My Rant About Comic Book Trailers

Comic books don’t always exactly get the love they deserve. Not to say they don’t get love at all, but I’m talking about in regards to getting the same level of attention as per a movie, video game, TV show, novel, or any other commercial product. And in the age of the Internet, apparently where “digital is the future” (it’s not), it shouldn’t be hard to market any piece of physical media. So why is it that some comics don’t get enough attention? Well, one answer could be the same as one would give for why a movie wouldn’t get enough attention: it’s all in the trailer.

No seriously, there are actual trailers made for comics. And like any trailer for any piece of media, they can be good or bad. But that question remains when they turns out not so favorably: what were they thinking? I’ve seen trailers for comics that actually look good such as Empyre, Thor #9, and The Boys: Dear Becky. Out of those three comics, I’m only subscribed to Thor, but still, the other two look pretty good, and I might even check em out someday.

Then there are the bad trailers. Well, “trailer” is a strong word for em. They’re more like promotional videos than actual trailers. They mostly consist of the writer, artist, and/or editor just talking about how AWESOME and EPIC the comic is, rather than just, oh I don’t know, letting the TRAILER tell the audience that. Because if you have to show up yourself and say why this comic is awesome and tell others to buy it, that’s not really good marketing or salesmanship, it just comes off as desperate and lazy, despite good intentions.

Promos for comics like Absolute Carnage, Children of the Atom, New Warriors, and even Empyre are guilty of this. Now, I’ll admit I’ve read Absolute Carnage and thought it was okay (might even talk about it at some point), but the marketing for it, especially the promo, nearly killed it for me. Same with the other two. The people in the video look uncomfortable, like they’re being held at gunpoint, and can only talk about how COOL the comics are. Forgive me for inquiring, but isn’t that what friggin convention panels are for?

This isn’t me saying that comics are dead, or dying, or any of that bullshit edgelords and ComicsGaters would say, and that it’s all because of these videos, and I’m trying not to come off like an entitled fanboy here. This is me saying that the comic industry has problems, especially with how it handles its own business and market their products. Think of it like this: if something bores you, that’s when you think of all the things wrong with it. Well, the promos tend to come off as more boring than exciting, while the trailers are more exciting than boring, if that makes any sense. With that said, the industry has a long ways to go, but it’ll get there.

Nuff said.

Cats (Movie Review): Not the movie we DESERVED but what we NEEDED

Cats (2019) - IMDb
“You will believe”? In what? A horrifying experience of excruciating misery?

I remember when I first saw The Room. It was one of the most grueling experiences watching a movie I ever had. I felt dead afterwards, so thankfully my buddy Nick, who graciously watched it with me, put on Reservoir Dogs, and that became one of my favorite movies of all time. Over time, The Room became a guilty pleasure, for all of the reasons why it’s so entertainingly bad and more. In regards to Cats, well, at least Once Upon a Time in Hollywood exists, so maybe I’ll give that a rewatch sometime, because Quentin Tarantino knows how to save the day with a good movie, and I can now appreciate all of the reasons Cats is so entertainingly and hilariously bad.

Of course, the natural question goes with this movie, like anything else that’s bad, ever since James Rolfe, The Angry Video Game Nerd, first asked it: what were they thinking? The people who made this movie could’ve done anything with the material and instead we got what was released. If you want more background info on this, watch Lindsay Ellis’s video essay (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6iqAip-ZNo; or Hell, just read her Twitter feed), I highly recommend it. But yeah, let’s just say there are so many ways this movie could’ve been bad, and they pretty much checked all of those boxes.

Cats (2019) - Movie Review : Alternate Ending
Look at it this way, Ms. Hayward, there are worse cinematic debuts. But you were really good, though!

First off, the director Tom Hooper. Now, he’s made some stellar work in the past, but not many movie musicals. In fact, you’d know him from the one movie musical he did, and that’s Les Miserables, which has plenty of problems, but for me, it’s biggest was it had too much singing. Yeah, kinda weird to say about a musical, but in Les Mis’s case, it’s more a matter of how the singing is paced, which is terrible, and it’s no different with Cats. I know I’m gonna get pushback on this, but trust me, the way that stage musicals do their numbers, and the way movie musicals do theirs, is vastly different, and Tom Hooper doesn’t seem to understand this. Stage musicals have curtain calls, intermissions, and other backstage shenanigans to pace out their song and dance numbers. Movies are in constant motion, hence the term motion picture, and so they need to be paced out with talking bits, camera shots, editing, and other stylistic choices to make them stand out.

Second, the source material. And no, I don’t mean the stage musical. I’m talking about the original poetry book by T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. That could’ve made for a great anthology feature a la Heavy Metal, Creepshow, or Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, be it animated or live-action. In fact, there was an animated movie in the works back in the 90s, but that got cancelled, and instead we got what was released. But whatcha gonna do when making this movie, base it on a poetry books or the more popular mega-blockbuster musical that’s been selling like hotcakes since the 80s?

Cats' Review: A Tail Better Left Untold - Variety
Am I supposed to be turned on or scared by this?

Third, the cast of this movie. Now, how’re you gonna get a movie based on a stage musical made with backing from major studios? Fill it with character actors or something? No, you get as many A-listers as you can get, and this movie certainly has it, with Idris Elba, James Corden, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, and let’s not forget the creme de la creme, Taylor Swift (which they really seemed to bank on considering this had an original song co-written by her with Andrew Lloyd Webber). Oh, and this is also Francesca Hayward’s cinematic debut too, I guess, so this movie will be for her what David Lynch’s Dune was for Kyle MacLachlan. But yeah, despite all that, it didn’t go over very well.

Lastly, the visual effects. Now, one of the biggest things talked about for this movie are its visuals, in particular the titular cats themselves. They just look bad. The initial trailers for this looked way worse and the studios knew this, so they forced the animators to refine them (without overtime pay, I might add) and apparently also edit out the buttholes? Wtf? The cats in the stage musical look really cool and stylish. But the movie version looks like something out of H.P. Lovecraft’s wet dreams. Why do the cats have human faces instead of cat faces? Why do they have human hands instead of paws? Why does the movie constantly shift from looking staged to an up close and personal documentary style? Just WHY is this movie?

Plot of Cats the movie: what is it about? - Radio Times
Awww…kill it with FIRE!

I’ll tell you why: because we needed it. We NEEDED this movie to exist so we can gather together and enjoy it for all of the reasons it is bad and then some. There needs to be a movie that shows this is NOT how ya do a movie version of a nonsensical stage musical based on a poetry book. But Hollywood and the film industry don’t want that, they want something nice and safe, marketable, potentially profitable, and hopefully win awards. Well, this movie did get attention, didn’t make a lot at the box office (in fact it’s even reported as a loss, big shock), and it certainly won awards (Razzies). So it might not have been the movie the industry wanted, but it’s what everyone NEEDED. And it also became the butt of jokes and will continue to be that for a LONG time.

Speaking of butts, release the damn butthole cut already!

Cats (2019)” Review. The new Christmas nightmare | by Gregory Cameron | Pop  Off | Medium
Forget fire. Nuke em from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Predator (Movie Review): The Manliest Manly Man Movie that ever Manly Manly Manned…Man

Amazon.com: Buyartforless Predator (1987) Movie Poster 24"x36": Posters &  Prints

What more can be said about the 1987 action sci-fi horror classic, Predator, than what’s already been said? A lot, because it’s my turn to review it now, bitches. So strap in, grab that spear or machine gun, put on your best mud camoflauge, and get to the choppa! Cause I ain’t got time to bleed for this review.

The cast is nothing short of stellar, and not to mention diverse. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Jesse Ventura, Richard Chaves, Shane Black, Sonny Landham, Kevin Peter Hall, R.G. Armstrong, Peter Cullen, and Elpidia Carrillo. Okay, so there’s only one woman, but it’s still diverse! Take note of that, marketers. This is how ya promote diversity in the manliest way possible!

Predator': 11 Wild Facts About the Arnold Schwarzenegger Action Film
They ain’t expendable. They’re the original Expendables.

The movie starts off with you thinking that you’re watching just another stereotypical army action flick. But actually it kinda starts off like John Carpenter’s The Thing, with an alien spaceship crashing or landing on Earth, it’s not made clear. But who cares? We see the manliest manly man of manliest manly manliness that ever manly manly manned going on the manliest manly manned mission that ever manly manly manly manned, man (and I promise that’s the last time I’ll ever do that joke): going on a rescue mission to save some diplomats or something. But hey, they get to listen to “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard on the way!

Predator - Shooting Jungle [HD] - YouTube
Who says there needs to be gun control?

Already the movie gets to a rather cliched action setup with guns blazing, explosions, one-liners, and so much testosterone, it’s just friggin nuts, and I don’t mean Deez Nuts (old joke). Little do we know that’s just the icing on the bloody and fleshy cake that is this film. One by one, the Predator comes in, slashing and blasting away his victims. He doesn’t discriminate; like Schwarzenegger, the lone survivor, he fucking terminates. With tight pacing, tight editing, tight action, and just enough tight muscles to go along with it, how can no one feel the tight thrills of this flick?

Predator actor Sonny 'Billy' Landham, 'ain't afraid of no man' dies at 76 -  News Nation English
Buy the Billy Sole action figure with self-mutilating ritualistic hunting action!

And here we come to what the movie is really all about in regards to its portrayal of masculinity, the hunt and the thrills it entails, and what it means to face Death itself head-on. What it means to truly be the last man standing and after losing everything, you open with that primal roar so epic, China shits its pants, and not from the food. When you see Death itself unveil its true face and form, what more can be said than saying to it that it’s one ugly motherfucker, using all your wits and strengths about you, and even when faced with overwhelming odds, just go down swinging. But the ultimate query remains, that when Death is defeat, just what the Hell are you: hunter or prey?

Predator by Paul Monette. In which Schwarzenegger faces an… | by Owen  Williams | The Novelization Station | Medium
He’s just taking the most fiery dump EVER.

Well, some questions are better left unanswered until a proper sequel comes along, even 33 years later, so just enjoy the nuclear explosion and creepy laughter instead! πŸ™‚

The Predator Synopsis Promises Genetically Upgraded Predators | Movies |  Empire
Awww, he just wants a hug!

Joker (Movie Review): Smile!

Joker (2019 film) - Wikipedia

Ah, the glorious year of 2020! What a year to be alive! Hindsight really is the theme of the year. A time to reflect, a time to be joyous, a time to truly be ALIVE…in a year where there’s a global pandemic and isolation. Great stuff!

Yeah, I’m not gonna beat around the bush and say it’s been a great year. To say it’s been rough would be a MAJOR understatement. Anyone who says we’re in Hell right now, Satan would like to have a word with you on that. Because even Hell would tell ya to fuck off.

Recently, I had a breakdown. I went to the hospital. Then a psychiatric clinic, where I was diagnosed with depression. And finally I was released, ready to embrace life, reflect on things, and finally get back to doing what I’ve wanted to do ever since I started this blog: talk about movies and other stuff, specifically in this case, the 2019 film Joker, which has really taken a whole new way of looking at things in retrospect these days.

The Joker movie teases trailer with cryptic messages on social media
Don’t worry, he just really has to go to the bathroom.

I sure picked a good choice here, didn’t I? I mean, what’s so bad about a movie depicting a sad, depressed, lonely man going on a destructive rampage while the world around him falls apart in so many ways? No controversy with this movie here, in the year of our Lord 2020, right? Right?

Okay, enough jokes. This movie ain’t that controversial. Hate to use that cliched line, but I’ve seen way more controversial stuff than this flick. The overreactions to it have been ridiculous, and I’m not just talking people who bitch that this movie’s gonna cause shootings and the like, I’m also talking about the bitches who bitch at those bitches for being “too sensitive”. Grow the fuck up, the both of you, alright?

Not to say I ain’t understanding about it either. It’s okay to not like this movie or even watch it. Just like there’s nothing wrong with loving it. It’s what you do about it that counts. It’s about action. Ain’t that right, Todd Phillips? “Woke culture” sure did ruin this movie that grossed a billion bucks, didn’t it? (Sarcasm)

New 'Joker' Footage Shows Robert De Niro in Full 'King of Comedy' Mode |  IndieWire
Showtime!

That being said, while I do love this movie, it has its cliches. If you’ve seen Taxi Driver, Blow Out, Maniac, or anything of the like, then you’ve seen this movie. The only difference is that it has a clown. A clown played by a phenomenal Joaquin Phoenix. I can’t imagine what he musta gone through to do what he was able to do for this movie, and thankfully the Academy recognized it and gave him that well-deserved Oscar.

The supporting cast is also top-notch, too. Robert De Niro is fantastic as Murray Franklin, obviously a tribute to his role in The King of Comedy (haven’t seen it, want to at some point). And everyone else is at their A-game as well; Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Marc Maron, and especially Brett Cullen as Thomas Wayne (not a stranger to playing fathers in comic-based movies since he played Barton Blaze in Ghost Rider, and coincidentally was also in The Dark Knight Rises), this time portrayed in a more cynical light, and for this movie, it works. And I can’t forget Shea Whigham, too!

The look and feel of the movie is excellent. Gotham City hasn’t been this seedy or dirty on film since either the Nolan or Burton Batman movies. The music score is also evocative of other string-based scores that’ve been heard before, but in this movie’s case, it also works.

Joker Actor Explains That Thomas Wayne Twist - CINEMABLEND
Don’t worry, folks, he’s gonna make Gotham City “great again”.

Now there’s that fan theory going around that Arthur Fleck is the one true Joker in this movie. Considering there are so many “one true Jokers” out there in so many forms, I don’t think it really matters in the long run. Joker is Joker. And in the end, as much as we want to be like Batman, we also gotta realize there’s a part of us that is capable of becoming like Joker, it’s just a matter of what you do with it.

And remember folks, that’s life! πŸ™‚

Why Is 'Joker' Doing So Well? Here Are A Few Reasons For Its Box Office  Dominance. | Box Office | DC

My Top 5 Worst Movies of 2018

So, 2018 has come and gone. The Oscars have been announced with some, uh, pretty interesting choices. With that said, 2018 was an interesting year in film. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any stinkers. Unlike other years I’ve done this, these movies didn’t so much piss me off as annoy or disappoint me. And when you take a look at this list, you can kinda see why. On the plus side, at least I didn’t see 50 Shades Freed, cause I got better things to do in my life than see stupid Twilight fan fiction lazy softcore porn movies, so thankfully I don’t have to put that on the list. And if you like the movies on this list, that’s fine, it’s just my opinion, and we can agree to disagree.

An additional note: this will probably be the last time I do a “worst” list. 2018 was kind of a rough year, and during that time, I wasn’t exactly in a very good headspace. I didn’t even feel like writing this blog for a while, and I needed a break to get some perspective. Taking inspiration from one of my favorite critics, Chris Stuckmann, I’m just gonna stop doing “worst movie” lists and try to focus on the positives. Sure, negativity could get me a lot of attention, and it’s easy to give in to that, so I’m not gonna do it and just try my best to focus on the positive. I’ll still do reviews of bad or disappointing, so there’s that, but they’re not gonna make up a majority of what I write about.

Anyway, here we go: Read More

Joss Whedon Leaving Batgirl Isn’t A Big Deal, So Let Me Explain

Joss Whedon and Batgirl

First off, let me just say that I love and respect Joss Whedon. He’s an amazing writer and director, having made some of the best TV shows ever, wrote amazing comics, and even wrote/directed one of the best superhero movies ever made (plus a less than stellar sequel). His approach to character and storytelling is nothing short of phenomenal. He’s not perfect, sure, but he’s one of the best and for good reason.

After having problems with Marvel regarding them interfering with Avengers 2, his vision for it, and the mixed reactions after it came out as well as the effect it’s had on his life, he left them. Then he decided to go to DC, which must’ve seemed like a major middle finger to Marvel/Disney, and make a Batgirl movie set in the DC Extended Universe, which he would write, direct, and produce. Not only that, but he took over post-production duties on Justice League after Zack Snyder left to be with his family following the death of his daughter. While the movie wasn’t a major game-changer, it was an okay movie, and it seemed to follow in the same course correction that the DCEU was taking after Wonder Woman became a huge success. Then it was announced that he was leaving Batgirl, and if I’m gonna be honest, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Read More

Why I Gave Up on The Falcon Comic

Falcon #1 cover

Even though I have mixed feelings about the cover, I understand what it’s trying to do and I like the new costume.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about comics. Sure, I’ve talked about comic book movies numerous times, especially with my reviews and editorials, but not a comic book specifically, again at least not for a while. This is kind of a review, it’s also more of me talking about a particular comic that I thought had potential, and it didn’t deliver on it. That comic was recent solo series featuring the Marvel Comics character, Sam Wilson aka The Falcon. Read More

My Top 20 Best Movies of 2017

As much I rail on the bad movies of 2017, there were plenty of good movies too. Some were entertaining and nothing more, some were very outstanding and noteworthy films. Basically, there were A LOT of good movies, so many that I couldn’t keep it down to ten. Hell, I tried to keep it down to 15 and even that wasn’t enough. So, I just expanded it to twenty this time around. Anyway, here it is: Read More

My Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2018

2017 is done and 2018 has already rolled out its early offerings. Granted, the only 2018 movie I’ve seen lately is A Futile and Stupid Gesture (which I will get to and definitely check it out if you have Netflix). So yeah, 2018 looks to be a promising year for film, and these are my top 10 movies that I am excited to see. If you have a movie that’s not on this list that you’re excited to see, let me know in the comments. Anyway, here we go: Read More

My Top 10 WORST Movies of 2017

With each year I do this, it seems I have to step it up each time. In 2015, I had three terrible movies. In 2016, it was five. In 2017, I did TEN. That’s twice more than I did last time. I almost thought of checking out more that I heard were bad or looked kinda bad, but then I stopped myself and realized “no, no, ten is enough”. Ten awful movies, that for me, range in quality from mildly annoying and boring to laughably bad to just unbearably shitty. Now, I haven’t reviewed all the movies on this list, and I may get to them at some point, but these are the movies I consider to be the worst of 2017. And if you like these movies, that’s fine, this is just my opinion and I’m glad we can have a difference of opinion on them. Anyway, here we go: Read More