Tag: DCU

Brainiac On Banjo #107: This Is It! The Knight of Knights!

Brainiac On Banjo #107: This Is It! The Knight of Knights!

“Overture, curtains, lights / This is it, the night of nights / No more rehearsing and nursing a part / We know every part by heart / Overture, curtains, lights / This is it, you’ll hit the heights / And oh what heights we’ll hit / On with the show this is it / Tonight what heights we’ll hit / On with the show this is it.” This Is It, Theme from The Bugs Bunny Show, 1960, by Jerry Livingston and Mack David

Oh, boy! Those of you who have been waiting with bated breath to see Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie can thank your lucky stars for the Covid quarantine. Otherwise, it might be difficult to find 242 consecutive minutes to watch the thing uninterrupted… although your bladder might have other ideas.

In the spirit of that observation, the question is “Is Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie worth the additional bladder control?

Snyder: No, really! Look! Up in the sky!

You might have seen this production by now. Seeing that I’m writing this yesterday and I was Covided out of any screening, I have not. I probably will – for several nonsensical reasons. First is that I like Darkseid and even the mandatory guest appearance of the Joker doesn’t countermand that. Second, someday I’ll see humans once again and I like offering an informed opinion. Third, I remind myself that even in the worst possible case I do slow down at Gaper’s Blocks to see the accident that has reduced my life to still another challenge of bladder control.

I have read several reviews from those who were so committed to their jobs they risked life and limb to see a screening. I figure that’s the least I can do. I know it’s the least I’m going to do. Many note that this movie follows nicely in Snyder’s DC chain of duels, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Well, that’s nice but in my book, it’s hardly a compliment. There are things I like about Man of Steel, but neither are good movies according to my personal taste. I came to the opinion after watching Watchmen – also directed by Zack Snyder – that superhero movies are best directed by people who seem to enjoy the superhero milieu.

This is the man who, after making Watchmen, said “if Superman really existed, he’d grab all the world leaders together in a room and say, ‘Behave or I’ll kill you.’” Yup, Zack misses the point of the whole thing.

I have read even more reviews that state, quite early on, this is a movie superior to the version that escaped to the theaters a few years ago. Again, to me, this is not praise. Offhand, I can only think of two movies I’ve seen that are worse than Justice League – The Release Cut, and those are Skidoo and Myra Breckenridge.

Please note I did not say Plan Nine From Outer Space. That was a more enjoyable experience than Justice League – The Release Cut. Not only did I want my money back, but I also wanted them to pay me for my time, my gasoline, and my popcorn. To be fair, the popcorn was far better than this insult to my DNA.

By and large, those reviewers who did not compare Snyder’s marathon to its disgusting predecessor thought the movie to be… okay. Not great, not horrible. “Okay” is a word commonly used in summing up many of the DCU films of the past decade or so.

I am concerned that Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah was deployed as a theme song within the film. Yeah, that’s gotta be the feel-good tune of the 20th century. Perhaps suicide hotlines should be alerted for a potential upsurge in business.

OK. Now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I’m ready to see Zack Snyder’s “version” of the “original” Justice League movie with a propped-open mind. If it’s at least as good as the 1997 movie, I’ll be… vaguely content. As Mel Brooks sang, “Hope for the best…”

Working Title #003:  The Mandela Universes

Working Title #003: The Mandela Universes

Reality is a pretty strange place.

We like to think of it as solid, dependable, unchanging. . . “real”. It’s funkier than that. An electron evidently can be in two places at the same time. They are both particles and waves. (Flip floppers! Pick one or the other and be it, sez I!) Let’s not get started with string theory.

And then you have the Mandela Effect.

There is a phenomenon where some people collectively misremember certain things. Its name comes from Nelson Mandela. Some people absolutely remember that he died in prison in South Africa in the Eighties. The more sane among us remember that he died in 2013.

There are other examples – is it “Sex in the City” or “Sex and the City”? Is your bologna’s name Oscar Meyer” or “Oscar Mayer”? When you were a kid did you read “The Berenstain Bears” or “The Berenstein Bears”? True or false – in the movie Casablanca Rick says, “Play it again, Sam.” Does Kit Kat have a dash? Is the dash in Coca Cola a hyphen or a tilde?

Maybe they’re all electrons.

There are all kinds of explanations people have formulated to explain this. Some follow along the concept of The Matrix and we’re all in a computer that occasionally has a hiccup (maybe an electron being in two places at the same time).

One theory uses the concept of alternate universes and that we “slide” between the two (or more). The universes are enough alike so that we don’t really notice it except for these minor changes. It sounds weird EXCEPT that the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society MAY have some evidence. There’s a “cold spot” in the universe where the radiation spewed by the formation of the Universe occurred back in the Big Bang. No, I don’t understand it but that’s what they say BUT they can‘t really explain it. It shouldn’t be there and nothing drives scientists more wiggy than having something that shouldn‘t exist actually exist and they can’t rationalize it. One possible explanation (not the official one just yet) is that another “bubble universe” bounced off ours (or we bounced off them – whatever). If that were so, it would prove the existence of alternate universes of which there is an infinite number.

Of course, those of us who are geeks already know all this. Star Trek, for example, long ago discovered the Mirror Universe. And alternate universes are a stock in trade in the comics. If you lived on Earth One in the DC Universe, your reality will have changed a gazillion times. The folks at Marvel claim they have never done a real re-boot of their universe (at least they used to) but I remember issues of the Fantastic Four where they met JFK and later President Johnson. Marvel just doesn’t refer to those anymore; they aren’t part of the official canon. Mandela Effect.

Me – I’d be happy to be in one of those alt universes. If I can pick, I’d like the one where Al Gore won the presidency. The events of 9/11 might still have occurred but I don’t believe Gore would have gotten us into the Iraq War. And I think he would have taken steps to solve climate change while there was still time to do it. And, needless to say, no President Cheeto. He would never have won the Electron. . .sorry, Electoral. . . College.

Sigh.

DC and Marvel are inherently Mandela Universes. If you lived in either of them you would, on a regular basis

Brainiac On Banjo #013: This Joke’s On Us

Brainiac On Banjo #013: This Joke’s On Us

Perhaps the most often-asked question by superhero movie fans is “Why do most of the DC movies suck?”

The “most” part is about the one truly great DCU movie made during the past decade, Wonder Woman. Thus, every time I reference the DCU movies I’m excluding Wonder Woman. Oh, and the Lego Batman Movie, which, in my opinion, is the best Batman movie ever.

These movies have been very disappointing for DC fans. After all, Marvel Studios keeps on knocking them out and knocking them out of the park. My enthusiasm for their upcoming Captain Marvel movie is quite strong. My enthusiasm for DC’s upcoming Aquaman movie is hidden behind a humongous growth in my cynicism gland.

Don’t get me wrong. Every time Warner Bros. is about to release a new DC movie (and, for the record, I am not referring to their direct-to-home video features) I hope for the best. And, with a few significant exceptions I am almost always disappointed. For example (WARNING: NAME-DROPPING ALERT!), at the World Premiere of Suicide Squad I sat between John Ostrander and Jim Lee. John created the version of the Squad that was seen on the screen, is a Pop Culture Squad columnist, and remains my oldest living friend. Jim is among the very best artists around. He was elevated to the position of DC’s co-publisher and chief operating officer. I’m a big fan of his – at one point much earlier in his career, DC’s e-i-c Dick Giordano and I (at the time, First Comics’ e-i-c) were discussing the idea of a Batman / Jon Sable crossover written by Mike Grell and drawn by Jim Lee. That project remains very, very high on my lengthy “I’m still pissed that these projects never happened” list.

At the end of the Squad flick, Jim asked me what I thought. My response: “I liked it a lot, compared with Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice.” Talk about damning with faint praise. I mentioned several scenes I really liked – and still do. I enjoyed about half of the movie, maybe a bit more. But, jeez louise, I’d still put nearly all of the Marvel Studios movies ahead of it, were I destined to be washed-up on that fabled desert island that somehow has electricity.  Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #013: This Joke’s On Us”

Ruby Rose to Play CW’s Batwoman

Ruby Rose to Play CW’s Batwoman

 

Ruby Rose, probably best known for her role on Orange Is The New Black, is having a good week.  Her latest movie, The Meg, opens Friday and it was announced to day she’ll be donning the cowl as Batwoman for next season’s DCTV crossover event. A Batwoman TV series in development for the 2019-20 season.

Ruby has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBT+ community and identifies as gender-fluid. Batwoman is an openly gay super-heroine and it is being reported that production will not shy away from her sexuality.

We’ll call this a big win for representation.

DC Universe on Twitter: “We’re so excited to share more with you tomorrow! Stay tuned!!! #DCUniverse… “

DC Universe on Twitter: “We’re so excited to share more with you tomorrow! Stay tuned!!! #DCUniverse… “

DC announced on Twitter today that they’ll be announcing the details of their streaming service tomorrow. Unless they’re going to tell us they’ve secretly made 5 more seasons of Young Justice, expectations may be tempered. Now we wait and see…