DC Preview Review!

Kit has some opinions about what DC and WB have shown off from their upcoming cinematic universe. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of TLL. Though we agree with most of them…

It seems DC have been getting themselves in gear lately to try to build up hype for their cinematic universe. Now I’m going to tell you what to think about it! Well, not really. More like give my own barely informed opinion based on pure speculation, a trailer and a few pictures. But that’s what the internet does with these things, right?

First things first, I’ll get my personal biases out in the open.

  1. I like both Marvel and DC
  2. I read both DC and Marvel comics on a weekly basis (and damn is Scott Snyder’s Batman excellent!)
  3. So far Marvel have a MUCH better film track record (I’ve enjoyed all of the MCU films so far)
  4. DC have made some good films, one truly outstanding one (The Dark Knight), have had some embarrassments (Green Lantern) and some which I really don’t understand why people like them (looking at you Dark Knight Rises and Man of Steel)
  5. I am a fan of Batman (this may not come across in my article) I read the Batman comics and have enjoyed most of the Bat Family outings
  6. I think Ben Affleck will make a very good Batman
  7. I am one of the few Superman fans it seems are around in my generation
  8. I have only read three issues of the Suicide Squad.

OK, now that’s out of the way you should probably have a feel for where I stand on things.

Over the last couple of weeks DC have released their trailer for Batman Vs Superman. I may be a bit late to giving my opinion on this one, but it does help beef up the word count! This morning I woke up to pictures of the entire Suicide Squad, so my comments on this should be a bit more punctual!

On with the reviews….

The Suicide Squad

Suicide SquadAs I said before this is pure speculation, based mostly on this one picture and choice of actors. As I said I haven’t read much of the Suicide Squad, however I have encountered all of the character in other DC literature. To give you my abbreviated opinion:

Slipknot – Fine, Captain Boomerang – Fine, Enchantress – Fine, Katana – Awesome, Rick Flagg – Fine, Harley – Not what I expected but looks pretty cool, Deadshot – Fine, The Goomba from the 1993 Super Mario Bros Film – I wasn’t aware Nintendo were in on this? You’d think they’d have made a better contribution… and El Diablo – face looks cool, outfit… like an American college student?

I only have so many words to use here so I’ll give my opinion on three of the new looks:

  • Killer Croc

As you can see, I am no fan of Killer Croc’s look… I can see what they were trying to do, and the face itself looks OK, however where the hell is the rest of him?

croc

I mean look, the defining features of Killer Croc – he’s freaking huge, he has scaley skin, massive shoulder and neck muscles, the teeth and the half nakedness. (OK, I suppose he still kinda looks like a goomba in some ways…) but this picture is much more intimidating, and it’s not even one of his more monstrous forms. I’m not sure what DC were trying to do with the new Killer Croc look other than ‘keep it more realistic’, which I don’t really see the point of. Bulk him up, add some animatronics or prosthetics or even CGI him like Marvel do with the Hulk. It would look much better than what DC produced.

 

 

 

 

 

That out of the way, onto two that I like…

  • Deadshot

So there seems to have been a bit of controversy over the choice of Will Smith as Deadshot. I think it’s a pretty good one actually. He’s been in a lot of good films over the years and now he’s older it could be a good fit for him. The outfit itself ticks all the boxes. I like it.

  • Harley Quinn

DC haven’t gone with the classic Black and Red onesie I think it would have been fun to see, but she still fits in! They’ve packed in a lot of personality to the costume and she does have the look of someone who was normal but lost it over time. I think Margot Robbie definitely looks the part here.

Overall I’m curious to see what DC do with this, I wouldn’t say I’m pumped for it exactly but it’s their try at tongue in cheeck. Could be good! I would add something about the Joker, but running out of space… to keep it quick – Leto is a great actor, it won’t be the same character as Ledger’s at all but that’s a good thing! He’ll probably be great.

 

Batman vs Superman

BvS

I’m running out of words here so I’ll sum things up quickly: meh…

OK, maybe a little more detail. I like Batman and Superman stories. I like some of the Batman Vs Superman stories (check out Red Son and Injustice). I’m not too big on The Dark Knight Returns though. From what I can tell in the trailer, Superman is being worshipped by people around the globe (interesting idea) and I guess it’s gone to his head? (Not so sure on this) and Batman has decided to kick his ass. And that’s it.

Hmm… I can see why DC are doing this, Batman’s popularity is huge these days and plenty of people will watch this. I just don’t see how a coherent Justice League can be founded on this. I WANT this film to surprise me, for the Batman vs Superman bit to not just be one and a half hours of build up follow by an hour of fighting like Man of Steel was. That was boring. If it were looking more like the Batman/Superman battle was in the first 45 minutes, then they realise they were both being manipulated by Lex Luthor and go deck him in the shnoz I would be more pumped. Batman and Superman have fought so much recently, and if Superman wanted to kill him Batman wouldn’t stand a chance (seriously, no amount of prep could stand up against a coin thrown at light speed or Superman just lasering him from space.. if you disagree with me tell me in the comments, this could be fun!).

I’m not worried about the actors, Ben Affleck is a great actor in serious roles (see Gone Girl and Argo).

I’ve always preferred the stories where their relationship is actually friendly. The eternal optimist in Superman and Batman being moody and dark.

Something more like this: http://imgur.com/gallery/6PzEq

Please prove me wrong DC. But right now I’m not looking forward to many of your films.

Kit

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – A Shower of Bastards

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

It’s been a while since my last meandering, unfocussed rant hasn’t it? I had the idea for one vaguely themed on what I’ll release the vitriol tap onto a couple of months ago, but when I found the the opportunity to write it didn’t seem timely enough, and more elegant and intelligent things had already been said on the subject. That absolutely is not to say that what I’m about to embark upon will be elegant or intelligent, far from it in fact. It does not mean it isn’t something worth discussing. I’m going to be talking about The Walking Dead TV show, and will make reference to the comic series too, but nothing will be serious spoiler territory.

Two weeks ago The Walking Dead ended with the introduction of Aaron, a representative from a community known as Alexandria, who approached Maggie and Sasha and asked to talk to their leader Rick. In the following episode, Aaron leads Rick and his crazy gang of survivors to the Alexandria stronghold. There are trust issues. as per usual in TWD, and somehow the group gets split up. Team Daryl hook up with Eric, Aaron’s partner in the field and also actual partner, who has been injured. When Team Rick meet back up with them, Aaron is overjoyed to see Eric alive, rushing over to embrace and kiss him. As people who are fond of each other tend to do.

Cue pointless controversy.

The reactions I’ve seen from people across the internet, in particular knee jerk reactions on Twitter, have been egregious to say the least. I would hope that all those that had a problem with Aaron and Eric sharing a kiss are in the minority, but over 13 million viewers of the episode in the US alone, those that took to their keyboards and phones to voice their disgust must represent a minority of a size that I’m not particularly comfortable with. That size being more than zero. Fucking hell people, it is 2015. If we feel the need to complain about two adults showing that they love each other in a basic way, in a story set in a US state where same-sex marriage is actually legal, then there is a serious problem here. Not to mention the fact that this story is set during the fucking zombie apocalypse, civilisation has crumbled around everyone as they struggle to survive, avoid the shuffling dead and rebuild the world. But dudes kissing dudes? Nah bro. Not cool. Why the hell should anyone be allowed to glimpse a single moment of happiness in such a terrible world, regardless of their sexual orientation?

I’ll quote a few of the responses I’ve seen, and address them with the fury with which they deserve. I was slightly heartened to see that some of these people have received a summary dressing down by ‘non-arseholes’, and some have either deleted the original message or their accounts all together. Defences used by those that haven’t revolve around it only being an opinion, or a right to free speech. “Get this faggot ass shit off the walking dead” doesn’t sound like much of an opinion to me, it sounds like hate speech. Blatant and painful discrimination in my book doesn’t really factor in as an opinion, and with how indelible and permanent the internet is it baffles me that people don’t keep this shit to themselves. As for freedom of speech, everyone absolutely should have the freedom to express themselves and opinions, as long as they are happy to have whatever shit they’ve said heavily scrutinised by others exercising their right to free speech by calling them out for being a cunt. I don’t believe that the internet should be censored or heavily policed, and I think people should only be prosecuted for what they say on the internet if they are genuine threats of whatever form they may be, like rape or death threats, doxxing or terrorism. Saying awful shit merely identifies you as part of the dregs of society that hopefully one day will just fuck off, but will probably stick around inexplicably like cancer or the concept of inequality.

Lets start with an oldie but a goodie. “I’m not a homophobic but that gay couple just ruined The Walking Dead“. If you have to start any sentence with ‘I’m not a (blank) but…’, news flash – you are that thing. In the same way that someone will always preface something vaguely insulting or offensive with “no offense, but…”. So putting aside that the start of the statement is basically the same as admitting that the person is a “homophobic”, the rest of the message isn’t exactly brimming with reason or perspective. No single thing can ruin The Walking Dead. Season 2 nearly ruined The Walking Dead. The weird peaks and troughs of quality sometimes threaten The Walking Dead, until they pull some ridiculously good episode out of the bag like the recent ‘What Happened and What’s Going On’. Two men kissing each other can not and will not ruin a whole TV show. The show was staying true to the source material, but even if it wasn’t and had just introduced two brand new gay characters, who the fuck cares? They weren’t forced on the viewer, it wasn’t forwarding some imagined pro-gay liberal agenda, there were just two characters who cared for each other, were happy to see each other and expressed that as any loving couple would. It wasn’t over the top or graphic. It just was. If that is all it takes to ruin a show for you, I feel very sorry for you. But I still want you to fuck off.

With the insane popularity of The Walking Dead, the viewership it pulls in is huge and way more than I would have ever expected. I’m always glad when something inherently nerdy, part of the culture I love, does well and more people are exposed to whatever it is. I like our nerd culture to be inclusive, accepting of everyone’s interest whether they just watch a show about a comic book, or use that show as a diving board into a larger world of comics, games, sci-fi and fantasy. But I have no interest in anyone that discriminates or spouts hateful shit like this.

Next up is “I don’t like that the walking dead got faggot shit on here now. Is Nothing Sacred !???” I get that someone was upset by seeing something they don’t like. If it bothers you so much, stop watching. But don’t throw stuff like “faggot shit” on the internet. It is so fucking unnecessary. Also, what is supposed to be “Sacred” in a TV show that is set during a zombie apocalypse? Everyone is completely godless, barely surviving day to day and certainly not giving a single shit about anyone else’s sexual orientation. Even the preacher struggles with his faith.  But even the shambling corpses, the bad guys who try to kill our heroes, or even when the good guys flat out murder people that may or may not be a threat, they still all manage to display more basic fucking humanity and tolerance than the dicks that watch the show.

Possibly my favourite two messages cover basically the same line of idiocy, so I’ll finish up with them. “I have been watching the walking dead for years with my kids, then with no warning u throw gays in there, I’m disappointed” and “I don’t discriminate against gay people. Plenty of my co-workers are gay. I just rather not have young children exposed to that BS on TV“. The Walking Dead is an 18-rated show in the UK. In America it is rated TV-MA, meaning not suitable for anyone under 17 years old. Watching the show with your kids seems insane to me, but I’d probably end up doing the same. So if you decide to allow your kids to watch an intensely violent and graphic TV show, disregarding age-rating advice (which I feel is your choice) and exposing them to more adult themes at an earlier age, you have no fucking right to complain about whatever kids are “exposed to”. And what is that? The 21st century? Is it such a bad thing that kids see this as a totally normal thing, so they don’t perpetuate your backward-ass thinking into the next generation? Take some responsibility and keep your prejudices away from your kids, maybe they’ll be lucky and turn out nothing like you. And what sort of warning were you expecting? WARNING! SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY OCCURS IN THE REAL WORLD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

Needless to say, The Walking Dead didn’t end. This week’s episode continued without the show being ruined, the world didn’t end (any more than it already has) and the viewers didn’t drop off like they said they would. I don’t really know why I continue to be shocked by how some people react to anything even slightly outside of their world view. All I know is that there are so many better reasons to hate people than their sexual orientation, their race, their gender or religious leanings. Like the fact that they have a terrible personality. Or they are a homophobe. But I’ll bring this incredibly unfocused rant to a close. A rant that can basically be summed up by ‘thing happens, people over react, man can’t understand over reaction and swears about people’.

Rick beard

And anyway, the biggest controversy in The Walking Dead this season should be the fact that Rick shaved off his beard this week. A travesty. AMC, you just ruined The Walking Dead. You have just lost millions of viewers.

 

What I’m playing – Rogue Legacy (PS4), Transistor (PS4)

What I’m reading (Books) – The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

What I’m reading (Comics) – Gotham Central: Book One by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

What I’m listening to – Transgender Dysmorphia Blues by Against Me!, Time and Trauma by 36 Crazyfists

What I’m watching – Tokyo Ghoul & Better Call Saul

Retro Review: The Hitcher

Gary reviews a great, but F@@ked up classic movie.

I’d heard a lot about this movie, but luckily enough, nothing about its plot. I genuinely love finding old films and falling in love with classic camera shots and the fact that they needed to have a plot, as digital special effects weren’t really a thing, or at least not too over used extent they are now.

I knew Rutger Hauer was the main star, so I assumed it was not going to be a happy film for his co-stars. Let’s just say I wasn’t wrong. I don’t get why you pull over for a Hitchhiker and I can only guess this film did for  what Jaws did for sharks. not great PR for ether accounts. As in Jaws wasn’t good PR for sharks, Jaws did not affect the PR of   I would take a particular stance on not picking up a Nexus Five!

The pace of this film is astonishing. You are thrown into the grim plot almost immediately. Within 5 minutes my stomach was churning at the idea of sharing a car with this character. We’ve all been at a bar talking to a drunk when we’ve had that feeling that maybe this dude is one to be careful of, let’s just agree with what ever shit he’s talking about and try to go back to your friends table with hope that he doesn’t try to join you. But what if he’s not a drunk? What if he’s an actual psychopath, or worse, a board psychopath!

With possibly one of the best cat and mousse style I’ve seen, you are always wondering what The Hitcher is up too. What I walked away with is “what a c**t”. Keep those shimmering blue eyes away from me!

I’d highly suggest watching this film if you haven’t already, but be warned, it’s nasty.

Gary

Anime Review – Attack on Titan

2

Nath sometimes reviews games. This is isn’t one of those times. This time he’s reviewing an anime.

Warning: Contains some spoilers.

I know this series is 2 years old, however I couldn’t escape the hype surrounding this anime and seeing as this is going to become a live action film, I thought I’d give the series a watch. I normally just mainly review video games, but I do love anime as well, haven’t watched any for a while, but I am a huge Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Bleach (actual story, not filler) and Outlaw Star fan. Please note their will be some spoiler alerts, but I will try my best to keep that to a minimum.

Attack on Titan is based on the manga  of the same name written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama, which is hugely successful. It follows the story of 3 childhood friends, Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, living in a world in fear of Titans, large humanoid giants that eat people without any reason whatsoever. After their home town is invaded and Eren’s mother is eaten, they decide to join the military in order to fight and kill any Titan that stands in their way.

Safe to say, it was a very interesting premise from the start, but how would it unfold? We meet some other members of the Cadet Squad that Eren, Mikasa and Armin are in and get their backstory. However, after graduation there is a large scale Titan attack against the city and the new recruits are thrust into action immediately. One huge Titan appears out of nowhere and starts wreaking havoc against the wall used to protect the inner city of Trost. During the eventual struggle, and the (spoiler alert) quick death of Eren, I did pause and think what the hell is going to happen here.

It turns out (spoiler alert) that Eren has a very unique ability which allows him to turn into a large powerful Titan which allows him to easily take down lesser Titans with ease. Needless to say I was hooked on the storyline, but what about everything else? Well there are some very interesting and unique characters in this series and the interaction between them is excellent. Eren is headstrong and reckless but with a sense of purpose, Mikasa is sensible, level-headed and a skilled warrior, but occasionally lets her feelings get the better of her and Armin is intelligent and excellent at forming strategies, but lacks confident as a warrior. There are some brilliant characters too that you will meet throughout the series, one to look out for is Levi, he’s pretty badass.

The action in this series is very good too, lots high octane flying action as regular humans have to take down Titans using a series of grappling hooks, jet propulsion and disposable swords, with the only to take down a Titan is to slice through the nape of the neck. Needless to say it is not foolproof, Titans are quite quick as they have the ability to catch and crush flying cadets. It is also a bit gory, not as bad as other animes, but still pretty gruesome, people get eaten, crushed, stamped on, swiped and sometimes stabbed. You will see gore and dead bodies throughout the series, but still, lots of action and fantastic storyline.

One important factor I find as well with anime is the opening music. Outlaw Star, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Trigun have some epic opening music. In Attack on Titan, the music changes throughout the series, but the initial opening music is brilliant, very gothic and fast paced.

It is only 25 episodes long too, which means it is a week or two tops to watch all of it and it is available on Netflix. I will be checking out the manga as well as the 2nd season probably won’t start until 2016. There will also be a live action film being produced in Japan so hoping it will be spectacular. This is being released later this year.

I would give this anime a solid 9/10 cuts to the neck. Truly worth a watch and sure to be a complete classic, just wish it was a lot longer. Next on my watch list is Kill la Kill, as that has a lot of hype too.

Nath