Tag Archives: fantasy

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman v. SupermanTL;DR version – don’t waste your money. Long version includes spoilers. Lots of spoilers because this movie sucked my brain out one ear and spit shot it across the street.

Okay, ready? This is going to be a long vent.

First, some redeeming features to the movie:

  1. Ben Affleck doesn’t suck at Batman. I’m ambivalent to Batman in general, but Affleck worked for me here.

  2. Gal Godot didn’t suck as Wonder Woman. Then again, she didn’t have to do much except look sexy, flirt with Bats, and growl during the battle. Still, she’s  pretty good at growling.

  3. Henry Cavill is still pretty, even with a scar.

  4. Nod to Robin existing in this universe. Or formerly existing since we don’t know if it was Dick Grayson or Jason Todd who was killed. I’m voting for Jason because I would love to see Under the Red Hood live action.

  5. Jeremy Irons as Alfred. Cranky without pontificating.

  6. The Clark/Lois love scene at the beginning. Nice touch.

  7. The Martha and Batman exchange when he rescues her. Also, nice touch.

Non-redeeming features. While the plot in and of itself wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t brilliant, and the whole film was dragged down by bloated waste of stuff the audience didn’t need to know and/or didn’t need to see. It reminded of how I felt about the Dark Knight, an okay film that could have left 45 minutes on the cutting room floor. Specifically:

  1. Why did we need to waste so much time rewatching the death of Martha & Thomas Wayne? Everyone who’s going to see this movie knows Batman’s backstory.  It would have been so much better if they’d handled that with the same deft touch that they handled Robin’s demise.

  2. Wonder Woman served no purpose. They used her as a funnel for a product placement sequence advertising the Justice League movie. Yes, she fights at the end, protects Batman while Superman is distracted by rescuing Lois (again), but there was no real reason for her to be there.

  3. The reason Wonder Woman shouldn’t have been there is because there was no reason they couldn’t have blocked the final battle with Superman and Batman teaming up and still have the same outcome.

  4. Superman has to save Lois no less than three times during the movie. Batman then has to save Martha Kent. Really people? So much saving of women just to avoid fridging them?

  5. Batman, the world’s greatest detective, has been emotionally manipulated by Lex Luthor for over two years? Seriously?

  6. Lex’s security is so bad, no one notices Bruce Wayne or Diana Prince wandering down to the computer servers in Lex’s house all three times.

  7. Lex is the new Joker. For someone who finds the Joker boring on a good day, this didn’t help. Joker is psychopathic, Luthor is sociopathic – learn the difference people.

  8. They had to make Lex psychopathic because he has no motivation. He makes vague references to getting beaten by Daddy and Daddy’s childhood during the Third Reich, but Lex himself has no personal reason to want Superman dead.

  9. Batman decides to bring Doomsday from the uninhabited island BACK TO METROPOLIS so Bats can find the kryptonian spear to stop him? Why couldn’t Bats just go to Metropolis, get the spear, then return to the island where no one was getting hurt? (And this is a guy who based his whole anti-Superman vendetta based on Superman supposedly not caring about the thousands killed during his battle with Zod).

  10. Batman’s crossfit training montage. Yes, he’s sexy, but for a movie already bloated to 2 1/2 hours, it was unnecessary and didn’t move the story forward.

  11. Useless Bat-dreams/nightmares that tells the audience what we already know: Batman fears Superman’s god-like powers.

  12. Batman decides not to kill Superman because their moms share the same first name. Ummmm, okay.

I could go on but this blog post is going the way of the movie – bloated to the point of useless. Just wait for it to come on TV at some point and make sure you have something else to keep yourself busy while you watch it.

Favorite Villains

Favorite Villains

Darth Vader (original flavor)

darth-vader-10-most-dangerous-star-wars-villains

Kingpin/Wilson Fisk

20160216060329!Kingpinm

 

Weeping Angels

Weeping Angel 41

Wicked Witch of the West

the-wicked-witch-of-the-west-oz

Hans Gruber

Hans_Gruber

I have Hans Gruber on my mind because of Alan Rickman’s recent death. Yes, I toyed with the idea of putting Snape up there, but like the Alien Queen (who just wanted to save her babies), Snape was not a nice person, but was he really evil? Hans was evil, no if, ands, or buts.  Further down the list is The Master from Doctor Who (Ten Era). And before anyone asks,  I’ve never seen Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, or the Sopranos, probably because they have awesome villains and I’d die of fright or righteous anger.

Favorite Time Travelers

Why yes, I was inspired by the recent Back to the Future Day, but alas, Marty McFly is not anywhere near my favorite time travelers. This is usually where I state that the list is in no particular order, except I’m making an exception for #1.

Kyle1. Kyle Reese: The Terminator – A man volunteers to go through time in an experimental time machine to save the woman he loves who doesn’t even know he exists? Yep, he’s my #1 hero on top of favorite time traveler.

2. Enterprise Bridge Crew – Star Trek 4: the Voyage Home – It’s not just about the whales. It’s about friendship, love, loss, sacrifice, and forgiveness. And it’s damn funny to boot.

Wolverine3. Wolverine – The X-Men: Days of Future Past – It’s not just about Hugh Jackman’s delectable bare backside. Well, okay it is, but you could make the argument that the rest of the movie was well done too. Strong plot, lots of action, and Stewart & McKellan showing us friendship can withstand all challenges and endure the test of time. (I’d also like to point out that Michael Biehn has an equally delectable backside in Terminator – in case anyone is keeping track).

4. Phil – Groundhog Day – he’s iconic at this point, though how many people remember the character’s name? I recently rewatched the movie and it holds up quite nicely.

Lola5. Lola – Run Lola Run – An award-winning German language film about a young woman trying to save her boyfriend from being murdered. She runs, but fails, so she screams, resets time, runs again, fails again until the third time around.

6. The Doctor – Doctor Who – perennial favorite. Not even going to differentiate between which one because there’s so many to choose from.

7. Sam Winchester – Supernatural: Mystery Spot – One of the best episodes of the entire series and remember, we’re talking 11 seasons here. Yes, it’s inspired by Groundhog Day and even starts off pretty funny, but becomes less and less so as the story progresses.

Now I need an opinion from all of you: Do Captain America and the Winter Soldier qualify as time travelers? Let me know because I’m on the fence about it.

NecronomiCon Report

I came back from Tampa to find a light nip in the air. My con roommate, Dawn Bonnano, would have laughed at me, since I shipped her back to the frozen tundra of Chicago. Yes, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
Me & my roomie
This year was my first year as a panelist instead of a moderator. It’s so weird answering the questions instead of asking them. I didn’t have a lot of time to attend panels beyond the seven I was on. Yeah, seven. They originally had me on ten, but I dropped three for my own sanity.It was hard to tell which side won the DC vs. Marvel panel with all the fists flying, but the body count indicated a tie. The same with Marvel Movieverse (and TV land). How can Marvel get it so right with the movies, Agent Carter, and Daredevil, but get it so wrong with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Can We Love Heroes Who Use Their Brains Instead of Brawn?, whereupon I risked the wrath of the fandom by ‘fessing up that I preferred RDJ’s Sherlock to BC’s. Yep, that’s how I roll.

One of these things is not like the other
I took a quick peek at the NecronomiProm, which hosted its third wedding this year. Firefly themed! I also accomplished quite a bit of holiday shopping in the dealer’s room. So much geeky stuff to choose from.I’m not sure if I’ll make it back to NecronomiCon next year, but I’m going to try.

Drinking with Superheroes

Steal the SkyMegan E. O’Keefe, Writer of the Future winner and author of Steal the Sky, is doing a blog series called “Drinks with Characters”.

This is the sort of prompt I love. Who wouldn’t want to speculate about what your favorite superheroes drink at the end of a long day of rescuing cats out of trees and stopping the devilish antics of their super villains.

So hop on over the Megan’s website and find out what Captain Spectacular and the rest of Blackwood family drink when they’re not patrolling Thunder City.

Click here: http://meganokeefe.com/2015/10/08/drinks-with-characters-debra-jess-is-drinking-with-superheroes/

Meet me at NecronomiCon 2015

NecronomiConFlorida’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Convention
October 9-11, 2015

So who’s going to NecronomiCon this year? ​You’ll get to see Timothy Zahn, Richard Lee Byers, Lucienne Diver, and Pam LaBud to name a few. ​ I’ll be there​ too,​ so if you want to find me, here’s my panel schedule:

DAY TIME ROOM EVENT NAME
Friday 6 PM SHC North Can We Love Heroes Who Use Their Brains Instead of Brawn?
Friday 7 PM SHC South Marvel Movieverse (and TV Land)
Saturday 11 AM Audubon C Crossing Genres
Saturday 2 PM SHC North Who Does It Better–Marvel or D.C?
Saturday 7 PM SHC North Mythology in Supernatural 
Saturday 10 PM SHC North Guilty Pleasures
Sunday 10 AM SHC North Using Historic Fact in Your Fiction

The Fantastic Four Movie Review

The Fantastic Four. I really wanted to love this film. I really want to at least like this film. There are elements of possibilities here, but in the end, this was a mess of missed opportunities. Where to begin…

Fantastic FourA long list of spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

The main problem with this film is that it never tells you why. Which “why?” Any why.

Why do Ben and Reed become friends? You see Reed as an over the top, misunderstood geek getting ridiculed by his own teacher at school. Ben looks like the kid who’s going to be the one who shoves Reed’s head into a toilet. He doesn’t. Why? What does Ben see in Reed that makes him stand by Reed’s side all through school. (Take note: the younger actors who play Ben and Reed had more chemistry together than any of the adult actors in this film. Kudos to their acting coaches).

Why does Dr. Storm proclaim his son can build anything, yet Johnny can’t even build a working street racer?

Why does the Baxter group leave four teenagers alone in a lab with a working interdimensional transport with no guards?

Why can Reed get Ben into a facility with a working interdimensional transport without going through five hundred layers of security?

Why did they delete all of the cool action beats from the trailers? The few action scenes in the movie are so out of context you have to wonder why they were filmed at all. The only exception was Reed fighting in the forest. That one was actually pretty cool to watch, but there wasn’t enough there to keep me interested.

Why did they skip a year? Why did the cut out everything about the team getting used to their powers?

Why does Grimm forgive Reed so easily? They were best friends, then Reed abandons Grimm to his fate for a year. It doesn’t matter than Reed was trying to help from a distance.

Why does Johnny welcome Reed back so readily? Those two hardly know each other.

Why wasn’t Sue allowed to join the boys in their drunken transport to the other dimension? This pisses me off the most. If she’s supposed to be part of this team, she should have been allowed to join the drinking party and make the same mistakes as the boys. Stupid mistake or not, Sue is now the pretty princess stands apart from the the others, who always has to take the moral high ground. Boring, boring, boring. The writers and the director had no balls when it came to giving Sue her powers.

What the hell happened to Doom pre-transport? He’s set up as this anti-government rebel without a cause with a huge crush on Sue that goes absolutely nowhere. There seems to be a wink and a nod that he’s actually working for someone else, but he does nothing to make us believe he’s about to betray the team. There’s no sense of his growing rage. We left to assume that he joined the project so he could be close to Sue especially when gets all jealous when he sees Reed and Sue flirting, but in the same scene Reed incorporates Doom even deeper into the project. They become drinking buddies for crying out loud.

What the hell happened to Doom post-transport? He wants to destroy Earth because ::mumble mumble:: REASONS. Nothing about being torn away from Sue. Nothing about wanting anything more than to go back to the primordial existence on this other planet because ::mumble mumble:: REASONS. He has no motivation to be doing what he’s doing. He’s pissed and he’s powerful and he’s boring as hell.

I’ve read the rumors about studio interference on this project, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. All I have to work with is what’s up on the screen and what’s up on the screen is terrible.

 

My Top Three Reads of 2014

It’s almost New Year’s, and I’m packed and ready to head across the state to where my friends will build a huge bonfire before setting off their own fireworks show. I love bonfires and fireworks.

Instead of getting all maudlin and reflecting on the ups and downs of this year, I’m going to give you my top three reads. I hope you’ll read them too.

Ancillary Justice by Ann LeckieAnn_Leckie_-_Ancillary_Justice.jpeg

In case you haven’t heard, this book has won just about every major science fiction award (Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, BSFA, Locus, etc.). The awards are well deserved. Aside from the intelligent writing, stirring plot, and excellent characterization, this novel is significant because it was written by a woman author in year where women science fiction authors were catching a lot of flak for daring to write science fiction. Some of those authors have received death and rape threats for their writing. What’s even more thought provoking is Ann Leckie’s use of the feminine as the default pronoun for a human race that doesn’t identify gender in any way. You don’t really know the gender of most of the individuals the main character interacts with because the main character him/her/itself doesn’t know. If my praise for this book seems over the top, it’s because I’m normally not a fan of AI (artificial intelligence) stories, but the AI in this story explored AI issues of compassion, loyalty, friendship and revenge without making the AI act like your average human.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. JemisinJemisin_Hundred-Thousand-Kingdoms-TP

Another amazing book but this time from the fantasy genre. It’s not a new book published this year, but it’s new to me. The world-building and the intricate plot lines are clearly defined and the fast paced. The heroine is by turn, smart, funny, naïve, and strong-willed. What I really appreciate is that the cast of characters is small giving the story an intimate feel, even as the story leaps from one kingdom to another, dealing out death and life between people and gods.

Lightspeed Magazine’s “Women Destroy Science Fiction” special Lightspeed_49_June_2014_200pxissue

This collection of short stories written by female SF authors was compiled to raise awareness about the obstacles and discrimination issues that many women scif-fi authors battle. I am also partial to this collection because I had the privilege of proofreading many of these stories.

It was hard to pick out my favorites from this issue, but here are my top three (not in any sort of favorite order) : 1) Each to Each by Seanan McGuire, 2) Salvage by Carrie Vaughn and 3) They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain by Rachael Acks. All of these stories sucked me in before they ripped out my heart. They’re available online through the Lightspeed Magazine web site. Go check them out along with all of the other breathtaking stories available.

What was your favorite sci-fi title of the past year?