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Worst of the Worst

Posted on November 24th, 2021

Dave!Last night when I turned on the television so I had background noise running while I work, a movie recommendation popped up. X-Men: Dark Phoenix. I was floored. Why in the hell would they be recommending the worst super-hero comic book movie ever made? And then I was like... wait... second worst. Because first on that list is Wonder Woman '84, and no other movie will likely dethrone it from the top spot.

At least I sure as hell hope not.

It got me to thinking about all the horrible super-hero comic book films that got made, so I thought I'd run through those I remembered.

  • Wonder Woman '84
    What makes this horrifically shitty film so painful is that the first Wonder Woman film was so amazing. But this time we get plot holes so inexplicably huge and a story so embarrassingly stupid that it's impossible to believe that everybody who was involved has anything to do with the original. And yet... they were. In addition to one of the stupidest fucking villains with one of the the stupidest fucking powers doing the stupidest fucking things, we also got Wonder Woman pulling powers out of her ass left and right in a way that made you think she can do whatever the hell she wants to do. Plus a bizarre take on The Cheetah which is disappointing enough to put this film on the list all by itself. As if all that weren't enough, there was no internal logic or consistency. Patty Jenkins and the writers didn't give a shit about making anything make sense. So we end up with functional planes being gassed up and ready to go at a museum and scores of other idiotic dumbassery that makes this not even the worst comic book movie ever made... but one of the worst films ever made period.
  • ALL X-Men Films (except First Class)
    Anything that Bryan Singer touches goes to shit, and nowhere is that more blatantly apparent than his grotesque take on the X-Men. At first, I was willing to cut them some slack because technological limitations of the time made depicting all their various powers difficult and expensive. BUT THEY COULD STILL COME UP WILL STORIES THAT WEREN'T SHIT! My God. They just kept getting progressively worse... then there was the bright spot we got with the prequel X-Men: First Class... only to have Bryan Singer come back and take a massive steaming dump all over everything. To add insult to injury, they wrapped everything up with Dark Phoenix, which is about the worst take of them all. Thank God Marvel Studios have the licensing back. I am praying that they manage to come up with something actually good for a concept that has never made great movies.
  • Superman Returns
    Not content to let Bryan Singer fuck up the X-Men, DC Comics wanted to let him ruin Superman as well, allowing him to effectively kill the franchise for a second time. And it was really too bad, because I thought Brandon Routh made a fantastic Superman. But even a group of talented actors couldn't save the shitty story... which was essentially a bad retread of the original Superman. That being said, there is one solitary moment in this film that I thought was incredibly well done. It's after Superman has been taken to the hospital and is dying. Out side is a throng of people waiting for news to see whether he's alive or dead. In the crowd is Martha Kent. Even though she's Superman's mom, she has to wait outside with everybody else because nobody knows that Clark Kent is Superman. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and made you realize that there was probably a good film in this mess somewhere... it's just that Bryan Singer was incapable of finding it.
  • Superman III and Superman IV: Quest for Peace
    The reason these hit so hard for me is that Superman: The Movie and Superman II were so sublimely good. And that was after the Salkinds ripped the movie away from Richard Donner and tried their best to fuck them up. Christopher Reeve was Superman. But, even more important, he was Clark Kent. Then you drop in a flawless Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor... plus some incredibly ambitious stories... and it was absolute magic (then they brought back the Donner cut of Superman II and it was as if every fanboy's prayers had been answered). But then they made two sequels that went beyond bad, and the only thing left was Christopher Reeves. Good as he is, even he can't make something out of nothing.
  • Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman and Justice League
    Zack Snyder had one good movie (300) and one okay movie (Watchmen) and apparently that was enough for DC Comics to hand over the keys to the entire DC Comics Cinematic Universe. The result was an absolute disaster that, in some ways, is even worse than the Bryan Singer movies because at least Snyder had cutting-edge special effects to make his movies work. Unfortunately, he decided that enduring characters which people had been loving for decades needed "improving upon" and put his own spin on things. And apparently his whole plan was to come up with shitty, convoluted stories which revolve around deadly-serious, dreary, boring, films that are utterly devoid of joy... or common sense. And while the casting is mostly good, there were some bone-headed decisions for critical characters (see: Lex Luthor) that were so horribly off the mark that the films would have been sabotaged even if they were actually good. Which they were definitely not.
  • Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four
    How you can fuck up a Fantastic Four movie is a real head-scratcher. But Fox managed to do it three times over. I'm just going to ignore the first two and focus on the attempted reboot in 2015, because it's the one which is really driving this. It was awful. Beyond awful. Not a damn thing made any sense and the casting was inexplicably bad (ironically the casting that was the most controversial, Michael B. Jordan as Human Torch, was the only thing that worked for me). And then there's the fact that the Fantastic Four never even show up until the very end. Lord, what a waste.
  • Catwoman
    Yet another case of flawless casting being utterly destroyed by a horrible story. Halle Berry deserved far better. As did we all.
  • The New Mutants
    Why? Just... why? The idea of a super-hero comic book movie being given a horror slant is not a bad one. On the contrary, it seemed like a good idea for something new. The problem is that they fucked it up from start to finish and it failed all genres that it stepped in. Wasn't scary. Wasn't exciting. Wasn't a comic book movie. Wasn't much of a film. In all honesty, Disney should have just stuck this 20th Century Fox mess in a vault and never let it seen the light of day. Not that it matters. Anybody who ever saw it likely forgot about it within 24 hours. Or wish they had.
  • Green Lantern
    They wise enough to make the decision to cast Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Mark Strong as Sinestro... so what the hell went so terribly wrong? EVERY. OTHER. DECISION. Where's the fucking story? Green Lantern could have been a story of cosmic scope that defied belief. But instead they just utterly trashed the character for no good reason. Everything from his hideously bad CGI costume to the gawdawful take of both Parallax and Hector Hammond as "villains" just made this so very, very disappointing.
  • Batman Forever and Batman and Robin
    The first two Batman films were Tim Burton weirdness that didn't 100% work... but they were at least entertaining. And they gave us Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman, so there's that. But then Joel Schumacher took over and gave us these stupid, campy films which had so many poor decisions piled up that there was no room for actual Batman stories in them. It was made doubly bizarre, because the casting wasn't exactly terrible... Jim Carrey as The Riddler? Perfect. Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face? Great. Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy? Nice! Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl? Flawless. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doctor Freeze? Weird, but okay. Chris O'Donnell as Robin? Too old, but I get it. And even Val Kilmer and George Clooney weren't terrible choices for Batman. Which means it all comes down to the writing and direction, which was embarrassing in a way that even the 1960's television show couldn't beat.
  • Elektra
    I think had they invested the money so the script could have revolved around an actual story, an Elektra spin-off was a great idea. But instead they cheaped out, leaving us with something that was bizarrely detached from the character that Jennifer Garner created in Daredevil.
  • Spider-Man 3
    The first two Toby Maguire films were darn good. Better than they had a right to be, actually. But then things went completely off the rails. Sam Raimi crammed in too many villains in too many ways with too many bizarre turns for this movie to have any hope at all. But the thing that just dropped this one in the gutter was the way they completely trashed all the characters. Mary Jane was written horribly. Peter Parker (under the influence of the symbiote) became devoid of everything that makes Peter Parker be Peter Parker. And then there's Venom... a villain which was made a laughable shadow of the character that was established in the comics. So many bad choices. They say that the studio interfered with what Sam Raimi wanted to do, which makes a lot of sense. But is inexplicable given the success he had with the first two films.
  • Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2
    After screwing up the Toby Maquire franchise, Sony decided to take another shot at the character and rebooted Spidey with Andrew Garfield. Ultimately you have to wonder why they bothered, because they didn't really do anything new. On the contrary, they went back to arcs that were already explored with the first trilogy, then made things so horribly complicated with Peter's dead parents being spies (or whatever) that it was as if they didn't feel Spider-Man could carry a movie. Which is understandable... Sony had a Spider-Verse to build. Alas, those plans were scrapped when Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombed.
  • Hulk
    Ang Lee taking on The Hulk seems like a dream come true. But the movie was just not very entertaining. There were some ideas that were cool enough... but there just wasn't much going on past that. It was seriously troubling that the script's many problems weren't worked out before filming ever started. The fact that they weren't is really difficult to understand. I guess they just trusted Ang Lee to figure it out, but ultimately he didn't want it to be the super-hero movie that it needed to be and we got this. In truth, the follow-up film wasn't a heck of a lot better, but at least they tried to make Hulk be Hulk.

Yikes. More than I thought I'd remember. It's almost as though I should rewatch all the Marvel Studios movies for the hundredth time so I can have good super-hero comic book movies back in my head.

   

Bullet Sunday 739

Posted on November 21st, 2021

Dave!It may be snowing out my window, but it will always be warm here at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Sweet! Huh. M&M'S USA Sugar Cookie tastes just like a sugar cookie! Weird!

But... cool. And tasty.

   
• Pep! One of the most pleasant surprises to come out of HBO Max was the four-episode Adventure Time: Distant Lands episodes. As a massive fan of Adventure Time, it was so great seeing more from the show after it went away. Every episode was absolutely brilliant, and this last one... featuring Peppermint Butler called Wizard City is my favorite of the bunch...

I really hope that we get another season, because all these episodes did was make me want more Adventure Time!

   
• Simu! I don't know if Simu Liu inspired everybody or what, but last night's Saturday Night Live was one of the best episodes in a while...

The fact that every once in a while SNL is actually good kind of messes with my head. So many times it's mostly not funny and a waste of time.

   
• Man Park! Speaking of SNL, this sketch from last week was about the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable episode...

I become more and more a fan of Pete Davidson with every sketch he's in like this.

   
• Homeopathy! Welp...

This was really well done (as are all the Kurzgesagt videos) and I like how they actually acknowledge that there are things that can be learned from homeopathy, which is true from many things that are ultimately nonsense. Beneath it all, the nonsense is believed because there's something there being addressed which is not being addressed otherwise.

   
• Gravy! This had me laughing way harder than I should have...

@marcwinski #duet with @justinrileyyy Gravy Sales #joke #share #food #fyp #thanksgiving ♬ Aww just gravy - Justin Riley

   
• Rant Rant! From ScreenRant: Shang-Chi's Ending Repeats A Problem We Thought The MCU Had Evolved Past. — Spoiler Alert... they say that "As mentioned before, many of the MCU's final acts have largely been flashy CGI battles."WELL NO SHIT! THAT'S WHAT THE PEOPLE WHO DRIVE UP BILLION-DOLLAR BOX OFFICE RECEIPTS WANT TO SEE! What would you like Marvel to do? Have Shang-Chi hug it out with his dad when the guy shows up at the end and then walk off into the sunset? These are COMIC BOOK MOVIES! Have you ever READ a comic book? CGI has finally gotten to the point where the massively cool battles that we've been seeing in comic books for decades CAN ACTUALLY BE CREATED FOR MOVIES! So why would Marvel Studios not do that? Why fix what ain't broken? The final battle in Shang-Chi was absolutely epic and a blast to watch. The CGI team killed it. Beautiful, thrilling, comic-book-come-to-life, over-the-top action. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT FROM A COMIC BOOK MOVIE! If I want emotionally-driven drama, I'll watch something else. And if that's what you're looking for, I suggest you do the same. We've come a long, long way from when The X-Men battled frickin' WATER in their second movie. THEY FOUGHT WATER!!! ACTUAL WATER WAS THE FRICKIN' BATTLE AT THE END! And we don't want to go back to that pathetic crap. Now that Marvel Studios finally have The X-Men movie rights back, I am absolutely dying to see what we get out of the films they're dreaming up. Lord God please let it be massive CGI battles in the sky!

   
And that's a wrap on snowy bullets... they're already melting.

   

Scooby-Doo THIS!

Posted on November 19th, 2021

Dave!I am not terribly thrilled that Marvel is going the "Multiverse" route with their films. The need to make sure that the earlier Spider-Man movies are a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is dragging us backwards rather than taking us forward by cutting them loose. Will it be nice to see Alfred Molina as Doc Ock again? Sure. But at the expense of miring the MCU with the silly idea that Peter Parker looks completely different in the different universes? It makes no sense.

But here we go anyway...

In addition to Alfred Molina, we're definitely getting Willen DaFoe as Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx as Electro. And it looks like we're getting Rhys Ifans as The Lizard and Thomas Haden Church as Sandman... though those could just be CGI additions with no connection to the actual actors.

But it's like... why?

Why not create new versions of these characters that are closely tied to what Marvel Studios is doing now? Does this mean that these characters will never appear in the MCU proper because they are from a different universe? That doesn't seem too smart.

It seems likely all of this is to keep Sony happy, since they have the Spider-Man movie rights tied up and, technically, the character is on-loan to Marvel. The Multiverse allows them to have Spider-Man back for their Venom movies and such while still allowing Spider-Man to move forward with Marvel Studio films. It's a profitable double-dip. Assuming Tom Holland wants to continue on. Though this could also all be a set-up to give us Miles Morales Spider-Man.

They really should have let DC Comics hang on to this bad idea in their The Flash movie and kept moving forward with the success they had been having.

Oh well. Dr. Strange looks to be having a great time in the movie, so perhaps that will be compensation for what feels like a big blunder. But who knows? Maybe Marvel has figured it all out so that it's actually a good thing.

   

Bullet Sunday 738

Posted on November 14th, 2021

Dave!I may be dealing with some very upset cats now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, but fear not... because a Very Special Disney+ Day Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Hawkeye! So many tantalizing glimpses into this series, which appears to be adapting one of the best comic book arcs of all history... Matt Fraction & David Aja's Hawkeye. The Marvel Disney+ Day Special. I was positively giddy watching the footage. Jeremy Renner just has the character nailed and Haley Stansfield looks like all kinds of fun as Kate Bishop...

If you even like comics a little bit and haven't read through the Fraction/Aja run, you owe it to yourself to take a look.

   
• Moon Knight! This is one of the more complex characters in the Marvel comics, so it was a smart decision to make sure that they got an actor with the talent to make it happen... Oscar Isaac.

From the looks of it, they are totally going in on Marc Spector's multiple personalities and struggles with mental challenges. I cannot wait to see how this unfolds.

   
• She-Hulk! When it comes to characters that don't get the credit they deserve, No. 1 on the list is Aquaman. He's been partially redeemed by his movie, but many people still think that he's a wasted character whose only super-power is "talking to fish." No. 2 is Hawkeye. He's actually an incredible character in the right hands but is perceived as being useless. No. 3 on the list is She-Hulk. Make no mistake... she was pretty redundant and boring in the comics for a long while. But then John Byrne took over her book and completely revolutionized it. You know how Deadpool is always breaking the 4th wall and speaking to the audience because he knows he's in a comic/movie? Byrne's She-Hulk did it first. And the result was just as good. But most people don't know this, so she gets dismissed. Until now...

It looks like they are keeping the whole "break the 4th wall" thing that made her famous. Which will undoubtedly upset the fanboys because they'll think she's copying Deadpool. Oh well. I am looking forward to this show not because I love the character, but because I love the actor playing her... Tatiana Maslany. That promises to be very interesting.

   
• Ms. Marvel! I never know how to feel when a character is changed in the name of diversity. On one hand... are creators so bankrupt of ideas that they can't come up with new characters to add diversity and have to recycle old ones? But on the other hand... recycling instantly establishes a new character in a recognizable role. Ultimately I'm for anything they can do to make comics more diverse (it's just so damn tired that 98% of everything is cisgender, heterosexual, and white). And sometimes it's done so well that recycling is actually successful. They made Amadeus Cho be The Hulk and they made Miles Morales be Spider-Man... both of which were done really well. So well that they eventually became their own thing. But my absolute favorite change in the name of diversity? Ms. Marvel. For those not in the know, Carol Danvers used to be Ms. Marvel before she became Captain Marvel. Then a young Muslim girl, Kamala Khan, (who is a fan of Captain Marvel) adopted her old Ms. Marvel identity when she got super-powers. The comics are fantastic, and now we're getting a series on Disney+...


Kamala Khan will also be in The Marvels movie, so I think the character might be around for a while. Thank heavens.

   
• And More Marvel! All we got for the other series in development were title cards... I am Groot, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, What If: Season 2, Echo, Loki: Season 2, Ironheart, Agatha: House of Harkness, Armor Wars, and Secret Invasion. Interesting to note that a series for Agatha Harkness had only been rumored, but is now confirmed. Can't wait to see Kathryn Hahn unleashed for that!

   
• Ciao Alberto! Few movies have sucked me in as quickly as Luca did. It was just phenomenally beautifully animated, and I spent hours freeze-framing to study it (then bought the Art of Luca book to study it even more). For Disney+ Day, they released a short 8-minute film showing what happens to Alberto after Luca leaves for school...

It's wonderful. And as gorgeous as the film. To get a full series of just this would be fantastic... so fingers crossed this was just testing the waters.

   
• Cars on the Road! It's hard to believe that there's a Pixar franchise I don't like... but it would be Cars. Larry the Cable Guy and Owen Wilson will be reprising their roles in a new cross-country series for the world of Cars which might be interesting? I dunno. I liked the first movie a little, and it's been diminishing returns ever since.

   
• Baymax! My favorite Pixar character is Sully from Monsters Inc.... my second favorite is Baymax from Big Hero 6. Sadly, I haven't liked anything to come out of the Monsters franchise since the original... but it looks like they nailed the new Baymax! series...

Yeah. I'll totally be tuning in to that.

   
• Turning Red! Not only does this movie look really good. It's also stunningly animated. So beautifully nuanced in every single scene. JUST LOOK AT THIS...

AND THIS...

This is Pixar returning to form, and I am here for it.

   
• Tiana! When it comes to the Disney Princess set, it's pretty cool that The Princess and the Frog gave us a hero in Tiana. She was beautifully realized and had some terrific moments. Now she's getting her own movie, but we know precious little about it. Other than it takes place after the movie.

   
• Star Wars! If there's a Disney property that got royally screwed, it's Star Wars and the Lucasfilm stuff. Yeah, we got a charming look at the cast for the Willow series. Yeah, there was a brief check-in on Obi-Wan. But about all we really got was a complete retread of Boba Fett material in a "Special Look" that had new insights from the people working on The Book of Boba Fett series...

That show doesn't arrive until December 29. After that it's anybody's guess as to when we're getting Season 03 of The Mandalorian, Season 01 of Obi-Wan, Season 01 of Ashoka, Season 01 of The Acolyte, Season 01 of Lando, and... the series I most want to see... Season 01 of Andor. I doubt all of them will be released in 2022, so some of them will undoubtedly end up all the way in 2023. That's lean pickings for Star Wars fans.

   
• Prey! One of the 20th Century Fox properties that Disney got in the purchase was Predator. To be honest, I haven't cared much for anything that followed the original Schwarzenegger flick. The Danny Glover sequel was okay, I guess. But Predators and The Predator were pretty weak. The Alien vs. Predator flicks were even worse. Now Disney is shunting a new Predator movie to Hulu called Prey. The concept is solid... it's set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago... but I'm not letting my hopes get too high.

   
• Jungle Cruise! In addition to Disney+ releasing Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, they also dropped the Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt movie Jungle Cruise. I thought it was... okay? I mean, it was really well-made. The special effects were great. The casting was perfect. And it was entertaining. It's just that it felt that it needed a story that was a little more streamlined. It was all twists and turns and set-up to a big reveal that ended up being inconsequential. It's like why?

Like I said... it was okay. I don't regret the time I spent watching it. I just wish that the people behind the movies like this would edit themselves a little better. At each point they should be asking Why are we doing this? Does it make the story better? Is it necessary? Sadly, too much of the time in Jungle Cruise the answer is "no."

   
Whew. I'm too exhausted for anyone more bullets!

   

Bus Boy Shang-Chi Watch Party

Posted on November 12th, 2021

Dave!I am still not stepping foot into theaters. A part of me wonders if I ever will again. Because I have to say... I like watching movies at home far, far more than I do going to a theater. Like... frickin' MILES more.

Quentin Tarantino recently made a plea about supporting movie theaters thusly... "You have an experience with a bunch of strangers. And at that moment, once the movie gets going, once the lights are down, you become a collective.” And I'm like... yeah, but it's the other people that makes going to the theater such a shitty experience. And that was BEFORE the pandemic! People talking. People texting. People taking phone calls. People yelling at their kids. People putting their feet up on your seat or kicking it. People being assholes. THAT'S WHAT I HATE ABOUT THE THEATER. And since people now-a-days are more awful and less considerate with each passing day, I'll take a big ol' pass at paying a lot of money for a shitty experience. I have a very nice home theater system where there's nobody to ruin the movie for me. Love your movies, Quentin... but... well... sorry. I can wait 2 to 4 months to avoid being tortured.

And while I was tempted to see Shang-Chi in theaters because I wanted to see it so bad (something I am currently struggling with when it comes to Eternals and will struggle with again when it comes to Spider-Man: No Way Home), I held fast.

But I'm still supporting the movie. I bought a copy on the iTunes Store today ($20, cheap!), but will repeat-watch on Disney+ to be sure that it gets my views (besides, Disney+ is showing the IMAX-filled scenes in near-full-screen height, which is an added bonus).

And now we can watch together, yay!

Buying Shang-Chi on iTunes!

Purchased Shang-Chi on iTunes!

Buying Shang-Chi on iTunes!

My spoiler-filled type-along with my second viewing of the film is in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Bullet Sunday 733

Posted on October 10th, 2021

Dave!Fall days are here, but it's still Summer Vacation at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bags! Washington State is one of those bizarre states that wants to do a good thing... but often ends up doing it badly. Take for example the "Single Use Plastic Bag Ban" that recently went into effect. The idea is to make people bring reusable cloth totes to the store in order to keep plastic bags out of landfills. But... holy shit. Those bags were never single-use to me. I use them to carry stuff all the time (like my lunch) and they're also the garbage bag I use in my kitchen and bathrooms. Stores will still have plastic bags available for a mandatory 8¢ each, but Washington State requires them to be thicker plastic so they're tougher. And I'm like... okay... 8¢ is still the cheapest garbage bag I can buy... and now they are going to be five times thicker, so it's actually one of the best frickin' garbage bags you can get. EXCEPT NOW THERE'S FIVE TIMES MORE PLASTIC GOING INTO THE LANDFILL!! Lots of people use them as trash bags, so even if a bunch of people switch to cloth totes, people will either be buying more plastic trash bags or using the thicker bags, meaning that we might actually have more plastic in the landfills. Does anybody think about this shit before passing these laws? ANYBODY?!??

   
• Finale! Not sure how to feel about the finale of Ted Lasso. In many ways, it was disappointing. There were zero surprises, if you've been paying attention. But I didn't hate it. The entire purpose of the second season was to lead up to the endgame of the third season, which was designed to be the last. It seems entirely likely that it will continue past that... there's just too much to lose... but Bill Lawrence says the three-season story arc will remain regardless...

Ted Lasso walking and smiling on a chilly London day.

He also says that Doctor Fieldstone and Trent Crimm will be back, so there's that. And so... until next year, I guess.

   
• Make Mine Marvel! And so now there's a Kathryn Hahn spin-off with Agatha Harkness from WandaVision. Add to this the rumor that some Netflix Marvel shows are headed to Disney+ as well (Jessica Jones? Daredevil?), and the future is looking very good for Marvel Studios fans... with Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Armor Wars, Wakanda Series, and an Echo Series, already announced...

Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness being all evil and stuff.

And heaven only knows how many are being roughed out that we don't even know! I'm guessing that the Marvel stuff is the most popular part of Disney+, so increasing the number of new shows is a no-brainer.

   
• Kenan! The new cast lineup for Saturday Night Live seems solid. But the killer app of the show is Kenan Thompson. He's the most memorable part of every skit he appears in, but it's only due to how he plays it... not necessarily the material they give him. In Billionaire Star Trek he had a bit part as an Amazon delivery guy and Kenan is all I remember of it. The meeting with the school board sketch was instantly forgettable... except for Kenan. Everything EXCEPT for Kenan in the funeral skit evaporated minutes after I saw it. This is most decidedly not a great way to start the season. They had months to prepare for the first show, and nothing sticks in my head except how Kenan managed to make the most of what he had to work with? I dunno. SNL has a problem that's not an easy fix. Hopefully everything will gel and get dialed in before Jason Sudeikis shows up, because that show is something I am really, really looking forward to.

   
• Weekend! How my weekend started...

My SourJo starter being all bubbly.

VS. how its going...

My baked SourJo bread looking delicious.

So pretty darn delicious, I'd say!

   
• Retired! Good riddance you crusty old homophobic, racist, misogynistic bigot. I’ve got a bottle of champagne chilling in the refrigerator for the day you depart this earthly plane. Don’t keep me waiting...

This asshole may be retiring now, but his brain retired decades ago.

   
• Inside! God. Could Intel reek any worse of desperation? This ad is fucking embarrassing. And the "random strangers" they pulled in are ridiculous. Like Apple fans are completely unaware that other products exist. I mean... holy shit... is Intel SO worried that people are leaning away from their chips that they have to be all pathetic like this? Sad. Just sad...

Somebody would have to be legit brain-dead to think that this reflects any semblance of reality.

   
Everybody remember to drink responsibly...

   

Imprisonment Vacation

Posted on August 24th, 2021

Dave!For the first time in over a month, I was able to get through all the "to-dos" due on my list before leaving work. I celebrated by ordering a pound of fries at the local drive-thru for my dinner. I was going to make spicy black bean soup... but this was easier. Less chopping and cooking and dirty dishes and such. Oh well.

What I should have done after consuming a pound of potatoes and grease is catch up on all the sleep I have been missing because I'm staying up late working. What I actually did was a bunch of housekeeping on my work files while watching the What If... T'Challa was Star Lord episode of Marvel Studio's What If... cartoon anthology...

T'Challa as Star Lord.

T'Challa as Star Lord.

This is my third time watching it. And every time gets harder as it sinks in that this is the last time we'll be blessed with Chadwick Boseman starring as Black Panther. And it's absolutly gutting. He was taken from us far too early, and it just seems impossible that he's gone.

In other news... I'm in Facebook Jail. Again.

The previous time I was jailed was just plain stupid and ridiculous. This time is monumentally stupid.

I was watching a Hallmark movie last night when I saw an actor who looked familiar. So I Googled him to see what I might be recognizing him from. The first photo that popped up was the actor with one of his hands partly in his pants, but it wasn’t sexual. He wasn’t grabbing his junk. You couldn't see his junk. He wasn't even licking his lips. Nothing even suggestive... unless you call having his shirt off "suggestive."

I dropped the image in a CLOSE FRIENDS ONLY POST and asked the question "Why would an actor promote himself with a photo that looked like he has jock itch?" Within minutes... REMOVED FOR EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT! Three days in jail.

It’s just the most insane thing.

People regularly post music videos that are actually sexually suggestive and absolutely nothing happens. And then there's me.

I would love to tell Facebook to go fuck themselves, but a huge chunk of my friends are on the platform. And since they're scattered around the globe, this is what I got. And so... I'll probably just take a step back. Not devote so much of my time to Facebook, who can pull the rug out from under me over idiotic shit I have zero control over.

   

What If… “What If” Were Good?

Posted on August 11th, 2021

Dave!When I first started reading comics in the late 1970's it was nothing serious. Just some old issues that ended up and my grandparents' house (probably from my grandfather's barber shop). It wasn't until 1979 that I actually started buying them and collecting them. In the beginning, it was mostly DC Comics... Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. I did pick up an occasional issues of Spider-Man though. Which is how I became familiar with Marvel's What If...? series. The issue that got me? What If... Spider-Man Had Rescued Gwen Stacy? (as opposed to what actually happened in the comics... Spider-Man's girlfriend dying)...

The cover of What If where Spider-Man rescues Gwen Stacy

Hosted by Uatu the Watcher, What If...? speculates on how the entire Marvel Universe might be be changed if one thing were to happen differently. What if Loki had found the hammer of Thor? and What if Dr. Strange had not become Master of the Mystic Arts? and What if Doctor Doom had become a hero? and so-on.

The quality of the stories varied wildly, so I was only a sporadic reader... usually only picking up issues when they were about a character I liked.

Fast-forward to today, and What If...? has come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the form of an animated feature on Disney+. It feels authentic, because so many of the characters are voiced by the original live-action actors. In the first episode, What If... Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?, Peggy Carter becomes Captain Carter because she chooses to stay in the room where Steve Rogers was being infused with the super-soldier serum instead of leaving. This one event cascades until we don't end up with Captain America... but Captain Carter instead...

Peggy Carter as Captain Carter

Captain Carter is voiced by the original actor Hailey Atwell. Along for the ride is other original actors Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erskine), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), Neal McDonough (Dum Dum Dugan), Toby Jones (Zola), and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes). Which is incredible, when you think about it. But then there's Steve Rogers, who is not Chris Evans, but instead some other guy. Not so incredible. Having Ross Marquand as The Red Skull is half-way cool, because he did play Red Skull in Avengers: Endgame... but it was Hugo Weaving who originated the character in Captain America.

In any event, the voice cast is exceptional, as you'd expect.

The animation is beautiful. It's quality stuff that looks gorgeous in every scene. Alas, they're using some kind of "flow-motion" to "tween" the frames (in order to make things appear smoother) which causes some weird voice-sync issues when viewed in close-up, but is otherwise fantastic. Money was spent...

It's positively thrilling to see Chadwick Boseman's voice coming out of T'Challa (one last time, alas) and Chris Hemsworth's voice coming out of Thor. And more than a little of a let-down when character voices are recast. I understand scheduling conflicts and such... but come on. They can literally set up a recording booth anywhere so an actor can take an hour out of their day to do lines. So why wouldn't they get all the originals? Unless people like Chris Evans didn't want to do it, which is even more inexplicable. I mean, Steve Rogers wasn't a huge part of this first episode. He probably could have knocked his lines out in 20 minutes and donated the money to charity. But... it is what it is, I guess.

Judging by this first episode, I'm going to enjoy the heck out of this series. Just like the comics, it's fun to see "what might have been" had one little thing happened differently.

Next episode is What If... T'Challa Had Become Star-Lord? And who wouldn't want to see that?

   

He Who Remains

Posted on July 14th, 2021

Dave!And so the final episode of Loki was unleashed upon an unworthy world.

I have been enjoying the series up until this point, but wasn't necessarily blown away by anything. The idea of variant Loki's being the only characters to survive in multiple versions... or at least the only characters we've seen survive in multiple version... is kinda laughable. But, it did give us Loki Gator, and it's tough to be mad about that...

A poster for Aligator Loki... wearing Loki's horned helmet.

Needless to say, anything I say after this point is going to be riddled with spoilers. If you haven't seen all of Loki yet, you should probably get on that before proceeding.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Black Widow

Posted on July 9th, 2021

Dave!After being delayed over a year... Black Widow is finally here!

Well, I say "over a year" but it's actually more like eleven years because I've been waiting for a solo movie ever since the character first appeared in Iron Man 2 back in May of 2010. Instead she appeared in just about every other character's movie without getting her own. At least until now.

No, I did not go to a theater to watch it. I paid $30 to watch it at home, which is something I was thrilled to do. I would never step foot in a movie theater ever again if it was the option. Partly because I've got a great big-screen TV and sound-system at home... but mostly because I hate sitting in a theater with a bunch of selfish, inconsiderate assholes who feel the need to light up the theater with their cell phones, talk, and exist while I'm trying to concentrate on the movie. And, yes, I will undoubtedly buy the film on iTunes when it's released as well. Though it sure would be nice if Premiere Access customers got a bit of a discount on it! I love Marvel Studios movies, watch them over and over again, so I buy them.

As a non-spoilery review, about all I can say is that I liked it quite a lot. Don't know that I'd go so far as to say I loved it, because Natasha did get a little short-changed in her own film... but it was darn entertaining and continues Marvel's unfathomable streak of awesome movies...

Since Black Widow is... well... dead... in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thanks to Avengers: Infinity War), they pretty much had no choice but to go back in time. Conveniently, there's a period after Captain America: Civil War where some of the characters are on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords, and that's when Black Widow is set. The story, in a nutshell, is that Natasha has to confront her past which is having a scary relevance to what's happening in her present (which is our past). Along the way we meet her former "family" of spies, including her father (David Harbor), mother (Rachel Weisz), and sister (Florence Pugh). All of whom are likely not done in the MCU.

So... yeah. Kudos to Marvel for not only finally giving Black Widow a film of her own... but for investing enough money to make it really cool as well.

I already watched the movie once. I am going to watch it again right now and live-blog it as I go. You can read that (along with other thoughts) in a spoiler-filled extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

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