Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DCU. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2022

PodCast 199: "The Batman" (2022)- a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ JAL and Ryan




Watched:  05/01/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing: First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Matt Reeves




It's no riddle which flying rodent-enthusiast had a blockbuster in 2022. The Dynamic Duo of JAL and Ryan get back to the Batcave to talk all about the latest take on the Dark Knight Detective. It's time to get broody as we go batty talking how this one fits in with the big picture, and what makes it unique.


SoundCloud 


YouTube


Music:
The Batman - Michael Giacchino, The Batman OST 
Batman - Neal Helfi
Something In the Way - Nirvana, Nevermind 

DC Movies Playlist

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

New League of Super-Pets trailer



Still pretty happy with everything I've seen so far in the trailers and ads for this.  

Hey, we're getting a full DC Super-Pets movie!  That's excellent!


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Watch Party Watch: Catwoman (2004)




Watched:  04/15/2022
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  first complete, end-to-end viewing
Decade:  2000's
Director:  some asshole who goes by "Pitof"

If I were teaching a class on superhero film, I would make Catwoman (2004) the half-way point of the class.  Chronologically, the movie arrives after Fox successfully put out two X-Men movies and Sony has delivered some Spider-Mans.  Warner Bros has shut down its Bat-franchise and will sometimes think about making a superhero movie, but everything you read in the press that WB is considering is still stuck in the idea that superheroes are campy and should be comedic, or is a reimagining where they'll use the name but everything else will be so changed, it will bear no resemblance to the comics.  

Friday, November 12, 2021

Supergirl on the CW Ends




I started watching Supergirl from the pilot when the show had big ambitions and was going to air on CBS.  The pilot of the show is... not great.  You could feel the hands of CBS, home to a wide array of boring shows I don't watch, all over the show and kind of wringing themselves with all this superhero weirdness.  But they did bring in a decent cast, and seemed to have some ideas for modernizing the Maid of Might from her incredibly goofy origins in Action Comics 252.  

I won't get into it here, but Supergirl as a property allows for some flexibility as the character's titles never last, no one working on the latest iterations seems aware of prior incarnations, and once on the title, never seems to know what to do with the character for more than 3-6 issues.  I have probably hundreds of Supergirl comics, and there's been exactly two modern runs that I would recommend.

The show started off on CBS, which was always an awkward fit and probably one of the things that drove DC and WB to realize that working with network suits was more trouble than it's worth.  For the first half of the first season, the show felt deeply uncomfortable with itself, bucking against old network tropes and trying to make the domestic life of Kara Zor-El as basic as possible.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Superman Stuff: Let's Talk That Jonathan Kent News




If you came here because you're under the impression that the character known as Superman - who goes by Clark Kent in his everyday life as a mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper - is now categorized as bisexual:  he's not.  Hang in here with me.  

Let's start by clarifying - at this time, Clark Kent, Kal-El of Krypton, is still into women as far as the comics have indicated.*  The "Superman" in question is - in current Superman comics - the young-adult son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent, one Jonathan "Jon" Kent.  In the comics, as Clark Kent has had to take care of some business elsewhere, Jon Kent has been promoted from Superboy to Superman.  

It happens. I don't make the rules, I just report them.  But, yes, there are now two Supermans.  Mens.  Whatever.  It's less and more complicated than who is and is not a Green Lantern.

I don't think it's any surprise to folks that know me or follow this site where I stand on certain topics.  

In coming issues of Superman: Son of Kal-El, a maxi series based on current events in Superman comics, it seems our guy Jon is finding love with a male reporter.  Jon Kent's sexuality is not an issue for me as a reader.  He's a character reflecting both science-fantasy ideals but also a character who will be defined by many characteristics as a person which will appear in his serialized adventures hopefully for many years to come.

Friday, October 8, 2021

DCU Animated Watch: Batman - The Long Halloween (2021)




Watched:  Part 1 - 10/02, Part 2 - 10/03
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Chris Palmer

I've not kept it a secret that I haven't thought all that much of the narratives of DC Animated films in several years.  There's been some winners, and some mediocre stuff, and a certain bit of leaning in to the "edge-tacular" stuff that was kicked off by Flashpoint.  

Hence, I haven't really wanted to give anyone any money to watch any of the animated features.  I've paid for a Superman and Wonder Woman movie here and there, and I know I caught a Bat-film or two, but none of it knocked my socks off.  Including some adaptations of some favorite stories straight from the comics.

More out of curiosity than anything, Jamie and I decided to check out Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) on HBOmax.  She also read the comic maybe 15 years ago, so we both had a bit of knowledge about what to expect.  

Frankly, for me, it's probably also been 15 years since I read the book, and so my memory of it, while extremely positive, is wound up with Dark Victory and I don't know what happened in what anymore (ie:  was Dick Grayson in Long Halloween or no?).

Monday, October 4, 2021

DCU Animated Bat-Watch: The Killing Joke (2016)




Watched:  10/03/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Sam Liu

Look.  This... should never have been a movie.  I know what DC/ WB Animation was thinking, but I have no idea what DC/ WB Animation was thinking.

Winding it way back, in 1988 I would have been about 13 when I stumbled across The Killing Joke as a comic book.  And, yes, at one point I had a first printing of the comic, which rises and falls in value on a regular basis.  

It's worth noting - Moore and Bolland were commissioned to do the comic en route to the Keaton-starring Batman movie.  Moore now distances himself from the comic as he has all things DC.  It was, I assume meant to be something of the moment and to give people curious about Batman and the Joker and modern comics something they could pick up as a "graphic novel" at B. Dalton Booksellers.  

This was the era just before 1989's Batman movie, and DC was pushing occasional random things out there and making sure to have collections on the shelf of Year One, Year Two, Dark Knight Returns and the ever popular Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.  A beautifully crafted story by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland was a slam dunk - focusing on Batman and the Joker to give it synergy - what could go wrong?

Your answers are multiple choice.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

TL;DR: The New 52 - 10 Years later - from a guy who just buys comics




Polygon recently ran an oral history of the New 52 effort from DC Comics.  It features then DC Co-Publisher, Dan Didio, as well as a number of writers from the era.  It's a fascinating article for a lot of reasons, in part because of what those interviewed considered success and good ideas, and it seems that at least one person seems to have some difficulty separating fact from fiction on a few points.

A lot of talent - writers, artists and editors - seem to have turned down Polygon's request for an interview, some even citing that working on the New 52/ Nu52 was so unpleasant, they'd rather not talk about it.  So the number of voices that you'll see represented are minimal and probably well insulated from being seen as "difficult" or "willing to talk" by the current folks in charge.  After all, it's a tiny industry, and speaking out of turn even about deposed rulers can still label you as a problem.

In my opinion, reading the article, it's shocking how little self-reflection has occurred and how little awareness at least Dan Didio has about how it all ended - eg: being shown the door in early 2020 - just as he was gearing up to do a redux of New 52 and literally needed to be stopped.

Well, here's my history of DC's  New 52 publishing adventure as I remember it.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

PodCast: "The Suicide Squad" (2021) - a Kryptonian Thought-Beast Episode w/ Jamie & Ryan




Watched:  08/09/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  James Gunn



Jamie and Ryan take on a hastily assembled mission to watch the rebooty sequel to the 2016 disaster, this time with a heavy dose of what they were trying to do in the first place - get that James Gunn vibe. A wild cast lines up as our anti-heroes take a Caribbean tour and DC throws yet more stuff at the wall, utterly unsure of what they're doing, but with the promise of a whole bunch of nonsense looking you in the eye.




Music:
Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
People Who Died, Jim Carroll Band


DC Movies and TV

Monday, March 15, 2021

PODCAST: "Superman III" (1983) - a Kryptonian Thought-Beast PodCast w/ SimonUK, Stuart and Ryan




Watched:  03/01/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Richard Lester

Other ways to listen

We assemble the finest trio possible to take on the third in the Salkind's Superman franchise - this one inexplicably very heavy on very adult comedian Richard Pryor. It's a future-shock story of the magic of computers and how they can make a Superman a grumpy gus. Join SimonUK, Stuart and Ryan as they get super excited over the sharp turn the franchise took into goofiness.


Music:
Main Title, The Streets of Metropolis - John Williams, Superman III OST
The Struggle Within/ Final Victory - John Williams, Superman III OST
 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Second Episode of "Superman and Lois"



In the afternoon, before Episode 2 of the new CW show Superman and Lois even aired (on 03/02/2021), the CW renewed the program for a second season.  Those numbers on the pilot must have been really something, because that show cannot be cheap to make, and they didn't even bother to see how the show did Tuesday night when viewers would vote with their feet based on what they'd seen.  My guess is that streaming numbers were very good, indeed - and, I think it was shown on WB owned TV channels TNT and TBS to catch any cable-bound stragglers.

The notion of *why* the show was working for me kind of kicked in during episode 2. And it's both totally obvious based on the premise, but for me - as someone who has thousands of Superman comics, has seen countless hours of TV and movies, read multiple histories of Superman...  it somehow didn't quite resonate til it did.

Superman got to move on.  

Thursday, February 25, 2021

So, that "Superman and Lois" pilot on the CW




So, yeah.  After 2 serials, 6 seasons of Adventures of Superman, 4 Christopher Reeve films, 1 Helen Slater film, 4 seasons of Superboy, 4 seasons of Lois & Clark, 10 years of Smallville, 1 Superman Returns, a handful of Henry Cavill movies (3?), and 6 seasons of Supergirl, it's time for one more go at live-action Superman.  

Tuesday February 23rd saw the debut of Superman and Lois, a show about Superman/ Clark Kent and Lois Lane, now well into their lives, married and with two 14 year-old teenage sons (fraternal twins).  

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Forget to Mention It Watch: Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)




Watched:  01/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second?
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Does it matter?

We did this one as a watch party, and I often forget to write up watch party movies.  But, yeah, this movie isn't very good.

I...  I don't really think it bears much discussion.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

PODCAST: "Wonder Woman 1984" - a Kryptonian Thought Beast Episode w/ Stuart, Jamie and Ryan

spoiler: the movie was not released in October

Watched:  12/25/2020
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade: 2020's
Director:  Patty Jenkins


Our elite team of nerds comes together to discuss the hottest ticket on HBOmax and at the cinema. Is she a wonder? Has the world been waiting for her? We try to step inside the characters as we ponder what the film did and why, and, does it work? If you WISH someone could get to the bottom of this film - look no further! We're in our satin tights fighting for the right answers! 
Themyscira - Hans Zimmer, Wonder Woman 1984 Soundtrack

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Wonder Watch: Wonder Woman (2017)




Watched:  12/23/2020
Format:  HBOMax
Viewing:  No idea
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Patty Jenkins

Every time I rewatch Wonder Woman (2017), I'm stunned at the complexity and completeness of the character arc for Diana in the film.  But here, at the end of 2020, how much Diana's illusions and how she deals with them being shattered, resonates.  

From the first time I saw this movie, I know I've been saying it's one of the only superhero films to actually understand what a superhero is and what they do.  It's something comics themselves have forgotten as the writers have fallen into the traps of Hollywood script rules - and the movie itself does, in fact, play with those same rules.  But as a character, Diana is pure.  She's not out for revenge against someone who performed an injury of some sort upon her or a loved one.   She's outraged at the world of man and what they allow to occur - saying there's nothing that can be done.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

PODCAST: "Shazam!" (2019) - Xmas Genre Xrossover 2020 w/ AmyC and Ryan

 


Watched:  11/13/2020
Format:  HBO
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2010's
Director:  David F. Sandberg




AmyC and Ryan say the word and find themselves checking out the heroic adventures of one of comics longest-lasting heroes who finally found his way to the big screen. And, it's a Christmas movie! We discuss the comics, the movie and what makes for holiday cinematic magic! 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Denny O'Neil Merges with The Infinite



I am terribly, terribly sorry to report that Dennis "Denny" O'Neil has passed.  I am often genuinely saddened when I see someone has gone on to their reward, but sometimes it hits harder.

It is difficult to measure the impact O'Neil had on comics, popular culture and culture writ-large.  And I doubt many people outside us comics nerds (and possibly only comics nerds of a certain age) know his name.  O'Neil was one of the giants, someone I "liked" as a kid when I'd read his stuff, but as an adult and went back through the history of DC and saw all he'd accomplished?

O'Neil is one of the creators largely responsible for the version of Batman you know and love.  He revitalized and solidified Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), making them relevant as sounding boards for the issues of the day.  He updated Superman and took on the challenge of turning Wonder Woman into a secret agent (with mixed results).  You may know the long runs on Batman that wound up informing Batman: The Animated Series, or the famous "Hard Travelling Heroes" period of Green Lantern/ Green Arrow.  His run on Superman is actually pretty well written, if unsustainable.  The run on Wonder Woman is flat out wild and strange, and - issues though it may have - it's a fascinating attempt to try to update (and maybe a good cautionary tale for every time the internet tells DC to update Wonder Woman).

I first learned his name, I believe, on the cover of The Question (along with Denys Cowan), and soon I looked for his name in association with a certain level of storytelling I thought surpassed most of what was on the rack.

O'Neil didn't just tell stories that took DC heroes on new journeys and challenged them in new ways, he invented a large number of characters for DC and more.   Those characters were a huge part of comics of my youth from O'Neil and others, and wound up in cartoons, movies and more.  Scroll down this page to see a list of his contributions.

It's odd to see the passing of someone who was part of the second generation to enter comics, the folks who were handing off the torch as I was showing up as a reader.  But O'Neil in particular is going to be missed.  But us comics folk aren't the type to forget a person's contribution or what they did to advance the narratives that inspire and entertain us.  And inspired others to create more on the foundations they built.

We'll miss you, Denny.



Monday, May 25, 2020

PODCAST: "Superman II" (1981) - A Super Film Selection w/ Ryan and Stuart



Watched:  05/21/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown.  A lot.
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Richards Lester and Donner


For more ways to listen.


Everyone loves "Superman II", or at least that's how they remember it. Listen in as two guys who have seen this movie way, way too many times, read too much about it and - frankly - thought more about it than an adult person probably should set about discussing the follow-up to the super-tastic "Superman: The Movie". This one has the big bad-guy fight! But also, weird powers, a shiny disco bed, and will the real Gene Hackman please stand up?








Music: 

Can You Read My Mind? - Maureen McGovern



Playlist:


Thursday, April 23, 2020

PODCAST: "Superman: The Movie" (1978) a Super Movie Special with Stuart and Ryan


Watched:  04/12/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  oh, you kidders
Decade:  1970's
Director: Richard Donner

Ryan is joined by fellow Superman super-fan, StuartW, as they take on the 1978 superhero film that made the world believe a man can fly. It's a discussion of how lightning was caught in a bottle and set a template that the better superhero films still emulate. It's a geek-out fan-fest as Stuart and Ryan fly high into the movie that maybe both of them have seen way, way too many times.

More ways to listen





Music: - All Songs from Superman: The Movie, OST, composed by John Williams



Ryan's Random Playlist


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Action 252 - First Supergirl - Arrived March 31, 1959!




Action 252 is the first appearance of the second time DC floated a super girl,* but it brought Kara Zor-El to Earth, not from a dimensional wormhole or anything like we get in fancy, modern stories, but from a loose chunk of Krypton that was just hurling through space with a city and an atmosphere.