Unpopular Opinion: Incredibles 2 wasn’t worth the wait. (Spoiler Free)

Yeah… this was a major let down.

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Oh, bring it on!

I went to see it with my family the other night at a drive-in. My kids loved the original and watch it ad nauseam.  I admit it’s a fun movie and definitely an entertaining take on Superheroes.

I actually got a laugh out of Samuel L. Jackson’s character when he’s arguing with his wife…

“It’s for the greater good!”
“I am your wife, I’m the greatest GOOD you’ll ever get!”

(No matter how many times I hear that, it still gets a laugh.)

So the movie takes place seemingly immediately after the first movie… despite 14 years passing. When the screen lit up and the cast appears on the screen to pathetically apologize for taking so long to make a sequel, I admit that was funny. It set the stage for what should have been a good movie.

What came after was… underwhelming. The story was a fairly run-of-the-mill paint by numbers superhero story. The “Surprise” bad guy that Disney seems to try to unleash on their audience lately has become so predictable… I had to resist the urge to point at the screen and be like, (okay, okay, ONE small spoiler! Skip to the next paragraph.) “Yeah, she’s the bad guy.”

It’s not that it was a bad movie, it just didn’t bring anything new to the table. Not helping matters though, was the voice acting…

Some of it was fine, as usual, Samuel L Jackson was his normal self and did a good job, but the rest of the cast sounded tired and out of it… except for one character, who arguably was even worse than that…

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This character is being portrayed by a 49-year-old woman… and it really shows. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against older actors playing younger roles… as long as they can pull it off. At no point did I believe that was the voice of a teenager. She actually sounded older than Elastagirl, which was kind of cringy, to say the least.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy this movie at all. It’s fun for little kids, I suppose, but it really doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table. Save your money and rent it when it comes out.

Readers, what did you think? Was Incredibles 2 good? Do you want to see it? What did you like about it if so? Let me know down in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Marvel Comics Endsong…

Perhaps it’s time for Marvel to consider ceasing production of its comics. I think we’ve gotten to that point. They’ve pretty much proven that they don’t know what they’re doing anymore or they’ve taken on the disastrous business model of trying to appeal to extreme political ideologues who are too busy being offended by things to read comics.
I mean it’s bad enough that they keep altering their characters with no Rhyme or Reason or explanation in the name of diversity, but to then accuse all of their readers of being racist for not liking this, it’s just really telling of how out-of-touch these creators actually are. Now they’re even pulling a Paul feig and attacking the people who sell their comics with accusations of bigotry.

Diversity is and always will be a great thing, but that’s only if it’s actual diversity. Wiping one group of people off the pages to make way for another group is not diversity.

Example: Marvel did a run of the X-Men where the team was all women. That’s not diversity that’s gender segregation. Essentially they took a team that had characters from nearly every region on Earth, as well as a fairly balanced gender percentage, and made it less diverse in the name of diversity.

Stan Lee and Chris Claremont, both pain the idea to age out their old and create new ones to replace them as time went on and the need arose. This would have enabled Marvel to bring in far more characters from Minority backgrounds that they otherwise wouldn’t have. This would also have had a lot less people taking issue with it. Instead they took the disastrous approach of altering characters with no explanation other than it’s an alternate universe we can do what we want. Well you can to a point, but once you’ve reached the majority of your audiences suspension of disbelief, you’ve gone too far. What’s worse is that Marvel apparently doesn’t know how to write these characters. I’ve read some of the Iceman comics, and they are so stereotypical that I can’t imagine any homosexual person reading them wouldn’t be offended.

America Chavez has been openly criticized for being offensive in a stereotypical manner towards Latinos. So their efforts to become more diverse by throwing what they considered diversity in people’s faces, they’ve actually created archetypal stereotypes of actual characters, that could easily be compared to their respective representations version of black face.

The problem is that these writers do not treat these characters as people. They treat them as a means to promote an agenda. As a result though this may not be the intention, they’re not seen nor treated as people. Thus they are never viewed as equal in the eyes of the other characters or in the readers. 

This was not the case in the old comics. Yes they had their problems but for the most part every character was treated as a person. They were looked at as living breathing people first, and while they’re superficial traits were addressed they did not take Center Stage. Instead the focus was on telling a good story.
Marvel Comics has, for all intensive purposes lost this ability. Every single Marvel subscription that I have had through my local retailer, I have cancelled after a few comics for this reason. The story simply aren’t good, the politics is in your face and offensively preachy, and Marvel either doesn’t seem to care or doesn’t understand that. So while I think Marvel for seven decades of great stories, I think I’ll be sticking to independent comic books and in some cases DC for my reading material.
My only advice to Marvel going forward would be to keep the writers working on your Comics away from your Cinematic Universe. It is pretty much the only thing keeping you afloat at this point.

But that’s just my opinion, readers what do you think? Is it time for Marvel to cut ties with the comic book industry? Has their day in the Sun come and gone? Can they bounce back? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Wonder Woman: A Fitting Tribute

So I just saw Wonder Woman…

All right, let me start of by saying that I did not have high hopes for this movie…

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Hear me out!

The initial reviews of this movie that I saw came from Salon and The Mary Sue…

You know… these yellow journalists:

Back off, men—they’re scientists: New “Ghostbusters” trailer gets slimed by sexist trolls
The Ghostbusters Trailer Backlash Shows Men Believe in the Power of Representation (But Only When It Applies to Them)

Yeah… anything that they give a good review to usually has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially after the a for mentioned Ghostbusters reboot. Critics really can’t be taken all that seriously anymore.

Given all the controversy surrounding it, I was expecting this movie to be completely overrun with identity politics and social justice hypocrisy.

Then why did you go see it?

Well… because it’s Wonder Woman, she’s friggin’ boss! That’s why.

So what did I think of it? OH MY GOD, IT WAS AWESOME!!! The fighting was extremely well done, the history was very spot on, and the scenery was absolutely incredible.

The movie starts off in the mythical land of Themyscira, where Diana… is lives with the other Amazonian women in secret. She is trained to fight from a young age and  becomes the best warrior in all of the land. Her mother seriously wants to keep a secret from her, which we don’t find out about. Apparently the amazons were created to help herald peace and love, but as usual, humanity messes it up.

A pilot in a WW1 plane… rather randomly happens upon the island, crashing into the nearby water. He’s chased by… I believe a German destroyer and several boats. The amazons fight off the troops…

(Jury is still out on what happened to the destroyer… it kind of just vanished… It was listing pretty badly but… I dunno)

… and take the pilot prisoner. He eventually reveals that Germany is creating a new weapon to win the war before the armistice is signed. Diana sets sail with him, against her mother’s wishes, to aid in the fight. She absolutely believes that if she kills Aries, the war will end.

That’s about as much as I’m going to tell you about the plot… So let’s look at the gritty details:

Setting: This movie takes place in WW1 Europe, this is not a modern story, though the entire movie is a flashback thanks to a picture that Batman has delivered to Diana Prince. Very happy about this! Everything appears very accurate surrounding the war. The uniforms aren’t perfect and in some aspects look closer to WW2, but everything is in the right place. So no issue.

However… There are critics who rightly say that the movie should have taken place during WW2 as this is where the original story takes place. However I consider this a re-telling and if they want to start off in WW1, I’ll let that slide.

Casting: I love Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I know a lot of people didn’t like the idea of her having an accent, but if you think about it… Wonder Woman is amazonian, not American (at least not at first). Thus making her a little more exotic isn’t uncalled for.

Steve Trevor was also well-cast and the character is portrayed very well. It was nice to see that the people who wrote the movie really did their homework with many of the characters.

Story: What can I say, it’s awesome and there are definitely some twists and turns that are unexpected.

History:

Like I said, it’s portrayed pretty well. I a couple of articles  that talk about the accuracy of the women’s armor. The costumes for WW1 weren’t perfect, as I said, but they were close enough.

One other piece that I would like to mention… Dr. Maru’s face:

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I’ve heard some people complain about this and frankly, I don’t understand why. It may look cheap and kind of dumb… but again, it’s historically accurate. People who had severely disfiguring facial injuries did actually have coverings made for them:

So again, bravo to the movie. They got that one right.

The Villain: Aries, the God of War is the primary villain here. Wonder Woman believes that if she kills him, it’ll end the war, all war. However in a very well-written twist, Aries reveals that he isn’t starting the wars. He is simply putting the tools into humanities hands, helping them create new weapons. He may put the gun in their hands, but in the end, they’re the one pulling the trigger. This draws up the ethical question of just how responsible is Aries for all of the war and suffering?

So anything wrong with the movie that you want to point out?

Yes… as I said, I was worried about the insertion of identity politics into the movie, and I will grant you that there is some of that. The line ‘I wanted to be an actor, but I’m the wrong color’ feels kind of forced. The second line came from ‘the chief’ when he said that Steve Trevor’s people took everything from him. This one was a little bit more underplayed, but I think a little bit more explaining might have been in order.

That being said, it was two lines. I can live with that.

But Jim, what about the line where Diana says that men are good for procreation, but not so much for pleasure?

Meh. There’s an old saying that goes ‘no one loves you as much as your left hand.’ Put that into context, and Diana’s statement could go either way. So I chalk that up as a non-issue.

My only other issue is with the movie’s portrayal of the armistice. It’s really played up as a positive thing and the best chance that everyone has for peace… this is horribly inaccurate.

The armistice led to the Treaty of Versailles, which when placed into the context of the Franco-Prussian War and WW2, was little more than payback for the embarrassment that France suffered at the hands of Germany during the Franco Prussian War, and would be a prelude to WW2. The armistice, nigh the very end of WW1, was little more than a prelude to the reckoning that was soon to come.

Final Thoughts…

The movie was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who has not yet seen it.

In addition to that, Wonder Woman has, by virtue of existence, shown just how cancerous the far right and left political ideologues really are.

On the right, people complained about Gal Gadot’s casting, why?

  1. Because she was Israeli, not American-born.
  2. Because she was of Jewish descent.

Pretty bad right? However, the left didn’t treat her any better. In addition to body-shaming Wonder Woman out of the UN, the left objected to Gal Gadot’s casting because…

  1. She was too thin…
  2. She was cleanly shaven.

In addition, they complained about her outfit… despite being more conservative than other incarnations.

Finally, some theaters set up women-only viewings of the movie and people on the left mocked those who took issue with it… despite the fact that it was a violation of Constitution Civil Rights, something the Social Justice Left claims to fight for.

So without even really doing anything, Wonder Woman patriotically showed us how cancerous the right wing extremists, the religious fundamentalists, the regressive left, and the Social Justice Warriors actually are.

That alone makes her a hero in my book.

So in summation… forget the idiocy, forget the politics, go see the movie and have a good time. Wonder Woman is a hero for the ages and is someone both men and women of all walks of life and enjoy… and it was a major thrill to introduce my son to her!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

LOGAN: Wolverine 3

 

Oh God… you know, I get the impression that I will not be leaving this theater with dry cheeks… On one hand, its because this is Hugh Jackman’s last appearance as Wolverine. That alone is enough to make a respectable fanboy cry. This is a rare form for an actor as he has faithfully portrayed the character and gave the role his all, literally for the better part of 2 decades (well… 16 years, but who’s counting?)

Secondly because I’m pretty sure either Logan or Picard… ahem, I mean Professor X, or BOTH are going to die at the end of this movie… 😦

Plus given the tone, the hints… ‘She is like you, Logan. Very much like you.”

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(Gee… I wonder who she’s going to turn out to be…)
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Yeah… I think everyone picked up on that one pretty quickly.

Anyway… this movie looks amazing. It’ll be a tear-jerker, but amazing none the less.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Spider Gwen… is it good?

Let me just say that I had high hopes for this series. An alternate reality where Gwen gets bitten instead of Peter Parker. Peter dies and Gwen becomes spider… woman. The premise is great, the costume if awesome and the character is pretty good too. The end result is a series that literally flies off the shelves and rarer variants showing up on Ebay for 10x the face value.

So with all that said, what do I think of the book itself? Well let’s start off with quality…
First of all, maybe I’ve gotten spoiled by indie comics that put their all into their work, using the best of everything that they can get, but Marvel has gotten a little cheap lately. The paper and ink they use is admittedly not the greatest stuff in the world. So whenever handling one of their newer comics, try not to keep you fingers in the same place for too long… the ink will come off. Again, this isn’t a rail against Spider Gwen, just mass-produced comics in general.

As for Spider Gwen… well her costume is nice and the story premise is interesting. She’s gotten bit by a radio-active spider and now has all the powers Peter Parker had in the prime universe. However, she later gets blamed for Parker’s death and, unlike Spider Man, is hated by the people around her. Like Parker, she has a hard time balancing her real life with her alter ego, but unlike Peter, she has to contend with her father being a cop and the fact that she blames herself for Parker’s death. All of this makes for an interesting story.

However, there are a number of things that I really do not like about this series at all. For starters this comic has fallen victim to the same Social Justice nonsense that I’ve taken issue with Marvel comics in the past. As I said before, I have no issue with older characters passing on the torch to younger, newer characters of different backgrounds and walks of life. That’s fine… but Gwen can be seen on any number of occasions conversing with Reed Richards.
reed_richards_earth-1102… Nope, not that Reed Richards…

reed-richards-146030.jpg
UGH!!! No, not him either, thank God!!!

SpiderGwen7_Reed-e1460866557956.png
Yup, THAT’S our Reed Richards. How do we know he’s Reed Richards? Well because they say he is and he has Reed’s signature Salt and Pepper hair… despite a young kid in school… what the hell?
Okay, this is what I’m talking about. Passing of the torch is one thing. Captain America did this right, Thor did this right… this… ugh. This is putting diversity and social justice ahead of good story-telling. I’m sorry, but the whole alternate reality excuse can only extend the suspension of disbelief so far. Having another character stand in for Reed would be one thing. Taking a character and changing his physical appearance, but pretty much keeping his personality the same, with little to no explanation, and then hiding behind the alternate universe excuse is PISS POOR story-telling… and among the many reasons why I’m slowing starting to pull away from Marvel.
Heck even Stan Lee, the big creator behind most of our beloved characters spoke out against this in an interview with Newsarama:
“I wouldn’t mind, if Peter Parker had originally been black, a Latino, an Indian or anything else, that he stay that way,” he said. “But we originally made him white. I don’t see any reason to change that… It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that. I say create new characters the way you want to. I don’t see any reason to change the sexual proclivities of a character once they’ve already been established.”

And he’s 100% right. I’m certain he doesn’t have a problem with Spider Gwen, given how it’s explained that she takes on his powers… however I think he would have an issue with this new Reed Richards. Marvel used to handle social issues and diversity very well. They tackled issues like the Holocaust with the X-Men, racial diversity, etc by using mutants instead of race for their narrative, and it worked well. In addition, unlike the people who hated mutants, the teams spanned several different races, had an acceptable number of both genders, and had people from multiple religious backgrounds.
Anyway, I’ve already delved into this enough in other topics, back on subject.

I find the interior artwork to be unimpressive, and it doesn’t help that often the comic is split into sections with different styles used. Also, I’m not huge into the comic taking a whole page or two to pretty much reprint the same thing over and over to remind every one of what happened in the first issue or two. That is a waste. Buy the other issues and read them first if you don’t know what’s going on.

Finally, this story is a tie-in to a much larger web of stories dealing with a ‘Spiderverse’ and multiple different alternate realities. At times, it doesn’t seem like the books know if they want to be their own story, of part of a bigger story. The result is a slew of cameos from other realities and the inclusion of temporary storylines that takes focus away from the primary story and leave the reader… well me anyway, scratching my head.

So, in summation… is it good? Well… ah… no not really. It has potential and the issues where we’re dealing with Gwen’s personal dilemmas are interesting enough, but it get’s buried in the absurd social justice and alternate reality fiascos that are plaguing Marvel comics right now. Am I going to stop buying issues? No, like I said, the story has potential, and I’m still hoping that Marvel will clean up its universe. Right now, everything about Marvel is pretty much tethered together with a very fragile bond that is the ‘alternate reality’ story base. If they don’t do something soon to fix this, eventually the whole thing will come crashing down and Marvel will have little choice but to pull a DC and hit the reset button.

I can honestly get past the Reed Richards issue if Marvel doesn’t keep straining my suspension of disbelief, but tethering Gwen’s universe to the others needs to stop, and hopefully will soon.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. I know it’s all over the place… but so is this book. Give it a chance if you’d like to see where Marvel could go with the once-beloved Gwen Stacy character. If you’re looking for good comicbook art, the alternate covers alone are worth picking up, so I’d recommend it for that at least.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Action Figure Collecting…

I want to take a few minutes to talk about action figures. For years now, I’ve been collecting Star Wars and Superhero figures. Usually I buy two of each; one in package, the other out to play with my boys with. That way I always have a collectible.

Recently I’ve noticed something about action figures as they’ve been released. With the 3.75″ Star Wars action figures, originally (Kenner) they only bent at the hips and shoulders, allowing for very limited arm and leg movements with almost no pose-ability and lower quality plastic. For the time (1970s-80s) that was expected. It was fairly typical of that era of toys.

As time progressed (late 80s-90s), we started seeing far more effort being put in. Better, more durable plastics and paint have been used, arms were jointed at the elbow and legs were jointed at the knees. More intrepid toymakers also made waist twistable.

Then things got REALLY interesting… REALLY… all right… then they started trying to get the figures to pose in almost every possible way you could imagine. The hips now had ball joints, heads were also on a pivoting joint, shoulders and elbows pivoted, biceps twisted, and even the waists were jointed. If done right, the figures looked great… if not, they looked like robots. The early to mid 2000s were, in my opinion, the glory days for collecting action figures.

However… then roughly around the time The Force Awakens came out (or maybe earlier, this is just when I noticed it), something happened. Suddenly, a lot less effort was being put into the average action figure (ones ranging around $10-$30). You still had the premium collectible ones that were really something, but the regular toy store figures saw a significant drop in quality.

How bad?

Well as far as Star Wars went, they were pretty much back to the vintage standards. No joints, and you could only bend at the arms, legs, or neck. Not only that, I also noticed that The Force Awaken toys had a significantly reduced production run (When’s the last time you saw the first Kylo Ren, Sabine Wren or Starkiller Base Rey on the shelves?) I can honestly say that I was glad to have grabbed them when they first came out… because they’re going for 3-4 times retail on ebay and amazon.

Superhero figures, I can’t speak to as much as I’ve only bought a few… but for the ones I have bought… well…

I bought a Spider Gwen recently. It’s so far the only official release of a poseable action figure for that popular character. She’s a 6″ figure with some fairly good detailing… until you take her out of the box…
_58

So what’s wrong with this figure?
Well off the bat…
-The paint is cheap and tends to rub off easily.
-The joints are stiff and have to be carefully heated before you can move them, otherwise they will break.
-The hood is too small for the umasked face.
-The rolled back hood should be longer.
-The head has little detail, looks generic, and is too big for the body… making it look pretty bad.

So I guess I’m just wondering what happened? Why is the quality of action figures in a state of decline?

Any thoughts readers/ Fellow collectors?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Soul Siphon Chapter 1

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

Hi All,

Just wanted to give everyone a sample of my newest book:

I

“Nurse, what happened?”

“I don’t know, Doctor. He just started convulsing. We were monitoring him after his skin became discolored, and then he flat-lined.”

Corban McConnell felt his body slipping away and was powerless to stop it. He tried to scream, but Adramelech would not allow him enough control over his own muscles to do it. He was trapped in a cage in his own mind, one that he could not escape from. All he could do was sit and watch helplessly as the demon destroyed his world.

Corban could feel a burning sensation in his chest where the crucifix that his mother gave him used to reside. It had been removed when he had been committed, but the scar from where it had been remained. When Adramelech possessed him, it felt as though someone had…

View original post 3,160 more words