Tag Archives: rant

NetFlix and Mark Millar? …Eh?

Huh. So that’s what it looks like when you drop a Twitter Moment into WordPress…

I saw this news story this morning, and I’m just… I’m just not that excited. Like, I like the fact that NetFlix is willing to invest in something like this – comics are an excellent ideas factory, like science fiction magazines and such were in the past. However, it’s Mark Millar.

If you don’t recognize the name, he’s written quite a few well known comics (not under his own imprint, so not necessarily part of this business deal). He wrote Civil War for Marvel. He’s written Kingsman and Kick-Ass and Wanted, which have all become films. He wrote Old Man Logan and Superman: Red Son and started Ultimate X-Men.

However, having actually read his comics, and seen a number of the films adapted from them… I have liked the film better in every single last case, in almost every way. I’ve written long discussions of this fact about Kick-Ass and Kingsman. In the Kick-Ass review, in particular, I included an image of the introduction which ran with Kick-Ass 2, and which basically just feels way too Gamer Gater at this point.

I’m conflicted, therefore, because I think that some interesting stories and films or shows may come from this purchase. If others are allowed to contribute their direction and vision to it as well, to correct the impulses that seem to underline how Millar wants to present the world. However, if with this purchase Millar comes along and gets to put his full stamp on things, we may end up with some really blah material coming out of NetFlix.

It’s a risk. The basic worlds he creates make for good cinema. The decisions he makes for his characters and plot points, not so much. It feels like a coin flip at this point… so I’m hesitant. What do you think?

Throwback Thursday – Discrimination against Science Fiction and Fantasy

So this was something of a conclusion to my posts on the definition of Science Fiction and of Fantasy, by diving into a personal and specific example of why the whole discussion mattered to me in the first place. I hesitate to share it again for two reasons: one, for the personal aspects, and two, because the original post generated a whole bunch of discussion. As such, going back to the original to see others’ opinions is a good way to get more than my single story here. Also, the personal aspects are no longer accurate.

One of my favorite things I’ve written on the blog is my series on the definition and importance of Science Fiction and Fantasy – of fictions that might be called Speculative, or Romantic. And when asked, I said that one of the things that I would most like to change in the world is people’s opinions about these genres, or maybe about genre fiction in general. However, through all of this, I lacked a solid, concrete example. An example of prejudice against Science Fiction or Fantasy.

There are a lot of things in this world that we shouldn’t discriminate against. Things you can’t control, things that aren’t a choice, things that should have no bearing on life. But then, there are things that are opinions, that are a choice, that I can go right ahead and be upset about. And for me, the one that takes the cake is being against Science Fiction and Fantasy.

So, I had said I was going to do a post about movies this week. That’ll have to wait. Because last night I got a great example of anti-Sci-Fi discrimination. And I feel the need to share, and to vent. So let me set the scene, let me rant a bit, and then hopefully I’ll have it out of my system!

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Technological Advancement and Star Wars

Lately we’ve been reading a lot of Jeffrey Brown’s Darth Vader books with the Geek Toddler. She loves them, and they’re great. We’ll probably talk more about them at some point. But there’s one page in particular that made me just stop and think.

Haha, common parent statement, right? And in this case it’s also totally true.

We get to see plenty of big space ship battles in Star Wars Episodes I-III. Lots of different ship types. Which, we know from seeing things like the Rebel Fleet in the later movies, sure, there are lots of different ship types in the Star Wars universe.

However, like the Death Star, the Star Destroyer is a product of the Empire. A product of an authoritarian war machine that only really exists for maybe 20-30 years? Wait, there’s a timeline, hold on…

Okay, so 23 years is how long the Empire is around? And 19 years between episodes III and IV (and Rogue One). In that time they develop and build Star Destroyers and a Death Star. Wow! Both the R&D and the actual manufacture there is impressive, even with the full might of an intergalactic state behind it.

As seen in Rogue One, so major coercion was needed, and I liked the point that was made about how they would develop the weapon sooner or later – just sooner with the help of a genius. That’s still a really tight window, and even if some of that development started before the Senate fell (might have I don’t know), that’s still a whole lot.

But Star Wars lore goes a whole lot further back than that. For one thing, there’s the whole Old Republic, a long time ago even from the standpoint of the films. I imagine there are books and other media in this era, but mainly there have been video games – so the most time-intensive and immersive form of media.

And there’s so much about the society of Star Wars that seems the same between the Old Republic and the movies. The droids, the crime, the relevant races, the Jedi…

I have always been a bit amused by this lack of change, but had not fully thought about how, once the Empire began, there was a massive surge in new technology. Even the Clones seemed like something that had been researched for a long while before finally coming together just in time to have some Clone Wars.

I suppose that the Old Republic is also missing from that canon timeline, sadly. So maybe this isn’t really a problem from a canon standpoint. But it’s sad to set history like that aside as well. What do you think?

Rant: On Reviews and Disagreeing with People

I try my best not to ever read reviews – I made that a habit a long time ago. I honestly really like to decide for myself what I will think of a movie or book or album without being clouded by other people’s opinions. And in reality, that’s almost always the best way to do things. It’s why I’m so fascinated by other people throwing disproportionate tantrums when critics hate a movie, or when people hate that a certain movie was made (Ghostbusters; I’ll get to it).

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The Relief of Irreverent Humor

It feels like just yesterday I was writing about using media and pop culture to temporarily escape the horrors of our world but, well…here we are again. Instead of talking about the broad benefits of escapism, I think I’ll muse on the intellectual benefits of irreverent humor by talking about some of my favorite satire and dark humor shows.

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