Diecast #100: Alignment, Batman v. Superman, Star Wars, Mortal Kombat

By Shamus
on Apr 23, 2015
Filed under:
Diecast

162 comments

Here are the show notes for part two of of this ordeal / episode.

1:07:00 Rutskarn feels strongly about this alignment discussion.

1:14:00 Superman v. Batman.


Link (YouTube)

1:29:00 Star Wars Trailer.


Link (YouTube)

1:49:00 Chris is playing Mortal Kombat.

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Footnotes:



A Hundred!2020202Many comments. 162, if you're a stickler

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  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    God damn,two podcasts of 3 hours in a row?Massive!

    • Jokerman says:

      I feel the diecast has now become oversaturated “unsubscribes”

    • IFS says:

      Haven’t listened yet due to being in class, but I think its just the same podcast with the shownotes for the second hour.

    • Phill says:

      Guess again…

    • Fungo says:

      97, 98, 99, 100, 100!?!, 100!!!
      I’m not sure why the podcast itself isn’t broken into three pieces like the posts about it. It would have saved you some confusion.

    • venatus says:

      not sure if this comment is serious so I may just be embarrassing myself but, no this is the same podcast, Shamus is just splitting the notes into three different days in the hopes of keeping the comment threads from becoming too much of a mess.

      • Jnosh says:

        Well, if you use a podcast player that uses the Diecast RSS feed to automatically download new episodes, you will receive this weeks episode thrice ;-)

        (My podcast player alerted me to this new episode about a half hour ago, took me a minute or two to understand what was happening)

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      LOL. I wish though. I’d listen to two three hour shows a week. I’d bump my Patreon contribution for Spoiler Warning if you guys would produce more and/or longer podcasts. I feel like you’ve barely gotten started when the show ends most weeks.

  2. Jnosh says:

    As to the ‘3’ Star Wars movies we are getting, several spinoffs are already underway so expect Disney to milk this Bantha until it bleeds. I’d guess we’ll get at least one Star Wars movie per year for the next 10 years.

    Personally I don’t mind JJ Abrams too much as director. He seems to be a decent director and is interested in the material. The Star Trek movies were OK from a directorial and production standpoint. What I really couldn’t stand are the scripts of the movies. I’m getting angry just writing about it. (Just imagine the kind of sounds Shamus makes when someone mentions NWN 2)

    But then again, mind numbingly dumb action movie was not exactly new territory for Star Trek and at least this time it looked the part. So… progress?

    • Thomas says:

      I loathe the visual design of the new Star Trek films. I really do not dig the apple-aesthetic and I genuinely found the lens flare distracting in that film.

      But saying that, I’ve never hated the actual direction of other JJ Abrams films, just his plotting that tends to go along with it.

      • I dislike the fact that it’s a step backward. He made it look like 60’s Trek instead of doing a BSG-style reboot where it would be Trek, but a future our era might reach. I don’t mean dark ‘n’ gritty, either. I just mean more grounded in the modern day (like the in-dash Nokia thingie in the car kid-Kirk crashed, as well as the cyber-cop that arrested him) and less from the original aesthetic (go-go boots, uniforms by Crayola, etc.).

        That was one thing movie Trek did well; it made the universe seem less static and stuck in the “beep-boop” computer era, giving the cast more military-looking uniforms and less silly-looking sets.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Aye, the first spinoff is due out Dec 2016, and is about the guys who tea-leafed the plans for the Death Star, so both of those tend to accord with what you say! Set between [a muuuuuch more terrible film than Iron Man 2] and IV, of course, so if they’re planning to jump around intra-chronologically like that there should be plenty of tales to tell… (The guy who did Godzilla is directing the first spinoff – the recent Godzilla, that is, not the ropey one from a while ago.)

  3. Zukhramm says:

    It was kind of weird to hear Rutskarn say “I like degenerate strategies” after criticizing MMORPG dungeons as being all about degenerate strategies.

    On the Dark Souls community making the game less enjoyable, I remember Episode 81. (See what I did, I looked back at past episodes becuase it’s episode 100!)

    On Life is Strange, unlike Mumbles, my problem with teenagers in games is not them not being cool enough, but being too cool, having cool things I didn’t have, like an interest in photography, time travel powers, and friends.

    Also, Chris’ episode on the game kind of made me uninterested, he said it had some great side characters, but that once a specific one entered it became all about her. I don’t want to get interested in a bunch of character just to have them turn irrelevant.

    • krellen says:

      I believe Rutskarn was criticising MMORPG dungeons for NOT supporting degenerate strategies – most of them only support the one “right” way to complete.

      • Zukhramm says:

        And that one way is degenerate.

        • Cybron says:

          Exactly.

          The primary issue appears to be that in most MMOs, the people you’re playing with have already gone through the trouble of learning the degenerate strategies available. They expect adherence to these already known strategies, which explains the “SWAT team like” style of issuing orders and expecting people to follow them.

          I would wager that these strategies also exist for FFXIV. Perhaps the players you’re with just prefer to do the same exploration as you, and haven’t bothered to look them up.

          • Gabriel Mobius says:

            As someone who started running Final Fantasy XIV’s first raid before I unsubscribed, I can assure you that it is exactly like other standard MMOs. The dungeons and bosses all have degenerate strategies.

            For a perfect example of this, no need to look further than freaking Wanderer’s Palace. As the only place to farm their endgame currency with any semblance of sanity (the other options took forever), people had the monster pulls down to exactly what you said, a “SWAT style” method of doing things. To the point where even joining a random group would get the automatic execution of that strategy.

            That said, it’s been a lot of patches since then, so I’m curious to see what things are like now.

        • MichaelGC says:

          I’ve been puzzling over this, just for fun, and I think a big difference might be whether the strategy (both overall and in detail) is transferable or not. So, if I’ve learned the strategy for an MMO dungeon, the particulars of that likely won’t be much use in the next one. (There might well be some general principles which remain useful, but even so I still need to work out/check the wiki for the new ‘order of operations.’)

          However, Rutskarn’s handpicked tabletop dungeon-clearing squad (with the vampire and skeletons and whatnot) is designed to go into any appropriate dungeon and empty it out: won’t necessarily work for absolutely all, of course (particularly if the GM knows Rutskarn well…), but that’s the general idea.

          It’s probably a bit of a stretch to say this latter is a ‘degenerate strategy’ whilst the other involves ‘degenerate tactics’, but I think such a dichotomy might be kinda/sorta along the right lines.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      On the Dark Souls community making the game less enjoyable, I remember Episode 81. (See what I did, I looked back at past episodes becuase it’s episode 100!)

      The one where someone randomly accused everyone that even thinks of visiting pax of being a serial rapist?

    • Cuthalion says:

      I noticed that, too. I think he probably meant that he likes cheesy or inventive strategies, rather than the “degenerate” strategies in the technical sense of, “All of the possible strategies have degenerated into this one right, best, optimal way of doing things.”

      I think it’s just a case of using the wrong word for what he meant. For my part, I agree with him (I think?). I like finding fun, corny, or exploity strategies, or just trying weird things (can I win with a party of all mages?) in games. I greatly dislike when one optimal strategy emerges that I’m expected to follow. ESPECIALLY when the people expecting it are strangers who, despite being the same level I am, somehow assume I know the stuff they do from their previous characters. Screw those guys.

      (Of course, now that I look it up, it sounds like “degenerate strategy” means exploiting quirks to find the most efficient or quickest way of doing things. Which sounds like something between what Ruts wanted and what he didn’t like about MMOs.)

  4. ChristopherT says:

    Yay Hour 2 time! Okay this a gonna be a little long, sorry.

    First point, I enjoyed that Batman V Superman trailer, my reaction to Man of Steel is a shrug, and this movie could be aweful, however, I rather enjoyed this trailer. I can understand that they didn’t do much of anything to set this story up, that it’s been simply thrown out there without earning it. But the few things in it seem impressive enough to me, we have a Batman that is being presented as wrong, but still a good guy, he’s still Batman-ish (thus far anyways) but in this trailer he is wrongfully going out to attack Superman. And, Batman Armor! After I watch this movie I may want to forget it all, but for now, I’m excited that they’re allowing him his armor.

    On Marvel vs DC film, I think it gets really interesting if you happen to like the Flash and Arrow tv shows, as I do.

    I’m worried about what DC is doing with their movies, and I cannot get into Gotham, but what they’re doing with the Flash and Arrow I’m hooked and looking forward to what’s comming next…Constantine was a bit of fun. Supergirl is comming. a “Titans” show has been planned, leading with Dick Grayson. And there’s the team up show comming up starring Atom (who is so lovabley dorky on Arrow at the moment, played by Brandon Routh), at least one half of Firestorm, and Captain Cold.

    On the Marvel TV show front, I liked the second half of Agent Carter, but Agents of Shield I can’t get into, maybe is my inner mutant but I do not care for Shield, nor the Inhumans, and comming next is a Shield spinoff? I’m really not interested. BUT, we have Daredevil which while really good, I think sadly the high point was the end of episode 2. I think it’s too long for an orgin story, he doesn’t become Daredevil really until the last episode, that takes so long, and because of that there’s only like two real fun villains, the hand ninja, and pre-Kingpin Kingpin. I’m not paitent enough for 12 episodes of origin. But it was pretty damn good. And maybe the next Netflix Marvel shows will follow suit.

    Some minor spoilers for Flash and Arrow, this season (3) Arrow’s been dealing with Ra’s Al Ghul, who in this live action tv series has a lazurus pit, and is confident enough to start a fight with a two sword carrying Arrow barehanded, with one hand behind his back. Season 2 of Arrow had fun explosive encounters with Deathstroke, and more currently is setting up Atom as a superhero. On Flash he’s teamed up with Firestorm, fought Captain Cold, has been dealing with Reverse Flash, and throughout every so many episodes there’s been a scene where they’ve been building up to Gorilla Grodd.

    Bigger spoiler to Flash, and the over arching story is Flash trying to solve his mother’s murder for which his dad was framed, when Flash was a child. Looking into her death his friends have found some old blood at the scene. Testing it reveals it’s Flash’s. So they tell him. And go goes along the lines of – “The blood we found was yours. You were there that night.” “Yeah, I saw my mother die.” “No, not little you, adult you.” enter Time Travel.

    Also, Arrow, has it’s own Suicide Squad! With several episodes featuring them on a misson. And while I found Deadshot’s first episode in season 1 a little underwhelming, he’s been my favorite character in any episode he’s appeared in since.

    What they are doing with these two shows, even counting the handful of misses here and there, for superhero tv shows I think they are doing great.

    If Mumbles hasn’t given Arrow or Flash a try yet I think she really should if the oppurinity pops up. The first two seasons of Arrow are on Netflix instant. Season 3 is airing now (ending in a couple episodes), and Flash is still on the first season at the moment, almost done as well.

    With Star Wars, I’m with Ruts. I got burned out. I adored Star Wars for a short time period in my mid teens, then a little after that the prequels happened, and my love for Star Wars ended with it. For whatever silly reason it was no longer the same to me. Since I’ve been able to get back into Star Wars a bit. But if these new movies are bad it will not affect me, I’m apathetic with it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Better start with flash,because he is way more likable than douche queen.Heck,the only time arrow comes off as a good guy is in flash vs arrow,which was on flash.Plus,seeing how mumbles isnt a fan of brooding cuz its kewl,she would probably like flash more even if queen wasnt such a prick.

      Ray palmer(atom)is great though.His spinoff will be amazing.

      And ra’s…He is tied with queen fro who is being the worst character:the hypocrite,or the spoiled brat.

      Harleys two cameos were fun,though the second one got cut from the show,which is sad.

      What Id like to hear are Mumble’s new thoughts on riddler considering his development and The scene.

      • ChristopherT says:

        I can see your point about Flash vs Arrow. Flash is a lot more fun loving. But I think Arrow hit a pretty good stride mid-to-late season 2, about the time he first got his mask instead of the grease. The over arching villain plot, mixed with Arrow trying not to be himself from season 1, I think it did pretty good there, but I can understand season 1 being really rough to get through, and that Arrow is a bit serious every moment he’s not being too serious. But I wouldn’t call it the same levels as something like the Nolan Batman movies or Man of Steel, mostly because of Felicity and the few times the other “sidekicks” are a bit more light.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Oh yes,the side characters of arrow are great.Well except for laurel who is competing to be the biggest douche of the show.

          And yeah,season 2 arrow was better.Too bad that season 3 arrow is so stupid.Seriously,he has the most idiotic excuse to refuse ra’s(“they are called league of assassins” *facepalm*).Lucky for him that ra’s turned out to be such a brat.

          • Mike S. says:

            I used to love Felicity, but now I’m just hoping we can get an episode she doesn’t start cry-talking in. Her criticisms are sometimes well taken, but at some point she has to accept that if she’s going to provide super-tech support to these heroes (or “heroes”), these are the heroes she’s going to be providing support for.

            If they’ve made too many unacceptable decisions to keep doing that (and that’s not a crazy perspective), she needs to get out.

            (Well, modulo Ray’s tendency to just buy out the place she works for. Routh is lucky he comes across as so likeable on screen– and why didn’t the director bring that out in Superman Returns?!?– because that was some supervillain-level stalking.)

            • Chauzuvoy says:

              On one hand, Brandon Routh is a really likeable guy in Arrow.

              On the other hand, I just got done watching Chuck on Netflix. And there he becomes an evil mastermind and foil for our hero but is definitely not a likeable character. I kept expecting Routh to turn into some kind of League plant or something before I looked into the character from the comics.

              • Mike S. says:

                Though apparently the actual character from the comics they wanted to adapt was Blue Beetle, not the Atom, but the rights were tied up elsewhere. (Which, along with effects difficulty, may explain why Ray has stubbornly failed to ever display any shrinking ability.)

          • Ivan says:

            You know, I think Oliver would have actually accepted the job if not for Felicity and how she nearly left him for working with Malcolm Merlyn (which I kinda thought was petty). Their relationship was so rocky after that that he didn’t want to risk any more damage to it by even entertaining the idea of joining the League around her.

          • ChristopherT says:

            Yeah, season 3 Arrow hasn’t been thinking clearly. I’m trying to convince myself that some of the reasons he hasn’t wanted to do as Ra’s “asks” is worrying what he might do with all that power, because this is certainly a guy who if he had an army at his command might just unleash it no matter how much of a moral struggle it might produce, and maybe that just being in the presence of the league could be enough to start clouding morals.

            But, yeah, that’s half baked fan theories. He doesn’t want to join the league because he’s the good guy and they’re bad, and it would be better if they could do something more with it than just that simple basic lack luster excuse. So, yeah, I agree. Though again when it comes to Ra’s I really am just liking him a lot. I get the brat comment, and I just like that he’s refusing to take “no” for an answer.

            Also, there was one point, one point, that I have so far ever liked Laurel, and that was in Tuesday’s episode of the Flash when Cisco meets her and geeks out, and she just glows in return and is all “Yeah, I AM awesome!” it’s like, no you’re not, but for once I found her genuine and likeable.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              “I’m trying to convince myself that some of the reasons he hasn’t wanted to do as Ra’s “asks” is worrying what he might do with all that power, because this is certainly a guy who if he had an army at his command might just unleash it no matter how much of a moral struggle it might produce, and maybe that just being in the presence of the league could be enough to start clouding morals.”

              Man,that would be great character stuff,if they ever did that in the show.But him thinking that “they are evil,so I wont lead them” is not only stupid,but also conflicts with his earlier efforts to clean up the city so many people thought was too lost to corruption.

              As for that thing about laurel,it has to be the direction if both oliver and laurel end up better on flash.Heck,even felicity has been better on flash than on arrow lately.Though palmer is great in both,so who knows.Maybe they just dont get non powered heroes.

    • The Flash was, for the most part, a fun superhero show that made the very smart move of embracing a larger superhero/metahuman world and even worked in a major event from the comics (“Flashpoint”).

      Lately, it’s been getting silly even for a superhero show. The “hacker battle” between Felicity and the Queen Bee was CSI-level painful, and that’s without the Queen’s constant bee-related dialog beats. Whoever wrote her character needs to be punished somehow. The Atom was a cool concept, but… are you telling me his suit, which he designed himself, isn’t waterproof to the point that a splash of water will cause it to short out and die?! Did he just never think to himself, ‘Hey, I think water occasionally falls from the sky. What if I’m flying around when that happens?’

      I’m all for it being light on a lot of things, but it just seemed to take a turn for the derp as of late.

      • ChristopherT says:

        I’ll give that Queen Bee wasn’t interesting, that the fights against her and her bees were pitiful, THE BEES! And the “hacker battle” was lame, though I did like the moment it gave Felicity to shine. But I don’t think the episode was a complete write off. There were some fun Ray and Felicity moments, latest revelations from last episodes and Flash dealing with them, combined with his actions resulting from that and those consequences, and reinforcing the idea presented by Arrow that Flash doesn’t have the experience yet, and the idea that Flash, to perform at his best NEEDS Wells still. Still, yes, a better villain would have been great, and it’ll be great if the Atom suit can hurry up and get out of the beta already, or is it still in Alpha?

        Which when it comes to the weakness against water, yes, lame. However I will half forgive it, because they are telling and showing that the suit is not finished, it is not ready, shrinking still may occur. And the easiest way to show the suit not being complete is for it to have a pretty big flaw, and they’ve already used power problems, flight problems, and weapon problems. So, come up with a new problem, water. Though as you said, water should be obvious. Though, when his suit did malfunction he was taking a dip into water it looked like to me.

        And I think most of the other episodes have been good enough that I’m not worried about one or two duds, personally. I thought Rogue Time (with Captain Cold and Family returning) was a little weak, though more Captain Cold is welcomed, and I thought the last episode was damn good as well as Tricksters.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Palmer is a goof.I can totally buy that he never thought about water until that point,because he actually is that distracted lots of times.He would sooner build an emp resistant suit than a waterproof one.

        Yes,the bee thing was lame,but the characters were still good,so I forgive.Heck,the show was never that good with its science(“dark mater,anti mater,and other stuff we know nothing about”,for instance),but I can overlook most of those because its just so fun,even when it deals with dark stuff.I mean the whole reverse flash storyline is so twisted and horific,but they deal with it in such a swell manner that you never get a grimdark vibe.

  5. Joe Informatico says:

    I want Guardians of the Galaxy and Force Awakens to usher in a brave new world of science fiction movies, but the last decade or so has shown me that only space opera films tied to an existing major fan base (Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars) are successful, while anything that tries to be a new SF IP (Oblivion, After Earth, Interstellar, even Edge of Tomorrow which was legitimately good) turns out mediocre at best.

    • guy says:

      Actually, Edge Of Tomorrow is also based off a preexisting IP from Japan called All You Need Is Kill. Though it went through a number of changes and I think manga Rita was substantially cooler.

      • venatus says:

        it took comic book movies a long time to take off, and there was quite the rut of of some terrible ones like batman and robin, despite the fact that we had the original superman and batman movies, and even after blade and x-men hit we still got some lackluster movies like daredevil.

        I know comic book movies are all based off of existing property but my point is it takes Hollywood a while to learn how to do a genre and I kinda feel that’s what’s going on with sci-fi films. existing franchises are a crutch Hollywood is kinda reliant on but if franchise sci-fi does well, Hollywood will be willing to take more risks on other original sci-fi, or at least loose interpretations of smaller properties (guardians of the galaxy made a lot of changes in adaptation and wasn’t a particularly well known series)

        • Thomas says:

          I don’t know if you can precisely say that Hollywood is learning to do sci-fi films. There have been many many great sci-films that Hollywood produced, it’s just they’re all in the past. The 1990’s was a great decade for sci-fi, GATTACA, Dark City, Total Recall, 12 Monkeys (Jurassic Park, Terminator 2 if you want to be a bit more populist)…

          Although those are quite spread out. Maybe you only get a handful of decent sci-fi fils a decade

          • Mike S. says:

            For that kind of thoughtful SF, there have been some interesting low-budget indies in the past decade or so: Primer, Upstream Color, Transcendence.

            And on the big budget side, Gravity isn’t SF (since it uses present-day tech) and cuts corners on the orbital mechanics, but it has a nice Golden Age SF feel nonetheless. And I’m really looking forward to The Martian, which was a very good book and has Ridley Scott as its director

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              For that kind of thoughtful SF, there have been some interesting low-budget indies in the past decade or so: Primer, Upstream Color, Transcendence.

              Wait,what?I mean the whole thing about transcendence being a thoughtful sf is funny,but to put it in the same category as primer?What?I…how?I dont even…

              And on the big budget side, Gravity isn’t SF

              Gravity is an sf.But it uses hard science as opposed to everything else discussed here which is way softer.

              • Mike S. says:

                Oops– I was confusing Transcendence with Coherence. (Which wasn’t as good as Primer, but was trying to do an interesting science-fictional plot and was similiar in the way it let the audience slowly figure out the premise with the characters.)

                I don’t really see that Gravity is SF any more than a shipwreck movie is. There’s no speculative or futuristic element. It’s an accident/disaster story involving current (or in the case of the shuttle, past) tech and conditions. We tend to think of “in space” as SF (even “Apollo 13” has that feel, and it was historical fiction). But space travel is more than half a century old, and is no more inherently SFnal than television or atomic weapons (which also both showed up in SF before the real world) are.

          • venatus says:

            less examples of hits, but I also think Hollywood has a very short memory on how to make certain genre’s of movies. the big budget parody movie is officially dead since the likes of epic movie have been racking in the cash. and if they were to try making them again, so much about film making has changed that it’s not a matter of “here’s what worked lets do that again”(if this worked we’d still be getting good superman movies) they’d have to re-learn everything, and the existence of Simon pegg and the cornetto trilogy may help them learn but it isn’t enough to say that Hollywood in general knows how to do them.

            ok that was long winded and maybe a little rambly but I feel a simliar thing happened with sci-fi. it took a vacation, maybe it was a short one but when they tried to bring it back in force CGI was now a big thing and even action movies were trying to be thought provoking or colorful. so sci-fi has to re-learn and catch up.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              I dont know if zombieland can be considered parody,but it was definitely a good comedy.Shame more like that arent made in hollywood.And yes,the cornetto trilogy is great.

              Actually,Ive just remembered that there are a couple of recent good parodies from hollywood:The two jump street movies.

  6. Joseph P. Tallylicker says:

    The difference between season 1 and season 2 of agents of Shield is staggering. Season 1 was pretty much a snorefest until the last … 5 episodes or so? Whereas season 2 started pretty decently, and then after the Agent Carter break they just have gone from strength to strength. The difference between season 1 and season 2.2 is night and day.

    • General Karthos says:

      I agree with this. I felt like persevering through some terrible, terrible episodes in the beginning of Season 1 was worth it. We got a few good episodes here and there, and then the season ended pretty strongly, and the second season has been (mostly) very good. (Better than the first season certainly.)

      When I’m giving a new series a try, I (almost always) give it 10 episodes. If it can’t catch my interest, then I don’t come back. But in general, if a show is going to have any good episodes, it’s gonna have at least one in the first 10 episodes. A few shows have managed to fail before this 10 episode limit, where I’ve despised the characters, hated the execution of the concept, etc.

      For dropping shows, it’s a lot more fluid. It really depends on how much I’m willing to put up with. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have to do a lot of stuff really wrong, for quite a while before I give up on it.

      Meanwhile, I’m teetering on some other shows, where they’ve been JUST good enough to hold on to me, but not much better. (Supernatural is a good example. They have had some really good seasons and episodes, but it has been a while. And they obviously had no plan for this season…. And Rowena just pisses me off.)

      • Daimbert says:

        I’ve watched most of Agents, and here is what I think is definitively true about it:

        1) Agents is so much more fun to watch when you know the outcomes of the really big stories, because the writers really, really suck at resolving them. I participated in a thread on them, and the speculation about how they would work out was always a million time better than the actual resolutions … including my own speculations. Once you know how it’ll work out, you can simply sit back, watch and enjoy. I enjoyed watching the DVD of it that I bought MUCH more than the actual series.

        2) The show is a million times better when they don’t focus on Skye, Ward or Skye and Ward. They’re the least interesting characters in the show. Coulson and May are by far the most interesting and have the most interesting relationship, and Simmons and Fitz have their moments, and Mac and Bobbi are interesting. Skye works best as a supporting character to everyone else, and especially in the first season when she had a link to every other character: love interest for Ward, sister/BFF for Simmons, techie and crush for Fitz, and daughter for Coulson and May. When she’s in that role — like when Coulson and May were at odds — her character really works, which is why she works better in the pilot than she does almost anywhere else in the series. But when the plot focuses on her we realize just how dull a character she is.

        3) Following on a bit from 2, the show has no idea what characters the audience will or won’t like. They haven’t failed to the extent of Neelix or Wesley Crusher — although Skye and Wesley could probably form a club — but they tend to focus on the least interesting characters and push the more interesting ones aside, like the focus on Hunter instead of Mac, who was the more interesting character … although they saved him by pairing him up with Bobbi who IS an interesting character, and did make things a little better with more focus on Coulson and May in the second season.

        I’d have to class the show as “Watchable”. I don’t trust the writers any more, but watching Coulson and May is usually enough to get me through the episodes and even sometimes to enjoy them.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Season two also has Kyle Maclachlan,and every scene with him is gold.He is even a more prominent guy now in the second part,which is great.

      • krellen says:

        I have finally got over seeing him as the Mayor of Portland, but it was really great seeing him in SHIELD when I could only see him in that role. It was like the Mayor of Portland slowly going insane(r).

    • ehlijen says:

      I’m pretty much the opposite. I liked season 1 because it tried to be its own, episodic thing. Season 2 for me is too stretched out past episode boundaries and spends too much time tying itself to shows and comics I have no interest in watching because I just expect more of this cross referencing overload.

      The shield team cleaning up after thor in season 1 before launching into their own story was a funny anecdote. Shield now fighting what I assume to be the same major villain as from the early agent carter episodes (while telling us to gush over what’s her name? mockingbird? for no reason) isn’t funny or all that interesting to me. I tuned in for this show, not another show or any comic books.

      A similar thing is happening to the movies and before too long, I think, it’s going to get as convoluted as comic the book continuity and will suffer all the same problems (for some it already does).

      • Thomas says:

        Jennifer Laurence?

        • ehlijen says:

          Possibly. The one who rescued simmons from hydra in a totally ‘didn’t get brainwashed off screen during the fight we conspicuously didn’t show’ way.

          I’m told I was supposed to recognise the name from some comic book or other.

          • krellen says:

            He’s talking about Bobbi Morse, played by Adrianne Palicki. The tall, stacked redhead. Or maybe it’s supposed to be blonde but I can’t tell because the entire season has been too dark.

            • Mike S. says:

              I think she’s blonde, but that may be because I remember her as a blonde in Friday Night Lights. (But the comics Mockingbird is blonde, so it would make sense to keep it unless they had a reason to do otherwise.)

            • 4th DImension says:

              It’s one of those hair colors. I think the tehnical description of her hair is honey blonde, so a bit darker hade of yellow going towards orange? Great I’m trying to talk about colors when I’m TERRIBLE at colors.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              She is a blond.Dark blond if you want more precision.If you want redhead,check out alexis from castle,or scully for you old x files fans.

      • 4th DImension says:

        No. SHIELD is curently fighting HYDRA and amongs themselves, allthough that is supposed to sort itself out since the preview of the next episode has them going dirty dozen on the HYDRA installation where Dr. List (scientist guy of the HYDRA head honcho in Avengers 2) is experimenting on powered people.

        The only tie in with Agent Carter that I remembe is a short flashback to the day Carter captured Whitehall and the obelisk/diviner, the first 084.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh dear lord,Shamus wasnt kidding about the spam filter.At least 7 out of 14 comments have just appeared with time stamps before the comments I read.That means it flags every second comment,which is ludicrous.

  8. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Its amazing how people are freaking out for this new star wars trailer when it is saying nothing new compared to the last one.I guess if give the fans a narration by Hammil and a glimpse of Ford,and theyll eat up anything.

    • ChristopherT says:

      Speaking of Hammil it was great seeing him on the Flash. I recently bought the 90s Flash tv show so I could see him in it, and see Barry’s dad being the Flash.

    • MichaelGC says:

      One thing that it did have over the last one (and the prequels…) is that it felt a bit more … Star Wars-ey. Er, OK, that’s essentially meaningless: what I think I mean is it had that sort of lived-in look of the original trilogy, where everything is a little bit used and grimy. (And definitely ‘grimy’ rather than ‘grim’.)

      It had a few more locations, too – some of which looked impressively real, even! Sets and everything; whatever next. Plus with some of the original cast briefly appearing: the thing there for me was that it wasn’t immediately lame, which had been a quiet fear of mine.

      Still, the first trailer may as well have been a slideshow (Stormtroopers! Lightsaber! *drum roll* Millennium Faaalcon!), so even if this second is slightly better that’s obviously still not saying a great deal! They’ve not shown anything horrible so far though, so that’s nice enough.

      • James says:

        i kinda of like these styles of trailers, little glimpses of the feel of the film without dropping any important story bits to ruin the film when it comes out.

        • Yeah, but it was that lack of detail that made the original trailer for The Phantom Menace something that seemed like the movie it promoted might actually be good.

          I don’t like trailers spoiling movies, but in this case, a few spoilers might be justified.

          • Ivan says:

            Why? Even if they spoil story parts someone like jar-jar binks would never show up in the trailers anyway. You’re not going to be able to judge the quality of the movie from just a few scenes. You might as well wait for the first reviews to come out if you’re that worried.

            • Let’s put it this way: If more than Yoda’s dialog had been in the PM trailers, I wouldn’t have gone to see it in the theater. I’d like a little more than a one-liner from Han and a redux of dialog Luke said in another movie. I’m just looking for a little confidence in he writing, since that was Lucas’ weakest offering.

    • Phill says:

      …and the implication that Leia also became a jedi.

      I though Han turning up like that was rather cheesy (if inevitable), and the whole “Millenium Falcon flying in to the crashed Star Destroyer” bit looked like a deliberate echo to the Falcon flying in to the death star in Return of the Jedi, but in a rather heavy handed way (J J Abrams calling card, I believe). I’d rather a little more subteltly, personally.

      And to drag my comments out from the forum thread where we were discussing the trailer already:

      The other reason that the trailer gives me hope for the new films is that you’ve seen more interesting filming techniques in that 90 seconds than I can recall from the entire prequel trilogy. (And yes, its the Harry Plinkett reviews that made me understand the their failings on this score). Everything was filmed in shot, reverse shot. There is precious little movement, everything is constrained by the dimensions of the green screen stage, and even then Lucas filmed most of it in the most boring way possible – just point the cameras at the stage and film it like it was a play. The trailer has already used interesting framing and angles (John Boyega rising up out of the desert in the first trailer, the hand coming down to help Boyega up in the second; even just the camera angle looking up at Han and Chewie is more interesting camera work than anything I can remember from the prequels). Actually, that does double after watching some of the “every frame a painting” episodes and seeing what good filmmakers do with framing and movement.

      The films might still suck of course. But the biggest failings of the prequels (George Lucas being in charge and beyond contradiction, simplistic cinematography, wooden performances, subtly unrealistic effects) all look to be gone. Whether the deeply stupid plot and dialog is still around remains to be seen, but nothing so far has flagged up any warning signs.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I guess you need to compare them against the expectations …

      Me, I was all excited for the prequels, completely crushed afterwards, and now it’s sort of lukewarm. I think the main thing the trailer should do is make clear that JJ Abrams won’t repeat Lucas’ mistakes. Which it seems to accomplish.

      For, me, though, there is no way I could get excited about Star Wars now. The prequels weren’t just bad, they broke the entire star wars universe for me, so. Oh well, I guess it’ll be alright. Maybe I’ll even watch the movie, depending on reviews. That is infinitely more than a Lucas-directed Star wars movie could get from me.

  9. Thomas says:

    I’m pretty sure Christopher Nolan isn’t involved in Batman vs Superman very much at all. He didn’t really want to do Man of Steel (Or Dark Knight Rises) I think they’ve realised that it doesn’t help them to force him to work on their films.

    Tonally it’s not really even Nolanverse. Nolanverse was way less gritty and didn’t have that washed out colour you’re talking about. The washed out colours are all Zack Snyder.

    Don’t believe me that people are imaging the Nolan films were not visually dark? Check out these images from them
    http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/2012/05/01/Dark-Knight-Rises-Trailer-005_610.jpg
    http://s452.photobucket.com/user/Majjic_Mouse/media/Dark%20Knight%20Reference/Dark%20Knight%20Bank%20Robbery/JokerStandingLarge-1.jpg.html
    https://s3380409majorproject.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/13780287525534.jpg

    Those are images from all three films. Now compare them to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel
    http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/998252_549659165080043_370614969_n.jpg
    The Batman vs Superman trailer is 100% Superman through the eyes of Batman in Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and I think it’s the perfect showcase of why Miller’s Batman kind of sucks.

    • Thomas says:

      Incidentally, the reason I’m always trying to defend the Nolanverse trilogy, is because I actually hate dark-Batman. I think I probably hate it more than Shamus, because I really dislike Batman’s character in the Arkham Asylum games. It’s too dark for me, in those games it’s super dark, he’s breaking people’s limbs and its really easy to believe that Batman is one step away from being another thug.

      And Frank Millers stories (even the ‘good’ ones) are all like that to. It’s easy to imagine him killing people in another world.

      And the Man of Steel verse Batman is probably going to be a thug.

      But Nolanverse Batman was an admirable Batman for the most part. His whole mission statement was to try and inspire people to be better people, he wanted people to become Harvey Dent and he was going to enable people like that and then put away his cape because vigilantes are never as cool as honest people in the justice system.

      I really like all those ideas and themes and its annoying to me that everyone writes him off as just another “grim and gritty” thug. I would take Nolan Batman over Arkham Batman any day

      • ChristopherT says:

        Dark Batman is why I’m always in favor of having a Robin around. I really don’t care too much for darker Batman, and Robins can really help bring him out of that funk. Batman in the Young Justice cartoon made me smile so much with his dad moments with Dick.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Reading the idea that Robins bring him out of that funk had me thinking he would be cracking jokes at Batman cracks bones…which then led me to imagine Nolan North as Robin, via Nathan Drake.

        • Thomas says:

          The DC animated universe in all forms is always such a good sign of how to do characters right, it makes it more amazing they’re screwing up with the films so much.

          (I do want to just say I love the Arkham Asylum games, I just hate the darkness and brutality of Batman within them)

          • Mike S. says:

            To a first approximation, DC can do TV quite well (and has been able to, albeit with some blunders, for a quarter-century), and can’t do non-Batman movies (and has been unable to, albeit with an occasional flawed-but-interesting effort, for more than a third of a century). Why this division has so reliably persisted, despite constant changes in who’s doing what on both sides, is a mystery, but one you can pretty much set your watch by.

            I really, really want them to succeed, especially with a Superman movie. (Because I love Superman.) But I recognize at this point that I’m basically Charlie Brown going after the football, again.

            (On the other hand, it does give me hope that they can maybe make the upcoming Supergirl show work.)

        • Mike S. says:

          I think the whole Jason Todd thing in the 80s unbalanced the character, by reifying the underlying child endangerment aspect of the kid sidekick and making it impossible to ever really ignore it again. Sure, we eventually got Tim Drake as a competent, mature Robin, but for a long while Robin (and Nightwing, and Oracle) all had to be Very Serious, because “This isn’t a game! Remember what happened to Jason!”

          (For which we can again blame Frank Miller, since the 1-900 campaign traces directly to the allusions to Jason Todd’s unspecified, but clearly bad, fate sometime before TDKR.)

          Batman really does better with someone who can actually be a bright counterpoint to his darkness, without the shadow of death hovering over him.

          Eventually enough time passed that Jason’s death wasn’t such a looming presence. Naturally, they decided to bring him back at that point. Sigh.

      • ChristopherT says:

        Dark Batman is why I’m always in favor of having a Robin around. I really don’t care too much for darker Batman, and Robins can really help bring him out of that funk. Batman in the Young Justice cartoon made me smile so much with his dad moments with Dick.

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Reading the idea that Robins bring him out of that funk had me thinking he would be cracking jokes at Batman cracks bones…which then led me to imagine Nolan North as Robin, via Nathan Drake.

          EDIT: Intended towards ChristopherT.

      • Zukhramm says:

        He’s certainly willing to get people killed in car chases though, sure they throw in some line about nobody dying but it’s a very likely risk that he seems to have no qualms with taking.

        • Thomas says:

          In Batman Begins they highlighted that as a sign of his immaturity and Alfred threatened to walk out on him if he continued to do that

          …and then he continued to do that

      • Zukhramm says:

        He’s certainly willing to get people killed in car chases though, sure they throw in some line about nobody dying but it’s a very likely risk that he seems to have no qualms with taking.

      • Mike S. says:

        Miller rapidly hit diminishing returns, but the original Dark Knight miniseries worked because, as Mumbles notes, it’s a coda to the brighter, friendlier DC universe that used to be.

        (Spoilers, if it matters thirty years later.)

        In Miller’s TDKR, Bruce wasn’t always an angry loner the way he’s been portrayed since. He was on a first name basis with the entire Justice League, and clearly regrets their departures. At the beginning of the story, he and Clark are still friends: Clark is leaving his travel plans on Bruce’s answering machine, Clark secretly warns Bruce that the Feds are starting to lose patience with him.

        The world has become “dark, and cold”, and Bruce’s hopes are failing. (The worst isn’t the Joker, who never seemed redeemable, but Harvey Dent, who did.) But it wasn’t that way before, and Bruce still wants to make it not that way again. (Otherwise, why even come out of retirement?)

        And even at the worst moment, when a supernuke, a Kryptonite ambush, and a powersuit are combined to let Bruce almost beat Superman… the entire plan only works because at the very end, Superman lets it: he knows Bruce is alive, and he won’t tell.

        Because whatever Mr. “remember my hands at your throat” may have thought, Clark is still his friend.

        And then Bruce goes out, not to scare people, but to teach his admirers discipline and restraint, and lead the world out of its temporary darkness.

        It’s sort of perverse that subsequent authors (including Miller himself!) have turned a limited descent into grimdark from which he emerges into Batman’s sole overarching mood for a generation. (Modulo the occasional, incredibly refreshing Batman: the Brave and the Bold or Lego Batman.) And even more so that a single confrontation, resolved within that story, has gone on to define the Superman-Batman relationship for thirty years.

        • drlemaster says:

          I have always thought The Dark Knight Returns is one of the finest comic series ever. But even given that I am not sure it was worth it give what all the imitators have done since then. Very much agree with you analysis.

    • tengokujin says:

      As I watched that trailer, all I could think was, “they already did this (Miller) fight.”

      Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx6l39BR_FM

      Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQYmDcNCGKs

      And I’d wager that the animated version is better than what’s planned/done for the live action movie.

  10. Tizzy says:

    So Mumbles was high and drunk and that helped her enjoy Spiderman 3. This little anecdote explains so much about Holywood’s output…

    • Phill says:

      Mumbles, whilst in a chemically-induced state of mind, was responsible for the majority of Hollywood scripts?

      That might explain a lot.

      Actually it might explain the weird wrestling stuff I saw where some guy was being taunted by a giant rabbit and ended up fighting it. I saw it at 6am (being in work early to get some stuff finished), and was inclined to chalk it up to sleep deprivation at the time, but drunk mumbles running professional wrestling seems more plausible.

      (Part of my job involves doing stuff with recorded TV loops, which change on an irregular basis. I’ve now seen the same wrestlemania (with bunny) every damn day for three frigging months. ‘Thanks’ to Mumbles I’ve even figured out who some of the people are (it’s not obvious when you don’t have sound on 99% of the time)).

  11. Tizzy says:

    There are many problems about alignment. Unfortunately, it is so baked into DnD (through spells, magical items and the likes) that it’s hard to imagine removing it. It’s a concept that fits well with their brand of fantasy.

    I guess the thing that bothers me the most about it is that it supposes a level of self-awareness that I simply cannot attribute to most people. I think most people are happy to coast through life without thinking too hard about ethical issues, let alone in such complicated terms. I guess this is where having deities around that embody these principles help, but still…

    I’m happy enough for alignments to help color the setting in a little, but it is extremely limiting for players. I guess a more useful way to look into fleshing out characters might be personality classification. Not the nature/demeanor crap that White Wolf introduced, but something that people actually use like maybe the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

    • Otters34 says:

      Alignment works way better once you figure the Outer Planes into it. Then it’s not just a local question of relatives, you’re matching your very mind and soul into the same axes as the powers that rule the planes.

    • krellen says:

      Starting in Third Edition, Neutral became the “coast through life” alignment, and most people are by design supposed to be Neutral. Having a firm alignment is supposed to be exceptional (as exceptional as PCs are, anyway).

      • Neutral was difficult in two ways. One, if you had a cleric, there were very few neutral-aligned gods, and the better prestige classes seemed to all have alignment requirements that didn’t include neutral. True, religion is seldom “neutral,” but I figured a deity of balance or something would’ve had some followers.

        Also, DMs are often encouraged to make “neutral” characters declare an alignment if they start showing heavy favor towards one end of the spectrum over the other. This can be justified if the character is trying to avoid the old standbys, “Detect Evil” and “Detect Good.”

    • JAB says:

      It depends on what kind of game you’re running. For example, take movie ratings:

      G: All characters are Good. All enemies are Evil, or the equivalent of a forest fire or a plague of locusts.
      PG: All characters are Good, or might be Neutral with minor amounts of effort to get them to agree with Good goals. Most enemies are Evil. Some might disguise themselves, but usually have a goatee. Characters might have some trouble with a rival or patron who is Good, but has slightly different goals than the characters.
      PG-13: Some beings might be of a different alignment than the usual one for their race.
      R: For prime material beings, alignment is a tendency, not an absolute. Except Paladins. Groups act as if their alignment only applies to their group/race/religion. Elves and dwarves, even though both races are Good, possibly fought world wars in the past. Good churches of different pantheons have massive struggles, possibly even in the face of overwhelming evil.
      X: All characters are evil.

      • Mike S. says:

        “X: All characters are evil.”

        I don’t know– the pizza boy should no doubt be completing his run rather than fraternizing with a customer, but “evil” strikes me as a little harsh.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Alignment works only in a setting like d&d,where you have actual higher beings that dictate said morality.It doesnt matter what your actions are,if you follow the strict code of a deity of a certain alignment,you are of that alignment.It also translates poorly into the real world,which is why it should never be done.The whole “is killing orc babies” argument should never have come to life.If the word of the gods says that all orcs are born evil,and that killing them is an act of good,it would be an act of good to slaughter orc infants.If they say otherwise,that would become the thing.Stuff like good orcs and drizzt shouldve never become so prevalent amongst the players.

      As for neutral alignment,stuff like complete devotion to nature,or just magic should be true neutral.Where you dont care about actual people,but just your narrow world.

      • Interesting. Really, the people that have to be concerned with alignment the most are those whose abilities and actions are tied to deities. What if instead of alignment, one had tenets to follow?

        For clerics of the great god Wisenheimer, to gain access to level 1-3 spells, they had to follow two tenets from the “Adept” table. These read like commandments, for example, “You cannot eat corn” or “You must pray to Wisenheimer at sundown every day.” If you break these tenets, you cannot gain spells until you do an atonement ritual (something simple that costs time/money, like an extended rest).

        If you want access to level 3-6 spells, you have to follow more tenets from more difficult tables, and so on and so on. It would make religion a bit more complicated (since I’m sure not every deity would have the same tenets), but it would make them a bit more real and the “alignment violations” a lot more concrete. I mean, in real life, there was a time when the kindly parish Priest was of the same religion as the Inquisitor. The miserly Bishop worked in the same faith as the generous Cardinal, and so on. By making certain tenets be important to various characters and allowing differing methods of staying connected to their divine powers, a “church” could suddenly be a whole lot more interesting, full of intrigue and differing methods.

        Dang. I might need to write something up for DriveThruRPG…

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well its easier for new players to follow “act generally like a good guy” than “look up all the rules on page 372 and follow them to the letter”.Also easier for gms to rule.But as a house rule for a party with a few clerics you could definitely write some more in depth stuff to follow.

          • Obviously they’d be simple, since (1) you want them to be, and (2) it lets the DM worry about making them more complicated if flavor is desired. “Don’t eat corn” is pretty simple. If the DM wants to make up some convoluted BS about how Wisenheimer and the Jolly Green Giant had a falling out which led to corn being on the no-no list, that’s up to them.

            Any splatbook that has 300+ pages is often overly complicated, even if it’s one of the core rulebooks.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      The way we used alignment, all player characters essentially were good (because some people in the group would have reacted badly IRL if any group member started acting in a non-“good” way), and the lawful-chaotic axis was more or less viewed as a measure of how inventive they would be in order to achieve their goal of being good.
      … and then it was quickly forgotten about because after some time everyone “knew” each others’ characters and the main purpose of alignment, to encourage people to stay in character, was fulfilled by other means.

      I think the “good”-“evil” axis is especially designed to not be very “realistic”; it’s more in order to have a nice clear distinction of whom you are allowed to kill without second thougzht and whom you should be treating nicely. Broad black-and-white strokes which allow you to get to the action scenes already. As such I agree that it’s probably not the best thing to have if you regard roleplaying as interactive fiction and would like that fiction to have some level of quality.

    • drlemaster says:

      Even after playing D&D for 35 years, I am still not entirely sure what Gygax was trying to do with the AD&D alignment system, and am bemused when folks try to apply it outside the D&D setting.

      In the old, old D&D, there was only Law, Chaos, and Neutral. You alignment was not what you believed or how you acted, it was what gods you were allied with. Lawful for the generally “good” pro-human-civilization gods, Chaos for the want-to-destroy civilization gods like demons or Cthulhu (or gods that wanted a degenerate civilization like the Melinobonean ones). Or if you weren’t into that you were neutral. But then they changed it to where your alignment was more like your personal morality, and no one could quite decide what was covered by the good/evil axis vs. the law/chaos axis.

      Maybe the old system was considered good enough when characters weren’t supposed to be much more that a collection of stats trying to “win” the dungeon, and they switched to the more complicated system when they realized folks actually wanted to role-play. It’s baked into the system, and it works well enough, but if you try to apply it anywhere outside a D&D type world, it will just seem silly.

  12. Tizzy says:

    As someone who grew up with the original trilogy, I disagree with Mumbles about it being about putting Star Wars on a pedestal (1:40:40).

    I think this is very much what many of us did, and it is simple enough to do. Three movies is very little material to work from, and so it’s too easy to read more into it than there ever was. I am convinced that I was guilty of that, that certain things that looked intentional were just happy accidents.

    This is setting up anyone who follows that for failure. Since everyone is reading whatever they want in the original trilogy, the work that follows can only disappoint the fans’ expectations without even being aware that it’s doing it. And the more you wait, the more likely it is to happen. I don’t really see a way to avoid that.

    • Bubble181 says:

      Quite a few of the games and/or EU books had gotten the SW “vibe”/”tone” down though. Anyone aware and interested would be able to distill some of its essence from what was successful and deemed interesting. KOTOR, for example, in many ways, would’ve made a perfectly fine movie. KOTOR II would’ve had a few problems what with more obvious (Bindo wasn’t that big in 1) “grey” morality and all that.

      Mind you, in some ways they’d have failed no matter what. Jar-Jar is annoying, but, all told, no more ridiculous a side character as a tall and polite robot and a little one who can only whistle. (yes, I’l deliberately trolling by calling them robots instead of droids. MUHAHA)

    • Zak McKracken says:

      In some sense, hinting at something larger that isn’t shown and getting peoples’ imagination going is exactly what any good work of art should do, and to me that means that the original movies were indeed master works.

      … but then the prequels entirely destroyed this. They even made me realize some flaws in the original movies. So the new movie does not really have any chance of getting back to that point.

      Without the prequels, I think it would have been not easy but entirely possible to keep the mythos intact, by keepign sufficient distance from the original movies, and not explicitly introducing details that were hinted at in them.

      For example: Everyone had a different idea of what the clone wars were, so showing them (and then reducing them to essentially one battle? WTF?!?) could only be a dissappointment. However, making a sequel where these things stay in the mist of history and new things are introduced — why not?

      Of course, the chance at greatness is gone now. I cannot watch a Star Wars movie any more without consciously looking for plot holes, inconsistencies in the way the force works and such things. If any of the original movies came out now, I wouldn’t be particularly impressed — the illusion has been shattered and cannot be remade.

  13. bloodsquirrel says:

    Man of Steel: Where Pa Kent was a nutjob who tells Clark that he should have let a bus full of children drown, then decided to sacrifice his life for basically no reason other than to give Clark more emotional issues.

  14. Otters34 says:

    Thank you Mumbles, for your Important PSA to the Modern Kid. I now know better than to take drugs, to avoid falsifying emotion responses to terrible genre superhero movies.

  15. Paul Spooner says:

    The fall of Star Wars from idealized icon to mere media was ultimately inevitable. My best friend and I both grew up huge Star Wars fans. We played Star Wars role-playing on our internet forum with our high school friends. We made Star Wars CG models. We crafted our own light-saber hilts.

    But we grew up, and both became engineers, and eventually realized that Star Wars is fundamentally nonsense, and so on many levels. Or, if not nonsense, at least fundamentally questionable.

    I haven’t really finished digesting it myself, but there are more problems with Star Wars than just the prequels, and I suspect there is more nostalgia than is healthy at work here. I think Chris is right. The original Star Wars trilogy that we remember, and even that we see when we revisit it, is more an icon of youth and limitless horizons than it is a reality of cinema.

    The new Star Wars trilogy may be good, or bad, and young people may or may not be entranced by it. “But a time shall come, after his youth, when a man shall know not tales, but truth.” Whatever the cause, the fountain of those waters is behind us now, long ago. Not even by returning to a galaxy far away will we regain them.

    • Mike S. says:

      Star Wars is a descendant of John Carter and Flash Gordon, not Heinlein and Asimov. The planetary romance genre never paid attention to consistency or plausibility, and Star Wars comes by that honestly.

      Given that, it would probably have been better if it had stayed focused on swashbuckling adventure rather than trade politics and operatic romance.

      And maybe Abrams will take it back in that direction. His Trek movies certainly suggest he’s not interested in the more speculative or cerebral side of the genre, which I think makes him a much better fit for the ex-Lucas property.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You can be an engineer and still enjoy space opera.I have a very scientific mind these days,yet I really enjoy the nonsense that is mcu,and flash tv series.Star wars is the same.As long as you dont take it as hard sf,you should have no problem enjoying it.

    • General Karthos says:

      What a bummer.

      I agree with the other folks. You don’t need to take the movies so seriously. Just relax and have fun. That’s what it’s all about after all.

    • ulrichomega says:

      That whole article has some fundamental issues. It seems to draw every conclusion from a single source (which itself seems to be drawing all of its conclusions from per-pixel analyses of the movies, including some places where distances from the camera are assumed that may be wildly inaccurate, as well as numerous assumptions that may or may not be valid), and is merely an extrapolation from that one datapoint. Furthermore, it assumes that Star Destroyers are an average ship, which they certainly are not. They are the battleships of the Empire and it’s merely the Empire’s doctrines that make them the main ship we see (i.e. the Empire mostly uses massive Star Destroyers and rarely smaller ships to inspire fear). An average ship in the Star Wars universe is far, far smaller, and probably doesn’t even have a proportionate amount of damage.

  16. John says:

    When it comes to Star Wars, I’m with Chris. Given J.J. Abram’s track record, the new movies will probably be mostly adequate. A good Star Wars movie consists of a small group of characters on an adventure. There’s action, a little comedy, some cute character bits, and most of all some really memorable set pieces. Abrams can do those things. Heck, he did them in the Star Trek reboot. I hated the Star Trek reboot, mind you, but that was because I found the contrivances required to get those particular characters in that particular setting from one set piece to the next infuriating. But with an all new cast of characters in a setting as loosely defined as Star Wars that should be less of a problem. So here’s hoping, I guess.

  17. @Mumbles, I’m confused, Is this based on the Superman trailer or has the script leaked?

    From the trailer it almost looked like they where kind of angling for that Communist Superman story.

    Then there is also the alternate universe thing where Superman is a oppressor and rules the world basically.

    The trailer did not tell me much if anything about the plot really.

    BTW! Mumbles when you say “they” (Batman and Superman) are super old, that’s kinda odd, Batman (Bruce) is human, Superman on the other hand will live for potentially thousands of years so he isn’t really “old”. (then again, “comics” so it depends on which universe one think of)

    • Mumbles says:

      I’m talking about the trailer and I have no interest in a Red Son movie. The Red Son comic was amazing because it subverted a bunch of shit avid readers of DC Comics knew. DC is trying to reboot their movie franchise, which means they need to familiarize the audience with what these characters are about before doing a Red Son thing.

      The trailer said Superman is bad, Batman is a bad ass and everything is grim dark. Not really what I want from a Batman Superman movie.

      I knew there was going to be one person who tried to call me out on this lmao. Bruce is old. Superman can live for a long time due to his powers, but mentally and psychologically it’s pretty obvious in the comic that he’s grown weary of being Superman. Of the Earth, even. So I call him old.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Superman can totally grow old.How else do you explain the gray beard in earths end?

      • Thomas says:

        I mean technically all the Superman is bad stuff seemed to be coming from an unreliable narrator? Like those are the bad things people are saying about Superman, not the actual problems he creates (and possible it sounded to me like the narration was meant to be PoV from Miller Batman).

        I’ve got no faith in them actually delivering that though. The Man of Steel trailers were meant to be promising a Superman who wasn’t trusted by the world but ultimately rose up and became an awesome guy anyway and the films definitely didn’t deliver on that.

        • “Unreliable narrator” seems to be a trope that’s well beyond DC’s grasp at this point. They’re not going to film a major movie that’s supposed to be a Justice League lead-in where the twist is that Batman has misunderstood Superman enough to fight him.

        • Sleepyfoo says:

          I watched the trailer with the irrational hope that Superman (even Man of Steel “superman”) wasn’t particularly encouraging or seeking the Deification and Savior status they were giving him. Being Man of Steel superman, he also wasn’t particularly protesting, just sort of tolerating in confusion or something.

          This sets up Batman, who sees the symbol he has become, and his own wishy-washy support for that. He then takes the mildly irrational view that it’s better for him a different symbol of good (with stronger support from the source) to tarnish Superman, rather than some random villian. Some random villian gaining the status for taking down or tarnish supes the first time would lead to bad things. But if supes has already been knocked down a peg by another champion… a villian doing it is not going to be nearly as big a blow to morale, as it were.

          Sadly, I doubt anything even as potentially interesting as that will actually be in the movie.

  18. The Star Wars trailer made me a bit excited. I love the Vader helmet (is that just a homage or something more?), new “Empire” is interesting, chrome trooper was interesting, finally a trooper that kicks ass. And Luke (!) with a cybenetic hand and Leia (!) was cool.
    Han and Chewie did not do it much for me, Han is “too old for this crap” IMO. It will be interesting to see if Ford gets his wish (for Han to die on screen), if that is the case then I approve of “old Han”.
    Also, where was C3PO ?

    BTW! Anyone seen the Star Wars Battlefront (3) trailer?
    Holy shit that was awesome, but… No single player? WTF!

  19. I’m split on the Star Wars Prequels, I liked the Dark stuff in them. I wish Lucas had put the prequel to match Ep 4 and 5 more. Ep 4 was mostly serious and Empire went darker, you see hints of that near the end of Ep2 and places in Ep3 (maybe the Podrace and Jar Jar ruined it?)

    The trailer for Ep7 feels like a mix between Ep4 and Ep5, I think Ep 7 will do better than people expect. (it depends on what it sets up for Ep 8 etc.)

    One thing concerns me though. Star Wars have aliens, where there any aliens in the trailer?
    There seems to be a token black guy but other than Chewbacca where are the aliens?

    • Thomas says:

      Huh I didn’t notice but that would really suck. Boundless worlds is half the draw of Star Wars. (And Star Wars aliens actually look interesting unlike some *coughstartrekcough*)

      This is JJ Abrams though, I feel like there’s 0 chance he won’t try to recreate the cantina scene somehow. Also he is deliberately hiding stuff from the trailer

      And oh! When he was advertising whilst promoting the charity they’re running they had an alien from the new movies show up.

  20. Ledel says:

    Wow, lots of big comments, so I apologize if I end up repeating what someone else already said.

    So, Batman v. Superman:

    I’ll start with Man of Steel I agree with Mumbles 120%. They completely missed what it means to be Superman, the character of Jonathan Kent was a total asshat in his one-dimensionalness. It was just all around not a great Superman movie, and I left the theater with a bad taste in my mouth. I think the worst part is the only people I’ve found who agree with me are those who’ve actually watched the old movies and/or kept up somewhat with Superman in the comics. The vast majority of people seem genuinely confused at when I say it was a bad Superman movie.

    Batman is the only AAA character in the DC universe the gritty style really works with, and I’ve said I may go see the movie just in hopes there is a scene where Batman hands Superman’s ass to him. Mainly because his character pisses me off so much.

    On to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    We can never un-learn what was shown in the prequels, and those of us who grew up with the original trilogy can no longer watch these movies with the child-like wonder we once did. It’s a bit like the old saying of “hot dogs are delicious, but they aren’t quite the same once you see how they’re made.” or something like that (not my greatest analogy).

    The strength of the original Star Wars was always a combination of wonderful graphics and (almost literal) universe building. It had a very simple story, but just seeing how all the characters interacted made the movies. The prequels deviated way too far away from that with their tales of political intrigue and leaned too much on the science and not enough on the fiction.

    The shine’s off the apple and the universe of Star Wars will never be quite the same, but I do think they can recapture some of the great aspects that made the original trilogy so good.

    • DeadlyDark says:

      I agree that MoS Superman is just wrong interpretation of the character. But I must admit that in BvS at least they are tackling one interesting theme that almost never mentioned (as far as I know). That how’s humanity see Superman. I mean, Superman is tries to be a friend, an equal to everyone (proper Superman, not MoS Superman, who killed bunch of people by flying over gas station with Zod making it explode). But that’s boyscout him, and that’s good and everything. On the other hand, no matter how hard he’ll try, there is always will be people who’ll see him as literal God. And some would try to oppose him. Like Luthor (actually, this is my favorite interpretation of the character, like in Azzarello’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel). And that would be interesting thing to explore.

      I know that I really dislike MoS, but I want to give a benefit of a doubt here. May be, there will be some good exploration of the character and situation (not heavy handed Jesus metaphors like MoS). Still, that level of pathos showed in trailer requires some care for characters from the viewer and I don’t care for that Kal-El and have no thoughts about that Batman, so this pathos goes missing my imagination. But there is some potential and I hope that I’m right.

      • Sleepyfoo says:

        I should have responded to this comment with my comment above. Oh Well. That said, everyone should watch this Honest Trailer of Man of Steel. It’s hilarious and basically points out everything wrong with that movie.

        • DeadlyDark says:

          Yeah, interesting possibility for a plot )

          Actually a thought for some time and now I know why I disagree with Mumbles’s opinion that BvS fight is too soon and unearned. It’s just that I couldn’t explain it why I feel that it isn’t true, but now I can.

          It is very common superhero trope, that when two heroes meet each over first time they fight because of misunderstanding (or something) and after that they become good buddies and fight evil together. Like Iron Man vs Thor in Avengers. It’s still doesn’t mean that in some future with really old Bruce they can’t fight each over like in DKR, and if script/film/comic/… skilled enough there could be drawn some parallels between this first fight and the last fight. The question is, how reasonably long the fight should be in the movie and should be it name and central conflict of the movie, but this is remain unclear till movie releases.

    • Grudgeal says:

      I flipped off the cinema screen when I watched Man of Steel. Double Deuce style.

      I have never done that to a film before.

      It’s a bit amazing to think that idiocy was approved by the same company that gave Bruce Timm creative reins to make a Superman series and ended up making one of the best interpretations of the character until All-Star Superman. The contrast could not be more jarring.

  21. AR+ says:

    I’ve always wanted to see Lex Luthor played straight ever since I read The Metropolitan Man, but I think that could also work as a Batman vs. Superman story, since it has the same living deity vs human genius dynamic.

  22. Steve C says:

    I liked Guardians of the Galaxy. Good movie and I enjoyed it. However I saw it eighteen years ago when it starred Bruce Willis and was called Fifth Element.

    • General Karthos says:

      I didn’t like Fifth Element. I know I’m a blasphemer for feeling that way. I also didn’t like Blade Runner, which is still more blasphemous. I like all other science fiction or space opera movies. Those two are really the only exceptions.

    • MichaelGC says:

      But Guardians has Drax the Destroyer! And Awesome Mix Vol. 1! And a dance-off! Does Fifth Element have a dance-off? Because unless Bruce Willis awkwardly jigs about whilst singing Ooo-oo Child then ur argument is invalid…

      I’m just kidding – I think I’ve seen it, or maybe just bits of it, but I certainly don’t know 5th E well enough to be able to competently comment on any parallels. However, I am now rather intrigued, so will certainly be giving it a proper watch sometime very soon. So, thanks for the inadvertent tip! :D

  23. BeardedDork says:

    I’m baffled how “Milleresque” is simultaneously used to condemn Man of Steel/Batman vs Superman, and praise Daredevil. I think chasing Marvel’s fun goofy movies would be absolutely the wrong move for DC right now. I’m actually pretty certain Suicide Squad will be terrible. I agree the dark and gritty hero movies are played out, but it’s what DC has done well, when they stray to far from that in recent history anyway it doesn’t work out well for them. I don’t see why each company can’t do what they do well and we can enjoy both.

    • Thomas says:

      Flash is pretty goofy and that’s working right?

      Tbh, if DC wanted to not be goofy to try and distinguish themselves from being Marvel imitators, the absence of goofy doesn’t mean dark.

      They could have made a heroic Superman film, with a superman who might not crack jokes, but was the ultimate symbol of heroism. It could have been epic and grand and -good-. It could try and fill you with hopeful awe.

      I think you’re more likely to get a good film with the Marvel humour, it’s always a bit hard to trust something that can’t laugh at itself. But there are much better ways to differentiate yourself than darkness.

      Besides from business strategy terms, humour beaks darkness. Humour is the antidote to the dark age that makes all the dark stuff look too ridiculous and overly-serious.

      Maybe wonder beats humour? Like genuine awe-inspiring goodness makes it look like other films are afraid to play it straight. I’m not very convinced on that though

      • BeardedDork says:

        I don’t necessarily disagree. Darkness requires a bit of humor to make it go, Batman Begins and Dark knight both made that work. Man of Steel and Batman Utterly Forgettable not so much. We don’t know whether that will be present in Batman vs Superman or not, early reports suggested Batman would be making more of a return to Adam West era form, so it is likely we will see some more humor, as at least the need for it has been acknowledged. I think we may get overdoses of wonder with the introduction of Aquaman and Wonder Woman as well.

  24. Alex says:

    Hey, Shamus. You might want to talk about Skyrim mods on next week’s show as well, because Valve has just enabled paid mods on the workshop.

    My opinion is that nobody should publish or buy mods on the workshop, at least until Valve stops being such assholes about it. Nintendo only wanted 30-40% of your Youtube revenue, and they actually made the damn game, while Valve is asking for 75% just for creating a place for you to sell content you made for somebody else’s software.

  25. Felblood says:

    Okay, so my opinion of the Star Wars prequels is pretty controversial, but I feel like this is place where people can handle this, and I think this Diecast gave me a great new way to express that.

    Episode I was George Lucas JJ Abramsing himself. He captures the ambition and scope and some of the visual flare of his classic Star Wars, without the meticulous editing, clever plotting and inspired vision that made it Star Wars. He bought his own hype.

    Then it came out on DVD and we all came to realize that there was no way anyone was going to link these two trilogies properly in just 3 movies. There was too much stuff that, while amusing to younger audiences, should have been cut for time, to focus on earning the over-rushed payoffs in Episode III.

  26. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So guys,do you think man of steel and this new svb thing work better if the main character is not superman,but superboy prime?

    • Thomas says:

      :P Yes

      Although seriously, it’d be interesting to think of the character who would work in the Batman vs Superman trailer. You’d need someone who kind of is lording it over people but at the same time is very self-righteous.

      • Otters34 says:

        That sounds right down the street of Mr. Majestic. That jackass is all the time being a pompous, self-important twit who’d do things like make people bow to him and fight grumpy guys in robot suits.

    • Mike S. says:

      I really hated the subversion of Superboy-Prime. The character as introduced in the original Crisis was an obvious audience stand-in: an ordinary kid from what had been for decades “our world” (modulo infrequent, secret visits by the Earth-1 Flash and the Justice League known only to the DC editorial staff). And he joined the fight to save the universe, and at the end willingly sacrificed himself to save others.

      Flashforward, and that audience stand-in has been transformed into a spoiled, angry fanboy, violently destroying everything in his path. It’s hard not to read that specifically as editorial commentary on their readership.

      (And yeah, fans can be annoying. But it still seems like a waste of a character to send an unnecessary and unkind message.)

  27. DeadlyDark says:

    It is strange to see no MKX discussions here. It’s like only me (and Chris) who plays it. I know, that probably GTAV PC release day is a partial reason, but surprising nonetheless. Well, according to steamspy* it’s like only 150k owners on Steam, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised.

    In any case, I agree with Chris that MKX is surprisingly better game than expected. At least they correct my only gripe with the last game (female kombatant’s clothings). But even with that, I like story direction. It’s cheesy but fun as well. And battle dynamics is much more satisfying than, say, in Injustice. Only flaw so far, is no cyborgs-ninjas. Why?

    You know, it’s funny to remember now, that in 1st grade me with classmates kollect MK stickers and sickers albums in 90s and arguing who is better fighter, while I didn’t played MK till last few years (Arcade kollection).

    *SteamSpy should one of topics on Diecast, I think.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      MK always felt like a teen thing to me.I played a lot of it when I was a teen,and the last three ties Ive played it was when I had to babysit some new teens.That is why it has such excessive gore after all.

      Also,I never understood people that were upset by the clothing in mk,or the gay thing no.MK was alway about blood and guts.Everything else is inconsequential.

      • DeadlyDark says:

        I have no problem with gay thing in MK. I am surprised myself that this is the thing to argue.

        As for clothing, it’s easy. They are identical. What fun in identical? Fun should in uniqueness, not only character’s character and moves, but his/her clothing and visual elements.

        Yeah, there is a lot of juvenile in MK, and I actually like it myself. Never thought of myself as grown man, so I can appreciate that aesthetic too in some doses.

    • Mortal Kombat was over for me the second Christopher Lambert became Raiden, instead of one of “The Winds” from Big Trouble in Little China.

      I mean, him playing a Japanese god was about as laughable as him playing… oh, a Scotsman or something.

  28. Thomas says:

    Check out the improvement when Man of Steel removes the gloom filter

    Shame it doesnt help the plotting.

    Also for more evidence that this is a Zack Snyder thing and not a Christopher Nolan thing, look at Zack Snyder’s previous films
    300
    Sucker Punch

    He applies the gloom filter to every film he makes. Ironically the most ‘colourful’ of his films is his Watchmen adaptation :p

  29. Cybron says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve read Frank Miller’s Batman thing, so I’ll probably say something wrong here, but from what I remember…

    Even beyond not having earned the right to do such a thing, the DC movieverse doesn’t even appear to have gotten the point of the whole Frank Miller fight they’re clearly aping. The Supes Miller portrays is almost as perfect as normal Supes, in that he’s a heroic figure who saves people. He has fallen in with the US government, and so does kill a lot of Russians, but his only appearances in Gotham are consistent with the image of someone who saves people, not kills them. Despite his compromised image (again due to his status as a tool of the American government), he’s still approaching Bruce from a certain amount of moral high ground when he tells him to quit being crazy. Even during his crazy fight with batman, I relatively certain he doesn’t kill anyone in Gotham.

    I’m guessing they tried to invert that here, with Batman being the one to attack Superman this time, because Supes doesn’t have a leg to stand on. But that just doesn’t work at all. The Batman vs Superman thing was a clash of opposing but valid ideals – vigilante justice versus order and the American Way. What we appear to have here is a battle of some superpowered teenager with no particular moral authority against a Batman we’ve barely met. Maybe they’ll flesh out the respective positions and ideals of the combatants and what they represent during the movie, but after Man Of Steel, I don’t have high hopes.

  30. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Mumbles casting for Twenty-sided Avengers is totally on.

  31. RCN says:

    You know what is sadder than Campster’s adolescence? Having his adolescence and never outgrowing it…

    I made moves on 5 different same-age gals and two teachers throughout my time at University, all times as ineptly as Warren and not nearly as successful. (Middle School? No thanks, I don’t like to dwell on actual emotional torture) I literally could not play past the first half hour of that game thanks to how much Warren looked like a more competent version of me… Nowdays I’ve just given up. I was unable to ever figure out how to not be an uncool loser and I guess that’s how it is always going to be.

    • DeadlyDark says:

      At least you tried in University. I never had that kind of bravery and the learning was still the primary goal. After university I tried a couple times with no result at all (well, if you do not count pain of the broken heart). It didn’t stop me from playing LiS, but yeah, I am envy of Warren in that regard. Actually, you know that things is sad if you are envy of animated character (in may case it’s Ron Stoppable, when I watched KP last year).

      Could be interesting discussion of should be we envy of fictional characters or something.

  32. Dreadjaws says:

    Look, I understand people complaining that Man of Steel was too dark, but it irritates me when someone says Superman didn’t care about people in that movie, and that he did nothing to save them. Were you not paying attention to the film? I think the problem is that people are used to Marvel films overexplaining everything, so when they don’t have exposition handled to them they tend to assume the worst. The film had a lot of problems, but Superman not being Superman wasn’t one of them.

    Now it looks you didn’t pay attention to the trailer either. The entire theme is that people are mistrusting of someone for having too much power, and people like Lex Luthor are pushing that idea on the general public to turn public opinion against Superman, and that draws Batman to think Superman is a baddie too. It never even implies Superman actually behaves this way. I agree with the fact that it’s still too dark a film, that it’s not a concept for an entire film, and generally that the film is making a bunch of bad decisions, but you’re all making no sense here.

    Also, Nolan has nothing to do with this. He was producer in MoS, but he didn’t even want Superman to kill Zod.

    But then again, you’re praising the awful, derivative, terribly-written and gimmicky Civil War, so what do I know? Perhaps it’s opposite day or something.

    • Sleepyfoo says:

      Civil War was dumb, poorly planned, and truely terribly implemented.

      Man of Steel, however, had a superman that, on screen; saved a bus full of kids (as a kid and got scolded for it), let his dad die for literally no reason (cause his dad was an idiot and sups didn’t have the moral fiber to stand up to him), saved a subset of people on an oil rig (but not everyone, nor the rig itself), surrendered to a random asshole in a bar and then trashed said assholes livelyhood, and got in DBZ style city destroying fights. Also he killed someone. In His Origin Story.

      Combined that gave it a feel so far from a Superman story that it’s insulting to the character and mythos of Superman. Not too mention the plotting was just bad and the color filter made it worse.

  33. Nimas says:

    Pretty late, but have to share this story. My phone currently has a habit of not recognising my headphones due to positioning sometimes (probably due to needing a clean or something).

    So I’m listening, and Mumbles begins her happyhaps and mentions that her cat was trying to disconnect her, so if she stops talking suddenly it was due to her cat.
    *At that precise moment*, my headphones cut off. It took me about 15 seconds to realise that none of the rest of the crew was talking either and thus the problem was on my end ><

    Basically what I'm is that Mumbles cat has supernatural powers against electric devices.

  34. Flailmorpho says:

    after that batman v superman trailer came out I got to learn who frank miller was (I strangely have never seen any of the movies that are based off his comics either) that dude seems to have some really weird, unnecessarily macho and gritty stuff.
    Like to the point where you wonder if he has any self awareness in him.

  35. The Mich says:

    Here’s that Onion skit Chris was mentioning! https://youtu.be/1YSaki3CLks

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