After enjoying the first year and a bit of fatherhood I feel I am ready to come back to the nerdy side of the blogging scene. Except rather than dividing my attentions across multiple sites all requiring a substantion time commitment and planning I am just going to focus on one.
But I am going to roll in my board games and game design stuff into this place to try and keep a steady stream of posts coming in. The other key change is that I’m going to be more lifestyle-y* about things. Writing from a more personal point of view and covering a wider range of posts than just reviews. So expect more opion pieces and hot takes on the latest goings on in the nerd and geeky sides of the internet. I also want to try and live up to the Nerd part of the blog’s name and go really indepth on the things I cover but we will see.
For now just bare with me while I try some new things out!
*This does not mean I will be baking Darlek themed cakes and modelling geek fashion because nobody wants to see a roundish man dressed as a discount Spider-Man. There are other, better, places for that. I’m just going to do me and ramble about stuff I like.
I try not to throw in with the public outpourings of grief when a person of note passes away but today the world of comic books has lost one of the greats. Darwyn Cooke is no longer with us and the world is a lesser place because of it.
If you are not familiar with Cooke’s work it has a beautiful, timeless quality to it. So full of life, colour and joy for what the medium can do. During his time in the industry he set a high bar for what comic book art can do. Every book with his name on is worth buying/reading from the modern age classic of New Frontier, to his work on the Watchmen prequel comics, to his character defining work on Catwoman. All of it is required reading.
So yeah, I think a large part of my weekend will be spent revisiting some of his best work. Incidentally ComiXology are running a sale on some of Cooke’s work for DC Comics so now is a good time to jump in and celebrate the work of one of the best artists to ever work in comic books.
No Men Beyond This Point is a pretty fun looking mockumentary that tracks an alternative history where men are dying out. What I really like is that it is rightfully poking fun at the notions of things like men’s rights activism. Painting a semi-nightmare scenario for those types where the few men that are left have restricted laws and rules placed upon them. It’s almost like the film is inverting traditional genre roles! (I am SHOCKED by this! 😛 )
You also of course get things like, if men aren’t in charge of the world suddenly all wars stop idea/joke. Society adapting and leaving men who refuse to change with it as outsiders. All that stuff looks like it in there. It’s a simple and fun concept for a film than can and probably will provoke some food for thought. All while it explores how society and relationship dynamics could change if such a thing actually happened. You know just like the majority of similar films.
However what will be interesting is if and how the angry man side of the internet reacts to this. I’m predicting them loudly claiming it to be a propaganda film that pushes the anti-male agenda or whatever bollocks wording they have for it these days. We will see…
Is it wrong that I’m excited for this?
There are the whitewashing concerns but the story of Ghost In The Shell could easily be transplanted onto any major city, if done right. It is all about the convergence of man and machine. As long as the key beats and characters are there (at least in essence) we could have an entertaining and thought provoking film. All you have to do is pick which tone you are going for: The pretentious anime one or the lighter but more conceptually deep manga.
Thankfully Scarlett Johansson looks the part as the Major and that’s not just my eternal love for her talking. It is very believable that in a future where people can put their minds into android bodies that Scarlett Johansson would be one of the many models you could choose from.
The online narrative around Batman V Superman is that it is the worst thing ever committed to film and that by watching it you are a terrible person. Like the worst. Especially if you found yourself enjoying it. If that happened then you need to revaluate your whole life and consider changing your name to something like Hitler. The film is just that bad you guys! In reality though it seems there is a disconnect between critical and fan reaction that I have not seen before.
The short-ish version is:
If you enjoyed Man of Steel, Batman V Superman is a good followup. It continues to expand the somewhat darker take on the DC characters that DC Cinematic Universe is building in a fun and very different way to the Marvel Studios movies and their slate of characters. Like Man of Steel it has a slower pace than other superhero movies and a lot of it is dedicated to building up the big conflict at the end of the movie. Ben Affleck makes a great Batman, Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is different in a good way (for me at least) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman steals the show in the brief appearances she makes in the movie. The film also does a good job of building out the DC Cinematic Universe in a couple of cool ways. It is far from perfect and it has its flaws like Man of Steel had but it is still a good and entertaining movie.
Personally I really enjoyed it and would say it is on par with the majority of Marvel’s movies. For me it is a case of the critics and reviews being overly harsh with a lot of them boiling down to “This isn’t the same as a Marvel movie so I don’t like it!”, “This is not how I personally perceive these long established characters to be or behave, therefore this film is a crime against nature!” or “I hate Zack Snyder and everything he stands for so I hate this movie by default!” There is also the typical regurgitation without thought of certain lines of thinking that seems to plague all discussion on the internet these days. So much so that you could make a bingo card and have some fun reading through the comments and reviews for Batman V Superman. (FYI: “Zack Snyder loves Ayn Rand!” is the free space.)
If you are interested in the characters or the concept of the film, go watch it and crucially, form your own opinions on it because it has been given a bad rap by many.