A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned from LEGO Batman

1) A more accurate title would be “Apple Presents the LEGO Batman Movie.”
2) Batman, for kids, but that’s okay.
3) Batman’s favorite meal is lobster thermidor which probably doesn’t taste very good as a microwaved leftover.
4) Which villain properties WB/DC actually has the rights to and as such can use their names.
5) Batman’s rogue’s gallery has some very weird entries, even for Batman.
6) The film makers really love Batman.
7) The film makers really don’t care for Zach Snyder’s vision of the DCEU.
8) Even Joker knows it’s ridiculous for Batman and Superman to fight.
9) A movie can make fun of certain clichés and yet embrace them at the same time.
10) This is probably the best superhero movie to be released since Nolan’s trilogy (not necessarily the best Batman movie since this is for kids) and probably will be the best until WB/DC figures out how superheroes are supposed to act (hint – not like this, or this).

It’s not as good as the original LEGO Movie, but it’s still enjoyable. So go see it, if you like fun, slightly meta movies about kid-friendly versions of Batman and Joker. I don’t think this one requires a big screen, but I had free movie passes and a free night. Your favorite streaming service is probably just fine for viewing this one.

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A Movie Entry – Coming Attractions 2017

or, “the movies I’m most likely to drag my lazy self out to a theater to see.”

I realize there’s a bit of time yet until the summer movie season is upon us, but with 2017 shaping up to somehow be even worse than 2016, I’ve got to take what joy I can. So as usual there are a whole bunch of movies coming out that aren’t even on my radar but a few that are, and they are, of course, superhero-themed.

Wonder Woman:
My enthusiasm for this movie has gone from, “Oh, yeah, here we go!!!” to “I really, really hope this doesn’t completely suck.” Yes, at this point I would be pleased with mediocre and pleasantly surprised with adequate. WB/DC done brung me low and it’s so weird to me the studio’s movies are so awful but CW/DC TV is pretty good. And I’ve heard even the comics are worth reading again with the new Rebirth taking off. Somewhere in the vast organization that is now WB/DC, there is talent and skill and yet since Chris Nolan wrapped up his trilogy, that talent and skill hasn’t been anywhere near the studio lot. Still, hope springs eternal and the trailers look good.

Spider-man: Homecoming
I just don’t know about this. Sony’s last reboot was objectively terrible, but I know Marvel has creative control. I also know that this isn’t supposed to be an origin story (thank goodness) and the trailers make the movie look pretty good. Of course, the trailers also make it look like this Spider-man story is borrowing heavily from Ultimate Spider-man Miles Morales and I’m not sure I like that. I’ll keep an eye on the reviews and make a decision then.

Thor 3: Ragnorok
My understanding of the plot is, roughly, Thor‘s on a road trip through the realms to find Odin, who’s gone missing. Odin pulls this stuff a lot in the comics, but with Loki pretending to be Odin and somehow no one noticing (or maybe they have; I’m still fuzzy on the details), it’s kind of important Thor get his Asgardian in gear. Also, Thanos punched into the vault and stole the Infinity Gauntlet, so that’s kind of bad. I knew the Hulk was supposed to join Thor although I have no idea why and apparently Dr. Strange will at least cameo and perhaps have a bigger part. I have to say, I’m much more interested in a Thor/Hulk buddy comedy road trip than another sort of generic “get the MacGuffin (in this case Odin) and fight some one-off bad guy” flick. So far Thor’s movies have been fairly unimpressive to me. My base level to judge success for this movie is if the plot doesn’t unceremoniously ditch Jane for the majority of the running time.

The LEGO Batman Movie – This is probably not a movie for anyone who actually liked Batman v Superman: This Title Goes On and On Like the Movie Itself. I really enjoyed the LEGO Movie and I can see LEGO Batman being considered a break-out character. I’m sure the plot will be almost by the numbers “Batman finds out he really does need friends” plot, but that’s fine. I see this version of Batman as making fun of the recent super-dark, super-serious incarnations. Not sure I’ll get to this one in the theater, though. I don’t know the scope requires coughing up the cash for a ticket.

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2 – Of course I’m looking forward to this! The second trailer has been my go-to happy place. I’m excited not just for the CG characters, but the real-life ones as well. Drax’s attempts at learning any kind of social skills should be hilarious. I’d like to get some background on Star-lord and find out how come once he got his own spaceship he didn’t go home again? He’s obsessed with Earth, obviously. That one cassette is literally his groove. My only worry is that with the addition of Mantis, and how Gamora was already shafted character-wise, that these two kickass characters will be relegated to so much comic relief and Star-lord’s crush, respectively. Gamora is the deadliest woman in the universe and Mantis is the Celestial Madonna. I want to see that, damn it!

A Movie Entry – The Kung Fu Panda Trilogy

A lot of critics give a lot of flak to Dreamworks for not being Pixar, or Disney. Well, sometimes Pixar isn’t Pixar either. For myself, I find most of the Dreamworks movies to be fair to good, somewhere in the C+ to B range. And frankly, that’s fine by me. These are actually movies made for children that adults can enjoy, rather than many of the best Pixar movies which are movies that are made for adults that children can enjoy. So the Dreamworks movies may be simpler. Sometimes simple is great.

Continue reading A Movie Entry – The Kung Fu Panda Trilogy

My Fiction – Holiday Parody, Part 2

As promised, this isn’t a parody of a song but a poem, one which almost no one seems to remember the actual title to. Anyway, it turns out this wasn’t easier but I hope it brings you a bit of enjoyment today.

Continue reading My Fiction – Holiday Parody, Part 2

My Fiction – Holiday Parody, Part 1

It turns out trying to write holiday parody songs is a lot harder than I thought. Maybe I should try to write holiday poetry instead.

“Twelve Days of Christmas”

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Twelve merry mutants
Eleven crazy crossovers
Ten rings of power
Nine realms of Asgard
Eight demigods fightin’
Seven spiders spinnin’
Six sinister villains
Five cosmic gems!
Fourth walls busted
Three movie phases
Too many spider clones
And a cameo from Stan Lee!

My Fiction – Adventures in Adventuring, Part 1: Awkward Introductions

I play video games. Sometimes I play a lot of video games. So I starting
thinking how the video game must look from the inside to the characters.
Inspired by that, and some of the worst writing from the Punisher comics,
I present “Alekto’s War Journal.”

Continue reading My Fiction – Adventures in Adventuring, Part 1: Awkward Introductions

A TV Entry – It’s Time for Animaniacs…

For those Who Came in Late
I watched a lot of cartoons as a child. Like, a LOT. In general, there were two blocks – Saturday Morning Cartoons, and weekday afternoon cartoons. At some point in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Warner Brothers and Disney ended up facing off for those afternoon ratings. Disney had reinvigorated the animation department for movies (see The Little Mermaid) and decided to take that new attitude to television with likes of Ducktales, Gummi Bears, and Darkwing Duck. Disney also decided to reboot/reinterpret some of its older properties for the small screen and created Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers and Tailspin.

At the same time WB did the same thing and used the success of Batman to bring DC superheroes to television. WB also tried to reinvigorate the old Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies properties (which may be the reason Space Jam exists). The first effort was almost a literal sequel in the form of Tiny Toon Adventures. This was a fine program in its own right featuring the next generation of Looney Toons being instructed by Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc. But following the success of “Tiny Toons” was the spiritual sequel, Animaniacs. This show was by the same creative team, but featured original characters not directly linked to any existing ones. Animaniacs was much more of a homage to old sketch comedy shows and often the segments had no link except cameos to show these characters did exist in the same world. It was amazing, but all good things have to come to an end. That is, until Netflix acquired the rights…

Continue reading A TV Entry – It’s Time for Animaniacs…