The trailer for Black Panther is awesome, even if his tweaked costume still isn’t gold-accented. Contrariwise, the more buzz I hear for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the less I’m excited for it. The final poster is not good. The Vulture’s personality & gear seems more suited to Beetle. (It seems likely Hannah John-Kamen will be the Janice Lincoln version in Ant-Man & the Wasp. Does that mean Tombstone will appear too?) Zendaya is playing an existing character under an alias as if the reveal of her true identity is supposed to be some dramatic surprise? There’s already too much Iron Man in his ugly Ultimates armor. The bastards broke seven LEGO Death Stars just for one gag.
Now Spider-Man’s suit greets him by announcing his secret identity. This is a huge design flaw that could’ve been easily avoided. The new moral is that Spidey must show great responsibility to prove himself worthy of the Stark’s high-tech clothing? (If Sony & Marvel could’ve shared Venom too, this would be a better opportunity to set up that spinoff movie. Tom “No one cared who I was until I put on the symbiote.” Hardy starring as Venom is exciting casting that would’ve been even better if TDKR’s Bane was on Venom, but apparently his solo movie won’t tie-in with the MCU Spidey’s adventures to the detriment of both studios.) I still don’t like either of his costumes that carried over from IMvCA: DoV. The one in the upcoming Playstation video game is more appealing for trying something new instead of being an inferior copy of the classic suit compared to Raimi’s trilogy & Amazing Spider-Man 2.
I have such Spidey fatigue that I don’t know if I even want to see it in cinema. I didn’t even watch the last two in theatres because they lacked J. Jonah Jameson, & this cashgrab is making the same mistake (unless that’s who Zendaya’s secret identity is). On the other paw, I’m sure a review will appeal to more readers than a Sisyphean blog trying to make my toils at writing a difficult second novel sound fascinating. (I just typed up the chapter where a vintage MechaGodzilla model is built! I kinda feel like I should quit while I’m ahead.) Can I run a very timely review of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark instead? Maybe I’ll watch it but buy another ticket to GOTG 2 or Wonder Woman at the box office. What say you?
If you’re like me & too poor to afford to watch Twin Peaks’ revival on Showtime, Riverdale may tide you over. At first I scoffed at this show because it’s six years too late for a gritty melodramatic adaptation of Archie Comics, the wholesome teenage love triangle sitcom that has inexplicably been in print for seventy-six years. To my surprise, the show that aired after Powerless is actually good! It should not work nearly as well as it does. Curse you for making so much quality television, CW! (If comic book adaptations aren’t your cup of tea, I suggest The 100 & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.)
It’s probably a lot easier to enjoy this if you’re not a die-hard Archie fan (I’ve never met one in person, but I’m sure they exist) since it takes giant liberties with such characters as Chuck Clayton, Dilton Doiley, & Ethel Muggs. Jughead isn’t asexual, although the series was well into development when the latest comics reboot made that canon. It would’ve been easy to write Veronica Lodge in her Middle Earth cape as the rich bitch, but they’ve subverted that so well by making her repentantly compassionate. (The ensemble is so wonderful it’s hard to believe this is Camila Mendes’s first TV role.) Instead of fighting with Betty Cooper for Archie’s affections, they’re an awesome friend duo. Prototypical all-American girl next door (which could mean something very different depending on where you go in the US) Betty Cooper gets layers & family drama from having a mom named Alice Cooper who’s not the shock rocker. It’s spider brooch wearing Cheryl Blossom that gets to be the over the top mean girl, but it’s surprising she turned out as well-adjusted given her Gothic upbringing in Thornhill. Josie & the Pussycats give ridiculously awesome concerts, although they can’t top the superlative Josie & the Pussycats movie. Archie Andrews is ostensibly the star yet he remains its least interesting character. He’s also gauche enough to wear a varsity jacket to a wake.
Another rejected pitch was Roverdale starring Arfie Andrews, Sheltie Cooper, Furronica Lodge, Pughead Jones, Chien Keller, Dilton Doggy, Reggie Mastiff, & Feral Blossom.
What I am about to tell you may shock delicate sensibilities: I find pizza to be overrated. What’s wore is that both vegetarians & omnivores have found common ground in not shutting up about how great pizza is. As someone that generally avoids the stuff, I found myself improbably intrigued by the commercials for Little Caesar’s smokehouse pizza. It reminded me of the barbacoa pizza I had at Telepizza. The problem was the nearest Little Caesar’s is over an
owl hour away.
Eventually, I did find an excuse to be in the neighborhood. Do all Little Caesar’s resemble fortified bank lobbies without tables on the inside? Due to the lack of seating & scenery, I had to drive to the nearest comic book shop & eat it in my car like some kind of criminal! (Do criminals often eat pizza in cars? I only ask because what I don’t know about crime could fit in a phone book. Meanwhile what I don’t know about cars could fit in two.) It was delicious! The three barbecued meats (brisket, bacon, & pulled pork) were savory & high quality for the price. I was forced to eat the entire thing by myself! I didn’t know Big Moe Cason was a person before, but now I have reason to implicitly trust him.
A few weeks later, I had another opportunity to pass by a Little Caesar’s. They told me they don’t make the smokehouse pizza anymore. WHAT? Not only did the commercial fail to mention this concoction was a limited time offer, it wasn’t even available for a full two months? This comes on the heels of Blimpie’s & Wendy’s not reviving their explicitly limited offer BBQ pork items. Why is it so difficult for fast food restaurants to keep pulled pork on the menu? There aren’t any chains that specialize in it, so you’d think one of these trial runs would be a grand slam.
Of course the most agonizing of limited edition edibles remains the McDonald’s shamrock shake. This year was even worse because they added an array of mint-chocolate drinks with it & didn’t haven enough STRAWs to go around. (Will they have enough Frorks for Cinco de Mayo?) McDonald’s knows there’s an insane demand for these, so why only make them available around St. Patrick’s Day? They’ve got over forty years worth of market research to show it’s popular enough to keep around. Why does McDonald’s only want my patronage in the spring? I WANT TO DRINK MINTY THINGS ALL YEAR!
Step one: Create demand for your exclusive product. Step two: Abruptly cut off this popular product’s supply. Step three: Profit?
Nightmare was going to be the villain of Doctor Strange but Marvel Studios predicted it’d be too on the nose for reality.
So let’s dive right back into fantasy! Since my last entry was thoroughly Marvel-centric, this week’s topic will be DC-focused. Except when I write about about other things. I still insist I have a topic.
One of my favorite bits about Legends of Tomorrow season two is how much the team isn’t a well oiled machine. It’s not that they’re terribly incompetent; it’s just that they’re still not used to working with each other. Not only does this prevent the team of superpowered specialists from seeming automatically unbeatable, it allows for more humor & dynamic character interactions.
All of Heatwave’s dialogue in the cliche-ridden “Shogun” was solid fried gold! (“League of Assassins, class of ’09,” was the the only memorable competition.) Wouldn’t atomizing a real life political figure, Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, be the sort of time crime the Legends are supposed to avert?
For a spell during season two of Gotham, Riddler & Penguin were rooming together & singing show tunes adorably as best friends are wont to do. This season upped the queerbait ante by having these two ex-Arkham inmates (DC would make a killing selling Arkham Asylum certificates of sanity signed by Hugo Strange!) be incredibly supportive & tender to each other during Coblepot’s successful mayoral campaign. The ambiguous bromance turned romance when Penguin realized he loves Riddler. I was surprised Gotham made the subtextual homoeroticism text since hooking up two of Batman’s top rogues on prime time TV would be the hugest deal since Korrasami. (I can count who isn’t a murdery bastard in this series on one hand, so another gay villain couple doesn’t seem homophobic in context.) It even looked like Riddler would reciprocate Penguin’s affections … until he stood up the Mayor’s candlelit dinner for a stranger that looks exactly like the ex-girlfriend he killed. GRODD DAMN IT, GOTHAM!
Arkham’s Razor says Kristen Kringle’s dead ringer is Clayface hired by Tabitha to break up Oswald & Ed. Or this Isabella is Kristen’s long lost twin who is going to be the show’s quasi-suicidal take on Bookworm. Wait … Bella & Edward? This is a Twilight riff too?
Hopefully this will just be a short road-bump in Penguin & Riddler being happy together. This show could use a romance that’s healthy, stable, & Gordon-free. Unlike Hannibal Lecter & Will Graham, Penguin & Riddler would be a mainstream gay pairing that’s not toxic as Hell. (Hannibal was fantastic show, but that relationship was monstrously abusive.) I am worried they’ll use a woman-shaped plot contrivance to turn these best buddies into bitter enemies. Don’t you dare ruin this, Gotham!
After years of separation, I finally got my paws on Hi-C Ecto-Cooler again! Sadly, I was not among the bloggers that received a promo for it with bonus slime. The store only had juice boxes instead of the large aluminum cans I prefer. (I did see Ghostbusters-branded Twinkies as well, but I didn’t get them because they were the kind that lacked green filing. Speaking of which, Key Lime TastyKakes don’t have enough.) I miss having Slimer on the label. Since he’s been in the ads for the Ghostbusters reboot that seem to spoil a huge plot development for the secretary, I don’t see why Slimer wouldn’t be back here too for nostalgic corporate synergy. Supposedly he’s absent because Coca-Cola isn’t allowed to use him as a celebrity endorsement anymore?
The juice boxes are genuinely smaller than they were when I was a youngling. After one hearty sip, they’re practically drained. This is a fiendish ploy to make me drink all the cartons in a single sitting then buy more. The included straws are too opaque, so you can’t tell you’re drinking something green through them. As someone who wants to consume all the green things, this is half the fun of Ecto-Cooler. I did confirm that it is still green by pouring it into a glass, but that felt like too much effort on my part when Hi-C could’ve just issued clear straws with it.
The Ecto-Cooler itself tasted … fine? I recall it tasting the same albeit more addictive. I guess from drinking Juicy Juice’s & Langers’ orange-cocktail juices in the intervening years my palate is no longer wowed by Ecto-Cooler. You brought my ambivalence upon yourself by holding out, Coca-Cola! If I can find it in a format that’s not tiny juice boxes, I may give it another go. Hopefully Coca-Cola will keep Ecto-Cooler on shelves for years to come regardless of how the latest reboot performs at the box office. (I now realize that naming the classic cartoon The Real Ghostbusters is as misleading as HBO billing that made-up show as True Detective.) I am interested to see if a new generation that never tasted Ecto-Cooler before embraces it.
Now let’s see if just mentioning the newest Ghostbusters turns my comments section in a dumpster fire!
Some 2016 movies spawn article after article of newsworthy tidbits. Most just get a review before fading into obscurity. (Why are buddy crime comedies bombing this year?) Such seems to be the fate of my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Aside from reports of its financial disappointment, there aren’t any thinkpieces to piggyback off & convince skeptics it’s a good movie. Had I realized this in advance, I wouldn’t have waited so long to see it. Of course it’s crazy to think that the second week of a theatrical run is still too late if you want to attract eyeballs. So China, after you’ve finished bolstering Warcraft’s coffers, could you please do the same for the new TMNT2 so I can get another with Mousers & Triceratons? Thank you kindly.
Despite being a much worse movie that came out in March, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice continues to be in the first group. This is probably because the R-rated version is being released this month. The DC movieverse is also chugging along in hopes of eventually bearing financial & critical fruit, so some news is merely tangentially Bat-centric. (See, you should’ve had the Mighty Mutanimals spinoff in production already, TMNT!) To stay ahead of the curve, I’m engaging in the time-honored Interwuzzle tradition of WILD SPECULATION! So while BvS:DoJ (is that the correct style for its acronym?) remains rant-worthy when real news is sparse, you should really go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows instead of it.
Anybody that’s been collecting Mattel’s BVSDOJ line since December to build a Bat-grapnel gun, will finally be fulfilled with the recent release of the last batch of toys. So the final mystery figure is … the Bat Creature from one of Batman’s nightmares?