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Posts posted by R.CAllen

  1. Saw it! Loved it!

    The movie super duper surprised me by avoiding doing something that I was sure it was heading towards — a hacky twist that's still latently present within the movie itself but I was glad that it avoids explicitly foregrounding. I'm fairly sure what I'm thinking of (it's kind of a spoiler, I suppose) is even now providing fodder for dumb dumb YouTube clickbait video essays about 'The True Hidden Secret Identity Of Gawain', actually, no, whatever, I shouldn't be so dismissive of the imagined and assumed opinions of unknown others, that's not my bag, go with God.

  2. Yeah! Pretty odd when you consider that it all comes from a grand sum total of two (2) lines in ANH :


    "You fought in the Clone Wars?"


    "General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars."


    That's it. Nothing else in the movie and nothing else in the rest of the Original Trilogy.

  3. I gave up on this about five minutes in. The animation style is stilted, weird, downright unheimlich. It reminds me of the brainwashing animatics from the Jonathan Demme Manchurian Candidate (which also co-starred Jeffrey Wright!) or those rotoscoped flicks like Waking Life and the Philip K. Dick one whose title escapes me at the moment, wait, it was A Scanner Darkly and it was ALSO directed by Richard Linklater!!!! And the voice acting in it registers to me as equally off-putting, everybody’s performance is just way too low key.

    I think I’ll skip this show until and unless they adapt my favourite What Ifs — those’d be #6 (“What if the Fantastic Four had different superpowers?”), #11 (“What if the original Marvel Bullpen had become the Fantastic Four?”), #13 (“What if Conan the Barbarian walked the Earth today?), #14 (“What if Sgt. Fury had fought World War II in outer space?”, I particularly like the scaly hide of the Alphans, the evil aliens in this’n, don’t think they’ve ever showed up anywhere else), okay, well, we’ll be here all day if I keep at it and I’m tippy typing this on my tablet while pumping my dumb legs on a stationary recumbent bicycle so everything takes four times as long.


    I like my What Ifs; just wish this show was drawn in a different style and had all the characters voiced by working animation professionals rather than the originators of the roles and/or regular live action actors.

  4. I take stuff fairly often. My body! It hurts me! You've gotta be careful, obviously, because too much of it at once or too regular use of the stuff will ... I'm not actually super duper clear on what'll happen. Burn a hole through my belly? Mess up my internal organs? Imbalance my humours?

    In any case, I haven't exhausted all the available remedies offered by the local apothecaries. There's still more kinds of pills to pop. I've been exercising fairly heavily (for me, that is, by my own personal standards) this summer and for a few weeks there that seemed to offer me some relief, the pain went away, but it's since returned.

    I’ve had some fair-to-middling results w/the standard off the shelf stuff : ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen. Some equally mixed results w/topical pain relievers : diclofenac diethylamine gel, Arnica flower fluid extract. Nothing’s really worked so far with the sort of 100% instantaneous relief and consistent track record that I suppose I’d ideally like; if I take anything I mostly just wake up the next day w/the pain substantially lessened and then a day or two after that if I’m lucky the pain is gone. Sometimes the pain doesn’t go away, sometimes the pain is only minimally lessened. I’d like to end this post w/something upbeat like, “Hope this helps!” or something jokingly (or seriously!?) disclamatory (not a word!??? my spellchecker says this word isn't real but the dictionary disagrees) like, “This is not medical advice — consult w/your physician” but instead I’ll just be frank and say I suffer so much from chronic pain that I’m not even going to bother putting this up on Nightly.Net now. Going to wait until tomorrow instead! Maybe my back’ll be better!!!!1!
  5. I gave up about an hour and fifteen minutes into it. Wasn’t feeling it! None of the jokes really landed for me (because they were mostly my least favourite kind, Mr. Monopoly, just an unending sequence of Mr. Monopoly jokes over and over again) and there was maybe one (1) halfway good action sequence in the entire picture up to that point : when the three varieties of soldier action figure (the movie emphasizes how Peacemaker and Bloodsport are basically the same, yeah, but so is Rick Flag!) are being carted away in the back of a jeep to their deaths and they have to frantically best their captors, take control of the car, and deal w/the convoy around them and oncoming traffic. And I didn’t really get all the hemming and hawing from, like, Steve Agee over whether or not Amanda Waller would really put a juvenile offender in a dangerous prison which is the sort of awful thing that happens each and every day in the country he’s lived in all his life and all over the world besides, not to mention the fact that he’s already seen her kill a bunch of people (well, not people, not really. I mean, are celebrities people? Do we really think Pete Davidson counts as a person?) and nearly kill Rick Flag, too, just as a distraction.

    Have probably half-a-dozen more complaints but is it fair to voice ‘em when I never bothered to finish the movie!? Nope! Mostly, I guess, over all, in the end, I have to say I just really missed the grotesque dark-yet-luminescent sheen of the metahuman transformed monsters from the first one. If they’d shown up again during the first hour and fifteen minutes of this particular reboot/sequel/failedcashgrab then I’d probably have been able to push aside all my little quibbles with the movie and get down to the grim business of not enjoying the rest of it in peace. (If you tell me, truthfully, that these particular monsters show up again in the remainder of the film I will seriously consider picking up where I left off.)

  6. Saw this. While plugging away on the stationary bike, mind mostly vacant, but a few thoughts nonetheless:


    1) You'd think it'd get kind of old to just watch these characters overcome obstacles (and themselves!) while a Top 40 hit plays on the soundtrack. It doesn't! Can't wait for more of it! Every time a rocket blasts off, fun. Every time they use their deepfake tech to alter existing footage, fun. Every time they'd kill off a 'real' person, fun.


    2) Every single thing I looked up that seemed implausible at first blush ended up being absolutely real, or real enough for my purposes. Like, for example : the thing with the lunar regolith and the CME (1) (2) (3). By the end of it I was wondering if moonbases on the moon really would have Earth-like gravity. Of course, they wouldn't, but there's a limit to how far they'll go and ultimately a vague sense of verisimilitude is more important for these things than the sort of actual factual strict adherence to a mimetic representation of reality that'd be both prohibitively expensive and almost completely unparsable to 99% of the audience. But my point is that every time I thought they were dragging their feet, afraid to cross those limits, it ended up being that they'd actually stuck their toe across the line, what we were seeing on screen was close to what could’ve really happened.


    3) I naturally expected that there’d be online discussion out there about what was real, what was fake, how the show’s alternate timeline could’ve unfolded, that sort of thing. Of course, right? But what I expected to find and DIDN’T, and this kind of leaves me flabbergasted, is constant and serious fevered speculation over whether or not Pam the bartender is a secret undercover KGB agent. I’m not saying she is, I’m not saying she isn’t, I’m saying that there should be chitter chatter online about this. Where’s all my Pam theories!? Pretty much from the second episode or so of the first season I was pretty sure there’d be talk on the Internet about her being an undercover Soviet asset. But if there is, if it’s out there, I can’t find it.


    4) Joel Kinnaman is terrible in the first year and absolutely AMAZING in the second year. His performance is so wooden and hollow when he’s playing a young man (like everything else I’ve ever seen him in, really) and just incredibly engaging to watch when he’s playing an older guy, a guy who’s suffered, a guy who’s had to make hard choices. He’s a great actor! He just has to play somebody other than Robocop, or that guy in those final seasons of the Netflix adaptation of House of Cards, or Rick Flagg in Suicide Squad. Wait, ImdB is telling me he’s Swedish and … Jewish!?? (My other big opinion about the boys on this outer space show is that it's kind of sad how ten years ago Jeff Hephner was playing hot young white hope roles, like he was on Boss, and now he's already aged up into being the rich old man w/younger famous wife.)  (Oh, wait, I have a few more boys opinions : Saul Rubinek shows up for an episode as a Congressman, James Urbaniak is on the show as a FBI spook, Michael Harney is a TV newscaster. My opinion is that they're great, I love seeing 'em on screen, hope they get to go Mars in Season 3. Okay. That's it. That's enough. No more boys.)


    5) WUBBO IS REAL!!!!????????????

  7. I didn't watch the show when it was airing (well, that's not strictly true — I saw the one episode everyone always went on and on about, I didn't like it, figured the show wasn't for me) but a couple years ago I sort of half-watched half-eyed most of the show from about the middle up until the end. I liked what I sort of semi-absorbed, I didn't really give it my full attention, I could tell I was missing out on something special though; should probably go back to the beginning and watch it properly.

    I think anyone really really excited about the movie, who really really expects it to be good, should watch Not Fade Away (2012) first, David Chase's movie he made after the show was over, and then maybe readjust their expectations. Watching that movie is the other thing that kept me from giving the show a proper try, watching that movie is the reason I felt confident I could just jump in on the show in the middle and just sort of eyeball it while idly playing Settlers of Catan online in the other half of my screen. I was wrong, in the end, sure, but that movie (dull! airless! practically plotless! the music did half the work and for an audience member w/no specific attachment to those particular choices much of the time the music was like the goggles, the music did nothing!) fooled me into thinking I made the right decision on both counts.

  8. Going to put this in a quote because spoilers follow -





    Kind of a C+ for me. Most of 'em are, really, didn't come into it expecting to be blown away. But, generally speaking, it feels less like a movie movie and more like a mishmash of v. recent Marvel movies : it's got the general late period Russo Bros. vibe, it's got the fat Thor jokes from Avengers: Endgame (2019), the movie ends w/an audio sting of the Avengers theme just like Captain Marvel (2019) and even features a needle drop of a Nirvana song just like that one, it's a James Bond riff much like Black Panther (2018). Most of the stuff that ISN'T from v. recent Marvel movies is from, you guessed it, slightly older Marvel movies. It felt like any time the brain trust behind the movie had to decide what Scarlet Johansson would do in any given scene they just dipped their hands into a hat with lots of little slips of paper in it, on those slips of paper are things she did in previous appearances, things like "DISGUISE SELF AS SOMEONE ELSE LIKE I DID IN CAPTAIN AMERICA II (2014)" or "SAY THE LINE I SAID IN MY INTRODUCTORY SCENE IN THE AVENGERS (2012)", that's kind of how the movie moved her character through a Connect The Dots style plot entirely about what this dead person got up to back when she was alive, where she was when doing what, just a deadeyed slog through pre-existing referents (there is a Geoff Johns style bit where we find out the deep meaning behind the vest she was wearing in Avengers: Infinity War (2018)!) while flaccid pseudo-jokes are dropped willy nilly out of actors' mouths.


    So, on the one hand, I didn't like it too much because it felt like a cold and cynical calculated exercise in brand management by a supercorporation but on the other hand I kind of DID like it because it was also a ... hah ... somewhat faithful adaptation of a few issues of Marvel Fanfare from back in the '80s that I once flipped through when I fished 'em out of a back issue bin twenty years ago!? They made this movie for everyone, to please everybody, that's how they make these, but it still felt like they made the movie for me. I remember a discussion (not here, on some other forum, and not involving me, someone else said this) of the bone deep weirdness of being in a movie theatre to see Blade : Trinity (2004) and hearing Parker Posey scream out at the top of her lungs, "Hannibal Kiiiiing!" and marveling (no pun intended, surely) at that character's name being said in public, where real people would pay to hear it, for real money. Our dumb little hobbies took over the world!


    They made the movie way too late for me to really care about it in precisely the same way I used to care about this stuff. I mean, shouldn't this have come out, no joke, ten years ago!? But they still made it anyway, better late than never I suppose, and I still kind of liked it.


    More Of What I Can Remember Disliking About The Movie

    • She watches Moonraker (’79) but NOT the bit w/the classic line: “James Bond, you arrive with the tedious inevitability of an unwanted season.”
    • The goofy make’em’ups they scatter throughout the action in these things have always been a problem to me, the lines often feel like they'd belong in a Michael Bay movie more than anything else, but even for that low standard they really aren’t quite up to snuff this time around. Florence Pugh tells ScarJo basically the same thing twice during the Budapest chase sequence, once when they’re about to get away by motorcycle and once again when they’re about to get away by car. Then, later, during the prison break sequence she exhales a sharp “Hah!” to punctuate an action beat and then does it AGAIN.
    • In general, action = bad. There's a fairly good opening action bit where they're fleeing America in the beginning, DavidHarbour has to save his family, they have to save him, they're fleeing from the cars in their plane, everything tracks. The movie never gets better than that, action-wise. All the remaining action sequences, the big set pieces, they all felt dull or incoherent or both.
    • I’m not sure the movie can reveal Taskmaster as ScarJo’s Jungian shadow (and the audience’s!) in one moment and then set this damaged walking pile of her guilt’n’shame up for a bruising knockdown fight w/her own father figure in the v. next moment. I mean, it tried to. But I don't think it worked. In general, the movie did not do a good job tonally of switching back'n'forth between its two modes of (1) Fun Peppy Spy Adventure and (2) Dark Family Melodrama. I don't think anyone's managed to mesh the serious and the funny in these movies to best effect, maybe w/the exceptions of Joss Whedon and Joe Johnston (he made World War II seem like fun fun fun!), everyone else falls flat on their face for me.
    • Why'd they only show the one hand of DavidHarbour's knuckle tats!? What's it say on the other hand, Disney Co.!?  Karl What, Disney Co.!? Disney Co., Disney Co., Disney Co., I'm disappointed in you. You'll make a movie w/the assistance of the Pentagon stating baldly outright that the post-WWII global consensus was undergirded by a Nazi death cult, you'll make a movie (presumably w/Pentagon assistance this time around too but I didn't bother to check in the end credits, but I did make sure to note the names of John Buscema, Paul Cornell, Adi Granov, Devin Grayson, Don Heck, J.G. Jones, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Ralph Macchio, David Michelinie, Richard K. Morgan, Jimmy Palmiotti, George Perez, Joe Quesada, Tom Raney, Don Rico, John Romita Sr., Chris Samnee, Bill Sienkiewicz, Roy Thomas, and Mark Waid) about how the modern world order since the fall of the Iron Curtain has been maintained by an uneasy confluence of child abuse and assassination and mind control, but you WON'T make a movie where Karl Marx's full name appears legibly on screen. It reminds me a little bit of that moment from Netflix's Bo Burnham's Inside (2021), the thing with the sock puppet, where Marx's name is also conspicuously absent. Capitalism will sell you the rope that'll hang itself, sure, but it will deliberately choose to forego telling you outright what the rope is and where it came from. That's a step too far, I suppose.
    • At various points in the movie I lost track of where the vials were, what the vials where (I guess on a symbolic level they’re kind of just the beautiful fireflies in their Ohio home), the movie’s got a lot of heart but at the end of the day it’s mostly a movie about vials and I’m still not sure what the deal is w/the vials. The movie knows this, knows the audience is going to get a little lost w/the vials, lampshades that with its own little scene where Florence Pugh mockingly explains the vials, but I’m still on edge about it. Was the disc from the beginning the vials!? How did the first Widow who fashpritzed one of the vials on Florence Pugh find the vials? By the end of the movie vials are coming out of pockets all the time and I've got no clue how they got there or, if they were there all along then why they hadn't been used previously, I got a lot of vial questions.


    Some Of What I Can Remember Liking About The Movie, I Saw It Over The Weekend But That Already Feels Like Forever Ago, Sorry!

    • That’s definitely the kind of dinner set you’d get corn’on’the’cob served to you for dinner in if you were a ~10 year old kid in 1995. I know because I was one then and, yep, that’s what we ate ‘em out of!
    • I said already about the movie having a lot of heart. That's what I liked about movie, that's what got me there. The movie ruined it every other second w/jokes that weren't funny and action that wasn't thrilling but I felt the feelings. I mean, it's pretty easy for a superhero movie to get me to feel the feelings, even a bad superhero movie, there's a moment in Green Lantern (2011) where Peter Sarsgaard, infected by an alien organism that's driving him mad, slurs out the words, "Remember when we were kids? Remember then?" to Blake Lively. I felt that!
    • So, yes, a lot of heart but ALSO a lot of ... butt!? The movie's about hearts but the movie never forgets about the bodies those hearts come in AND it puts those bodies on display in a way I found pleasing to the eye. I'll watch Florence Pugh and Scarlet Johansson and Rachel Weisz do their little dances, say their little lines, I'm not picky. I liked looking at Florence Pugh, they didn't put her in a striking yellow number like in that John le Carré adaptation she did w/Park Chan-Wook but beggars can't be choosers. I liked hearing ScarJo talk, I liked the hair style Rachel Weisz had on her reclusive superspy St. Petersburg farm (who did it? did she ... did she train the pigs to do her hair like that!?), I'm into it, I want more of it, I'm down for Black Widow II (2024) or a Black Widow mini-series on Disney+, bring Natasha back from the dead, have it be Selina Meyer's doublecross Skrull plan or whatever, I don't care.
    • The maybe obvious point about how at first it seems like David Harbour is lying about meeting up w/Cap but by the time of his conversation w/ScarJo I became convinced that he really did, he's not lying, because Avengers: Endgame (2019) ends w/Chris Evans going traipsing all over creation to put the Infinity Gems back where they belong (one can but assume some awkwardness w/the Red Skull once he finds him on that mountain planet, of course) so of course it's possible for it to have occurred back in the eighties. Red Guardian fought Captain America back in '83 or '84, that's canon, for real.
    • David Harbour saying “he go toilet on my hands”, all time great moment.


  9. I think I'm pretty much the same as I was when I was 18.

    I don't think I'd get along well w/my 18 year old self, wait, how are we even interacting!??? Is this time travel rules or what!? Did he find a time machine!? Did I!? Who built this time machine!? Okay, ignoring that critical issue for the moment, I think the question of how the two of us (the one of us, actually!) would get along together is kind of silly when there's so much I can warn me about the world that's coming between '05 and now! I imagine we'd put aside our differences and learn to overcome our similarities and then just get straight to trying to ineffectively prevent or at LEAST mitigate world historical disasters — the Haiti earthquake, for example, or, wait, am I showing up on my eighteenth birthday!? If I'm showing up on my eighteenth birthday then I maybe have time to help save a few lives from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; I've been assuming that me now at the age I am today is back then in my eighteenth year at exactly the same period of time in my eighteenth year, I assume that I'm seven months and six days into it, I've been assuming that the me of July 6 2021 has time travelled back to July 6 2005 but that scenario isn't written in stone. And, like, is he showing up here or am I showing up then!? If he shows up here does he eventually go back to live out his life and become me!??? How!????

  10. I feel like this is in some strange impossible (and obvious! I bet I'm not the first guy to make this joke!) way karmic retribution for Hannibal Buress being a landlord. If he'd only invested his money in, like, weed start-ups instead then Bill Cosby would still be locked up. His sin redounded through time and has freed the guilty!

    (Obviously, seriously, I blame the prosecutor. No, wait, I blame society.)

  11. 7 hours ago, monkeygirl said:

    Did you watch it?


    I saw the pilot a couple years ago! I liked the scene where she banged the baker! Or, wait, was it the guy who became young in the pilot and banged a lady baker!? I don't remember who banged who but I remember there was banging!!! (Okay, I'm 9/10ths certain that there's a scene where the guy becomes young, seduces a lady baker, they bang, he runs away right after, and when her husband/boyfriend walks into the room and smells something off about the situation she just says something like : "Was just doing Zoomba.")


    I didn't find it sufficiently compelling to keep going w/the rest of the series but now that I know you liked it enough to watch it twice I might add the show to the queue, to the roster, to the pile, might add the show to the 'list of things I plan on watching while idly pumping my dumb little legs on my recumbent bicycle'.


    7 hours ago, monkeygirl said:

    Is there any hope of this getting picked up elsewhere and continued?




    7 hours ago, monkeygirl said:

    It's in the way of Lost and that show with Jennifer Aniston's second husband (Justin Theroux?)in which part of the population disappears


    The name of that show is The Leftovers. Is Bloom as good as The Leftovers or are you just saying it's in the same vein as it and Lost!? I think you mean the latter, not the former, I think you're describing the genre of the show. But if the show is as good as The Leftovers, if you're saying that you liked it as much as that show, then I'm DEFINITELY adding the show to the LoTIPoWWIPmDLLomRB ('list of things I plan on watching while idly pumping my dumb little legs on my recumbent bicycle').

  12. 23 hours ago, Iceheart said:

    I’m hoooome!

    My one cat is so mad at me for leaving her and coming back with a walker and unable to hold her on my boobs.


    I can't seem to be able to 'like' this post.

    I get the following error message after I try :


    But, please, rest assured — I like it v. much! Glad you're home! Glad you're well! May things only get better and better for you from now on!


    [edit : whoops! it worked now! I like it! It 'like'd!]

  13. Well, I managed to get my second shot of the Pfizer eight weeks earlier than scheduled. Or, uh, nearly eight weeks after my first shot.

    Seems like it's ideally supposed to be three weeks between doses of the Pfizer! Huh! So weird! So strange! Who'dathunkit!?

    Regardless, I am happy and grateful to the people of Ontario and eager to be an active participant in this fun fun experiment.

    This time the vaccine barely hurt at all in the days afterward; a few aches, a few pains, but nothing too major.

    But did it work? How well did it work? What results will an antibody titer blood test show several weeks from now!??? Whooooooo knows!??????

  14. I watched it when it came out and bailed an hour and a half into it. Took him thirty years to make it and I couldn't manage to get through it, oh well.

    I do remember a great line delivery Jonathan Pryce has when he's sprawled upside down over his saddle. It's something like 'What is this splendid castle that defies gravity?'.

  15. On 4/23/2021 at 8:12 PM, Ms. Spam said:



    I know, right!?!!!!!!1!


    On 4/24/2021 at 2:37 AM, Destiny Skywalker said:

    Well, they really didn't study EVERY scenario. Does it have to do more with supply or with actual evidence?


    The former, I think.

  16. Got vaccinated on Sunday. Pfizer. Did not hurt a bit when I was stabbed w/the needle, unsurprisingly, because I am so brave and strong and big. (Must confess, though, that the injected arm was kind of sore and ache-y for much of the first few days afterwards. I'm going to chalk that up to causes unknown, can't be helped, certainly no reason whatsoever to doubt how brave and strong and big I am. I also felt very tired but that's kind of par for the course w/me; your brave strong big boy is also a sleepy sleepy sleepy boy.)

    Looking forward to repeating the process and getting my second shot in ... August!??????

  17. I wanted to see Obi-Wan fight a krayt dragon. But they've already done the krayt dragon on THE MΛNDΛLORIΛN so my appetite for that is kind of sated. Don't need to see him face down a krayt dragon while dual-wielding lightsabres no more. Will be perfectly fine seeing him dual-wielding lightsabres against, I don't know, stormtroopers or whatever.


    Indira Varma and one of the Safdie Bros. being part of the cast is kind of a big draw for me. I wonder who they're going to be playing!? Are they playing the same character, maybe, a two-headed guy like the guy from TPM, the podrace announcer guy voiced by Greg Proops and ... <checks Google> Scott Capurro!? Probably not. That's probably not going to happen.


    If they're going flashback heavy then no Liam Neeson seems like kind of a drawback. He could even be a blue ghost or whatever. Isn't there a line in ROTS about how Obi-Wan is supposed to be communing w/him during his solitude on Tatooine?  Maybe maybe Liam Neeson's appearance in this series (mini-series?) will be a super special secret surprise?

  18. zambingo already said Kermit but I'd add Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo and his chicken wife, Rowlf, Scooter, Pepino Rodrigo Serrano Gonzales, the entirety of The Electric Mayhem, Dr. Honeydew and Beaker, Sam the Eagle, Lew Zealand, the Swedish Chef, Sweetums, everyone, all the Muppets really.

  19. I do not hate Zack Snyder. I envy him! He seems so happy! He's just a big ol' golden retriever of a guy; his brain got imprinted on a viewing of John Boorman's Excalibur (1981) and a handful of Métal Hurlant comics at an early age and he's just going to keep pumping out his stuff until he dies or everyone else dies first.


    I don't think he experiences doubt, I think he has silenced that part of his brain permanently, and so what we see when we see his films are the work of a true artiste. Brett compared him to Neil Breen and Ed Wood, that's fair. They could (or will? Breen is still alive, still working) produce works of equal beauty and flair if they were given the budgets he has and the array of collaborators at his disposal.


    My ZS ranking :



  20. Saw it.

    Spoilers follow after the Waid & Templeton joke from Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1. I can't figure out how to make the spoiler tag no more what with the update. Gonna just drop it in a quote box and hope that truncates most of it.




    Well, the movie doesn't feel substantially different. Just longer. All the bits in it that bothered me the first time around are still there. Y'know, the bits in it that feel like a lie, every big blockbuster make'em'up nowadays has bits in it that sound like someone in Grade 3 would've said they'd seen in the movie but been lying about it e.g. "And then she ties an arrow to the box and shoots it far away!" or "And then The Flash has to run and touch the box before it hits the water!". Those sorts of bits.


    The dialogue is still terrible, particularly for Aquaman, and only occasionally from time to time a sort of pleasing super-obvious kind of terrible that I actually enjoyed, like, for example:


    STEPPENWOLF: <something or other about how he wants to see some fear>

    CONNIE NIELSEN: Daughters of Themyscira, show him your fear!

    ALL AMAZONS IN UNISON: We have no fear!


    So what's been added? As near as I can tell, well, not much! Lots has been taken away but everything else is just ... much slower!??


    But here's a vague list of the new stuff:


    * black women are no longer able to drive. In previous iterations of Justice League, well, all the black women could drive. But now they can't! Black women nerfed in Justice League 2021. Don't play as a black woman, you gotta go as a shirtless dude to have your power levels up to spec. Shirtless dudes are hella overpowered this time around. Pretty much every dude, once he's shirtless he is nigh on unstoppable.

    * Spiders! Zack Snyder loves his spiders! Steppenwolf now has a spider that can read minds. Batman now has his own spider he can drive around in. Every once in a while Cyborg will become a spider, he will grow additional limbs kind of like how Spider-Man did in The Amazing Spider-Man #100 and in What If? v2. #42 and that one episode of the animated series.

    * Characters! Ryan Choi, Desaad, Crispus Allen, Hitler, Martian Manhunter, Sir Christopher Wren, they all show up or get a mention or reference in a way I'm pretty sure they didn't the first time around. There is 100% more Hitler in Justice League (2021) than there was in Justice League (2017).

    * there are additional fatality scenes, flawless victory ones, y'know, like in Mortal Kombat. Batman or Aquaman or Wonder Woman or whoever will kill a parademon in a way that's kind of cool (for locally accepted values of cool) and probably cost tens of thousands of dollars to do, minimum.

    * sometimes the bad guys will just disappear from the movie for long long long sections of the movie and sometimes they'll show up again and again doing the same scene over and over. Steppenwolf tells Desaad what's up, what's popping, what are the details like three or four or five times. But then also there's what felt like forever where the bad guys only appeared in maybe a single dream sequence and that's it.

    * A cover version of This Mortal Coil's 'Song To The Siren' plays over a scene of ... The Flash!???? Throw your comparisons of WandaVision ('20)  to David Lynch away, Internet! We have a true heir to the tradition right here! 

    * Zack Snyder loves seeing paper slapped against glass. A guy full hand slaps a drawing of a parademon against a pane of glass. Later, Ezra Miller full hand slaps his acceptance letter to a job against the security divider glass in the prison where he talks to Billy Crudup. <JerrySeinfeldVoice> Put 'em on the glass! </JerrySeinfeldVoice>

    * The next-to-last scene in the movie is a little fanfilm that Zack Snyder has graciously interpolated into his masterpiece as an act of kindness to whomever made it.

    * Oh, Steppenwolf now has seven fingers on each hand and golden armour made of lots of teensy tinsy interlocking reticulated pieces. When he is awed by the presence of Darkseid the armour slips away. Rendering him shirtless and thus more powerful! The movie has a simple schema and it is shirts = weakness. (I think the contrast between the resurrected Superman in his black outfit and Steppenwolf in something that's kinda akin to the Magog outfit from Kingdom Come is sort of good, actually.)


    If I had to sum up the movie in eight words they'd probably be : lightning, shirts, money, dads, the f-word, bugs, boxes, and SLOW. The movie is kind of just generated out of those particular eight elements clashing together in various combinations. Lightning and shirts and money and dads and the f-word and bugs and boxes and SLOW are kind of the guanine and adenine and cytosine and thymine of this movie.


    Perhaps the best thing that can be said for it is that it's essentially Cyborg's movie. It's a movie about Cyborg with hours upon hours of nonsense interleaved within and alongside it but a Cyborg movie nonetheless. Cyborg saves the world!


    The movie as a whole is kind of a melange of Jack Kirby and Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and Mike Carlin and Dan Jurgens and Roger Stern and Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway and Karl Kesel and ... Injustice : Gods Among Us (2013)!??? If you put all of 'em in a blender with hours upon hours of Gatorade commercials you'd get a rich thick slurry with no nutritious value whatsoever. You'd get this movie! It's how they made it! This is exactly how they #ReleasedTheSnyderCut. They used a big blender!


    In conclusion : Justice League (2021) makes Batman v Superman : Dawn of Justice (2016) look like Man of Steel (2013) in comparison. It makes Watchmen (2009) look like Watchmen ('19), actually, no, it makes them BOTH look like Watchmen #1-12. It proves once and for all if you give Zack Snyder all the money in the world he will make a superhero movie that is so terrible it makes me, personally, grade his previous work on a much higher curve because he's proved he's not capable of doing much better YET ALSO somehow doubt what I've enjoyed about everything he's ever done. Is that bit in Dawn of the Dead (2004) where they're all up on the rooftop taking sniper shots at zombies by using celebrity shorthand still good!? Has he ever been good!? Or is his goodness now even good-er!? If he's capable of doing something this bad then it makes any previous moments of goodness he's managed to eke out even MORE impressive!??? Zack Snyder, savant supergenius???? Maybe???????


  21. If I'm having dreams, weird or otherwise, I'm not remembering them upon waking. I have no idea if any of the following is universal (and getting v. particular with what's up w/me, what my situation is, how things are, well, that's the sort of intimate details that I'll maybe feel comfortable sharing w/all of you in ANOTHER twenty years but for the moment I'm going to keep that locked up tight, practice good op-sec, it's cool that you're all doing good or doing bad but things are getting better or what have you) but it's what rattles around my skull nowadays.



    1) I remain genuinely shocked (note - shocked. not surprised. shocked!) at the cavalier attitude much of the world displays towards the very real risks of the plague. I don't understand how the Insane Clown Posse can understand that "the bottom line is simply that we REFUSE to risk even ONE juggalo life" yet the world entire can't come to a similar conclusion. Are any of these people afraid of death? Are any of these people afraid of murder? <JerrySeinfeldVoice> Who are these people? </JerrySeinfeldVoice>






    2) In April of last year Wajahat Ali and Dave Eggers asked a whole bunch of their pals to have themselves a little think and write up for themselves (and us!) a LiveJournal entry on the subject of 'What Will Emerge' or 'We Will Emerge' or whatever. We-ever. So, if you like, you can go to the PEN America website and have a looksee at where they think America should go from here.

    You can read what Ayad Akhtar thinks will emerge. You can read what Wajahat Ali (I don't understand why he and Dave decided that they really needed to include themselves on the list seeing as they were already taking an organizational role in assembling everyone, but, well, it's up to them, I guess) thinks will emerge. You can read what Kurt Andersen thinks will emerge. You can read what Imam Abdullah Antepli thinks will emerge. You can read what Reza Aslan thinks will emerge. You can read what Karen Attiah thinks will emerge. You can read what Max Brooks thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabbi Sharon Brous thinks will emerge. You can read what Senator Sherrod Brown thinks will emerge. You can read what Thi Bui thinks will emerge. You can read what Chelsea Clinton thinks will emerge. You can read what Jelani Cobb thinks will emerge. You can read what Molly Crabapple thinks will emerge. You can read what Mara Gay thinks will emerge. You can read what Roxane Gay thinks will emerge. You can read what Gershom Gorenberg thinks will emerge. You can read what Errin Haines thinks will emerge. You can read what Leta Hong Fincher thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Kendzior thinks will emerge. You can read what Hari Kondabolu thinks will emerge. You can read what Erika Lee thinks will emerge. You can read what Chris Lu thinks will emerge. You can read what Karan Mahajan thinks will emerge. You can read what Alyssa Milano thinks will emerge. You can read what Tim O’Brien thinks will emerge. You can read what Ben Okri thinks will emerge. You can read what Andy Richter thinks will emerge. You can read what Mayor Michael Tubbs thinks will emerge. You can read what Bina Venkataraman thinks will emerge. You can read what Maya Wiley thinks will emerge. You can read what Andrew Zimmern thinks will emerge. You can read what Julia Alvarez thinks will emerge. You can read what Rana Ayyub thinks will emerge. You can read what Kate Bowler thinks will emerge. You can read what Larry Charles thinks will emerge. You can read what Charlotte Clymer thinks will emerge. You can read what John Donvan thinks will emerge. You can read what Julia Ioffe thinks will emerge. You can read what Randa Jarrar thinks will emerge. You can read what Neal Katyal thinks will emerge. You can read what Mara Keisling thinks will emerge. You can read what Maaza Mengiste thinks will emerge. You can read what Rev. Otis Moss thinks will emerge. You can read what Suzanne Nossel thinks will emerge. You can read what Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy thinks will emerge. You can read what Connie Schultz thinks will emerge. You can read what Simran Jeet Singh thinks will emerge. You can read what Brad Stone thinks will emerge. You can read what Kara Swisher thinks will emerge. You can read what Rebecca Traister thinks will emerge. You can read what Judd Apatow thinks will emerge. You can read what David Axelrod thinks will emerge. You can read what Heather Berlin thinks will emerge. You can read what Carla Blank thinks will emerge. You can read what Jaswinder Bolina thinks will emerge. You can read what Simone Campbell thinks will emerge. You can read what Susan Carland thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabia Chaudry thinks will emerge. You can read what Val Demings thinks will emerge. You can read what Negin Farsad thinks will emerge. You can read what Kim Ghattas thinks will emerge. You can read what Virginia Heffernan thinks will emerge. You can read what Ishmael Hope thinks will emerge. You can read what Rabbi Jill Jacobs thinks will emerge. You can read what Min Jin Lee thinks will emerge. You can read what Rev. Jacqui Lewis thinks will emerge. You can read what David Lindsay-Abaire thinks will emerge. You can read what Lynn Nottage thinks will emerge. You can read what Naomi Shihab Nye thinks will emerge. You can read what Edna O’Brien thinks will emerge. You can read what April Reign thinks will emerge. You can read what Zainab Salbi thinks will emerge. You can read what Brandon Stosuy thinks will emerge. You can read what Jake Tapper thinks will emerge. You can read what Baratunde Thurston thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Wildman thinks will emerge. You can read what Rafia Zakaria thinks will emerge. You can read what Elizabeth Bruenig thinks will emerge. You can read what Sophia Bush thinks will emerge. You can read what Brian Castleberry thinks will emerge. You can read what Zinzi Clemmons thinks will emerge. You can read what Ann Curry thinks will emerge. You can read what Kelly Sue DeConnick thinks will emerge. You can read what Meena Harris and Mónica Ramírez thinks will emerge. You can read what Molly Jong-Fast thinks will emerge. You can read what Sarah Lewis thinks will emerge. You can read what Hasan Minhaj thinks will emerge. You can read what Elie Mystal thinks will emerge. You can read what Peter Sagal thinks will emerge. You can read what Walter Shaub thinks will emerge. You can read what Gary Shteyngart thinks will emerge. You can read what Scott Simon thinks will emerge. You can read what Connie Sun thinks will emerge. You can read what Sabaa Tahir thinks will emerge. You can read what Colm Tóibín thinks will emerge. You can read what Carol Anderson thinks will emerge. You can read what Dave Eggers (again, weird to include oneself if one is already taking an organizational/editorial role but whatever) thinks will emerge. You can read what Kristen Green thinks will emerge. You can read what Myriam Gurba thinks will emerge. You can read what Mehdi Hasan thinks will emerge. You can read what Valarie Kaur thinks will emerge. You can read what Kim Kelly thinks will emerge. You can read what Sally Kohn thinks will emerge. You can read what Mayor Mitch Landrieu thinks will emerge. You can read what Franklin Leonard thinks will emerge. You can read what Sally Wen Mao thinks will emerge. You can read what Brittany Packnett Cunningham thinks will emerge. You can read what Ishmael Reed thinks will emerge. You can read what Jason Stanley thinks will emerge. You can read what Julio Ricardo Varela thinks will emerge. You can read what Ayelet Waldman thinks will emerge. You can read what Gene Luen Yang thinks will emerge.


    I did! I read what they all thought would emerge! It mostly made me want to take my own head off my shoulders and punt kick it over the horizon. The gap between the Pollyanna-ish sentiments they espoused and the cruel reality of our world seemed vast and wide and deep. Maybe it's my fault for judging what they had to say so harshly or for seeing the world as worse than it really is, I don't know. I can't say for certain. I'm sure many of them (all?) were being sincere enough, in their way. I just felt like I was hearing an endless litany of four words, repeated over and over, by all of them. "Somebody should do something!" Well, who's somebody? Aren't all of them somebody? Who did they think they're talking to? Who did they think was going to listen? I don't mean any offence to them. Lots of them have written stuff I've liked in the past. Although, some of them, especially the public servants, ought to be forced at gunpoint to punt kick their OWN heads over the horizon, though. I shouldn't have to do it alone. I don't want my head to be lonely out there all by itself in the dark, beyond the sunset.




    3) The best case scenario for our future doesn't really thrill me all that much. The idea of accepting that from now on we all just live in a world where if you're old you gotta get your covid shot every year the same way you gotta get your flu shot, the idea of accepting that from now on we live in a world where an additional ~10,000 - ~50,000 people die every year in your western educated industrialized rich democratic society; well, these ideas don't make me feel good. They make me feel the opposite of good. They make me feel bad.

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