Monday, March 28, 2016

I Miss Superman

 
 
I miss Superman.  You remember that guy, right?  Showed up for the first time back in 1938, bright red and blue costume, would eventually have a fly red cape, sported a yellow belt with his red underwear on the outside?  Loved that guy.  He went through some changes through the years, even found a way to get himself killed, but that was one righteous dude.  Remember he was played in the popular media outlets, by George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, Dean Cain, Tom Welling and Brandon Routh for a minute?  Also a positive, generally upbeat confident cat.  He certainly was something.  Even after DC kind of rebooted everything with their New 52, Superman did go through some changes, he didn’t seem so bright anymore and he started wearing his underwear on the inside, which looks weird, but he was still a generally positive guy.  But something has happened with the cinematic Superman.  Director Zack Snyder has turned this guy into a dark, brooding, aloof, somewhat insecure, indifferent weapon of mass destruction.  And I don’t think this is a good thing.
In Man of Steel, which I generally did enjoy, that Superman admittedly didn’t look very familiar to me.  He was always in a crap mood, he was unsure of himself, and prone to mad bursts of anger.  And he never had that good sense to the fight away from the people.  But hey… it was an origin story and I figured the dude was just learning the ropes, though most of this stuff seemed like it would be common sense, but I’m not a super powered alien from Kansans, so what would I know?  But I knew with this new movie, ‘Dawn of Justice’, with some seasoning under his belt, a Superman I recognized would emerge.  That did not happen.  In fact he became less recognizable than ever.
What exactly does this Superman stand for?  Truth, Justice and the American Way?  I don’t think so.  I was waiting for a moment in the movie where Clark or Superman would tell me or demonstrate to the audience what he was all about, but I’m not sure that ever happened.  Every other character had an opinion on what Superman represented… Batman viewing him as a violent threat to the existence of humanity, the senator seeing him as a threat to democracy, Lex Luthor seeing as an empty god figure, his girlfriend seeing him as a kind and gentle super powered person who makes questionable decisions, his Earth mom seeing as someone who doesn’t owe anybody a damn thing, the dude with no legs seeing him as a violent extremist, his dead Earth dad thinks… dang, I don’t what the hell Kevin Costner was talking about in that scene… even Perry White has his own thoughts about the character, but what does Superman think?  What does he represent?  What does he fight for?  Outside of Lois Lane?
I was really looking forward to Superman’s Capitol Hill speech because I was thinking ‘Finally!  He’s going to lay it on the line for us”, but nope, the director thought that would be a good place to blow something up before Supes could utter a word, almost as if he’s afraid of allowing Henry Cavill to speak.  When I think about it, how many lines did Cavill actually get in this movie?  I know he had fewer lines than Bruce Wayne, probably less than Lois and Lex as well, and maybe even fewer than Holly Hunter’s senator who bowed out halfway through.  Not good treatment for the character in what was supposed to be his alleged sequel. 
Even the Injustice Gods version of Superman stands for something.  Yes, he’s an ultra-violent, murderous, despotic totalitarian dictator… which we kind of got a peep of in another out of place dream sequence by Bruce Wayne using his new clairvoyant super power, but that Superman at least believes he’s doing this thing for the greater good.  There are two times in the movie where Superman kind of says something, once on his girlfriend’s balcony where he was moping and depressed yet again, and then right before he foolishly flew off to Jesus sacrifice himself to dispatch with Doomsday.  Both speeches were short and had very little impact. 
And it’s not like I hated ‘Batman vs. Superman’, in fact there were some things that were great in this movie… underdeveloped Wonder Woman in battle was nice to see, but mainly Ben Affleck’s sociopathic Batman and Jeremy Irons sardonic version of Alfred was the best thing going in this film.  The thought of Ben Affleck directing himself in a future Batman movie is making my palms sweaty.  It helped that this Batman stood for something, to point that it was pretty much his movie. 
Now I have heard Internet Comment Guy make mention that ‘This is a Superman for Our Generation!”  I hear you young ICG, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.  There’s more than enough darkness and sadness to go around, I personally would’ve preferred a Superman who remained a beacon of light, hope, optimism, and an ideal that we all can look up to, even if that ideal is unachievable.  A character who uses his considerable power to always do right, and even then have it not be enough on occasion and observing how he moves forward henceforth.  You know, like not letting his Earth Dad die in a tornado.  Hopefully Superman can be rescued from the evil clutches of director who hates him, and the studio that inexplicably has allowed this to happen, because Superman deserves better.

 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Butt Munching in Detroit.



The man in the picture over there is apparently eating the butt of his lady friend.  This is made all the more disturbing as this act is taking place during the tailgate of a pre-season game of my team… the Detroit Lions.  I mean it’s bad enough being a Lions fan, but now we have to live this down.  However this article is less about the act of the butt munching itself, which we will admit is mighty peculiar, but more about how does this even come to pass?

So your sitting in a parking lot before the game, getting ready to eat a couple of brats, down a couple of brews, and then… what?  Does your lady go “Hey… I’d really like it if you ate my butt right now”?  Is that how this went down?  And if she did ask, couldn’t the man just say “Baby, I’m gonna eat that butt like it’s a rib-eye… as soon as we get home”.  I think she’d be understanding.  Or maybe he lost a bet.  He bet his girl that the Tigers would cover the three run spread against the Brewers the previous night, lost this bet, with her part of the bet being that he would have to eat her butt in public parking lot.  Is that what happened?  And more to that, what would’ve been her part of the bet if she had lost?

Now if these crazy kids were actually having sex in this public parking lot, while still wildly inappropriate, I could understand a little bit.  She’s looking good to him, he’s talking dirty, folks are getting worked up and nature just won’t be denied.  Again, they could wait until they get home, but being a Detroit native I know that Ford Field is downtown, from the blurry photo these people look to be white, most of the white people who go to Lions games live out in the ‘burbs, sometimes 30, 40 or 50 miles away so that’s a long time to wait to get some lovin’ that refuses to wait.  I get it.  That is if they were they were having sex.  But I don’t believe butt munching is even a legitimate sex act.  I don’t know what that is.  That’s a sex act in the same way bumping elbows or unison tap dancing or handling bacon is a sex act.   Now if the young lady receiving the butt munching were to turn around, now we are working with a sex act I actually recognize.  If someone had taken a picture of that, it wouldn’t have even caused a ripple because I’m pretty sure that happens in public parking lots all the time.  But having one’s face buried in someone’s ass during a football game?  That right there is newsworthy.

And let’s not forget about the children.  What if a child saw that and asked… “Daddy… what are they doing?”  If they were having regular sex in the parking lot, after you called the police, you would tell little Johnny quite simply “They’re making a baby, son”.  But munching on a butt?  How do you explain that to the kids?  Dr. Spock did not write a chapter on this.  I’ve checked.
We just have questions for these two is all.  How did the butt munching come about?  What exactly kind of thrill does one get from public butt munching?  Did they go ahead and watch the game afterwards?  Did he at least brush his teeth when he was done?  We have questions, all of which I fear will never be answered.  Yet another black eye on my otherwise great home town.  Detroit doesn’t need this.  Come on y’all, we're better than this
aren't we?  Aren't we? 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Weighing in on the Fantastic Four...


If I see Bruce Wayne’s parents die one more time, I’m gonna choke somebody.  I mention this, before speaking to you about the disastrous Fantastic Four movie, to say that we don’t need another origin story.  Flaming dude, stretchy guy, invisible chick, Rock man… we know who they are, don’t need to see how they became that way.  Just get the movie started bro.  So while we are officially in retirement at the FCU, we do still watch movies, albeit with less frequency, but we had to come out briefly just to talk about what we saw with this movie, what seemed to go wrong, why it has performed so poorly and where they can go next.

For starters, as I have stated many times, I was a kid who loved comic books and I loved no comic book more than the Fantastic Four, so one could call me a FF purist or even an FF snob.  And also let me say that I didn’t think director Josh Trank’s FF film was terrible movie, not a good movie, but not a gawdawfully terrible one… and there are some really good things in it… but it is, without a shadow of a doubt, a terrible Fantastic Four movie. 

Let’s point out some things that keep this from being considered a ‘good’ movie.  The pacing is erratic, slow to build and then almost without warning the audience is thrust into wild action with almost no setup as to why any of this actually occurring.  There seem to be large chunks of this movie that are missing, not plot holes so much… just holes.  Gaps.  It is an origin movie that explains very little on how these kids got their powers, basically they were infected with ‘stuff’, and heck if I know how the invisible girl, who I didn’t think was anywhere near the stuff got her powers, plus there is little to no character setup for any of these future super heroes, and there is no path laid out for these characters from high school kids to world saviors.  But when you look at the length of this movie at under 100 minutes, considering that the first half of this movie consisted of watching Millennials watch computer monitors, it’s kind of clear that a lot was left on the cutting room floor in an attempt to tighten up and theoretically speed up the movie.

Now what makes this rendition of The First Family of Marvel Comics a terrible Fantastic Four movie?  Well… The Thing isn’t wearing any pants.  Let’s go ahead and start off with that.  That’s kind of uncomfortable and completely terrible.  Another thing that bothered us is that they are far too young.  I get it, this is the ‘Ultimate’ version of the Fantastic Four, and it is quite possible that those who are familiar with this version of the FF can say that the actors nailed these characters.  I’m going to go out on a limb, from the response, and say didn’t.  The tone is wrong as well.  There is something about Reed Richards having white haired temples that makes ame feel comfortable.  This is a movie that is too dark for its subjects, too violent, and I believe that somewhere between Tim Story’s brightly lit featherweight version and Josh Trank’s super downer version lies a proper Fantastic Four movie.  

Could this proper version be the Roger Corman produced, 1994 unreleased FF film?  Even though most of us have seen it?  Kind of.  That movie, which didn’t have near the budget to come anywhere close to pulling it off what it wanted to be, stayed true to the comic to a fault.  You see, hijacking a spaceship and dragging your hot girlfriend and her bratty baby brother along as crew members doesn’t work in 2015.  Or 1994.  Or even 1961 when we think about it.  So we understand where there has to be adjustments to the story simply to make it at least realistic in the unrealistic world it exists in.  But that old, fairly terrible movie did get the characters basically right, though some of the acting was suspect, and most importantly… it got Doctor Doom right.  We know Dr. Doom, right?  Brilliant, scarred in an accident, hates Reed Richards, does NOT have a thing for Sue Storm, uses adjectives like ‘clod’ and ‘dolt’, and wants to rule the world for the betterment of the world?  That guy.  And the armor never comes off.  Or the Green hoodie.  How hard is it to get this cat right?  Doom in the previous Fantastic Four movies was a dastardly villain, like Snidley Whiplash or Boris and Natasha.  Doom in the new movie was mentally blowing people’s heads up.  Seriously Doom?  What is up with that?  Doom, as we knew him, needs his genius to be admired, bowed down before, but in this movie Doom just wants to end everything.  Who is going to admire him now?  That’s not Dr. Doom.  And Doom has no super powers.  Just super arrogance, which is more than enough.

So who is to blame for what has happened here?  Our young director is certainly getting his deserved share as he was out of his depth, the pressure was too much, the budget was too high… but the execs at Fox are the ones we hold accountable.  Did they read the script before they greenlit this movie?  Apparently not, because one would think a thorough read through would’ve avoided allegedly taking the film away from Trank and ordering reshoots.  Marvel took Ant-Man away from Edgar Wright before he had a chance to shoot a single frame.  And this is Edgar Freaking Wright we’re talking about.  Who, upon hearing Marvel had released him from his Ant-Man duties, Fox should’ve just offered him the FF job.  Point being that Fox, with the X-men franchise, and all that stems from that, should have a much clearer vision for the movies they want to make, and judging by what we have gotten with this new FF film, and quite honestly how poor the continuity is in their X-men movies, they have no vision on what they want to do. 

Would an Ant-Man movie made by Edgar Wright been better than the Ant-Man movie we ended up getting?  Recognizing that I did enjoy that movie?  Probably… but his vision didn’t fit, so he was replaced.  Josh Trank should’ve been replaced.  There were some good things in his movie, and were it called something else, I think it might’ve been a successful movie.  Think about it, an original Super hero movie, with half the budget, some subtle tweaks to the characters powers and maybe tossing in one extra one to avoid any Fantastic Four conflict, and now we have something to we can work with.  It can be as dark as you want it to be.  We can have a black character with a white sister and people won’t go ape-shit, we can have a villain who mentally blows up people’s heads.  Now when this movie makes 25 mil on it’s opening weekend, folks are calling a ‘sleeper hit’ instead of a ‘colossal failure’, Josh Trank might still be in line to direct a Star Wars movie and certain Fox executives would still have their jobs.  And they still have the Fantastic Four license available to finally try and make a proper film.  But this is not what happened.

Now what do they do?  Let the license expire so it can revert back to Marvel?  Marvel pretty much has their slate mapped out so even if they did get it back, it would probably be decades before they even tried to make a Fantastic Four movie.  If they tried to make one.  They might not even want it back at this point.  Reboot it yet again?  I have envisioned a scenario where that could work, but Fox can’t be trusted to make it happen, so hell no.  I say they bull on ahead with the cast they’ve been given and the world that Trank has created and just make the sequel they had already announced.  The next movie and the next director has to be better, the actors they’ve hired are already under contract and they all are popular and talented, just cut the budget in half and make a Mole Man movie.  Or a Super Skrull movie.  There’s no shortage of villains to choose from, but let’s leave Galactus alone for now.   Expectations for this new movie will be so low, that when it turns out to be good, there will be dancing in the streets at Fox studios.


Will we ever get a decent Fantastic Four movie?  As a friend of mine likes to say, we might not be getting what we want, but maybe we are getting what we deserve.    

Saturday, July 5, 2014

WOOFF Episode 4 - Troops!

There are fan films, and then there's a whole separate genre called 'Star Wars Fan Films'.  Lisa, a self-avowed Star Wars fan girl, chose today's film, Troops, filmed all the way back in 1997.

Watch it here.

Listen to the podcast review here...


And here are our ratings of the film.  See if they line up with yours.

Lisa on Troops...

her tweet... Bad Boys- Bad Boys- What you gonna do when some Imperial Storm Troopers come for you? Run if you want, they always get their man.

Story         
Acting       
Production 
Costuming  
Heart          
Overall      


Chris on Troops

his tweet... a storm trooper hitting his man on the first shot?  With any shot?  I don't think so.  Still, a great mashup before the mashup became hip.

Story            
Acting         
Prodcution   
Costuming    
Heart             
Overall         

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The People vs. George Lucas


 Recently we watched the documentary 'The People vs. George Lucas' which was pretty darned entertaining whether you are a Star Wars freak or just a casual fan... or even if you never heard of George Lucas.  I'm pretty casual in my fandom of Star Wars... more of a Star Trek guy... something we will have to discuss in a future podcast, with Lisa being firmly in the Star Wars camp.  Regardless here are our respective reviews of the documentary.

Chris's Verdict.

Lisa's Rebuttal

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Ladies of Adam Sandler pt. III

Finally, Rolando's shameless ranking of the ladies that have shown up in Adam Sandler movies is coming to a close.  While we here at the FCU are opposed to the mindless and baseless exploitation of women in cinema, and find the practice completely deplorable... whaddayagonnado?

5. Winona Ryder - Mr. Deeds

Ahh... Winona.  Just as fresh faced and lovely now, well into your forties, as you were in your twenties when we saw you for the first time in that movie 'Lucas'.  And we are so happy that you fared better than some of your co-stars in that movie considering Corey Haim is dead and Charlie Sheen is insane.  Sure, there was that shoplifting incident a few years back, but Winona told us that she was researching a role, and if Winona tells us she was researching a role, then by golly... she was researching a role.  The movie 'Mr. Deeds'... well I'm sure we saw it, but we sure don't remember anything about it other than the fact that the beautiful woman we remember from that movie 'Heathers' was in it.    And that's all we need to know.

 4.  Jennifer Anniston - Just Go With It

We saw the commercial Jennifer, where you ask 'what's the secret to perfect skin?'... while you mentioned whatever product you were shilling as the secret, you should've closed out with '... and being born beautiful doesn't hurt either'.  And while we've only seen maybe a half of an episode of 'Friends', we've seen well over half of the movies you've made, even though most of them were awful.  That's called 'Star Power' right there.  Seriously.  We don't know what Brad was thinking.  Admittedly, his current wife would be pretty high on this list too, had she appeared in a movie with Adam Sandler, but we would still rank you higher.


3. Kate Beckinsale - Click

Exquisite, Classy, Sophisticated... all words that Rolando would use to describe this lovely lass from London, Kate Beckinsale.  And we've seen enough of 'Underworld' to know that Kate can rock tight vinyl with the best of them.  In fact, while Click wasn't a terrible movie and Kate was absolutely gorgeous in it, imagine how awesome it would've been if Adam wasn't in it at all, and they got rid of those kids, and they dressed Kate in her Underworld black vinyl, or less even... not that we champion that kind of thing... added a few werewolves and vampires and then just called the movie Underworld V... that would've been an awesome movie.



2. Jessica Biel: I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

In this film, Adam pretended to be gay, which meant Jessica paraded around in various forms of undress around this guy, because he's gay and won't be interested, right?  Even though this woman has the unique power to make gay dudes straight.  I've seen it.  'While Justin Timberlake might be younger, prettier, richer and way more talented than me, and I don't envy any of those advantages that he has, I might envy this one here'.  That's a direct quote from Rolando.  '7th Heaven' did a piss poor job of preparing the world for this.  That's a direct quote from me.

1. Salma Hayek - Grown Ups; Grown Ups 2

Number one was pretty much a foregone conclusion, now wasn't it?  The only way Salma could conceivably get knocked off the top spot is if Adam Sandler were to jump in a time machine, go back to 1998, and make a movie with Halle Berry.  Even then it would be a toss up.  True enough, Grown Ups was a terrible movie, but Salma was resplendent amidst that awfulness.  True enough, Grown Ups 2 was even worse, and Salma looked as if she added a few pounds, but Rolando observed that those extra pounds went straight to her hips, and we can't rightly penalize someone for that now can we?  No we can't Rolando.  No we can't. 

So there you go, the Ladies of Adam Sandler as presented to you by Rolando.  Agree or disagree... take it up with him.  I had little or nothing to do with this. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Workplace Tragedy...


On Fridays, me an my colleague Lisa congregate early in the morning at our place of business to discuss the current days coming events, along with some gourmet Kuerig coffee and custom creamer, funds for the coffee and the creamer which we have paid for ourselves.  On this particular Friday morning, our creamer was stolen.  Not just one of the half used gourmet coffee creamers we had purchased, but both of them.  This a tragedy in the workplace unlike any I have ever seen... that don't include mass shootings. 

What kind of person does this kind of thing?  How black is one's soul that they feel the need to rip away what little joy one gets out of going to work every single day?

The following podcast, which normally would have been used to discuss the next episode of a WOOFF Fan Film, is instead one that features two people trying to sort out what kind of terrible world that we live in where these kinds of things happen, without regards to the victims.

If you take anything from this horrible, horrible act... as we know going in that you aren't this person, because a person that listens to WOOFF wouldn't even think of stealing someone's creamer... But all we ask is if you see this happening, if you witness a crime like this in progress... stop it.  Ask this person to think of the consequences of his or her actions and make sure that no one has to go through something like this in your workplace.

Note that the audio engineer, who will remain nameless, has overwritten the first four minutes of this diatribe, so we join, as they say, our scheduled program already in progress.

Creamer Bandit Podcast