Thursday, August 15, 2013

A whole new World, Same old Bad Guys.

Howdy, looks like its time for my six to eight month dust off of this bile filled sack of putrid acid that is my blog and take it for a whirl round the block.  So hold onto your butts cause here we go.

 Ive had numerous conversations over the last month or so about Warner Bros announcement that they are planning to follow up Man of Steel with a Batman VS Superman movie, which in turn will be helmed by adolescent that never grew up Zack Snyder. Now when this news first broke the only problem I had with it was Snyder's involvement, that was it. I know loads of folks took to the internet to voice their opinion on the idea of a Batman/Superman film being a terrible fucking idea, but that's not me, my original problem rested purely with Snyder that's it.

      Now I know Man of Steel made a gazillion dollars at the box office, I know that a lot of folks thought it was a great new reworking of the Superman story, but me personally I fucking hated the film. I went to see it twice and after the second viewing I decided yep this film is a piece of effects driven garbage directed by a man who not only doesn't understand the idea of Superman as a character but also took everything else about the Superman story filtered it through draft of a script he bought second hand off Michael Bay and then proceeded to shit it against my eyeballs giving me special effects conjunctivitis of the ooziest order.

      So the idea that this guy and the team he has working for him can take the two most iconic Comic book characters of all time and put them together in one film and do them justice is for me nothing short of a cluster fuck. The man may be able to make a shiny movie, but he cannot direct a character driven story, and as Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon have shown we now want our Superhero movies to have strong central characters as well as the big explosions.

               We will be introduced to a new Batman in the new movie, I mean come on he has to be a new version, because Nolan's Bruce Wayne is somewhere in Italy (where no one knows what Multi-Billionaire Bruce Wayne Looks like) busy polishing his shit eating grin from the end of Dark Knight Rises, Fuck all these rumors regarding Bale returning for a silly paycheck this will be a different Batman. If it isn't then the credibility of this new movie has sunk even lower. The one rumor that I actually hope is true is that Josh Brolin might be tapped to play the Caped Crusader I do like the idea of Mr Brolin playing an older more grizzled Batman, this plays along with the idea that the studio may in fact be taking some story elements from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns storyline, a story in which Batman is obviously the main character and in which Superman plays a small but significant role. 

 Henry Cavill while not bad as Kal-El in Man of Steel, we didn't so much as get a sniff of his take on the bungling Clark Kent that is for me an essential part of the Superman mythos. I have no problem otherwise with Cavill strapping the S on for another outing.

This brings me to what is essentially the meat of this blog post. The supposed villain of the new film, or at least one of the supposed villains who has been hinted at so far. Lex Luthor, a villain who has already been portrayed on the Big and Small screen by numerous actors over the years, Now here is a list of Superman's rogues gallery

Superman's Rogues Gallery

See all those Bad Guys...quite a lot right?

So I ask the following question and quite loudly too.


When Batman was rebooted with Batman begins we got Ra's al ghul, a character we had never seen on the big screen so why couldn't this approach be applied to Superman?. With Snyder's Man of Steel we got General Zod again, granted he was more in line with the comic character this time around but we had already seen him go up against Kal-El before and played sublimely by Terrance Stamp in Superman II in 1980 and in that outing Luthor had been reduced to nothing but a grovelling lackey. So why the fuck does Warner Bros feel the need to bring Luthor to the screen AGAIN. We actually don't even have to go back to Gene Hackman's portrayal of the character, we have already seen return to the screen in 2006 in the terrible Superman Returns this time played by Kevin Spacey and since this was supposed to be a sequel of sorts from Donner's/Lester's offerings Luthor's motives for his evil doings were still about the acquisition of land something that wouldn't really come across as that villainous in this cynical day and age. To really make cinema goers give a flying fuck nowadays you really need something more than a guy who wants to get a foot hold on real estate market

There is one Villain that would be able to go toe to toe with Superman and Batman as a team, pose a real threat to both and be relevant in this day and age, and it has yet to be utilized at all for a big screen outing and that villain is Brainiac. Just look at the state of America at the moment with all this NSA malarkey, Big brother watching everyone taking note of every phone call, every url we enter. Why not personify this into a villain? Brainiac has been around in the comics since 1958 so its not like the character might have slipped under the radar. he has gone through various different retcons and variations, and the character could easily be adapted to fit into something that would hit close to the bone of many a tech using cinema goer and prove to be a proper threat to both the big blue boyscout and the Dark knight. He can stand toe to toe with Superman when it comes to brawn and play tactical mind games with Batman and his cunning.

To me this is pretty much a no brainer (pun intended) . We live in an age where everyone is online, everyone is connected through their smartphones and tablets, so why aren't Warner Bros tapping the one villain that will drag their Comic book properties into the here and now? this would easily start to make them relevant and current and give them the ability to combat Marvel/Disney who are steaming ahead in terms of Comic book movies. Another thing that needs to be done is Warner Bros need to appoint their own version of Kevin Feige to steer the ship with regards to their overall plan for the DC movies that they hope to make off the back of this outing, but this is a whole other angry blog post.

Now I know that a lot of the news about the likes of Bryan Cranston or Mark Strong being tipped to play Luthor in the next film has yet to be confirmed by Warner's but I have yet to hear rumors of any other villain being put forward and with Cranston's current worth as an actor off the back of Breaking Bad lending gravitas to the idea of Luthor being the next Big bad of course a fair few folks are going to say "Fuck Yeah", but if there is any way of getting the word to Warner Bros that they need to try a new Villain on for size instead of giving us the same bad guys we have seen before on the big screen than please point me to it, cause right now my vote is for Brainiac, a role Cranston or Strong could easily play as well or any other talented actor who has the ability to shave their head.


So Ben Affleck has been announced as the new Batman, and the internet has literally exploded with reactions ranging from quiet and serene acceptance to people swearing vengeance on the studio, their families and their household pets.

Now I like Affleck as both an actor and a director. He has shown on numerous occasions that he can pull off roles with great skill, and also give us films filled with great story, emotional impact and Alan Arkin telling us to "Argo Fuck ourselves" . Still the great unwashed of the internet don't seem to be happy, and unfortunately no matter how hard I try on numerous social networking sites my words of sanity don't seem to be getting through the countless Fucktards and their postings  NOOOOO!s or "He was the Bomb in Phantoms Yo!" So Ive taken to this recent blog post to express my feelings.

  First and foremost, Affleck is an award winning writer and an multi-nominated and award winning Director. In my humble opinion he was robbed when it came to his turn as George Reeves in Hollywoodland. I'm trying to figure out what it is that people so vehemently  don't like about him and I guess because I am a fan of the majority of his work I'm either blind to this or there are more people out there who have a severely different measurement of quality compared to me than I originally thought. I mean come on remember the The Town? he was fucking amazing in that movie, a stoic broken character who was just tired with everything, perfect fucking analogy of The Bat in the DKR storyline even if I do say so myself, so why in the living flying fuck wouldn't he be able to portray a character like that again? Like I said at the beginning of this post the weakest link this franchise has is Snyder, the dude cannot see past the shiny effects. All of the actors involved can play each of their roles with gusto, but only if the Director lets them and this Fuck Knuckle cant.

So to finish up, Hey Warner Bros you used dialogue from a Batman comic to announce this sequel to a Superman film, and the first major casting announced is Batman. how about over the next month or so we get some fucking Superman news about this supposed sequel to a superman film and leave the Bat in the cave for a little while.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Record Shop is Dead... LONG LIVE THE RECORD SHOP!

I attended college from 1997 till 2001, during that that time I had two part time jobs that sustained my need for drink, CDs and DVDs. The first was a job in a local butchers, while the second was a nice stint working in HMV.  The latter I remember with great fondness while the former I remember with a great stench of turkey poo at Christmas time.

   HMV has gone into receivership and while its sad in a way to see this last high street giant fall. I'm not too worried about where I'm going to be purchasing my CDs,Blu Rays or Games from in future. A lot of folk have moved on in the form of digital downloads and online stores that sell physical copies of albums cheaper than HMV ever could (hence the reason for their downfall) . Now the overall sales of music and films haven't decreased that much, folks are just going elsewhere to buy them, that being said a lot of folk did use the likes of HMV as their main source for music and the likes. So will there be any kind of knock on effect or will those folks just sign up to amazon and carry on?

Here is the Old man Talbot part of my rant...

                I don't buy that much new music anymore, mainly because the bands I still follow from my youth don't produce a lot of new music or they are dead ... like literally. The music that is being pushed on us by the main part of the music industry is just tripe on a stick. There have been some artists that have popped up that I have picked up their album and enjoyed, but there hasn't been an artist who I have needed to go out on day one of release and had to buy their new offering , that hasn't happened in a long while. When a band I like release an album I will buy it day one, but that's few and far between nowadays.

                                         Music label big wigs would have you believe the problem is that its easier to download albums illegally rather than pay for them. I say bollocks to this, iTunes is the reason why people aren't leaving their homes to traipse into town and browse the CD racks of their local music shop, plain and simple.  Yes folks are downloading illegally I'm not fucking naive , but overall this hasn't been overly detrimental to the industry, if it was they would be up in arms a hell of a lot more than they are and laws would be put in place to prevent it. While some governments have tried to pass SOPA like laws, these have been shot down due to constitutional issues and general freedoms of the public. There is the following factor in the equation  I firmly believe the quality of music and song writing in general has gone down big time in recent years, When a Cuntrag like Rebecca Black (I shouldn't even be aware of this gee stains existence) can release a song that could've be (and probably was) written by a retarded monkey with no fingers and make a copious amounts of money from it you try and tell me that there is nothing rotten in the state of music nowadays I fucking dare you. And with most of the shops on the streets pushing shit like an X-Factor Christmas song or the latest boy band copycats new album of course the room for open creativity in music is going to be quite small. There are some great bands out there that are not part of mainstream music and do have regular album releases, but these bands were not being pushed by HMV when it was open, these are the types of bands you would hear about from friends who heard it from one of their friends who happens to be a member of the forum and regularly posts on the forum of this bands own website and is trying to spread the word. This is how I tend to find my new music nowadays.

The majority of major recording artists I follow are touring more and producing less new music because that's how they make their money. I know that I am not the main demographic of the for where the music industry is right now, and as Ive aged Ive become what my Dad was when I started listening to my new favorite band, but when I have some disposable income I am less inclined to go and spend it on a new album because there is nothing worth spending money on. One of the main reasons behind this was the fact that big retailers like HMV were more and more pushing whatever group or artist Simon Cowell was telling them to push. Stocking and promoting copious amounts of the latest fabricated pop song rather than something actually worth the support it was garnering. Now I know that through some of this rant I may come off as an out and out music snob, but fuck it! I'm glad to label myself a music snob, because good music made by hard working passionate people should be something that is defended, supported and broadcast around the globe and music that is utter trash sung by a clothes horse who is told where to stand, what to sing and ultimately created in order to make a small group of individuals rich should be set alight and kicked into the fucking sun.

Now here is the Young Man of 15 years ago full of hope and promise part of the rant....

Best way to support the good music right now is to the support the artist directly, go to a gig, and not just every gig in the o2 go to the small venues, go see the up and coming bands, buy the CDs they are selling at the door, check out who are trying to break into the industry and support them if you like them. Look at music blogs online, listen to radio stations that aren't playing the same five songs over and over, these are the facilitators of the shit music. I know of maybe two or three stations in Dublin that do play music that is worth your time. I currently signed up to Spotify and have found it to be a decent place to find new music that fits in with your own personal taste as it recommends new artists based on your musical choices, and it also lets you receive recommendations from friends. The current industry model that needs to be destroyed and rebuilt because it is stagnant and rotten, but the only way it will be broken down is if enough people decide to go their own way.
I do understand there are thousands of bands and artists out there, and yes I do support the ones I like, but the problem is these bands are not marketed widely and the majority of folk wouldn't have a clue where to go to find them.The flip side to HMV closing is that now maybe more people will go to smaller record stores, small live gigs or be forced to go online and might be exposed to the larger scale of unknown bands and artists, the knock on effect of one of the biggest peddlers of tripe pop and cookie cutter rock dying might actually be a good one and more unknown hard working artists might been seen.

So the next time you feel the need to buy some music, why not visit one of the smaller record shops where generally the staff there have a personal interest in the shop and the product they sell, and would be more than happy to recommend something to your liking.

At the end of the day the music industry is a money making machine, and it will sell what people are willing to buy, But when the masses are force fed music through a reality show that tries to build sympathetic back stories, scored with songs from other bands on record labels associated with the show to create an emotional connection with what they are selling so when the winner is chosen its more about their journey than it is about the music and how it was created. I know when I bought my first Nirvana single I knew sweet fuck all about Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic or Dave Grohl . I bought the music because it is fucking awesome.  The End. 

Her endeth my rant


Monday, January 14, 2013

Old Wound freshly opened - "Sorry about the Mess"

Look, this is an old issue. I shouldn't be revisiting it after all these years, but Ive been sneaking around some of the darker corners of the internet over the last week or so and after reading a few different comments regarding this topic I feel the need to (vent) point something out (for what seems like the thousandth time) but this blog post is more for myself gaining closure on this fucking idiotic issue than anything else , so here we go.

 In the Mid 90s George Lucas decided that the world of special effects had caught up with his original vision of Star Wars and it was now time to revisit the beloved trilogy and makes some additions and to clean up some special effects. Retrospect is always 20/20 and now with the release of the Star Wars Saga on Blu Ray and further tweaks and additions there is one tweak that caused more controversy than Jar Jar binks surviving in the prequel trilogy. It created Nerd Rage backlash so great that it inspired a piece of clothing that is now seen far and wide spread across the chest of many a Star Wars fan. I am of course referring to the "Han Shooting first incident"

Have a look at this video comparing the original scene and the special edition scene

EDIT: So it looks like YouTube have taken down the video I originally posted below. Instead YouTube is now filled with horrible parodies or Han shooting and other pointless crap so sorry about that.

In the original Theatrical release Han just shoots Greedo, The Hapless bounty hunter doesnt get a shot off , nothing not one laser bolt he just gets shot point blank right in his Greedo balls. Then we look at the Special edition in which Greedo fires harmlessly to the left (his right) of Han's ear and a split second later Han blows him away. Yes in the Special Edition Greedo gets a shot off first, with Han following a second later thus ending the poor dudes Life in a cloud of acrid smoke.

Now here is where my issue with the whole "Han Shot First" malarkey. If Han Shot first doesnt that imply that Greedo gets a shot off? When something is first isnt there a second? So all this Han Shooting first malarkey doesnt even fit in with the original release of Star Wars, it creates another edit in the ongoing saga of edits, all be it one that doesnt exist on DVD or blu ray but hey neither does the original release, but that's a whole other rant all together.

 So anywho there is my little tantrum, and piece of closure on the issue. Here endeth the rant.