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  • Having seen Black Panther two weeks ago, and relating to the larger conversation of February-

    THe only American comics I have read are Vertigo properties and the first four Goddess of Thunder Thor comics. By contrast, I have seen all of the Marvel Movies and Netflix series to date(except Iron Fist, because fuck that guy), loved the hell out Black Panther, a property I might not have ever looked at otherwise, and am planning a binger both video-wise-and-alcoholically for Jessica Jones Season 2 next week despite the mixed reviews, with Alias probably being another property I never would have looked at and probably still won't despite loving the hell out of the shows.

    Marvel has made way more money off of me carefully deciding where to leave to the comics behind than they have by keeping to them, and probably will continue to do so, is what I'm saying.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-03-2018, 01:42 AM.


    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

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    • Saw Black Panther. Besides some really shoddy CGI and poorly choreographed fight scenes, I enjoyed it quite a lot.

      Sitting at #6 on my top 10 Marvel films list(Not counting Deadpool or Blade 2).

      Man-Ape stole every scene he was in. I hope we get more of him in the sequel.


      "Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger."

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      • Saw a couple of movies...

        Black Panther...it was okay. 7/10 Had the action sequences been better than adequate, and had there been more of "nobility" and T'Challa's incredible intellect, this movie could have equaled Winter Soldier.

        ------

        Annihilation 7/10

        We finally get a movie about something truly alien, and in that regard we have a movie that is a full out horror movie.
        I've heard this compared to "Arrival," but in that movie we have aliens that are ultimately benevolent.
        In "Annihilation" we have an alien presence that isn't benevolent at all.
        We have a small group of women (yes, this was pointed out) going in to investigate what prior military teams never walked out of. (The exceptions being our heroine's husband...or so we thought. And then Portman's character, she's telling the story of the movie)
        But to say this alien presence is "evil" is to use a human frame of reference that really doesn't exist.
        Hmf...
        When our heroine (played by Natalie Portman) is asked "What does it want?" She responds; "It doesn't want anything." In essence it's just too alien. Desire is a human thing that this Presence doesn't likely understand let alone care about such a thing. This Presence changes everything around it. And not just down to a cellular level either; space, time, energy, the "Shimmer" is how light refracts to it, which is miles wide.
        When Portman's character is interrogated in the beginning, she is asked, "What were you eating? You had two weeks of rations and you've been in there for four months." (She can't remember) And when Portman's little group thought they spent the first night there, they realized that they had eaten several days worth of rations and couldn't remember getting to where they had woken up. They were unable to recall what they had did prior to that point in time.
        Things take a dramatic turn for the worse...but then things aren't going to end well when you realize that simply entering the Shimmer was a death sentence as their very bodies become "infected." (The one character says she sees her own fingerprints moving, and we aren't sure if she's screwed up in the head) They come across a mutated crocodile, and then a mutated bear that really fucks them over. Our heroine makes it to the Lighthouse where the center of this Presence is at...and she comes across a recording of her husband and she sees horror.
        The Presence eventually tries to copy her human form, and we see a vulnerability (maybe) as she lights the damn thing up with a phosphorus grenade...and we see it burn strangely...looking at its arms as if it couldn't comprehend it's own burning form. (Get the feeling it was transmogrifying the energy. I'd like to believe a nuke would hurt the thing, but it probably wouldn't affect it at all except to make it radioactive).


        This movie made me think just how "alien" an alien could get. The closest analogue I drew from was Lovecraft's "Black Goat of a Thousand Young." And yet, I have the impression that that's probably still too much a human reference. (For Scion fans, think "Titan.")


        Mankind was once an endangered species. It will likely be so again. And mankind will only have itself to blame.

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        • So...Pacific Rim: Uprising. .

          Well...for me it's both better and worse then the first movie.

          Because cards on the table: while I liked the first movie...the first movie was a very, VERY FLAWED movie.

          While it had Del Toro's strong visual direction, a resonant message on fighting against impossible odds, and for the realization of 2010's film technology on bringing giant robots vs giant monsters to a modern movie-going audience.

          And could be considered to be one of the main reasons why we've been having this resurgence in giant monster movies, and for giving people a giant robot movie that's NOT entrenched in Bayformer aesthetics.

          It ALSO had issues of: questionable action cinematography, inconsistent acting, messy world building, terrible dialogue, and conflicted story direction.

          So despite me liking the first movie, it was hardly a masterpiece. And not at ALL del Toro's best work.

          This movie fixes some problems of the first movie, leaves some of the first movie's problems in, makes the first movie's problems worse, AND it also introduces new flaws.

          So...about the same as the first movie, if slightly worse.

          -John Boyega as Jake Pentecoast is a much, MUCH better protagonist then Charlie Hunnam's Raleigh Beckett.

          He's likeable and charismatic, he's funny, he does the classic "rebel with a heart of gold", but manages to make that archetype feel like his own and not a derivative of other characters. While his character arc is nothing original, his turn him from carefree hedonist to brave hero is a satisfying one from beginning to end, and it resonates with you.

          WAY more then Raleigh's take in the first movie.

          Granted I'm not sure if it comes down to Boyega being a better actor then Hunnam, or Boyega had a better script to work from then Hunnam did. But ultimately, I'm glad that he's here, and that he brings a human heart to the movie. And proved that his turn as Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy is NOT a fluke, and that he's a good actor that can hold his own and he doesn't need the brand recognition of Star Wars to skimp by.

          -Granted...Jake's inclusion actually opens up a plothole into the first movie:

          "Why was a son to THE Stacker Pentecoast never mentioned at all?"

          Stacker himself not mentioning Jake's existence at least makes a bit of sense. Judging from how Jake talks about him in this movie, the two had a falling out and had become estranged. Stacker not wanting to talk about his own son makes sense.

          What doesn't make sense is MAKO never mentioning him.

          Going off of this movie, she seems to regard her half-brother fondly. Even despite his earlier dishonorably discharge from PPDC, she still cares about him to the point that she trusts him to not only come back to the PPDC, teach the new cadets, and reinstates him as a Ranger pilot. So if he meant that much to her, and harbors no ill will towards him...why did he never come up once throughout the first movie?

          -The budget cuts can absolutely be felt in this movie in many ways.

          That this film overall feels like a...smaller movie in comparison to the first movie.

          The movie's not about a war, but about STOPPING a second war. There are less big action scenes. The majority of the action scenes are skirmishes and not full battles. There are less kaiju to fight.


          Although I'm not too bothered by this movie's smaller scope, because for the most part it was able to have it make sense for the story. That it doesn't feel out of place that then smaller story matches the smaller scope of everything.

          -Del Toro's lack of direct creative input can be felt in the movie's visual aesthetics. Mainly in the Jaeger and Kaiju designs.

          As any character designer will tell you, one of the most critical aspects of making distinctive characters is in silhouette. That if you manage to make each silhouette distinct, that goes a long way on making your characters memorable.

          In the first movie, it was EASY to pick out Cherno Alpha from Crimson Typhoon. Gipsy Danger was recognizable from Eureka Striker. And in combat they had their own distinctive traits, like Crimson's three arms or Cherno's bulkier nuclear reactor-shaped head. That these designs oozed their own personality and quirks.

          This movie...while I won't go as far as saying the Jaeger designs are COMPLETELY bland and forgettable...they are less distinct then the first movie's. That you can't help but shake the feeling that they just took the basic design of Gipsy and just made minor alterations to each design. They're still designs that stand out. For instance:
          • Bracer Phoenix is this movie's Cherno Alpha being the bulky and stocky Jaeger. And carries the sense of being the heaviest of the Jaegers present. There's also of course, that badass ball and chain.
          • Saber Athena with its bright red color scheme, much more feminine body shape, and it's resemblance to a certain Jedi-hating droid makes it stand out.
          • Guardian Bravo...is unfortunately this movie's Eureka Striker in having THE most forgettable design. At least it's got the dank ass electro-whip.

          Not REALLY bad in design just...not as good.

          This also extends to the Kaiju designs. It already doesn't help that
          there's only 3 proper kaiju throughout the whole movie. And since these 3 fight together, and combine later into the MegaKaiju, it might as well have been only 1 kaiju.
          And their designs are equally forgettable.

          I know it's a bit backhanded considering that the first movie's kaiju were riffs on existing, more well known kaiju (Leatherback being based off of King Kong, Knifehead on Guiron, Otachi on Rodan, etc), but they still had distinctive looks and body types that set them apart. They were still recognizable and you could tell them apart. Not as well as the Jaegers, but still distinctive.

          While this movie at least TRIES with distinctive head shapes...it's not enough. And that they're all 4-legged monsters, they don't stand out in body type either. They kind of just blend together.

          SPEAKING OF
          yeah...the 3 kaiju having their Megazord moment was awesome. And an appropriate "OH SHIT" moment for our heroes.


          -Then there's the giant Baragon in the room regarding a certain returning character...

          Yeah. It fucking sucks that Mako goes out the way she does.

          That yes...she does get fridged to provide Jake motivation to Get in the Fucking Jaeger and do something. And it's something Mako deserves so much more.

          It's just...odd that she even got considered to be killed off in the first place. Especially since she WAS a fan favorite character among the fandom. I'd say that it's inconceivable that the production team never once looked at what the community felt about the movie...but then again I'm starting to hear more and more about production teams who seem to flat out be unaware what social media is. Who knows.

          The only explanations I can come up with is:

          -The writers just flat out weren't interested in advancing Mako's character.

          From what I can gather thus far, the plan had always been for the main character of Pacific Rim 2...was not going to be Mako. A script for Raleigh was initially written out, before the writers found out that Hunnam wasn't coming back. And since their first response was to find someone to play a new character to replace Raleigh...means that buffing up Mako so that she was the actual main character never occurred to them.

          -Rinko Kikuchi wanted out on the Pacific Rim franchise.

          That she possibly didn't want to be known as a one-role-wonder. And maybe even realized that the production team wasn't going to do anything of interest with her character. Now admittedly, I have far less to go on for this theory. So far the only thing I could find was comparing Kikuchi's press junket interviews.

          Yes. I know. Press junkets are hell for the actors involved. They're stuck in one room for long hours, having to deal with a revolving door of various reporters. Reporters who often ask very similar questions, and the actors being forced to repeat the same answer over and over again. That this tends to fray on the actor's nerves and drives them nuts.

          AND YET. For the original Pacific Rim...Kikuchi's doing pretty good. She seems very bubbly, energetic, and animated and overall looks like she's enjoying herself. Even across multiple interviews.

          Just some of them here.

          [YT]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKPFO9kR4yA[/YT]

          [YT]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdDuUDWm6cE[/YT]

          [YT]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2RmEp7e49I[/YT]

          Compared to her ONE press junket interview for Uprising (as in this is all I've been able to find) she is...significantly less energetic. Quiet and restrained.

          [YT]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7f4rSCSzDY[/YT]

          Still, even then, this isn't exactly solid evidence. And it's not much to go on.



          -Then there's what happens to the OTHER returning character.

          The twist itself that Newt's mind has been invaded and he became a puppet for the Precursors as a result of him drifting with the kaiju tissue from the first movie...didn't land as a twist because I knew it was coming...

          Because that twist got spoiled during the pre-release interviews...as far back as the months AFTER THE FIRST MOVIE WAS RELEASED.

          What's especially suspicious is this quote from Day:

          Originally posted by Charlie Day
          “I remember when I first met with him that he liked the idea of Newt becoming a bit of a villain in the second film...But, I think over the course of making the film, and the way the character resonated with the audience, I don’t think he would want to turn him into a villain now, but I really have no idea.
          There's two ways to interpret this quote:

          1. This was just Day's own personal speculation on how he felt the direction his character would go.

          2. Or his interpretation of what Del Toro wanted to take his character.

          If the former, well, it could be that plot thread got left in because "Del Toro wanted it in the sequel, so we gotta honor his creative vision". If the latter, AKA Del Toro realized this was a bad idea and cut that out from drafts of the scripts. That doesn't speak well of the production team under DeKnight doing keeping something that even Del Toro thought was bad.

          I feel...conflicted at this twist. On the one hand, the set-up and reveal was very well done. Making us think it was Shao that was behind Obsidian Fury's, but it turning out to be Newt. And the surprise and shock that comes from a returning character turning traitor on humanity.

          It works on paper. The problem is the larger context.

          Newt as the final villain is...silly. The wormy, nerdy guy, who could barely hold it together...is the one attempting to bring about humanity's downfall? Please. Like, I know the joke about nerds taking over the world is a thing...but this takes things too far. Yes, it could be argued that this could be a callback to the camp of the more sillier kaiju and mecha media...but it feels out of place in this movie.

          Then there's how, of the 3 returning characters, Mako and Newt are by far the most popular and memorable. And the movie rewards the fans of the first movie...by killing off one of them and turning the other into an antagonist. It doesn't go well.


          So yeah. Not a great way to use returning characters, and it's completely understandable why fans of the first movie would be pissed.

          -The first act is...odd.

          The whole conceit about Obsidian Fury being a rogue, remotely controlled Jaeger and how finding and stopping it just being...out of place. The commentary on drone warfare is cliche and random. While it is a natural extension of the development of the setting and world, it doesn't belong. Although what especially is jarring is the actual point of it is to the plot. That this, and the other Shao drone Jaegers, are to explain how the Breaches get opened again to let the kaiju back through...

          ...even though this explanation feels a lot more contrived. Really, what was wrong with it JUST being the Precursors had figured out how to re-open the Breaches themselves?


          -Yes,
          Gundam
          easter egg was a cute touch.

          --------------------------------------------

          So yeah. Movie's a mixed bag. To me, the troubled development and the smaller budget of this movie shows...and considering the first Pacific Rim, while having its charm, it was no masterpiece. Meaning it was inevitable that this movie would only disappoint.

          But if I was honest, I think I like this movie more because of the more human and personal story at the center of it puts it above the first movie...but barely.

          I'm glad this movie exists considering the hell it went through...I just wish it was a better movie.
          Last edited by tasti man LH; 03-27-2018, 06:49 PM.

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          • Right then. Saw Ready Player One.

            It's...better then the book. Doesn't really make it a GOOD movie just...kind of ok.

            It either removes or heavily revises the worst parts of the book (Wade's worst character traits). It has a much tighter focus (instead of being about Halliday's geeky obsessions, it's now about a man's regrets in life and pushing away reality for virtual fantasy). And yes, there are some impressive CG action scenes and spectacle.

            Still, there's the feeling that by stripping away the absolutely bad parts and if you took away the CG spectacle the story is now just...kind of dull. That you're left with just *a* action-adventure movie, but not much else.

            Of course the pop culture references are different since instead of having pages devoted to describing the reference it just shows it...mostly. I'd say that the references are slightly to a lesser extent in the book...but it's hard to say. It's not really better or worse, it's just different.

            That said, much of the same issues for using references like in the book are still present. Moreso here because it's being backed by a big studio like Warner Bros. For instance, the mass abundance of DC superheroes present...and yet not a single Marvel superhero to be found. Xbox exclusive game characters like the Spartans from Halo or Battletoads...but still not a single Nintendo character or reference aside from the one-off Mario Kart line.

            In the world that the movie presents as being one where any person who gave a shit about any sort of pop culture media can be anyone, any absence is going to raise eyebrows. All it does is that it's going to break immersion on the story to have these things missing.

            Yes it's impossible to get every license ever for a movie, even with Spielberg's influence...Which just lends a point to how making a movie like this is an immensely bad idea.

            And of course being hypocritical that the narrative boils down to being about fighting against an evil tyrannical corporation...and yet the corporate studio that's backing this movie is plugging their exclusive properties as much as possible.

            Kind of interesting since Ernest Cline was one of the screenwriters for this. So either a.) he's receptive to the criticisms against his book and used this movie to address them b.) he just flat out became a better writer between 2011 and 2018 or c.) his co-writer Zak Penn and/or the WB studio execs reigned him in from indulging in his...worse writing habits.

            As for that infamous "Only a true fanboy knows a hater" line...honestly, in context it flies by so fast that I only realized that it was there a minute after that scene had ended. It's a cringey line on its own, but rather inconsequential in the larger picture.

            So with this movie, I'd say only see it...if you and your friends/family just want to go to the movies and you've already seen every other movie that's out in theaters right now and just want to watch something else.

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            • A Quiet Place

              Always a fan of minimalist story-telling done right. Especially in a visual medium like film.

              Where most of the story taking place with minimal dialogue, with everything being expressed in the character's facial expression and body language. The audio design overall is excellent: the mix of silence, ambient noise, loud sound effects, and sparing use of the score to create an atmosphere of tension and paranoia. All to create a world where the world has ended, and the planet has been taken over by monsters who hunt their prey via sound.

              Excellent movie, check it out.

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              • I just saw the movie '' The man from Earth and i absolutely loved it. Its giving me idea for maybe an immortal game (maybe i'll bluebook it). There isnt much action but the dialogue is top notch. I've always been rather fond of philosophical and historical discussions. I've prepared to watch the sequel ''The Man From Earth: Holocene'' but i've heard it isnt as good.


                Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les Légendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.

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                • Avengers: Infinity War was so, SO GOOD.

                  There were adults weeping in the theater. And clapping. And weeping.

                  I loved it. Thank you, Marvel.


                  "Steel isn't strong, boy. Flesh is stronger."

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                  • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                    I just saw the movie '' The man from Earth and i absolutely loved it. Its giving me idea for maybe an immortal game (maybe i'll bluebook it). There isnt much action but the dialogue is top notch. I've always been rather fond of philosophical and historical discussions. I've prepared to watch the sequel ''The Man From Earth: Holocene'' but i've heard it isnt as good.
                    I love The Man From Earth! I saw it years ago and showed it everyone I know! I have the sequel but I've yet to watch it. I was surprised to see they did a sequel to it...


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                    • Originally posted by Mr Gone View Post

                      I love The Man From Earth! I saw it years ago and showed it everyone I know! I have the sequel but I've yet to watch it. I was surprised to see they did a sequel to it...

                      I finally watched the sequel a few days ago actually.
                      It's definitively not as good as the first one (few sequels are in the end), but it was still a very interesting watch.
                      This time John is talking to students instead of colleagues and it does affect the discussion. (both in good and bad ways in my opinion).
                      I wont say more since i am adverse to revealing spoilers.
                      Hope you enjoy it


                      Completed campaign: Scion 2nd Edition. Les Légendes Currently playing: Being a dad for a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.

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                      • Originally posted by Maitrecorbo View Post
                        I finally watched the sequel a few days ago actually.
                        It's definitively not as good as the first one (few sequels are in the end), but it was still a very interesting watch.
                        This time John is talking to students instead of colleagues and it does affect the discussion. (both in good and bad ways in my opinion).
                        I wont say more since i am adverse to revealing spoilers.
                        Hope you enjoy it
                        Ah, cool. Glad to hear you liked it for the most part. I'd hoped it'd be interesting if nothing else...and sounds like it is. Can't wait to check it out.


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                        • Avengers was awesome. Hearing people laugh at the theatre is not weird, but hearing them gasp and cry is not something that happens often and it's proof of the movie and MCU's accomplishments.

                          I expected it to end like that, but there's a certain moment where I also felt it strike my guts. Great.

                          Thanos is a bit different from the source, but he's still good, if not exactly the one I'm used to. I hope we get more of his background in the future


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                          • Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                            Avengers was awesome. Hearing people laugh at the theatre is not weird, but hearing them gasp and cry is not something that happens often and it's proof of the movie and MCU's accomplishments.

                            I expected it to end like that, but there's a certain moment where I also felt it strike my guts. Great.

                            Thanos is a bit different from the source, but he's still good, if not exactly the one I'm used to. I hope we get more of his background in the future
                            Yea, it was great. And even though I was sure some of the stuff was going to happen, how it happened and who it happened to still shocked me.

                            It's going to be a looooong wait till next year for Avengers 4.


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                            • So. Just watched Avengers: Infinity War.

                              Short version: Whoa.

                              Long Version:
                              GULDURNIT THEY EMPIRE STRIKES BACK'D US

                              10/10 Would be cliffhanger'd again.


                              I'm feeling bluuuueeeee~

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                              • Originally posted by Prometheus878 View Post
                                So. Just watched Avengers: Infinity War.

                                Short version: Whoa.

                                Long Version:
                                GULDURNIT THEY EMPIRE STRIKES BACK'D US

                                10/10 Would be cliffhanger'd again.
                                I need to avoid spoilers until Friday. These are truly trying times.


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