Sunday, June 16, 2013

Man of Steel Review (Rant)

First of all, I'd like to apologize for not posting lately.  Both of us have been going through a lot of stuff lately.  You know how life gets.

Anyway, I saw Man of Steel today against my better judgment in the hopes of possibly reviewing it for those of you like me who don't trust professional critics.  By the time I left the movie, the originally-planned review had become a rant.  And, at the risk of boring you all to death because this is pretty freaking long, here's my rant about what's wrong with Man of Steel.


Problems with Man of Steel:
  • Honestly, do the people who made this movie understand anything about real weather?
    • Tornado physics are messed up in the movie. That tornado was ridiculously freaking huge. And people from Kansas would understand the right way to react to a tornado (which came out of nowhere without any sort of storm or anything, which is also realistic (sarcasm wholeheartedly intended)). They wouldn't have all run to a freaking overpass—that kind of reaction gets you killed. You get out of your car and get in the ditch, cover your head with your hands, and wait it out. That's your best chance of survival. Hanging out under an overpass will KILL YOU.
      • And Jonathan Kent was just standing there all stoically, waving his hand like nothing was going on. a real tornado, he wouldn't have had the time to stand there stoically and tell Clark “No, son, it's okay, I'm ready to die so no one finds out what you are” with a freaking hand gesture. He'd have been thrown by the winds way before that.
      • The whole tornado scene was just bad.
    • Lois Lane could not possibly be wearing what she was wearing in Canada without being incredibly uncomfortable and frostbitten. I mean seriously. If “it gets down to 40 below at night” as Colonel Hardy suggested, she would have needed MUCH more protection from the cold. She should have gotten frostbite all over her freaking face, the way she was dressed. And the coat she was wearing was nowhere near thick enough to protect her. Ugh.
  • Jor-El: We felt like Krypton had lost something really important: the ability to choose. So we wanted to change that by having the first natural birth in a long time...and then sending our son to a whole new planet...where his destiny will be to be a bridge between Krypton and Earth. But don't worry, he totally has a choice in it all. But he has to do this. It's his destiny.
    •'t that sort of sound like the same sort of thing that was going on on Krypton? Children born with a specific purpose to their lives? But seriously, Kal-El definitely has a choice. He doesn't have to do anything with the codex implanted within his cells or anything. He doesn't have to care about Kryptonians and humans working together. Not at all.
  • The Jesus references were kind of annoying after a while.
    • Clark/Kal-El/Superman is 33 during this movie; Jesus was 33 when he died and "saved humanity".
    • Superman surrenders himself to the people who want to turn him over to the enemy.
      • He doesn't fight back, despite the fact that he could; it's definitely within his power to do so.  I mean, he didn't take a beating at that point, didn't know for sure that he could die, but it's basically the same thing.
    • Seriously...just...ugh.
  • The explanations the movie gives for Superman's powers and the powers of the other Kryptonians don't really make sense.
    • The comic book explanation for Superman's powers is that the radiation from Earth's yellow sun gives him enhanced speed, strength, the ability to fly, X-ray vision, heat vision, super hearing, etc. etc.
    • The movie explanation is something along these lines:
      • The sun's radiation gives him X-ray vision, heat vision, superhearing, etc. etc.
      • His enhanced speed, strength, invulnerability, and ability to fly come from the fact that Earth has less gravity than Krypton.
        • Which is fine...except that Superman grew up on Earth, so Krypton's gravity should have absolutely no effect on him. It makes sense for that to affect the other Kryptonians, Zod and his crew, but it should absolutely not affect Superman.
    • Also, how the hell does it make any sense that the sun's radiation doesn't affect Zod and his crew when they're in their suits, but the minute their helmets (or whatever) are damaged, it just suddenly affects them? I guess, yeah, Krypton has technology more advanced than our own, but that just seems farfetched.
    • Another thing about the whole powers thing...Superman flies around in space more than once during this movie. In space. Sure, he's technically still pretty damn close to Earth, but he's in space. But then suddenly when he's on the Kryptonian ship in Kryptonian atmosphere, he can't handle it? Need I remind you that he was just in freaking space! Space, which has a complete lack of atmosphere altogether! HE WAS JUST IN FREAKING SPACE, BUT A LITTLE BIT OF KRYPTONIAN ATMOSPHERE ALMOST KILLS HIM?! HOW THE FREAKING HELL DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE?!?!?!
  • Then there are the little things...
    • Like his costume. Was it really necessary to mess with his costume? It was perfectly fine except for the fact that they decided to get rid of the red briefs. They're important. You don't mess that much with a superhero's costume. It's just messed up.
    • Or the fact that they sort of perverted the Kryptonian language by pretending that “S” is a thing in their language, that apparently "means hope," and that's where the “S” on his costume came from.
    • How about the fact that Martha Kent made his costume in the comics? I mean, think about this. It doesn't even make sense that he got his costume where he got it from in the movie. The ship it was on had been sent to Earth over 18,000 years ago. How did a suit with the symbol of the El family get there? And how did it just randomly fit Superman? Ugh.
    • How about the fact that they basically decided that secret identities don't matter? I don't buy at all the fact that no one except Lois knows who he is. How many times did she freaking call his name during the second half of the movie? And no one else who was around her paid attention to that? How about the fact that Zod and his crew all headed to a specific farm house outside of Smallville, Kansas? No one noticed that? The freaking government and army didn't notice that? BS.
    • How about the fact that Superman repeatedly slammed, threw, and knocked his enemies into and through buildings and trains and gas stations and what not? Things that he knew would cause widespread damage and potentially deadly harm? I mean, Smallville was practically levelled by his stupid fight with Zod's underlings! How much freaking sense does that make? That's not the sort of thing Superman would do. He would draw his enemies out of town to limit casualties. All those people he told to go inside because it was safer? Lots of them had to have died when the buildings they were hiding inside crumbled due to the fight. But we're just going to forget about that, because it obviously doesn't matter.
    • How about the fact that practically the entire second half of the movie was CG, and obviously so? I understand that when there's a fight scene taking place in the sky between two superhuman characters or something like that, you can't actually do that with real people without it being campy. But I'm pretty sure technology has come far enough that they could have done those scenes in a more realistic way. (After all, one of the reasons the makers of this movie had for changing Superman's costume and stuff was to make the film “more realistic”. BS.)
    • Superman and Lois decided they were in love after knowing each other for, like, a day. Maybe two days at the most. I guess it makes sense according to movie logic; after all, look at any Disney movie that involves a romantic relationship of some kind. Cinderella fell in love with her prince charming after a couple of hours at the very most. I mean, seriously. Still kind of stupid, though.
    • Superman, according to comics lore, never drinks. But there's a scene in Man of Steel in which he's seen drinking a Budwiser. Goodbye straight-edge Superman, hello potential alcoholic.
  • And then there's the biggie. The HUGE thing that just ruined the movie for me (not that it wasn't already ruined because it was AWFUL).
    • Superman's a murderer.
      • Yep, according to this movie, Superman is a murderer. Sure, he was saving a bunch of people from getting killed, but he killed Zod in order to save them. Superman is a boy scout. He has ridiculously black-and-white morals. I find it annoying as heck, because the world isn't black and white, but that's part of Superman's personality. Except in this movie.
        • Why exactly couldn't he fly Zod out of the building? Why couldn't he tighten his headlock on him and knock him out? Why couldn't he do something, anything else other than kill him? Superman always finds another way. I mean always.
        • But I guess that's too straight-edge for 2013. Superman's a pansy unless he can kill someone.
        • Perhaps the biggest problem I have with this whole thing is that Superman didn't care. Sure, immediatley afterward, he was pissed, mad at himself, depressed. But that really didn't last very long. The next thing we see is him telling the general to stop trying to figure out “where he hangs his cape” in a very typical superhero-banter way. Sure, he recently killed a guy, but he doesn't seem to care at all. Back to the banter.
          • If they really had to have him kill Zod which I think they definitely could have gotten around, but whatever, they should have had some sort of closure with the whole thing. But what happens is that Superman kills Zod and immediately moves on. There's no discussion whatsoever of the event. It's just “whelp, bad guy's gone, we're good”. No closure, no discussion of the fact that Superman just killed someone, no reflection at all on whether or not there was another way. It's just “kill the bad guy and move on, forget about the whole thing,” ignore the fact that the man we want our children to look up to just got away with murder simply because the other guy was going to commit genocide. I get that Zod was a jerk. I get that he needed to be stopped. BUT SERIOUSLY, THINK ABOUT IT! SUPERMAN JUST KILLED SOMEONE! SUPERMAN! SUPERMAN!!!

Okay, granted, some of these things are nit-picky. Most people won't care about the comics-specific stuff. But how about the crappy CG throughout the second half of the movie pretty much making 3D obsolete? How about the lack of logic in a lot of this movie? (Jor-El and his whole “You have the privilege of choice, but your destiny is to do what I want you to do” thing? The lack of scientific logic in relation to Superman and the other Kryptonians' powers?

Finally, there's nothing original about this film. Seriously. It's a mix of Avatar, Brave New World, Star Trek (2009), Secret Origins (Justice League Animated), and pretty much any disaster movie ever. Not to mention we really don't need another Superman origin story. Who doesn't know where Superman came from? Who doesn't know who he is and how he got his powers and all that jazz? Moreover, this is basically a repeat of Superman II from 1980. Same old Zod wants revenge thing. Ugh.

I was planning to give this movie "X out of 5 stars" before seeing it. However, this movie actually failed to live up to my extremely low expectations. A star is a positive thing, a badge of pride, a mark of Man of Steel gets nothing, in my book. Absolutely nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

You want to know what I want to see? A live-action film of The Death of Superman. That's what I want to see. Because, as Batman put it during Infinite Crisis, the last time Superman really inspired anyone was when he was dead.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Housewife to the Rescue!

Sorry about the long absence, guys!  Life gets busy sometimes.  You know how it goes.

Anyway, this post takes a look at the new kids' movie, Escape from Planet Earth.

 Now, I know what you're thinking.  "This is a kids' movie, why should I care about it?"  Well, I'm going to tell you why.  This movie is one of the few (relatively speaking) films that passes the Bechdel Test.

What's the Bechdel Test, you ask?  It's a test that became popular through Alison Bechdel's comic Dykes to Watch Out For, in a 1985 strip called The Rule.  The test names three criteria for a movie:
  1. It must have at least two (named) women in it
  2. who talk to each other
  3. about something other than a man.
Let's use this test to examine Escape from Planet Earth.  First of all, there are four named women that I can think of off the top of my head: Kira Supernova, Lena Thackleman, Io, and Gabby Babblebrock.

The second criteria is that at least two named women talk to each other.  Kira and Lena talk to each other on several occasions throughout the film.  The third criteria is that they talk to each other about something other than a man.  Kira and Lena's discussions are rarely about a man, but rather about plot-specific events, including the plot's main conflict.  So Escape from Planet Earth definitely passes the Bechdel Test.

What strikes me most about the fact that this film passes this test is that it's a kids' movie.  I might be biased, being a woman myself, but I think it's incredibly important for films, especially those meant for kids, to be progressive when it comes to gender, among other things.  Giving these female characters bigger parts than just being eye candy or being there to have some female presence in a film is a big, progressive step for movies to make.  And showing kids that women can have meaningful impacts on plots in films and other stories is important if we want to move toward true gender equality.

This sounds really preachy, and I apologize for that, but I really do think this is an important thing.  What is perhaps most telling about this whole idea, that few movies actually pass this test (follow the link to the Bechdel Test above and you'll see what I mean), is the fact that I walked out of the theater after seeing Escape from Planet Earth surprised.

Surprised because a female character (outside of a superhero team movie, most of which don't pass the Bechdel Test, by the way) had a meaningful impact on the outcome of the plot.  Surprised because the focus wasn't always on the men, but was on the women in the film, as well.  Surprised because the women in the movie actually had meaningful conversations with each other.

Again, I know this sounds preachy, but I hope that in the future, seeing things like this in movies won't be surprising.  Here's to a brighter future in films with more Rocket Moms and heads of mission control centers!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Geeky Garters from Uniquely Yours Bridal Add a Touch of Nerd to Any Wedding

Um...can I get married now?

Since finding this Etsy shop, Uniquely Yours Bridal, through Pinterest, all I seem to want to do is begin amassing nerdy wedding accessories to eventually haphazardly combine when (if?) I ever get married.

Needless to say, with Valentine's day so close and ooey-gooey hearts emblazoned on fever is stirring up.

Star Wars Garter - Uniquely Yours Bridal
But just look at these beauties!  How could you NOT want to get married... remarried... have a fake wedding with your latest fan obsession?

By far this Harley Quinn themed garter is my favorite.

Harley Quinn Garter - Uniquely Yours Bridal

Of course, though, there are plenty of other comic book characters to choose from, and options for Whovians and other fandoms too!

Doctor Who Garter - Uniquely Yours Bridal
Whether for cosplay, Valentine's day, or the big wedding, I encourage you to check out this unique Etsy shop!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PowerA PS3 Batarang Controller $19 at Groupon

Want a really kick-ass PS3 controller for only $19?

Groupon's got this PowerA PS3 Batarang Controller for that price.  The deal's lasting a little over a day.  The list price is $50, so this is a 62% savings!

And it looks awesome.  I mean, really.

You'll have to sign up with Groupon to get the deal.  There are plenty more deals on the site so you won't regret it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

[EXPIRED] Xbox Live 12 Month Gold Subscription $34.99 at Amazon

If you missed the Best Buy deal I posted about a few weeks ago (no longer available), you can get an Xbox Live 12 Month Gold Subscription for $34.99 again, this time through Amazon!  Also, you get FREE Super Saver Shipping.

Don't pass this up if you want Gold!  This is normally $59.99, so this is almost half off, and is MUCH cheaper than paying month-to-month.  Amazon prices can change in a flash, so go for it!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let Out a Wild Roar!

After seeing quite a bit of Tumblr pages devoted to the relatively new anime Tiger & Bunny, I decided to check it out.  After scrounging around the internet and finding a copy with English subtitles, I finally found the time to watch it.

Tiger & Bunny is a unique blend of the comic book superhero and anime.  This anime embodies one of the first real attempts of Japanese popular culture to create superheroes using Western conventions.  While Japan has plenty of its own superheroes, they all differ from Western superheroes in many ways (I can definitely go into more detail on this if people would like; however, for the time being, I'll leave it at that).  Tiger & Bunny, however, features around half a dozen superheroes who fit rather well into the Western idea of costumed heroes (aside from the mech use, which is a very Japanese twist).

Rather than spoil the anime for anyone who might be interested in watching it, I'd just like to point out a few of the things I greatly enjoy about it.  First of all, it's an anime about superheroes.  Who wouldn't love that?

Secondly, Tiger and Bunny are two of the coolest characters ever.  They're amazing partners (even if their partnership is reluctant at first) who show that teamwork and friendship are incredibly important.

And Kotetsu T. Kaburagi (Wild Tiger) is one of the best fathers in any medium of popular culture.  No joke.  He loves his daughter so much it's not even funny.  Sometimes I wish Kotetsu was my dad!

Kotetsu and his daughter, Kaede

Tiger & Bunny is currently being released in English on iTunes (sixteen episodes currently released).  However, I recommend the original Japanese with English subtitles (if you don't mind reading subtitles).  You can stream subbed episodes of Tiger & Bunny at VIZ Anime.  There's also a manga (which I haven't gotten around to reading yet), although the manga came out after the anime (which is somewhat strange; it's usually the other way around).  You can find the manga at

The show is currently only one season long, but there's a movie that's already been released (Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning) and another movie in the works (Tiger & Bunny: The Rising) set to be released in Japan in Fall 2013.  The first movie will be released on Blu-Ray/DVD with English subtitles and will be on sale February 22, 2013. (Anime News Network)

The above examples are only a few reasons to watch Tiger & Bunny.  Honestly, getting into anything else would lead to spoilers, and I don't want to spoil anything.  I'll just leave it at this: anime + superheroes = AWESOME.  So go catch an episode and see what I'm talking about!  "It's time to let out a wild roar!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Multiple Doctors or Just Rumor?

Rumor has it that Stephen Moffat's script for the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who will feature all 11 doctors!

I first heard about it from this article on Wired's GeekMom.  Apparently, even Eccleston, the 9th Doctor, who originally objected to ever reprising his role as the doctor, is reconsidering.

Unfortunately, the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, denied any knowledge of a multi-Doctor episode on Twitter.  He was accused of just "hiding the truth", but he quickly quelled that assumption, and indicated that no one has approached him to reprise his role.

Moffat mentions in the tail-end of this Youtube interview the pressure of not wanting to let anyone down for the big anniversary episode, so even if it is not a multi-Doctor escapade, we can expect something to delight all Whovians.

If the rumor were true, this would not be the first time multiple Doctors have had to work together.  The 10th, 20th, and 30th anniversaries all featured crossovers with different regenerations.  And, an episode with all 11 would be one awesome episode!  I would most look forward to Eccleston reprising his role...he was my very first Doctor, and probably my favorite.

However, I have to believe that it's probably not true.  Just think of cramming 11 different Doctor personalities into one would just turn into one giant ego war, and I can't imagine anything getting accomplished at the end of the episode (except leaving fans with a lot of unanswered questions!)

Do you have anything you're looking forward to in the 50th Anniversary Special?