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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My All-Female Justice League

All-female Justice League?

I'll go with:

- Wonder Woman (Leader)
- Big Barda (Lancer)
- Batgirl (Because you have to have a Bat Family rep and she's the best not named Dick Grayson. ...Also, he doesn't fit the bill.)
- Mera (You need the Aquaman representative, and she has never, never had to deal with being the Aquman-style butt of jokes, because she'll fuck you up.)
- Zatanna (Magic replaces Martian Manhunter.)
- Black Canary (May be a bit redundant with the non-superhero Batgirl included too, but she's just too fantastic, personality-wise.)
- Vixen (Covers everything else, because she has the powers of the Red.)

Seven core members.
If I had to, I'd throw in Carol Ferris as Star Sapphire or Iroque from the Indigo Tribe as my Lantern Corps representative (Jade is fine, but I don't think she's that interesting of a character).
I'd put in Power Girl over Supergirl, but you honestly don't need either when you have Wonder Woman.
I also was actually going to put in Hawkgirl, but then Barda fulfills the same personality type, and again, it comes down to Wonder Woman, and they'd have a better interplay.
I debated having Barbara Gordon be Oracle for the team. I think that'd be pretty cool, and would solve the Batgirl/Black Canary situation. But again, I like that they bring kind of the "youth", against the veterans like Wonder Woman and Mera.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thoughts and Reflections on Beetlejuice

What I really love about getting to do this podcast with Claire is that the premise affects both of us. She gets to look at these movies objectively, she gets to deconstruct what's happening and can ground the episodes in reality, good storytelling, solid foundation, things like that.

For me, the podcast is an opportunity to deal with nostalgia fog on a fairer level. Some movies live up to the memories, some don't. Ostensibly, it's my job in the discussion to defend the movies. Whereas she is coming at them from an objective reality, one of moviemaking and fantasy world building, it's up to me to fill in the gaps, to justify inconsistency, and try and enlighten her to the idea that the movie succeeds in what it is trying to do. Whatever emotion it is trying to evoke, whatever action taking place in the movie that it attempts to justify, I try to defend the movie on its own merit.

Sometimes, I feel like I succeed for the most part, or at least in some of the important things elements of it. Clueless for me represents the most common middle ground the two of us had. We generally agreed with each other, while still have a fascinating discussion about a movie that definitely deserves more credit than people realize. I think when we discussed Batman, many of the things she initially was hesitant about, she was soon agreeing with me. Batman as a larger element of pop culture may have been our middle ground for that one, so we could find things to discuss. Sometimes, I definitely feel like I fail. Point Break, I knew I couldn't formulate enough of an argument to justify the skydiving sequence for her. In Hook, I felt like we met halfway on Dustin Hoffman as the title character, which she was initially not jazzed about.
I think considering how outside of everything Claire enjoys in movies Labyrinth was, there was nothing I could have said to convince her. I also loved Labyrinth as a kid, and for me the story was secondary to everything else, and that's a really difficult argument to defend.

Beetlejuice though, I felt was a turning point.
But it wasn't so much that she had remained unconvinced, it's the fact that throughout the discussion, I felt myself getting unraveled.
I was realizing slowly and surely that I understood very little about what Beetlejuice was trying to be, what it was trying to accomplish. I was realizing I was getting my love for the cartoon series mixed up with my feelings for the movie. They were slowly confabulated into the same thing for me years later.
As the conversation unfolded, I realized how much ground I was losing. It's not a competition, by any means, and it's certainly not a debate, that's not the purpose of the podcast. No one's trying to convert the other person. It's just that when we first set out to do this, I was pretty confident in the idea that some of the movies might be weird and some might be difficult, but all of them were pretty strong fundamentally to merit it a good movie.
It just simply wasn't the case with Beetlejuice.
Very quickly, you realize you don't really have a protagonist to stand behind.
You're given a glimpse into an alternate world where there are rules and limits, while the "real" world of the movie is sorely missing those.
The title character figures into very little of the proceedings and you're unsure of what his goals or even motivations are.
But whenever I deconstruct any movie, I think about how easy it would be to fix any possible glaring flaws. Yes, there's a suspension of disbelief, but that can only take you so far. There are some things that are just problematic. And to think they could have been covered in a simple line addition or a re-ordering of scenes, or a strengthening of a specific element, and to think how often that was brought up while we were discussing Beetlejuice, it was just disappointing.

But like I said in the wrap-up, it's early Burton. He's still finding his voice, his point of view, his style. It's all prototype here. It all comes to fruition with Edward Scissorhands and the like.

Anyway, that's Beetlejuice.
And here's the episode!

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Dailies - Workin' Mondays

Just got through a surprisingly busy Monday.
It'd be nice if "dark days" was respected, and we were actually down on Mondays.
We should be down on Mondays.
But we aren't.
Oh well.
It means I get hours.

I also just updated iTunes, and the icon is red. The icon is RED.
It is throwing me the fuck off.
I cannot even believe how much this tiny little thing could throw me off so much.

I'm sitting down to edit the next Unseen Footage episode right now.
We're starting to go bi-weekly next month, which is really exciting.
It's growing!
We're going!
Ah!

Got to get editing now. More (and better) updates to come.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Dailies - Sunday Funday

My apartment is really funny sometimes. We seem to live with a bunch of college freshmen the way they party. Or you know, it's just a bunch of transplants in a new city livin' it up.

The number of semi-drunken fights I've heard slurred outside my window in the courtyard at around 3 in the morning is impossibly high.

I can't think of the last time our front door was in a fully functional condition.

But with all my furniture here and my room looking more like a normal room, it's a pretty lovely life.
Who can really complain?

No one, that's who.

(I will though. Later. About other things.)


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Dailies - Saturday is for Trolls

It was revealed to me today that Hogwarts School of Prayer and Miracles was fake, written as satire, and not authentic.

I'm honestly somewhat disappointed.
I'm disappointed somewhat in myself because it actually infuriated me.
But to be fair, as exaggerated as it was written, and maybe as inaccurate as some of the writing was, it was based on real things. I've met real people like this. I've met submissive women who don't believe in going against the wishes of the men in their lives.
I've met people so afraid of Hell or whatever that they cling to beliefs they don't understand.
But no matter. It wasn't real.
Every infuriating part of the story, the revision of the Harry Potter mythos, the inaccurate character portrayals, etc., it was all exactly to get a rise out of me and other readers.
So everyone fell for it.

There were hints of it being fake that I picked up on, but I was pretty much convinced.

On the other hand though, it was absolutely hilarious to read.
And a fantastic, brilliant ending. It was a really fitting end.

Everyone should go read it. Read it now. Then read the reviews, laugh at how incensed everyone is. Then read how everyone has to slowly retract and admit they had to just laugh it off and say, "Good form. Good form."


Friday, October 24, 2014

The Dailies - Friday

Not much to say today, except it's nice to have a night to myself again.

Refreshing, to say the least.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Dailies - Thursday's a Fine Day

The trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron got leaked by someone, so Marvel went ahead and released the HD version the same day. It's pretty fantastic.



But you can see even more of the seeds of darker comings into the Marvel Universe.
Things are getting dark.
The thing is that comic book movies are slowly being taken more seriously, and the movies themselves have to continue balancing their light and their darkness.
We don't want too much The Dark Knight Returns, late 80s, early 90s "darker and grittier" style.
We now have Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy on the dark side, and now we have Guardians of the Galaxy on the lighter side. In between that scale of extremes, we can see where everything falls.
The first Amazing Spider-Man movie, X-Men's reboot series thus far (First Class, Days of Future Past), the solo Avengers movies...

I love the direction that the movie universe is taking, because it's a bunch of somewhat lighter characters taking on more and more mature things. I think it'll take a lot to take it to the other extreme, because the Avengers series has toyed with the line exceptionally well.

I'm excited for this chapter, for Ultron most of all.
I do think that in general, the Marvel universe for me, lacks compelling villains.
The way they're building up Ultron is really interesting. I'm curious to see what happens.
I also love James Spader's voice for Ultron. It's a pretty fantastic match-up.

If the lines start getting drawn here, for Civil War, we're going to see some pretty interesting things come up for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.