Wednesday, July 18, 2012

TotD: The Problem Facing Modern Bookstores...

... is that in becoming these giant, sprawling, megastores with comfy chairs, Starbucks Cafes, and welcoming staff they're often now treated as libraries by the customers; someplace to sit and read. In a setting like that, it's no wonder magazine sales are down: there's no grumpy old lady getting cranky or signs on the racks saying "No Reading Allowed!" anymore and folks just loiter. This attitude has spread to the books as well with just as many people sitting around the stacks as there are down by the mag racks.

You honestly have to wonder how many people are there to buy vs read sometimes. Which then makes you wonder how much of a loss leader that is and how long they can continue to support it now that everyone online has stomped over their turf, claimed huge sections of it, and run off entirely with the DVD and Music sales they were supplementing with.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

TotD: Dear Marvel

How did you manage to publish this? On what planet did we need a Black Cat/Wolverine comic where they spend half the thing implying how much sex they're having off panel (or want to have off panel)? It's like a bad slash fiction with the Wolverine as the Author's Mary Sue and Black Cat shoved in as the bondage gear wearing B-Lister you were willing to let slum to service his fantasy.

More importantly, did anyone actually buy it? 'cause it's shit and the fact that there's even a hardcover edition, scares me. For the love of god, not everything with "Wolverine" in the title needs to get to the bookstore....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

RftP: Amazing Spiderman

Lets rub some of the dust off this particular tag 'cause it's time to take the piss out of this reboot...

Don't get me wrong: I think it's a perfectly serviceable piece of entertainment, I just don't think it holds together as a film nor, particularly, as a Spiderman film. In fact, it feels like someone grabbed the Coles Notes Nolan's Batman series and cut and pasted his name in there.

Lets see...
1) tragic parents die in mysterious fashion... check
2) left to be raised by a kindly old man (and woman)... check
3) man who knew your father becomes your mentor... check
4) who you have to beat in the final act... check
5) by preventing him from dispersing an aerosol bomb, being deployed in the middle of the city, with the assistance of the chief of police ... check, check, double check...
6) all while trying trying to earn the love/defend the prettiest girl in school... check
7) who can't act and she has absolutely no on screen chemistry with the lead... wait a sec... how'd the studio manage to fuck that last check up?

Oh, someone let them cast Emma Stone. Duh.

Lets just throw this little round of prognostication out there:

Film two: Spiderman faces off against his most dangerous foe, the manic and demented Green Goblin/Norman Osbourne, driven mad by whatever saves his life and going on a rampage; eventually finding Peter's secret ID and leading to the Death of Gwen Stacey. Peter throws down the mask in depression and walks away....

Film three: The Kingpin is revealed as the man behind Oscorp's schemes, moving out of the shadows to consolidate his hold on New York; forcing Spiderman out into the open again and into the arms of the Black Cat for assistance.


Lets dodge the debate of who did what first and move on.

The real problem here is that, like Green Lantern although nowhere near as bad, the film suffers from trying to be three things: an Origin Story, a Love Story, and setup for a meta-arc and, in so doing, doesn't really service all three particularly well. The film feels rushed and the pacing is seriously off between the scenes. Couldn't we have done the love interest in the second... excuse me for a sec... sorry about that... there's totally not gunman at my door with a pile of review notes from the studio... The love interest is totally necessary to bring the female demographic out to the film. This is a brilliant idea.

This is not being said under duress. There is no need to call 9/11.

But, seriously, can't Gwen Stacey be the girl in school Peter can't get up the courage to do anything about until the second film for once?

Hell, can't we get actual teenagers playing Peter and Gwen too? Is it really that risky to go there? That's not a slight against the actors but it's getting pretty silly seeing a 28 year old pretend to be 18 again... and again...

But I think the thing that really threw me for a loop is at the tail end of the film where our hero, injured, declared public enemy number one by the cops, and doing his best to get to the villain is followed by a News Copter whose ride along reporter declares, in all seriousness: "Will Spiderman be able to make it on time!!!"


Look, the press has no reason to like this guy yet. They don't know whose side he's on; he's a wanted man who just helped trash a school. This is not their line. Their line is to question his intentions and perhaps call out the Cops for not stopping him.

The other line, along with an exclamation of who's on the side of the angels here, belongs to the leader of our final acts grand deus ex machina that stands in the place of our screaming, can throwing, New Yorkers on a bridge.

The fact that they missed something so core to the relationship between Spidey and the media VS the public tells you all you needed to know about where this film misses the mark as a good Spiderman film.

Well, almost. But I don't want to spoil anything.