CBS vs Paramount? Old Star Trek vs Confused Star Trek? ST Discovery = Epic fail? and JUSTICE LEAGUE?!

 

Some Times you wonder how what is seemingly obvious  is utterly lost on people in positions of power.

VALERIAN movie? Great concept on paper , great visuals, the leads are as interesting as watching paint dry. I would not in a million years have chosen those two people to helm that movie. They have no visual interest.

The latest Universal bomb in THE MUMMY, completely predictable. White Egyptians, unless they are Boris Karloff, just never a good idea.

Casting and visuals and chemistry is still a HUGE part of what makes a film or show work and why it is dead on arrival.

It is one reason the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie is despite everything they are trying to course correct and do right, can’t fix intrinsic issues they have done wrong. The comic book decided to put CYBORG in the comic, not because he is a good character, but because he hit three demographics they throught would make for both multiple diversity streams and good merchandising. He was a Black crippled robot.

TRANSFORMERS has proven that robots sell, all day long. On top of that being able to add a character of color to the blindingly white DC universe, ticks that box, and making him a cripple, ticks the handicapped audience. A lucrative and growing segment condsidering how many young men and women this country sends overseas to mutilate and get mutilated.

Here is the issue though. It doesn’t make sense for CYBORG to be in the Justice League, beyond tokenism and a blatant money grab.

From a story point it makes NO SENSE in the comics, and it makes no sense in the movies. I’m all for characters of color toning down the lilly whitness of the Justice League, but not awful characters. The JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED cartoon has shown a great character of color that deserves to be in the Justice League and works great in the Justice League… John Stewart, The Green Lantern, And you know what, he also has kick ass powers and is more than a walking toaster. The late great Dwayne McDuffie made John Stewart a great character, and the Justice League a great AND diverse team without sacrificing quality or common sense. They were great BECAUSE of that diversity and love that Dwayne imbued that series with, that made it great.

Greatness is a thing that seldoms gets said in the same sentence as JUSTICE LEAGUE. Unlike the AVENGERS that has a few notable stories you can hand people to sell them on these characters for live action movies, most notably Mark Millar’s THE ULTIMATES  followed by Steve Englehart’s, Gerry Conway’s, Jim Shooter’s and Kurt Busiek’s runs; the JUSTICE LEAGUE has very little that holds up, or is of appeal to a movie going audience. Outside of deconstructive and apocalyptic stories, the twilight of the Gods type mythology such as KINGDOM COME, and some Morrison work, there are almost no great JUSTICE LEAGUE comic stories. The best the JUSTICE LEAGUE has ever been is in the McDugffie helmed cartoon.

The current comic and the current movie unfortunately, has learned nothing from the late McDuffie’s lead.

Add to that the Cyborg and Flash costumes are crap (didn’t you learn anything from the GREEN LANTERN train-wreck about CGI costumes) and you have a movie that could have been great, crippled by by people who are going to lose dollars to save pennies.  People ignorant or uncaring of the part visual chemistry plays in whether a thing works or not.

And that brings us back to Star Trek.

 

Looking at the cast photo of Star Trek Discovery… that cast has no visual interest, no chemistry. The same issue suffered by THE ENTERPRISE cast, and to a lesser degree the VOYAGER cast. There was no joy or interst or chemistry in this combination of people.

Watching  the latest STAR TREK DISCOVERY Trailer, I find the trailer interesting, however the jury is out on whether that translates into good. There was no excitement in that trailer, a bunch of uninteresting looking people, no visual chemistry or excitement to them, and a general air of uninterst and lack of joy in the whole.

You are in effing space, that should be awe-inspiring to the cast and to the viewer. But all that comes across in that trailer is how dreary everything is. The one male lead, who I know to be a good actor, he perhaps has never been the most rousing actor, and whether lead or not, you need somone immediately that grabs your eye, and you can say, yep, here is a hero or man of action, or somone who can command a screen and command the attention of viewers. Without a doubt great scenery chewing actors is the hallmark of great Star Trek, whether it is William Shatner, or Leonard Nimoy or Patrick Stewart or Johnathan Fraker or Avery Brooks or Michael Dorn.

The star of this series, is a lead actress, and she is clearly charismatic, but you can’t act in a bubble, without that chemistry  of clicking actors around you and fun plots, it is just dreariness. And that’s what came across in the trailer… dreariness.

And a lot of changes for change sake.

The change to the Kilngons… strikes me as… foolhardy at best. THE NEXT GENERATION hit a home run in being able to make an interesting but crude visual race of the Kilingons… better. Not just better, but a rousing transcendent success.  The way the Original Series hit a home run with the Vulcans and the Romulans, the Next Generation hit that Home Run with the Klingons.

You don’t fix what isn’t broken. And in this case DISCOVERY’s redesign of the Klingons just seems change for change sake, that tears down a success, and what could have been an easy inroad to the series for fans craving the popular Klingons, becomes instead a detriment.

Just poor, poor thinking.

Along with that the idea of trying to make American audiences pay to see this series that initially needs as much groundswell of support it can get, is just idiocy. Out of the gate you set an antagonistic relationship between show and audience.

I will, needless to say, not be paying for this show, no more than I had any intest in paying to see VALERIAN or THE MUMMY.

But I will keep abreast of it through online reviews and podcasts, and I hope it can prove me wrong. But if Paramount stick to the visuals and that tone and that cast, that seems clearly set in stone for the first year….you may have an interesting SciFi show, but you arguably wont have a good show, and you definitely won’t have a great Star trek show.

Paramount instued of suing the AXANAR fan film, should have gone with that filmmaker to produce their new show. It is obvious that the fan films have more heart, intelligence, and fun, and understanding of what makes good Star Trek than Paramount has.

PARAMOUNT’s rebooted STAR TREK films, a case of diminishing returns, from the excellence of the first one, to the too self indulgent but still great second film, to the atrocious third film; points to a company that is in desperate need of course correction. And that same folly and arrogant stupidity that highlights their dealings with the fans, mars their handling of this latest television show.

For more on this, I want to direct you to a MIDNIGHT’S EDGE YouTube video, that revealed some of the reasons for Paramount’s mishandling of the latest Star Trek property and where CBS fits in. It’s a riveting and informative bit of reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

Justice for Mike Brown Leadership Coalition calls for boycott of Burger King!!


I don’t like platitudes, I don’t like slogans, I don’t like lip-service in place of real change.

I don’t like the simple answers to complex questions that the nightly news would feed us all.

I do not like the parts they would have us play, the lines they would have us draw, the sides they would have us choose.

“Black Lives Matter” what an inane slogan to march under.

It is the thought process of aging decrepit hippies, and misguided youths who have not died enough to live. Black Lives Matter? To who? Why? For what reason?

This is not about Black lives, it is about all lives.

That is the only sane slogan.

It is about the quality of the republic.

It is about justice.

There are vile human beings of the Black persuasion I would not cross the street to spit on. There are vile human beings of the White and Brown and Yellow persuasion who are likewise cancers and abominations on the healthy body of society.

The job is to protect society from those vile humans, and a huge part of that is insuring these vile people aren’t issued badges. And most of them aren’t, unfortunately a few of them are. And it only takes a few, to bring us here.

Not everyone is cut out for the responsibility of making life and death decisions, and when the recruiting methods are questionable, and there are no checks and balances, no culpability, no reprisals for bad behavior, you are just priming a powder-keg… to explode.

Civilization, the orderly world you take for granted and hope to wake and sleep to, depends on those tasked with holding the line between anarchy and order. And bad cops and the bad administration that supports them, make that already heavy responsibility an untenable one.

Bad cops ruin the only thing a good cop has of value, the line, and the holding of it.

The law either binds us all, Black and Brown and Yellow and White, or it binds none of us. Preserves none of us, and we can all fall afoul of monsters with badges masquerading as men. Criminals posing as cops.

NYPD Brutality pattern

These bad cops, and bad DAs, and bad judges, make the line untenable to hold, make even the good cops smeared with the offal of the bad, until we are no longer protecting and serving, but suddenly we’re nothing more than an unruly mob, with enemies everywhere we look.

It is a bad road that we have seen before, and god defend us from seeing it again.

The answer is not with marches, at least not just with marching. That’s a 20th century response, that organizations like the NAACP in their stupidity do not realize is inadequate for a 21st century world. You want change that protects civilians from monsters with badges, you have to make it cost. That means NAACP you may have to actually get off your fat assess and boycott some of those rich sponsors that line your pockets to look the other way.

It means you may have to sacrifice.

That we may all have to sacrifice.

And the one thing more powerful than the vote, is financial reprisals. Putting someone’s money… at risk.

Do you think Black people in Jim Crow America, got to ride in the front of the bus because of Rosa Parks? No. Black people got to ride in the front of the bus because, for over 365 days, people outraged and enraged and fed-up; decided to be inspired by Rosa Parks, and decided they would not spend money with the mass transit system.

They would sacrifice.

And suddenly, that loss of revenue, that sacrifice, these people walking for miles for over a year, rather than sit in the back of a bus… that willingness to speak in volumes in the only language that America truly understands… dollars… that sacrifice made bigots willing to concede that their bigotry (in that situation) was of less value than your dollars.

It made them realize a lesson that you have to (from time to time) teach bullies… that the cost of disrespect can be far more expensive than the cost of respect. That respect is more affordable.

And the same must occur in any region where police brutality is an unpunished pattern such as in New york City and Ferguson, Missouri; you must make in those regions the cost of disrespect more expensive than the cost of respect.

You get businesses to sign petitions calling for the removal of this bad cop, and this bad police captain, and this bad DA, and this bad judge, and if necessary the Mayor, the Governor, the Senator. You find the businesses in that region who respect your dollars, and the ones who do not.

In the case of Ferguson they are starting by calling for the Boycott of BURGER KING, a company headquartered in the state where Trayvon Martin was killed. A humble start to be sure, but from such beginnings (this nation itself is proof)… great things do rise.

A regional and nationwide boycott, in Ferguson, in New York, in Baltimore, in Cincinnati, in your homes, in your hearts, a boycott of businesses that do not side with the populations that enrich them, over the abusive thugs posing as cops and lawyers, who jointly undo everything that can make our nation better.

It is a battle that not only can you win, with education and commitment and sacrifice, it is a battle others before you have paid dearly to win great portions of. Today is just your turn.

Your day in the sun.

To either meanly lose or nobly win… your freedom.

You don’t like bad cops.

Neither do good cops.

You want to do something of value, stand the eff up like men and help us.

Help us all.

What are you prepared to do?

I would say start here:

http://mikebrowncoalition.org/

POSTER ART : THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY! Post 1 of 3!

This is obviously the Ugly…

By all reports the movie is something to be avoided. But the poster is intriguing in a creepy, creepy way.

Oh and a honorable mention for ugly, queasy, disturbing poster of the day, from the 2012 film THE CLOTH:

These great images courtesy of the excellent site IMP AWARDS.

Dog Day Afternoon or Mace & Pitbulls :)

Well this being the season of peace and goodwill, I find myself online researching pepper sprays, my old peeper spray has gone tits up on me, and time for something more effective, because I’m two bad days away from killing my neighbor’s barking pitbull.

No, no… hear me out.

I share a common fence with the aforementioned neighbors, and the bloody thing attacks the fence like some crazed Wendigo, whenever I dare actually inhabit my own yard. 🙂 . I’ve talked to the neighbors but they seem to have no control over the ‘child mauler in training’. It’s about 70lbs so not full grown.

I mean I’ll walk over to my fence and heaven forbid I touch my fence, the damn thing starts attacking my hand, luckily I was smart enough to have gloves that time. These are new neighbors, they just moved in, I’ve been here years, and they seem quiet enough, which is all I ask of neighbors, so I try and be understanding and make nice with the spawn of satan. But that damn dog is not having it.

So still trying to find a non-harmful solution, I’ve used that ‘dog off’ spray on my fence, as well as the Ultrasonic Bark Off device they advertise on infomercials. Both pretty damn useless.

Well not quite, there’s two dogs, the pitbull, and one that’s like a Jack Russell Terrier/Collie mix, that one is actually cool, and only barks cause the other one acts up, and he seems not to want to bark if I have the Bark off going, but that pitbull, no effect whatsoever.

So time to move to plan three. Yes three. Plan one was make friends with the vicious demon dog… not happening. Plan two… The chemical and ultrasonic bark stoppers, useless and expensive. So plan three, I’m going to put my hand on my fence, if that stupid dog goes to maul my poor knuckles again, which of course it will, I’m going to say “no, release”, which of course it’s going to ignore, and then I’m going to spray the goddamn beast in the snout with pepper spray.

And if it gives me anymore lip, I’m going to put the damn thing down, with my handy dandy blackjack.

And that’s going to be my Holiday present to myself. 🙂

What??

Don’t look at me like that.

I am not a dog hater.

I’ve had dogs, but my dogs were well trained, not like this baying demon. They are grooming this dog to be vicious, and normally I wouldn’t care if your dog was guarding a junk yard, but this is a residential neighborhood, and you have it next to my house.

I’m not about to have that dog constantly attacking that fence, and getting bolder by the day. Heaven forbid my nieces or nephews come over, and that thing decides to bite or attack them when they are at the fence. I would kill it. No if, ands or buts, I would end it.

So the pepper spray plan seems like a nice humane alternative to me having to put the dog down permanently.

Doubtless the neighbors won’t be the happiest, but that’s on them. I told them they need to keep their dog from attacking.

And don’t worry, I’m not using any of those crazy, heavy concentration sprays with UV dye in it and all that nonsense, I don’t know, that just seems a bit wrong to do to anyone or anything.

If I’ve got to take down a pcp fiend, or a mad drunk, or a wild dog, okay, I’ll hit you with the pepper spray, but UV dye??? Really? With all but un-removeable ultraviolet dye… now that’s just wrong.

That’s got to be against some kind of Geneva convention. And yes unlike most morons who buy pepper spray, I’m actually also buying the pepper spray remover, so in-case you accidentally get some in your own eye, or you spray someone accidentally, or once you have the suspect subdued, and the situation controlled, you need to end the burning and pain, you can.

I’m always amazed by all these people walking around with pepper spray, and unless they are a cop, or like me smart, not a single one of them thinks to also carry the pepper spray remover with them.

You have to know how to bring the pain, and you have to know how to end it. If for no other reason that the bad guy ends up spraying you, you can help treat yourself. And for the larger reason, it’s humane.

Simple common sense stuff.

So yeah after I mace the dog, I’ll offer them the remover.

What???

It’s the Christmas spirit!!! 🙂

RATING MOVIES 101: How to determine which IMDB reviews to give weight to?

How to determine which IMDB reviews to give weight to?

Some quick, easy guidelines.

1- if someone just has one review, ie just jumped onto IMDB to bash or gush over one movie, toss their opinion out. They are either a plant, marketing shells or friends of the film/filmmaker, or they are a 1 hit wonder, without enough of a history to give weight to their opinion. Dropping off these reviews, helps immensely.

2- people who don’t know how to grade. ie Every film they don’t like is a 1. If these people had to be graded by the way they grade on IMDB, they would never have graduated any school. It’s a 10 point scale guys, which means 7/10 is a film that just passes, ie a C. You can dislike TITANIC all you want, but any way you grade it, that’s a competently made movie. You bring a movie like that to great directors like John Ford or Fritz Lang, it at least gets a passing grade of 7/10. And more than likely if those directors were available to grade it, they would give it a 10/10.

Unless you find a film morally reprehensible, really offensive, or incompetent, rating it severely under a 5 to 7, perhaps not called for. So just lookout for people who can’t grade, and discount their opinions.

3- look at the quality of their reviews. Is it well written or is it moronic? Do they come off as a drunk frat boy, or does their review sound well thought out.

4- And finally, See if you can find in their reviews, movies you’ve seen, and if you agree with more of their reviews than you disagree (I would say 7 out of 10), then that’s a reviewer you want to put some stock in.

With these 4 steps it will help you with navigating worthwhile IMDB reviews from useless ones. It’s helped me. 🙂 .