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Paupers Graves and Saber Waves – 14 Aug 2018

 

This Mondo poster is by Mark Aspinol. I’m not fond of how the ships are flying off of Kylo Ren’s shoulder, but there’s other compositional choices I really like: for example, the symbolic imagery of the figure placement (Kylo’s back, the fact that they are back to back as per the big scene in Snoke’s throne room) is rad, and it allows the glow of each lightsaber to shine on the opposing character, expressing their instability in the light/dark choice and the concept of balance. I loved the ships in Kylo Ren’s cloak’s negative space. I like that his lightsaber breaks the frame, which I feel expresses his surprise Act 2 choice… Anyway, fun with arts.

From the Shimmer:

  • By the end of S01, Hulu’s Runaways started to follow the beats of the comic, which is exciting. Of course, they haven’t dipped into the big gut-punch of the comic’s first series, but I don’t know yet if they will. That gives it some refreshing urgency. Anyway, S02 synopsis is out, and it looks like it’s diving into the titular on-the-run period we’ve been waiting for.
  • I don’t know what Tax Collector is going to be about (no one does) but I like Ayers overall, and I don’t mind Shia Lebouf the way others generally do. This was an intriguing image for me. I’m into it.
  • The other week I was saying I never really liked the Predator design, and of course there was pity and outrage. Anyway, not like I didn’t watch the movies. I’m a generational dudebro. But anyway, I remember even as a kid wondering how that mouth works. This article is pretty entertaining: no tongue? What the hell? How does it eat, let alone eat sushi
  • New Wes Anderson film is in production! What about? Don’t know, don’t care, take my money.
  • This is the first Venom image I’ve actually liked, in terms of the design. I like that he’s big, and the eyes and grin look better in profile (the eyes want to be farther apart like an animal to me, not straight ahead in the simian manner) and I like that the white sinewy veins are taking the place of the spider symbol. I said this on the podcast though: sometimes Brock’s head is in the head, and other times (like when Riot takes his head off) he’s down in the core of the torso like a mecha pilot. I wonder if this is just sloppiness, or f it’s by design, like he’s being shifted around in an egg sac to protect him. Late night, a couple of cocktails, and I was amused that it was like the same sort of mystery pilot jenga that puts Batman face down when he wants to shoot something in the Tumbler. HA. Meanwhile, Sony shoots itself in every foot it can find: now it is going for a PG-13 rating so they can better ‘integrate’ into the MCU if that ever becomes a possibility. GUH.
  • Ongoing highly speculative theories about what Disney will do in dismantling Fox are ongoing. Mostly about two key points: bringing X-Men and FF into the Marvel fold (let alone all those other properties ready to be strip-mined), and the status of the raunchy R-rated stuff. At least the ‘months of reshoots’ story seems to be hyperbole.
  • Josh Trank’s Fonzo: Al Capone by Tom Hardy who, when faced with perpetual criticism for his weird vocal choices, triple-downed and based Capone on Bugs Bunny with vocal fry. I’m actually into it. I hate his accent and slur as Eddie Brock, but I loved his Bane, loved his Peaky Blinders stuff, and I’m all for this. Capone DID have a weird nasally, highly regional accent. Hardy give precisely zero shits.
  • I don’t think anyone believes Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth really walked away from ST4… here’s hoping the producers do, so they get their money. I’m not saying any of these actors deserve or necessarily NEED huge salaries that have so outpaced the scale of their work, but I do think the studios are generally stupid about these negotiations. They went to stars of major franchise work and just when you expect the battle will be about them wanting even MORE money (especially Hemsworth)… the studio scales the budget back and asks for pay cuts in violation of their contracts. I get this is how it works, on both sides, fighting to modify contracts… but seriously.
  • On the Robot-Kraken Podcast we talked about how it felt like a missed opportunity to not let Goliath grow in the third act of Ant-Man and Wasp… apparently there was a scene planned… but it was a flashback. I agree, though, that would have been narratively redundant.
  • Shane Black is all for a Nice Guys sequel… I don’t feel it is necessary. It’s a perfect standalone film. But I’d also 100% endorse it if he kept the vibe. Their charisma was electric. I guess neon, given the time period. Lazy incandescent?

Science isn’t Real! – Robot’s Root 9 Aug 2018

 

As a lover of both the old Aquateen Hunger Force series, and of surrealism, this made my day yesterday. Several times. [Shaking fries in there]…though this was sobering, indeed. Sadly, tangentially related.

 

Meanwhile, within the collider, something emerges:

 

 

  • Super down with Slaughterhouse Rulez. Pegg and  do great stuff and I like the tone of this. Casting is spot on, too.
  • As an old C64 user (previous, and aged, both) I love it. I’m surprised it isn’t some Raspberry Pi machine at this point…
  • I mean, they could do worse

  • I appreciate what they are trying to do here, goring each other and having the symbiotes reform quickly… but I’d like to never see the hero vs. themselves design ever ever ever again. Thanxxx. At least Topher is graceful about it.

  • I DO quite like The Black Mask. I need to finish some art for this character, in fact.
  • Posted about my enthusiasm for Maniac the other day after the teaser… but hot damn now that the full trailer is out I’m going to just sit here and hold my breath and wait for the release of the series. And drink coffee. I mean. But DAMN.
  • This just makes me want to see The Zazie Beetz Show again. Which is of course the point of blooper reels.

 

Finally, these are sage rules. SAGE rules.

Where Are You Now? – Robots Root 8 Aug 2018

Ruby Rose’s casting as Batwoman was of the most interest to me in the recent news cycle. I alternate between liking her and being cool on her… but I think she has chops and edge, and I like the LGBTQ element, even if it’s pandering to some. I guess it goes both ways though: casting a straight actor in a hugely prominent non-straight role is equally controversial, as we have seen before many, many times. I’m all for it. My one concern, and this is somewhat like how I felt when Gal Gadot was first cast as Wonder Woman: Rose is very, very wiry. They’ll make it work, but it’s going to be interesting. I just hope it’s not about burying her in armor. Bury her in a good wig!

 

Beyond the deepest of deeps, something emerges:

  • Endlessly pairing Star Wars characters together to rationalize a lineage for Rey is pretty boring stuff, and while I get the symmetry in having Rey’s folks be Q’ira and Han, MEH I says. What about Bossk? Lobot? Give me something more interesting, if they have to be anyone at all. Fuck it. IG-88!
  • When I first read possible news of Jon Favreau’s Star Wars series being set on Mandalore, I was B O R E D… but then I read that it would be post-Empire Mandalore, which becomes much more interesting. Maybe? $100M interesting, anyway.
  • In the ongoing fiction that Infinity War’s stakes mean something, Maria Hill and Nick Fury will appear in the next Spder-Man film. Sure, it could be flashbacks. Or whatever. Just show me a good film!
  • Well, Bruce Willis, man of a million low budget projects, WAS to star in a Moviepass feature film. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH. uh.
  • I was never convinced by this project. However, I held out slim hope that they’d somehow make it batshit crazy and therefore entertaining. Hiatus doesn’t mean dead, but they JUST cast the female lead and had a director on board. I smell a script problem.
  • This isn’t quite the LEGO BATMAN R/C car I was envisioning, but I’m still in favor. Go to hell, doggo!
  • My daughter will be interested in this.

Speaking of Sticky Strands – Robots Root 7 Aug 2018

I like the Japanese poster Venom more than the trailer Venom. All those sticky strands holding the jaw together…

Speaking of sticky strands, THE NEWS:

  • Vantablack rules everything around me…
  • Good buzz coming out regarding Daredevil S03 coming this fall. I’m into it.
  • In the last year I’ve read three or four articles talking about the business of maintaining old CRT arcade machines. Pretty interesting. Outrun was definitely my jam.
  • Disney doesn’t appear to be responding to calls for Gunn’s return. I’m liking that Dave Bautista has taken a career-risking step further and thrown serious shade at Disney about it.
  • The John Wick and 300 folks are working on an Alcatraz movie. I THINK I’m into it. I don’t enjoy prison films, but I do like pressure cookers with some trickery.
  • What I find most interesting about Alex Garland’s new project is the casting. Sonoya made quite an impression on him… and me, of course. Plus, RON!
  • Shogun is coming back, and I’m all for that.
  • Lots of Birds of Prey casting rumors… which all sound fine. I did like Bosslogic’s Black Canary. I mean, I think I do?
  • UGH UGH UGH with prequels that make no sense. Die Hard prequel??? The events of the first film created the character (and it should have been a done in one)… we don’t need a prequel. And 24?? I mean, come on. Of course, I make an exception for Batman. But only if we never see any MAH PARENTS ARE DEADDDDD moments.
  • CBS is gunning for all Trek, all the time. The fact that Patrick Stewart confirmed at the con that he’s coming back for the new show, featuring an older Picard, struck me as both interesting and exhausting shows to me that they really need to strike a new tone and perspective for this show to make it carry weight. Same producers and writers as the current crop of stuff, though. I don’t mind the idea of an older senior command Picard torn with difficult, ore realistic political problems… I’d like to see him weather gray area military issues (or non-military, depending on what version of Starfleet we’re even talking about) in a way TNG never did. Just no more ‘once more unto the breach! bullshit like the films. Let everyone be dead or older and retired. No away teaming. PLEASE.
  • Well, here’s Todd McFarlane critiquing the new Venom for you. Happy Tuesday.
  • Edward james Olmos cut from Predator? HOW DARE YOU SIR.
  • I’m down with Jessica Chastain’s new spy project. MOAR PLS!
  • Lung sent me this: the best papercraft Darth Vader bust ever. Not that I have time or inclination to make it, but I COULD.

What Star Wars Needs is a Memorable Villain, They All Said – Robots Root 6 Aug 2018

The rumor mill speculates that Richard E. Grant will play Thrawn in Star Wars Ep. VIII. I don’t have any emotional attachment to the character, not having read the books, and I always thought his blue skin looked weird with the white uniform… but I DO like the idea of bringing in a new big bad. It’s hard to imagine they’d waste such a big Extended Universe character on one film… and in the timeline of stories they talk about doing, I don’t see how they’d use him elsewhere. It made me think, awhile back, when Rian Johnson got that undefined new trilogy to play with, that Thrawn might be the big bad in THOSE films…

 

Meanwhile, in space, this could be happening:

  • Claire (Rosario Dawson) brings some real world logic and empathy to the Netflix Marvel series of series. That said, she’s not in IF 2.0, and I assumed it was because she’s got a career and other commitments happening… I read in a few places people are relieved because it’s irrational that she’s in all these stories but has no powers. WHAT? One of the strong points about all of the Marvel Netflix projects is the way the NPC’s, or regular folks, are written into the story in a meaningful way. It’s one of the things I love about them. It’s not just powered people tussling, but the interaction between them and the people they affect. SO while I DO often think ‘why aren’t they calling each other for help’ or ‘why isn’t claire calling in reinforcements’ I do like that they’ve tried to explain it in terms of unavailability or personal issues or ‘this is my fight’ type of stuff. We don’t need five different Defenders arcs, though admittedly those team-ups are what make some of the Marvel MCU films so interesting. But as is often noted about all of the TV projects… this isn’t the MCU.
  • Bryan Callen and Marc Maron are the latest to join this surreal Joker film… what is even.
  • Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson seem to have charisma together, so that’s a thing.
  • In a moment of pure marketing genius, Turkish Airlines have offered a safety video tie in to Lego Movie 2. This sure beats watching Wonder Woman not stow her shield and sword FFS on that other attempt.
  • Everyone’s still rah-rahing about Linda Hamilton in the Aviators, but I’m all about those lines on Mackenzie Davis’ skin. Did we already officially know she was a new Terminator model, or a Terminator period? I LOVE that look.
  • I understand why they deleted this scene between Gamora and Thanos in the final cut, as it drags and is tonally off from what we saw of him the rest of the film more concisely. However it IS cool to see Gamora dressed as his champion. CHAMPION BRAIDS.
  • This too can be yours, for a mere $1200. I’m so in. But not really in. But wish i was in.
  • Here’s a brilliant study on how Bottle Rocket DID set the stage for Wes Anderson’s later more obvious moves. I’m among the Andersonites that saw it, even as a raw version, of being consistent with his catalog, but I’ve heard the argument several times that it wasn’t. I would argue it is closer to his later vision than Blood Simple was for the Coen Brothers to their’s.

Brought to you by the 33% Nation of Pulps in my Coconut Water

Arm Reloading Since 2018 – Robot’s Root 31 July 2018

All anyone’s talking about (other than that it’s really good and will make a lot of money) regarding Mission: Impossible – Fallout is Henry Cavill’s arm reloads. That was my favorite part of the trailer as well. It cracks me up so much.

 

Meanwhile:

 

  • Tessa Thompson can simply do no wrong. I mean, when I can’t even SEE Chris Hemsworth?  That’s a thing.
  • It’s pretty impressive that the cast of GOG issued a support letter re: James Gunn. That’s a lot of political risk for them, and I like that they committed to it. They avoided outright calling out Disney on the hypocrisy, but the letter was well constructed to be positive rather than reactive.
  • You don’t often see a creator get the rights back to the work made from their original material. Controversies on all sides, but still…
  • I defer further comment until I actually finish Altered Carbon S01, but Anthony Mackie is on board as the lead for S02 and I do like him muchly.

  • Well, uh, I guess that counts.
  • Carrie Fisher’s unused footage being in SW Ep VIII is both kind of a nice touch AND indicative that whatever her original arc was to be, it will still nonetheless be radically reduced, and I think that makes sense, all things considering. I was also intrigued that Gwendoline Christie’s name wasn’t included in the returning cast… I smell a maguffin.
  • This is why the Interwebs were invented.
  • This does not look good, but is trying to be indie-weird-heisty, and this does not look good, and is trying to be edgy-die hardie-actioney. Maybe they should have- wait, I have it. Switch CASTS!
  • Look, I’m in, but also, I just LOVE checking out where all the Jonah Hill went. He’s an example to me of a person whose weight loss fundamentally changed how they look. He doesn’t look like a thinner version of himself, like with John Goodman. He looks like his own cousin or something.
  • From Lung: a horde of Thor related tweets that are glorious.
  • OH MG GOD I NEED ALL OF THESE WHY . THE . FACE!
  • This is NOT what I was expecting for Pedro Pascal’s look in WW 1984…
  • More Venom, less enthusiasms. I already had maybe 3% enthusiasms. And this accent? “Ohh, I havah paower saite.” what is even. And look, Phase 1 era fighting your clone. I just. I mean, even putting Michelle Williams in a plaid miniskirt feels desperate.

 

He Even Paid for That Suit – Robots Root 30 July 2018

As rumors of the Batman solo film increasingly draw comparisons to Batman: Year One, I grow more and more cautiously optimistic. I want facking dark gray under-armor, combat boots, hand stitched cowl and cape, an army/navy surplus belt, flash bangs and sharpened steel knives. And I want failure. [Art by the One Dave Johnson ]

 

Meanwhile…

  • Honest Trailer for Ready Player One is honest.
  • Captain America’s proposed cameo in Ant-Man and Wasp would have actually been pretty good. Though I agree with the choice to exclude it. Not necessary.
  • The logic here is pretty screwy. Them lost all sense.
  • Reading the creators wax optimistic about future Venom films, I’m reminded of a logical but problematic detail: in reports from SDCC it was noted that Venom doesn’t have the chest symbol. Makes sense, in an origin without a Spider-Man connection. Yet, without that white spider across the chest, this will just be a big rubbery black blob with teeth and googly eyes.
  • The latest on again, off again rumors are that New Mutants shit the bed and X-Men is a hot mess, and that both may be scrapped by Disney. Its both premature and hazy, and I don’t yet take them seriously.
  • Henry Cavill says he’d be down to play Bond, because of course he’s a tall white European and he wears a suit well. I’m OK with it.
  • Against all odds, Deadwood as a film has finally been greenlit, and actor schedules have been sorted out.
  • Stoned Alone. This is like that grocery store animated film from a few years ago. The concept is more stoney than the end result could even be, and I love them both for being things.

  • Iron Fist’s twitter has been posting episode names as battered storefront signage. .I’m really in love with this marketing concept.
  • In an interesting development, AMC and their legal representation have vetted Chris Hardwick and are bringing him back. They don’t outright state the claims against him by his ex are unfounded, but they are taking the risk of reinstating him. This not being the certain political world where gross people are doing gross things with impunity, but rather the world of sensitive entertainment business where creators have been sacked in recent days for old tweets.
  • I’m delighted that Denis Villeneuve is planning to shoot Dune as only the first half of the first book, rather than cramming everything in. More room to breathe and build the world with some elegance.
  • The moment the actress was cast, I knew there’d be a racist dust-up over Starfire. After the trailer, it was certain. Some pitiful trolls are on the attack, surprising precisely no one.

  • August 24th, AMC… let’s not let this one slip past us, pals.

 

Finally, I know it’s an important film in culture, etc etc but I’m just so in love with this shot of Tessa Thompson.

Just Wingin It – Robots Root 25 July 2018

OHAI DAUGHTERS OF DRAGONS

Meanwhile, this:

  • I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Williamson is developing ANOTHER show for Hulu starring the ex husband of the star of his current show. But anyway. Space. I’m in.
  • I’m cool with Sivana not being a mad scientist, which was much more proto-Superman.
  • Dungeons and Doggos. You’re welcome.
  • The one GoT spin-off to make the cut to series is set in the very distant past of this continuity, which on the one hand makes the most sense (otherwise why not just keep telling THIS story; I don’t know how we’re supposed to end with a few final long eps, big winter and zombie army and death everywhere, whith any sort of closure at this point) but it DOES run the risk of feeling more Lord of the Ringsish/generic fantasy. We’ll see.
  • Expanse S04 I cannot wait I cannot FACKING WAIT.
  • I may have posted this before, but it’s a great article exploring how Always Sunny has become more and more progressive even as it remains raucous and offensive. I personally think these ‘progressive’ moves in the story are to piss off just another subset of viewers, which i love.
  • My first time seeing the SDCC poster for Godzilla. Pretty dope, and brand aware. Kris was stunned on the podcast the other night that Ghidora is not my favorite monster, for reasons.
  • I feel like this supposed possible casting interest for Batwoman is a bit on the nose. As I’ve babbled on the podcast several time: it must be Jane Levy.

  • I’m toling you. Well, Batgirl anyway. Batwoman, whose to say.
  • Oh come ON. I get the legacy behind this easily most-famous-giant-robot-anime but it’s just Star Wars, u guise. Not rocket science.
  • We spoke a bit about the James Gunn firing controversy on the podcast we recorded the other day, and referenced Bobcat Goldthwait. Here’s that story. Then yesterday, Dan Harmon is off twitter due to dredged up comedy material he wrote years ago.
  • Apparently Ryan Reynolds originally hoped to play Wally West. SUCH a better fit than Green Toleyou.
  • And now Frances Conroy is on board Joker?
  • yes please.

Thats all for today . Off to go measure my groffice for that new carpet…

Permission to Come Aboard – Robots Root 23 July 2018

Points to James Wan for having the stones to make Black Manta(s) a thing in this film.

 

In the vortex of post-SDCC space madness, these were the highlights for me this weekend:

  • I’m comfortable being the lone voice of optimism about Battle Angel Alita. I’m pretty sure they reduced the eyes since the last trailer 8 months ago or whatever it was. It just looks like a solid session of cyberpunk RPG. Optimism! Then again, they could have just cast . Christina Ricci and called it a day.
  • Deadly Class looks like alt-universe X-Men where everybody is being trained to be villains. I love it. Can’t wait!
  • Stan Against Evil looks really, really fun and weird. As the creator said about the initial premise: “My Dad as Buffy.”
  • I didn’t read Dark Knights: Metal, but I do love me some Jock. I have very little interest in this project overall, but I enjoy the pretty pictures. “Punisher is a broke guy in a van.”
  • Robert DeNiro joining the Joker film? What is even. I get the character he’s playing etc but still this whole project feels very much like we’re watching something from another reality.
  • I need to start watching Misfits & Monsters. With all of my free time.
  • Disenchantment looks pretty much exactly like what you’d expect if someone were to pitch to you: Groening + AD&D + no censors.
  • The Aquaman trailer had some really fun moments, no question.
  • Speaking of fun, or trying to be fun, Shazam is still intriguing, but I fear the neutered-Big situation isn’t going to work as well as they hoped.
  • Godzilla: King of the Toleyous looked dank, dark, and ominous… but I do love those other monsters. Especially Mothra. Those wings!
  • Finally, Glass‘ full trailer, along with Lung yelling at me, convinced me I need to go back and watch Split after all.

 

In other news, this review of MI: II cracked me up. It did not age well, no.

Cardi B crossed with Star Wars actually works very well. My favorite was the sound of her grunting as the Hoth turret.

The Ennis House is finally on sale, and its a good deal!

Jeff Goldblum can’t cook.

 

That is truly the limit.

MAH MAN – Robots Root 19 July 2018

Look, I’m as surprised as you are. I LIKE the classic colors here. What a (rare) successful update of a golden age look! The other statues show details from the costumes that I quite like as well. More, including the costumes on display at SDCC here.

 

Also, dig the BRINE KING yall.

 

Meanwhile,

  • Comcast, bless their cold, vindictive hearts, caved and dropped out of their bidding for Fox’s assets. They were mostly after the sports division, I think. But still. The idea of Fox and Comcast being connected displeased me. It was like a landfill filled with corpses. Metaphorically.
  • Shile ST4 having a female crewperson added, a female villain, and a female director, are all welcome things… I’m still not sure about dredging up Kirk’s pappy. Unless he were UNDEAD.
  • So stoked on the Umbrella Academy adaptation.
  • Remember when I was joking (so to speak) about how the Robin promo pic looked all grim and gritty, reminding me of the Snyderverse-version Robin uniform shown in B V S… well, it looks like they dove deep.
  • Meanwhile, the details about the Joker film sound pretty predictable to this guy. Fortunately Zazie Beatz will (presumably) be in it so thats a reason to see it anyway.
  • In this skit about Batman trying to join the cool kids Avengers table, I liked how the laughter from the audience dipped a bit once Andy as Robin started shredding the Marvel characters.
  • James Gunn being fired from GOG3 over his well-established early jack-ass tweets, which were previously cleared by Disney… this is beyond strange and frankly smacks of pandering. Especially given this was all known and resolved prior, and had been dredged up by conservatives in response to his political attacks on the Trump Administration. So, more to the point and less about politics, scandal was created to silence a voice. One more casualty of the current hypocrisy.

Finally, I leave you with a successful piece of targeted marketing for this guy: