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R.CAllen

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Posts posted by R.CAllen

  1. 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.

    5rgV8tF.png

     

    Quote

    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???????

     

  2. 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.

  3. That all sounds awful! I hope things improve for you in the near future!

     

    I have no idea if the following will be of any help to you but here goes nothing :

     

    1. Sometimes, to fill time, I will play casual games. Things like Among Us, 2048, Settlers of Catan, tower defense games like Kingdom Rush, really simple easy familiar things to do. Most often I'll listen to something or other while playing them, podcasts, that sort of thing. Often I'll, wait, I think what I'm about to type could count as its own separate thing maybe.

     

    2. YouTube! I am currently watching a three hour essay / review of DOOM. I kind of just watch it in increments whenever I feel like it. The sensation of watching the YouTube, the people who do YouTube for you, does not quite feel to me like watching a documentary or whatever. It doesn't feel to me like the rest of the Internet, neither, even though it is obviously on the Internet itself. Something else is going on there. Sometimes when I don't want to watch a television or a movie it is a YouTube that can hold my interest. Sometimes my boredom w/the Internet does not extend to YouTube, despite the obvious contradiction in terms, yes, I know.

     

    3. Books! A 'friend' of mine in Russia has a surprisingly large collection of books that he will occasionally lend to me. I am routinely surprised at the breadth and depth of his book collection. Books that I have idly wanted to read for years and years but I have never been able to get my hands on are instantaneously available to me thanks to this Russian 'friend'. I don't even have to actually read the books in order to feel sort of good for now quote unquote having them, y'know? Sometimes I don't even bother to 'borrow' the books; just looking through the collection of available titles brings me some kind of comfort. It's like browsing in the world's largest bookstore or quietest library. You can Google around and find the contact information for this Russian 'friend' or I can even send you a link.

     

    4. It sounds like your larger problems may be beyond the help of any suggestion from online acquaintances and, assuming it's practically available, I'd encourage you to seek further professional or personal assistance. But if that's too much, or unneeded, or just inappropriate to your situation, or whatever, well, speaking from personal experience I have found the following books mildly-to-moderately helpful : Feeling Good and When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns, Right Concentration : A Practical Guide to the Jhānas by Leigh Brasington, The Science of Enlightenment : How Meditation Works by Shinzen Young, Stopping The Noise In Your Head : The New Way To Overcome Anxiety & Worry by Reid Wilson, The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook by Matthew McKay, Jeffrery C. Wood, & Jeffrey Brantley, Rethinking Positive Thinking : Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen.

     

    5. This isn't really advice, it's more meta-advice, or maybe it's better to phrase it as an acknowledgement that you're a smart person and of course of course of course you're familiar with the existence of video games, YouTube, books, the possibility of seeing an additional therapist, or whatever, most likely some or even all of the specific titles I mentioned are already known to you. I wish I had more to offer other than obvious things and/or trite encouraging words. But that's what I've got! Everything you're going through sounds really tough! I hope it gets better for you soon!

     

    How do you keep your patience and stay occupied? I don't know, I do not deep down know the answer to that, but the above was my earnest best shot at trying to give the sort of answer to that question that I'd want from me if I were asking the question you asked in the situation you described of me, myself.

  4. I liked the finale! I'm kind of a mark, I'm a rube, because, hey, there's very little they could do to actively displease me on a television show that's all about The Vision and The Scarlet Witch. But even accounting for that I thought it was pretty good stuff! I'll even go so far as to say that this is the first episode of the series to ditch the sitcom conceit that I enjoyed as much as the ones that fully embraced it.

     

    • I didn't put it together up until now but Jimmy Woo's preoccupation with close-up hand magic makes him a fairly fitting choice for this series about One (1) Witch and Another Witch fighting each other. More than any number of already established people in the MCU, I mean, more than any of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or whatever.

     

    • Wait, he's not Quicksilver from the X-Men movies!? He's just a guy who happens to look like Quicksilver from the X-Men movies??? Going to need some kind of Roy Thomas or Mark Gruenwald figure to come in and lay out how the MCU interacts w/earlier and/or adjacent Marvel movie adaptations. Just pages and pages of elaborate makebelieve superscience to explain away Lou Ferrigno's cameo appearance in The Incredible Hulk (2008) and how J.K. Simmons can be J. Jonah Jameson in two entirely separate timelines.

     

    • Doing the Avengers #58  deal is one of those things that they eventually get around to (the only other thing coming to mind is Spider-Man doing the rubble push-ups from Amazing Spider-Man  #33  in Homecoming) that always just makes me surprised it hasn't come up 'til now.

     

    • Hah hah they spent millions and millions of dollars on a story that's ultimately about a family annihilator (and the moral acceptability of torture!) and how the FBI can be trusted to rein in the military-industrial complex, lol, come on

     

    • Wait, omigosh, who were the couple from the commercials? Were they Westview residents? Are they not even people in the way Vision and the boys are people? Did the creators of WandaVision™ realize they needed a li'l extra something something and shoot all that stuff after the fact so those actors weren't around for when they made the bulk of the show itself?
  5. 19 hours ago, Tank said:

    I kinda get it. Like In the MCU where Peter Parker references Star Wars, but doesn’t mentioned how much Nick Fury looks and sounds like Mace Windu.

    Or the part in Tango and Cash where Tango says “Rambo’s a pussy.”

    That sort of thing does bother me all the time, yeah, but what I'm describing here is a feeling of discomfort that I'd estimate at a higher level of magnitude. I think it's something v. specific to Eddie Murphy; even more specifically to undisguised Eddie Murphy. How!? How this be?

     

    It's not like I'm worried about Trading Places II (2022) or whatever. I don't think this is the start of the Eddie Murphy Cinematic Universe. I listened to his Marc Maron interview (surprisingly little evidence offered for my 'he's a complete loon' clinical diagnosis in that'n; outside of the revelation that he personally managed to cure his father's alcoholism through his own sheer power he mostly comes off as kind of a regular guy, a regular guy who just happens to be supremely able to mimic, like, Fred Stoller at the drop of a hat but a regular guy nonetheless) and he said that (I'm paraphrasing here) that the plan was to do the Dolemite movie as a 'one for me', the Coming To America sequel as a 'one for them', and then to launch back into stand-up. But the pandemic messed up all that so now he doesn't know what he's going to do but he seemed fairly adamant he wasn't going to do the stuff he used to be doing. I don't know what I'm saying. I guess it's something like : Eddie Murphy did not come across in that interview I listened to like he's going to be making Coming 3 America (2023) or whatever, my discomfort at what I was seeing wasn't about the prospect of 'how will this possibility be resolved?' it was just about the phenomenon as it is.

  6. We never had a Lower Decks thread here but each and every time I'd see an episode I'd tippy-type my thoughts on it and left 'em in a Word doc. Here they are now :

     

    The pilot

     

    It's not good but it's ... not bad!? Even as it accomplished much of what a pilot is supposed to do the pilot still didn't really feel like the pilot for an actual television show. More like the memory of a nightmare in which an extremely eager to please child hopped up on Red Bull® threw action figures at my face while manically repeating the same phrases over and over at increasingly higher speeds & volumes!? It was apparently twenty-six minutes long but the length of it felt more like one of those eleven minute Adult Swim shows.

     

    The not bad of it :

     

    • The premise, setting, and even three out of four main characters are sharply defined!

    • V. hornt!

     

    The bad of it :

     

    • Wait, the main guy's name is Boymler and the main girl's name is Mariner!? Change one of their names! (No, it's not the same thing as Kirk & Spock!)

    • Less funny jokes than stuff from twenty five years ago, or fifty three years ago! Actually, nearly no jokes at all! Mostly just having something happen and then immediately after it happens a character comments on it happening and then a little while later they comment again! The closest comparison that comes to mind for me are the recordings of an improv troupe who are also Trekkers that put out their little skits online probably a decade or so back by now --- I imagine the contemporary equivalent nowadays would be a Let's Play of them RPGing or what-have-you!

    • A lot of the humour of Star Trek comes out of a stable of skilled & talented character actors, acclimated to delivering lines from behind monster masks or to other folks wearing 'em, who show up on set and do their shtick alongside a main cast of practiced veterans. It comes from the people being together in a place and talking to one another! Putting a single individual in a voice booth and having them say their lines 'faster and more intensely' doesn't deliver that kind of effect!

    • Much like Enterprise (2001-2005) this pilot inexplicably chooses to abandon Star Trek's legacy of pseudo-progressive depiction. After it's been established that 'this series is going to star a black guy' and 'this series is going to star a woman' going 'well, THIS series is going to star ... a white guy. again!' and ever since then it's been downhill for that aspect of Star Trek, a few peaks every now and then but mostly valleys. Maybe one day we'll look back and see Ensign Boymler's starring role as a blow to discrimination against mauve-haired men everywhere but for the moment it seems kind of dumb that he isn't ... I don't know! Muslim? Gay? Trans? NB? Something other than so generic whitebread he was literally birthed from Meg Ryan!? Maybe the Captain should've been gay married to her gay wife!? No, no points for having the Tawny Newsome character! And it's not enough that there's clearly something up w/the green girl and/or the cyborg boy! Those two are closer to being secondary characters! Having the rest of the main cast of a Star Trek be like a Benetton ad is par for the course, the complaint I'm making here revolves around protagonists/captains only! (Probably the best solution would have been to switch the cast around and have Tawny Newsome in the hot seat and Jack Quaid riding shotgun, or swap Eugene Cordero in at the top and have Jack Quaid play a white guy with cybernetic organs who sometimes spouts catchphrases the cocaine addled execs of Hulu half-recall and presume the audience will respond to!)

    ·         The animation style or lack of same. The core four and the main crew and the aliens down on the planet each feel like they come from three different shows, or maybe from three different eras of animation.

    ·         Like nine other things bothered me while watching but are as of now eluding my memory and I don't have the wherewithal to dredge up each and every particular aspect of my many grievances!

     

    Envoys

     

    Second episode. Worse than the first!

     

    The not bad of it :

     

    • I noticed that they've got the episode titles on screen for this show! Yeah! If only they'd put the inconsistently abbreviated ranks & names of the characters in the title sequence!

     

    The bad of it :

     

    • Are the opening sequences going to be completely sitcom style, disconnected from the main plot of the episode entirely? Or did I miss something and they used the purple-striped tricorder!? Or what?

    • If it's an ensemble-style episode why is green girl so shortchanged!?

    • Where are the jokes? I counted maybe one in the entire episode? Mostly they'd just do half a joke then do that same half a joke again either immediately afterwards or w/some interval passing between the two halves! They do the half-a-gag thing of having Eugene Cordero's co-workers being super supportive of him switching uniforms again and again and again!

    • GILLIGAN'S ISLAND STYLE CUT-AWAY GAG TOWARDS THE END WHY

    • if her whole deal is all just set-up for an upcoming reveal that Ensign Mariner has literally experienced this timeline before, on possibly multiple occasions, and is now just kinda vibin' her way through life Groundhog Day style ... well, I'm going to reserve judgment on whether or not that works depending on how/if it's pulled off!

     

    Temporal Edict

     

    Episode 3 :

     

    I guess this is the first of 'em that didn't feel actively worse than the last one. We're plateauing!

     

    The not bad of it :

     

    ·         The final ending gag is the first time the show's li'l drips and drabs of familiar Trek lore for comedic effect really hit home for me. Every other instance so far it hasn't felt quite apropos but this time around it worked!

    ·         The invading badguys from the secondary or tertiary plot getting pushed down the hole in the deck created by the acid inadvertently spilled during the A-plot --- well, that's just good ol' fashioned craftsmanship right there!

    ·         oh wait I just remembered the repeated bit of Ensign Boymler humming the TNG theme tune to himself when he's alone

     

    The bad of it :

    ·         geeze all of the banter still feels way too improv-y.

    ·         Opening pre-credits sequence is yet again entirely disconnected from this week's story. And is the sort of thing that a sleep deprived person would come up with if they had to try and illustrate the dynamics between the characters on short notice. And didn't realize that they forgot Ensign ... Rutherford? I'm pretty sure the name of the character voiced by Eugene Cordero on this show is Rutherford. No, not going to bother looking it up.

    ·         wait it's Boimler not Boymler?

    ·         Having the main crew of the ship routinely cuss feels like a misstep to me. But I guess it's easier than actually writing a ****ing joke!

    -

     

    Moist Vessel

     

    Fourth episode

     

    The not bad of it:

     

    • first proper opening teaser since the pilot!

    • UH OH THIS WAS KIND OF A GOOD ONE. Everything gelled properly, even the lack of plot for Rutherford didn't feel remarkable. Plenty of decent gags. Some stuff felt like a little bit of a retread but otherwise a fairly solid piece of work. B! B+ even!

     

    Cupid's Errant Arrow

     

    Fifth episode

     

    Okay, I'm warming up to the show. I guess it helped that there was no cold open this week!

     

    Terminal Provocations

     

    Sixth episode

     

    Ugh, it's back to being bad again.

     

    The good :

     

    • J.G. Hertzler as the trash scavenger captain! Jack McBrayer as a 24th century Clippy!

    • Opening teaser exceptionally solid! Best one yet!

     

    The bad :

     

    • Jokes that are just ... straight rip-offs? Someone goes "Fix it fix it fix it!" just like Fry in the Star Trek parody episode of Futurama. Does that count as a reference more than a rip-off? Clippy's final words are from one of the Lethal Weapon sequels?

    • The entire A-plot just seems like a way of trying to square the circle of 'how can there bad people on a starship in an idealized future?', the ol' Roddenberry / Ellison standoff from all the way back in the first drafts of City on the Edge of Forever. I don't think it's necessary, I don't think it was successfully executed, and I didn't have a fun time watching it.

    • B-plot is caused by the A-plot but does not itself resolve the A-plot!???? Or return to it in any way? Why not have Fletcher be forced into training sessions with the Clippy thing? Or have his promotional reward be tied to a fake explanation of it, something like "When a rogue holodeck program malfunctioned and caused the isolinear core to gain animate sentience while the ship itself was engaged in battle Ensign Fletcher bravely solved all three of these interconnected problems in a single swoop!"

    • I do not like the idea of Bajoran Worf and Cat Crusher as a couple!

    • And I think six episodes is too long to go with pretty much every pairing being identical, at some point we gotta see Eugene Cordero and Tawny Newsome solving a space problem while Jack Quaid and ... Orion Girl? Tendi? solve some other space problem. There's gotta be a boy's night out and a girl's night out, gotta get the Orion Girl and Mariner on an away mission and Rutherford and Boimler doing something or other (wait, I think that was in the preview for next week, okay, this is probably not a fair complaint. I'm getting what I want tout suite!)

     

    Much Ado About Boimler

     

    Seventh episode! Great! No notes! An entirely enjoyable aesthetic experience w/o nitpick or qualm! Quite possibly the best episode of the franchise since ... the Enterprise (2001-2005) Mirror Universe two-parter!? Better than that, even! If I were making a list of one hundred best episodes of Star Trek ever it could very well crack its way into the mid-nineties! Absolutely solid piece of work!

     

    Veritas

     

    Eighth episode! I kind of think this one uncomfortably skirted the line towards parody the show's mostly managed to stay fairly clear of so far. This felt way more like an episode of Hyperdrive (2006-7) or Other Space (2015) than Lower Decks (2020-2063). I also never like it when a show just sort of chews over and digests internal and/or presumed critical arguments about what it is, what it means, and then regurgitates it back out all over itself in the form of a plot. This is a bad one! It's back to being bad!

     

    Crisis Point

     

    Ninth episode! Omigosh they did a good Holodeck episode! First good Holodeck episode since ... DS9's seventh season semi-finale "Badda Bing Badda Boom"? I liked it a lot!

     

    The season finale

     

    Season finale was ... the first episode I'm actually undecided about whether or not it was good?

  7. Another thing that got me, and only me, I am probably the only person in the world that cares about this, in a tizzy was the idea of there being multiple ontological Eddie Murphies (Eddies Murphy???) in a single fictional realm. I know that it's an established element of things that him and Arsenio are dressed up as different people but I assume the makebelieve people in the movie see the different people as even more different than they are. (I do not know why I assume this to be true.) But both his character Billy Ray Valentine and his character Akeem Joffer are Eddie Murphy. I understand that this does not matter in the slightest; I'm probably doing a bad job of explaining it. But it's the sort of thing that trips me up all the time w/movies. (The movie even kind of compounds the problem when it shows us paintings of Zamundan ancestors of their royal bloodline and one of them looks exactly like Eddie Murphy and everyone explicitly acknowledges that, yes, that guy looks just like him.)

    On 3/5/2021 at 6:25 PM, Metropolis said:

    To your third bullet point, the throw away scene where Akeem gives the Dukes the bag of cash is the reason. Randolph yells "We're Back!" So it's possible. 

    I have zero memory of this! I shoud probably watch the original again.

  8. I thought about ten things while watching the movie and bothered to write 'em down, moment by moment. Here they are :

    1) CGI deepfake'd Eddie Murphy face is terrifying but Eddie Murphy in layer upon layer of make-up and prosthetics is a comforting sight so I guess it all balances out in the end.

     

    2) I don't understand how the script can go for every obvious joke in the book, every piece of low hanging fruit on the branch, but studiously avoid the obvious "I sent her an electronic mail detailing the situation yet received no reply!".

     

    3) But if the Duke Brothers from Trading Places (1983) are shown to be destitute in Coming To America (1988) then how can their business be thriving in 2019 or whenever this is supposed to be taking place? Plot hole! Plot hole in the impossibly broad farcical sequel to an equally broad original which was nonetheless emotionally grounded! (I guess in order to perfect that sort of balancing act you gotta be the kind of guy who is willing to kill a bunch of kids and Jennifer Jason Leigh's dad. You gotta have that steel in your spine to ride the line.)

     

    4) The original made really good use of the f-word for comedic purposes. Very few f-words this time around! Needed more f-words!

     

    5) For the big 40th anniversary show they did for SNL Eddie Murphy came out and gave one of the li'l speeches. He basically treated it as a tribute to him, to the work he'd done, and he gave thanks to the audience for caring about it all those years later. That was maybe egotistical of him but it's ... kind of justified!??? He really did save that show. He really did have the sort of lifechanging worldchanging superstar career on the back of what he did for SNL that every single cast member has been chasing since then. He really is Eddie Murphy, no one else has been Eddie Murphy since then, and he's arguably the reason everyone who wants to be Eddie Murphy even has a career. He's a genuine once in a century person, someone of such talent and skill that it has never been exceeded or even matched, and it's almost impossible to imagine the shape of modern American entertainment without him. (He's also a complete loon.)

     

    6) Look, I thought the dance sequences were great. But did Doctor Crusher do them!? Nope! (Wait, I thought Gates McFadden was credited w/choreographing the dance sequences in the original. Was that just Labyrinth and Muppets Take Manhattan?) (Hah! Okay! It was Paula Abdul! I knew it was somebody!)

     

    7) "This is true about sequels. If something is good, why ruin it?" Why must they do this every time? Why must every movie metabolize the process of its own creation? Why can't the assumed criticism be left outside of itself? It doesn't help the movie to have someone in the movie say out loud the obvious thought that would come to those charged with the movie's creation and it doesn't help the movie to have someone in the movie say out loud the obvious thought that would come to the audience. Shut up! Shut up and be the movie!

     

    8) The above conversation is where I got scared (or interested? I don't know, it'd be a neat twist on the formula) that they were going to swerve and set up this love interest character as a lesbian — she's a big Queen Latifah fan, look at what she does for a living, she starts to talk about how there are certain freedoms outside Zamunda — but then it became clear she was talking about her right to own a business and then they made out so I guess it'll be fine (or bad!? would the movie have been better if it had realized that placing so much emphasis on who you choose to be with as determining the shape of your future, your family's future, your country's future, is kind of a ridiculous and outmoded idea? would it be colouring too much outside the lines to suggest that people have worth and value in and of themselves outside the formal bonds of relationships? if this movie takes place now shouldn't it take place now, I guess? I don't really know.)

     

    9) "What happened to you, Akim? You were supposed to change things. You were supposed to bring this kingdom to the 21st century. But instead you push our daughter aside, someone who has dedicated her life to this country, and because she's a woman she can't be your heir?" In this essay, I will examine how Coming 2 America (2021) is a parable about the legitimacy crisis of post-Obama America and how his failure to successfully pass on power to Hillary determines the shape of our present etc.

     

    10) wait, no joke about Lavelle having to give Wesley Snipes' daughter permission to move BUT there is a joke about the woman Akim told to bark like a dog being freed of her curse years later!? What this movie chose to set up and pay off doesn't make a whole lotta sense to me, in general.

     

    • I'm not ruling out the kids phlllurrrrrping out of existence w/the rest of Westview but that wouldn't quite prompt the same level of outrage & Internet discourse as what I assume is going to go down.
    • I wasn't thinking of it before but if the White Vision is the one that merks her that'd work real well. She incarnates a monochrome version of her dead husband which causes a series of events that eventually brings into being another materially real-er monochrome version of her dead husband that ends up killing her. Then, afterwards, the fake version of her dead husband (it kind of seems like the Infinity Stone figured out it was going to eventually be destroyed and maybe gave Wanda powers in order to allow the intelligences nested within it to resurrect themselves afterwards) can join w/the real killer version of her dead husband.

     

  9. 23 hours ago, zambingo said:

    I don’t think we’re watching Wanda & Fam go thru this just to then have her dead.

     

    22 hours ago, Tank said:

    Putting in quotes tells me you're not being literal, but she;'s likely to become "Scarlet Witch" in the finale and she's been confirmed for the next Dr Strange movie. They're not killing her off, and it's looking likely they are bringing Vision back.

     

    What!? Yeah, I don't think this is the end of Elizabeth Olsen playing the role. I think she's going to 'die' tomorrow morning (or, for me, next week) and be back for WandaVision Season 2 or whatever else is coming down the pipeline. I think the story is building towards a kind of death, a Marvel style death but a death all the same, y'know? They're going to kill her off but she's only going to be 'killed'.

  10. I didn't really dig this one. Characters just talking about their feelings and seeing their own pasts over and over again? No thank you! (I also disliked how the show begins with a non-diegetic flashback but then spends the bulk of its time with diegetic ones.)

     

    • No money in the budget for Thomas Kretschmann!? Come on!

    • The idea of Wanda inadvertently rescuing a materially depressed & spiritually despondent suburb from its drab life of precarious employment & loneliness is kind of a neat one. Sure, maybe Debra Jo Rupp is now being painfully mindcontrolled but at least she's got Fred Melamed for company!

    • I kind of assumed they'd bring back a classic Byrne white Vision for Avengers : Endgame (2019) and when they didn't I just wrote that possibility off completely. But it's here! It's happening! I hope it wasn't just for a post-credits tease. I hope that's his look. (Also, of course, works well with the show's monochromatic motif w/the black'n'white TV stuff and how colour delineates reality in those spaces.)

     

    I don't really have much in the way of concrete predictions for the finale. I mean, what will happen next on WandaVision™? Whooo can say?

     

    But I do think there's a range of possibilities for how one specific thing goes down.

     

    From most likely to least likely :

     

    - Wanda 'killed' by husband

    - Wanda 'killed' by kid(s)

    - Wanda 'killed' by Captain Monica Rambeau

    - Wanda 'killed' by Wanda

    - Wanda 'killed' by Aaron Taylor-Johnson version of Quicksilver

    - Wanda 'killed' by Fred

    - Wanda killed by Elf with a Gun

  11. What!? That makes no sense to me. Daryl as Wolverine, Wayne as Cyclops, Squirrely Dan as Beast, Miss Katy as Jean Grey, Stewart as Magneto, Roald as Toad, Gail as Storm. I don't know who the jocks and the McMurrays should be but all that seems v. obvious to me. Jared Keeso as Wolverine!? He's double his size! He doesn't have the right hair!

  12. I liked this episode!

     

     

    • This one was kinda them leaping over the hurdle and going full CW show with it, I suppose. I don't mean as part of the sitcom riff, I mean that now we're going to have a show with a superpowered lady with glowing eyeballs confronting another superpowered lady with glowing eyeballs at the behest of a third superpowered lady with glowing eyeballs. I love it! Loved the post-credits scene where the superpowered lady with glowing eyeballs was unexpectedly confronted with the glowing purple tendrils of magical undergrowth beneath a witch's basement only to be surprised yet again, this time by the sudden appearance of a revivified speedster from another dimension! Yes please thank you!

    • I assume they'll corral the problem of having to explain away why everyone else in her situation doesn't have superpowers by making it an additive thing. Exposure to Carol's Tesseract-y radiation + the Blip + repeated travel in and out of the Hex + grief + ??? = Photon. Everyone else will be missing some of those key ingredients and so they won't wind up with a superhero origin story.

    • I do not understand why they showed us a makeshift S.W.O.R.D. base and then showed us another different entirely separate makeshift S.W.O.R.D. base. I was confused about the bases!

    • I checked to see if Steve Gerber was thanked in the closing credits and he isn't!??? Are they going to do the Nexus of All Realities and not thank Steve Gerber? Come on!!!!

  13. I liked this one! I'm surprised at how much I'm liking the show, really, because I kind of assumed after seeing the first two episodes that it'd be sort of an uphill slog for me. Much like the rest of the Marvel shows I've seen have been. I'm never in a hurry to see the most recent episode but I'm also never severely disappointed in what I see, y'know?

    • I'd already seen the pictures of Wanda & Vision in bargain basement versions of their classic costumes but Quicksilver (with the hair! the hair's literally the reason him and Wanda got retconned into being Magneto's kids, right?) was new to me so the moment really popped.
    • I really liked the claymation commercial! I just find that medium really pleasing and calming. Most fun my eyeballs have had with the show since the black'n'white episodes.
    • So if the limit of the town is Ellis Avenue does that mean America in 2025 (?) is naming streets after presidents from quite recent history? Is that something that happens in America? I know, I know, I have the same access to the Internet you have. I could answer that question on my own!
    • Okay, so if Monica going in and out of the town is reconfiguring her on a molecular level each time then is that all just set-up for her getting her superpowers? Is everyone in the town and the base going to end up with superpowers too if they move back'n'forth a few times? West View Avengers, coming to Disney+! West View Avengers #1 hitting comics stores next fall!
    • I did bother to pause the playback and see what the suggested names were in the S.W.O.R.D. database in that scene where Kat Dennings was using the laptop to hack the mainframe. But when I didn't immediately recognize the names I did NOT google them to see which issue of Marvel Comics Presents or whatever they were from. I think this is a kind of progress, really.
  14. I'm sorry about your Nan, Ms. Spam. Those photographs you've shared are beautiful! Thank you for posting them!

     

    3 hours ago, Cerina said:

    We're melting snow to flush toilets.

     

    This is the sort of obvious thing to do in this situation that would literally never occur to me. I'm not just saying that. I keep a supply of water around for just this kind of emergency and it's only now that I've realized I could just use snow. Thank you!

    Also, but of course, hope your situation improves soon!

  15. Oh wait, yeah, that DOES make sense. He's a character that's been progressing through a similar set of time-focused hyper-pastiched fictive realities! Just like her! They've both been going through sort of the same kind of thing, just at different paces and on a different level.

  16. I didn't much like this one but I'm going to chalk that up to circumstances not involving the actual episode itself.

     

    • This is not my own original thought but I figured it was worth sharing as much as those, if not more so. This series is essentially the same premise as the next-to-last episode of the original run of The X-Files ('93-'02, '16, '18). The one that was written and directed by Vince Gilligan. It starred Michael Emerson as a guy w/psychic powers who recreated the house from The Brady Bunch ('69-'74).

    • Don't know where it's going! Starting to wonder if the guy from the commercials is going to show up in a red'n'purple costume wearing a bucket helmet and moving metal around w/the power of his mind!

    • Wait, who was the aerospace engineer Rambeau was talking about? Was that just set-up for the appearance of the eighties-style drone or something/someone else for upcoming episodes?

    • I think it's apropos for Evan Peters to show up during the eighties pastiche episode since the movie he came from was ITSELF an eighties pastiche. Except, no, wait. It wasn't. He was introduced in the seventies one, X-Men : Days of Future Past (2014). He was in the eighties one, X-Men : Apocalypse (2016), but he was last seen in the nineties/00s one, X-Men : Dark Phoenix (2019). Okay, scratch that. It's not apropos! It's inapropos! It's positively inapropos-iate!

  17. For a little while there it seemed like they were going to explain away all MCU mutants as Inhumans but there was some sort of course correction eventually, I guess.

     

     

    Nowadays, I've kind of assumed it's going to be kept somewhat simple and be one of two options :

     

     

    1) Status quo. I don't understand why it isn't just the same way it always is. Children of the atom, etc. They usually opened the X-Men movies with one or two lines of expository voiceover from Patrick Stewart about evolution occasionally taking a giant leap forward. Literally just that. "Why haven't we seen ____ before now?" is the kind of nerd question that doesn't really need much explicit addressing. Like, for example, they reconciled the coexistence of science & magic with a line of Tilda Swinton dialogue in Doctor Strange (2016).

     

     

    2) The thing Bendis did in later years of the Ultimate line where it was revealed that mutantkind was not a natural phenomenon but was the result of a secret government program that spiralled out of control.  I think this, or something like this, is where they'd go if they want to gild the lily and explain their explanations with more explaining.

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