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Everything posted by Donomark

  1. The only thing I kinda roll my eyes at are the headlines going with saying "Superman is out of the closet as Bi" as that's very blatantly out of context. But it's still wonderful news. DC really feels more intently reflective of its fandom. Remember when Batwoman couldn't get married, not because DC was homophobic (sure it wasn't) but that "Superheroes shouldn't get married?" I swear, Didio's ousting has resulted in a much more friendlier company.
  2. This literally feels like some kind of Futurama or Simpsons joke told in the 90s about the future, but it's really happened. The Shat in Shpace.
  3. Malignant: Directed by James Wan I'm not a horror aficionado, but this was an odd watch. It's very basic and straightforward for the first act, a standard mystery for the second, and a slaughter-fest for the last act. It's a pretty crazy twist at the end, but overall this was not only not scary but weirdly uninspired for a film made in 2021.
  4. Pod Save America is a solid political podcast by some very funny former staffers of the Obama Administration, but goddamn if they don't have the most and longest ads I've ever heard. Most podcasts with ads have like one or two and they're typically 90 seconds, 2-3 minutes at the most. These shits go on for six minutes regular. I cannot stand it. I feel like most of the episode is me navigating through the time stamps to find out when they get back to the news discussions.
  5. I like the first Sin City way better than its needless and dumbass sequel. It had just the right mix of cool, style and OTT-ness to make it a fun time. The sequel thinks it's cooler than it is, which is mainly stupid. Shang Chi: Definitely enjoyable, although the requisite Marvel Cinematic Universe symptoms are still in play (needless humor, rushed character development). Luckily the lead is great. Simu Liu is a fun, strong and relatable protagonist, but Tony Leung runs away with this film, and he's not even trying to. His character as Shang's father is definitely not as one-dimensionally villainous as he is in the comics, but that makes for a cooler antagonist. By far and away he's the best MCU villain since Killmonger, especially as he never suffers from that need of the plot to make his evil force him into coming off as a dumbass. He rarely raises his voice or appears unreasonable. Every single thing to do with Shang Chi's relationship with his father, the one thing from the comics that drives the character, is terrific and easily carries this movie. But the humor got on my nerves at times. It's really to the point where I just start my stop watch and see how long my patience can hold for. The perfect example was the cell phone vlogger in the bus fight. There are three gags with him that began truly funny, was less so the second time, and completely unwelcome the third time. Awkwafina...I don't mind Awkwafina. I, personally, am not bothered by her blaccent (there's not really much of that here), and she's probably the most normal MCU character of recent memory, as even Darcy by this point is a mega-genius. One of the better scenes was when she was with Shang's family and the disparate Asian cultures ran into each other with her being the most "western" of the group. That kind of representation, different kinds of Asian people interacting with each other was really cool to see in an A-list blockbuster movie.
  6. Intellectually I absolutely understand the reticence to return to an old storyteller. RTD's era wasn't perfect and he did do campy and cheesy things in it. It was also a highly romantically charged era, something Moffat and also Capaldi took the show away from just to make it feel more like Classic Who. But I still love RTD's era. Tennant's my favorite Doctor, and series 4 was my favorite. The cheesiness tapered off and the experience garnered put the show in a great light. Plus everything was shiny and exciting and new looking. Moffat's era had everything look and feel more drab, which matched his darker tone, but it wasn't exciting.I miss when Doctor Who was the big pop culture phenomenon it used to be around the early Matt Smith years. Moffat got too involved with the mystery boxes, and the glamour wore off. I've hardly seen Chibnall's era, Jodie Whitaker is a fine Doctor (if a bit too reminiscent of Tennant and Smith a bit), but much of what I've seen that's not involving the Master hasn't thrilled me. I'm wanting to be thrilled again, although I hope Whitaker stays on for at least one story under RTD if possible.
  7. Lively discussion fellows! Sorry I couldn't attend, but it made for great listening. I'll only add that the one other person said to have aged over the five year time-skip was Brad from Spider-Man: Far from Home, a character we only meet after the fact.
  8. Steve Jobs (2015): Starring Michael Fassbender Really enjoyed this. The trailer makes it seem more annoying than it is, pitching it as a "One Great Man" theory kind of film. I get why they had to do that, because the actual film is very much a three-act play (Aaron Sorkin who wrote the screenplay, adapted from a 2011 biography, later went on to do To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, so maybe he was in that zone). Taking place in 1983, 1988 and 1998, each act delivers escalating scenes of characters in Jobs' life giving him Reasons-Why-You-Suck speeches. But it's Sorkin, so the hypnotic intensity, dynamic direction from Danny Boyle, and reliable quality from not only Fassbender but Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels keep this at a very dignified level. Seth Rogan plays Steve Wozniak, and delivers easily the best performance I've seen from him since The Disaster Artist. Michael Fassbender is good, he is very good, and Daniel and Winslet are amazing as they always are, but Rogan's performance seriously impressed me. Not only does it not embody any of his slacker-stoner also-rans of the 2000s, but the nuance in his cadence and mild-mannered affect are almost disarming in how sympathetic he is. I love movies like this, where it's based on real events, obviously beefed up dramatically for the sake of being a film, but never OTT or sensationalized too much. It's simply a movie about performances and real people experiencing real emotions where the stakes are credible because they really happened, even if I don't know or care about the world of Apple Computing. Stuff like this or Spotlight are always nice to see because true maturity and mastery of craft I feel are harder to come by in something with as much totality as this. (Disney's) Pinocchio (1940): This was one of the three Disney animated films my brother and I owned on cassette tape back in the 90s, the other two being Aladdin (the GOAT) and Beauty and the Beast. You know when you're a kid and you just accept things that you see, not thinking to question much in the way of storytelling or structure? The immediate thing to talk about with this film, and I'm not the first to reflect on this, is just how brutally dark it is for a children's movie. The second half of the second act with a man kidnapping small boys, taking them to Pleasure Island, giving them drugs and alcohol, turning them into donkeys and trafficking them into slave's really a lot. Whether if its in the original book or not (my dad did read us the original Pinocchio way back when, but aside from him killing Jiminy Cricket at the beginning and being an asshole throughout I don't remember much else), the imagery is nightmare fuel in the purest sense. And it's never resolved! The movie doesn't even think to comment on it, it's just a thing that happens in this world where fairies exist and cats can be both pets and walk around grifting people in suits. It's not bad, just plainly disturbing, and an example of the kind of movie they made in the early 40s, even considering the Hays Code. The other takeaway was just how innocent Pinocchio was in this viewing. It helped having an actual boy voice him.
  9. Very cool, congrats on the intership!
  10. I only watched season 1, but it seemed evident to me that they fell into a narrative trap with the Punisher in adapting him for a show. Because he cannot be an admirable protagonist in an ongoing narrative such as television. In movies and comic books, you can warp and construe the focus in ways where he doesn't come off as frightening as the very idea of him objectively is. The modern Punisher dresses up like a school shooter for God's sake. So at the end of season 1 where he's going to therapy and seeking help, it's a noble thing for him to do...but it's not the Punisher. He's a serial killer for bad guys, end of story. They didn't help themselves with that NRA porno intro either.
  11. The Suicide Squad At the end of the day, this was pretty much what I expected. A pretty enjoyable film bogged down by James Gunn's storytelling sensibilities that - after two Guardians of the Galaxy movies - are by this point tropes for him. You know he's going to go for cynical, almost mean-spirited humor, extreme violence and general amorality. BUT! There's always gonna be a lovable woobie monster who can barely communicate (Groot, Baby Groot, King Shark) and moments meant to elicit emotion and establish heartfelt connections between a couple of characters. My disconnect is that the tone is so extreme in the irreverent, that the scenes meant to be heartfelt fall completely false. It's shmaltzy, and anyone honestly taken in by these tropes...idk what to say. But on the positive side, this was for sure a far more comic accurate-feeling Suicide Squad movie. It swam in comic booky-ness, with various deep cuts and plenty of color. There's no interest in grinding these elements down to be realistic or not goofy, it is what it is. Viola Davis is still pitch perfect casting as Waller, Harley's written pretty well in her scenes (but she doesn't need to be here, and she has a subplot that feels more like a studio mandate), and Idris Elba is a solid protagonist. Starro (come on, he's in the trailers) is perfectly realized, they could not have adapted him any better. Ultimately this is a solid movie, but I reject hosannas of "COMPLETELY DIFFERENT" and "GUNN HAS REDEFINED THE GENRE". It's xeroxed Guardians, just with more blood, gore and swearing.
  12. I fell off during Season 11, came back for most of season 12, and although none of the episodes I saw were immediate favorites (Although I loved what I saw the season 12's Master), I really wish Jodie had one more season to really cement a stamp on the legacy aside from her gender. Chibnall's direction has been so unimpactful compared to RTD and Moffat's, which isn't wholly fair and can be owed to various things. I always felt cramming the TARDIS with 3 people was too much, especially with a new Doctor. I feel with two main leads, there's more time to have them develop and show more dimension, but not when you're walking this tightrope of developing four characters at once. Even with Matt Smith and his TARDIS, he had a few eps in season 5 where it was just him and Amy.17
  13. Dracula 3000 is a terribad classic
  14. Cruella: Like most of the Disney remakes, I've no real loyalty to the original 101 Dalmatians, barely recalling the last time I watched the original. I do remember the Glenn close movie being a big deal - the first of the live-action remakes I figure. But I love Emma Stone, and she looked righteous all throughout this movie. Here's what I settled on: it would've been better had she not actually been Cruella DeVille. If she were Cruella's daughter or another character entirely, it would've been great. As it stands, the movie flails at salvaging the morality of a character who had zero to being with. Why exactly are we redeeming Cruella DeVille, a character who never demanded a second look? Between Horace and Jasper being her childhood friends who lament that she's "grown mean" - and not two rando drunks she hired off Craigslist, to the movie balking at the notion that she would ever kill puppies and turn them into coats, it felt like the film was making an argument nobody else was having. That's why it works much better if Emma Thompson's character was the original Cruella, and Emma Stone was someone else. If it's about someone else, the movie's awesome (save for the near-constant insert music and constant zoom-in shots that fill every frame). Because it's meant to be Cruella Deville, what are we exactly meant to get excited about if her raison d'etre is taken off of the table? This "prequel" doesn't excite us over anything beyond name recognition, and it's not like she was such a legendary character to begin with. It really is a weird case of liking it if I don't think that it's Cruella, otherwise I didn't like it. Batman: The Long Halloween: DC's animated films have been really spotty in the past few years. Between the DCAM universe which started out bad but got better as it went on, with Judas Contract and Death of Superman being their best IMO, and the other various Batman adaptations - with The Killing Joke being universally recognized as the utter nadir to Hush being a half-hearted translation that sought to make a better story by changing the ending, resulting in the film being a decent Batman adventure but ultimately "meh" at the same time - the reliable quality of the old guard that brought about the DCAU as "recent" as Justice League Unlimited hasn't been a thing in a long while. Right now I think the best of DC animation is Young Justice. Long Halloween is a long-demanded adaptation that frustrated me more and more as it went on. First off, the art design an animation are almost criminally bland. Tim Sale has such a distinctive and striking style, you want that replicated in animation, even if it's difficult. But like with Brian Bolland in the Killing Joke, they didn't even try. Gone are everyone's monkey-like overbites and Batman's long and spindly ears, because everyone has the exact same look on their face in nearly every fucking scene. Beyond looks, this film has only one mood: "ominous". With quick cuts and *very slow* takes between dialogue, the somber atmosphere worked for me at first. But it never stretches beyond trying to be spooky. The characters have zero life to them, all ending up as depressingly broad stereotypes, and I'm including Batman and Gordon in that description. Long Halloween has always been implicitly early in Batman's career, but the movie lays that on thick and ends up being confusing. It's a mix of early days and Earth-One Batman where he's straight up not a detective and *has to learn how to be*. That would be fine...but Batman's not a fucking mook. You can't tell me he's captured all of Gotham's super criminals by just punching their lights out, he had to have used his honed intelligence to figure things out that the police couldn't. So he can't just now be bitching about becoming a detective. He can stress about becoming a *better* detective, but as it is there's nothing to him. Jensen Ackles does okay, but half the time I couldn't get it out of my head that it was Jensen Ackles. Maybe it was the Texas twang. But going back to the broad characterization, who is The Roman? Just a mobster. They don't characterize the grip they've got on Gotham, and how that grip is being lost by the supervillains. Falcone is just a bigger godfather rip-off than he was in the comics, to the point that dialogue included in his scenes are "sleeping with the fishes" and "offer they couldn't refuse". I'm sorry, are we taking this seriously here or not? And it's the same with everyone. Gordon's not as dogged and sympathetic as in the original, he's just a bland, grumpy cop. We get scenes of him and his family, but nothing surprising happens, they're just there. Alfred's a complete dickhead, bothering Batman about making public appearances and dinner plans when Batman's at his most occupied, taking on gunfire. None of that shit is important, and Alfred - or the writers - don't seem to know it's not. Catwoman is just silly and one dimensional, whereas in the original she was a wild card who Loeb and Sale had the reader doubt if she was a suspect or not. Here she's just Batman's puck-like girlfriend who almost has no point being in the movie. Harvey Dent does get the best treatment in this, with Josh Duhamel doing a very good job voicing him. But there are also scenes of him acting weird too early on that are uncalled for and unsubtle. Gilda acts like a weepy zombie, which I remember only being a thing halfway thru the book as things got escalated. This movie only covers 4/12 chapters, so it doesn't feel like much is happening. There are inserted action scenes that anti-interesting like Joker and Falcone's bodyguard, or Batman and some guys in Chinatown. And car chases aren't really fun to watch in animation, especially when they're rendered in 3-D and look way slower like they have been for the past 20 years. I didn't go into this excited exactly, last time I re-read Long Halloween it didn't hold up terrifically and I like Dark Victory a lot better, but this thing completely bled out all the style and cool that book had. I want to re-read it again just to remind myself that people know how to depict tension and suspense in a story. This movie's totally swallowed up in its own pride of being "The Long Halloween" that it can't get out of its own way and actually be good.
  15. LOL take that Star Treks 5&6: Definitely planning on sending in my thoughts to EOF podcast, but I enjoyed both of these films for very different reasons. Star Trek 5 has a bad reputation, and I'm not necessarily inclined to argue. It's silly, it's goofy, it's campy. But I really love how comfortable all of the characters come off in it. Spock popping into screen with rocket boots he borrowed from Futurama I found to be very funny. I didn't care about the lousy effects on it. Sybok I found to be a compelling performance, given by a guy whose Shakespearean flare added to this guy's crazed ambition. From the very beginning I was interested in him. I don't love the half-brother revelation, I'm never a fan of surprising the audience with that *so* late into the canon because it rarely delivers on the interest. And he didn't have to be related to Spock. But...Shatner's foul-mouthed rant to Spock after Sybok takes control of the Enterprise made me laugh so much. It's the most William Shatner was playing himself and not Captain Kirk. It was ridiculous, down to him saying to Spock "You made that up" when he knows good and goddamn well Vulcans don't lie. Because the weirdness of everything was so OTT, I was enjoying it on an ironic level. (I will say the scene with Bones and his father was a shot to the heart, and one that hit extremely close to home. Throughout these movies DeForest Kelley seemed to be the one cast member who gave the most increasingly humane performances.) Star Trek 6 OTOH I was surprised how *actually* good it was, both in writing and direction. With a perfectly appreciable plot, the writing on the characters becomes stronger, leading to better performances. The general dilemma is gripping, and aside from the whole escape subplot with Iman, there didn't seem to be any wacky sci-fi bullshit crammed into the movie. By the very end with the action-studded climax I found myself cheering out loud, which is a first when watching Trek I think. I'll admit that the Spock Mind-Meld scene threw me for a loop. I really, really liked it in the moment, (watching the unedited version, apparently there's a cut that flashes to the various characters) finding it to be efficiently directed and the acting to be on point. The discourse surrounding that scene all comes to a resounding "Wait that that torture and mind rape". Yeah, I guess it is, isn't it? It watched to me like Spock was knowingly crossing a line, and the other crew members appeared horrified, so I wish there were more ramifications after that, or Spock having done that contributed to them all being put out to pasture. Kim Cattrall's orgasmic-like screams could've been toned down, but I supposed that added to the horror. IDK, I'm of two minds. They probably shouldn't have done that, but it was so well shot and delivered that I'm only so bothered by the implications, since it is the final movie with the main cast.
  16. I've been watching Gravity Falls since March. Halfway through season 2 and the real plot is finally rearing it's head. So far it's been a very funny but ultimately breezy series of done-in-one episodes, save for the two with Bill. Episode 11 of Season 2 was mostly serious, and is my favorite so far because of it.
  17. Very much appreciate not only the shout-out but Ian's attention to trivia concerning Nicholas Hammond's later career as the first live-action Spider-Man!
  18. Sunstone volume #1: By *looks at notes* Stjepan Šejić. Ero-romancer story about two women who fall in love while starting a BDSM relationship. It's been discussed on this forum before, wither by Des or Dan, but this series has been around for a while. Šejić's artwork is top-notch, particularly in the panels where he leans way into maximizing the emotional strength of the scene. It's like a Final Fantasy cutscene where the animation is way better than the average scene graphics. I will say that well into the aftermath of this series, Šejić's art began to wain on me. He gives every woman the exact same mouth, particularly in their cheshire-like smiles, and it becomes derivative after a while. I'm thinking specifically with his Harley and Ivy artwork. But that didn't get to me while reading this, in part because Lisa's lip-biting, a trait I think all of his women share, was specifically commented on in the story. The writing is solid, with the interest really not on much eroticism at all. It's purely a by-product of these two women finding their way towards each other. Gotta imagine at the time this was groundbreaking stuff. Will endeavor to follow up with the subsequent volumes.
  19. Insufferable: By Mark Waid and Peter Krause I hadn't heard of this until tonight, reading about Irredeemable (which I bought the first trade for ten years ago but didn't continue with) and Incorruptible. The plot of this story is that there's this former Dynamic Duo father/son crime-fighting team who've since split up ever since the son angrily outed their identities and turned his crime-fighting career into a celebrity lifestyle. When mysterious forces invoke the death of their wife/mother, the two are forced to work together, despite constantly getting in each other's way. I think Waid said he meant to pitch this more as a comedy, and it's definitely comedic at times (the broadest gag being the father hero dragging his son via grappling hook as he drives off in their motorbike), but Peter Krause's artwork gives the mystery and flashbacks stronger dramatic heft. With the celebrity/social media angle, it plays as a more realistic satire of the Batman/Robin team, although luckily the similarities are only in the set up of the characters. Galahad - the son hero - isn't meant to be Nightwing or Jason Todd at all. Nocturnus, the father, is closer to Batman but is still his own character. But this was very enjoyable.
  20. I totally forgot about that too
  21. Batman Earth One Volume 3: by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank Pretty much as good as the previous volumes, if a bit faster reading. This feels more of a follow-up to volume two rather than a separate story. It continues the interest of the history of Gotham, its mythological evil, and Bruce's relation to the Arkhams. I don't tend to care about that stuff, but it's thematically central to this world, and it ends up speaking highly of Bruce's character. I always say that Geoff Johns openly shows disdain for Batman in his writing, clearly preferring the sunnier superheroes over him, but I do like how he characterizes Bruce in this Earth One series. He's not a different character but his determination signifies his youth. We get Catwoman in this but not much of a new villain on the on-set. The ending sequel-baits the big one, but this seems to also definitively end with a flashforward to what we'd want to see of this world with little elaboration, so I'm doubtful of a volume 4. Still, I liked all three volumes of this series, and although Alfred's a whiny dick with zero charm, I still dig this version of Batman.
  22. Gosh, figure that depends on a mood. Sunshine for me I think. I kinda like Die Another Day too. It's not good and I wouldn't defend it, but it's cheesy in a fun way. It was the first Bond movie I saw in theaters, and at the time I just assumed they were all spy pastiche cartoons because that was how the parodies worked. I don't like Halle Berry or the special effects tho.
  23. Didn't see a topic on this adaptation, so I figured I'd start it here. Just gonna post my thoughts on the season. After reading the first three trades (later the fourth), I began the television series. Right away there's s decent amount of shifting around sequences of events, but it's probably the tightest page-to-screen adaptation I've seen in a long time, possibly ever. Much of episode 1 was right out of issue one for starters. But the big draw is the murder sequence at the end, which might be the single most violent thing I've ever seen. Until the season finale. I almost stopped watching the show after that, because the violence implemented is so extreme and stark, I couldn't bring myself to return to a world that indulged in such OTT action that seemingly frivolously. But for the first time it's not done without the emotional and human reaction blunted for brevity. Most times, like in the Venture Bros or other animated comedies, extreme violence usually comes out of pocket to elicit laughter because the intensity of it is made to be random, to change up the tone. Here, Kirkman and crew have applied upper-Snyder levels of violence to characters it takes time investing the viewers in, slowing down the pace so when shit gets real, the stakes are immediately heightened. There's so much collateral damage and so many people dying, so much violence inflicted on Invincible, that you really do not take for granted anyone's safety. But it's not simply for that reason, for the sake of coming off impressive. The final episode drags its point across its runtime putting Mark's value of life against Omni-Man's, who treats the human race like ants. He goes from killing a pilot Mark saves to inflicting a 9/11-level catastrophe on a populated city, to literally using Mark's body to split a subway train and its passengers in half, all for the sake of demonstrating how useless it is to put forth the effort in preserving what he sees as uselessly fragile lives. All of this compounds on both Mark and the viewers' sense of betrayal and horror, bringing the audience to share his emotional state rather than leaving us in our seats and simply presenting the violence as matter-of-factly because superpowers. It's no big deal to him, and that attitude appalls both Mark and us. The sense of horror is also plussed by Steven Yuen's terrific performance as the main character. J.K. Simmons is getting much of the plaudits, but I think his voice and similar mustache is doing a lot of the heavy lifting. JK's a great actor, obviously. He earned that Oscar for Whiplash. But there's something about his performance as Omni-Man that leaves me wanting a bit. Not that he's not into it, he's definitely giving it his all in the last episode. But there's a quality in his voice that's stopping short of really giving into the emotion of the scenes, or at least sounds like there is. But not for Steven Yuen, who voices every tick of sadness, shock, humor, annoyance and anger with 100% commitment. Invincible the comic always had this reputation of being a ridiculously violent book. I've seen images of his bones sticking out of bloodied limbs in some pages. But the best thing about the show IMO is including the human element vulnerable to that level of violence. While everyone begins the show almost blandly, by the season's finish you're right there with them emotionally and want to see what happens next. I might finish the comic series before the next season comes out, but it's got my eyes the moment the premiere date's confirmed.