Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Comic Chaos

Okay, my Twitter and Facebook feeds just exploded with the recent announcement that Ben Affleck will be playing Bruce Wayne/Batman in the sequel to Man of Steel.

Anyone who’s ever seen Daredevil will automatically cringe at this decision — I know I did. When I started thinking about it, Affleck was not the problem with that movie, it was the screenplay. Think about it, both Matt Murdock and Electra have secret identities to cover up the fact that they are supreme martial artists. So how do they flirt? Overblown kung-fu fight, in a playground…in broad daylight. If you’re unfamiliar with Daredevil’s mundane side, he’s an attorney. And he’s blind.

So, yeah, the writing can screw the pooch. That to me is more fundamental than the casting. Ben Affleck is not a great actor, but this could be a workable role for him. More importantly, he’s actually a very good director, so if they let him behind the lens once in a while, that might make the film better. It still comes down to the script, and frankly, I’m a little worried. Man of Steel was a klooge. A good film visually, but if you knew anything about Kal-El/Clark Kent, you’d be left scratching your head. Logical decisions in the film aside (seriously, why terraform a planet that can already support your species AND give them superpowers?), the attempt to grimdark Superman was without a doubt one of the worst decisions made in super hero film history. DC has a grim dark superhero and he was played until recently by Christian Bale. In fact The Dark Knight Rises ended with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character being given the keys to the Bat Cave. Why not make him Batman in MoS 2?

Frankly, this all points to a greater, more systemic problem with DC, which has been shooting itself in both feet and walking the fire up its legs. They’ve made a number of dumb decisions since the reboot of their comic lines, ran a rigged Neilsen survey to cater to the results they wanted, and have been trying to make a product for the 18-24 year old male demographic ever since. At least that’s how it all looks in terms of PR. They’ve greenlighted a Justice League film, along with a Flash film, but have said squat about a Wonder Woman film. One rumor says DC was against it because the character’s back story is “too complex.” Meanwhile, as part of Marvel’s “Phase 2” we’re getting Guardians of the Galaxy which features a raccoon with a machine-gun. Based on the clamor in Hall H at the San Diego Comic Con, I’d say a lot of fans are buying into this.

Personally, I can’t help wondering if DC just gave up fighting the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). They’re making a late attempt at a continuity similar to the MCU, but there’s no drive. It feels half-assed, as if they’re just throwing things together in the hopes of riding the trend of superhero movies and making a little money on the side. That bothers me, because I’d love to see those characters on the screen as well.

I just want the films to do them justice.

Losing My Way or If I Had A Hammer

I’m in my hotel, chilling after Day Zero of GenCon. It took about six hours and change to get here, and my car — The Silver Nemesis — performed in fine fashion. At one point, I couldn’t help gunning the engine just to see how it would feel. Took it to 90 for about thirty seconds, and I think the Nemesis enjoyed it.

However along the way I found I had…issues with navigation…

We are evolved. We use tools. When we have the right tool for the job, we get magnificent results. Sometimes we don’t have that perfect tool, so we make do. We use a flat head screwdriver in place of a philips head, a business card in lieu of dental floss. We’re humans. We’re weird like that.

In getting from Point A to Point B, the GPS is the Perfect Tool. I don’t have one. My smartphone (the model of which begins with a vowel) had an app that accesses Google Maps. It could plot me a course and segment it into waypoints, zooming the map in and out as appropriate. As an IT geek, I like this approach, as it breaks a long journey down into smaller steps (a top-down approach).

Then OS version 6 came about, and with it Apple’s bizarre decision to drop Google Maps and supply their own. Now, there’s been some kerfluffle about how wildly inaccurate Apple’s app is, to the point where Apple publicly apologized and told people to use something else. I didn’t know how bad it was until I tried using it during my trip to South Windsor. The damn thing was off by ten miles and on the wrong side of a bloody river. Meanwhile, the new Google App got me right up to the gate.

However…

The Google App no longer has the funcitonality I talked about earlier. Instead it behaves more as an actual GPS. The problem is it’s perplexing as hell, and if you drop out of GPS mode, you can’t get back in. What’s really irksome isn’t a fault of the app but the hardware. They’re not the most accurate of location devices. Maybe it’s because they talk to multiple cell towers as opposed to a single satellite, I dunno. In the end, the Google App kept putting me on a side street, which ended causing the app to constantly recalculate my course. It was a mess.

Oddly enough the Apple Maps app has been able to get me from the hotel to the convention center and back again without issues.

So, I wonder if I’m in a Lady or the Tiger situation. Do I go with the app that has the interface Ilke but could send me to the moon, or do I go with the app that’s accurate but throws “user friendly” out the window.

Or maybe I should consider a cheap GPS to keep me from getting lost.

Or maybe I should try Hari Krishna. (sorry old Muppet joke)