Donald Trump: Ally Of Zelda!?

If you have ever seen Gerry Anderson’s Terrahawks you’re familiar with Zelda of Gak, an android who’s numerous attempts to invade Earth were thwarted by Dr. Tiger Ninestein and his team, known as the Terrahawks.

Speaking of Zelda, she recently released a video from her base on Mars denying any involvement with or connection to the Trump campaign.  And while such meddling in human affairs isn’t beyond her, she also tends to be be pretty open about her attempts to undermine humanity, so I’m guessing that she might me innocent (this time).

Besides, while Zelda may hate humanity with every fibre of her being, she’s never been known for her racism, lying on the verge of being a pathological condition, or overall smarminess.

 

Transformers: The Last Knight – Official Trailer 1

I hate to say this about any movie, but Transformers: The Last Knight needs to fail (or at the very least, do not so quite so well) at the box office. 

And I want that to be the case for the best possible reasons, namely the movies have so far been terrible, and apparently nothing else will change that beyond one of them belly-flopping at the box office.  

As long as they’re successful, Michael Bay will direct.  As long as they’re successful we’ll be “treated” to multi-million dollar movies less involving–from a story standpoint–than the cartoons and toys that inspired them. 

And I don’t necessarily blame Bay because while the success or failure of a movie rides on the director’s shoulders, in the end it’s the viewers–people like you and me–who really make that determination. 

And I intend to do my part: I promise that I will not pay to see Transformers: The Last Knight–nor will I pirate it, because that’s doesn’t help the situation–even out of curiosity, to see if it’s as bad as I expect and the rest of the movies in the series has been.

So do your part to stop Hollywood from burying us in CGI-fests that are less interested in telling any sort of cohesive story than they are to get us to buy some piece of junk our children will abandon for the box it came in, and instead support movies that at least pretend to have some sort of narrative thrust. 

4 Reasons Fox Is Ill-Equipped To Handle Their Marvel Franchises

 1.Fox Remembered Way Too Late That These Characters Were Based On Comicbooks

If you recall The original X-Men movie their costumes were black leather, which was probably done because the producers thought that audiences wouldn’t accept superheroes in all their technicolor, spandex-clad glory.

And at the time, they were probably right.

Though times change–though thankfully not about spandex–and  an upstart studio by the name of Marvel started producing superhero-based movies that interpreted these characters–visually as well as thematically–more faithfully than was typically the case.

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By way of illustration, here’s an image of Jean Gray/Dark Phoenix (Famke Janssen) from X-Men: The Last Stand.








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And here’s the version of the Dark Phoenix from The Uncanny X-Men comic.

Notice a difference?  The movie version tried to reinterpret the comics’ version, but is too tentative to be effective.  And that’s not for a moment to be interpreted to mean that the costume would have worked if it looked exactly comics-faithful (I suspect that it wouldn’t have).

Though the design they ended up going with?  Too safe by half.




2. The Galactus Cloud 

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This is Galactus, a character that literally survives by devouring PLANETS!   He’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, and instantly recognizable to most comics fans.

And below is the version of that was used in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer.

img_0038Yep, it’s a cloud–a very cool-looking cloud, to be sure, but a cloud nonetheless–though perhaps what’s even worse is that I have seen some concept drawings never used in the film where the cloud was used to obscure Galactus and his space ship.

Which is a great idea that would have made a lot more sense than just the cloud alone, and would have really motivated fans of the Fantastic Four into the theater.

3. The Problem With Wolverine

Fox’s fixation with Wolverine is something I carp on on pretty much a regular basis (and since I see no reason to stop now…)

For a time, Wolverine was as popular in the comics as he was in the movies, though due to the way comics work it’s easier to give an uber-popular character space to grow (perhaps by spinning them off into their own title), while not alienating people who prefer other members of the team he happened to be a member of.

Movies don’t work as efficiently or as quickly as publishing a comic, so when producers of the movies noticed that Wolverine was so popular with moviegoers (as he was with fans of the comics) they made a serious mistake: They made him the center of which all things revolved.  There were other characters, though most were treated not nearly as well as Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (with the possible exception of Michael Fassbender’s Magneto and maybe Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique).

What made the comics such a success–other than John Byrne–was that the X-Men were always a team. Individual members would rise and fall in terms of prominence, but when all is said and done, everyone would share the spotlight at some point.

4. Declining Box Office Receipts

While some may think that reducing movies to box office figures isn’t a good thing–and how enjoyable a movie is doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how much money it earns–it’s a fact of life that if a movie doesn’t finish its run in the black, the likelihood is that that’s the last we are going to hear about it (until the inevitable reboot) because no one typically sets out to make movies that fail.

That being said what’s surprising isn’t that the X-Men movies have been popular–most of the movies were–but a few weren’t financially successful.

The third film in the series, X-Men: The Last Stand, earned somewhere in the ballpark of $459 million worldwide, on a production budget of $210 million.

Typically, a rule of thumb is that a movie has to earn three times its production costs to be in the black, something The Last Stand did not do.

For that matter nor did its follow up, X-Men: First Class, which earned $354 million on a $160 million budget (which reminds me: the special effects in First Class we’re so bad in places that they looked unfinished, which made me wonder where that $160 million went because whatever it was, it wasn’t toward special effects).

X-Men: Days Of Future Past was one of most profitable of the series, earning $748 million on a $200 million budget, while it’s sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse, didn’t quite fare as well, earning $544 million on a budget of $178 million (profitable, if you use the 3X rule, though not terribly so).

The latest rumor is that Fox intends to reboot the X-Men movies, though what they apparently can’t count on is Marvel Studios saving their franchise in a similar fashion to what will probably be the case with Spider-Man because all signs indicate that it’s not in the cards.

The Illogic of Spoiler Culture

I can’t wait to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, partially because Tom Holland gave a winning, enthusiastic performance in Captain America: Civil War, but also because the movie is being produced by Marvel Studios along with Sony Pictures, which at least holds out the hope that he will be treated more faithfully than has recently been in more recent iterations. 

That being said, as a reader of various websites dedicated to superhero films I have started to pay closer attention to what I think is quite a disturbing trend–which isn’t by any restricted to superhero-orientated sites; those are just the ones I frequent on a consistent basis–which is the revealing of plot points that may at first relatively minor, yet cumulatively can end up being spoilers.

Feo instande, this is a story running on Superherohype:  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Clip Description Confirms Major Costume Change And Spoils Happy Hogan’s Cameo

I read the article, though soon noticed a curious feeling not unlike regret.  

It was less a case that the particular thing revealed being by any means earth-shattering–truth be told, it was hardly what I’d call a spoiler–though what it and reveals like it have the potential of doing is not only robbing the movie of what could have been a very memorable moment.

Though there’s the risk that, over time–as other equally small moments are revealed–of potentially adding up to one massive spoiler, as these sort of reveals can have a cumulative effect.

Making a movie, overall, significantly less enjoyable.

Which is oddly ironic because relatively few, if any, fan sites actively seek to diminish anyone’s joy, but due to their zeal to dig up as much information about an upcoming project as they possibly can can end up doing just that. 

Netflix Downloads Bring More Questions Than Answers

With Netlix enabling subscribers the ability to download content it brings to mind more questions than answers. 

For instance, I assume downloaded content must ‘expire’ after a certain period of time. 

Using iTunes as an example, if I were to download a movie I would only have two or three days to watch it if I had started playing it.  Otherwise I might keep it for months, despite that being an exercise in silliness (never mind a waste of valuable hard drive real estate). 

Then there are the rights issues that accompany everything that appears on the streaming service.  To get the aforementioned rights to television shows or movies Nextlix makes deals with content creators for millions of dollars, so does the ability to download their content cost Netflix more than they are currently paying (and this question is crucial, because if it does the likelihood is high that those costs would be passed down to consumers in the form of higher membership fees). 

And while there has been no mention of any such increases–especially since the last time there was talk of a price increase it literally cost them millions of subscribers–nevermind the dubious ‘Quickster’ episode–we won’t know till we know. 

The Future Is Fantastic! – Modular Eagle Project, Part 2 

Since joining Lego Ideas five years ago, the user known as King_Arthur has created other projects, but none has attracted as much attention as his most recent, which is a Lego-ized version of the Eagle Transporter from Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999

Here is his version below, and I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty faithful reproduction. 

I have written this project the past, and I am glad to note that it has reached the 1000 follower benchmark–currently sitting at a very apt 1998- and has earned another 6 months  (or 182 days) to reach the next milestone, which is 5000 followers. 

Of that 182 days 135 remain, so if you were considering showing your support for this awesome project this is the perfect time to do so.  


When it reaches 5000 supporters Lego will produce a kit based on King_Arthur’s design, which will be available in stores. 

And in case–for some strange reason–you’re still on the fence, check out his Flickr page for even more pictures of his fantastic Modular Eagle project.

Silence – Official Trailer 1

Silence, the latest movie from Martin Scorsese, looks absolutely gorgeous, as the two images I have included from the trailer will attest to. 


My problem with the movie–sight unseen–are less with the auteur behind the camera than the subject matter, which revolves around two Catholiic missionaries, played by Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield, who head to Japan in search of one of their number who apparently vanished. 

Being Catholic missionaries, there is literally no way that they aren’t going to try to impose their beliefs on people that aren’t, shall we say, terribly receptive to them (at least initially). 

It’s likely where the central conflict of the movie stems, but the notion of having one’s beliefs forced upon others has always been a very touchy issue for me. 

Another sticking point is Adam Driver, who if he were anymore wooden, you could replace with Keanu Reeves and barely notice the difference 

Thankskilling – Trailer

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, but what holiday can’t be made better with just a touch of mayhem to help hold down the virtually indigestible turkey that in a few hours is guaranteed to make you feel like you’re passing a catcher’s mitt. 

Enter Thankskilling, a holiday-themed horror movie that shows that sometimes it’s definitely better to give than receive; which is particularly relevant when you’re dealing with a demonic, talking gobbler who’s determined to make you the entrée!