Monday, March 28, 2016

More on DC based Audio Dramas, The Superman we needed

I did a post on DC based Audio Dramas before, this is a follow up.

The other Batman project from the same people was The Lazarus Syndrome, which was good but nothing special.

For Superman, the first project was actually the Trial of Superman which I didn't like.

But The Adventures of Superman, was an adaptation of all but 1 issue of Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries (everything but the Batman/Magpie story) and the first two issues of Byrne's monthly Superman run.

It is awesome, it has all the same actors as the Death and Return adaptation for characters that are in both.  I have my issues with Man of Steel's dystopic depiction of Krypton, but this adaptation was awesome.

It told Superman's origin well, and established a CEO Lex Luthor, and had Superman battle two super powered enemies.  And clocked in at just about exactly a 2 hour run-time.

Basically, that is the Superman Reboot movie I wanted in 2006, if we'd gotten that a year after Begins then a modern Superman could have gone side by side with a modern Batman.  And Maybe just maybe there could have been a counterbalance to Nolan's clout opposing doing a shared universe.  The Dark Knight would have been the same but Rises may have gone differently.  And after solo trilogies we could have gotten the World's Finest film I wanted.

Instead we got nothing, there was no Superman film to go alongside the Batman revival.

And the thing is this Audio Drama is a half hour shorter then a certain unnamed 2006 movie, and yet more happened in it.

By the time we did get a Superman reboot the comics had changed, his origin had been revamped a few more times, none for the better in my opinion.  The time had passed for the Superman I love to get a film treatment.  I like the Man of Steel movie, but it's not the ideal.

Instead of getting the Superman we needed, we got the Superman we deserved.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Processing Batman V Superman

If I were a prideful person the last thing I'd do is possibly retract a glowing review of a film within 2 days of posting it.

Everything I said I loved in that initial review I still love, the issue is the things I was kind of in denial of.

First thing I should mention is because of my local theater's new pick the seat when you buy the ticket policy I wound up with no choice but to watch in the second row, and it was the Ultra Screen, and 3D which I've never had a problem with before but never been up front before.  I honestly think that hindered my ablity to enjoy the show somewhat, but I saw The Dark Knight in the first row of the same theater and that was no problem.

For the last year or two I've made a big deal out of the fact that my expectations of movies have never been wrong.  My opinion may be inconsistent with popular opinion but I'd never disliked a movie I thought I would love.  So maybe I didn't want to admit that that undefeated streak had been broken.  I wanted to leave this film proclaiming it to have beaten The Force Awakens, and that I couldn't do even yesterday.

There are different ways to criticize this movie.   And if you're someone who hated Man of Steel then your criticisms of it's sequel are useless, you should just not see the sequel if you didn't like the first.

There are two kinds of criticisms of Man of Steel, there are the film making and writing criticisms a professional film critic would make.  And while I find those far more understandable here then with many other films I've liked that the critics didn't (Like the Star Wars Prequels), I still see them are far from deal breaking, there is no doubt this film was a beautiful piece of art with some phenomenal acting.

Spoilers Ahead!!!

Then there are the criticisms a fan would have, Comic fans who have many things they both absolutely did and absolutely did not want to see recreated.  And my fellow SJWs who care about representation and stereotyping issues.  There is a lot to understandably hate about this movie.  But some things to like too.

As a Man of Steel fan I've never proclaimed it the ideal Superman movie, I'll make a post in the near future that will give an idea of what the ideal would be to me.  My hope for this sequel had always been that it would take us in the direction of the Superman I love, and what we got of that was a mixed bag at best.

As far as my personal Fanon/Headcanon is concerned Jenny is the Jimmy Olsen of this universe no matter what Snyder says.

I somewhat controversially said I do not have a problem with including Doomsday and not killing Superman.  And I even could have been ok with doing the Death of Superman this soon.  But this execution was mixed.  Two of the things I liked about how the Comics did it was that it didn't involve Krytponite and was absolutely not Luther's doing.  But I did like how it made me think of the Spear of Longinus.

The Fan Boy Perspective is pretty much expecting the coming R Rated version to be better.  There is little chance I will wind up feeling that way.  I wanted a film that was Dark but not a seeming full on rejection of the lighter side of the DC universe, and it is largely in that desire that I'm disappointed.

I was really bothered when Jena Malone (it'd leaked that she was Barbara Gordon) didn't appear in the film.  And if the "uncut" version has her appear in only one scene where she's crippled and ambiguously raped, I will frakking hate that version with a passion, whether it has been in theaters or now.

I'm ok with The Killing Joke moment being part of her history ONLY if it gives us Oracle, without Oracle it is useless fridgeing and nothing more.  And that is part of why the New52 canon bothers me.

The complaints people at the Mary Sue have I also consider valid.  When they're getting into what their site is about and not just vaguely saying it was "unpleasant".

I will still reject any sense of blaming the problems on the Shared Universe concept or "catching up to Marvel".

There is this notion that just because something does serve as set up for future movies means it's clearly irrelevant to that movie as a stand alone piece.  In art there is more to it then just what at face value advances the plot.  All of my favorite completely self contained Animes like Utena and Evangleion have lots of moments that are plot/story/character irrelevant but absolutely needed.  I love Iron Man 2 exactly how it is and honestly think it would be less of a coherent work without it's crossover elements.  Same with The Amazing Spiderman 2.

So how is all that Justice League set up relevant to this as a stand alone film?  Maybe because it's making Superman a Messianic archetype and now his Disciples are going to make more disciples.  His legacy will live on.

But I also must admit despite my denials that this movie wasn't their original plan.  A shared universe was Warner's plan I don't doubt, but I fear Batman was thrown into this particular film when MOS under performed.

Seeing Bruce's parents killed again is not redoing the origin.  Begins is still the only Batman origin story.  I do feel every version of the Batman mythos needs it's own version of that defining moment.  And the connection between Batman and Superman begins with how they are both orphans in different ways.

And last but not least I wanted Superman to win the title fight.  Even though I'm more of a Batman fan overall I did not want the expected DKR outcome again.  I guess what I like about how they made peace wouldn't work if Superman had won, but still.

And that just reminds me why I initial opposed a Vs film in the first place.  What I wanted was The World's Finest, or Dark Knight over Metropolis.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was Awesome

The critics can go screw themselves.

I'll admit I had some reservations early on, but it quickly buried all of those.

Batman was great, but Superman was the best.  I loved Lex and Gal Gadot was awesome.

Spoilers Ahead!!!!

Ezra Miller's Cameo totally made my think of Crisis on Infinite Earths, it as awesome.

I'd noticed before how Bruce and Clark's mothers had the same name, I love that they played that up in this, it was beautiful.

I'd observed before how that iconic image of Lois holding Superman's body after he died was kinda like classic depicting of Mary holding Jesus at the foot of the Cross.  They totally played that up here, made it look exactly like Jesus taken down from the Cross.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pokemon Color Names, Tolkien and Hebrew word play

As a long time Pokemon fan, I've often thought of writing as a fanfic my own adaptions of the first generation games, maybe the second also.  One more faithful then any of the Anime or Manga we've had thus far.  But with some details that homage other adaptations.

The thing that bugs me is what to do with the names of the characters the player names.  I don't want to repeat the main Anime's names, but the idea of literally naming characters Red, Green and Blue is too weird.

Then one day it hit me, as a Christian who likes studying The Bible including the Greek and Hebrew, "what about the Hebrew words for those colors?"  And it so happens that the Hebrew words for Red and Green are grammatically masculine while Blue is feminine, fitting how those characters are named in Japan's Manga.

Red is strong number 119, and the names Adam and Edom are both forms of it.

Green is Yereq, strong number 3418.  Based on how other Hebrew words get transliterated when they become names, I could see that becoming Jerek.  Which could serve as a pun on Jerk, which fits for the rival.

Blue is strong number 8508, Tkeleth or Tekaleth or Tekhelet.  Blue/Leaf is of course my personal favorite playable character.

Gold is Zahab (2091) or Dhab in Aramaic (1722).  Also grammatically masculine.

Silver is Keceph or Kehsef, strong number 3701.  Also masculine.

Crystal appears in the KJV twice, different words in the Hebrew, neither is probably identical to what we mean when we say Crystal.  The word in Ezekiel 1:22 is actually a word for Ice/Frost.  Job 28:17 uses Strong number 2137, Zekukith, which is feminine.

And after that the characters stopped being named after the games themselves.  Still it's interesting to note that the titles of the third generation games can probably all be correlated to the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest, in Exodus 28:17-20.  Same with the names of the for Shitennou of Sailor Moon.

After that the gender correlations stop anyway.  Dawn for example I already know from important past studies of mine is masculine in Hebrew.  I could make a feminine version of a male name easily (just add a Heh or Teth at the end) but I'd rather if I did something like that use words the Masoretic Text actually used.

On the subject of combining my Nerdiness with my love of Hebrew.  Let's take a look at Tolkien's unfinished The Lost Road.

The premise involved several father-son pairs who's names all had the same meaning.  The father being Bliss-Friend (though the word for Bliss often being a name for a mythological paradise) and the son being Elf-Friend.  Culminating in Amandil and Elendil of the Akallabeth.  The thought naturally entered my mind of what the Hebrew versions of those would be.

For "friend" I could use Rea, strong number 7462, (or Reah, 7464, it's feminine form if I wanted to change the gender roles).  Or Merea, strong number 4828, which comes from Rea.  Reu is a Hebrew name that comes from Rea, he was the son of Peleg and ancestor of Abraham.  And also the name Reuel/Raguel which means "friend of God", the equivalent to the Greek Theophilos.

For the father's name I'd use Eden, Eden does mean "delight" and "pleasure", and Tolkien clearly intended Aman to be the Eden of his cosmology in a sense.  In fact I don't think it's a coincidence Aman has the same meaning as Eden, Tolkien probably knew what Eden meant.

Thing is there is no Hebrew word for Elf, of course Elf is transliterated rather then translated in all the names used in The Lost Road.  But in Hebrew Elf will inevitably look like a theophoric name.  But there are other words that begin with Aleph-Lamed, like the Hebrew words for Oak.  Or you could begin it with Ayin rather then Aleph, like with Eden and Elown.

The precedent of Reuel also tells me which root goes first would be switched.  Which would make Reueden for the father's name, and Reuelf, Reualf or Realf for the son.

For the sake of reference I'll state that the Greek names wold be Makarphilos (from Makaron Nesoi, the Isles of the Blessed in Hesiod) and Ælphilos, Alphilos or Elphilos.

Kenneth is Charlotte's biological father

He knew about Jessica's affair with Peter Hastings and decided to get revenge by sleeping with her twin sister.

Monday, March 21, 2016

My story The Piano Maidens is now online

I have now made my story The Piano Maidens available online for free.

If you like it even mildly I ask you to still buy the Anthology, Tales of The Shadowmen Volume 12, to show support for BlackCoatPress, they are doing very important work and not yet had nearly the success they deserve.  

I’m planning to write more stories with these characters in the future, any constructive criticism I wold greatly appreciate.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Batman Bad Blood animated movie

I watched the Batman Bad Blood direct to DVD animated movie this last week.

Of this Damien Wayne series I liked this one the best by far.  It still bums me out that this depiction of the Bat Family is ignoring Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake.  But in this I'm glad we're finally getting a Bat Family that is more then just Batman and Robins.

I have not followed the era of the comics being depicted here.  I get a general vibe that this one is following the comics less closely then the previous two, and I guess it says something about the post Infinite Crisis comics that that seems to have been for the better.

What I liked most is Kate Kane.  I can't really judge how faithful this was to the comics, but I do know of her enough to expect certain things.  And I can say that this was a good introduction for the character to non comic readers.

She is a Lesbian in this, and they handled it well, they treated her love life like they would if she was straight.  Montoya was pretty good in her brief appearance.

I am starting to notice that this is the most in-depth Batman canon to not yet feature The Joker.  Is the planned Killing Joke movie going to be in the same continuity?

Friday, March 18, 2016

How my reactions to Trans representation on TV has changed

I'm a Cisgender heterosexual male.  So I never have nor will I ever be able to emotionally react to Trans representation on TV the way an actual Trans person would.  But still there is a change I've noticed in my perspective I'd like to share.

I've never been hostile to Trans representation.  I've never had trouble believing that situation is real.  Even my moderately socially conservative parents have never had trouble believing it.

But very recently, the extent of my potential to be emotionally bothered by offensive portrayals of Trans individuals in fiction has increased significantly.

I can't say the Caitlin Jenner story breaking changed my perspective on the issue at all, but it definitely increased how often it entered my mind.  And was a main inspiration for this post on my SolaScirptura blog, which I made coincidentally two days after season 6 of PLL started.

I think a major factor in what has changed my outlook is "Game Over Charles", the season 6a finale of PLL.  Both the content of the story itself which I felt was ultimately putting the blame on Transphobia.  And the controversy surrounding it, reading everything Heather Hogan has written about it.

I'm on record on this blog for one thing as saying how bothered I was by killing Charlotte off.

But perhaps a good example is the NCIS season one episode "Dead Man Talking".  I wasn't watching season 1 of NCIS when it first aired, but I know I'd seen all the closing episodes of Season 1 before PLL premiered, in fact I had seen all the first 5 seasons by when TVD started like a year earlier.

"Dead Man Talking" is an episode in which the killer winds up being a Transwoman.  She and Tony wind up making out, with him not knowing she is Trans.  She winds up dead.  And the implications are mostly played for laughs at Tony's expense.  No one really uses the correct terminology, not even Abby or Kate.  It's repeatedly stated that Tony kissed a dude.

When I first watched this episode, it didn't bother me.  I knew on an intellectual level it was problematic, but I was mostly indifferent to that.  And even laughed at the jokes.

It aired on TV again very recently, in the last few weeks.  I caught only the ending really.  And this time I was really bothered by it.  And felt bad about how I'd reacted to it originally.  And I thought of Charlotte DiLaurentis, and more importantly all the real life Trans Women who I'm sure saw it in 2004 and were deeply offended.

I'm not going to use this to defend PLL by saying "look how much worse it could be", that would be inappropriately dismissive.  Like saying it's invalid to be object to Gone with The Wind because it's not Birth of a Nation.

I'm sharing this experience, partly to apologies for not being more sensitive sooner.  And partly to offer hope, that minds are changing for the better on this issue.

And to any Trump voter who would call me a "pussy" for caring about this.  Who would think I'm being "politically correct" for not wanting to stereotype an entire group of people as being manipulative murders.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I'm not sold on this twist

It just feels meh.

It goes back to what I said in the last PLL post about the Twin thing.

I like Amoji though.

I'm not someone who always complained, I was happy with unmAsked and Game Over Charles from the start.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Only one episode of PLL season 6 left

I've enjoyed it, but I'm a little annoyed now.

Doing a Twin reveal now is stupid.  Charlotte was what you went with instead of the books Twin reveal.

This will be worth it only if it provides a way to have Charlotte not dead.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fear is the path to the Dark Side

I felt inspired to make this after watching the Debate, and then I worked hard on it.

"Fear is the path to the Dark Side of the Force"

The American people had valid legit reasons to fear where this country was going under the Clinton-Bush-Obama administration.

"Fear leads to Anger"

And so they got angry, rightfully at the establishment, and wrongly at those the establishment loves to scapegoat.

"Anger leads to hate"

And so they latched onto a charismatic hate-mongering Demagogue.

"and Hate leads to Suffering"

And now we all Suffer.