Thursday, June 6, 2019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix - Quick Review


Another Dark Phoenix Movie

I'm off to bed but thought I'd leave a quick review here. The latest X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, was a bit of a dud. Not the worst movie ever, just kinda blah. Some movies feel insulting, or piss you off, this one doesn't really. It's just blah.

For big supers fans, I know you'll watch it anyway. For others, this one is easily skippable.

The 3rd X-Men film, also featuring Dark Phoenix, was better.

Also, what's with every big CGI film being set in the dark? Is that easier? Cheaper? Godzilla was that way too. So much darkness.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Godzilla King of Monsters (2019) - Review

Yay Big Monsters!

So I just got back from the latest Godzilla flick and I must say I had a really good time.

SPOILERS

There are people in this movie and I guess they did a good job, I dunno, in a Godzilla flick I'm looking for monster action not human drama. So this movie did not disappoint.

Freaking King Gidora wakes up and summons Rhodan and a bunch of other monsters, but mostly Rhodan. So Godzilla shows up to regulate that nonesense and gets his butt kicked. Of course. You always gotta lose the first fight so you can come back for the rematch.

The rematch is in New York and it's Gidora/Rhodan versus Godzilla/Mothra. Yeah. Mothra is in it. Sweet.

Mothra whips Rhodan's ass, but is beat to crap. Godzilla loses to King Gidora until 'Zilla gets all pissed and goes nuclear. Firing off bursts of radiation that fry King Gidora.

Boom. Godzilla wins and all the other monsters come to kneel at his feet.

Add in a whole bunch of blatant King Kong v. Godzilla teasing and that's the movie. Plus some people talk and stuff.

I highly recommend this for any giant monster fan, any sci/fi action person, but honestly you know who Godzilla is and if you liked any of his past movies then this one will hold up well for you.

Fun note: I walked in slightly late, the previews were over and just as I step into the theater the Godzilla roar is playing over the speakers to open the movie. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Stuart J. Whitmore Sampler

Check it out on Amazon


My buddy Stuart released a sampler of his work, on sale for 99 cents. There's quite a bit of stuff in there for the price. There's a bit of scifi in there, some fantasy, all full stories. 5 in total. It's worth a look.

Here's the link:

www.amazon.com/dp/B07SCWLP78

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Royal Rumble is This Weekend

Becky. The Man. Most 'over' wrassler in the US right now.
As you might know, the winner of this weekend's Rumble gets their choice of a title shot at Wrestlemania.

I'm hoping Lynch wins the Smackdown Women's Title from Asuka, then enters the rumble later in the evening, wins that too, and then demands a shot at Rhonda's Raw Women's Title.

So at Wrestlemania it'll be Becky Lynch v. Ronda for the unified Women's strap. That would be the main event. The first time ladies have ever main evented at Wrestlemania. They deserve it too, none of this double standard shit, it's the hottest rivalry right now and the two hottest stars.

If not, then we'll likely get a 3 way with Ronda, Flair and Lynch for the main event. With Ronda's title on the line. This would probably be better, because any match with Flair is a classic right now. Ronda and Lynch are good but in ring there's nothing better than Flair. There are some people in Japan, like Omega and Ibushi (Golden Lovers), and maybe Pentagon out of Mexico, but in the US scene it's Flair at the top of the mountain.

It's strange to think those 3 ladies are more over than, say, Lesnar versus Braun Strowman but that's the reality.

They also got a guy out with leukemia right now, Roman Reigns. He has a high chance of living, he's been in treatment for like 6 months. When he comes back, or even steps out onto the deck, he'll be the most over guy evar.

It's because people hated him. Boo'd him for no reason. He was the good guy pushed by the company, but he was legit the best performer. But people in the last few years are disgruntled, boo happy. They don't want to get behind anyone. They want to be contrarian. The late 90's was that way, that's how we got Stone Cold. The anti-hero.

I think if Roman came back though, the guilt of having boo'd him could drive a pure baby face run the likes of which we've never seen.

Wrestling, Jan through April, is the best of times. If you never watch wrestling, or never know where to start, start with The Royal Rumble and watch through Wrestlemania. That's the height of the wrestling 'season'.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Oh the Drama - Doesn't Matter if it's Fake

It's real. All real.


When it comes to story the mind doesn't care if something is real or not. It doesn't matter that Jon Snow never existed, and dragons are fake. It doesn't matter that Trump is clearly trolling you. The deep mind, the learning center, where narrative is processed, isn't critical. It is emotional. It makes emotional links because that's how we figure right and wrong. This is the essential evolutionary function of story, the figuring out of right and wrong, good and bad, safe or dangerous, do it or not.

The critical mind might know what's what, what's real and what's not. That's fine. But story, that's deeper.

The reality of it makes so little difference it's shocking. Charlotte Flair isn't really bashing those two Aussie nitwits in that picture. Daenerys isn't riding dragons around. Your favorite quarterback isn't a real hero. The person you voted for isn't actually a paragon of virtue, a crusader on your behalf. It's all fake. It's all kayfabe. None of it is real but none of that matters. We watch and we feel, that's what matters.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Venom - Movie Fun

Tom Hardy being awesome.

So I checked out the latest superhero flick, Venom. It was a lot of fun. It was messy, with an inconsistent tone, but for some reason it worked. Tom Hardy was playing it as a bit of a doof, which doesn't make sense if he is supposed to be this accomplished journalist, but for some reason that worked too.

It has your standard CGI fest big climactic battle, which is what you expect from a supers movie, but in other ways it swerves you. It defies expectations in a good way. Expect the girl to get back with the hero? Nope. Expect the love interest's new boyfriend to be a douche? Nope, he's actually pretty cool. These are the little things you'll notice, breaking of unnecessary tropes, that keeps the movie interesting.

I would describe this movie as a bit of a Shane Black style flick. A very dude bro buddy comedy/action thing. With alien symbiotes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

StoryCraft - Wrestling - Lynch v. Flair

Lynch and Flair kick the hell out of each other

So this weekend there was a title match between Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch. It was one for the ages, I loved every minute.

Yes, I know, wrestling is dumb. Usually. But once in awhile, a few times a year, it's great. And Becky Lynch versus Charlotte Flair was soooo great. This is what people live for, story telling and investment that has you screaming at the screen.

Emotional connection. That's the key. It doesn't matter your genre or medium. Get the audience invested in the characters, and you're golden. How do you do that? I dunno. It's hard.

But I can show you how the WWE did it with Flair/Lynch. I'll tell the story and maybe we'll learn something.

THE SET UP

For years, and up until recently, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were besties. They came up through the roster together, trained together, had each other's back. An unbreakable duo. Over time, however, the relationship became strained. As Flair was winning titles, Lynch played second fiddle. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Then, earlier this year, Flair was injured. Her boob popped. Seriously, that's not kayfabe or storyline. One of her breast implants was damaged in a match and was leaking. She had to get it fixed, so she was out for awhile. The top of the mountain was clear, the throne empty.

Into that gap stepped the bestie, the side kick, Becky Lynch, determined to make a go of it, stepping out from Flair's shadow. And goddamn did she kick ass, running through the roster like a buzzsaw, earning a title shot in mid summer. She was just one win away, an easy win too against a sub-par champion named Carmella.

So Lynch's dreams were about to come true. Champion. Finally. After years of toil.

Then Charlotte Flair came back from injury.

THE TURN

Immediately, ex-champ Charlotte Flair was given a title shot. They added her to the very same title match where Becky Lynch was favored to win the title against Carmella. It became a triple threat match. Three women in the ring. First to get a pin wins.

And, of course, Flair gets the pin and takes the title. The crowd booed. Everyone in the arena, everyone watching at home, was hoping Lynch would take it. She'd worked so hard, struggled for so long, to have the rug pulled out from under her now was gut wrenching.

When Charlotte Flair, with her newly won title in tow, went to shake her friend's hand in a show of friendship and good sportsmanship, it happened. What we'd all been waiting for. Becky Lynch snapped, beating the holy hell out of Flair, leaving her former friend broken in the middle of the ring with her title.

The crowd went nuts. I did too. Lynch was no longer content with second fiddle. She wanted her her title shot. Demanded it. One on one. No bullshit getting in the way.

THE PAYOFF

This being wrestling, when a beef is set up like this it doesn't fester. It doesn't eat away for long, it gets settled. It gets settled in the ring. In this case, a last woman standing match at the all women's PPV, Evolution.

Now let me explain 'last woman standing'. It's basically a no hold's barred hardcore match. No pin falls, no count outs or submissions. The winner is the last one standing when the other can't get up. It's perfect to settle a feud.

A feud this well set up, taking years to grow, is a fine thing. It gets you invested in the match itself. Delivering a good show in the ring, however, is difficult. You have to match up the heat of the feud with the action in the ring. And this feud was so hot there's no real way you can do it justice with just any old scrap. It has to be epic, and violent.

And it was. The most violent women's match in history. They hit each other with kendo sticks, blasted each other through tables, whacked each other with chairs. They jumped off of ladders onto the announce table, and through it. They fought out into the crowd. At one point Flair had Lynch's legs bent up in a ladder. Flair moonsalted. Becky buried Flair under a huge pile of broken chairs and tables, only to have Flair come busting up out of them like a demon.

Finally, after more than 30 minutes of nonstop wall to wall insanity, Lynch power bombed Flair through a table for the win.

Lynch. Champ. Finally. I don't think my fat heart could have handled much more, it was that awesome.

EPILOGUE

So now what? Lynch is champ. She vanquished her friend. Is it over?

No. This is wrestling. It never ends. Don't think for a second Charlotte Flair is through, she'll be back. And Lynch will be waiting.