New York Toy Fair 2017 just happened! It felt oddly underwhelming this year, possibly because many of the wares had been previewed earlier. Did any of my wish list picks (Star Wars Black, DC Icons, Marvel Legends comics, Marvel Legends movies, DC TV) get unveiled?
If you think Batman is oversaturated, you’re never going to be proven otherwise at the rate DC milks this cash-cow. Out of the four 2016 movies featuring Batman, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders was the best because it didn’t take itself so damn seriously. Thankfully his solo LEGO film follows in that vein. My favorite movie of last year, Deadpool, was released in February. Will history repeat itself with The LEGO Batman movie? Since I struggled to write a review that’s not just “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!,” I’d recommend betting on black.
Somewhat SPOILERY iterations of what I discussed with The Wages of Cinema to follow. (Do you prefer me speaking extemporaneously on movies or reading me take the extra time to make typos about movies?)
Remember when I complained about there being too much TV on Tuesdays? Now Wednesday is vying to top it with (Green) Arrow, The 100, The Magicians, The Expanse, & Legion. Why is it always feast or famine with quality genre shows? And why can’t they spread themselves out on different days better? I haven’t even gotten around to binging Luke Cage, Stranger Things, The OA (strangely not about the Green Lantern Corps homeworld), or A Series of Unfortunate Events yet! Have an early blog this week so I can focus on watching more TV instead of writing my next novel!
Gotham’s second winter finale of the season, “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies,” was so awesome it literally punched a dude’s face off! (Jerome should get the Dollmaker to fix that afore he gets kicked into a vat of chemicals.) Why was the carnival the only place with electricity during the blackout? I don’t care because I finally saw someone be devoured by piranhas in a dunk tank! Bruce goading Jerome to shoot staples into his arm to use as (highly improbable) lock-picks then pretending to be pained so he wouldn’t catch on was the most Batman thing he’s done since he tricked Silver St. Cloud into confessing. (He loses points for neither hiding the Court of Owls’ statue in the
BatCave two episodes ago nor splurging for decent security despite stately Wayne Manor being attacked like six times already.)
Edward “I don’t believe in no ghosts!”Nygma’s getting a legitimutant Riddler costume! Will Query & Echo debut? Might as well have master Bruce suit up as Batboy too. How many episodes until Hugo Strange un-kills Oswald? If only the Court of Owls could replace Gordon with a clone that’s not an insufferable prat…
Fifteen years later, the Resident Evil film series is finally ending with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter! I’m unduly excited by this momentous event! If you’d prefer to experience it completely unspoiled, scroll past to get to my third in a series of pre-Toy Fair wish lists. Yep, two things that nobody else has been eager for in one big package!
I unilaterally admitted the first Resident Evil to the ranks of the Good Video Game Films along with the original Mortal Kombat & Silent Hill. Rather than attempting a direct adaptation of Capcom’s BioHazard games, it was intended to be a side story running parallel with a unique protagonist, Alice. As sequels progressed, however, more key characters from the game franchise were imported over even though she was an amalgam of their traits. Smushed between Alice & several less memorable new redshirts, the canon ones didn’t have much room to develop. (Claire Redfield & Albert Wesker are the only canon characters in this as Wesker conveniently killed the rest off-screen in ravaged Washington, D.C.) For hardcore fans of the games, watching these movies must be like watching X-Men films are for me.
A key reason why Milla Jovovich’s career revolves around her playing an action heroine is that she’s damn good at it! (I still think she would be more credible as Black Widow than ScarJo.) Unlike Underworld’s stoic Selene, her Alice is allowed a broader range of emotions & vulnerabilities. Her former superpowers have been diminished to standard action movie protagonist levels, but it’s still utterly believable she can wreck anyone. In the the annoying instances when she does have trouble in a fight, I wasn’t sure if the movie didn’t make her foes seem formidable or whether she was just fatigued by all the previous ass-kickings she (& her stunt doubles) handed out. My favorite scene is when Alice (bearing a striking resemblance to Metal Gear Solid’s Meryl Silverberg) gets strung upside-down & still defeats a squad of Umbrella Corp goons.
Gotham is committed to pitting the Riddler against Penguin. This is a huge bummer since I really enjoyed them being murder besties even if they didn’t hook up. I sympathize with shippers feeling betrayed, but I also understand the writers going with this for maximum drama since it’s the relationship viewers actually care about. At least it’s making Babs & Tabs more pivotal & finding work for Clayface. You can tell the psychological warfare taking it’s toll because Oswald didn’t even eat the birthday cake of Nygma’s replacement after killing him! Will Riddler cause Disco Vampire to wear a monocle via gratuitous eye violence ala Arkham City? Then they can let eyegones be bygones. Or will they go for the “Penguin doesn’t need a reason to wear a monocle” explanation that nobody had a problem with for decades?
The way that they’re addressing reanimation as simultaneously bonkers & mundane is perfect. I appreciate that they turned the Joker’s face removal in the New 52 from edgy horror into a joke about poseurs. It’s only just returned & already announcing a winter break after next week? You can’t have two winter finales in the same season, Gotham! That’s madness!
One of my readers’ suggestion for 2017 was for the sort of listicles I used to write for Topless Robot & io9. While I’m eager to resume writing these for professional websites, I’m honoring reader requests in the meantime. Lists of what I’d like to see at Toy Fair this year (I’m accepting Toy Fair press passes) seem like a good topic to start with. The event is a month away, but I figure I ought to start now. A month is sufficient for the big toy companies to change their plans to suit my whims & make complete prototypes, right?
DC Collectibles is already doing sneak peeks including an expensive BTAS set of Renee Montoya, Killer Croc, Bane, Mr. Freeze, & Poison Ivy. So let’s start with them before it’s too late. They also take a really long time to get product out, so it’s best to get things onto their radar early. Since DCC does DC Icons based on the comics as well as toys based on CW shows, I’ve concocted a separate list for each. (I guess Mattel could make entries off this list too. They just won’t be as good, although I am looking forward to their King Shark BAF.) Read onward to see the top ten DC TV characters that deserve plastic immortality!
Nobody wanted to see Underworld: Blood Wars with me. I was forced to see it all by myself. (Will this be my fate again when Resident Evil: The Final Chapter rolls into theaters at month’s end?) Apparently every civilized nation got to see it last year, so we’ll cut right to the SPOILERS.
The Underworld movies have never been masterpieces, but they do enough to please me. Legitimutant vampire Kate Beckinsale starring as Selene is one of them. She proves women can be stoic hypercompetent ass-kickers grumpy over their missing loved ones & being betrayed by her former allies just as well as men. Unfortunately that archetype is already played out, even if it’s slightly more novel for this gender. Even with vampire David getting his own subplot, it’s still incontrovertibly her movie.