Monthly Archives: May 2014

Review: Tim Burton’s Batman

I remember watching this film back in the day. All the character of the Joker himself is odd and has no backing in the source comics, Jack does it brilliantly. Batman returns on the other hand has a lot canonically wrong with it. Most particularly the reduction of Penguin to a Solomon Grundy like miss. Take a look at this wonderful review from Sorcerer.

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Sourcerer

by Jeremy DeFatta

Happy new book day, everyone! I’m taking a break from looking at real people through the lens of Batman for a couple of posts. Instead, I want to lay out some of my notes and thoughts on the 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns films, which I recently reacquired and watched again for the first time in nearly a decade. This week, I’ll look at 1989’s Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, and Kim Basinger.

BatmanPoster

For many fans in my generation, this film was our first exposure to the character and world of Batman. I’m pleased to say I don’t feel as negatively toward this movie as I did just a few years ago (for whatever reasons). Some aspects of it have not aged well, but it is not a bad film. I could do with a little less Prince, though.

Here…

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Why the Human Torch’s Run In Strange Tales Is Not a Solo Title

Journey Into Marvel – Part 51

Human Torch deals with the Wizard

Human Torch deals with the Wizard

Extremites, the Strange Tales Human Torch run is not a solo title.

Even two issues into his run, in the failing Strange Tales line, Stan Lee relies upon crossovers to cover the dramatic deficiencies of everybody’s favourite flamer.

The Human Torch can’t function without the other heroes. Read the rest of this entry

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Review

Although I don’t agree with a lot said in this summation. I have a hard time looking at these stories by reducing them to political correctness issues, which drives me crazy (this is one aspect of writing, not the whole job), this is a good summation of the general feeling I had after the show. Give it a read. Lady Geek Girl is a very interesting blog that if you aren’t following, you should.

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Lady Geek Girl and Friends

Well, this was going to be a Once Upon A Time review, but I’m still not caught up in that, so I’m turning my tender attentions to the polarizing first season of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first foray into television: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was so hyped by fans and Marvel alike that, in retrospect, I’m not surprised we were initially disappointed. Coming off the success of both The Avengers and Iron Man 3, I suppose we were in a place where the MCU delivering a terrible story seemed even less likely than DC casting a Wonder Woman. Oh, how times have changed.

Now that I’ve watched the whole season, I wouldn’t consider it irredeemably bad, although I was certainly tempted to drop it several times midseason. I just wish it had been shorter and tighter, and had gotten more interesting more quickly.

Basically, I’m not…

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Malcolm Chandler’s Vampire Brides From Planet Hell: What Makes a Pulp Story?

Malcolm Chandler's New Book.

Malcolm Chandler’s New Book.

Extremites, today’s article is a little different. In my many adventures through the labyrinth that is the WordPress forum of writers, I arrived at the blog of Malcolm Chandler. We struck up a minor series of comments about H.P.Lovecraft.

He seems a good bloke.

Anyway, Malcolm is an accomplished author and he asked Extremis to take a look at his new short story ‘Vampire Brides From Planet Hell!’

Read the rest of this entry

The Human Torch and Youth Exploitation: Why Johnny Storm Got a Solo Title

Journey Into Marvel – Part 50

Torch racing a Nuclear Missile for fun. What?

Torch racing a Nuclear Missile for fun. What?

 

Extremites, today’s article marks the 50th in our Journey Into Marvel series and it’s fitting that the Human Torch, my favourite pet peeve, figures as the object of my criticism.

Ask any young Marvelite, today, about Johnny Storm and they will tell you that he is a B-String character. However, if you called forth the name ‘Marvel’ in 1962 these same Marvelites would reply  ‘Human Torch.’ Johnny was Marvel in the 60s.

Read the rest of this entry

‘Arrow’ finale recap: The hero this city deserves

As I said on my Twitter last night, I am surprised they could make a Green Arrow adaptation so damned good. I wish they could apply some of this talent to the waining properties like Superman and Batman.

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‘The Flash’ First Look: Grant Gustin suits up for new promo — VIDEO

We are trying to stop posting these buzzy articles but I thought just this once  because it has the wonderful Flash trailer — which I am overjoyed by — we’d share it. ENJOY!

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‘Agents of SHIELD’ postmortem: Jeff Bell and Jeph Loeb on what to expect for season 2

Because I don’t want to spread spoilers about last night’s Agents of SHIELD, I thought it best to reblog an interview with the writers and show runners. Enjoy, and I look forward to September.

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Damian: Son of Batman – Brilliant Idea, Awful Execution

Damian_-_Son_of_Batman_Vol_1-2_Cover-1_Teaser
When it comes to comic books, cliffhangers are part of the gig. But comic book fans want and deserve some closure. I guess Andy Kubert didn’t get the memo.

Damian Wayne is one of the most intriguing spin-off characters DC has come up with. Bruce’s son by Talia al Ghul, he grew up being the heir to Ra’s al Ghul’s seat. However, his mother eventually leaves him with Bruce, and numerous story-archs follow, including one where Talia had to save her son from being the body that her undead father would inhabit in his quest for immortality. With time, he became the fourth Robin, spending the majority of his time as Robin with Dick Grayson as Batman until The New 52 reboot, which brought Bruce back to the cowl.

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Little Girls are Made of Sex Droids: Star Trek asks the Android Question

Trek Through Trek – Part X

Clearly a sex bot.

Clearly a sex bot.

Extremites, what are little girls made of?

That is the central question at the core of today’s Trek Through Trek. According to the episode, that uses this question as a title, little girls are made of sex droids.

….. What?

Original Series episodes fall into three categories: culturally important, charming sixties camp and bat shit terrible. What Are Little Girls Made Of? falls somewhere in between the latter two.

The Enterprise is on a mission to discover the whereabouts of Nurse Chapel’s scientist husband Dr. Korby. Korby has been kept alive in the tunnels of the planet  by androids left over from an extinct race that used to populate the planet’s surface. These androids don’t wish to leave the planet when the rescue team, headed by Kirk, arrives. Instead, their intent is to kill off human Kirk and replace him with an android. Why they wish to do this is unclear, but this is the 1960s and in the Sixties androids were evil by virtue.

Androids have always been a favourite ‘go to’ in science fiction. Questions like “what constitutes individual thought?” and “what does it mean to be a human?” have shaped this genre since its conception. This episode begins Star Trek’s storied legacy of discussing these most frightening of inventions.

Even though this episode was the beginning of a legacy that would drive story lines right up to Next Gen, it almost never happened. Unlike the others in the first season, the final script seen on-screen had very little similarities with the first draft. Gene Roddenberry read the first submitted script and tossed it in the garbage. He claimed that androids capturing Kirk and replacing him with an android version was so cliché that it bordered on copyright infringement. Gene’s answer was to rewrite the whole thing. Instead of capturing Kirk and taking over the Enterprise, the androids would talk about doing that but never get there.

Roddenberry is a brilliant idea man, but he’s a terrible writer. He enjoys lofty conversations rather than heightened action. Sometimes this pays off, but most of the time a Roddenberry story becomes a meandering directionless mess, full of philosophical speeches and civil dinners.In this episode there are tons of those. A debate over the nature of intelligence occupies a full act while each character tries and fails at distracting the audience from the obvious coloured blocks of painted wood they are pretending to eat.

Am I the only one that sees a styrofoam penis? Is that odd?

Am I the only one that sees a styrofoam penis? Is that odd?

Ignoring all the nepotism and pedantic dialogue, this episode does present some compelling ideas. Andrea, an underused character, is a creation of Korby’s for the single purpose of companionship. One of the inevitable reasons we will create androids in the future is to use them as sex toys. What will this do to relationships? How will human interaction change? This is an underlying powerful discussion of the episode but it is never touched on beyond passing reference.

The passive ignorance of the female characters in this episode upsets me. They become watchers of the plot rather than participators in it. There are so many questions they could pose as women that are ignored because of zeitgeist misogyny.

…Little Girls… was written fast. It was also rewritten during filming to the point the show went over deadline and budget.

Sometimes poor execution can destroy any good ideas.

Until next time, Extremites, I remain Julian Munds.

The Episode We Are Watching: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (Episode 9 of Season 1 of The Original Series: October 20th, 1966)

My Rating Out of 5 Tribbles: 2 Android Tribbles That Are There To Serve You.

My After Episode Thoughts: “So much eating and talking…. eating and talking.”

Pros: Some wonderful philosophical conversation. Charmingly cliché ending.

Cons: The sexism. The nepotism. The boringism.

<— PART IX

—> PART XI

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