Posts Tagged ‘superheroes’

Deadpool 2 Trailer Channels Bob Ross

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Very silly and very Not Safe For Work (which the word “Deadpool” should imply anyway).

Library Addition: Signed Copy of Neal Barrett, Jr.’s Spider-Man: Lizard’s Rage

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Neal Barrett, Jr. was another writer I knew, and for whom I have almost all his published fiction except for the media tie-in works. So here’s one I picked up from the Fred Duarte estate:

Barrett, Neal, Jr. Spider-Man: Lizard’s Rage. Pocket Books, 1997. First edition paperback original, a Fine- copy with traces of edge wear, slight age darkening to pages and slight foxing to inside covers. Inscribed by Barrett: “For Fred/All the/best/Neal Barrett, Jr.”

Spiderman Lizard's Rage


Beware, Evil Doers! You Face The Tick!

Friday, September 4th, 2015

In 2001, Fox premiered the live-action version of The Tick. I thought they did a pretty credible effort capturing the comic book’s goofy, off-kilter charm, despite an incredibly modest budget for a live action network show (they couldn’t even hire someone who looked like Jimmy Carter for the pilot).

So naturally, it being on Fox, they cancelled it after nine episodes

Now comes word that Amazon is resurrecting the show with Patrick Warburton back in the title role.

If it gets picked up, I may have to finally break down and subscribe to Amazon Prime…

(Hat tip: Bill Crider on Facebook.)

“You look like Freddy Kruger face-f*cked a topographical map of Utah”

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

And now I pretty much have to see Deadpool

Deadpool: The movie that touches you in totally inappropriate ways…”

You may be cool…

Friday, March 13th, 2015

…but you’ll never be “Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark delivering a bionic arm to a seven year old boy” cool…

2015 To Be Filled With Blockbuster Franchise Sequels

Monday, May 5th, 2014

There’s lots of news about staggeringly successful, critically acclaimed movie franchise having new installments out in 2015.

  • Star Wars Episode VII will come out December 18, 2015.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out May 1, 2015.
  • Sharknado 3
  • What, you’re saying the words “staggeringly successful,” “critically acclaimed” and “franchise” don’t apply to Sharknado?

    All I have to say about that is: I had a great deal more fun watching Sharknado than I did Attack of the Clones.

    In other Sharknado-related news, The Asylum is crowd-funding a scene in Sharknado 2: The Second One. Personally, I think $50,000 for a single scene is more than a bit high. Give The Asylum’s previous track record, with that much money I would expect them to make an entire film…

    Dinsey Finally Doing Incredibles 2

    Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

    Well, we only had to wait a decade, but Disney has finally announced that Brad Bird is starting to write the script for the sequel to The Incredibles. You know, it was only the best film Pixar ever did. No need to rush or anything.

    Now let’s hope they don’t screw it up…

    You had me at “Scarlett Johansson Tied Up Half Naked”

    Monday, April 30th, 2012

    I would say that Marvel has a good idea exactly what audience it’s trying to draw to The Avengers:

    (Actually, I always thought her Ghost World co-star Thora Birch was hotter.)

    Since Howard and I will be reviewing The Avengers this weekend, I will forbear pointing out how underpowered Black Widow and Arrow Guy are compared to the rest of the team…

    The Science of Iron Man, and Other Disquisitions on Comic Book-to-Movie Adaptations

    Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

    So Howard Waldrop and I reviewed Iron Man 2 over at Locus Online. (Executive Summary for the tl;dr crowd: If you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one.) But one point I touch on, albeit briefly, is the question of just how far you’re willing to embrace the looser standards of scientific plausibility used in comic books in a movie that is (technically, ostensibly) science fiction. And frequently “looser” means “non-existent.” (Read the review for thoughts on Tony Stark’s DIY basement particle accelerator.)

    The ground-rule of just about any genre work, and certainly speculative fiction, is internal consistency, i.e., the story must play by the rules, and make sense according to, the work’s own internal frame of reference. If it’s a work of science fiction, you can’t just have someone breath in vacuum just because it’s convenient for your plot, you have to provide some sort of mechanism by which they breathe so as not to violate the contract with the reader that the internal consistency requirements of science fiction will be maintained.

    In most superhero comics (warning: unlike Howard, I haven’t read every damn comic in the world in my youth, so pardon me if my gross generalizations are gross and general), the scientific plausibility starts out a bit more loosely defined than in your average SF (or fantasy, or horror) story, and gets looser still as time goes on and our hero goes up against an ever-expanding array of villains with ever-more exotic powers. (Never mind the ever-expanding implausibility of that many super-powered individuals running around, the vast majority of whom seem to prefer fighting crime or each other rather than getting immensely rich or setting up their own countries.)

    So one superhero is implausible enough. But then you get to something like the Marvelverse, where every possible combination of overpowered individual (Mutants! Aliens! Gods! Demons!) possessing every possible superpower (Magic! Time-travel! Teleportation! Mind-reading! Super-strength! Super-healing! Super-speed!) exist cheek-by-jowl with each other, then where are you allowed to draw the line on plausibility? “I can buy a super-smart billionaire genius building a tiny fusion reactor out of scrap, but living in the same world as a Norse god? Whoa, stop the ride, I have to step off.”

    This is why the most successful of the modern comic-book adaptations (Iron Man and Spider-Man both come to mind) work so hard to establish their protagonist’s connection to every-day life (even if, in Tony Stark’s case, that life is pretty freaking rarefied), because without that grounding, viewers are hard-pressed to buy the comic book elements that would seem patently absurd in a realistic movie or novel. It’s also why comic book universes tend to have a giant retcon every now and then to trim the most unlikely branches off that universe (Crisis on Infinite Earths, anyone?).

    Granted, the Hollywood standards of plausibility in the average science fiction film, and the average action film (the two genres superhero films drink most deeply from) has been steadily slipping, to the extent they were ever present at all. (Though I should point out that I’m excluding deliberately insane, over the top films like Crank 2 that make no effort to be realistic.) But the race for ever-more-insane set pieces to sate ever-more-jaded tastes must eventually reach the point of diminishing returns; if everything is possible, then nothing is interesting. Which is why superheroes are driven as much by their constraints as by their powers.

    Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are the most interesting subjects for movies because they have no traditional superpowers, owing their status to supreme intelligence, personal training, technological prowess and unlimited bank accounts. By contrast, Superman is the least interesting superhero, being able to do essentially anything he wants. And the Christopher Reeve Superman where he goes back in time (because, you know, Superman simply wasn’t powerful enough already) brings up the question: Why do we care whether Superman wins or loses, since he can always go back in time whenever he wants to undo the outcome?

    By these standards, a tiny fusion reactor built out of scrap only slightly strains credibility, while a prism that bends particle beams (rather than light) gets fundamental physics so fundamentally wrong that it shatters it. I also think that you have to take a movie’s basic premise as a given. Now, I find it perfectly acceptable to draw your own line of personal disbelief at, or well before, miniature fusion reactors. But if so, why would you see any Iron Man movie in the first place?

    Note: The Locus site is suffering from the side effects of switching to Word Press as their blog engine, so the review may not be available, or the have the link for it show up on the front page, at any given moment.

    Iron Man 2

    Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

    Since Iron Man 2 opens this weekend, and Howard Waldrop and I will be reviewing it for Locus Online, here’s our review of the original Iron Man.