Can a tv series about Batman’s famous home city make it without a Batman? Before I can answer this question, Gotham City has been portrayed as dark and seedy place where even the more wretched hive of scum and villainy of Mos Eisley dare not tread. Yet, the city is the backdrop and rarely do we see it as a city on its own. Burton’s gothic take and Schumacher’s living comic book colors of Gotham were passable but I for one never felt it as a real city. Nolan’s Batman gave us a better glimpse as we could see the city in night and day but Gotham gives us an even better perspective on a city street level. You could feel the corruption of this city oozing through the screen watching the pilot. Gotham has surprised this die-hard Batman fan to say, yes, this series can survive without a Batman. The same can not be said of Superman’s Metropolis and not Fritz Lang’s Metropolis; just to be clear.
As for the details about this episode, I will have to wait before I chime in and maybe be able to do a podcast on this show. So far, I loved what I saw.
I’ve been keeping tabs on this for the past couple of weeks and this news could a new age for heroines (on the small screen at least) to become a major force – a silver age maybe upon us. For me, the 70’s had some great characters like Wonder Woman (Carter), The Bionic Woman (Wagner), The Mighty Isis (Cameron), Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (Hall and Strangis, respectively) and Charlie’s Angels could be include though not powered beings. Each of these series had a strong female lead that could hold their own.
As the years rolled on, there were other strong female characters like Colonel Derring (Gray) from Buck Rogers, Pam Davison (Selleca) from The Greatest American Hero, and lastly, the Visitor Diane and Dr. Parrish (Balder, Grant) from the mini series and later a regular series V but they were in a supportive roles. Sure, there was Xena (Lawless) and Buffy (Gellar) and Dark Angel (Alba) would rebound in the 90’s and 2000 but that’s it. The Wonder Woman pilot by David Kelly was interesting but failed to make the cut as well as the CW rumored Amazon series is nowhere in sight. However, in this decade, we have Agent Carter (Atwell) and Jessica Jones (???) coming to Netflix and now Supergirl (???), more could be coming to the small screen if these shows take off. What will it take?
Aside from the actual physical attributes, we have to care about these new characters. Agent Carter may show her with a tough exterior but mourns the loss of Steve Rogers. Can she command the same respect from the Howling Commandos when Captain America was in charge? From the picture last week, it seems that issue was put to rest. So we can have a women lead the pack or take charge of a situation that is equal to any man in a similar position. With Supergirl, all I can say is let us not see Smallville 2.0. If she is a super, then show her as a super but make her interesting and someone we can identify regardless of the sex.
CBS has donned its cape and is ready to conquer the superhero market, giving a series commitment to scribes Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler’s “Supergirl.”
“Supergirl,” which is based on characters from DC Comics, comes from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and is exec produced by Berlanti, Adler and Sarah Schechter. It’s based on the story of Kara Zor-El, who, like her famous cousin, escaped Krypton amid its destruction. She’s been keeping her powers a secret since arriving on Earth, but now — at age 24 — she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.
Many times, art imitates life but today we have life that is imitating art. Call it self-fulfilling prophecy of the sorts as the mock-up poster of Vincent Chase from the fictitious show Entourage staring in this underwater superhero role of a lifetime – AQUAMAN. Sure, this was back in 2006 but you know long those prophecies can take to be fully realized but seriously, this movie made like Spiderman money!!!
And when I mean Spiderman, I’m talking about Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman not Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman. Check out the trailer to Aquaman.
As all kidding aside, we actually have an actor for Aquaman. Jason Momoa has been reported have landed this SPLASHY role. (Made a funny!!!) For me, I’ve only known him as Kohl Drago from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Prior to that or there about was the remake for Conan the Barbarian which I have not seen to date. A prior tv role had Jason on Stargate Atlantis which again I have not seen. Still, seeing Jason as Kohl on GoT was still impressive enough to see his screen appeal however, is he the Aquaman? Is Jason going to get his hair colored blonde? Will he be wearing the traditional orange and green colored costume? Will he have a hook for a hand or a hand made out of water? Still, I want to see an Aquaman wear no gloves. Seriously, wearing gloves underwater may look cool but has no practical application in life. I tried washing dishes with rubber gloves and once that water gets in there, no amount of superpowers will ever get rid of that icky feeling I felt. Putting that all aside, I am truly, truly happy that DC/Warner Bros. are getting their shit together. Plus, Aquaman is rumored to appear in the Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice movie. From what I’ve read, it seems the tie in for Aquaman was the World Builder over the Indian Ocean as seen the Man of Steel. I see this as a downstairs neighbor who is pissed at you for not lowering the volume of your music but on a bigger scale. Someone not very happy!!!
We are coming to a new golden of superheroes on the big and small screen. I can not wait to see how this all plays out.
One of the many ear worms that plague me through out the day, this ear worm for this post would be from the Disney film Frozen ‘Let It Go.” One part of the lyrics speaks to me, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door,” and this is what I need to do but after this blog entry. I have given up trying to be pleased by a movie that never achieved the greatness that I expected from it. I am done beating a dead horse on the Kahn issue but for one last time, I had to understand where the writers where trying to go with this new Kahn.
This story beginning at the end of the movie – sort of. We see the proceedings of a trial to arraign Khan. As the trial begins, there is a Trek easter egg of a character from the original series that is very comfortable in a court setting. I’m not going to tell you who this person is as I just wanted to mention this little tidbit. Believe me, this nu-Trek has a lot to answer for but this little tip of the hat was a good ice breaker. But then we get this shocker.
Ok, now you have my interest. Now, you are telling me something that I wanted to know. Why is the Kahn from Into Darkness different from the Kahn from the original series Star Trek II. The next series of panels pushes the camera on the nu-Kahn to a close up and then to black. Nu-Kahn begins to tell the story through flashbacks on his rise to power and the Eugenics war. This was the hook to get me to read the rest of the stories in this graphic novel. But I was more concerned with the question at hand, “Why were there two different looking Kahn-s?” As with all good stories, you make the reader wait for it. As the story unfolds, we see Kahn and his fellow co-horts boarding the Botany Bay and leaving from Australia. Nice touch!!!
Going back to the movie Into Darkness, we are told the Admiral Marcus and nu-Kahn had met prior to the Enterprise encounter in the movie. In the graphic novel, we get a couple of scenes where a Federation ship finds the Botany Bay and brings it the secret facility. Marcus does several voice overs on the panels, “We figured out who you were soon enough, event with the scarce records of your time. We knew that waking you up as you were would be a huge mistake.” So, if Marcus came to that conclusion, don’t you think the in the original series episode, “Space Seed,” Kirk would have come to the same conclusion? Argue among yourselves and see if I am right.
However, Marcus did not heed his own warning. He decided to use Khan to his advantage and took it a step further. Marcus ordered to have most of Kahn’s memory wiped and have “laser” facial rec-Khan-struction. BLAM!!! We get not Kahn but John Harrison aka nu-Kahn. Ok…I um… ok….. no… not ok. This is a hard pill to swallow but fine; I’ll go with it.
Nu-Kahn helps out Marcus with his superior knowledge but not knowing who he truly is until he starts getting flashbacks to his earlier life on Earth. From there, things go down hill for the Admiral and then us, the audience, that had to see Into Darkness. The nu-Kahn-clusion at the end of the book is the same as what happened in the movie; nu-Kahn goes to sleep. So, I take it that at the end of the movie, nu-Khan was put to sleep and then gets awakened in the graphic novel to have a trial, to tell his story but is found guilty, and then gets back to sleep in the same chamber as before. In this context, the ending in the graphic novel fails to satisfy the reader especially since this was already done in the movie. Think of the Richard Donner’s Superman II ending that did the same thing from the first Superman movie.
However, once more, if…. and I do mean if…. this graphic novel is placed after Kirk was “resurrected” in the film and then nu-Kahn was brought to trail, did his backstory and found guilty…again, and then put to sleep in his chamber, I would have been… ok with Into Darkness as a film. At least the missing gap as to why the nu-Kahn looks nothing like the old Kahn is explained and the ending, will not perfect, will allow nu-Kahn to be resurrected in the future.
And on that note, I will, “Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door.” I’m done.
Mr Gene and I discuss the latest Marvel superhero movie, Captain America The Winter Soldier. Please do not listen to the podcast if you have not seen the movie as this show is filled with spoilers.
Normally, I would write my comments before the article I found online to post on my blog. Today, I want you to read a quick blurb and then I’ll comment.
Well. If this recently surfaced rumor is true, then Wonder Woman is about to get a verrrrry interesting new origin for Batman Vs. Superman. It’s after the jump; try not to be drinking anything when you read them, because you’re pretty much guaranteed a spit take.
Batman-on-Film.com — which, to be fair, has a pretty damned good track record when it comes to DC movies — claims the following in regards to Gal Gadot’s role as WW in the move:
Personally, I’d say it’ll be about on par with Scarlett Johansson’s first appearance as Black Widow in IRON MAN 2. I believe that it’s a cameo-plus type of role that will (hopefully) serve as a springboard to a solo Wonder Woman movie.
With all that said, I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the “Amazons” of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those “ancient Kryptonians” who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago.
Okay, now my turn. There are things about the comic book universe that works well in one medium but fails to make the transition to another medium. Let’s look at the first X-Men movie in which no character was in a full costume as seen in the comic books. Yes, Magneto and the X-Men team did wear outfits but their suits were more in keeping with a reality check. Hell, Wolverine point out about not wearing the yellow spandex which made perfect and logical sense.
I am all in favor of tweaking origin stories. Tim Burton’s Batman had the pre-Joker kill off Bruce Wayne’s parents. Not much an issue here although the thug was Joe Chill which Nolan corrected in his version of Batman. Still in both cases, Bruce does become The Batman. In the case of Wonder Woman, changing the origin to make her from Amazonian to Kryptonian is just plain wrong. Can’t we not accept Wonder Woman was created and is a living god or in the case of her re-launched comics a demi-god. That little change in the current comics doesn’t take away from the magical qualities of her. If Marvel can have Thor why can’t we just have Wonder Woman the way she has always been? Hell, Lynda Carter’s WW series had her powers tied to her belt but this never lessened the appeal of the character.
If the plan is to make WW Kryptonian, does this add another dimension to the character? I think not. Think about the gender swapping of Starbuck from the old show to the new one. The dynamic of a female Starbuck has a lot of the original male version but in a female lead she is totally kick ass with a no taking shit attitude. Or having the new Spock be a bit more emotional in the reboot than the past, I’m ok with this. The Kryptonian idea does nothing for Wonder Woman. Change the costume; I don’t care but if this is the road we are heading for a Justice League movie, we are seriously fucked.
Seriously, why? Is this some stunt to make Spiderman: Turn off the Dark a big broadway hit? Well, not really because this show will stop performing on January 4, 2014. So, I wonder why show Spiderman making an appearance during the one of the highest touchstone moments in human history? Hmmm. Ah, it is to promote the next Spiderman movie.
I am so against this idea not because it not smart marketing but because this once beloved here is just a hollow hero. We have Peter Parker no more in the comics because Doc Ock switch consciousness. Doc is now running the show as the Superior Spiderman. Over on the Ultimate universe, Peter is dead and Mike Morales is taking over this role. And now, Andrew Garfield is the Amazing Spiderman which in fairness, I thought the casting was great to take over the role from Tobey until I saw the last movie. Fuck all this shit!!!!
Do you want me to tell you how I feel about the next Spiderman movie or would you like me to show you? Screw it, I am going to show you.
I am truly, truly pissed off with what has happened to one of my favorite heroes!!!
Let’s begin with this note: I like Paul Rudd 100%. I love his films and his acting and do not have any reservation to Paul doing something other than comedy. Unlike the days of yore, there was outrage to Michael Keaton playing the role of Batman. I think part of this problem was the fact that Keaton was more of a comedic actor and not a dramatic one. That being said, there was a movie called Clean and Sober which Keaton did that showed a darker side which worked well later in Batman. The other point of contention was the fact that Keaton was not a very physically imposing in stature. Still, Burton, the director of Batman, chose the right guy for the right job in the end as Keaton proved everyone wrong. Flash forward, Ant Man is a similar problem but not the same as Keaton.
Like I said, Paul is not the problem; it’s Ant Man himself. With a special device, Ant-Man is able to communicate, what for it, ants as well as to shrink himself down to the size of, what for it, an ant. Yet, he still retains the powers of a human in the small version of Hank Pym. Great. Ok. What else? Basically, Ant Man is Marvel’s Aquaman. This is not to say I would not want to see Ant Man but the early versions of this character has a lot to be desired. Yet, on the other side of the spectrum, Mike Millar‘s Ultimate Avengers universe paints Pym to be an abusive wife beater to Janet. Holy crap!!! This was a cue from the Watchman graphic novel where the Comedian tried to rape Sally Jupiter. Though not on the same level but seeing superheroes acting in such an aggressive manner was brand new, exciting, and quite disturbing. So, which Hank Pym are we going to get in the movie?
I know that Hank is one of top minds in the Marvel world but I don’t want to see Paul playing him as the absent-minded professor and only going for cheap laughs. Yet, we are not going to get the much darker Pym because after all Disney now owns Marvel and that shit will not fly. The whole issue with Tony Stark and his drinking problem was never full realized but was played a bit in Iron Man 2. There Tony finds out that he is dying which leads him to drink more than the previous movie but still he never flew out in his suit drunk like in the comics. So, we are going to have to see Hank being able to be the Ant Man and I hope they can include Giant Man. I can forgo the Yellowjacket phase as this was very well done in the Avengers animated series and would only work in we see the phasing out of Ant Man.
Below is a pic and transcript of a sketch done on Saturday Night Live. The host for this show was Margot Kidder and the sketch was Margot playing Lois hosting a party with Superman and many super powered guests including yours truly Ant Man. This gets to the heart of the problem for this character and I hope a happy medium can be found for this diminutive character.
SNL Episode Number 81, 17 March 1979
[Doorbell rings, the Flash moves to answer it.]
The Flash: I’ll get it, Lois. [opens door, grunts and crouches as if putting his arm around someone] Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl! [laughs] Come on right in! [Spider-Man, looking rather thin, enters and shakes hands with Flash] Hey, Spider-Man! All right. [Spider-Woman, looking stunningly sexy, enters and gets a kiss and handshake from Flash] Spider-Woman. How are ya? Hey. [The Thing, huge and orange, must enter sideways] Ah, the Thing! All right! Come on in, join the party. [Antman, wearing a helmet with antennae, enters and shakes hands, but the Flash doesn't recognize him] Ah… Excuse me, I’m not sure if I remember your name. I’m really bad with names, you know.
Antman: [high-pitched voice] You don’t remember me? We met several times. I is Antman. A-N-T-M-A-N.
The Flash: Oh, right, right.
The Flash: Uh, Antman.
The Flash: What are your super powers again? You – you – you talk to the ants, is that it?
Antman: Well, partly. But, mainly, I shrink myself down to the size of an ant while retaining my full human strength.
The Flash: Really?
The Flash: [sarcastic] Oooh, that’s really impressive. Size of an ant with human strength. You must be able to clean house on those other ants, huh? [chuckles] Hey! Hey, Hulk! Hey, check this guy out.
[The Hulk joins them. He and the Flash can barely keep from laughing at poor Antman and can't help chortling in-between their heavily sarcastic remarks:]
The Hulk: Ooooh!
The Flash: He’s got the strength of a human!
The Hulk: Antman, huh?! Where are your ants?
Antman: They’re – they’re at home, uh, in the ant farm.
The Hulk: Oh, better stay out of this guy’s way.
The Flash: Oooh! Every molecule’s quiverin’ now!
Antman: I don’t see what’s so funny. There something wrong with being Antman? I mean, what’s the joke? I don’t see what’s so–
The Hulk: Oh, great, great, Antman. Oh, excuse me. [joins Lois at punch bowl]
The Flash: [to Antman] Don’t worry about it. We’re just ribbin’ ya.
Erase any doubt you might have had that last night’s “in talks” report about Paul Rudd playing the lead in Ant-Man for Edgar Wright could have meant that someone else might end up with the role. (The actor had passed off talks of him getting the gig as “all rumor, man” just a week ago.)
Marvel has just confirmed that Rudd will play the role, though the release shies away from naming the specific incarnation of the character, and definitely does not give out any plot info.
Here’s the release, from Marvel:
Marvel’s “Ant-Man” has found its hero in Paul Rudd, who will star in the new film from director Edgar Wright hitting theaters July 31, 2015!
The casting of Rudd represents the actor that Marvel had long ago identified as its first choice to play Ant-Man, continuing the studio’s desire to cast actors that bring several dimensions to its onscreen heroes. The film’s plot is being kept under wraps.
“When Edgar Wright came to us with the idea of Paul Rudd, we felt a huge sense of relief because the first step in creating any Marvel Studios film is finding the right star,” said Marvel’s Kevin Feige. “We knew early on that we had found the right person in Paul. When he not only agreed to do it but became as enthusiastic as any actor we’d ever%