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.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Reasons to have NetFlix in August 2015!!

Well this August Netflix adds the following shows to their roster, that are worth your time:

DOCTOR WHO SEASON 8 – For those of us who don’t follow cable TV, the long awaited season 8 of DOCTOR WHO makes its appearance, and we get to see how the new Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, fills the phone-booth vacated by his predecessor, Matt Smith.

BYZANTIUM (2012) – Neil Jordan’s exciting looking take on the Vampire genre, BYZANTIUM, breaks on Netflix shores.

TRANSPORTER SEASON 2 – From an uneven first few episodes, I really grew to enjoy the first season of TRANSPORTER, and this month we get season 2.

WYRMWOOD ROAD OF THE DEAD- I dislike anything Zombie related. I think the concept is badly used and overused. I think the WALKING DEAD tv series is awful. All that said, other people who also are tired of the Zombie trend, review positively this movie, so now thanks to Netflix I can decide for myself.

UTOPIA SEASON 1 – I’ve never heard of before, but is hailed on IMDB as a visually exciting and unique show. So worth a look.

MIND OF A CHEF SEASON 3 – Relaxing, laid back and informative. Part travelogue, part biography, part cooking show.

THE LIVING – Well reviewed Indie Drama/ Thriller.

THE CODE SEASON 1 – Australian espionage thriller

On the last hour of the last day of 2014


Wanted to say more about 2014, meant to post more, say more, do more, but life doesn’t wait. Not for any of us.

So 2014.

What to say about it, that others haven’t said or thought or done…

I guess in a world where everything has been said and done, what matters is how you say it, how you recount those places where you met the world, and what you took from those moments, were hopefully bettered by them.

2014 for many reasons was a good year. For some reasons was a frightening year. And for a good number of reasons was a great year.

2014 for me will always be about Marriage, Travel. Cruise. Bermuda. Bermuda that lonely, spectacular island, 700 miles from anything. Personal things, but it will also be about nightly news buzz words of Haiti and Afghanistan and Venezuela and Ebola and Ferguson that shadowed us all.

It will be about an upstart called SpaceX and the dream of space, VOD and Roku and Netflix and redefining how we consume television and films. And it will be about all of us, in this age of drones, and NSA surveillance, and the ever murkier boundaries of man and machine, holding ever more precious and necessary nostalgic ideas of humanity, and freedom, and caring.

I hope that all of you, however you round out 2014, and round in 2015, know that you are loved and precious, and you spread it on, you have the desire to close out 2014 and storm into 2015, loving and caring and hoping and helping and making others and yourself happy.

Because if we can do this, we win.

We win the only war that matters, the war to be more humane tomorrow than we were yesterday.

God, whatever God you believe in, keep and bless you all, and I’ll see you back here in 2015.

Podcast of the Day : A Black Fantastic Four?!? FLAME-ON!

PODCAST OF THE DAY : House To Astonish 120 – Nice discussion of comic and movie news. A Black actor playing one of the Fantastic Four in the upcoming movie? FLAME-ON! :).

Possibly not the choice that would have come to me, but the actor, script, and director will determine if its a great, inspired idea, or a mediocre one. I give them the benefit of the doubt. Idris Elba in Thor was a great decision, as was Samuel Jackson as Nick Fury, so this could be a great idea too.

Listen HERE!

Indiegogo projects of the Day!

Banned on the Hill

How one artist fought back when the feds tried to shut her up” Help send Banned on the Hill to Vancouver or Washington, D.C.

Organising and Publicising Industrial Workers of the World Through Art

Promote and publicize the Industrial Workers of the World(IWW) through art works such as T-shirts,caps,cups,banners, paintings and batiks.

Rodney Mashia – Debut CD

After 40+ years of making music, it’s time to record my first official CD!

Just Food: Real Food Meals for Tube-Fed People

Just Food provides shelf-stable 100% real food meals for people with feeding tubes. No formula, no corn syrup, no additives. Just Food.


MONARCHS OF MAYHEM : Words and Images Art Photo Book

A beautiful hardcover book that collects, compiles, expands a series of articles/interviews with some of the most exciting creators of Pulp and Weird Fiction.

cenlibep

There are only a limited number of days left on the MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Indiegogo project. Please swing by and contribute (using the link above) and make the hardcover book happen and get a copy for yourself in the bargain. And if you can find it in you, to contribute today that would be great. I’m working hard to get artists and writers and even musicians to contribute and make this hardcover something very special and that we all would be proud to have on our bookshelves, but we need to move the needle. I need to be able to show them, this is serious, people are contributing, this is happening, now get aboard the love train… uh, so to speak. :).

We need to get the project closer to full funding and completion. And it begins with just one of you, just one, contributing at the $35 level (And a 146 people follow you, and this is a done deal. :). But right now I’m only asking you).

We tend to mean to do things tomorrow, but somehow tomorrow is always delayed. So support today and help make a great hardcover book a reality… today. Thanks!

WEDNESDAYS WORDS

WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.


Book Description
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
An insider reveals what can—and does—go wrong when companies shift production to China

In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don’t stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.

Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the China Production Game


Book Description
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
An exposé on how the rise of China will affect the American way of life
The End of Cheap China is a fun, riveting, must-read book not only for people doing business in China but for anyone interested in understanding the forces that are changing the world.
Many Americans know China for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country’s vast supply of low-cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap labor that has made everyday low prices possible is drying up as Chinese seek not to make iPhones, but to buy them. Shaun Rein, Founder of the China Market Research Group, puts China’s continuing transformation from producer to large-scale consumer – a process that is farther along than most economists think – under the microscope, examining eight megatrends that are catalyzing change in China and posing threats to Americans’ consumption-driven way of life.

Rein takes an engaging and informative approach to examining the extraordinary changes taking place across all levels of Chinese society, talking to everyone from Chinese billionaires and senior government officials to poor migrant workers and even prostitutes and drawing on personal stories and experiences from living in China since the 1990s as well as hard economic data. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China’s transformation, from fast-improving Chinese companies to confident, optimistic Chinese women to the role of China’s government, and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away.

The End of Cheap China shows:

How rising labor and real estate costs are forcing manufacturers of cheap Chinese products to close, relocate, or move up the value stream
How a restructuring economy moving away from exports to domestic consumption, and rising incomes will create opportunities for foreign brands to sell products in China rather than just producing there
How Chinese consumption will build pressure on the global commodities markets, causing inflation and friction with other nations
How China’s economic transformation spells the end of cheap consumption for Americans

China’s days as a low cost production center are numbered. The End of Cheap China exposes the end of America’s consumerist way of life and gives clear advice on how companies can succeed in the new world order.

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World


Book Description
Publication Date: April 9, 2012

International Bestseller
One of Foreign Policy’s “21 Books to Read in 2012”
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book

After a decade of rapid growth, the world’s most celebrated emerging markets are poised to slow down. Which countries will rise to challenge them?

To identify the economic stars of the future we should abandon the habit of extrapolating from the recent past and lumping wildly diverse countries together. We need to remember that sustained economic success is a rare phenomenon.

As an era of easy money and easy growth comes to a close, China in particular will cool down. Other major players including Brazil, Russia, and India face their own daunting challenges and inflated expectations. The new “breakout nations” will probably spring from the margins, even from the shadows. Ruchir Sharma, one of the world’s largest investors in emerging markets for Morgan Stanley, here identifies which are most likely to leap ahead and why.

After two decades spent traveling the globe tracking the progress of developing countries, Sharma has produced a book full of surprises: why the overpriced cocktails in Rio are a sign of revival in Detroit; how the threat of the “population bomb” came to be seen as a competitive advantage; how an industrial revolution in Asia is redefining what manufacturing can do for a modern economy; and how the coming shakeout in the big emerging markets could shift the spotlight back to the West, especially American technology and German manufacturing.

What emerges is a clear picture of the shifting balance of global economic power and how it plays out for emerging nations and for the West. In a captivating exploration studded with vignettes, Sharma reveals his rules on how to spot economic success stories. Breakout Nations is a rollicking education for anyone looking to understand where the future will happen.
12 photographs
Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles


Book Description
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
G-Zero — \JEE-ZEER-oh\ —n
A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history.

If the worst threatened—a rogue nuclear state with a horrible surprise, a global health crisis, the collapse of financial institutions from New York to Shang­hai and Mumbai—where would the world look for leadership? The United States, with its paralyzed politics and battered balance sheet? A European Union reeling from self-inflicted wounds? China’s “people’s democracy”? Perhaps Brazil, Turkey, or India, the geopolitical Rookies of the Year? Or some grand coalition of survivors, the last nations stand­ing after half a decade of recession-induced turmoil?

How about none of the above?

For the first time in seven decades, there is no single power or alliance of powers ready to take on the challenges of global leadership. A generation ago, the United States, Europe, and Japan were the world’s powerhouses, the free-market democracies that propelled the global economy forward. Today, they struggle just to find their footing.

Acclaimed geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer argues that the world is facing a leadership vacuum. The diverse political and economic values of the G20 have produced global gridlock. Now that so many challenges transcend borders—from the stability of the global economy and climate change to cyber-attacks, terrorism, and the security of food and water—the need for international cooperation has never been greater. A lack of global leadership will provoke uncertainty, volatility, competition, and, in some cases, open conflict. Bremmer explains the risk that the world will become a series of gated commu­nities as power is regionalized instead of globalized. In the generation to come, negotiations on economic and trade issues are likely to be just as fraught as recent debates over nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.

Disaster, thankfully, is never assured, and Brem­mer details where the levers of power can still be found and how to exercise them for the common good. That’s important, because the one certainty of weakened nations and enfeebled institutions is that someone will try to take advantage of them.

Every Nation for Itself offers essential insights for anyone attempting to navigate the new global play­ing field.
Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World


Book Description
Publication Date: March 23, 2012

The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America’s insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we’ve been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that’s not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can’t be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves–and especially our children–from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse. Kotlikoff and Burns sounded the alarm in their widely acclaimed The Coming Generational Storm, but politicians didn’t listen. Now the need for action is even more urgent. It’s up to us to demand radical reform of our tax system, our healthcare system, and our Social Security system, and to insist on better paths to investment return than those provided by Wall Street (mis)managers. Kotlikoff and Burns’s “Purple Plans” (so called because they will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats) have been endorsed by a who’s who of economists and offer a new way forward; and their revolutionary investment strategy for individuals replaces the idea of financial capital with “life decision capital.” Of course, we won’t be doing all this just for ourselves. We need to fix America’s fiscal mess before our kids inherit it.
The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy


Book Description
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Why the gold standard is due for a comeback
A reserve currency can only function as such if there is a general consensus that it provides a stable store of value. Without this trust, money, no matter what form it takes, will be abandoned–either suddenly in a crisis, or gradually over time–in favor of something else. The Golden Revolution looks at how the world is now moving rapidly toward some form of global metallic standard, in which money, at least in official, international transactions, is linked directly to gold.
The practical reality of the transition to the coming global gold standard is going to be substantially different from the global fiat monetary and financial regime of today. It is not just money that is going to change. The nature and business of banking will also be affected, as will finance in general.

Incisive and thoughtful, The Golden Revolution is a treatise on the broad effects of the current and future monetary structure
Looks at why the world is headed inexorably back towards a metallic money standard
Explores what the transition period might look like, including some historical examples of both orderly and disorderly transitions
Examines how the world of banking, finance, and investment, including asset valuation and portfolio management techniques, will work under a future gold standard and which industries, countries and markets are likely to benefit and which are likely to suffer

Full of advice on how investors can profit and protect themselves during this critical time of change, the book knows that those who are prepared will prosper, while those who aren’t stand to lose.
The Golden Revolution: How to Prepare for the Coming Global Gold Standard


Book Description
Publication Date: August 28, 2008 | Series: Rich Dad’s Advisors
“Throughout the ages, many things have been used as currency: livestock, grains, spices, shells, beads, and now paper. But only two things have ever been money: gold and silver. When paper money becomes too abundant, and thus loses its value, man always turns back to precious metals. During these times there is always an enormous wealth transfer, and it is within your power to transfer that wealth away from you or toward you.” –Michael Maloney, precious metals investment expert and historian; founder and principal, Gold & Silver, Inc.

The Advanced Guide to Investing Gold and Silver tells listeners:

The essential history of economic cycles that make gold and silver the ultimate monetary standard.
How the U.S. government is driving inflation by diluting our money supply and weakening our purchasing power
Why precious metals are one of the most profitable, easiest, and safest investments you can make
Where, when, and how to invest your money and realize maximum returns, no matter what the economy’s state
Essential advice on avoiding the middleman and taking control of your financial destiny by making your investments directly.
Rich Dad’s Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver: Everything You Need to Know to Profit from Precious Metals Now


Book Description
Publication Date: December 13, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0982301871 | ISBN-13: 978-0982301876
Want to lose weight without counting calories, starving yourself, giving up your favorite foods, or eating bland packaged foods? Would you like to look and feel younger and healthier than you have in years without diets and exercise? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, this book is for you! JJ Smith’s revolutionary system teaches proven methods for permanent weight loss that anyone can follow, no matter her size, income level, or educational level. And the end result is a healthy, sexy, slim body.

JJ’s breakthrough weight-loss solution can help you shed pounds fast by detoxifying the body, balancing your hormones, and speeding up your metabolism. You’ll learn which foods help you stay slim and which foods cause you to get fat. If you have been on a roller-coaster ride of weight loss, you will finally be able to get off, lose weight, and stay slim for life!

You will learn how to….

Detoxify the body for fast weight loss
Drop pounds and inches fast, without grueling workouts or starvation
Lose up to 15 pounds in the first three weeks
Shed unwanted fat by eating foods you love, including carbs
Eat so you feel energetic and alive every day
Get physically active without exercising
Get rid of stubborn belly fat
Trigger your 6 fat-burning hormones to lose weight effortlessly
Eat foods that give you glowing, radiant skin

This is your last stop on the way to a new fit and healthy you! Look and feel younger than you have in years. Create your best body–NOW!
Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out: Discover Secrets to a Slimmer, Sexier and Healthier You

If I do say so myself, I think this is a very interesting WEDNESDAYS WORDS. It is a very finance heavy installment, all the books with one exception revolving around our current and impending financial crisis, our changing world order… and what we can do to protect ourselves.

And wraps up unexpectedly, for me as well as everyone else, with a health/diet book. I stumbled across the final title by accident, I admit it… it was the boobs (I’m so evil :), but give me a break.. the author, the cover model I believe, JJ Smith is GORGEOUS!), but once I was able to look beyond the boobs (Oh come on! Like you weren’t just looking!), I found it an incredibly intriguing sounding book.

So enjoy!

The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!

If you’re a publisher, writer, or other creative representative looking to submit items for WEDNESDAYS WORDS, just leave a comment on this post with your email/contact info, comments don’t get posted they come right to me, and I’ll reach out to you with the snail mail details.

And as far as readers, if you see items on WEDNESDAYS WORDS you’re considering purchasing then, if you are able and would like to support this blog, please utilize the attached links.

Your helpful purchases through those links, generates much appreciated pennies to keep this blog running. Your feedback and support… just way cool, and way appreciated. Thanks!

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