Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Filed under: Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:28 PM (23:28)

People should not be afraid of their governments.

Governments should be afraid of their people.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. DC Comics, Vertigo Comics — V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, et al.
  2. Warner Bros. — V for Vendetta

Thursday, 21 January 2016

DC and Marvel, Dumping on Their Dinner Plates

Filed under: Media, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:04 PM (20:04)

Skimming through my Facebook feed, I found the following:

Cosmic Book News: Comic Book Retailers Sound Off On DC & Marvel As Sales Drop

Basically, the author explains how DC and Marvel are running their superhero franchises into the ground, and possibly poisoning that particular well for any other publishers, as well.

The interesting thing is that McGloin attributes this to Marvel and DC offering their same titles in both still-pictures-comic format as well as in audiovisual form (movies and television), when both Marvel and DC were letting their franchises be made into movies and TV shows back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Rather, I suspect that we’re seeing the same sort of thing that happened in the mid-1990s, when Marvel began rebooting its franchises (I remember them starting to playing these games with the X-Men in 1994.) and putting out multiple versions of the same issue, with different “collector edition” covers (especially the foil-covered ones!).

Big Bang Comics in Ireland put it rather succintly:

And I’ve heard the tired line before “justifying” the periodic reboots from these clowns:

These characters are so endearing and established . . .

To me, that’s equivocation for “we’re too lazy to develop any new characters.”

Case in point — the Star Trek franchise.

Back in 1985 and 1986, Gene Roddenberry and associates were working on bringing Star Trek back to television, but Paramount wasn’t keen on paying the higher salaries that the 1960s Original Series could command. So they went with a cast of actors not known for being in the science fiction genre. Rather than trying to cast these actors in the roles of the Original Series, Roddenberry created a whole new cast, ship, etc.

Did it pay off for Roddenberry and Paramount? I’d say so. The Next Generation ran for SEVEN seasons, as compared to The Original SeriesTHREE seasons.

Even better — The Next Generation had two series spun off from it (Deep Space Nine and Voyager), each of which had a cast separate from The Next Generation, and each of which ran for seven seasons.

Hell, the prequel series to the franchise (Enterprise) ran for four seasons.

When Paramount / CBS (whoever owns the franchise at this point) did decide to reboot it in 2008 and “bring back the original characters” with new actors, they wrote the script in such a way that picked up from previous endeavours, instead of simply blowing them off wholesale.

Brian Hibbs at Comic Book Resources has this to say:

We have to be mindful that the marketplace is changing, and that we have to change with it. I see a market that is moving away from line-driven buying, that is growing tired of the constant cycle of relaunch and reboot, that has far more options for their time and mindshare than ever before, and that can meet their craving for superhero material increasingly in other media. And that has, most dangerously, had their long-standing habits interrupted by their very pushers.

So far, the ONLY franchise reboot that I’ve seen that was significantly better than the original was the Battlestar Galactica remake of 2003-2009.

So far, out of all of the superhero titles currently published by DC and Marvel, the only one that does anything for me any more is Injustice: Gods Among Us. That’s because when someone gets killed, the writers try to avoid coming up with some cockamamie excuse to resurrect the character(s).

It seems to me that the executives at DC and Marvel assume their customer base to be composed of idiots who will buy into anything with their (the executives’) stamp of approval upon it.

Basically, this is the same sort of logic that Heckler & Koch GmbH used when they pitched their neutered version of their G-36 (the infamous flop called the SL8) — they figured that the HK fanboys (I’m guilty of being a bit of one myself back in the 1990s) would shell out hard cash for anything with a red “HK” stamped on one side of the stock or pistol grip. If that wasn’t a miscalculation, I don’t know what does qualify as one.

Will this endless cycle of reboot and remake ultimately bring down the DC and Marvel movie and television businesses, too?

Should I even care?

H/T Kevin Tuma


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 13.0
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / seen.life / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

SF vs. Fantasy (and Horror, too!)

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:33 AM (02:33)

Current mood: cynical

Recently I read Tomorrow, the Stars, which was edited by Robert A. Heinlein (at least in part – in the preface, he says that Truman Tailey. Judith Merrill, Frederick Pohl and Walter Bradbury helped out there). In that preface, Heinlein mentions a significant difference between science fiction and fantasy

From page 8 of the Berkeley Medallion Edition (15th printing – June, 1967)

“Science fiction is sometimes miscalled ‘escape literature,’ a mistake arising from a profound misconception of its nature and caused by identifying it with fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy are as different as Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. Fantasy is constructed by either denying the real world in toto or at least making a prime basis of the story one or more admittedly false premise – fairies, talking mules, trips through a looking glass, vampires, seacoast Bohemia, Mickey Mouse.”

In the next few sentences of that same paragraph, Heinlein sets out what distinguishes science fiction from fantasy (and horror, as well). Again, from page 8

“But science fiction, no matter how fantastic its content may seem, always accepts all of the real world and the entire body of human knowledge as the framework for the fictional speculation.”

Back in 2003, I was hanging out at Bubonicon 35 with L. Neil Smith, who summed it up very well

In science fiction, the universe is knowable and people can figure it out.

Thus my conclusion that the books in the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy belong together with the horror books, if anywhere, rather than with the science-fiction books.

In my view, fantasy and horror stories are more mature versions of fairy tales and campfire ghost stories.

And why do I often feel as though I’m the only one that sees most of the cast of the typical horror movie as complete idiots, simply begging to be slaughtered at whim by the monster or slasher or demon?


Copyright © 2012 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Books, Movies and TV Shows

Filed under: Media, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:59 PM (20:59)

Re: What’s a book, movie or television show you think more people should know about?

Book – The Probability Broach (the complete graphic novel version)

Movie – V for Vendetta (also the book)

TV Show – Babylon 5

I just answered this Featured Question; you can answer it too!


Copyright © 2010 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.   

This blog entry created with Notepad++

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Movie Review — Bitch Slap

Filed under: Dark Side, Humor, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 6:22 PM (18:22)

Current mood: amused

I finally got around to watching Bitch Slap. To sum up the experience, it was both great and disappointing.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. How exactly was the flick disappointing? Let me count the ways –

  1. If you’re looking for plot and character development, Bitch Slap isn’t for you.
  2. The gunfighting scenes aren’t at all realistic. Neither is the “K-14 Corsair railgun with carbon fiber mounts, Hellfire dampening system and Zion laser scope.”
  3. One of the ladies is a secret agent with the special-ops outfit titled “Fleshforce Foxy,” her codename / callsign is “Foxy69.”
  4. “Foxy69” is operating in alpine territory dressed rather scantily, and is ordered to her next mission by her boss (“Mr. Phoenix”) through her Dick Tracy-type wrist-communicator, which displays Phoenix’s image as a hologram.
  5. After receiving her new orders, “Foxy69” receives her new outfit for the undercover assignment from a missile which lands five feet next to her, then calls down an avalanche to cover her tracks.
  6. I predicted who the eventual antagonist was from the beginning.(NO, I’m not telling — sit through it and find out for yourself!)
  7. The “grand prize” of their search in the desert is a canister of carbon-attacking nanites, which “Fleshforce Foxy” doesn’t want to get into the hands of a “combatant country” or “crazed libertarians.”

But then, the viewer should remember that Bitch Slap wasn’t intended to be a good movie in terms of realism, plot and characteriztions. What it is intended to be is a turn-your-brain-off flick for guys, and in that regard, it succeeds admirably. There’s plenty of cleavage, softcore sex scenes of the lesbian kind, and mindless, black-comedy violence — about 105 minutes worth, in fact.

I mean, the scene where Trixie, Hel and Camero dump all of their drinking water all over each other as they’re digging at high noon in the Nevada summer sun isn’t very realistic, is it? Just accept it for what it is — hot babes splashing water all over each other’s bodies, causing their clothes to get all clingy . . .

In summary, guys, turn your brains off and enjoy.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Bitch Slap the Movie (Official site)
  2. The Wikipedia page

NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs – Blogspot / Xanga
    2. Darth Mike – Xanga

Copyright © 2010 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++.

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Movie Review — Bitch Slap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 6:12 PM (18:12)

Current mood: amused

I finally got around to watching Bitch Slap. To sum up the experience, it was both great and disappointing.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. How exactly was the flick disappointing? Let me count the ways —

  1. If you’re looking for plot and character development, Bitch Slap isn’t for you.
  2. The gunfighting scenes aren’t at all realistic. Neither is the “K-14 Corsair railgun with carbon fiber mounts, Hellfire dampening system and Zion laser scope.”
  3. One of the ladies is a secret agent with the special-ops outfit titled “Fleshforce Foxy,” her codename / callsign is “Foxy69.”
  4. “Foxy69” is operating in alpine territory dressed rather scantily, and is ordered to her next mission by her boss (“Mr. Phoenix”) through her Dick Tracy-type wrist-communicator, which displays Phoenix’s image as a hologram.
  5. After receiving her new orders, “Foxy69” receives her new outfit for the undercover assignment from a missile which lands five feet next to her, then calls down an avalanche to cover her tracks.
  6. I predicted who the eventual antagonist was from the beginning. (NO, I’m not telling — sit through it and find out for yourself!)
  7. The “grand prize” of their search in the desert is a canister of carbon-attacking nanites, which “Fleshforce Foxy” doesn’t want to get into the hands of a “combatant country” or “crazed libertarians.”

But then, the viewer should remember that Bitch Slap wasn’t intended to be a good movie in terms of realism, plot and characterizations. What it is intended to be is a turn-your-brain-off flick for guys, and in that regard, it succeeds admirably. There’s plenty of cleavage, softcore sex scenes of the lesbian kind, and mindless, black-comedy violence — about 105 minutes worth, in fact.

I mean, the scene where Trixie, Hel and Camero dump all of their drinking water all over each other as they’re digging at high noon in the Nevada summer sun isn’t very realistic, is it? Just accept it for what it is — hot babes splashing water all over each other’s bodies, causing their clothes to get all clingy . . .

In summary, guys, turn your brains off and enjoy.


NOTES

  1. Bitch Slap the Movie (Official site)
  2. The Wikipedia page
  3. Darth Mike — Xanga

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Friday, 30 April 2010

Harry Brown (the movie)

Filed under: Philosophy, Self-Defense, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 12:54 PM (12:54)

Current mood: ecstatic

After I saw the link to trailers for this movie on Facebook, I was intrigued because of the name — Harry Browne was the LP’s presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000. What this movie appears to be is a British version of the1974 movie Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson.

The official movie poster — click to enlarge (or for a PDF version
The official movie site

The movie’s American site

The movie’s Facebook page

The Wikipedia page

Well, what do you do when the cops give you the blow-off, as they do with Mr. Brown in this movie, as played by Michael Caine?



Click to enlarge


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Harry Brown (the movie)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 3:54 AM (03:54)

Current mood: ecstatic

After I saw the link to trailers for this movie on Facebook, I was intrigued because of the name Harry Browne was the LP’s presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000. What this movie appears to be is a British version of the1974 movie Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson.

The official movie poster click to enlarge (or here for a PDF version)
The official movie site

The movie’s American site

The movie’s Facebook page

The Wikipedia page

Well, what do you do when the cops give you the blow-off, as they do with Mr. Brown in this movie, as played by Michael Caine?


Click to enlarge


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Saturday, 10 January 2009

Movie Review — Transformers (2007)

Filed under: Viewing — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 4:11 PM (16:11)

Current mood: chipper


Transformers
I saw this one on DVD while visiting family in Florida.

The plot of this movie involved some pretty serious departures from what passes for “canon” in the Transformers “universe” — I use the word “canon” loosely here, as it depends on which of the animated or comic-book series you’re talking about here, as each has its own backstory, versions of the characters, etc., such that you’re hopelessly lost without Wikipedia to keep track of them all.

That being said, it wasn’t a bad flick at all. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been nodding off through the last third, but I was beat from travel-related fatigue. The whole biomechanical look of the Cybertronian characters was an interesting take, and made things more realistic-looking than the various animated and comic series. And there is a sequel in the works.

I’m wondering if the upcoming Star Trek film will be as well-handled as this one was. One can hope . . . ?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

The Irish Freedom Committee Presents “Hidden Agenda”

Filed under: Events, History, Media, Politics, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 12:24 AM (00:24)

The Guild Cinema and the Irish Freedom Committee present

Hidden Agenda is a 1990 film starring Frances McDormand, Brian Cox, and Brad Dourif. The film was directed by Ken Loach, produced by Eric Fellner, and written by Jim Allen

Hidden Agenda is a political thriller film directed by Ken Loach. The film is about the murder of an American civil rights activist in Northern Ireland by the police while driving in the company of an IRA sympathiser. It is inspired by the investigation into the RUC’s alleged “shoot to kill policy”, with Cox’s character representing John Stalker. E4A, an undercover unit of the Royal Ulster Constabulary claimed to be involved in the killings, is mentioned briefly in the film.

The motives behind the murder in the film are supposed to show the “inner workings” of politics and (in Loach’s belief) the way government acts to protect supposed freedom. We are shown the conformist face of people, the assumed futility of going  against the “high powers”, the manipulation of the media and some true ulterior motives that in Loach’s socialist beliefs drive the current world.

During one scene late in the movie, a renegade Special Air Service (SAS) agent possessing an audio tape that incriminates the British government is kidnapped by an SAS squad and bundled into a van on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin, a very busy river crossing in the center of the city. Loach filmed the scene with a hidden camera and without letting passers-by know that they were witnessing a movie shoot.

Dates / Location

10 November and 11 November 2007

Show times on both days: 12 PM — 2 PM

The Historic Guild Cinema — 505-255-1848 — 3405 Central Ave NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Irish Freedom Committee, 505-363-7974

Contact Chuck McLaughlin, 505-235-5906 for more information.

This screening is hosted by the Irish Freedom Committee. All proceeds will benefit the families of Irish Republican Prisoners of War currently held in English and Irish “Free State” prisons.

Seating is limited to 120 people. Admission is 7.00 FRN per person.

For more information from the Irish Freedom Committee, check out their newslist on Yahoo

More about Hidden AgendaWikipedia entry / Internet Movie Database entry


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. KCUF Media – Xanga

Copyright © 2007 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++.

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