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31  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 21, 2015, 01:36:53 AM
And now were getting into one of the arguments I had with my aesthetics professor in college...

I maintain that the theory that 'controversial' or 'polarizing' or whatever art is inherently better then well liked popular art is a salve that artists tell themselves. Not that near universal popular acceptance makes something better either, just that there's nothing intrinsic in controversy that makes a work better or worse.

In terms of value as art I am 100% in agreement with you. Although I find the notion of even trying to establish some sort of scale of "betterness" for art a little bizarre considering how incredibly diverse the minds are that are supposedly appreciating it. Consider how much "fine" art utterly fails when put in front of the colorblind. You can choose a palette and tones that affect them without compromising the broader awareness, but most artists don't even consider they should try. The hubris of believing there is one common mind against which art could be measured as "better" is staggering - and I think rightly belittled as "lowest common denominator" appeal.
32  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box 2015: TV news, views & reviews on: April 19, 2015, 09:38:37 AM

Bad (pause) ass!

Love the b-wing getting some screen time (and I think it was painted up in a certain punk-mandalorian's colors Smiley)
33  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 19, 2015, 09:32:45 AM
And yet the comic books are circling the drain and not finding new readers despite the amazing success of the MCU and before it DCAU and DCs other television projects.

  So are newspapers and every other function based on the printed word. If anything superhero comics have done one of the best jobs of all previously-print-based operation in shifting to the new mediums. While readership is down, cultural awareness has skyrocketed. Hell, I'm taking my mother to the San Diego Comic Con this year. And all of her 40s-60s friends/co-workers both know what that means and are jealous. I'm pretty sure the comics industry can survive a declining readership. Heck, I suspect the books will come out long after their direct financial viability has summed to zero (or less) simply because it's both petri-dish and training ground for stories and writers and artists who can transition to other mediums.

  But most of all I think this very conversation shows DC is doing something right. They are demonstrating that not only is there more than one way to do it, their way is controversial, and generates discussion in a way that the Avengers doesn't because with the Avengers we all say 'yeah, that was really good' with one voice, maybe hold up a favorites scene or two, snicker about a particular nit-pick that really bugs us, and then the discussion is over. We certainly don't have to dig into 30+ years of canon and talk about the path of the industry as a whole before we move on to a new topic or go out and get lunch.
34  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 10:52:56 PM
  I dunno. Maybe its because I've worked as a creative myself I allow the people whose livelihoods are at stake place their bets as they choose instead of armchair quarterback them? Right path or wrong, the outcome is always going to matter a lot more to them than it is to me Smiley. And at the top of the food chain, its still the same people giving the go ahead to the shows you point to as successes.

  (And really, you're saying Arrow suffers from having some grit? Because that was murder in cold blood by our protagonist out the outset. The part of the journey that has been backing away form the abyss couldn't happen unless you stood on the edge of the abyss...)
35  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: April 18, 2015, 10:36:50 PM
And just in case we go to way with one of those universes: Force Fields!

Funny thing, we always thought the lasers would be the weapons, not part of the armor system.

We've been experimenting with something similar down in the lab...

Very cute Smiley.
36  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 10:11:05 PM
First off...

Superman as an asshole who kills people and everyone is afraid of and you wouldn't let your kids read?

...That guy doesn't exist. On screen or in the books.

  Secondly, as to why they are going darker? Because they know damn well their demographic is not longer 11 year olds or people who haven't bought one of their books since they were 11. Superheroes are significantly more mainstream (which is why they are finally getting megabuck budgets and top talent instead of the shlock we have had for decades and try to forget). The mainstream that foots those bills and turns a profit is made up of adults. And so the books are less fanciful.

  Both companies have separate kid imprints - and some of the things that come out of those imprints are genius. But its not what you make major motion pictures out of. The best read I've had in the last 8 years from Marvel was a kids-age book about Doctor Doom. Its not dark. Its not gritty. It was just unbelievably clever. Mythologically bad ass. 4 issue run. Which is both because its a complete thought and because you can't sustain something like that for much longer.

(Seriously, you want a GREAT read? check it out - http://www.amazon.com/Doctor-Doom-Masters-Graphic-Novel/dp/0785138447 )
37  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box 2015: TV news, views & reviews on: April 18, 2015, 09:55:06 PM
  I just finished Person of Interest season 3.

  It is amazing how far the show has come from the yawnfest of the first 7 episodes. Season three was a runaway train on fire - to the point that around episode 6 I was actively checking to see if I'd put the disks in in the wrong order because it was running a fever pitch usually reserved for season finales. Looking forward to season 4 when it arrives on disk.

  • Reece has really fleshed out into a bona fide super-badass. The kind that doesn't need to posture at all - he just rolls over the opposition.
  • There's been some really good, thoughtful commentary on AI on a level you rarely find in print and never in visual mediums.
  • The art direction for the visualization of AI thought processes has been delightful. And watching on disk I've had the opportunity to pause and really dig down into what all appears in those scenes - names of characters are referenced 1-2 episodes in advance of their appearance on occasion. Its nice to see an awareness of arc being used to refine details like that. And double all those points for creating a whole sensorium again when needed, with tangible contrasts.

  • Shaw has been a break-out characterization of the neurodiverse. She's not damaged. She's not traumatized. She's just plain wired differently and functions within her circumstances. Its so common for these characters to be presented as defective/lesser for not being neurotypical and reassuring all the 'normal' people of their central position in the cosmos. Its like putting a spotlight on every bit of latent assholism that goes into the writing of Homeland. Its like an anti-toxin for that show.
38  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 09:30:39 PM
  The irony is the movie looks like its written for Superman readers instead of people causally aware of comics - because Superman hasn't been able to run on "I'm superman and therefore I win" 12 times in a row and call it a year's worth of comics in a very long tome.

  If you bump into superman once every 5 years, sure: He's uplifting. If you're a subscriber that does not fly. And he's being coming out in 2-4 books a month ever since he was anybody's "written for children" icon. So again, This isn't edgy outsider reconstruction. Its not an essay. Its the comics themselves. Being captured somewhat faithfully. And that is what he IS this decade and not the 70s-80s which had movies that captured that version quite admirably.

  And ultimately we all know Clark's superior character and virtue, while tested, will carry the day. And THAT is the timeless essence of Superman. That he'll have to work a little harder for his happy ending doesn't detract from that.
39  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 09:00:39 PM
And here we come to the crux - I LIKED Man of Steel, on a whole bunch of fronts.

Its easy to say Superman should be shiny and whimsical and just plain irrational - and there 75 years of masturbatory power fantasy that fills that need in spades. And that would be why I consider the bulk of Superman tales to be pretty much the shittiest pile of shit in the history of human literature.  ...Then there's the rare comic gem that manages to do something interesting because even the people writing him occasionally get bored with the all-powerful wankfest that is the par day for Clark. Those gems are cut and polished with clear eyed examination.
40  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 06:36:52 PM
  I don't think that's AT ALL what I described.

  I don't see it as a given that the world should just say "hey, this guy is obviously ok. Nothing to worry about here." That's not how the humans I know are wired. Or maybe I've just read enough Superman to remember Kal-El has conquered the Earth, more than once, and not in side-line realities.
41  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 18, 2015, 06:14:50 AM
  I honestly don't think DC is wrong to not mimic Marvel's formula.

  Marvel has deeply secured their space. DC is already playing catch-up, badly. Trying to catch up doing the same thing is not gonna earn them points even if it would lighten the mood a bit. 'Copy cat' is a damning description in the geekosphere even if we liked it.

  I'm actually looking forward to the broader base of civilization LOSING THEIR MINDS at the revelation of Superman and the brief, nearly world-ending invasion of Earth by aliens. That fact is the mere existence of Superman is the end of agency on Earth. Every single human being goes on about their business only because he chooses not to meddle. There is no flight option. Your choices are shiver and wait for the end, or fight - no matter how futile. And there's 10,000 examples of ego-insertion fiction you can find on the web that says any human with that power would act like an unmitigated jerk/tyrant when it becomes apparent no rules apply to you. Who can expect better from someone who lacks even the basic kinship imperatives that make us almost tolerable to each other?

  If any one wants to find me, I'll be submitting my resume to Cadmus, cc Lexcorp. Because after the millions dead in Metropolis, there are no half-measures when it comes to safeguarding against Krypton's misbegotten spawn as far as I'm concerned.
42  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 16, 2015, 02:03:31 PM
I really like the inverse livery on the TIE fighters - black bodies with white wing panels. Surprisingly striking and new despite retaining the classic silhouette.
43  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 07, 2015, 10:18:24 PM
Welcome to Now, where The Fast and the Furious is one of the best cinema franchises on the screen.

  I know I've seen FF1 but I don't remember it well, it got filed on comparatively typical cop/crook buddy/buddy fare. Maybe some clever betrayals thrown in. I don't think I've seen FF2 or 3 but my curiosity has been growing. I think I was about half way through FF4 when it clicked what it was a sequel to (It stood on its own quite respectably).

  But 5... oh man. five was a hit out of the park and they never slowed down. As an action movie fan I was intrigued to see how they'd handle a fight between new "I am the law!" Agent hobbs (The Rock, who is pretty much goddam awesome) and Vin Diesel's "Its all about family" speed-thug Dominic Torreto. I think it's the same choreographer because they NAILED IT...

(click to show/hide)

  I suggested some alternative to the plot that wound through FF6 but at the end of the day it was another excellent romp with cars, Cars, and OMGWTFBBQCARS!! Hobbs has evolved into an on again off again but ultimately honorable ally and the new villains do it right as an evil doppelganger Legion of Doom to the protagonist's Hall of Justice. And the stinger is a hook that couples it together with FF7 like cars on an unstoppable freight train on fire (and who doesn't like those?).

  And with all that history FF7 says "prologue? why? This rocket has already left the tube! you wouldn't be here if you didn't know we've brought in Statham to be the god-king of 'holy (*#$ he's coming to kill us all'." And he's more unstoppable than the Terminator because he's powered by the need to fight for his family too (sense a theme?).

  Dang, I'm still giddy. As I was watching I could feel it climbing the rungs of my Action Movie Ultimate Throw Down Ladder until it was kissing the rear bumper of Diehard... and then it just kept working.
44  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions for Scott about the Sunchaser setting. on: April 05, 2015, 03:32:41 PM
Given the size and the prime real estate, its reasonable to think a Dragon King appropriated the site for a nice summer residence.
45  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 05, 2015, 03:24:56 AM
  Just stepped in the door coming back from Fast & Furious 7...

  ...Breathtaking...

  The banter was faster than gunfire, the affection was liquid gold, the machines were avatars out of mythology, the fight choreography was pitch goddamn perfect for every character, the locations were vast and epic, the soundtrack danced in the garden of themes they've built throughout the franchise, and everyone shined. They glowed.

(click to show/hide)

  I'm gonna let it cool a few days (who am I kidding? I'm going back to see it on the big screen again ASAP) but I do suspect it may displace from its throne in the galleries of my mind the original Diehard as the finest action movie ever made.

  So, yeah. I liked it.
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