it. People like speculating about STAR WARS more than they like watching STAR WARS. It’s like sports fans who prognosticate about the coming season even though their team almost always lets them down. This is the part where anything is possible. I get that. I’m not against it. I could just do without the lynch mob when the movie doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.

    I’m not talking about any of you guys. I’m talking about those other guys. You guys are all aces in my book.

  49. Ha, one of our pay TV channels turned for the next 24 days into the Star Wars channel. All day long all 6 movies in a row, interruped by some making ofs and featurettes. That’s…kinda weird.

  50. I just found out that Emperor Palpatines first name is Sheev. Who made that up?

  51. Rich Evans trailer reaction to THE FORCE AWAKENS has me in stitches. Hilarious! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJgLa3eKMYs&list=UUrTNhL_yO3tPTdQ5XgmmWjA

  52. Stephen Colbert has hopefully put an end to the internet’s bitching regarding the guards on the lightsaber broadsword:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/12/02/stephen_colbert_star_wars_fan_on_the_new_lightsaber_colbert_resolves_the.html?wpsrc=fol_fb

  53. Shoot when Rich poured all the Star Wars toys on himself I lost it. With that video RLM continue to prove why they’re the only internet movie fans that matter outside of our good ol gracious host Vern.

  54. This is Nerd Shit discussion now, right? Here’s the SUICIDE SQUAD cast:
    http://variety.com/2014/film/news/suicide-squad-cast-revealed-jared-leto-to-play-the-joker-will-smith-is-deadshot-1201368867/
    Left field choice with Smith, but I’m open to seeing what he can do. Let’s hope Willow isn’t cast as Deadshot’s daughter though.

  55. I love Smith, but as Deadshot? Not sure about that one.

    But then, I don’t know of anyone around who could pull off my man Floyd. Unless Warners have a time machine and get mid 70s Burt.

    Jared Leto as Joker, though…that could be inspired.

  56. Great premise, the perfect director for the material and interesting casting choices. I’m looking forward to this one. My only worry is that with all these big names and relatively high profile supervillains, they’ll be about as expendable as the Expendables. Part of the fun of the Suicide Squad is that team members (usually C-list supervillains) could be killed suddenly and spectacularly.

    Did anybody watch that BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM animated DTV movie? Don’t be fooled by the title, it’s actually a Suicide Squad movie, and a pretty good one too.

  57. Broddie- My favorite part is when Rich Evans through sheer impulse tears up the packaging of a collectors item. If you listen closely you can hear the whole Star Wars nerd community go “NOOOOOooooooooooo…”

  58. No offense to Mr Colbert, but weren’t the nerds actually complaining about the whole dangerousness of having little lightsaberbeams as handguard and how they make it even easier to maim yourself? He explained just the science behind it.

  59. More nerd shit – TERMINATOR GENESYS trailer:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=62E4FJTwSuc

  60. Yeah, that was pretty much what I was expecting TERMINATOR: FANSERVYS to look like. At this point, I’m pretty sure they could script an entire sequel out of the franchise’s many, many recurring catch phrases.

  61. Mr. M – but to be fair, Arnold sold the shit out of that awesome(ly stupid) final shot thanks to that deadpan delivery. He looks like he’s in good form. The rest of it? Ehhhhhhhhhh……

    Still cool that we’re getting finally the Kyle Reese sent back through time scene. Cameron scripted that for T2 originally.

    A part of me still thinks this could work as basically Terminator’s BACK TO THE FUTURE PART 2, if you think about it.

  62. I entirely agree, Mr M.

    There wasn’t a single thing in that trailer that didn’t make me want to punch the internet until it died.

  63. I think this might finally be the TERMINATOR movie that makes my head explode a la SCANNERS-style trying to figure out what has happened, what has yet to happen, what might happen, what definitely will not happen any more, WHAT’S HAPPENING?!

  64. Damn, I hope Khaleesi won’t become the female Taylor Kitsch (as in “Doing good TV work, but then gets wasted and feels out of place in a few badly bombing tentpole movies in a row).

  65. Looked fine to me.

  66. The franchise can proceed with my support so long as they stick to R-ratings and so long as I continue to divorce James Cameron’s works from these newer futuristical models of Terminator.

    There’s a fair amount of cognitive dissonance that accompanies my approach, especially since I love T3 and don’t hate SALVATION (due for a rewatch), but really it comes down to, do I want to see a school bus flip in the middle of highway traffic and a robo-man divebomb a helicopter in IMAX 3D?

    The answer is obvious.

  67. RRA: Seems like that might have been an opportunity to work Arnold’s other big catchphrase in there.

  68. Holy smokes I was keeping an open mind but it looks worse than expected. It’s like the average cover band playing all of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits on stage or something.

    I don’t think I’m willing to give it a chance at the cinema anymore after that trailer. I hated SALVATION and this looks right up it’s alley. Except 80s Arnie looked more convincing in that one than in this trailer. Maybe it’s the lighting.

    I did enjoy T3 for what it was but I’m sure the fact that I was drinking and smoking at my crib while watching it also helped a lot. I guess I would do the same with this new one once it hits Netflix 4 months after release.

    I’ve been rooting for old Arnie to revisit his past glorifies and all but I really hope NEW CONAN seems more competent than this. It just looks way too safe and phoned in for a Terminator sequel. Can’t wait for 2019 so that the king of the world put this franchise out to pasture once and for all and let’s the sleeping dog lie.

  69. And while we are at random Nerd Shitting this place here: Katniss Everdeen…uhm, I mean Benedict Cumberbatch is now officially Dr Strange. Fuck. He is good, but I get bored of him. And I was so hoping for Marvel to become desperate after they couldn’t secure a big name for that part, that they would go with a TV guy. (More specific: Timothy Omundson.

  70. “I hated SALVATION and this looks right up it’s alley. ”
    Uh, really? It seems to embrace the fantastical sci fi stuff a lot more than SALVATION did in terms of depicting the future war, and seems to have a lot more of a sense of FUN to it, and is sorta playing up this crazy mashup thing and gleefully swerving the established story with Sarah now being the one to explain to Kyle what’s going on and the origina T-800 apparently getting bushwacked by his older counterpart.

  71. So, in this scenario, Sarah knows she has to bone Kyle to save the future? Kind of takes the romance out of it, doesn’t it?

  72. Mr. M – they’re going to play hard on that premise. If they can make that angle work, good for them.

    CJ Holden – Well considering Marvel’s record with their leading men, he’ll do good for them. Joaquin would’ve been interesting, just for the junket interviews.

    That’s one thing about Marvel that impresses me. Take all their leading men and put them in a room together, they all stand out apart from each other individually. So when AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR Part 2 or whatever you have all those guys together plus Rocket Raccoon or War Machine or whatever, you’ll see what I mean.

    Cumberbatch and RDJ debating the merits of magic against technology? That should be fun. (Or Rocket telling Stark to fuck off, that too!)

  73. RRA- Feige has made comments about possibly “explaining” magic through Quantum Physics theory.

    Evangeline Lily’s been talking about the earlier version of Ant-Man and why Edgar Wright likely left:
    http://www.gamesradar.com/evangeline-lilly-says-edgar-wrights-ant-man-didnt-fit-wider-marvel-universe/

  74. I figured that’s why Wright was removed from Ant-Man. Marvel seems to keep a tight leash on their directors. They make tight, entertaining movies, but they also don’t allow things to get too weird, which is unfortunate.

  75. RRA: It’s just kind of disrespectful of the original, isn’t it? That one was a love story. The whole point was that in the middle of this decades-spanning war with hordes of unfeeling machines, it’s two people falling in love–the way people do, without prophecy or destiny to guide them–that ends up saving the day. It’s the sweet, human center of a fairly cold, nasty movie. This shit just can’t compare. Yeah, they’ll try to play up the idea that she knows she has to do it so she’ll resist but she can’t help falling for him anyway (which would be a lot easier to believe if Courtney had one tenth of Biehn’s vulnerability and charisma) but that’s some bullshit. It’s like Sleeping Beauty just happening to find true love with the guy she was arranged to marry anyway. Where’s the romance in that?

  76. RRA: Yeah, like I said, Cumberbatch is good. His omnipresence is just starting to annoy me a little and since he seems to be attached to everything these days, the casting also feels kinda lazy. I’m sure that if he had declined, the next on the list would have been McConaughey.

  77. So I watched the new Terminator trailer and I wasn’t expecting much, but I gotta admit, it looks a LOT better than SALVATION at the very least and ya know, it is actually pretty cool to see T-1000 done with modern CGI.

  78. Majestyk, there’s nothing romantic about sex.

  79. Watched the TERMINATOR trailer. Is this supposed o be called fanservice? I was a fan of the first two and this only angered me. Please stop making more TERMINATOR movies.

  80. It’s supposed to make money. And it will.

  81. Maybe they´ll laugh all the way to the bank. But I´ll be standing outside draining their asses of blood and take it to the blood bank instead.

  82. Shouldn’t you be outside the Parliament trying to stop the nazis taking over Sweden?

  83. I don’t know, I kinda liked the new Terminator trailer. It’s kind of hilarious to see Sarah Connor play the exposition machine and Reese play the confused “what the hell is going on??” guy. Now I think about it, every single film in the franchise has had that dynamic so it’s interesting that this is the next logical step. (Also I think it’s interesting that in this one, the characters in the past have more information than the people in the future!)

    Also, I don’t know if the love story is ruined just yet – we have no idea if Arnold told her that Reese is John Connor’s father or not. (I think it’s always been unclear whether Reese knew he was John’s dad too, right?) And even if Sarah knows, I think “woman dealing with the weight of predestined love (not marriage)” is an interesting angle, especially in a summer action blockbuster.

    Also – does this movie take place in 1984? Because it certainly doesn’t look like it, the same way Wolverine Origins didn’t particularly look like it took place in 1979.

  84. You know what? I’m not even pissed about it. I’ll most likely even catch a matinee. This franchise is long dead and buried, so why not swing by and have a few laughs at the corpse? People will still be watching and quoting and ripping off the first two films long after this one has been thrown on the compost heap of history along with SALVATION, so I’m not gonna stress out about it. And if it gives Arnie the clout to keep getting movies released on the big screen for the next few years, so be it. Just don’t expect me to consider that any of the creative decisions might be artistically viable. It’s a cash-in, nothing more. It can take my money, but it can’t make me take it seriously.

  85. Stu – T4: A more polished and less grungy future war environment than the one presented in Cameron’s movies.

    T5: A more polished and less grungy future war environment than the one presented in Cameron’s movies.

    T4: “Hey guys here are John Connor and Kyle Reese in the future. This is what you wanted right? Right?!?”

    T5: “Hey guys here are John Connor and Kyle Reese in the future. This is what you wanted right? Right?!?”

    T4: “look dudes it’s 1984 Arnie in The digital flesh. awesome!!!”

    T5: “look dudes it’s 1984 Arnie in the digital flesh. Awesome!!!”

    T4: “We will figure out contrived ways to fit in all your favorite Terminator quotes and tickle all your nostalgia bones pink.”

    T5: “We will figure out contrived ways to fit in all your favorite Terminator quotes and tickle all your nostalgia bones pink.”

    T4: “Hey movie geeks we got this dude you all like in the movie (Bale). That will make you want to see it right?”

    T5: “Hey movie geeks we got this dude you all like in the movie (Arnie). That will make you want to see it right?”

    T4: “Remember all that pre established canon you’re familiar with? We’re gonna retell it with all new twists and turns. Doesn’t that sound fun?”

    T5: “Rememeber all that pre established canon you’re familiar with? We’re gonna retell it with all new twists and turns. Doesn’t that sound fun?”

    Etc.

    If it ends up being another stinker I won’t be surprised in the least. But people will continue falling for the okay doke.

  86. Mr. Majestyk – Jim Cameron gets the north American franchise rights back in 2019 thanks to recent changes in copyright laws. So we won’t have to put up with this kinda crap for much longer. At least from Hollywood anyway. Not sure how that’s affects Russians or Serbians from making their own Terminator movies.

  87. pegsman – That’s what people were saying about the last one and we all saw that turned out financially.

  88. “It’s just kind of disrespectful of the original, isn’t it? That one was a love story. The whole point was that in the middle of this decades-spanning war with hordes of unfeeling machines, it’s two people falling in love–the way people do, without prophecy or destiny to guide them–that ends up saving the day. It’s the sweet, human center of a fairly cold, nasty movie. This shit just can’t compare. Yeah, they’ll try to play up the idea that she knows she has to do it so she’ll resist but she can’t help falling for him anyway (which would be a lot easier to believe if Courtney had one tenth of Biehn’s vulnerability and charisma) but that’s some bullshit. It’s like Sleeping Beauty just happening to find true love with the guy she was arranged to marry anyway. Where’s the romance in that?”
    Isn’t that kinda ruined by the fact that John only sends Reese back because he knows he’s his father and Sarah told him to so he’d be born? Though saying that…what if Reese WASN’T John’s dad in the original timeline? What if it was someone else, and Sarah just assumes the kid she had with Kyle is John, names him that and raises him to be this future leader? Because they don’t really say in the first movie that Sarah was always attacked by a Terminator in their timeline, which you’d think would be pertinent information since it could help them survive with foreknowledge of what was going to happen. What if the only reason there’s been so many sequels and stuff complicating the timeline is because this second John Conner has created ripples that have made things go differently than before?

  89. “What if everything you liked about these films was different but not interestingly so?”

    Yeah, no. Still not worth giving serious consideration. This is a silly, cynical piece of knockoff merchandizing that should be good for a few laughs and then promptly discarded. Let’s not make a thing of it.

  90. I never got how people tend to over think the original John Connor’s parentage so much. Simple observational deduction from watching THE TERMINATOR could easily prevent those headaches. I mean even as a kid I always assumed that in the original timeline Sarah ended up going out with that guy who left her a voicemail and got knocked up by him after knocking boots. Then when Skynet threw a monkey wrench and she could no longer hook up with the guy because she had to run for her life fate improvised and took another course. In other words Reese wasn’t always the father but after Skynet changed history by sending back a killer bot things ended up as we now know them.

  91. Even as satire, this theory offends me more than I can say.

  92. Blame Mr. “There’s no fate but what we make it” for pretty much establishing that the Terminator universe isn’t one giant circular loop. To quote from [REDACTED] RETURNS, “things change.”

  93. Every Terminator film operates by its own rules and thus no film’s continuity should be used to retrofit any previous or succeeding film’s story. T3 has the nebulous and New Agey “some events are just fated because I don’t know God wants a robot war for some reason don’t ask me I just work here” system, T2 has BACK TO THE FUTURE’s fun but paradox-creating “time travel creates ripples through the time stream” system, and T1 uses the far more elegant closed-loop system. This is the only one that makes any sense, because how does the son of a California waitress and some douchebag on an answering machine grow up to be John Fucking Connor? It only works if Sarah spends his whole childhood grooming him for the task, and that only happens if she meets Kyle and learns about terminators. Your theory might aid you in the thankless task of unifying the franchise’s utterly nonsensical continuity, but please don’t bring it into the first film’s seamless and simple story construction.

  94. I figured she didn’t always know about Terminators and shit until the nuclear apocalypse came and they had to adjust accordingly so she brings her son up as a freedom fighter afterwards and he grows up to be HNIC. Of course that will then shit all over the whole Polaroid picture taken by a kid at a gas station so fuck it.

  95. He’ll of a run on sentence up there lmfao my bad.

  96. Run-ons are the only way to discuss Terminator continuity.

  97. In the trailer, when Arnie says “I’ll be back” and Sarah Connor says “what?” – that meta shit right there, sums up everything awful and disheartening about this whole sorry mess.

    And does Arnie suddenly have white hair at the end? He looks like a fucking Gary Busey cosplayer.

    (I know I can answer the question myself but I can’t sit thru it again. You’d have to Alex DeLarge me in order for that to happen).

  98. “Yeah, no. Still not worth giving serious consideration. This is a silly, cynical piece of knockoff merchandizing that should be good for a few laughs and then promptly discarded. Let’s not make a thing of it.”
    It’s the fifth entry in a series that didn’t need to continue after part 2. The law of diminishing returns and entrenched nerdism about what a Terminator movie “should” be makes making a satisfactory movie so difficult that expectations shouldn’t be that high and fuck it, might as well go crazy with it like this latest one seems to be doing.

  99. No, that’s fine. They can go crazy. If it has to exist at all (and I would like to stress that it really, really does not) I guess I’d rather see a goofy mishmash like this than a joyless reboot. I’m just saying trying to make sense of it or even indulging in the rampant speculation that is the bedrock of internet fandom is pointless, because the answer is always going to be “Because we wanted Arnold in it and this is the best we could come up with to make that happen.” There’s no compelling story here that needed to be told. There’s a contract, a release date, and a team of overtaxed screenwriters trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. That’s it. It might be fun, but it won’t be a real story worth deciphering.

  100. Mr M — “There’s no compelling story here that needed to be told. There’s a contract, a release date, and a team of overtaxed screenwriters trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. That’s it. It might be fun, but it won’t be a real story worth deciphering.”

    wait, are we talking about about TERMINATOR or STAR WARS? I think it’s just an iron law of nerddom that eventually every franchise that starts out pure and beautiful eventually destroys itself. They can’t end because there’s more money to be made, but they have no reason to continue from a narrative perspective, and in order to keep fans happy they have to be both ever-escalating and deliver exactly the same stuff they liked before. The only place left to retreat to is laying down new narrative over top of the old one, resulting in the kind of contortionist meta-narratives that have slowly eaten STAR TREK, TERMINATOR, ALIEN, and, I imagine, soon STAR WARS as well.

  101. Well, yeah. You’ll notice I’m even more of a hardliner about STAR WARS. I’ve had a chance to accept that Terminator is a bought-and-sold narrative nothing, but while the quality of Star Wars might fluctuate, it’s always at least had a story to tell until recently.

  102. What’s with all the TERMINATOR hate around here, haters? That trailer looks pretty fuckin good to me. Personally, I’m glad that there is a filmic continuation of a sci-fi world I love. And I don’t do sci-fi that well. The TERMINATOR’s have been the best mix of low-brow sci-fi, high-bar standard-setting action, horror, Arnie-humour, the evolution of an action star icon, the evolution of a directing icon, as well as iconic characters and one-liners, a high point for McG, and a humbling, low point for Bale(self-inflicted).

    I’m *this* close to calling the fucking waahh-mbulance.

    T1 and 2 are undisputed classics. T3 and 4 were good, not great, but I enjoyed them both. They didn’t leave me feeling the original’s had been bastardized in any way, like say DIE HARD 4 and 5 did compared to the first 3. This one’s got a director with some quality hbo tv and film work behind him, JK fucking Simmons, Korean icon Byung-hun fucking Lee. I’m looking forward to it way more than STAR WARS.

  103. I love the idea of T-800 terminating his 1984 arrival but agree with Broddie, it doesn’t look remotely as convincing as the same effect in SALVATION.

    Darren, Franchise Fred loves you.

  104. Broddie – are you positing the eventual existence of TURKISH TERMINATOR?

  105. I agree it’s a total cash in but that doesn’t instantly make it bad, certainly it’s possible to still make it a halfway decent movie? I like that it’s not an actual remake or reboot, I’m so sick of THAT shit, if you have to do it just make another sequel not a bland, boring and forgettable reboot (like TOTAL RECALL and ROBOCOP), it really fucking bothers me that GHOSTBUSTERS is probably going to get the full reboot treatment when it would be so, so, so fucking easy just to say “it’s a different group of Ghostbusters in a different city”

    And you know another thing I like about T5? it at least LOOKS more like a real Terminator (lots of nighttime scenes and blue color tone) ala T1 and T2, which is a lot more than can be said for the ugly looking SALVATION.

  106. And speaking of STAR WARS again does this video bother anyone else? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJgLa3eKMYs

    It’s funny and maybe I’m just taking it too seriously, but it seems like Red Letter Media is becoming too cynical for their own good, don’t act like you’re above STAR WARS fans guys, for fuck’s sake.

  107. Dude, you are talking about a group of people that got famous, because they bothered to make a series of feature film length videos, in which they just repeated the most popular nerd nitpicks and added some lame attempts at “edgy” humor! Did you expect them to suddenly become smart or funny?

  108. I didn’t expect this at all, but the TERMINATOR GENNYSISSSS trailer did zero for me. It just looked like a bunch of fake Terminator stuff. The visuals seem so cheap and artless compared to SALVATION, which of course is not a great movie, and so far I have a very hard time accepting whatsername as Sarah Connor. She’s really cool on Game of Thrones, but here she just looks so small and babyfaced and not ready to fill the shoes of one of the great female icons of action cinema. And nothing looks new, just poor rehashes of decades old greatness.

    I do like the idea of an old Terminator raising and protecting Sarah Connor, but I only know that from reading the EW article. No cool ideas really come across in the trailer.

    But maybe they did that as a favor, to make us expect a piece of shit so when we watch in on video a couple years later it will be surprisingly good, like T3.

    (who am I fooling though, I will see it on day 1.)

  109. Oh yeah the T3 trailer was Godawful and thankfully the movie wasn’t half has bad as the trailer made it look.

  110. Y’all are gonna see this movie and you’re gonna like it.

  111. Not convinced.

  112. Griff- that RLM video IS funny. Always a good time trashing STAR TREK nerds.

  113. That bus is like, “Fuck this movie, I’m outta here.”

  114. “I love the idea of T-800 terminating his 1984 arrival but agree with Broddie, it doesn’t look remotely as convincing as the same effect in SALVATION.”
    Is it really fair to compare the effects in the trailer of an unfinished movie to those of a complete one?

    Also got to love all the bitching about the “meta” humour with the “I’ll Be Back” part of the trailer. As if
    1. “Huh?” ISN’T a reasonable, non-meta reaction when someone says something to imply they’re leaving while you’re both on a high speeding vehicle
    2. Arnold saying “I’ll Be Back” isn’t the longest running meta-joke in movie history

  115. I was only aware of the following two ‘facts’ about the new Terminator movie:

    1. The geek/nerd internet community were outraged about the staged images that appeared in some entertainment magazine. The producers would have been better served by having an understated series of images that would have run in Vanity Fair. Perhaps the T-800 behind a bar, serving whisky to the new cast members, everyone tastefully attired in formal, evening wear (T-800 included).

    2. Nerds really, really hate Jai Courtney.

    Well, colour me surprised when I played the trailer and was pleased to note the filmatism on display had the same moody blue sheen that was present in the Cameron Terminator flicks. I was also impressed at the new angle. Kyle Reese is now playing catch up after Sarah and another T-800 have changed the timeline. It is always a source of constant intrigue to me that the geek/nerd community are deeply conservative when it comes to change. I incorrectly presumed that an obsession with superheroes, wizards and other genre related material signified a malleable mind, open to new ideas*.

    *If we have indeed entered the phase of endless recycling of material in blockbuster filmmaking, i.e. Star Wars, Marvel and DC movies until the end of time, an attempt at shaking things up within the properties may be the only small consolation available to any of us…

  116. “The geek/nerd internet community were outraged about the staged images that appeared in some entertainment magazine.”

    These are still hilarious though http://www.somethingawful.com/photoshop-phriday/terminator-genisys-promos/1/

  117. “Nerds really, really hate Jai Courtney.”

    The nerds, though misguided and from another planet, and for their own nerdy reasons, are 100% right this time. I’m no nerd, but, as a regular Australian guy, I cannot endorse this prick. I have a friend who went through drama school with him in Western Australia and regaled many stories about him fucking people over to get ahead. This might be “just another day in The Industry”, but it doesn’t make him a bloke I’d be proud to call a fellow Aussie.

  118. Stu, since they decided to release that vfx shot in a trailer to be show nationwide on movie screens and all over the internet, yes, I think it’s fair to criticize it. If I had hacked into the vfx artist’s computer to get a peek, then no, I would wait for it to be finished.

  119. Obvious nerds in a “Nerd Shit” topic putting down “the nerds” while also being nerds about how they react to the treatment of a nerd franchise. Brilliant.

  120. That’s why the nerds are so effective. No one knows who they are or when they will strike again.

  121. If we’re not careful the nerds could effectively create a fifth column and destroy this websight from within. In no way am I a nerd, but I don’t really understand what the deal is with Jai Courtney. Strictly from my non-nerd perspective, he seems somewhat bland. He reminds me of fellow Australian Sam Worthington in his utter lack of charisma. Of course, I’m only familiar with Worthington from his work in that modern day Australian version of MacBeth, not from the Avatar or Terminator movies, because, again, I’m not a nerd.

  122. I think Courtney made a pretty big impression with very little material in JACK REACHER, and I thought he was fine in DIE HARD 5, which I remain the only person who liked. So I’d watch him in other standard action hero/villain type roles. The great thing about Reese, though, was that he didn’t seem like a hero. He seemed like a kid who grew up in the trenches. Intense, on the ragged edge, almost feral. More like a child soldier than a special forces op, which Courtney comes off as.

    I think we might be seeing a generational difference here. Cameron’s defining war would be Vietnam, fought by a civilian army who wouldn’t be there if they hadn’t been drafted. The new guy’s war is fought by rigorously trained and highly disciplined professionals who entered the military willingly. It’s a different culture altogether.

  123. Worthington also played a closet homosexual in the modern day Australian film SOMERSAULT. And I agree – little to no charisma for either of these lunkheads. Aussie leading men reached a high point with George Lazenby, then fell in a sink-hole with pretty boys like Simon Baker. Now we’ve got these two wankers trying to be the next Russel Crowe when 1. One Russell Crowe is more than enough, and 2. Russell Crowe is a New Zealander. I’ll give Wortho and Courtney this – they’re trying for the tough guy persona in their movies, which gives them some old-school cred. Well, at least until Marvel comes knocking.

  124. If we feel the need to place disclaimers in our posts, stating that we are ‘not nerds,’ we have already lost the battle my friends.

    When you gaze into the nerd abyss, the nerd abyss gazes into you….

  125. I don’t know, Tim. That sounds like something a nerd–something I am not–might say.

  126. I like Courtney in JACK REACHER too, and even though I hated his DIE HARD I thought he was fine in it. I’m glad he gets to play Australian in that SUICIDE SQUAD one, because it always bugs me that him and Worthington can’t just use their real accents. (I like Worthington too though. Sorry everybody.)

  127. I don’t mind Worthington, even if I often don’t like the movies he’s in. I did really like him in SABOTAGE, though. He seemed very real and ego-free in the role of a just-barely-made-good white trash kinda guy. I bought him a lot more than all the other people on the team, who seemed more like they were making fun of that kind of person than trying to embody it.

    That’s funny. I just realized that in two Ayer joints back to back, my favorite characters were more-multidimensional-than-you’d-think rednecks played by Internet-hated actors who got famous in massive special effects blockbusters. Maybe SUICIDE SQUAD will be Courtney’s turn.

  128. I’ve only seen Worthington in AVATAR and TERMINATOR BEST NOT TALK ABOUT THIS MOVIE ANYMORE. He was passable in the former cause the king knows how to direct just about anybody.

    As far as the latter goes his performance and character are two of the only tolerable things about it. It was infinitely more interesting than internet god former REDACTED’s acting and narrative in the same feature. So like with y’all he’s ok in my book.

    Courtney on the other hand I’m still hot and cold about. I didn’t like him in DIE HARD THE 5TH but even Bruce was awful in that one. Chris McQuarrie did get some decent shit from him in JACK REACHER. So here’s hoping Ayer pulls off a miracle with his Captain Boomerang. Since he’s clearly one of those dudes who could be passable in the hands of a halfway decent filmatist.

  129. Mr Majestyk – There are two of us now. I warmed up to DIE HARD 5 watching it when it came out on blu-ray.

  130. Well the bar so far for the Captain Boomerang character was just last week on ARROW, played by Courtney’s SPARTACUS co-star Nick Tarabay:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-_4T1rT-jk

  131. Yeah that was pretty ok. Much more accurate to the comic books version of boomerang than I ever expected. Speaking of. I actually I’m a green arrow fan but do not like the arrow show. Its just a pet peeve of mine but I hate when they try to make Ollie the Batman lite. Even the comics wisely moved away from that during the Silver Age. I prefer when he’s much more his own character.

    On the other hand I’ve really liked the New Flash series. So I was surprised that when it came to the cross overs I actually preferred the arrow episode. Particularly because the flash himself felt truer to the characterization I’m familiar with in that episode then he did in the episode for his own series.

  132. It is funny though that twon Spartacus guys play the same character in live action. Almost as funny as Amand Pays and Mark Hamill playing the same characters they played in the nineties flash TV series in this new one.

  133. It seems like EVERYONE from SPARTACUS is getting DC roles, usually as assassins. Manu Bennet as Deathstroke, Katrina Law as Nyssa, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Waller, Lesly-Ann Brandt as Copperhead on GOTHAM.

    They’ve also said that while the Nolan Batmans are an inspiration, they also took Longbow Hunters and Green Arrow: Year One as big inspirations for their take on the character, and that there is meant to be a progression for him from what he started as to something closer to the comic book incarnation.

  134. Longbow Hunters I definitely see with the torture and stuff. That’s the Green Arrow I grew up reading. Mike Grell’s the one who crossed lines Batman wouldn’t. Yet still had his reasons to do what he does. Which is more of a 70s and 90s comics thing.

  135. If Batman is Zorro; Green Arrow is Robin Hood. That’s always been the fundamental difference.

  136. There was some Robin Hood stuff with how the list targeted specific people who’d profited from their crimes, and him giving them a chance to make amends before he’d take more drastic action. He even literally steals from the rich in the pilot by hacking that guy’s bank account. They’ve admittedly shifted to more reactionary stuff since.

  137. But Mad Max isn’t nerd shit it’s man shit. Matter of fact considering how nerds love to have every single minute detailed explained to them no matter how much that hinders the pace of the movie I don’t know if this will connect with them.

    Mad Max movies are more for people who watch movies to actually be entertained. Not for people who watch movies to dissect them and over think and over analyze every single detail while watching the movie instead of just enjoying what’s on the screen.

    Takes balls to make a movie like this for a generation that just doesn’t like to immerse themselves in movies anymore. Buncha arm chair critics who just want to go into a movie to take notes. Won’t be surprised at all if it ends up getting a giant backlash from all those internet nerds because of that. I’m glad it was made though because it’s honestly probably the only major blockbuster next year that I’m actually going to go watch. They can keep their Avengers and theit Jurassic world and Star Wars I got a new Mad Max and that’s all I really need.

    Dope trailer nonetheless. Always refreshing to hear actual music in a blockbuster movie trailer. Classical music always compliments action movie trailer so well too since the days of CLIFFHANGER and DIE HARD 2.

  138. I would have posted this in the post you made about Twelve Reasons To Die, but I couldn’t find it via search. Vern, have you heard of Prhyme? It is a new album by Royce Da 5’9″ and DJ Premier and Primo exclusively samples the catalog of the guy that did the BLACK DYNIMITE soundtrack. It is good stuff!

  139. No, I didn’t know about that, Charles. I’ll look for it, thanks for the tip. I thought you were gonna tell me about the new Ghostface, which is practically a remake of 12 Reasons to Die but with The Revelations instead of Adrian Younge.

  140. I have only had the chance to listen to a little bit of the 36 Seasons album but it sounds pretty good.

  141. The Original Paul

    December 15th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Any chance of getting Chris to do some clean-up of the “Films of Cinema” forum, Vern? My NIGHTCRAWLER thing has been buried under two pages’ worth of spam.

  142. Since Spider-Man will now be a member of the Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe does that mean that their is still hope for the same to happen with the Fantastic Four?

  143. I wouldn’t rule it out if it bombs big time. (Or at least fails to break any records like the last two Spideys did.) We shouldn’t hope for the X-Men to join the MCU though. This series is still making money and beloved by nerds and general audiences alike.

  144. But the REAL problem, that most people have seemed to overlook in their euphoria, is that Sony still has full creative control over all standalone Spidey movies. And recently they don’t have the best track records, when it comes to creative decisions in their Spidey movies. But apparently they are willing to learn. So…optimism?

  145. It’s baby steps. I do think Marvel Studios will still have considerable control the movies they produce themselves that will feature Spidey as opposed to the solo movies Sony will release. I’m not the biggest Marvel Studios fan by any means. However I do give Kevin Feige more credit than that I’m sure he’s gonna make sure third time is the charm for Spidey on film.

    I gave up on the X-MEN and generally don’t care about them going back to Marvel. I’m actually fine with where they’re at right now. DOFP was easily the best movie in the franchise since X2. It only took more than a decade to get there but better late than never.

    The FF are the heart of the Marvel universe though. It would be amazing to see them among the Inhumans and Dr. Strange where they belong. We’ll see what happens this August I guess.

  146. I haven’t watched a Marvel Studios movie since THE AVENGERS at the cinema whenever that came out. However if they got the movie rights to the Fantastic Four I’ll jump back in with whatever phase they’ll be added on to. It’s just gonna feel kinda weird seeing a universe where Black Panther has 0 connection to the Fantastic Four.

  147. CJ – I have trouble believing Marvel would have agreed to let Sony have that much power in such a deal. They might have let Sony claim to have that supposed “power” openly so they won’t lose face in public. Did you read that press release? Sony “welcomed” Marvel Studios to the Spider-Man universe or something absurd.

    Broddie – honestly I want to see FF come back to Marvel if simply because we would see Dr. Doom and Latveria be done with some justice. As much of he is the FF’s archnemesis, he’s also one of the Avengers’ top threats over the years. Honestly IMO he’s more valuable to Marvel than the FF themselves.

    Also I had been meaning to ask you: What do you think about what Marvel is trying to do with the Inhumans, make them be their Mutant substitutes for their movies? I mean hell apparently the comics recently retconned out Magneto’s parentage of Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch so that they’re apparently Inhumans and not ole Muties.

  148. Let me clarify what I meant about my “Marvel not letting Sony..” point. Many many years ago in some complicated legality shit I am too lazy to look up and link, Sony and Marvel came to a settlement where basically Marvel was allowed to keep 100% of the money made from Spider-Man merchandis while Sony was allowed to keep 100% of the box-office money made from the movies. Considering how expensive TASM 2 was and that the money it made wasn’t exactly that much of a profit, Marvel meanwhile rolled in the money made in the toys. (Hell Spider-Man merch sells more than Batman and Superman merch COMBINED, if I remember that insane statistic right.)

    So point is Sony is also having big money troubles. They needed a cash injection and their top non-Bond franchise needed a kick in the ass. Marvel meanwhile wasn’t hurting for money, so they had leverage over Sony. If I understood the press release right, Sony will distribute and fund that next Spider-Man flm which would mean they would make most of the profits. (Which in capitalism, is fair enough.) Meanwhile Marvel can have him in CIVIL WAR and INFINITY WAR movies, with CW basically try to outgross BATMAN VS SUPERMAN in an epic dick-sizing contest.

    Point is when you look at it like that, Sony needs Marvel more than Marvel needs them.

  149. Dumb question: Will Marvel try to make Spidey a member of the Avengers?

  150. How are they gonna have time for poor Winter Soldier’s storyline when they gotta deal with Captain America, Iron Man, Black Panther and now Spider-man? Also, does Falcon get to be in it or do they have a Walking Dead style “one brother at a time” rule?

  151. RRA, I don’t know what is really behind the deal, but all we know so far is that Sony lets Marvel use Spidey in their movies, while they can still make their own Spidey movies with full creative control. Sure, in the end it might be a case of “We do whatever Marvel wants, then put our name underneath it and get the money”, but for now I’m still worried. (At least Marvel will definitely have a say in who is gonna be Spidey next.)

  152. Vern – here’s my theory. Pure speculation, no facts backing this up: while Stark and Rogers are feuding over the political issue of government regulation of these supers (I guess?), shit boils over and they come to blows ultimately though over TWS. He killed Howard Stark, unless that movie gave me the wrong impression. Stark finds out, he wants revenge. Rogers wants to save his buddy. Thus begins this schism in the Avengers camp.

    I don’t think Spider-Man will have that big of a role honestly. Faraci had reported that there was a time when Marvel wanted him for CW (because he was a major part of that storyline) but Sony negotiations stalled so Marvel decided to use Black PAnther instead…and I’m pretty sure they’re keeping to that plan. I think Spidey will be a bait & switch situation. Maybe have him pop up in the climax or a scene where both sides unsuccessfully try to recruit him or something. A glorified cameo really. But Marvel will put him in the trailer and everybody will think “holy shit he’s in the movie!”…just not as much as they’ll be led to believe. Will he have a bigger part in the upcoming INFINITY WAR Films? Perhaps?

    I can’t wait for that TWS/Iron Man fighting setpiece.

  153. RRA – Well like I said before I am really not a Marvel Studios fan so it makes no real difference to me as I won’t be seeing any of their upcoming movies save for the Inhumans one.

    I do love the Inhumans though being that I am a big fan of the FF and their spin offs. So I guess in that sense it’s cool because it would help make these awesome characters more relevant and substantial to a greater audience that doesn’t read comic books. Maybe they’ll finally get the respect they deserved even from a lot of so called Marvel fans once they’re finally in hit movies. Since so many people in the fanboy community are followers and care about popularity and such things.

    As far as the comics canon is concerned. I do think robbing them of their Magneto origins takes away a lot from both characters. However I haven’t seen that concept in execution myself since I only read 2 Marvel books every month (All-New X-Men and Daredevil) and it’s not a subject that has been touched upon in the one X book I do read so I can’t fully comment on that out of sheer ignorance. For all I know it probably works pretty well contextually.

  154. Broddie – it’ll be interesting to see how they pull off Lockjaw. Meanwhile AGENTS OF SHIELD have already started digging into the Inhumans stuff, all except for saying the “I” word.

    I do wonder though, will Marvel have access to those Spider-Man related characters/connections to put in other films and TV shows? I mean Ben Urich (major Daredevil character and will appear in that upcoming TV series) worked at Daily Bugle for years, effectively Parker’s co-worker. Kingpin has tangled with Spider-Man many times, despite being DD’s archnemesis. J. Jonah Jameson is known for hating Spider-Man, but he really doesn’t like the supers in general so he’s the sort to constantly blame Tony Stark for aliens invading NYC and calls for Black Widow to be detained at Guantanamo Bay and so forth.

    It won’t happen, but Vincent D’Onofrio showing up in that Spider-Man film in a cameo as Kingpin (also in Netflix series) would be good fun.

  155. The Undefeated Gaul

    February 12th, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Holy shit did I love Kingsman. Think I may have just seen my fav movie of the year.

  156. The Original Paul

    February 12th, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I’m probably months late to the party here but… there’s a new TERMINATOR movie?

    I can’t decide if this will be another dump on some of my favorite movies or a step up from TERMINATOR: SALVATION. Quite possibly both. I didn’t see T4, on account of everybody said that if you hold the first two or even three films in any regard whatsoever then it would make you want to hulk out on the movie screen. But I imagine the general reaction to it can’t possibly be much worse than SALVATION had.

  157. The Original Paul

    February 12th, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    And two Marvel-related comments that aren’t just pointless bitching at their film division:

    – I already knew of the Kingpin before the DAREDEVIL movie came out, and that was through the videogames he was a part of. Pretty sure he was the antagonist of Spiderman, the Punisher, and Nick Fury way back when. What with him appearing in DAREDEVIL as well, a film that also featured Elektra, I pretty much have always thought of him as a fairly one-size-fits-all villain, able to adapt to whatever property he’s in.

    – The character of Falcon, at least for the first two-thirds or so of WINTER SOLDIER, seemed to be its biggest redeeming factor. At least before they turned him into yet another boring supersoldier. (Thanks, TWS. I was in serious danger of becoming actually engaged with your story because of this guy, but crisis averted!) Before they did that, Falcon looked like a strong contender to become another Marvel favorite character for me, up there with Dr Selvig and Pepper Potts. But, as much as I hate that they took a really likeable well-written well-acted character whose primary interest was in being a normal but well-intentioned soldier in a world of supersoldiers, used him pretty effectively until the last act, then gave him wings and had him dodge freakin’ homing missile barrages… I think he could absolutely work as an integral part of a future Marvel movie. He just needs to be used as he was at the beginning of TWS: as the common soldier, whose motivations and courage can be as great as the superheroes’ but whose deeds are smaller and might go unappreciated by whatever greater powers there are in the world.

    Ok, maybe just a little pointless bitching. But it comes from a place of love.

  158. Method Man’s top 5 movies for rottentomatoes. Highlights include his recollection of putting NAPOLEON DYNAMITE on for a bunch of “nothing but real, you know, killers, thugs, right?” And even better, a righteous rant about how much he hates shaky-cam in action movies.

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_cobbler_2015/news/1932933/method_mans_five_favorite_films/

  159. So the first STAR WARS spinoff movie starring Felicity Jones has been announced to be ROGUE ONE, so I guess we’re getting Top Gun in Space? I loved the X-Wing Series from the expanded universe novels, which were set after Return of the Jedi and were about the Rebellion (now called The New Republic) still fighting a weakened Empire and doing various missions. It was a good example of how the Star Wars universe has a rich setting that you can do a lot with without even mentioning The Force.

  160. Original Paul – first off, Kingpin did start out originally as a Spider-Man villain before Frank Miller turned him into Daredevil’s archnemesis.

    Second, I think going forward Falcon’s role in that whole superhero/Avengers clique will be that of the normal guy who’s now playing superhero. (I guess Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang might fill that same niche?)

    In Hollywood dick moves: Episode 8 has been dated for the same weekend in May 2017 as the LEGO Batman movie.

  161. Max Landis made another short film explaining the history of something from entertainment like he did the DEATH OF SUPERMAN storyline, only this time he’s doing the history of the Wrestling character HHH in order to demonstrate the potential of wrestling as a storytelling medium, and it’s funny and really insightful:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYvMOf3hsGA

  162. Had to bow out at :19.

  163. You should give it another shot, Vern. Landis Jr may be an unsympathetic douchebag par excellence, but that son of a beard knows how to explain popculture in surprisingly entertaining, insightful and cynicism free videos. (But yeah, I wish he would get someone else as narrator for his videos too.)

  164. I’m with Vern on this one. I couldn’t get through this guy’s Death of Superman video, either. I’m sorry, but Landis Jr. is a charisma black hole. (Until now, I had no clue that this dude was the son of John Landis. You learn something new everyday.)

  165. I hadn’t even turned on the sound yet, but seeing that asshole in a sleeveless Motörhead t-shirt right after the “see, I totally have cool semi-celebrity friends” moment, I just HAD to stop watching immediately. And I did enjoy CHRONICLE, and I won’t write him off as a one-hit wonder yet but he’s just too fucking grating.

  166. The Original Paul

    March 20th, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    TUG – Regarding “Kingsman” – I’m right there with you. It’s easily the best movie I’ve seen in the cinema this year.

    (Well, ok, it’s also the ONLY movie I’ve seen in the cinema this year. But it’s a pretty good one.)

    Mr Subtlety – I just love that he put THE STATION AGENT in there. Fantastic film. And the shakycam rant is glorious.

  167. I wonder: If Vern ever reviews KINGSMAN, will he dig into Matthew Vaughn’s complaints about comic book/superhero/popcorn films being too serious, dark, not “fun” enough? (I can’t remember precisely his exactly complaint months ago.) I could see Vern ripping into that comment plus the so-called “grimdark” backlash online (like at MOS.)

    Also Sam Jackson with a random lisp was hilarious. That dinner scene and its punchline….how did Vaughn get the clearence for it?

  168. Also saw the trailer for PIXELS. I was with it until I saw Adam Sandler’s mug. Movie reminds me of BATTLESHIP for some reason. So this is like WRECK-IT RALPH, except live-action and not decent?

  169. Clearly I didn’t give it a fair shot, maybe later. I sometimes have a morbid fascination with that guy. I’ve heard him on a few podcasts and almost immediately hated him. He is a living humblebrag, constantly claiming to be messed up and a bad person while clearly so, so, impressed by himself. He’s spastic and annoyingly random and then very passionate about his movie pitches of lame fan fiction ideas. Examples: the one about a fat guy who dies and turns out to be Slimer. The one where it turns out James Bond is a code name and all the different actors who have played James Bond all exist at the same time and Sean Connery is the bad guy. The one that is an epic trilogy about a guy on a boat and then you find out like two hours in that it’s Igor from Frankenstein. (This one is being made into a movie, and the cat’s already out of the bag since it’s called “Victor Frankenstein”. Guess he didn’t think about that.)

    So I was pretty amused when I found out he is notorious in L.A. for being obnoxious at movie theaters. Imagine sitting in front of the guy in that video while he works out his theories.

  170. RRA: No, it’s exactly like a FUTURAMA episode. http://theinfosphere.org/Anthology_of_Interest_II#Act_II:_.22Raiders_of_the_Lost_Arcade.22

    I’ve not seen the whole “Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling” for some of the same reasons, but as a fellow fan I do admire the effort. But for as good as it may be, I sure do wish he used a better example than HHH. The guy doesn’t need any more ego boosting than the company he practically runs now gives him.

  171. I tried to watch more of it, and had to stop again, but if I had to guess, I’d say he chose Triple H because he wanted an excuse for the incredibly original and hilarious joke of having a man portray Chyna. You don’t really have opportunities for great jokes like that if you choose The Rock or Austin.

  172. Well most of the male roles are played by women in the video, and the whole thing with him choosing HHH is because he’s pointing out the general decades long story of how the character of HHH is a massively insecure tool desperate to be recognised that he’s the best, and failing and how most of his major career decisions are based around that.
    I know Landis isn’t for everyone, but I did not expect this level of criticism of the guy(especially from Vern, who tends to be a little more diplomatic). I also don’t think he gets his celebrity friends in it to look cool, just because he needs lots of people for these things and they share a common interest with him. Nobody’s putting David Arquette in a short to look cool. They’re doing it because he’s a fellow wrestling fan. Though I did find it a bit rich for Simon Pegg to play John Landis in the Superman one telling his son that Vampires don’t need to follow specific rules, when Pegg made SHAUN OF THE DEAD because he was so pissed off at what 28 Days Later did to the zombie genre.

  173. The Original Paul

    March 21st, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Stu:

    “Though I did find it a bit rich for Simon Pegg to play John Landis in the Superman one telling his son that Vampires don’t need to follow specific rules, when Pegg made SHAUN OF THE DEAD because he was so pissed off at what 28 Days Later did to the zombie genre.”

    Oh man… seriously? Seriously?

    Ok, that just made my day. Funniest thing I’ve heard in a good while. I know that I’m probably the biggest detractor of SotD here, but everybody sees the irony of this? Right?

  174. Max Landis made me sick with jealously because I read some story from him about how he lost his virginity when he was 13 to some older girl despite how much of a nerd he was, yeah I bet it’s easy to get laid when your daddy is rich and famous but at least my dad didn’t get an actor and two children killed through negligence.

  175. Stu, I beg to differ. Putting people like David Arquette or Macaulay Culkin in a video is EXACTLY what someone like Landis would do to look cool. Like, “hey, how cool is it that the former celebrities I’m totes besties with have such a great sense of humor that they’re willing to do a silly video like this? Cause you see, they’re well aware if the fact that they’re not considered cool anymore, but guess what, they don’t care! Which actually makes them totally cool! We might be rich and semi-famous but we’re just a bunch of regular cool dudes like you guys! Now let’s casually blow your mind with my great insight and completely original views on wrestling: it’s no faker than reality tv! It’s full of homoeroticism! Triple H sucks!”

  176. I mean you just KNOW that his next video will be something like “Let me explain to you how AVATAR is secretly POCAHONTAS IN SPACE” with cameos by David Hasselhoff and Mr T and a DANCES WITH WOLVES joke for good measure.

  177. Well, the “it’s full of homoeroticism” thing is something that you said, Toxic. Not him. And honestly, I think if he tackles AVATAR, I think it will be more like “Why AVATAR is NOT Pocahontas in space and a much better movie than you give it credit for”, with cameos by Joss Whedon and probably someone from iCarly.

    As I said before, I think he is a major douchebag too and CHRONICLE was one of the most awful nerd hyped experiences I sat through in years, but his videos are seriously good and in terms of entertainment value and good observations FAR above whatever shit Red Letter Media, Cracked, those “honest trailers” guys and 99% of all popculture centered YouTubers are doing.

  178. Well I guess we’re on opposite ends of the Landis spectrum then, cause I thought CHRONICLE was entertaining, and what I’ve seen of his videos is a mix of obvious (yeah people sure say “you know it’s fake right?” a lot, and they’re soooo wrong) and inaccurate (yeah I know they had that lady who totally looked like a dude in DX, which is hilarious to point at again, cause she was a lady, and totally looked like a dude, but where the fuck is Rick Rude? And the “Good American vs Evil Russian” is something they’re doing again now and were doing back in the 80s, but really not so much in the 90s when DX started so why is he bringing that up?) stuff.

  179. The Original Paul

    March 22nd, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Knowing absolutely nothing about wrestling (it’s been about twenty years since I’ve watched it – hell, it was still called the WWF back then), I found the video pretty entertaining actually. I dunno, something about just making the WWE into a DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES-style soap-opera struck a chord with me.

    And I really liked CHRONICLE, for what it’s worth.

  180. Max Landis is just another overprivileged weirdo.

  181. Toxic-He has a disclaimer at the end basically admitting that he left stuff out or got it not in quite the right order, but the gist of it was accurate, and it covered the actually important stuff. I mean, I KNOW Rick Rude was involved in the original DX stuff, but I’ve never actually SEEN any footage of segments he was a part of.

    “And the “Good American vs Evil Russian” is something they’re doing again now ”
    Yes, but while it’s a resurgent thing NOW, he was talking specifically about how it was a massive staple of the industry back in the day, but went away when the Attitude Era kicked off, largely with the likes of DX and Stone Cold.

  182. Well I’m sure Rick Rude would be happy to know that he was never actually important if he were still alive. For the rest, as I said, the Good American vs Evil Russian” is something they were using in the 1980s, NOT in the 1990s when the Attitude Era started. I even remember a storyline from the mid-1990s where Nikolai Volkoff, formerly an evil commie bastard, became a sympathetic character (due to money problems, he was forced to work as a lackey for the Million Dollar Man). The Cold War was over and in the pre-Attitude Era days your typical evil foreign wrestler was Japanese, not Russian.

  183. If you weren’t watching WWF in 1997 (which I guess Stu wasn’t) then you wouldn’t remember Rick Rude in DX. With that said I do see where Toxic is coming from as he had no issue including other 1997 DX elements in the video.

  184. Uh…any chance of Vern giving the Divergent series a shot? It’s not groundbreaking and the whole faction world-building stuff is beyond silly, but get past that and there’s lots of good stuff here.

    The first one is actually not that similar to Hunger Games, and more of a surprisingly successful mash-up of Starship Troopers, Equilibrium, G.I. Jane and Nightmare on Elm Street(!) Plus it has the soul and structure of a violent action movie buried underneath the YA trappings. The main character has a ton of training montages and hand to hand fights; people are shot and stabbed and get their necks snapped – she probably kills more people than Katniss did in the first 3 Hunger Games combined. The finale is an Under Siege-esque hand to hand fight in a control room with a ticking clock of doom, for crying out loud. But unfortunately the action is workmanlike and perfunctory, like the director has zero interest in the action parts of his action movie, and even though Woodley is pretty good, I kept thinking if we had an actual martial artist (I dunno, a younger Carano or Rousey-type) in the role, and better staged fights, this movie would have been pretty incredible.

    The second one isn’t quite as successful but has two things going for it – Miles Teller is simply awesome as the comic relief/villain (I don’t remember him acting so Miles Teller-ish in the first one), and *SPOILER* it has an ending I didn’t see coming. Whereas I was totally expecting a middle-movie cliffhanger like Hunger Games 3 (aka an exercise in wheel-spinning), Insurgent does the exact opposite and almost TOO MUCH happens. It effectively ends the series, and even though I know there’s a third (and unfortunately fourth) movie coming out, I literally have no idea where they’re going or what they’ll be about.

  185. Apparently Scott Eastwood is playing Steve Trevor in the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe.

    Not that I care about either, but you know what my first reaction was?

    “Man, I would kill for Clint Eastwood to cameo as still-living Sgt. Rock.”

    PEOPLE, THIS AWESOME SHIT MUST HAPPEN!

  186. Having seen AVENGERS: AOU…yeah I predict Vern will have considerable problems with that 3rd act, also known as “Marvel wanting Zack Snyder to smell their finger while ignoring the hypocrisy.”

  187. The Original Paul

    May 3rd, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Ok. First a disclaimer: I am not a Nerd. (See? It works!)

    Secondly, I’ve been on a bit of an Amazon binge. Here’s what I currently have on the desk next to me right now:

    – MAD MAX trilogy DVDs.
    – The Kurosawa samurai collection (SEVEN SAMURAI, THRONE OF BLOOD, HIDDEN FORTRESS, YOJIMBO and SANJURO – the only one I already own is SEVEN SAMURAI).
    – The complete LONE WOLF AND CUB boxset (SWORD OF VENGEANCE, BABY CART AT THE RIVER STYX, BABY CART TO HADES, BABY CART IN PERIL, BABY CART IN THE LAND OF DEMONS, WHITE HEAVEN IN HELL, and SHOGUN ASSASSIN).
    – The ALIEN quadrilogy (as bizarre as it seems, I don’t actually own a copy of ALIENS, a movie that I love and have seen several times in two separate versions).

    Plus a whole bunch of films that I’d seen in the cinema but not actually bought on DVD (KILL LIST, SHAME, THE WAY WAY BACK, KINGS OF SUMMER, IN A WORLD, etc.)

    So… I’m finally going to fill that ROAD WARRIOR-shaped hole in my heart. As for Kurosawa and Lone wolf and cub, the only one of Kurosawa’s films that I’ve actually seen (at least of the samurai collection) is SEVEN SAMURAI, and I haven’t seen any LWaC films yet. So I’m looking forward to all of those.

  188. It is pretty hilarious how AOU goes out of it’s way to show civilians being rescued and now even MAN OF STEEL’s sequel will be about everyone hating Super Man because of all the destruction he caused.

  189. The Original Paul – Watching the original Mad Max trilogy alongside all that Kurosawa will be really interesting. I’m sure there’s a lot of crosstalk between Kurasawa and Miller going on. I have also started revisiting the Mad Max series, and it renewed my appreciation for the first film. It seems much more like a John Ford western in a lot of ways.

    I’m sure that the finale of AoU is, in part, a response to these large city destroying third acts in superhero films, but I don’t know if it’s a direct fuck you to Man of Steel.

  190. Yeah, because Whedon’s been pretty POSITIVE about the WB Superhero films and BVS recently.

    Speaking of Mad Max, they released a trailer explaining the gameplay of the new video game that’s coming out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkcPYdD2gSo
    While it’s not a direct adaptation of FURY ROAD, it does seem like it’s somewhat informed by it, so I was taken a little aback at what you can see at 0:35 on the dashboard of the car, which apparently shows they’ve changed a detail from the first movie’s story. Does this imply FURY ROAD is an actual reboot?

  191. Okay, I checked, and the games developers say it’s not in continuity with the movies and is standalone, and really more about capturing the feel of MAD MAX, to the point that it’s isn’t meant to be set in an particular country. Still, it’s odd to specifically change Max’s son infant son into an apparently much older daughter, isn’t it?

  192. That Mad Max game looks awesome, it’s also been in development since like 2007.

    2015 is shaping up to be a fucking awesome year for games.

  193. “Yeah, because Whedon’s been pretty POSITIVE about the WB Superhero films and BVS recently.”

    Stu – If you say so. All I’m saying is which recent superhero film was the one people bitched and bitched about the destruction/not-saving-civilians stuff? Not DOFP, not TWS, not GOTG, not IM3, and so forth. I mean its just, if Whedon/Marvel didn’t have MOS on mind while planning all that…I just have trouble believing that. It would be an incredible coincidence.

  194. Anybody else see that SUICIDE SQUAD lineup pic?

    I’m surprised The Fresh Prince allowed them to go for Deadshot’s traditional mask as opposed to something that shows that it’s Will Smith in a costume. The one nitpick is the visor on the wrong eye is kinda distracting for someone like me who’s so familiar with the character but it’s still far more spot on than expected.

    Didn’t even know Katana was in this movie. Chances of her being the eyes of Batman on the team? and those this mean we’ll get to see Geo-Force, Black Lightning and Metamorpho at some point following Batfleck’s lead in this movie universe? man I hope so since I’m a huge Batman & The Outsiders fan.

    Killer Croc looks awesome. I hope he throws a rock at Batfleck.

  195. I think it looks pretty cool.

  196. It will be interesting to see what they do with Killer Croc, especially since DC, in some ways, has been trying to be the more “grounded” comic book world. My biggest complaint about the photo is that El Diablo looks like a George Romero zombie.

  197. If the MAD MAX game came to the PS3, that would have been great. But it seems to have been left in the dust and I have no interest nor money to shell out on the overpriced Social gaming devices as the next gen consoles are.

  198. I wasn’t expecting El Diablo to have the classic Zorro look from the Western comics cause it’s not the same version. I would’ve preferred the “Day of the Dead” like face paint the version used in the movie had in the comics though but it’s just a small gripe.

  199. RRA- I mean more that what they did in AoS wasn’t meant to be a “fuck you” to DC, just them really playing it safe to avoid negative comparisons.

    Really like the Suicide Squad lineup. I was worried that we were going to get them all looking as stupid as the cast of SABOTAGE do, but this is more of a nice midway point between comic books and realism, and there’s still a distinctive style from it that shows it’s not going to be about making it realistic, more crazy and wild. The big sticking point is…will this have an R-Rating? Because you have to have a bit of a callous, violent approach to the action in Suicide Squad. There has to be a scene were someone calls Waller’s bluff and the explosive implants are used to make an example, right?

  200. So they will make that fucking Boba Fett movie after all?

  201. At this point I’m expecting a Sy Snootles spin off to be announced soon. The house of mouse knows no restraint.

  202. I had to look up who or what Sy Snootles was. but now that I had, I wish I hadn´t.

  203. I would love for the Boba Fett spinoff to be a gritty, R rated take on the Star Wars universe, showing it at it’s seediest and scummiest, sorta like what the tragically canceled 1313 video game was going to be like.

    I mean come on, Star Wars has been around for almost 40 years, certainly there’s room for a spinoff that’s aimed at an older audience right? If not a literal R rated take than at least a very hard PG-13 with a general tone that is not quite for kids.

  204. I can even tell you what the perfect way to start it would be, have Boba escape from the sarlacc pit and show the inside of it as being this horrible thing filled with rotting bodies and gore, that would certainly let you know this is something different.

  205. So is anybody interested in starting an Fantasy Movie League with me? I even made a thread in the forum, in hope to claim it back from the spambots. http://www.outlawvern.com/forum/miscellaneous/fantasy-movie-league/#p11082

    It’s like Fantasy Football (Something that I never understood), but with movies and multiplexes and it can also be played as a single person. More info at fantasymovieleague.com

  206. So yesterday they released the trailer we’ve all been waiting for. THE SEASON 6 VENTURE BROS TRAILER!

    The Venture Bros. Season 6 NYCC Trailer | The Venture Bros. | Adult Swim

    The torturous wait is almost over. The Venture Bros. season 6 coming soon to Adult Swim, early 2016. Watch Full Episodes: http://asw.im/VmKyI SUBSCRIBE: http...

  207. Whoa Venture Bros is still around?!?

    to quote the late Johnny Carson: “I did not know that”.

  208. Oh and to go back to SW for a sec I finally saw the Phineas and Ferb SW episode yesterday. Pretty damn good. Along with the Lando comic book mini series that ended this past week it was the only recent SW anything that I will be messing with for the forseeable future as I am completely over the movies and everything else but I’m sure glad that it exists. Probably the only good thing we’re getting out of Disney’s SW the cross pollinating with other Disney franchises and the exploitation of comic book minis via Marvel Comics.

  209. Sorry for that crazy ass run on sentence in the middle there BTW

    Haven’t had my coffee yet. So I’m still a bit unfocused this morning.

  210. Yes, VENTURE BROS is still around. And as you can see, the creators managed to give us 6 seasons within 13 yearsl

    And I love the PHINEAS & FERB SW special. This and the Marvel one, look on paper like the kind of cynical cash grab that we all expected after Disney bought Lucasfilm & Marvel, but the people behind P&F really gave the best to make it as much fun for everybody as possible. (And that was a lot more fun than anybody ever expected!)

  211. Good to see others excited about SUICIDE SQUAD after that new trailer dropped. I always thought Ayer had more of a sense of humour than people were willing to give him credit for. Maybe people will finally let go of that DC “no jokes” meme now. I’m glad that Robbie is toning down Harley Quinn’s typically ridiculous accent to somewhere south of irritating. Also good to see Jai Courtney going full-Aussie and displaying some personality. Even Leto’s ridiculous Juggalo Joker is growing on me.

  212. Yeah I loved them opening on him incoherently ranting at a guard and his cheeky beer sipping. I suspect they’ll play into the fact the character is such the butt of jokes a lot, but still let him kick ass when it counts. And despite some people’s fears of Smith’s ego taking up proceedings, he’s been getting pretty even-handed focus in the marketing so far and I like what I see of the character.

  213. Yeah, the new SUICIDE SQUAD trailer was a surprise. Looks like a lot of fun and I actually consider now watching it before it hits pay TV.

  214. The Undefeated Gaul

    January 21st, 2016 at 1:12 am

    I think the sense of fun in that trailer mostly comes from the music, can’t go wrong with Queen. The actual footage though is quite underwhelming to me. The locations all look drab and dull, and the snippets we’re seeing of the performances are doing nothing for me. Margot Robbie especially seems terrible, which is something I’d never expect to say about her as I think she’s a great actress.

    What rubbed me the wrong way the most though, were the constant lines like “They’re the worst of the worst” and “We’re bad guys, it’s what we do” which we already know are empty statements because of the PG 13 rating. How bad can they be if they won’t even be allowed to say a naughty word, let alone kick a puppy or something.

  215. By current PG-13 standards: Very evil. They just can’t be nude, say “fuck” more than once and when they torture someone in the most grueling way, their victim is not allowed to bleed much.

  216. The Undefeated Gaul

    January 21st, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I know, they can still get away with a lot, but it just won’t have that edge. That real, sharp, dangerous edge that will make you believe their constantly repeating promises that “We’re bad guys. No really! Please believe me!”

    Hey, it’s still the most interesting looking upcoming DC film, but my expectations have dropped quite a bit after that trailer.

  217. Leto looks like the perfect middle ground between Nicholson and Ledger so count me in. Then again it’s David Ayer taking on the seedier side of the DCU with Son of Clint as a possible Dick Grayson so it’s not like they didn’t have my money in advance already.

  218. Gaul – something must be wrong with me too because I’m not feeling the new Suicide Squad trailer either (and I absolutely LOVED the first one). Even though both trailers are almost exactly the same length, this one feels MUCH, MUCH longer to the point I felt it went on too long, and I do like the concept of putting in the Queen song but it kinda felt like a weird fan-made trailer you’d find on youtube. The part where Will Smith is shooting on the street and the music ramps up is amazing though.

    I think alot of it is the first trailer had that real sad, melancholy vibe to it – it went beyond “dark and gritty comic book movie” – it seemed actually hopeless and bleak. It was unashamedly emotional and wasn’t afraid to show it’s characters sad and crying. I was convinced most of these characters would die by the end of the movie. This trailer just seems like a bunch of LOLZ (albeit decent ones). I’ve heard some say it tries to be like Guardians of the Galaxy and even though I didn’t think that at first, it does seem more like “Generic misfit team movie #35” as opposed to the one-of-a-kind vibe from that first trailer.

  219. Honestly, while I wouldn’t give the new trailer any awards for innovation either, the first one turned me off by the use of one of the most annoying cliches of modern trailers: The slow and haunting ballad version of a popular popsong. I even think they got the same young girl, who sang the slow and haunting ballad version of the Pinocchio song in the AGE OF ULTRON trailer. Too bad that the people behind the DEADPOOL trailers didn’t of making a s.a.h.b. version of either SHOOP or that rap song that they play in all of them.

    Talking about Deadpool: Something tells me that this is gonna be this year’s SNAKES ON A PLANE/SERENITY/SCOTT PILGRIM/DREDD, etc. Y’know, the kind of movie that “the internet” is super excited about and judging by the comment sections on certain websights seems like the surefire hit of the year, but will fail to get the attraction of the “real world” audience.

  220. I’ve decided to just take the internet’s word on it for DEADPOOL because that shit looks terrible.

  221. I quite liked the test footage for DEADPOOL, but everything since then, barring T.J. Miller’s distinctly post-Apatow riffing, looks so 90s to me, and not in a good way; the THE MASKesque wisecracking, the idea that a modicum of self-awareness and post-modernism is inherently amusing and somehow negates the corporate banality of the whole thing. It looks like an R-Rated FREAKAZOID, and from me that isn’t a compliment. Or to put it another way it looks like a film written by someone who grew up loving Poochie but not getting the joke.

  222. But fair play the Valentine’s Day billboard is inspired

  223. It is my understanding that the post-modern, fourth-wall-breaking self-awareness is Deadpool’s entire M.O. and has been since the 90s. It’s not just something they made up for the movie. I guess we just have to take it on faith that that’s a good thing.

    I don’t know. I think Reynolds has one of the best one-liner deliveries in the business, and he seems super committed to the part, and I’m always down for an R-rated action comedy, even in tights, so I’ll see it. I’m just kind of taking it on faith that, like every comedy made for the past 20 years, it’s funnier than its clumsy, obvious trailer would suggest.

  224. I’m just glad the world has finally used Ryan Reynolds for his correct, intended purpose. I don’t know if the movie will be any good or not (yes, fourth-wall-breaking has been part of Deadpool’s MO since the 90’s, but it’s also been the MO of what seems like half the comic book movies of the past decade) but it’s just so obvious that Ryan Reynolds was put on this earth to play this character that it would be a terrible waste if they didn’t at least give it a shot. Without it, his only correct use would continue to be his five-minute cameo in HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE.

  225. I really like Ryan Reynolds, but if DEADPOOL bombs, the king of Hollywood will be like: “Ryan, you are cool guy, but I can’t protect you anymore, like I did over the last decade. Don’t worry, I called your agent, he will get you some roles in independent movies or maybe a starring role in a network crime show. But starring in those big studio movies? Sorry, man.”

  226. Broddie- That’s the first I’ve heard of that Dick Grayson theory, and I kinda hate you now for getting my hopes up. Though if anyone’s going to be an undercover agent for Batman, it would be Katana, surely?

  227. Never heard that Dick Grayson theory either. Seems unlikely, but would be cool.

    Dick Grayson is kind of a funny case when it comes to pop culture. That there have been three main Robins (maybe four, if you think Damian deserves to qualify) is “duh”-level obvious common knowledge to pretty much anyone who has read a DC comic, and they would likely consider Nightwing is an iconic and pivotal character. But to the vast majority of people who haven’t, but who do know the basics about Batman, that Robin fact would surprise them and the name Nightwing is probably meaningless. That’s true of my friends and family, at least.

    It’s only a matter of time before that changes, though. With all the superhero content out there, Dick Grayson is bound to be adapted by a movie or live action TV show at some point.

  228. Well a Titans show was in development, but just got officially killed by TNT. Steve McQueen’s grandson (whose a TV actor) has been campaigning to get the role for a few years.

  229. Since there is a huge possibility that most of those who care haven’t heard about it yet: Tomorrow (January 31st) starts season 6 of THE VENTURE BROS.

  230. The Original Paul

    January 30th, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Ok. So I like surprising you guys occasionally, but I think this particular recommendation comes a little further out of left-field than most. I’ve just finished watching a TV series called MARVEL’S JESSICA JONES. (Yes, that Marvel. The same company whose film division I’ve been boycotting ever since WINTER SOLDIER because I think it’s the worst thing to happen to cinema since shakycam.) Apparently their TV division is a lot better, because JESSICA JONES is very good indeed. It’s a leisurely-paced private eye drama with a great main character, secondary character, and villain.

    Not that it’s perfect. To get the big negative out of the way first, this thing is tied in to the “Marvel Universe”, which apparently is a “thing” that Marvel really, really wants to stretch out beyond the films (and, I presume, the comic books, although I can’t vouch for the veracity of this since I’ve not read them.) So, in what’s easily the worst episode of the series, there’s a subplot about a vengeful woman setting up superpowered PI Jessica Jones to be killed because of a relative that died “in the events that happened in New York”. I presume she’s referring to the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE movie, although to be honest New York has been exploded, stomped upon and generally obliterated so many times on film that she might’ve been talking about CLOVERFIELD for all I know / care. Anyway, this really did not work.

    Y’know what else didn’t work? Supersoldiers! Yep, in addition to the brilliant, scarily realistic abusive stalker villain of Kilgrave, portrayed with a subtlety and range that I didn’t realise the actor (David Tennant) was capable of, there’s also a pill-popping psychopathic super-soldier, who happens to be Jessica’s sister’s ex-boyf. It’s one of the most obvious cases of “one of these things just doesn’t belong here” that I’ve seen in a while. He just doesn’t fit the mellow, dark tone of the show. This human lump of wood belongs as one of the antagonist’s henchmen in a CAPTAIN AMERICA movie or something. Not in JESSICA JONES. He’s aggressively annoying, and only seems to be there to pad out the running time and give Jessica’s sister an antagonist in the same way that Kilgrave is Jessica’s. But there’s really no comparison between these two characters.

    So that’s the negative… but there are a helluva lot of positives. This show really grabbed me from the end of the second episode onwards – this is, not coincidentally, the first time that we really get a good look at the antagonist. (Early on in the series he’s mostly referred to just as “him”, barely ever by name, which is a nice touch.) Kilgrave is in a whole other league from any other Marvel villain that I’ve seen onscreen. It would’ve been easy to make him just the “douchebag stalker ex with superpowers”, but Tennant plays him as a guy who’s not so much delusional about his own good intentions, he has almost no comprehension of what good intentions are. He’s a rapist and a killer, but he’s not by any means above self-justification, he’s never whiny or annoying, and he honestly seems to believe his own bullshit. He seems to be capable of every emotion except empathy and remorse. He’s also a pleasant-voiced megalomaniac with an ego the size of the Empire State Building. If you saw this guy in a bar, you’d probably find him normal, if somewhat impatient. And if you pissed him off he’d tell you to break a window with your head, then use the shards of glass to cut your own throat. And he wouldn’t bother to stay behind to watch you do it. He’d probably have forgotten about it half an hour later.

    The title character is great too – a fairly standard “PI with a string of secrets”-type character, given a gender-flip and a likeable talk-show host sister, and portrayed with brittle conviction by Kristen Rytter. Both of the protagonists – Jessica Jones herself and her sister – are great. (Unfortunately the storyline the sister gets most involved in is the one involving the juiced-up supersoldier.) There are so many awesome little moments involving Jessica, a fellow superhuman that she gets involved with called Luke, and her sister. Add to this a classic “noir” atmosphere, and a lot of inverted “noir” tropes – Kilgrave is the ultimate inversion of the “femme fatale” archetype – and you have a really good adult-oriented show, with strong character work and excellent production values, that just happens to feature people with special abilities in it. I’d say this was the Marvel product for people who, like me, don’t like Marvel products; but unfortunately everything that ties it into the “Marvel Universe” drags it down. It still gets a good recommendation from me though.

  231. I keep forgetting that this show (And Daredevil, Sens8, Orange Is The New Black [I just started season 3], etc) exists. Netflix’s damn “We dump a whole season on you in a day” model, causes people only to stop talking about them after a week or two. I’m too old for this shit. Give me one episode a week and let’s talk about it for a few months!

  232. The “events that happened in New York” is something I wish they wouldn’t keep referring to in the DAREDEVIL show. If it really takes place in the same universe as AVENGERS, then why the fuck do people keep being like “yeah, a masked vigilante, right”, and “a blind man who can fight?! That can’t be!” whenever Daredevil beats up a couple of henchmen? Dude, the city was saved from aliens by a god and an invincible green giant and you keep mentioning it like it’s no big deal, but a blind vigilante blows your mind, really?

  233. I appreciate Marvel’s ambition. It’s a cool idea to connect hundreds of characters across television and film. So I like the idea of the Marvel Universe in film and TV, but it does lead to some wonky moments. Like in Jessica Jones, she has a really hard time convincing others that there’s a supervillian that can control people with his voice, even though all of New York saw aliens drop out from the sky and then watched as a supersoldier, a Norse God, and a giant green monster fought them off.

    Also, I agree with Paul that the supersoldier plot of Jessica Jones comes out of nowhere and serves little purpose. It just eats up a bit of running time. I really enjoyed the show, but at times they had to really stretch out the main plot to keep things going.

  234. Other than Agent Carter, I’ve seen every television show and every movie that came out since Agents of SHIELD started. It’s pretty clear that, especially with the Netflix stuff, that the movie people could give two shits about the TV stuff. If they want to put Daredevil, for example, in one of the movies, they are most likely going to re-cast them. If the TV shows were really a part of the universe, why couldn’t Jessica Jones just say hulk instead of big green guy? Why do the shows go completely out of their way not to reference actual characters in events? Because they’re not really a part of the MCU.

    Take the Inhumans plotline of SHIELD. They built up the Inhuman stuff with a pretty good mythology but they’ve already stated if they do that Inhuman’s movie, they’re going to completely ignore everything from the SHIELD show.

    As somebody who thinks Paul is fucking nuts and really enjoys all the movies, it actually really pisses me off that they completely could give two shits about the TV shows because, in a lot of cases, the TV shows are better.

  235. Yesterday I read an interview with the VENTURE BROS creators and they dropped the fact that they would have loved to write the DOCTOR STRANGE movie. They definitely would have been a better choice than Massawyrm. Oh well. Venture Bros season 6 tomorrow night!!!

  236. I’m pretty sure all that super soldier stuff was introduced so heavily toward the end of the season because it’s going to be the focus of the 2nd season, so, you’re S.O.L Paul.

    Kilgrave & Tennant were so completely brilliant. I swung back & forth so many times in thinking he was a monster, to thinking he was a victim of his parents/circumstances, to thinking he was kind of funny, back to being a monster; it was a masterful performance.

  237. The Original Paul

    January 30th, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Toxic and RBatty – that’s another thing that doesn’t make sense (if they are referring to AVENGERS ASSEMBLE in that one episode anyway). Not only does mind-control exist, there are many, many people who can testify to it without needing to know anything about Kilgrave. Loki’s staff, remember? Two SHIELD agents started attacking their own comrades. There must’ve been dozens of people who could testify that that happened, so what’s the problem? It’s particularly annoying because, as it’s presented in JESSICA JONES, it’s a really interesting legal and moral quandry that they go into in some detail (one of the lawyer characters points out that “Kilgrave made me do it” would become a valid defence for every psychopath sitting in jail if a certain character was acquitted because of it). It just doesn’t make sense as part of the “Marvel Universe”, where these kinds of things are routine.

    I’m ragging on at the series for this thing (and for the supersoldier subplot, which is about fifty IQ points below the average intelligence level of the show as a whole) but, disregarding the filler, MARVEL’S JESSICA JONES is seriously good and I’d absolutely recommend it to fans of noir with a supernatural bent. It could’ve lost a few episodes to get rid of some of the filler stuff and been even better, but the good parts are so damn good that I’d say it’s well worth your time nonetheless.

    Sternshein – I think the movies are mostly ok and I really like the Thor ones. Hell, I thought WINTER SOLDIER was better than its predecessor. I just couldn’t take the shitty, shitty politics any more. (Even the first THOR, which I like, has the SHIELD guys do some pretty despicable things, with zero consequences and with the ultimate blessing of the “hero” of the film.) WINTER SOLDIER was very much advertised as a “Cap vs. the American Government”-type movie, and ended up with Scarlett Johansson giving a speech that could basically be summed up as: “Trust the Government, when it spies on you or does secret military action then it’s for your own good.” This wasn’t even subtext – the only thing missing from the text were the letters N, S, and A. Other messages that I’ve taken from various Marvel movies include “Unless you’re a super-soldier or mutant, you don’t matter and nothing you do will have any consequence”, “The Americans who fought in WW2 were misogynist arseholes until some guy in a red white and blue suit came along to inspire them”, and of course the classic IRON MAN’s “trust the rich white guy over everyone else, he speaks for you.” If they stop pulling this shit and give us a more nuanced, “adult” world-view, of the kind that JESSICA JONES (mostly) has, I’d give Marvel’s movies another shot. But until that happens I don’t want to see stuff like JESSICA JONES, which is actually really good, being “poisoned by association”.

  238. Paul, you’re in luck since, like I said, the movie people really don’t give a shit about the TV people so you should be fine.

  239. Not to mention the fact that the Netflix people really don’t give a shit about the movie people either, as they’re obviously hoping to make grounded, hip, serious drama for cool grownups, so the last thing they want is interference from Disney in the dark and gritty adventures of Boardwalk Empire Guy and Breaking Bad Girl.

  240. Here is the Generalisation Family making a go! What a treat!

  241. To Vern’s original post: I would like to see a well-directed Hayden Christiansen have some kind of appearance in a future Star Wars film. I think he’s a solid actor who just needs good dialogue and direction.

    As to the Marvel Discussion: I’m trying to understand what happened and when it happened, but sometime in the early 2000s I lost interest in franchises for the sake of franchises, and I have literally never sought out a Marvel film except the first two Hulks, and only because I grew up loving the Bixby/Ferrigno series. I feel like I should enjoy the Marvel films or be drawn to them, but I’m simply not. I couldn’t be less interested in seeing Avengers 2 or Civil War, and I’m honestly not sure why that is the case. I may yet see Ant Man. I loved the Nolan Batman films. I’m not deliberately being a snob, don’t know what it is. It’s like I literally outgrew the genre or something (not in a sense of maturing past, just lost the taste or something). I would genuinely like insight into why or how it happened. I think it probably has something to do with the fact that there seem to be no stakes.

    * * * * *

    I was dragged (ish) to see both Iron Man 1 and Thor 1 and Capt America 1. I liked them fairly well. I was dragged (ish) to see Avengers 1, and I was pretty underwhelmed. Iron Man 2 was similarly underwhelming, but points for Mickey Rourke. Couldn’t finish IM 3. Absolutely did not get the hype for Winter Soldier. Thought it was just okay.

  242. The Original Paul

    January 30th, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Sternshein – I’m both in agreement with and surprised by your position. You like the movies, yet you want them to be more like the TV shows? In the case of JESSICA JONES at least, wouldn’t that mean overhauling almost everything that made them what they already are? Looking at, say IRON MAN or AVENGERS ASSEMBLE… whether you’re a fan of them or you’re not, they have almost zero similarities to JESSICA JONES in terms of tone, scale, or character. Honestly I completely agree with your point – if they made the movies more like the TV series that I’ve seen, I’d probably like them a helluva lot better than I do. It just seems like an odd thing for someone who already likes the movies to wish for.

    Maggie – sadly I think you’re right about the probable direction of a hypothetical second season. (The first has been enough of a critical success at least, but have enough people actually been watching it for a second one to be filmed?) I almost hope that there won’t be one if that’s the direction that they’re planning on taking it in. I kinda loved the first season of BROADCHURCH, another David Tennant drama. At the end of that first season it really felt as though, emotionally-speaking, the drama had been wrapped up and everything had been resolved that needed to be. So to add a second season onto the first… it just didn’t work for me. I feel as though JESSICA JONES is in a similar situation right now.

  243. I watched SHATTERED GLASS recently, and it’s a great little film with a solid performance from Christiansen. Admittedly the way the film characterises Stephen Glass required a performance that mostly relies more on charm and a kind of faux-naieveity than anything too deep, with others like Sarsgaard, Savigny and Zahn arguably doing the heavier lifting, I certainly think there is or was something there once. But JUMPER did him no favours.

  244. Didn’t see Jumper, but I saw Shattered Glass, and that’s when I realized that the flaws in his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker couldn’t be pinned on Christiansen alone. He’s done good work before, so we have an existence proof. Come to think of it, I can’t say that I’ve seen him in anything other than Shattered Glass and the Prequels. I should also say that, although I think Episode III is overrated (it’s the best of the prequels, if those define the grading curve), Christiansen has moments in Ep. III where he does really good work in spite of the dialogue and pacing, but in the end I don’t think he can overcome those issues.

  245. Paul, they are doing a 2nd season. I can’t remember if it’s filming now or in the works. It might be the 1st season of the spinoff (? Not sure you can call something in the Marvelverse a spinoff) Luke Cage that’s filming now. It’s confusing.

  246. Venture Bros. New Season. Tonight. (Unpaid ad)

  247. I’m hoping JESSICA JONES season 2 is more episodic, since I think the focus on a largely singular villain hurt the pacing a bit, plus actually showing her as a PI more would be cool. She’ll probably be investigating her origins, since they set that up a little in season 1. Incidentally, super soldier guy IS a Captain America villain. I’m wondering if he might show up in DAREDEVIL first though.
    I do agree that the Marvel movies are a bit too surface level at times and relegating the more mature, complex stuff to Netflix is splitting the unified universe, and it’s a bit disconcerting how okay with that some people are. There’s people I know who don’t think an action thriller Black Widow movie would be good because she doesn’t have powers and it would somehow be too similar to WINTER SOLDIER. They’re also salivating over a PUNISHER Netflix series being a possibility. I really don’t think there’s enough there with him to be stretched out across 13 episodes.

  248. Stu, I thought the same thing about wanting more episodic (or monster of the week) ones that showed her PI work. In fact, I liked the one Paul was complaining about because it was about her working a case. And she got to hulk out & tell them to fuck off. It was nice & cathartic when we needed it because she was getting nowhere with Kilgrave.

  249. Did anyone else think it was weird there were no Daredevil references in the first season until right near the end? Not that I need a crossover, but all the stuff that was happening in the first season of Daredevil was happening in Jessica’s neighbourhood, and there’s no apparent references to the fallout of that, no mention of the vigilante amongst all the talk of how crazy the world is with superheroes now, and not even a “Well if you need a lawyer, I hear these Nelson and Murdock guys are good…and affordable” despite all the legal stuff JJ had.

  250. I spent too much time during the first half of the Jessica Jones season trying to figure out if the events we see happened before or after the first season of Daredevil. Ultimately, it didn’t matter much, but it does show that Marvel sometimes drops the ball when creating a larger superhero universe. It also sort of makes the fact that all these damn superheros live in New York that much more ridiculous, but that’s an issue the comic books have as well.

    I agree with you, Maggie that I would have liked to have seen more episodes that focused on a single case, especially early on. And I liked the case that references the events from The Avengers. Balancing out single episodes and larger story arcs seems to be a lost art these days on television. It’s been a while, but I remember Buffy The Vampire Slayer being pretty damn good at doing both.

  251. You know what show does a great job in balancing out single episodes and larger story arcs? The Venture Bros!

    (Yeah, I stop now. Don’t worry.)

  252. The advent of the 12-episode season pretty much killed the Monster of the Week episode. I think it’s fine for binge-able shows like JESSICA JONES but it sucks for traditionally aired shows when you have to remember everything that happened from week to week (or more when there’s a hiatus). Plus I think self-contained stories are more satisfying when you only get one episode at a time. With its longer seasons and expanded scope, I think AGENTS OF SHIELD would benefit from more MOWs more than JONES would.

  253. As for the “Why do people who’ve seen Norse gods and aliens fall out of the sky not believe in a mind-controlling super villain?” thing, well, that’s kind of the entire point of the season. The only evidence of Killgrave’s crimes are the testimonies of the women he’s abused, and as recent history has shown, our legal system doesn’t think that counts for much.

  254. Paul, there are a couple of points that I’m trying to make.

    1. If they were to decide that they wanted Daredevil to show up in Infinity Wars, they would most likely re-cast the actor. If the movie people had the respect for the TV shows, they would be excited to bring in the actor that plays the role that’s supposedly in their MCU. I’m not saying I want Daredevil on the movies but I like having synergy.

    2. I really like the different tones of the Netflix shows versus the movies and I’m sure the movies would benefit from that but they would also be rated R and probably not make as much money as they do. I’m sure the average BO Deadpool is probably going to do as an R rated film.

    3. I think it’s really weird that they can’t say Hulk or anything in the Netflix shows if they are actually a part of the MCU.

    4. You would never know because I highly doubt you’re watching Agents of SHIELD, but like I said earlier, they have created a mythology for the Inhumans and if they ever do that Inhumans movie, the movie guys will completely ignore what they have established in a show that is supposed to be a direct spinoff of the movies. That says a lot about how much the movie guys give a shit about the shows.

    I don’t know, only I care so whatever :)

  255. oh and Venture Brothers starts tonight.

  256. Sternshein- I don’t think they “can’t” say “Hulk”, because they already mentioned Captain America by name in Daredevil. I just think the creators of these shows are averse to anything that’s overtly silly, and the code names are kind of in that area. There is no “Kingpin”, just Wilson Fisk, after all.

    Also I don’t think AoS’s INHUMANS are going to be thrown out by the movies, just that they’ll focus on the marquee names from the INHUMANS history, specifically the Royal Family of Black Bolt, Medusa and the like, and it’ll be a much more sci-fi and cosmic sort of story. Because doing AoS’s characters would just be an X-Men Movie, with how blatantly Marvel has redefined Inhumans to fill the empty void of X-Men in their live-action endeavours.

    I also hope that the Netflix shows aren’t arbitrarily more mature just because they can get away with it there. Iron Fist should be much lighter than DD and JJ have been for one.

  257. The Original Paul

    January 31st, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Sternshein – I don’t know. I mean, if they actually use a storyline that’s already been established in the TV shows, and then completely ignore the fact, then I agree – that makes no sense and shows a lack of respect from the people who produce the films of the TV shows.

    But honestly, why even acknowledge the films in the TV shows, or vice versa? It’s all very well to say that there’s one “Marvel Universe”, but the fact remains that the New York of JESSICA JONES bears almost no resemblance to the New York of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. And the attempts to prove otherwise are by far the worst part of what is otherwise a very good show. I can’t speak to DAREDEVIL or AGENTS OF SHIELD – heck, AGENTS in particular sounds like it should have a much closer tie-in to the movies, since SHIELD has already been established as a “thing” and it uses characters from several of the movies as well – but as for JESSICA JONES, why make it part of a central “Marvel Universe”? Why not just let it be its own thing? Maybe the “Marvel Universe” works in the comic books, but it doesn’t seem to work in the one TV show that I’ve seen. And I don’t see how to make that happen without making some fundamental changes to either the movies or the TV show. (And honestly there are some changes I’d like to see the movies make, but not these specific ones.)

    But if there is gonna be just one “universe”, then fuck it, just go the whole hog. Don’t limit it to Marvel, even. Why not just have everything that’s ever happened in New York in media, happen? And why not have it all happen at the same time? While Hulk is smashing Loki, why not have a shot of Meg Ryan locking eyes with her true love atop the Empire State Building, thus proving that love conquers all? And then a shot of King Kong scaling that same building, clutching at his oblivious lady love while fending off biplanes, proving that “love conquers all” only works if you happen to be Tom Hanks during his “clean-cut all-American handsome” phase? While Spiderman fights an escaped gorilla in Central Park (yeah, I know that was technically something that happened in a videogame, and in the DC universe to boot; but screw it. We’re committing to this stupid, stupid premise!) And to cap it all, a shot of Walter Matthau arguing with his flatmate Jack Lemmon in an apartment? Seriously, I could go on and on.

    Now I kinda want someone to do this – make a “supercut” movie featuring moments from every single movie, TV show, videogame and music video (because why not?) set in New York. And see if something that’s even slightly coherent can be formed. If they could actually pull it off, it would be impressive as hell.

  258. Stu, it should be lighter but it might stick out like a sore thumb then when it’s combined with the other less light Netflix shows.

  259. A facebook group I’m on made a “Jessica Jones Season 2 Wishes” topic once, and I semi-jokingly said they should do an episode where Star Lord’s grandfather hires Jessica to try to find out what happened to him over two decades earlier, which ends up turning up nothing, except a red herring where she exposes a child porn ring run by Peter’s next door neighbour(special guest appearance by Stan Lee).

  260. The Original Paul

    February 1st, 2016 at 10:17 am

    For the record, Sternshein, I wasn’t trying to belittle you with that last post (re-reading it it kinda comes off as cocky, which wasn’t how it was meant). The point I’m making is that there are so many different portrayals of just one city alone in the Marvel properties, that trying to work them all into one complete “universe” doesn’t seem much less ridiculous to me than trying to put everything that’s happened in New York into one single piece of media.

  261. But, like, that’s New York. One city, multiple universes. I remember one time strolling past a red carpet event with spotlights shining on the sky and paparazzi all over the place and then going two blocks and seeing a flyer on the front gate of a church asking if anyone could identify the headless corpse they’d just found there. If there’s a story to be told, you can tell it in New York. It’s open 24 hours for a reason.

    It’s also just Marvel’s standard operating procedure. The way they’re doing it in the movies is exactly the way they’ve always done it. You have the big boys doing cosmic shit with gods and aliens, and then you’ve got the little guys punching drug dealers in the balls and rescuing sex slaves, and it’s all happening at the same time and neither group interacts very much. I’m not sure Daredevil and Thor have ever even met, and quite frankly that’s the way it should be. Daredevil wouldn’t be much use against killer aliens, and Thor wouldn’t understand the kind of moral gray area Daredevil needs to work in to get anything done on the street. You have to stay in your own lane in the superhero game.

    So what I’m saying, Paul, is that you should probably just stop watching Marvel properties because what you see as a problem has been the source of their appeal for like fifty years, allowing them to cater to people with vastly different tastes while still keeping all their characters under one umbrella. They’re doing it right, but what they’re doing just isn’t for you.

  262. Unless I completely misunderstood, Paul’s problem is not really that there’s not enough interaction between the TV characters and the movie characters, it’s that they insist on awkwardly shoehorning references to what happens in the movies despite that complete lack of interaction. They don’t need to interact but they could stop making those references entirely and just pretend Thor, Fury et al. don’t exist. The last Daredevil comic I read was a long time ago but I don’t remember the dialogue insisting on mentioning “that guy with the hammer” or “the big green guy”.

  263. Well, they have to bring up the alien invasion because there’s no other way to make it believable that present-day Hell’s Kitchen is as crime-ridden as it needs to be to require the efforts of a masked vigilante. The Manhattan of our world is about as dangerous as Epcot Center. The idea behind The Incident is that it destroyed enough property and infrastructure that Manhattan was restored to the festering wound of corruption and competing criminal factions that it was when these street-level vigilante characters were created.

    But still, if you don’t want a connected cinematic universe, go watch literally any other movie or TV show in existence.

  264. Also the benefit of having Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. be part of your backstory is that you don’t have to waste a lot of time with origins. We already know before Frame 1 that this is a world where there is both incredible science and magic, so when, as on JJ, when a woman with super strength and a man with unbreakable skin ask each other how they got their powers, they can just say “Accident” and “Experiment” and move on. We’ve seen stuff like that before. There’s no need to explain the rules of this universe because we already know them. We can just skip right to the good stuff. I hate origin stories so this works out perfectly for me.

  265. Also also, in a world without Thor, Hulk, etc., Jessica’s powers would make her a really big deal. She’d be the Chosen One in any other context. But that’s not her character at all. She’s only modestly super. You can’t pulll off “mid list also-ran superhero” unless you’ve already established that this is a world where there are much bigger powers out there. Jessica only makes sense in that context. So you can either make up some fake heroes to establish her place in the pecking order or you can use the ones everybody is already familiar with. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  266. If anyone watched the first season of SHIELD, they essentially split things up as before Captain America 2 and after Captain America 2. It was a nice use of the films to affect events in the show. I don’t need these worlds to be tied together too tightly. My previous comment was mostly just a nitpick. It didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the show or anything.

    It does still bother me that everything happens in New York. This is my own personal pet peeve, and I know that this is how it is in the comics as well. Looking at popular culture in the U.S., especially when it comes to network television, you would think there are only two cities (although, sometimes Chicago gets thrown in there). I like New York, and I visit the place nearly every year, but it’s a big country. Let’s see what kind of stories can be told in other parts of the nation. Think about how much mileage The Wire got out of the Baltimore setting or what Breaking Bad did with the New Mexico landscape. I would love to see stories that take advantage of different locations.

  267. But the Daredevil show is an origin story. They don’t spend much time on the “how he got his powers” part but it’s about how Murdock and his sidekick started their business and how Daredevil was originally just some dude with a black mask and black sweater and how the concept of a superpowered individual fighting bad guys was mind-blowing to the people of New York.

  268. Because he was the first hero of his type. None of the other heroes could be classified as “crime fighters.” They fight aliens, robots, each other, but no one had ever taken the fight to street level. That’s not the kind of thing superheroes had done up to that point. Which is what DAREDEVIL is all about. The big boys knock down the buildings, necessitating the rise of the little guy to clean up the mess. Without that contrast, DD’s specific brand of heroism is less defined.

  269. So does it mean that when Spider Man joins the Avengers he’s getting a new origin story where he was either inspired by Daredevil or a dude who always fought international terrorists and alien overlords?

  270. I’m not sure what his origin story is going to be but I do know that he’s already going to be Spider-Man so I’m curious to see how that plays out as well.

  271. I sure hope we don’t get an origin story, but now either the movie completely ignores Daredevil (because in the Betflix version of the Marvel universe, “costumed individual uses superhuman abilities to punch common criminals really hard” was invented by Matt Murdock) or it means Spider-Man wasn’t inspired by the murder of his uncle but by Daredevil, or it means Spider-Man was never a crime fighter but always an elite counterterrorism/anti-alien invasion/anti-Norse god agent.

    So, since it will have to be the first option because they didn’t fight to get to use Spider-Man only to have all his fans turn against them, it means the Netflix shows don’t exist in the movie version of the Marvel universe, so why is it that the movies have to exist in the Netflix version of the Marvel universe?

    Really was it too much to ask to have a Daredevil show that, even though it obviously exists in the real world solely because the Avengers movies are making all the money so now is a good time to make as many superhero shows as possible, takes place in a fictional world that doesn’t have the Avengers in it? Is everybody in the world supposed to know that Hell’s Kitchen is not a dangerous place anymore in the real world? Because I’ll admit I honestly had no idea, and I’m pretty sure a lot of non-New Yorkers, or at least a lot of non-North Americans, would be able to suspend the old disbelief if you simply told them “Hell’s Kitchen is a dangerous place and it has nothing to do with aliens destroying New York”.

  272. The Ultimate version of Spider-Man is portrayed as looking up to Daredevil as an elder statesman of the New York superhero industry. But just because Spider-Man perhaps drew some inspiration for his costume and methods from DD doesn’t mean the Uncle Ben thing wasn’t the inciting incident that got him into the game in the first place.

    Regardless of my personal pleasure that there’s an in-universe reason why the fictional version of the neighborhood my favorite bar is in is totally different from the one I went to twice a week for five years, I think it’s cool that the aftershocks left by the World’s Mightiest Heroes create problems for the World’s Eighth Or Ninth Mightiest Heroes to clean up. It even retroactively improves THE AVENGERS to know that its standard-issue third-act city-leveling had real repercussions that lasted years. Maybe that backstory is not strictly necessary for the exact story DD Season 1 was telling, but it makes it feel more like a superhero show than just a crime drama with good fight scenes. Suspension of disbelief is actually easier to come by when you take it as a given that this world has problems so big and strange only superpowered people in weird costumes can solve them. Compare that to BATMAN BEGINS, which is similar in tone to DD, where I never really buy that dressing up as a bat to spook criminals is really something that would happen. In the Marvel U, we’ve already seen so much weirder shit go on that a blind guy dressing up as a leather devil doesn’t even register as odd. It fits the world we know he’s in, even if much of that world is not shown onscreen,

    Besides, as different as it is from the movies, it’s still a Marvel show, starring a Marvel character, with all of the weight of history that comes with, so I don’t understand why it bothers you that the characters that have always lived in the same universe are shown to, in fact, live in the same universe. One of the things that made the first few generations of superhero movies so un-comic-book-like was that each one had to pretend like it was inventing the concept of the superhero. That’s not what comics are like, and that’s why Marvels movies and TV shows are the only ones that really give you the same feeling as getting absorbed in an extended comic book universe. Which you might not be into, but that feeling of endless connectivity is the reason why these properties have stuck around for so long. The way they bounce off each other used to be unique to the medium of superhero comics, and now that has been translated to film and TV in a way that’s much easier for the layman to absorb.

    Having said that, it sounds like you’re making a mountain out of a molehill, Toxic. It’s all connected but it’s not that big a deal. It’s just comic book shit.

  273. I don’t know what you’re on about Toxic, Spider-Man’s origin story will be same as it’s always been. Uncle Ben’s death is what drives Peter to become a superhero, but he looks to Captain America and co. as his role models. Spider-Man is a special case as he occupies a middle ground between grounded, relatable adventures and the more epic Avengers-level stuff, which is why became so popular in the first place. I read somewhere that they’re using the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man as inspiration, where Spider-Man busts into the Baxter Building and tries to join the Fantastic Four but is disappointed to learn that they’re non-profit and don’t draw salaries. I love that idea.

    I agree that the handful of lines directly referencing the Avengers are mostly clunky, but having the Netflix shows existing in the same world as the Avengers is a net gain. It streamlines their origin stories and places their street-level crime-fighting in contrast to the MCU’s cosmic adventures. It gives their characters some context and definition. They are using it to their advantage, carving out their own adjacent but separate niche. You don’t need to have seen any of the MCU movies to enjoy DAREDEVIL or JJ, but having done so makes them thematically richer. Unlike AGENTS OF SHIELD, where you get the feeling they’re playing in the same sandbox as the MCU but aren’t allowed to touch any of the cool toys.

  274. Maybe it’s because for 2 seconds I actually thought the idea of showing what happens when the Avengers are doing other things and guys have to clean up the mess, was pretty clever, but I guess I just can’t get over that scene in the first episode of Daredevil where some low level mob guy is describing Daredevil’s attack to a higher level mob guy, and the higher level guy’s like “hahahaha yeah right a costumed vigilante with a mask, do you think I’m stupid?” right after they mentioned the destruction of New York by aliens. To me that just ruined what could have been a good idea.

    Again, if we’re talking about a man who lives in a self-contained universe where the concept of superheroes is simply not a thing (just like in a lot of zombie movies, the first time people see zombies they have no idea what they are because they live in a world where zombie movies don’t exist), that’s fine. That’s an acceptable reaction. It’s a bit of an origin story cliché, but it’s not absurd. But he lives in a world where costumed good guys have been punching armies of bad guys since the 1940s. Sure, Captain America wasn’t a “crime fighter” but still, in the world of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk, the idea that one guy managed to beat up a group of guys shouldn’t immediately elicit the “are you fucking kidding me?” response.

    I don’t know how they do it in comics these days, but in the ones I used to read, it was okay for Daredevil to just be the main character of the Daredevil universe and not a cog in the giant Marvel machine. Sure occasionally he would cross paths with Spider-Man or the Punisher, but from what I remember the writers didn’t feel the need to remind us that Daredevil lived in a city that regularly got destroyed by alien attacks, in a world where he was considered not powerful enough to join a group that hired Hawkeye. In most stories I read he was Daredevil doing his Daredevil business in Daredevil New York.

    So, I don’t know, maybe the reason it annoys me so much is because I’m annoyed by the whole “universe” thing. I want to see more Guardians of the Galaxy adventures but I don’t want to see the Guardians of the Galaxy help Iron Man save New York, because they can have more exciting adventures in space where they belong. And I’m curious about a Punisher TV show but I don’t want to watch a TV show where a mafia boss can accept the idea that a space raccoon saved New York, but gets angry at one of his hitmen because he can’t believe his “Frank Castle kicked my ass” excuse. And I want to see more Godzilla movies, more King Kong movies, but why do they have to be part of a “King Kong vs Godzilla universe”? I mean, what’s next? The post apocalyptic cinematic universe of “Mad Max vs Fury of the Planet of the Apes” that leads to a live action Fist of the North Star Netflix series with “damn dirty apes” jokes?

  275. “I don’t know how they do it in comics these days, but in the ones I used to read, it was okay for Daredevil to just be the main character of the Daredevil universe and not a cog in the giant Marvel machine.”

    But how is that any different than what’s happening? In the whole season, there are maybe three references to the larger MCU. That seems like the bare minimum they could get away with to let viewers orient themselves in the universe and in the timeline of that universe. It’s not like every episode they have to shoehorn in a Thor reference. It feels very much inline with the comic: You’d know there were larger forces out there, but they rarely came to the Kitchen.

    “I want to see more Godzilla movies, more King Kong movies, but why do they have to be part of a “King Kong vs Godzilla universe”? I mean, what’s next? The post apocalyptic cinematic universe of “Mad Max vs Fury of the Planet of the Apes” that leads to a live action Fist of the North Star Netflix series with “damn dirty apes” jokes?”

    Those are all bad ideas because they’re trying to force an extended universe into existence. Marvel came into the game with an extended universe pre-made. It makes sense for them to capitalize on it.

    But c’mon, how can KING KONG VS GODZILLA be a bad thing? That’s what we have King Kongs and Godzillas for.

  276. Yeah, and then maybe after that they should make Freddy vs Jason, and Alien vs Predator. I’m sure if somebody tried that, that would turn out great.

  277. Hey man as fan of both franchises I thought FREDDY VS JASON was pretty ok. Certainly not bad enough to ever be grouped with the likes of ALIEN VS FAILURE.

  278. The existence of bad movies is no reason to not try to make good movies. Most crossover ideas are pretty stupid, but stupid can be fun. They’re just gonna run every franchise into the ground anyway so why not just get it over with?

    Besides, aren’t we always saying that they should remake bad movies instead of good ones? KING KONG VS. GODZILLA is a great example. That movie pretty much sucks. There’s no way a new one wouldn’t improve on it.

  279. It will be interesting to see how they address the size difference between Kong (50 ft) and Godzilla (350 ft). That is a considerable differential, not something you can just J.J. Abrams away.

    Also, I would definitely watch Toxic’s FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: PART OF THE MAD MAX CINEMATIC UNIVERSE TV show, if only so that Netflix has something to recommend me in the Post-Apocalyptic Kung Fu Head Explosions category.

    The most egregious and pointless cinematic universe so far has been the Universal Monsters Cinematic Universe, a series of PG-13 horror/action reboots that nobody gives half a fuck about either singularly or in aggregate. We’ll see how this Transformers/Hasbro crossover nonsense shakes out.

  280. I’ll not be “that guy” and go on about how the original Japanese version of King Kong vs Godzilla is a lot of fun and way better than the American version.

  281. If TRANSFORMERS AND HASBRO FRIENDS doesn’t include the monopoly man and a sentient ouija board then I just won’t care.

    I don’t think Legendary Pictures’ Kong will be 50 ft. They already said to expect a revamped look in SKULL ISLAND likely meaning that bigger size will be a factor that helps him face their Godzilla.

  282. If TRANSFORMERS AND HASBRO FRIENDS doesn’t include the monopoly man and a sentient ouija board then I just won’t care.

    I don’t think Legendary Pictures’ Kong will be 50 ft. They already said to expect a revamped look in SKULL ISLAND likely meaning that bigger size will be a factor that helps him face their Godzilla.

  283. “but I guess I just can’t get over that scene in the first episode of Daredevil where some low level mob guy is describing Daredevil’s attack to a higher level mob guy, and the higher level guy’s like “hahahaha yeah right a costumed vigilante with a mask, do you think I’m stupid?” right after they mentioned the destruction of New York by aliens. To me that just ruined what could have been a good idea.”

    In the first episode, in a scene much like the one you’re describing, Wesley goes “Maybe if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer that would explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you” — so he’s explicitly acknowledging the existence of those kinds of forces. But aside from a few lines of acknowledgment like that, the entire season was “Daredevil doing his Daredevil business in Daredevil New York.” So exactly what you wanted.

    In general, I’m with Majestyk in not getting what you are taking issue with. Or Paul, who has a different but equally confusing stance. Because Paul, if you have a huge problem with the MCU movie references in the Netflix shows, then you actually have a very small problem because there are hardly any at all.

  284. The Original Paul

    February 1st, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Majestyk – maybe this is me wanting to have my cake and eat it too, but I’m with Toxic on this one. I don’t get the point of an all-encompassing “Marvel Universe”. Maybe it worked when all Marvel had to worry about were comic-books. It doesn’t work in the TV shows. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have spinoffs of the movies that appear on TV – hence, AGENTS OF SHIELD – but JESSICA JONES is no spinoff. It’s a completely separate self-contained story with its own self-contained location and characters that are absolutely not the same ones as those shown in THE AVENGERS, despite the name of the city being the same. And they still try to shoehorn AVENGERS references into the TV show despite the fact that one is a slow-paced adult noir with a downbeat tone and subtle characterisations, while the other is a bunch of rich guys in rubber suits fighting aliens on top of the Empire State Building. Understand that I don’t have a problem with either of those two things, provided that they’re done well. I just don’t think they make for a good mix.

    Can I also clarify that my problems with the various Avengers movies are not why I object to the references in JESSICA JONES? It wouldn’t matter if the shoehorned-in stuff was from something I absolutely love. You could put references to the lore and backstory of WALL-E, LOST IN TRANSLATION and ENTER THE DRAGON and they’d feel just as out-of-place. It’s the idea that absolutely everything that Marvel does has to be part of this one giant cohesive whole that I object to. Sometimes that approach works – someone made a good case for AGENTS OF SHIELD above – but what’s wrong with just telling a good story in its own setting without being burdened with twenty years worth of filmic lore, plus I don’t even know how many years of comic book lore also?

    JTS – one of the early episodes of JESSICA JONES has a main plot that is basically “woman whose relative died in AVENGERS attacks sets up Jessica Jones out of revenge”. It’s the worst episode of the series, by far. Character motivations are unclear, people act like idiots for no reason, and the whole thing is just a mess. If I’d have to recommend a single episode that you could miss without really affecting your enjoyment of the series as a whole, this one would be it. It’s still not bad – nothing about this series is bad – but it comes the closest to being just average.

    There’s also the whole “supersoldier” subplot. Again, this one-note antagonist has no business being in the same show as a character as brilliant and subtle as Kilgrave. This subplot takes up a good half of the penultimate episode, and just comes off as filling time before the adults come in and take over. I guess that linking this to the whole AVENGERS arc is debatable… but bear in mind, the last AVENGERS film I saw before giving up on the Marvel film franchise altogether was WINTER SOLDIER. That’s the one that uses the “Character X turns out to be a supersoldier” twist not just once but twice (once with Falcon, once with Bucky). What I’m getting at here is that it’s obvious that this whole subplot has no business being in the show for its own sake, so something else is being referenced here. They could’ve gotten rid of this entire subplot without doing any damage whatsoever to the main plot – the power struggle between Kilgrave and Jessica. And in my opinion the whole show would’ve been even better if they’d done that.

    Just trimming the fat of that one episode and subplot would probably have gotten the series down from thirteen padded episodes to ten lean tightly-plotted ones, getting rid of a quarter of the “content” in the process. In my opinion it would’ve been a better, more-focussed show that way.

  285. Just wanted to say that the UNIVERSAL MONSTERS SHARED UNIVERSE was more or less the original shared universe. They already met constantly (at least some of them) in the classic movies and while I suspect that the new movies will be more something of DRACULA UNTOLD quality, I’m okay with a return of that universe.

  286. I’m ok with relaunching the Universal Monsters too. As long as it doesn’t lead to FRANCO AND ROGEN MEET THE WOLFMAN or some shit.

  287. Again, yes, let’s have more Dracula and more Frankenstein movies, but why do they have to share a “universe”? Just because “well that’s how they do these days, what are you gonna do”?

    See, already they need to change King Kong so that KING KONG VS GODZILLA can happen. Apparently it takes place in the 70s and Kong is brought to Detroit. How do you bring a 350 ft tall gorilla from an island to Detroit? How does a 350 ft tall gorilla fall in love with a creature that’s basically an ant to him? Does it mean they’ll have to entirely change the classic story of King Kong? If so, if he’s gonna be King Kong in name only, why didn’t they just create a new, original monster? Or make a movie about a classic Godzilla monster? I know, I know, it’s because “the King Kong IP” already has “great brand recognition” or whatever, but, I mean, fuck that.

  288. Dammit Broddy, when I wrote that post earlier, I seriously ended it first with “I hope this won’t lead to SETH ROGEN AND JONAH HILL MEET FRANKENSTEIN”. Don’t know why I deleted that line again. :D

  289. Does anybody who actually wants to see another Godzilla vs King Kong movie (namely me) really give a shit about how they explain away the size difference?

  290. I think it would be a more interesting fight if Kong is smaller and spryer than Godzilla. PACIFIC RIM showed how boring it can be when two giants of similar size and maneuverability just stand there and whale away at each other. Having Kong use his simian speed and agility against Godzilla’s strength and bulk would be more dynamic. Like when Tony Jaa fought Nathan Jones.

  291. Actually I would absolutely watch FRANCO AND ROGEN MEET THE WOLFMAN. In fact, if I had the choice between that and a movie with even passing similarity to DRACULA UNTOLD, it’s hardly even a choice.

  292. Harold & Kumar Go To Dracula’s Castle

  293. Like Majestyk said, if Jessica Jones didn’t take place in the Marvel Universe, then they’d have to invent original superheroes that everybody knows about. It would be a different show if Jessica (and Luke) were the only superpowered people out there.

  294. HAROLD & KUMAR WRAP UP THE MUMMY

  295. Paul- “There’s also the whole “supersoldier” subplot. Again, this one-note antagonist has no business being in the same show as a character as brilliant and subtle as Kilgrave. ”
    Given that the first season ended with SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

    Jessica starting to suspect that her powers weren’t the result of a toxic chemical accident, but a deliberate experiment by a corporation, I think there’s a possibility the two plotlines will intersect.

  296. Thematically, that character also fits in. He’s your basic self-professed Nice Guy who would swear up and down that he’d never do anything to harm a woman, but hey, here he is, beating one’s door down because she won’t let him save her.

  297. The Original Paul

    February 2nd, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Stu – sadly I think that’s likely to be the case.

    Majestyk – as far as you go, I agree with you, but so what? You could intercut a commercial for the RSPCA (“Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”, in case that’s a thing you guys don’t have in America – just think of it like Peta, but with more integrity and less naked celebrities) with scenes of the housewife from SYLVESTER AND TWEETY-PIE attacking the poor cat with a rolling pin. “Thematically” those two things might fit together, but that doesn’t mean it would be a good idea!

    Like I said in my original review of the series, it seemed like they tried to justify it being there by making this guy to Jessica’s sister what Kilgrave himself was to Jessica. The trouble is, it doesn’t work! If anything, inviting this comparison just makes it that much more obvious how much of a disparity between the two characters there really is. On the one hand you’ve got this soft-spoken but abusive rapist, who’s really good at justifying his actions yet never shows any sign of empathy, and of whom there’s a great deal of ambiguity in terms of whether or not he even realises how much of a monster he is. And on the other hand you’ve got this stone-faced lantern-jawed roided-up thug. As you say, he’s a basic “nice guy”, until he goes back on his meds and flips out. And that’s really all that there is to him. There’s very little moral ambiguity there. (It doesn’t help either that I think the guy who plays him is the worst actor of the whole lot of ’em, but that’s a different problem.)

  298. His plot is the weakest of the season, sure. But I don’t mind that it’s there. I also know what character he’s really playing so maybe that makes me cut him a little slack.

  299. Don’t know anything about what character he’s really playing but I liked that storyline and the actor. And you can find some ambiguity in the fact that he was right in the first place, and if they had done what he wanted from the beginning it would have been a better result for literally everybody.

  300. I think it works just fine.

  301. The Original Paul

    February 3rd, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Yeah, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one then I think. And for all the bashing I’m giving this one character / subplot, I didn’t think it was bad – heck, I didn’t think any part of the show was bad, although this was probably the thing that came the closest. My main beef is that I just didn’t think it fit well with the rest of the series.

    But on the Marvel Universe… it occurred to me to do some solid googling, and see just how far this rabbit-hole goes. The results were… surprising. And potentially awesome. How’s about this for a list of possible Avengers? Yep, at one time or another, every single one of this list of properties has had a Marvel crossover or cameo*:

    – Doctor Who.
    – The Transformers.
    – Sonic the Hedgehog.
    – The Nesquik Bunny.
    – The Care Bears.

    Also there’s some ginger kid called “Archie”… I have no idea who that is, but I’ve seen pictures of him, and the mental images are weird as hell.

    Dunno about you guys, but I’d watch the hell out of IRON MAN 4 if Tony Stark got to take on his usual corrupt-businessman-teamed-with-foreign-terrorist antagonist pairing if he did it with the help of Patrick Troughton, Tails, and Lion Heart.

    *Ok, I was lying about one of them. The Nesquik Bunny only appeared in DC comics… as yet.

  302. The Original Paul

    February 3rd, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Also Eminem. How the fuck did I miss that one?!

  303. Also, Marvel published the Godzilla comics, and Superman and Spider-Man shared the same universe at some point, and Superman shares a universe with Muhammad Ali and Green Arrow, and Green Arrow shares a universe with Stardust, who shares the WWE Universe with Ric Flair. So obviously Marvel carefully and masterfully planned a AVENGERS SUPERFRIENDS: GODZILLA AND KING KONG VS RIC FLAIR AND MUHAMMAD ALI TAG TEAM EXTRAVAGANZA (ALSO, WOLVERINE’S IN IT) film the whole time so that one day a Netflix MARVEL’S KISS show can have Michael K. Williams as Gene “not the Demon, come on, it’s silly” Simmons and Aaron Paul as Paul “not the Starchild, this is not for kids you guys” Stanley cleverly refer to it as “you know, that time when those dudes fought those other dudes and not we have to deal with the realistic consequences of it”.

  304. The Original Paul

    February 3rd, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Toxic – I’d watch it, but only if there were Care Bears. And the leprechaun.

  305. The Original Paul

    February 3rd, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Sorry… that is, of course, the Lucky Charms cereal mascot. Another minor Marvel cameo player.

  306. BATMAN V SUPERMAN official prequel comics:

    Read The Five Batman Vs. Superman Dr. Pepper Prequel Comics

    Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane and Senator Finch.

    I like that they address some of the real life complaints the Battle of Metropolis has gotten from people by showing some of the bogus claims as just a simulation of a possible future event and the discussion of the expectations, priorities and limitations Superman actually has in this universe.

  307. Crushinator Jones

    February 4th, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    I gotta say, I’m really genuinely curious about Batman V Superman. It could go either way really easily. It could be too much of an overreaction to the obsessive minority of haters of the previous film, it could go too far into Marvel irrelevancy, it could be a completely overwhelming, tiresome bash-fest. It’s a lot more of an unknown quantity than a Marvel film.

  308. Just got back from seeing DEADPOOL and I’m extremely happy with it. Language and sexual stuff aside, this is very true to the Joe Kelly Deadpool that I grew to love, and it balances its tone very well, being funny and irreverent, but not obnoxiously so*, and making the more dramatic stuff count. Bravo.

    *YMMV

  309. Yes, I liked DEADPOOL much more than expected. Not sure if it’s gonna hold up on repeated viewing, but I’m happy to report that it’s closer to inspired silly shit like DETENTION than just shit like KUNG FURY.

  310. DEADPOOL was enjoyable but slight, like an R-rated ANT-MAN. The flashback structure was a clever way to get around the usual origin story beats, but it kind of made it feel like the movie was only two scenes long. On the Shane Black Memorial Constant Wisecracking Hit-Or-Miss Index, I’d give it a 6.5. Maybe a 7 if I hadn’t heard a lot of the good lines a hundred times already.

  311. Prediction: Vern hates it.

  312. It is so rare for Vern to hate a movie.

  313. Nah, I can see him more in the “It wasn’t bad, but let’s not get too crazy about it” camp.

  314. Yeah, but “Smartass Superhero Meta-Comedy That Gets Splooged On By The Internet For Months Before It Even Comes Out” is like blood in the water for him.

  315. So we are having a Deadpool-pool? I stay with my “Not bad, but let’s not get too crazy about it”. The movie is low on nerdy references and the action scenes are real action scenes with weird touches and some comedy beats, instead of just jokes with explosions. I can imagine that the overall wackyness and the meta jokes will prevent him from loving it, but something tells me he won’t hate it.

  316. I think if he discovered it on his own, that would be his stance. But I think he’ll spend so much time debunking the nerd hoopla that his mild enjoyment will be nearly indistinguishable from outright hatred.

  317. Majestyk- See also

  318. Yeah, Vern’s infamous Kick-Ass review probably still stands as one of his most negative, which is boggling considering movies like Prometheus and X-Files: I Want to Believe exist and get a pass from him. But yeah, the internet hype machine is a deadly thing, I know it’s definitely spoiled my perception of perfectly serviceable movies. If I caught Kick-Ass on a particular day I’d probably feel the same things.

    I think the difference here is I haven’t seen that much nerd splooge over Deadpool at all, even from conception. Whereas the internet film world was like “Fuck yeah this is so WRONGGGG!!” circa Kick-Ass, I feel most film sites now are toned down and dedicated to showing how sensitive they are, and if you show too much excitement for Deadpool you’d look like a cretin. A “positive” review of Deadpool now looks like Devin Faraci’s backhanded praise of “well privileged white Redditors will like it, but not me personally because I’m more mature than that, what do you think I am an MRA or something? Put your fedora back on!”

    Also there’s that thing where film nerds still talk shit about Marvel movies not made by Marvel (“Give them back the RIGHTS, 20th Century Fox!! Why won’t you give them back the RIGHTS??!?!!”), so honestly I thought online nerd reaction was pretty muted for this movie. And let’s be honest, this movie isn’t making bank because of internet nerds. If this appealed solely to them it would be making Snakes on a Plane money. It’s making money because normal people who don’t give a shit about DC vs. Marvel think the trailers are funny.

  319. Well, I was sincerely excited to see it today, but life responsibilities took over my weekend. Later this week I hope. I think it looks fun. Haven’t read too much hype yet.

  320. I have nothing to say about DEADPOOL, but I now know where Toxic’s avatar comes from, and holy gibbering hell.

  321. Went to see DEADPOOL on Thursday. It was midnight on a workday but still the theater was packed. With everything from young guys dressed as Deadpool to old farts like me. Looks like this will be a hit. Cool movie too.

  322. I gotta be honest, I really don’t give a shit about any of Vern’s reviews until his essay on Hard Target comes out.

  323. I gotta be honest, I really don’t give a shit about any of Vern’s reviews until his essay on Hard Target comes out.

  324. Nothing but love for you Vern.

  325. I don’t even like Deadpool. I won’t act like im some hardcore fan like the rest of the internet. I really am not. I’ve never owned a Deadpool comic and if he’s anywhere in my collection is as a cameo or ad in another book. I like Ryan Reynolds even less. Yet even I am looking forward to seeing that movie today. The marketing has been aces.

  326. DEATHPOOL was alright, I guess. Not my usual cup of tea. The screening was slightly ruined by some asshole who had to laugh out loud for every single joke. It sounded like somebody tickled his anus with a feather. Jesus christ.

  327. It’s interesting, Shoot, that you know what that sounds like…

  328. It is, isn´t it?

  329. By all means, I’m not judging you.

    I liked the movie a whole lot better than you. We’ve talked about superhero movies being a genre like the western, and I think this could be the start of something new. Like when spaghetti westerns came along and rescued that genre from being too sanetized and dangerously repetetive. And being a huge fan of “crazy” in movies, I loved the style. I guess that’s why I’m pretty much the only one here who have a fondness for KICK-ASS.

  330. No , I liked KICK ASS. But this was more obnoxious.

  331. The main difference between DEADPOOL and KICK ASS, is that the first is less smug about itself. KICK ASS constantly yells at us “Oh, can you believe how edgy I am and with how many conventions I’m breaking?”, while neither is true. DEADPOOL is more like: “Hey, wanna hang out and have some silly fun?”

  332. I barely found it fun at all.

  333. To be fair, a friend forced me along to go see it. I did not want to sit through what looked like the most annoying and irritating film in a long time. I was not in a good mood and it reflected my experience. It did not win me over, which a good film usually does, even going in with low expectations.

  334. I’m not saying that you have to laugh about that kind of humor, but after being burned badly just a few weeks ago by KINGSMEN (of course from the people who brought us KICK ASS…), a movie that had the nerve to let some of its characters actually talk several times about how “edgy” and “original” and “not THAT kind of movie” it was, but then insulted our intelligence by using every cliche in the book, I expected DEADPOOL being more like that. However, it was surprisingly honest about what it was and wanted to be. After the quip early on, about how this movie is more violent that your average siperhero movie, it didn’t even try to rub it in our faces anymore. So yeah, for me, DEADPOOL wins.

    (I probably shouldn’t talk about all that now, just in case we get an official review.)

  335. I guess this is why Vern seldom reviews comedies. Humour is so subjective and almost impossible to discuss. I laughed and had a good time watching KICK ASS, KINGSMEN and DEADPOOL, so I’ll leave it at that.

  336. Crushinator Jones

    February 18th, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I enjoyed Kingsman and I thought the cliched stuff worked really well as a foil to the unexpected crazy moments (the ending “fireworks show”, if you know what I mean)

  337. I was expecting to see a condensed version of what people enjoyed about the character of Deadpool, so I could see what the big deal was about, but no. I still don´t get it. It seemed like fan service for people who already liked the character.

  338. I enjoyed DEADPOOL. I’ll get into details if Vern ever reviews it but I did luck out in not having an extra obnoxious audience. In the beginning I was worried by the awkward and very forced chuckles from the dude next to me. But he got a grip pretty quickly and tere were many points where I was the only person laughing in a packed houae so it was a good experience.

  339. Shoot McKay, I talked to my twenty-something cousin last night and she adored Deadpool. Knew nothing about the character and was absolutely gaga for it. So there’s something there beyond fan-service although full-disclosure: she is supremely easy on movies and shows and basically likes a lot of low-quality things. But, anyway, her level of passion tells me that there is something else there. Couldn’t tell you what it was, though, because I haven’t seen it.

  340. No, pegsman, you’re not the only one who likes KICK ASS around here. DEADPOOL was pretty funny in my opinion, I laughed at least three times (no sarcasm intended), and had a continual smile throughout. My crowd was definitely not obnoxious, since I was in a matinee session with only me, another couple, and a special needs group of about six, who were not laughing at all. I’ve never had my anus tickled by a feather, but I’m open to new experiences, so you never know your luck in the big city….

  341. Let me just say I have no expericene from butt-tickling. But I do have an imagination. Let´s leave it at that.

  342. Damn, Shoot, couldn’t you just have left us with the fantasy?

    Good to now, Poeface.

  343. I gave DEADPOOL a shot, I was hesitant at first but that’s less because of the movie itself and more to do with the fact that I almost never go to the movies this time of year and wasn’t really in the mood.

    But now I feel like an idiot that I actually contemplated skipping it because DEADPOOL kind of blew my away actually, what makes the movie special is despite all the hyperactive smart ass humor (which did work for me) there’s an emotional core to the story that I actually got pretty invested in, which I was not expecting, parts of the movie actually reminded me a lot of DARKMAN in a good way.

    And holy shit, Ryan Reynolds completely nails the character, the guy IS Deadpool, I would say this is an example of an actor just perfectly embodying a superhero that ranks up there with Michael Keaton as Batman, Christopher Reeve as Superman and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, I know that’s some pretty high praise but I mean it.

    Finally I didn’t know a whole lot about the character of Deadpool beforehand but damn, he’s such a cool looking character, there’s something really eye popping about his design that just makes him fun to watch, he’s a character you want to spend more time with just like Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, in fact if I do have any complaint about the movie it’s that I wish there was actually more of him, they devote a lot of time to his backstory and it’s all super well done and everything, but I can’t help but wish there was a little more time of Deadpool just being Deadpool, maybe the montage of him working his way through cronies to get to Francis could have been expanded just a bit, but it just makes me very excited for the sequel.

    Also, isn’t it great that an R rated movie is a huge blockbuster again?

  344. I don’t know where to put this, but I have to ask you guys over in USA you guys just what the you’re going to vote this fall? To us Scandinavians Bernie Sanders just look and sounds like one of out regular, sligthly centrist politicians and Hillariy Clinton as one of our moderately right wing politicians, but I must say that the rest of them sound plain nuts. So, who are you guys going to vote for? Remember that this is going to affect us all…

  345. Sorry about all the errors in that first sentence. I’ve had a few beers…

  346. I’ve told all my friends an colleagues, so why not be square whith you guys too…I’ve suffered a brain stroke about four days ago, guys. I don’t think it has affected me in any ways, but if you feel that I start to post just plain rubbish please let me know…

  347. I think that young up and comer Donald Trump might be just what we need! Don´t listen to pegsy. We all are republicans in disguise over here

  348. Donald Trump and William Friedkin have now melded together in my mind. Their manner of speech, argumentative attitudes and general demeanor are just too similar. Big difference being that Friedkin has made some of the best films of all time and Trump said “You’re fired” once or twice.

    Trump would have definitely intentionally injured Ellen Burstyn on set too though. No question.

  349. The Original Paul

    March 4th, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I will come out and admit now that I’ve watched every season of Trump’s reality show THE APPRENTICE, except for the celebrity ones. It was like watching one man’s slow descent into paranoid megalomania. Comparing the DT of the first season with the DT of the last is… eye-opening. And kind of sad. In any case, we have documentary proof that the guy can’t even run a fake boardroom in a TV show, and he’s being seriously considered as a Presidential candidate? Yeah, you guys are insane.

    (I felt kind of sorry for his kids, until they were reported to have gone on a hunting trip that involved shooting at wildlife from helicopters. In the interests of fact-checking, I ran a quick google search for this story, and found nothing on Snopes about the “helicopter shoot” story, nor any confirmation from anywhere else that I can find. The nearest I can get is some pictures of Trump’s boys posing with dead wildlife. Which isn’t exactly wholesome, but is a bit of a stretch from “taking pot shots at endangered species from helicopters”. So the “helicopter” thing could be complete bullshit. Not that the whole idea of “big game hunting” isn’t repulsive enough to me, but give the devils their due.)

  350. I don´t know which is scarier; people voting for him or people underestimating him. I think what he has been doing is not a scheme of some cockamamie lunatic, but precise calulation and populistic manipulation of people´s stupidity. This guy knows what he is doing. Do not have any illusions about that.

    I have not heard anything he has said, only through what other media has told me, so I am a bit sceptic to the news reporting. But he seems to be burning bridges rather than building them which can hardly be helpful. It´s easy to get swept up in the easily digested news coverage that swedish media is doing, because they always have been portraying republicans as one dimensional super villains.

  351. I’m comforted by the theory that demographically the presidency can no longer be won on racism. But I’m terrified that the math won’t hold up. It seems like he will draw out many people who have never voted before, who live under rocks or in Jerry Springer audiences where it has been hard to get to the polls. Last night in the debate he bragged about his dick size and promised that he would be able to force the military to commit war crimes. When asked for his real feelings on the KKK all he could muster up was “Disavow. Disavow.” Of course this will only make him more popular, because it’s him being a crazy unhinged asshole that they find so endearing about him. The only thing he could do to lose voters would be to make an impassioned speech about defending the rights of Muslim-Americans.

  352. The Original Paul

    March 4th, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Vern and Shoot – that kinda terrifies me actually. I was pretty dismissive in my post above, and I feel as though it’s very easy to dismiss the guy as an idiot. He’s many, many things, but he’s not an idiot, and he obviously has some smart people backing him. I feel like what he’s doing SHOULDN’T work. But apparently it is. Now that’s taking into account that we’ve seen a somewhat one-sided report of the guy over here in the UK, but here you guys are confirming everything we’ve heard and more.

  353. Personally I still hope that voters are more intelligent than it seems and that all his hype comes from people who laugh now, but would never vote for him (because they either know what a horrible human being he is or they are too lazy to actually vote) or it’s the same small, but vocal minority, that makes it also seem like ALL men on the internet hate the new Ghostbusters because “Eew, women” or hate the new Star Wars movie, because it stars a black actor and a woman.

    Sure you can also say “But George W got a second term!” but that was because of 9/11 and people were scared and angry. Yeah, so they are now, but not 9/11 scared and angry! At least that’s what I hope.

  354. The Original Paul

    March 4th, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I’d like to think that a large proportion of the American public are actually trolling. I just wish I was more confident in that theory!

  355. Donald Trump plays the media in their hands. but at the same time he gets something out of it. He manages to manipulate the surroundings, traditional media, Internet, into a differnet thing than Obama was being praised for. I seem to remember Obama winning thanks to his staff more un conventional use of social media. I am not too aware of american election, but the way Trump uses media has worked to his advantage somehow.

  356. It may be just rubbish thinking.

  357. I’m hesitant to even get into this because the political atmosphere in this country is so toxic, but let’s remember that Trump couldn’t even win 50% of his own party. A great many of them are actively speaking out against him. The only reason he’s even made it this far is that PAC money has enabled too many candidates with no reasonable chance of winning to stay in the race for too long, fragmenting the establishment vote and making it impossible for anyone to present a viable alternative. Ted Cruz, in particular, just seems to want to watch his party burn. Trump, who makes certain he never goes more than a few hours without saying something outrageous, has dominated the media landscape and picked up a good chunk of disaffected GOP voters who normally don’t follow the process to closely.

    There is definitely an undercurrent here which really does scare me, but keep in mind that we’re talking about, at MOST, around 20% of the country, and I’d wager there’s 20% of ANY country which is just straight up crazy. They just don’t usually have a candidate as entertaining as Trump is. Entertaining goes a long way towards getting people involved when usually they’d just be sitting around ignoring the process. But they’re not enough to bring him to the White House, not by a long shot. They might be enough, though, to seriously fracture the GOP, and they have only themselves to blame.

  358. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Of course what he’s doing should work. He’s explicitly making the arguments that Republicans and Democrats have been making for years and that resonate with a large portion of Americans. Large portions of America hate the Establishment, and Trump treats the Establishment how people want to see it treated: with dismissive contempt. And as far as policies go, I’m sorry to say that he’s well within the mainstream.

    Donald Trump says he wants to kill terrorists’ familes. Guys, we’re doing that right now. Under Obama. We drone bomb places where the terrorists are and don’t give a fuck if their wife and kids are there too. I guess you could say that “not caring if we kill their families” isn’t as bad as “we want to kill their families” but that seems like splitting hairs.

    Torturing the shit out of them: hey guess what? We didn’t do anything about that either. 28 years ago Ronald fuckin’ Reagan signed a treaty that said “we’ll never torture anyone for any reason.” 15 years later we tortured people because we wanted to feel tough and dangerous after 9/11. Then we elected a supposed lefty President who did nothing about it other than to say “stop”. No prosecutions or anything that mattered, because nobody cared and torture is a popular policy.

    One thing I’ve learned from Obama’s tenure is that a good portion of Democrats are just as mindless as tribal as the Republicans. 50% of Democrats want to restrict Muslims from entering the country. When it’s explicitly mentioned to be a Donald Trump policy the support drops to 25%. Give me a break. That’s 25% of Dems that could easily break for Trump. And what’s scary to me is that Trump has already shown he can pivot quickly to more populist stuff. He can sand off the rough edges quickly when he wants to. He’s a con man with great instincts for what his marks want to hear. Once he gets to the general he’ll moderate his tone and play to his audience perfectly. People think he can’t win the general and they’re wrong. He can’t win with high-information or principled voters but that’s not the majority of the electorate.

    Vern is right in that sense that, mathematically, the racists can’t win. But there is an important caveat: they can’t win if everyone shows up to vote but they can win if the non-racists stay home. And this is the problem, because at a time when hatred for America’s Establishment and the direction of the country has hit a fever pitch the Dems are going to run the most Establishment candidate possible – a member of an almost aristocratic family awash in Wall St. money and privilege. And she’s going to take a beating for that and people aren’t going to be excited for that. And Donald Trump WILL moderate the racism and pick up centrists and Dems, and it can work, because white people are angry and hate the system (which Clinton represents) and so want any old excuse to vote for him. They can flip. And Trump will keep his old supporters, because we’ve already seen he can say or do anything and it doesn’t matter. Trump supporters will still know that he’s secretly a racist like them. Very clever strategy IMO.

    Middle-aged and older white people vote. Minorities and young people don’t. We’re in trouble.

  359. Republicans don´t like Trump, which actually makes the picture of Trump more complicated. They fear they can´t control him, which , if you think about it, might be a good thing.

  360. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Mr. Subtlety here’s a poll that might scare you a little bit:

    RealClearPolitics - Election 2016 - General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

    RealClearPolitics - Election 2016 - General Election: Trump vs. Clinton

    That’s NATIONALLY. Like, 47% of Americans are ready to vote for him right now if he were running against Clinton. H O L Y S H I T

    Literally the whole time he’s running people have been treating him as a joke. Not taking him seriously. You’re still not taking him seriously and he’s about to win the Republican nomination. He’s got good poll numbers. He can win the general. And that’s before he’s spend half a year telling America what they want to hear and attacking his (extremely) vulnerable opponent. We’re in trouble.

  361. Did I just say i wanted Trump for Presidency? That is not what a “normal” person would “say”.

  362. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Wrong, Shoot. Republican leadership doesn’t like Trump, because they can’t control him. Republican rank and file love him and they hate their leadership so it’s not gonna matter.

    Republicans have spent 20 years telling their constituents not to listen to those elite dorks in Washington or those scientist nerds or anybody else who might say something that they don’t like. Instead, they should just get angry and trust in their feelings. They’ve also promised them impossible horseshit and not delivered. Now their base is pissed off and won’t listen to their leadership. Reap what you sow.

  363. Well, there is a definite difference. Thanks for pointing that out, Crushinator.

  364. I think though the discussion over here is a bit one-sided.I wish there were at least a few Trump foliowers to make it more nuanced.

  365. People do rationalize their support of Trump by saying he’s anti-establishment, and I think that’s incredible. His whole persona is that he’s a billionaire. He owns casino. He runs beauty pageants! Even within his main job of being on TV he represents the basest, most mainstream and lowest common denominator form that exists, the celebrity reality game show. You gotta be fucking kidding me. The only way he could be more establishment would be if he also created Two and a Half Men.

    If he was a dude you knew, he would not talk to you. If he gets in office he will not be your friend. Even in wrestling people knew that The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase was a bad guy. Please get it together, America.

  366. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    The defining trait of a Trump supporter is that they have no nuance. I’m not shitting on them, btw, I’m stating a fact. They are pissed, they are for a “pure” America (read: an America for whites and servile minorities who know their place) and they don’t give a flying fuck about anything else.

    Also I forgot to list one more thing in my “Republicans have spent 20 years telling their constituents not to listen to those elite dorks in Washington or those scientist nerds or anybody else who might say something that they don’t like. Instead, they should just get angry and trust in their feelings.” They also told them that government is a bunch of stupid-ass idiots who don’t know shit and it’s business leaders who should be listened to. And that’s a huge-ass loophole that Trump walked in on.

  367. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Vern, the psychology is that he makes them feel powerful and will trash and dominate their enemies. Not that he will be their friend. They want to be the weaselly sidekick to the bully.

    This is what 30 years of kicking people economically and worshiping the ability to hurt others has wrought. BTW I don’t exclude myself from that, but I channel it constructively. I watch action movies where the noble good guys violently hurt and dominate the bad guys. I don’t actually think it’s a good thing in reality, though.

  368. Crushinator Jones

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Also Vern they don’t mean that he is literally outside the bounds of American society. They understand that’s he’s worked as a successful entertainer – just like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fred Thompson (isn’t it funny how GOP voters like actors?)

    They mean he doesn’t come from our rotten political system and doesn’t have to answer to party leadership. And they are absolutely right. He doesn’t, and it’s driving the elites crazy.

    Now I’ve been absolutely dominating this discussion for a bit so I’m gonna cool it for a while. I leave you with this interesting article about Donald Trump’s appeal.

    The Trumph of the Will

    I wanted to make a couple related observations about this Donald Trump debate drama.

    First, an admission.

    When I heard last night that Trump was pulling out of the Fox News GOP primary debate I was quite certain he had every intention of finally attending tomorrow night's event. The point was simply to engineer 48 hours of cable news drama, begging by Fox News, all topped off by Trump finally deigning to attend the event after all the other players had been sufficiently humiliated. But unless the man is managing a far better bluff than I can imagine, that is clearly not the case. It also seems clear it was never the case. I see no evidence that Trump fumbled this gambit or boxed himself into a non-attendance he didn't intend. Being a no show was the plan.

  369. As an Australian with a lot of love for America, and with very little interest in politics both at home and abroad, I’ve gotta say this Trumpathon has been great entertainment value. God help you all (and us) if he’s your next President. I can’t wait for the next South Park movie, just to see how they’d make cartoon satire out of real life cartoon satire.

    I wish I was more politically aware, but I mostly feel like the guy in the Leonard Cohen song Democracy –

    I’m sentimental if you know what I mean
    I love the country but I can’t stand the scene
    And I’m neither left or right
    I’m just staying home tonight
    Getting lost in that hopeless little scream

    But I love reading the literate, thoughtful opinions of you guys.

  370. Let’s face it, I feel like America has had a guy like Trump coming for decades, there is a strong strain of fascism in American culture and it’s really started to boil over in the years since 9/11.

    I feel like Obama and the left are partly to blame for this situation though, let’s face it guys, we fucking blew it, we fell asleep at the wheel, during the Bush years liberals realized how dangerous a situation post 9/11 America was, but as soon as Obama was elected it all evaporated, liberals acted like everything was fine all of a sudden, Obama had the chance to enact real change and instead he largely let things continue as they were, allowing things like drone strikes and NSA spying to continue.

    Meanwhile instead of addressing these things head on liberal culture has become obsessed with petty bullshit and turned into a bunch of asshole control freak spastics with their safe spaces and shit, it’s almost comical how they act while meanwhile a storm cloud is on the horizon that threatens to rain on their parade something fierce and they’re too tuned in to their identity politics to wake up and see the big picture.

    I got a feeling some very bad things may be on the horizon, fellas.

  371. Another thing that might give me hope for a Drumpf-free America and the following lack of a surefire WWIII, is that the GOP did everything to screw the little guy over. Y’know, “You want healthcare? FUCK YOU! YOU DON’T GET HEALTHCARE BECAUSE WE DON’T LIKE THE N***** IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!”, to take one of the most obvious examples.

    Not saying that Obama was the saint we all hoped for, but let’s face it, many people like to not lose their house because they had to put up a 5th mortgage, just to pay the bills from the time they broke their leg and I doubt that they would vote for someone who basically goes on stage and says: “Bend over, I’m gonna fuck you even more.” I’m also not saying that Hilary or whoever else gets nominated, will be the perfect candidate, but again, I can imagine most voters are pretty reasonable and the Drumpf supporters are a vocal minority.

    What also supports my vocal minority theory, is what happens in Germany since a few years. Suddenly all those new hip political parties show up, who came to fight the big old ones and catch the attention of young and new voters, by repeating some popular cathphrases from “the uneducated”. Like when the Pirate Party wanted to legalize child pornography and illegal filesharing, because everything else would be censorship or how currently parties like the AFD (A thinly disguised neo nazi party) keeps saying things about how they would handle refugees, that would make Donald Drumpf go “Dammit, why didn’t I think of that first!?” And it always seems like those parties are destined to become the new rulers of our countries! But then they juuuuuuuuust get enough votes to end up in the parliament, but not enough to really have any kind of power. (Not to mention that they keep destroying themself from the inside with constant fights about the leadership.) And only 1 or 2 elections later, they are more or less gone.

    Yes, this isn’t exactly the same situation as a presidential candidacy, but the similarites (Loudmouth newcomer who gets all the press attention and love from frustrated non-voters seems like a surefire winner, just to end up being the big loser) are there.

  372. CJ Holden – interesting you bring up World War 3, I have to ask, is that a topic that is more interesting to people in Germany because of the whole east Germany/west Germany thing?

    In America the whole thing is completely forgotten, most Americans probably don’t even know that both Russia and the US still have their nuclear armaments and that fact alone means nuclear war is still a possibility despite the Cold War being “over”

    One thing that has had me very concerned over the last two years is Putin and the things he’s been doing, it’s arguable the guy has already started a second Cold War but even if he hasn’t he’s damn close to doing so and getting a hothead like Trump in office may be like throwing gasoline on the fire.

    Problem is Hilary is not much better, she has talked about enforcing a “no fly zone” over Syria which would put us in direct conflict with Russia.

    I gotta be honest with you guys there’s a lot of things going on these days that frankly scare the hell out of me, I see a rightward shift happening in the political spheres of many different countries, not just America, Russia is the most extreme example, but there’s also Japan and Greece and with the refugee situation in Europe it’s possible we could see an extreme rightward shift there too, especially given the events in Paris last November.

    Trump is a symptom of something bigger that I see sweeping large parts of the world and it deeply worries me, when you talk about stuff like World War 3 I feel like people may blow it off as sounding too far fetched, but what would someone in the early 1930’s have thought if told about World War 2? It all would have sounded ridiculous to them then as well, we ignore worse case scenarios at our own peril.

  373. Don’t know if this is more interesting/important for us than in the US, other than maybe that I live in a country that still gets blamed for what happened 2-3 generations earlier. Apart from that: We are talking about a potential presidential candidate who talks about nuking other countries because he doesn’t like the religion that they practice there, so of course WWIII comes into play during conversations about him.

  374. Wow, I hadn’t heard that Trump actually mentioned nukes.

    In America though most people probably assume every nuke was dismantled in the 1990’s or whatever, I mean it’s ancient history to most people, the only problem is it’s not history, if only that were true.

  375. I think Trump’s chance of winning the general election is <=5% at best, but I agree that's still more than I would like. In general, I think we're allowing ourselves to get caught up in the media agenda setting fear cycle…because Trump is top of mind and there's a lot of angst about what he's doing to the other Republicans. Anyway, I'm on record with my prediction. Anyone else care to do so?

    [visual-parse url="http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/could-donald-trump-win-the-general-election"%5D

  376. The Original Paul

    March 5th, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Griff – I’ve mentioned this before, but as far as the “shift to the right” goes, we here in the UK basically don’t have a “left” at the moment. I talked about one instance of how this has hit home to my family in particular, with the Government’s “benefits cuts” hitting horrible scroungers like… OAPs who have to care full-time for sick relatives and can’t do things that others take for granted, like leaving their homes to go shopping or something. Y’know, those arseholes. I know “socialism” is kind of a dirty word over there in the USA, but there’s something to be said for having systems in place so that the minority who are vulnerable are helped out financially by the majority who can afford it.

    And your point about the failures of the left hits home here, perhaps more in the UK than even in the US, because Obama still seems to be at least somewhat well-regarded (as far as I can tell from over here). The Liberal Democrats – the most left-leaning mainstream party over here – were in the “coalition Government” with the Tories for five years before last year’s election, and they blew it in every way it was possible for them to blow it. They made none of the reforms that their supporters, like myself, wanted them to make. The result? They’re not even a mainstream party any more. It’s heartbreaking for someone who wants to see real left-wing reform, like myself. But at the very least we need somebody with the political will to stop some of these awful, awful things that the current Government are doing. And we’re not seeing it.

  377. The Original Paul

    March 5th, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Oh, and Vern:

    “Even within his main job of being on TV he represents the basest, most mainstream and lowest common denominator form that exists, the celebrity reality game show.”

    …Do I at least get points for not having watched the celebrity editions? (Even if it’s only because I don’t know who most of the celebrities are?)

  378. As much as the media focuses on Trump, he’s really the symptom rather than the disease. At least since the Civil Rights era, Republicans have brilliantly played working class whites by making them think that it is in their best interest to support an extreme free market ideology in order to prevent tax dollars from going to undeserving minorities. This was the basic racist logic that has undergirded conservative philosophy for decades. But they were careful to make this racist argument using “dog whistle” phrases like “states rights.” Still, anyone who wasn’t kidding themselves knew what they meant. Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric is just taking this politics of resentment and racism and making it explicit.

    He also breaks from conservative ideology when it supports his populist bona fides, like when he speaks against the War in Iraq and global free trade. (Granted, he also talks about murdering innocent people abroad and likely benefits tremendously from global free trade). Trump saw a split between the wealthy coastal republicans and the rank and file who outnumber them, and he’s exploiting it. Finally poor and lower middle class whites in America are catching on that the economy has been rigged by Republicans for the last thirty years to make things harder on them. Unfortunately, they’ve decided to turn to a racist xenophobe to express their anger.

    The following quote from Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone kind of summed this up perfectly for me:

    “In any case, Trump says he’ll call Detroit carmakers into his office and lay down an ultimatum: Either move the jobs back to America, or eat a 35 percent tax on every car imported back into the U.S. over the Mexican border.

    “‘I’m a free-trader,” he says, “but you can only be a free-trader when something’s fair.’

    “It’s stuff like this that has conservative pundits from places like the National Review bent out of shape. Where, they ask, is the M-F’ing love? What about those conservative principles we’ve spent decades telling you flyover-country hicks you’re supposed to have?”

    Here’s the full article, which I thought was spot on:

    How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable

    He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever

  379. Griff, I don’t have the link but Samantha Bee’s new show did a segment on the 2010 mid term election and how nobody from the left showing up ruined everything for America. I feel like Democrats need to be more aware of local elections and midterms than the President. I’ve learned over the years that it’s the local and non-Presidential elections that truly matter.

  380. I thought I’d link to an article just to show that concern that Putin will start WW3 is not so crazy

    How World War III became possible: A nuclear conflict with Russia is likelier than you think

    A growing chorus of analysts and policymakers are sounding the alarm. Will the world hear them in time?

    The thing is, I don’t even agree with a lot of that article, I don’t think things would come down to brass tacks over another European country but instead a situation in the middle east, I already mentioned the Syrian no fly zone, but I also think it could be something like Netanyahu deciding to launch airstrikes against Iranian reactors, Russia backing Iran, the US backing Israel and things progressing from there.

  381. I love how fucking cheesy the idea of Frank Castles x-ray image is basically The Punisher logo. That made me laigh. A bit of cheese in between the seriousness. I also believe Jon to be at the moment the best Punisher there is.

  382. Like in the Thomas Jane version, Bernthal is only really The Punisher for the last few minutes of the season. That’s not a knock, because the Punisher in his glory is not really a character who can have an arc like a modern serialized TV show requires. He is what he is and he will never change. I think Ray Stevenson exemplifies the monolithic status of the character–his world and its denizens react to him, not the other way around–while still subtly hinting at some tiny flicker of humanity still burning deep down inside. He’s my favorite version of the fully formed Punisher, but Bernthal is beyond excellent as a Frank Castle in transition. I never thought I’d get emotional about this particular tight-lipped killing machine but Bernthal brought it there. I found the scenes with him and Karen just sitting in a hospital room talking far more thrilling than whatever the hell Daredevil and Elektra were trying to accomplish with all those ninjas. (Not that those scenes were bad, but they did feel pretty generic and meandering most of the time.) Daredevil really became a subplot on his own show whenever Bernthal was onscreen. I can’t wait to see what he can do on when he’s the star.

  383. I have yet to get past episode 9 so I can not really be that judgmental.. But Murdock is a real sacralegiuos piece of shit. He keeps saying everyone is worse than him.

  384. Bernthal is for me the real star of the show at this point. They really did a good job of bringing his point of view into the for front.

  385. Do you mean “sanctimonious?” Because I agree with that. The main problem with the season is that it’s almost impossible to agree with Daredevil at almost any point. I think it ends on a high note with Matt finally with his head in the right place for the audience to be on his side again, but it can be a bumpy ride to get there.

  386. Murdock breaks all sorts of legs and bones, and yet he can´t connect the dots of how that is wrong? Jesus, that dude is all sorts of wrong in thinking

  387. Mwjastyk-yes, that I might have meant

  388. I am glad to have someone to correct my poor english and still have the good sense of connecting the dots of what I havemeant.

  389. I have been annoying people on Twitter complaining about that show. I want to like it, but it has been such a struggle to make it through 7 episodes, and then to realize I’m only about halfway! I just think the guy playing Daredevil is smug and unlikable, and then when he puts the costume on he looks like a dipshit, and then he gets beat up, and unfortunately that is the best part of the show, which is mostly about this guy Foggy who could only have been cast in an attempt to make the Daredevil guy seem not as bad. And I suddenly realized on episode 7 that I should have just skipped over all the Foggy halves of the episodes since they are totally redundant and this guy doesn’t even realize that the other guy is Daredevil.

    On the positive side there was the one good fight scene in episode 2 or whatever, but honestly CLOSE RANGE has 5 or 6 fights as good or better and that’s a lesser Scott Adkins movie. So if I gotta sit through 13 hours I’m gonna need more than one of those.

    I keep trying though because I want to get to Frank Punisher and Elizabeth Elektra in season 2.

  390. I wouldn’t bother continuing, Vern. Obviously, you should do what you want, but I don’t think there’s anything coming up that’s gonna change your mind. There will be a few bright spots (like the fight in Episode 9), but if you think Charlie Cox is smug and unlikable (I think he’s fantastic) then the hole’s probably too deep for you.

    Or maybe just consider skipping ahead to season two. Pretty sure the ‘previously on Daredevil’ segment will be enough to get you up to speed.

  391. I actually really like Daredevil. One thing it’s done well is to take its time and stretch out normal scenes. The exchange between Karen and the Punisher in the hospital is a pretty great example. I don’t think most television shows would let that conversation go on that long, but I found it pretty engaging. Sure, there are some hiccups here and there. The first season had a hard time stretching out the plot to fill thirteen episodes. I think season two is doing a better job in this department, but I’m only on episode seven right now. I don’t binge watch TV, so I’m always farther behind the rest of the world.

    But, yeah, if you don’t like Charlie Cox in the role, then that’s going to be a deal breaker. I liked him in both this and Boardwalk Empire.

  392. The Original... Paul

    April 11th, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Can I briefly use the “nerd shit” thread to plug the Russian action movie HARDCORE HENRY, which I’d not heard of until two days ago and which is way better than its ludicrous title or first-person “gimmick” would suggest that it could be. I’ve written a spoiler-free review here:

    http://outlawvern.com/forum/the-films-of-cinema/brief-hardcore-henry-spoiler-free-review-avoid-spoilers-before-seeing-this-movie/

    I thought it was pretty awesome actually. The “gimmick” mostly works, although it’s noticeable when it doesn’t (in large-scale fist-fights). Mostly this movie is an excuse to take a ridiculous concept and then spend ninety minutes trying to do everything possible with it, and then some.

    Nearly everything I’ve seen written about this movie spoils way too much. I would absolutely recommend seeing this movie – in the specific way that I’ve laid out in my review in the forums – but see it unspoiled. That means, don’t read anything else about it until after you’ve seen it. Please trust me on this guys – I have your best interests at heart. There is stuff that’s written in supposedly “spoiler-free” reviews that I absolutely would not want to know before seeing this movie. None of that stuff is in what I’ve written about it.

  393. Hell yes on HARDCORE HENRY. I’m about to write a piece on it myself, in my typical glacial fashion. Hopefully it will be finished before the movie is released on disc.

  394. Vern, are you going to review the RATCHET AND CLANK movie? I am pretty curious on your opinion as a non-gamer. People have trashed it , which breaks my heart as they are fun characters. But it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on it.

  395. I enjoyed the games so I agreed to bring my niece and nephew to it and unfortunately it was pretty bad. Non-theater ready animation (I’m sure it’ll look okay on TV), just about every awful children’s movie trope (the liar, believe in yourself, etc.), thinking the hero’s journey is just the original Star Wars, and most damning, the movie is not funny. One of the things I appreciate about the games is the humor. They try to be funny but just about every single joke falls flat. Also they were so pre-occupied with making sure we hate Ratchet that they didn’t give Clank anything to do in the movie.

    Not too surprised, when you remove the gameplay elements the stories to the games are just standard Saturday morning cartoon stuff. Just disappointing that an independently-produced movie shows the same exact issues big budget studio movies show when they have producers or whomever heavily interfered with the artists. I guess they decided to compete with the big boys they had to imitate their worst aspects instead of forging their own path.

    Niece and nephew liked it so in the end so it doesn’t matter what my old-self thinks.

  396. The character moments are really good and works well in the games. I was a bit worried if they felt more flat stretched out in a feature length film, but the picture you paint is an ugly one. Real fucking shame

  397. I’m not much of a gamer myself, but I do think there’s a tendency for gamers generally to overestimate the quality of storytelling that happens in most games and assume that it would be an easy translation into cinema. The vast majority of video game plots are pretty much taken from cinema and then overlaid on a particular gaming genre. They’re already a translation of films to begin with. This means that in order to make the transition back, they feel like copies of copies.

    One possible exception are adventure games, but they’re no longer popular so there would be no reason for a studio to back a film version of something like Day of the Tentacle or Grim Fandango.

  398. R-Batty- I was thinking in similar terms myself, overestemating the stories in games. But turning charcaters into a single feature film it can fall in a certain set of trappings that can make the film incredibly lame and generic unless there is some genuine thought put into it. A feature film lasts two hours, a game up to fifteen-twenty hours. And during that time the characters can develop, but they also develop in a different fashion, as the gamer has control of them and attach investment in a different way.

    At this point in time, nobody has yet cracked that riddle how to translate characters from a videogame into a feature film with satisfying results.

  399. I didn’t even know that there is a RATCHET & CLANK movie until last week.
    Anyway, I still hope that someone competent will one day make a ZOMBIE ATE MY NEIGHBOURS movie.

  400. The marketing has not exactly been top notch. Maybe they knew they had a dud on their hands. Most likely. It is really depressing as I love Ratchet and Clank.

  401. I’m sorry, the characters on the poster are so ugly, that just does not look like a professional movie to me, or crazy/interesting like FOOD FIGHT!. I don’t think I would ever watch it.

  402. Jesus, that´s harsh. i don´t think the characters look bad at all. Or maybe you think of a specific poster?

  403. That new PS4 game they unrelated to the movie but released to coincide with the movie’s release is supposed to be pretty good though.

  404. *they released

  405. As the games mixes absurd weaponry and violence with cute animals this could have been something to behold.The games are known for having large scale mass destruction and being cute at the same time. How could they possibly have botched this up, making this impossible for non-fans to engage with? Bombing furry animals with nuclear weapons could be so much fun.

  406. So the lousy film was accompanied by a superior game? Is that not unheard of? Usually it is the other way around. A movie that ties in with the game. The game has obviously way more sales potential and name recognition among that core base than a movie made for a larger audience less aware of the property.

  407. I just leave this here, because I’m super happy that some clever YouTuber actually took the time to prove once and for all that those EVERYTHING WRONG VIDEOS (And their “It’s a parody, man” excuse) are full of shit. (Just in case someone needed more proof than just watching one.)

    Everything Wrong With "Everything Wrong With Avengers: Age of Ultron"

    Donate: patreon.com/kamoc Resources: #1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR1W5ZYGVF8 #2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYVZjKgoKdg #3 - http://marvelcine...

  408. Just in case anybody’s wondering: WARCRAFT is crap.

  409. So for once the film trailer accurately represented the movie.

  410. I hadn’t even seen the trailer but my wife wanted to see it since she used to play the game, and I thought, Duncan Jones directed it, how bad can it be?

    The thing is, I don’t even think it’s much worse than the HOBBIT pictures, or half the recent superhero movies. Once again it’s a bunch of underdevelopped, boring CGI characters having badly written conversations and poorly staged fights about the protection/destruction of the entire world. And of course at the end, nothing really major has changed because it was all just a setup for sequels and spinoffs. I guess, yes, you could say that the characters, plot and dialogue are marginally worse than usual. I mean there’s a scene that goes like

    -But it could be a trap!
    -But maybe it isn’t.
    -Yeah but it could be.
    -Yeah but what if it isn’t?
    -But it could be.
    -But what if it isn’t?

    and it doesn’t even seem to be meant to be funny (but what if it is? but what if it isn’t?), so, yeah, you have to wonder what the writer and director were thinking there. There’s a few headscratcher moments like that. At the beginning they make a big deal of the dwarves having just invented firearms, and then next thing you know every character reacts to them as if they’re no big deal even though most people are still fighting with swords and axes. Then the humans tell the dwarves they’re gonna need more guns and the dwarf boss, for a reason that the movie doesn’t really elaborate much on, says they won’t provide them. And then there’s a big battle and all the humans have guns anyway. So I don’t know, maybe there was a more coherent script that was 3 or 4 hours long and they had to cut some important scenes (but still decided to keep a long “Yes it is, no it isn’t” conversation).

    Also the design of the CGI characters is pretty ridiculous. I didn’t check if they were made by the same people who created the Michael Bay versions of the Transformers and the Ninja Turtles but why do they think it’s a good idea to put ten million accessories and pieces of clothing on everybody? The orcs have jewelry on their tusks. One of the orc chieftains has a cape made of dinosaur bones, with the skulls as shoulderpads, and one of his dinosaur skull shoulderpads has a nose ring. Those dudes probably need 3 hours to get dressed every morning, you wonder how they still have the time and energy to go into battle after that.

    But oddly enough despite all the stupid shit, to me the iverall result isn’t really less (or more) watchable/rewatchable than, say, BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES and at least it’s shorter. And some of the magic spells look cool-ish in 3D.

  411. I used to play the Warcraft strategy games back in the day, but I never got into World of Warcraft because I don’t pay online RPGs. So I was kind of rooting for this film, but also I don’t care all that much. I thought that maybe Duncan Jones could have done something interesting, but those trailers looked terrible. One of the things that bothers me is that the male Orcs are these huge roided up monsters, but the lady orcs are just attractive women who happen to have green skin. It’s like the makers said to themselves, “if we’re going to have lady Orcs, then we better have lady Orcs the audience is going to want to bang.”

    If the film makes money, I think it’s probably because Warcraft is such a global phenomenon. I wouldn’t be surprised if it bombs int he U.S. and does well everywhere else.

  412. The attractive lady with green skin (Paula Patton) is only half-orc. The other female orc (voiced by Anna Galvin) is a CGI monster. She’s not as huge as the male orcs but I wouldn’t call her attractive (and I had a huge crush on Anna Galvin 20 years ago but her CGI avatar doesn’t look much like her).

    There’s only 3 female characters in the whole movie and the half-orc is the only one who’s allowed to do something other than staying at home with the kids so I don’t want to complain too much about her. The fake teeth make her look (and sound) pretty silly though.

    Anyway, there’s worse things about that movie than its lack of really monstrous ladies.

  413. Good to know this world includes some Orc/Human action. That’s pretty progressive. Other than my mistaken belief that the lady Orcs all looked human, I think the film just looks too much like the video game. It’s like the filmmakers didn’t realize that what looks fine in a video game, which is pretty much a cartoon, doesn’t translate well to the screen with flesh and blood people.

  414. [random personal shit that nobody cares about] I’m gonna fly to Canada again next week and spend the first two days in Toronto, but this seems to be a frustrating trip in terms of movies. Last time I was there, I was at least able to catch THE RAID on the big screen and lose my IMAX virginity with DARK SHADOWS (Which admittedly wasn’t an impressive IMAX showcase, but I stand by my love for that movie, no matter on what format.) But this time there is NOTHING, that makes me go “Damn, I gotta see this, while being in the most awesome city in the world!”

    I wanted to see KEANU, which doesn’t have a German release date yet and since Key & Peele are unknown over here (and the movie bombed), I doubt that they will rush it into theatres (or video stores). Unfortunately by next week, it seems to have completely disappeared from theatres. The day before I land there, there are screenings of MORTAL KOMBAT (which IMO could be fun to see on the big screen with an audience), THE WIZARD (which I’ve never seen before and doubt that it is good, but might also be a fun theatre visit) and SCOTT PILGRIM (which I like less every time I see it, but admire enough on a technical level to check it out on the big screen if I would have the chance).

    I might settle for POPSTAR, which will probably not get a German release in a while either (Like Key & Peele, Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island are unknowns here) or maaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyybeeeeeeeeeee the new X-MEN, if it’s in IMAX, D-Box or any other fancy, but in Germany non-existant gimmick.

    Later that week I’m gonna watch that new TMNT movie, with my girlfriend, her niece and her nephew. It’s not a movie that I would pay a cinema ticket for, but from what I’ve heard, the little ones loved the last movie, so it should be an interesting theatre visit too.

  415. Update to the shit that nobody cares about: KEANU is still running in Toronto. My trip is saved. That said: Gotta do some final packing and then I’m gone in a few hours. See you in around 1 1/2 weeks, y’all. (And if anybody knows a good used DVD or book store in Toronto, now is your last chance to tell me.)

  416. Hope you have fun in Canada, CJ. And no I don´t know any porn shops in Toronto.

  417. *rimjob* SHOT! I mean rimSHOT! Dammit!

  418. Hope you enjoy Keanu CJ! I really enjoyed it, though I will agree it went on a bit longer than it should. Still I seemed to enjoy it way more than most other people are/did apparently.

  419. CJ, try the main BMV store (471 Bloor St W) for used books, DVDs, and glorious and sexy CoOoOoOoOOOOmics.
    I’d say avoid IMAXes in the city as they are smallish and a waste of money IMHO.

  420. Opps, it seems I was too late with my reply

  421. Well, the morning started kinda shitty with the news that fisticuff comedy legend Bud Spencer has died with 86 years. I know, this is a name who is mostly unknown to people outside of Europe, but his movies (especially the ones he made with Terence Hill) were an important fixture for people of my generation and because of that generate even today high ratings when they run for the millionsth time on TV. His movies had this unique brand of slapstick, where his fists were pretty much used as the pie, that landed in someone’s face. (Not to mention that the German dubbing offered millions of hilarious brillant/stupid and endlessly quotable lines.)

    Apart from that he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, who was never involved in any kind of scandal, never said a mean word to a fan and was until his death a close friend with his longtime film partner Terence Hill.

    I just leave this video here. Maybe some of you won’t get it, but believe me, it means a lot to millions of people.

    Best of Bud Spencer

    Best of Bud Spencer Enjoy!

    (And Merso: Don’t worry, my time in Toronto was cut short anyway, but I will keep this store in mind for the next time, so thanks for that.)

  422. KaeptnKrautsalat

    June 28th, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Man, that sucks. Bud Spencer and Terence Hill were the heroes of my childhood.

  423. Well guys, I’m walking into the abyss. I’ve been telling people for years I’d give the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER TV series a shot and with all the talk of it turning 20 this week I finally geared it up on my Netflix queue. If I become a Browncoat, finish me. Promise me you’ll you do it!

  424. Once you manage the awkward first season you should be aight.

  425. I’ve never managed to make it past the first episode. Coincidentally the FIREFLY pilot also put me off the show for years, but at least I tried that one again a few year later and kinda liked it. (Although I never had the urge to revisit since then.)

    Good luck!

  426. A pity about the IRON FIST TV show. I was totally on board for a martial-arts focused action/superhero series, but as soon as they announced Scott “DEXTER, and not even the good seasons” Buck as show-runner my expectations were in the toilet. Looking at the critical reviews the show has turned out even worse than I expected. From what I hear the fight scenes (which are even more stingily doled out than the other Netflix series) are terrible, which seems like a hell of an oversight when you’re making a show about a character whose whole deal is that he’s an awesome kung fu guy. Not sure I’ll even bother with this one.

  427. With the exception of Jessica Jones, none of the Marvel Netflix shows have managed to make it to the end of their thirteen episode run without running out of steam. Both Daredevil Season 1 and Luke Cage started off really well before just sort of becoming an aimless morass.

    Daredevil Season 2 took the worst nosedives I’ve ever seen in television. The difference in quality between the first half of that season and the last half was damn near surreal. It did offer a few of my favorite hilariously bad moments in TV, so I guess there’s that.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not too surprised that Iron Fist sucks. Marvel already has a pretty shoddy track record when it comes to television. I’m also of the mind that most TV shows are wildly overrated, but that’s another story.

  428. I mostly agree. I’d say that JESSICA JONES suffers from similar pacing problems in the back half, but its characters were so strong and the themes so clearly articulated that I am willing to forgive a lot. DAREDEVIL S1 was meandering but enjoyable, S2 started strong but fell off a cliff after the Punisher arc ended. I still haven’t made it through LUKE CAGE. I’d say the Marvel Netflix shows are a mixed bag, so it’s disappointing that by most accounts IRON FIST is the worst by far. I think a lot of the critical praise for these shows comes from the fact that they only send out the first half of each season for review, and there’s generally a drop-off in quality after that point.

  429. I couldn’t finish any of the previous Marvel Netflix shows, due to accute boredom, so all those bad reviews for IRON FIST actually give me hope. Although maybe the critics just finally caught up with all the flaws that I keep complaining about since DAREDEVIL.

  430. What I don’t quite understand about these shows is that they only have thirteen episodes. Back in my day, shows had twenty-two episodes per season, and they were able to make it work. Sure, the seasons were uneven, but they were still reasonably enjoyable. And few, if any, were as uneven as Daredevil Season 2. What the hell is wrong these writers?

  431. Shows with 22-episode seasons are usually traditionally episodic, while serialized seasons are usually much shorter. It’s a lot easier to tell 22 one-hour stories in a sturdy, repeatable format (such as a detective solving a new case every week) than it is to keep one story afloat for 22 hours. Or even 12, as these Netflix shows often prove. If anything, they’d benefit from being even shorter. I feel that a lot of their problems come from stretching out plots or overstuffing with subplots. There’s usually one major character that could be removed entirely and the whole thing would flow better. Eight episodes should be the standard.

    I’m not complaining, though. These shows are fine. They’re just overrated like every single show the internet gets its hands on. They have their ups and downs but I’m willing to see where they go.

  432. As Danny Rand’s homeboy, I’m holding out hope that IRON FIST actually turns out to be good.

    Some of the critical slaps it’s talken thus far seem totally fair enough, and some…don’t.

    Once the whole season is out, I’ll be interested to see if critical analysis gets any better, but all the Marvel Netflix shows so far have been mixed bags, for sure.

  433. I get that TV shows are aiming at a different goal than they were twenty years ago. But even in the 90s, you had something like Buffy that was able to balance out standalone episodes with a longer story arc for a much more satisfying season of television. Why the hell can’t these Marvel show do something similar? Throw in three or four episodes that mostly stand on their own among the larger season-long arc.

    What’s frustrating about the fact that most of these shows can’t sustain thirteen episodes isn’t that they’re bad. It’s that there’s just a bunch of squandered potential. Half of each season is actually pretty good. Since critics have only seen the first six episodes, my hope is that Iron Fist is an inversion of the Marvel trend, and instead of having a great first half and a crappy second half, it has a crappy first half and a great second half. But then I remember that the showrunner is the same dude responsible for Dexter.

  434. I’ll never argue that BUFFY is not the platonic ideal of televisual serialization. Every episode has its own self-contained arc while also pushing the uber-arc forward. But at the time, overt serialization was seen as a negative. If somebody missed the week before, they’d be lost, because you couldn’t just stream the whole show to get caught up. The goal was for each and every episode to be a suitable jumping-on point for new viewers, and for there to be as many episodes as possible to maximize ad space. The business model is different now. You want to wow enough people with production values and buzz so that new subscribers will join your service to see all these shows everyone’s talking about. You don’t get that by spreading your budget out over 22 hours. You make fewer eps so that each one can have more dough spent on it, focus on serialization and cliffhanger endings to keep people binging, and hope that they all tweeted about it before they noticed that maybe the emperor has no clothes.

  435. I really wanted some eps of Jessica Jones where she was just being a PI and did some sleuthing. They teased us with that one ep where the woman hired her, but then it turned out she was trying to set Jessica up because she hates all the supers because her family was killed in the “incident in New York”.

  436. I really wanted to like DAREDEVIL but the editing in the fight scenes that completely gives away that 0 hits actually connect really threw me out of it. Hard to suspend disbelief between that and their version of The Kingpin. So I just couldn’t get invested at all. Then again I’ve been over the entire MCU concept for years now anyway. I may not be the audience for this shit.

  437. I figure if Iron Fist is getting the worst critic drubbing of all of them then most of you guys will probably fucking love it. Sometimes you guys are like the DVDVR of movie fans. :)

  438. LEGION has done a good job balancing a smaller season with a more conventional weekly schedule. Then again ever since FIRST CLASS Fox has told stories with Marvel properties that embody the spirit of Marvel Comics in live action better than Marvel themselves IMO. So no surprise.

    Fidelity to comics be damned the tone and daring narrative angles of classic Marvel books are all there. Even in something as ho-hum as X-MEN APOCALYPSE you find more ballsy shit than in Marvel’s actual productions as of late.

  439. No the only Netflix Marvel series this community will ever kinda unanimously agree on if not by execution but in terms of potential it’s BLADE: THE OTHER SERIES starring one Sir Wesley Snipes.

  440. Dude, that first episode of Legion was one of the best first episodes of any TV show ever in history, imo.

  441. JUSTIFIED was also great at balancing self-contained episodes and long-term arcs, with 13 episode seasons to boot.

    All of these Netflix shows have become increasingly piss-poor about giving each episode a structure with a self-contained arc. It’s just like, a bunch of shit happens that doesn’t get resolved and then there’s a pointless cliffhanger. I hear people behind the shows talk about treating each season like a “13-hour movie”, as if that’s a good idea. I do think the Netflix model is interesting from a creative standpoint, developing an entire season in a bubble without the corrupting influence of the audience or week-to-week ratings.

  442. Justified, Fargo, and The Americans all do a great job of sustaining a thirteen episode season. (I guess FX has been able to crack the code). It’s not impossible. I think writers just get lazy. They don’t think about the structure of the individual episode and we end up with one big glob of a narrative.

  443. It’s weird how little TV writers have learned from BREAKING BAD, the holy grail of serialized television. That was a show, that told one big story, but the writers actually cut it into dozens of mini stories. Every episode had a beginning, a middle part and an ending. Although every episode ended on a cliffhanger and was part of a bigger arc, the characters had a goal, that was solved by the end of the episode.

    I also wouldn’t mind if writers would take a lesson or two from THE SHIELD, where most episodes had an A-story, that dealt with the bigger arc of the criminal activities of the Strike Team, and a B-story, that was usually a stand-alone murder of the week.

    But no, it seems like TV writers only plot the beginning and the end of a season these days and from then on go from cliffhanger to cliffhanger, without telling anything interesting that leads up to it.

  444. Some of them learn over time, though. Take a series like BLACK SAILS, it suffered for a long while under the the very curse we’re talking about, and then suddenly they got it, and now it’s the best show out there. In the old days this wasn’t a problem, even if a show had 22-23 episodes per year.

  445. Well if Broddie says LEGION is worth watching, I’m going to have to give it a shot. This after I was planning on ignoring it.

    Really didn’t like DAREDEVIL, couldn’t even finish season one. Meant to give JESSICA JONES a shot and have not yet (that and STRANGER THINGS went on the back burner). Was looking forward to LUKE CAGE and then it got mixed reviews and figured if the guys who gave DAREDEVIL a pass didn’t fully like it, well… (yeah I still may end up liking it and thus confirming to more people that I’m a contrarian). Wish I enjoyed THE FLASH series more than I did.

    Need to give JUSTIFIED and BREAKING BAD a shot as well (also I guess GAME OF THRONES maybe). I tried out MAD MEN after all the love and couldn’t get into it. Really love FARGO though. Not much of a TV guy so the only recent-ish ones I finally watched were 30 ROCK and really liked it. The SCREAM TV Series was shockingly entertaining. I finished watching SLEDGE HAMMER (from the 80s) and that was consistently hilarious.

    If anyone is wondering: I FINALLY started enjoying BUFFY. I mean it took me till the half way point of season 2 but I finally found an episode I fully enjoyed and even loved (the one with John Ritter dating her mom). I’m not far after point but since then I’ve been enjoying it much more (still not in love with the show and want start a religion to it like the rest of the Internet though). Here I was thinking I was not going to get through it and figure out how to look Mr. M and the entirety of the Internet in the eye. Hopefully I keep my enjoyment going.

  446. I also can’t recommend TABOO enough. It’s deliberately slow. But it’s just so damn mean, and Hardy is so f***ing cool, that it’s a must-see.

  447. geoffrey: That’s funny. That ep is one of my least favorite. It brings a real-world element into the show that is jarring and makes the overall tone and mythology feel sort of frivolous. It also makes Joyce look weak, which is a bummer, because while Joyce can be a little, shall we say, willfully obtuse, she’s a tough lady. But the episode does have John Ritter as a misogynist robot with sparks coming out of his head so it can only be so bad.

    I’m happy to say that you are experiencing a very typical conversion schedule for the BUFFY-agnostic. The first season is relatively painless but not that great, and new viewers are willing to go along for the ride to see what all the fuss is about, but then somewhere in the middle of the second season they get hooked. It happened to me, back when I only started watching the show because a cute girl forced me to. Other instances of that phenomena have resulted in me having to sit through THE BOONDOCKS SAINTS, so this was a much more rewarding experience. I haven’t talked to that girl in years but me and BUFFY are still going strong.

    In any case, you have some of the most potent storytelling of the series coming up soon, the moments that almost on a dime turned this show from a fun diversion to a fun diversion that could break your fucking heart, and I envy you.

  448. Weird. Decades of “OMGOMGOMGBUFFYISTHEBESTSHOWEVERLETMETELLYOUEVERYTHINGABOUTIT” from everybody on the web ever and this is the first time that I hear that John Ritter guest starred in it.

  449. I watched Buffy when it first aired cause I was intrigued by it’s approach compared to the movie. I was also a teen and it had cute chicks. Plus it was the only thing on The WB at the time that was not a sitcom. It didn’t really find it’s true groove till season 3 but then after that great arc with The Master, Spike and Dru the show declines season after season ending in mediocrity. Haven’t seen it since it first aired but I don’t think I’ll dare. Will always respect Whedon for season 3 though.

  450. I don’t consider it a steady decline. Season 5 is better than Season 4 (though Season 4 has some of the show’s best standalone episodes), and the highly controversial Season 6 is better than both (though admittedly nowhere near as entertaining). Sadly, Season 7 is easily the worst, but the finale really sticks the landing so it all works out in the end. It also leads directly into Season 5 of ANGEL, which might be the best season of TV Whedon was ever involved in. So I’m cool with the periodic dips in quality. The peaks of Season 2/3 were never maintainable so I don’t mind that the show occasionally floundered while trying to reinvent itself. It’s better than endlessly repeating itself like so many other shows do.

  451. The TRUE LIES meets frat boys concept in season 4 made it more entertaining than 5 to me. Granted 5 did have more pathos especially with it’s great ending but as a whole both seasons came up short.

  452. Majestyk touches on something that I suspect everyone here has an answer to; What shows have we started to watch only because pretty girls have made us?

  453. I almost got GOSSIP GIRLed once. Luckily, I got dumped just in time.

  454. Dexter

  455. IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA for me. She was awesome. Too bad she left NYC.

  456. I think the only show a girl ever made me watch was Buffy. It only lasted a few episodes. She did not like me pointing out every 10 seconds how stupid it is.

    Also, there are people that didn’t like the Daredevil series???? That is crazy. The first 3 Marvel shows on Netflix were all great. I guess I’ll give Iron Fist a try at some point but I keep seeing interview quotes from the star and he sounds like a giant douche bag so I am going to put it off. Also, I don’t really care about the star being white, but it bugs me that they didn’t get an actual martial artist.

  457. I’ve been with my wife for a long time now and we pretty much know what the other one likes, so I guess Buffy is the last time she managed to convince me. But I loved that show, so…

  458. I’ve liked these Netflix Marvel shows so far but if I’m being honest I’d have to admit that I like AGENTS OF SHIELD and AGENT CARTER better than all of them. The Netflix ones have the better production values and (generally) better writing but I don’t really give a shit about any of the characters, and that’s really what’s most important to me when it comes to TV. AGENT CARTER, the underdog of the MTVU, is easy to root for, but AOS, the bastard stepchild, despite its many sloppy story developments, has characters I enjoy spending time with. I feel invested in their journey. The Netflix shows are much colder and yet more melodramatic, so I don’t really feel much personal connection to anybody. Extended exposure has revealed Daredevil to be a self-obsessed jerkoff whose macho masochism makes life worse for everyone around him (which makes me like his supporting cast less for enabling him) while not actually possessing much in the way of actual antihero charisma. Luke Cage as played by Whatshisface is a bland character who’s overloaded with more symbolism than his milquetoast characterization can bear, and his show killed off its most interesting character halfway through and replaced him with a glorified henchman. Jessica Jones comes closest to making me feel something, but I think that’s more about what she represents than who she is as a personality. (Plus, I think they’re going to have a hard time following up the thematic purity of that first season’s storyline.) So I don’t know. The shows are definitely worth watching but eventually they’re going to have to make me give a shit about somebody or I see a lot of diminished returns in their near future.

  459. I can’t say I had any of those complaints about the Netflix shows. All 3 of them sucked me in completely and I enjoyed them much more than I expected. They do tend to drag a tiny bit in the middle of the season (except for Daredevil S2 which is awesome throughout).

    Agents of Shield – I think I watched maybe half or more of the first season and I thought it was pretty bad. I have heard it improved tremendously after that so I will watch it some day.

    I do watch Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. They’re all decent. They get boring at times but then they will have a great episode or two. They are so much better than the DC movies in any case.

  460. It’s only about halfway through the current season of AGENTS OF SHIELD that I’d admit that I really liked it. I’d been kind of watching it out of compulsion for a while, but everything seemed to finally click and I realized how invested I was. I don’t blame you for not having your skirt blown up by the first season. It’s a show that had a lot of growing pains.

    DAREDEVIL Season 2 would have been pretty amazing if Daredevil wasn’t in it. His whole storyline was a waste of time.

  461. Mr. M, what is your feelings on the overall Angel series? Also, did you like Dollhouse? I did not like Dollhouse.

  462. ANGEL builds to such a perfect finale that I can forgive it its low points, such as the mostly dull first season. I’ve even come to admire how fucking loopy it’s narrative contortions get in the third and fourth seasons. This is a show that completely disappeared up its own ass and remerged stronger and wiser.

    DOLLHOUSE is not high on my list of rewatchable shows but starting with that crazy ballsy unaired first season finale, I really came to respect what it was going for. The possibilities of the premise really too root in my mind at that point and I was fully onboard from then on. I don’t think it ever had the potential to be as beloved as BUFFY or FIREFLY but as a weirdo little two-season wonder, it’s quite bold and fascinating.

  463. Is anybody else watching Feud? It’s really good. If you love movies from that era like Hallsy does then you should check it out.

  464. HALLSY: The more I think about it, the more I remember that I, like you, was also sucked in immediately by these shows. Binge-watching allows that initial
    bloom of infatuation to color an entire season, unlike traditionally broadcast shows whose flaws can become more apparent as they wear on and people have more time to ponder them. I tend to watch these shows in a four-day blur and only stop and think about how I really feel about them after the fact. (The exception being LUKE CAGE, whose flaws were apparent after the first six episodes.) So it’s not like I don’t enjoy these shows. I just don’t always respect them in the morning.

  465. Weird – I thought the first six episodes of Luke Cage were much stronger than the last half of the season (which was still good). I think I binged Luke Cage faster than the others. I loved the aesthetic, the music, all of the performance, the boobies on the lady detective…

    Daredevil and Jessica Jones were probably much better on story and action but I probably enjoyed Luke Cage more – especially this scene:

    Jidenna - Long Live The Chief (Luke Cage 1X05 TV Series )

    I do not own anything of this video. All rights reserved NETFLIX channel. No copyright infringement intended.

  466. You’re right, the first half of LC was way stronger than the second. I just meant that by the halfway point, I’d noticed a sharp down tick in quality.

    Fuckin’ Diamondback. That character sucked so hard. The show had so much potential but it never quite recovered.

  467. Am 3 episodes into IRON FIST and I’m digging it. It’s got the same problems as the other Marvel Netflix shows – glacial pacing being number one – but the story has me hooked. I hear the show only gets better, so let’s see.

    It does help that I’m a huge IF fan, so I guess I was always gonna like it to some degree.

    I really do think some of the critical hammerings it’s taken seem a bit OTT.

  468. Are we just talking about random TV shows? Because if so I’d like to mention that I just got through watching the first 3 seasons of STEVEN UNIVERSE.

    Now what some of you are thinking “oh you gosh darn twenty something millennials and your love of children’s cartoons” but first off while I’ve been aware of stuff like ADVENTURE TIME I haven’t gotten around to watching any kid friendly cartoons of this decade until now.

    And secondly STEVEN UNIVERSE is not something an adult should be embarrassed to watch, it’s a show that tackles some surprisingly mature themes and emotions, but overall it’s simply an outstanding series.

    And there’s moments of surprising badassery too, on the surface the series may seem “girly” but while it’s definitely taking influence from anime such as Revolutionary Girl Utena and Sailor Moon there’s almost as much taken from Dragon Ball Z, I think we could all appreciate a children’s cartoon about magic and gemstones that still contains some pretty badass fights, yes?

    I forgot to mention how hilarious the show can also be as well.

    Anyway I really love it, I’ve been totally out of the loop when it comes to TV from this decade, animated or otherwise, but I’m glad there’s finally something current that I can say I’m familiar with and love.

  469. Griff: I’m what you’d call a “cool dude” and have no time for things such as ‘cartoons’ but hypothetically speaking, ONLY hypothetically: ADVENTURE TIME is wonderfully weird and imaginative, STEVEN UNIVERSE is a charmingly emotional journey, and REGULAR SHOW was much better than I expected and really spoke to someone like me who grew up in the time that I grew up in. Again if I ‘lowered’ myself to watch ‘mere’ cartoons.

    Also, Griff: I’d never be one of those losers to watch ‘anime’ but if I were (also hypothetically): I’ve been enjoying GOD’S BLESSING ON THIS WONDERFUL WORLD (despite some unfortunate fans-ervice), as a massively huge Rumiko Takahashi fan also really enjoying RIN-NE. Again all of this would be hypothetical enjoyment.

  470. NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDFDDDDDDDDSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!?!!!!!!!!!

  471. I actually plan to watch REGULAR SHOW as soon as I have the chance, because somebody told me that it has apparently a well written and epic story bubbling underneath its weirdness. Everytime I caught a few minutes of it, it looked like one of those badly drawn stoner cartoons, that just try to be random. (Not that there is in theory anything wrong with that, but Adult Swim and the internet turned that into an overdone cliche.)

    It’s interesting how cartoons are obeying certain trends, though. All you need is one fresh and creative success, then everybody will copy it. Now many cartoons try to be the next ADVENTURE TIME (Even Disney has its own one with STAR VS THE FORCES OF EVIL.), before that, almost every cartoon tried to be the next SPONGEBOB (although I can’t remember one single copycat. They all died a quick death.), before that they copied animes, etc etc. (For a cartoon, that was a surprising crossover hit with kids, adults, stoners and “serious” critics, there were no PHINEAS & FERB rip-offs, as far as I know. Weird, but I’m not complaining.) Except Griff and me, nobody knows what I’m talking about, so whatever.

  472. You guys are really blowing my mind. Next you’ll tell me comic books aren’t just for kids anymore!

  473. Griff: Forgot to mention LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA. Again hypothetically.

    Mr. M: I believe you missed the part where I self-identified as “cool-dude” at the beginning of the post. Definitely not a nerd.

    CJ: IF I had watched REGULAR SHOW, in theory, I’d tell you it really spoke to me with it’s two slacker characters who are consistent fuck-ups and constantly look for the easy way out so they have more time to goof off and play video games (Master System in the show). The final season isn’t anywhere near as good as the rest but the final scene/montage is so good I can forgive it for being merely ‘okay.’ If I watched cartoons, I would say I enjoy STAR VS THE FORCES OF EVIL, shame WANDER DOWN YONDER got canceled that’s was a real good one if I watched such things. Not sure I’d say STAR is an ADVENTURE TIME knock-off though, I see more STEVEN UNIVERSE in it (especially from the design perspective).

    Started season 3 of BUFFY, which started strong. I may be seeing what Mr. M said about getting slowly sucked in.

  474. Mr M: ACTUALLY, I think you’d be surprised at how DEEP and MATURE some sequential art is now-a-days! Totally not for kids and acceptable for mature adults, such as myself, to read. Some even have boobs and gore!

  475. When I said “Adventure time copy”, I meant that it’s a show with an unusual* design style and lots of wacky fantasy adventures. It’s not really ADVENTURE TIME, but I doubt Disney would have greenlit it without thinking that it could be their version.

    It should also be said that I’m already burnt out on those LOOK HOW CREATIVE WE ARE, MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!! cartoons, which is why STAR bored me after two episodes. The theme song never gets old, in all fairness.

    Actually currently I don’t really have a cartoon that I watch. MILO MURPHY’S LAW, the new one from the PHINEAS & FERB guys, that stars Weird Al Yankovic as some kid who has the worst luck ever, but stays positive and upbeat all day, is pretty fun, but nothing to write home about. That’s pretty much all I watch currently. I miss GRAVITY FALLS.

    *Although let’s be honest, when every cartoon has an unusual design, no show has.

  476. REGULAR SHOW is great, but if I’m honest I preferred the first four seasons when it was less serialised and in some ways shallower show, but consistently inventive. It might sound wanky, as we limeys say, to dedicate an episode of a (partially) kids’ show to the format wars between Lasersdisc and VHS, but it was great, with a lot of love for both formats evident.

  477. I would just like to take this opportunity to say that the Venture Bros should be mentioned in this discussion. Best animated show still technically running. Also perfected the formula of balancing seasonal arcs with one-off episodes while letting the characters grow in fulfilling ways over the run of the show. And any dojo that respects excellence in action tropes needs a candle lit for Brock Fucking Sampson.

  478. Everybody here knows that I fucking love THE VENTURE BROS, but honestly, I hope the next season will be the last. Not because the show got worse (It didn’t. It’s still brillant!), but having to wait 10-36 years between seasons (and now even half seasons!) kills all momentum in the story.

    Also it’s interesting that this and BREAKING BAD, which are undeniable brillant pieces of storytelling, were made up on the spot by its writers. How many times did you hear a showrunner say “Oh, we have a plan, we have a plan, we know how it ends, don’t worry”, only that the show then started to drag more and more and end as unsatisfying as possible? But VB and BB are like: “Yeah, we had no idea why he did that when we wrote that scene” or “That was actually just a throwaway joke from three seasons ago, but we had a good idea how to turn it into an important part of the canon” and BAM: Mind blowing television!

  479. Unfortunately I’ve fallen behind on VENTURE BROS, I still haven’t seen the new season from last year, like CJ says the wait between seasons kinda kills the momentum and the show has been going since 2004, which is crazy to think, so I wouldn’t blame them if they wrapped it up soon.

    I’ve enjoyed STEVEN UNIVERSE so much that I definitely plan on checking out more 2010s cartoons like ADVENTURE TIME and GRAVITY FALLS.

  480. SZLL: I thought of VENTURE BROS. but I figured we were talking about much more embarrasing cartoons aimed at kids (and stoners). Anyways, VENTURE BROS. is great.

    CJ: I enjoy STAR. Funny we’re talking about shows that balance over-plot with one-shots and I think STAR does that quite well. To bad I don’t care for the over plot, I enjoy it for the two lead characters. I really enjoyed GRAVITY FALLS as well but I’m glad the creator decided to go out while on top. Also agree on MILO, it’s there and entertaining(ish) but like PHINEAS the design of the show is an eye-sore (dear god does EVERY character have to do the cocked-eyebrow after Milo does anything?) but so far it doesn’t have the snappy writing and fun characters of P&F to compensate.

    Pacman: I concur with your thoughts on REGULAR SHOW, I really like how it supposedly takes place in modern day but it’s a world where the ’80s never ended but it’s not entirely for nostalgia baiting the stoner crowd (which I’m not part of) but also reflects how the characters (all of them) are stuck in a rut and have no inclination to move forward with their lives. Also, yeah the last season was only okay and all the stuff with dealing with the format wars was hilarious.

  481. STAR VS THE FORCES OF EVIL looks cool, I’ll have to check that one out too.

  482. Steven Seagal talks about his life philosophy.

    Steven Seagal on the Steven Seagal Ten Shin

    http://www.coldsteel.com/products/steven-seagal.html

  483. Iron Fist is alright so far. I like the two main leads but the company story line is so boring.

    I also think it took to episode 5 before they gave me a fight scene I enjoyed. I was watching a few episodes with two people that I wouldn’t say have seen that many martial arts movies and they would cheer like they just saw the final fight from The Raid. I can see how people might be reacting to this show because they haven’t experienced martial arts before. At least that’s a theory because I’ve found most of the fights uninspiring and I hate the weak sound effects.

  484. Three episodes in, Iron Fist seems terrible to me. I’ll keep watching it, though, I guess because I don’t value my time. Definitely the weakest of the Marvel Netflix shows, has all the regular faults but none of the regular charms.

  485. For every one thing Iron Fist gets right, it gets two things wrong. It pains me to say that as a fan of the character from way back when.

    The crazy shit in it is cool, though. I like the whole “corporate business” element – it’s like a batshit version of Dallas.

    And I love the fact that he’s a left-wing billionaire – because this is clearly a fantasy.

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