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MCU: Is The Defenders, Already Better Than The Avengers?

31 May

I don’t know if readers of this blog have noticed, but I’m not the hugest fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know, it’s shocking. I actually like movies with, like, plots and stuff. Maybe some character development.

For the people who actually do read this blog (if such people exist), the really surprising revelation will be that I actually don’t hate everything that’s come out of the MCU. I liked the first Iron Man movie, for example. Guardians of the Galaxy was good and fun. Ant-Man was solid entertainment. Agent Carter was better than Agents of SHIELD and should have been renewed instead of AoS… but that’s a whole other topic.

The real gems of the MCU, however, are the Netflix series. In fact, I’m of the opinion that these shows are of such different quality that we shouldn’t even pretend that they exist in the same universe as the rather cartoonish Avengers. Every time they make references to the events of those movies, it feels awkward and wrong.

This summer, all four of the current Netflix/Marvel series will come together into one big monster event series, called The Defenders. Will this series be an amazing convergence of awesomeness? Or will it be another Avengers, feeding more into the fanboy dreams of its creators than into a solid story of its own? Let’s examine the situation, both pros and cons. Continue reading

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DCEU: Wonder Woman Set to Bomb at Box Office!!!!!111!!11!!!1!!

26 May

Nobody likes to sound like the crazy, foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist in the room. However, every once in a while, I think that everyone gets to that point. In this case, I’m just going to accept that at this moment, I’m the crazy sounding guy.

I recently came across an article which declared that Wonder Woman is projected to take in about $65 million in its opening weekend. To put this into perspective, Man of Steel brought in $116,619,362, Batman v Superman brought in $166,007,347 and Suicide Squad brought in $133,682,248.

The projected number sound very low, of course. However, a little more perspective tells us that the first Captain America movie brought in $65,058,524, Thor came in at $65,723,338, and more recently, Doctor Strange had an opening weekend of $85,058,311.

Why are all of these numbers important? For a couple of reasons. Continue reading

DCEU: Writing to the Negative Space

15 May

Some friends and I were having a conversation about Batman v Superman recently, and the topic turned to the Robin suit that is seen in the batcave, along with the mention of Harley Quinn being involved with the death of Robin in Suicide Squad.

While a lot of people feel that the Robin story should have been explored a lot more, I took a different approach to this. The way I see it, the Robin story is doing exactly what it should be doing. It’s occupying the negative space of the story. The characters on screen are influenced by what happened, they’re circling that story and feeling that story, while not directly addressing it on screen. And this is an important lesson.

Too often, writers will feel that they have to explain everything to the audience. Doing this comes at a price. Rather than creating a world that is full of lives and stories that inform the people that we’re seeing on screen, they are creating a narrow story that only exists within the limited view that we see.

Robin tells us that Batman has lived a life. He has been fighting this war for a long time, and he has seen some horrible days. We know that Batman isn’t just brooding and angry because of the loss of his parents when he was a child. He is struggling because no matter how hard he fights and how many times he puts criminals in prison, it never ends. Fighting that war doesn’t bring his parents back and it doesn’t stop Robin from dying.

Without that suit, Batman is just angry and brooding because he’s Batman. He’s dark for the sake of being dark. By not directly showing us that Robin story, it doesn’t become about just that one thing. It becomes a lifetime of struggle, rather than moments of struggle. Sometimes, being specific and showing everything only serves to lessen the impact.

Because of that Robin suit, we can imagine Batman’s whole career. Those of us who know the comics are picturing Dick Grayson out in the world as Nightwing, and Barbara Gordon as Batgirl (both of whom have potential movies in the works). We know that Jason Todd died, so without even seeing those other characters on screen, we can imagine their relationship with Batman and where it stands right now. The Robin suit created a world.

And moving over to Harley Quinn, we see that world rippling out. The reference to her participation in Robin’s death is so brief that most probably didn’t even notice it when it flashed on the screen, but we see that event influencing her, even in the Suicide Squad movie. When she tells El Diablo to own up to the messed up stuff that he’s done, she isn’t just talking about him. That’s a hint of Harleen Quinzel right there. The great thing about Harley Quinn is that she’s not the essence of evil that Joker is. She has a lot of different layers. She has moments of good, and moments of bad. She can be brilliant, or dim.

The dead Robin, who was never seen on screen, is having a huge impact on different characters within the DCEU. I find this subtle touch really interesting.

 

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree. If Robin was supposed to be this large of an influence, should he have been seen in a proper flashback? Or do our imaginations fill in the blanks in a way that flashbacks couldn’t?

 

Also, be sure to click on this link and check out my books on Amazon. I have an ongoing dystopian series, called Freedom/Hate, if you’re into that sort of thing. I also have some wacky action satire, some supernatural fun, and a sweet little Christmas story. So click over and take a look, so I can tell people that I’m doing my job and promoting my work instead of just talking about geeky stuff all day.

Thirteen Reasons Why

10 May

Watching Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix isn’t fun. A teenage girl, Hannah Baker has killed herself (spoiler alert), and she’s left behind a series of thirteen audio recordings, each telling the tale of another person who contributed to her decision to commit suicide.

Overall, I think that the series was a success, for what it was. It was an interesting look at a downward spiral. At times, it was a brutal, sad, or painful series to watch. At one point, it also made me gag a little, which is weird because I’m not usually one to react to Hollywood gore. However, by that point, I was invested in this character, and no amount of knowing that she was going to kill herself could make that scene any less difficult to watch.

Rather than go through the entire series and write a normal review, I’m going to give my thoughts as they relate to certain criticisms that I’ve seen of the series. I’m not associated with the series in any way, and these are just my “top of the brain” responses. Make of them what you will: Continue reading

The State of the SUPERNATURAL Union

7 May

Continuing my habit of rambling about geeky stuff when I should be writing, editing, or promoting my books. This is more fun (but not a reflection of my ability to string together coherent sentences!) So… go check out my work on Amazon. See if anything sounds interesting to you. Maybe leave a review, if you’re so inclined.

I’ve been a fan of Supernatural since day one. The show has a great setup, great character, great execution… It’s a great show (putting aside season 7 for the sake of this post).

But, nearing the end of its twelfth season, the show has gotten into some ruts and lost sight of some of the things that made it great in the first place. In this blog post, I’m going to discuss the show’s past, present and future, and see where we stand at this point. Continue reading

DCEU : SUPERMAN

3 May

I just released a new book! Battle Cry (book 4 in my Freedom/Hate series) is out now, and here’s the link! I should totally be doing more publicity for that. But… I’m going to ramble about geeky stuff instead for a while (and by “ramble” I mean that this isn’t a professionally crafted think piece. It’s random thoughts that are coming to mind as I type). So, go check out my book link, read the blurb (warning: spoilers for the series up to that point may be in the blurb… it’s book 4, after all), look at the pretty cover, and then read my geeky ramblings. That way I don’t have to feel bad about spending my time on this stuff.

Okay, here I go. Deep breath…

Look around the internet and you will find a million people, saying a million bad things about the DC Extended Universe. They don’t like the colors, they don’t like the directors, they don’t like the way the characters are handled. All of these comments are fine. People are entitled to their opinions, and all of that (for now anyway).

In the past, I’ve given some of my thoughts on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I’m not the hugest fan of that franchise. I do like some of it, but I’m not as forgiving as a lot of people. So, is it weird that I actually like the DC Expanded Universe, while so many others seem to hate it? Am I just disagreeable? Continue reading

DC v Marvel : Dawn of Superhero Movies

16 Apr

There has been a lot of comic book movie talk as of late. Being the geek that I am, I have a lot of thoughts on the subject of comic book movies. I also happen to have a blog where I can rant all I want, and there is nobody to stop me. (insert maniacal laugh here)

You should probably expect more of these rants in the future. Just sayin’.

This rant is about the question that has been asked a million times over: “Is there any way for DC/Warner Bros to catch up with Marvel/Disney?”

The question is being raised because Marvel has made a lot of movies over the past decade, creating a Marvel Cinematic Universe that is all tied together. They’ve been pretty successful with these movies and they’ve made a ton of money. So naturally, people wonder if there is any way for DC to duplicate this success with their own movies.

The flaw in this question is in the assumption that DC is trying to achieve the same goal. Continue reading