Saturday, June 23, 2018

Blogs and Ends: The Matinee Edition

Remember when I said Star Wars was saved in editing? I didn't know the half of it.

And yes you get to see, Treadwell, Biggs a-n-d Tosche's Station!

Here's the raw footage.  Incidentally it contains absolute proof that Darth Vader was NOT Luke's Father in the original canon.

Something I didn't really get to mention in my review of Incredibles II is the problem that the original now suffers from.  Dated computer animation.  I had started to watch it the night before going to sequel and I just gave up because the animation was now, sadly, taking me right out of the story.  In it's day the Incredibles' animation was very best that could be done.  In fact they were so cutting edge, Brad Bird was giving the Renderman team a nervous breakdown.  But by currently standards, there is just no getting around it, it looks rubbery and awful.

I'm not wild about the idea of Special Editions but I could be talked into one in this case.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Star Wars News

Don't get excited.

Yes, the spinoffs have been put on indefinite hold but that's only because Kathleen Kennedy has been quietly put out to pasture.  No point in spending millions just to develop something that the new guy is going to cancel.

You will note that the official word is that Rian Johnson's new trilogy is still a go.

And according to the rumor mill the new guy ain't gonna be Filoni. That was something the fans wanted and you know Lucasfilms response to that.  Fuck them!

This is not a surprise.  Bob Iger is an SJW himself so he's going to replace Kennedy with another SJW.  All SJWs replace like with like.

This is who they are going to be replacing Kathleen Kennedy with

Kiri Hart

If I was putting money on the table this would be the pony I was backing.  

Look guys, I hate to be a defeatist here but seriously Bob Iger doesn't give the slightest fuck about Star Wars.  This is the asshole that cheered all the way while ESPN was augereing in.  He just wants to feel good about being a super woke SJW executive and once the merger is in stone he can afford to let Star Wars blow up in the wire.

And yes, the merger is going through.  Fox has accepted Disney's counterbid.  Which means barring a miracle, Bob Iger no longer needs has to answer to Disney stockholders.

I wish I had better news for you but I don't.


A-n-n-n-d they are back on again.

Lucasfilm appears to be currently running as an anarcho-syndicalist commune.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cataline Recommends: Incredibles II

The only movie that Brad Bird has fought harder against making than the Incredibles II, is a sequel to the Iron Giant.

Fourteen years is a long ass time between installments.  In fact they even directly address this in the first couple of minutes of the movie.  There is a live action scene with Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson, explicitly saying (and pretty apologetically too) that they get it.  It was too long between movies...but that this will be worth it.  And incidentally you should forgive them for being too old for the parts they are playing now.  The Force Awakens could have used something like that.

And it is a good movie.  You can enjoy it as such but it is not in truth a good sequel. 

Meaning the next movie in a sequence.   The  trilogy is classically speaking, supposed to be the film analog of a three act play.  The first act is sort of slice of life presentation.  The second presents the protagonists at their lowest point.  The third act is the resolution.

Incredibles II fails at this.

It's really just a different slice of life.  This movie is more like a TV series where everything resets at the end of the episode.

I can't really examine Incredibles II without looking at the first movie, so we will start with there.

When the Incredibles came out, the modern superhero genre wasn't even a genre yet.*  There were two Xmen films.  And that was pretty much it.  Nolan's Batman wouldn't appear for another year.  Ironman was four years off and Robert Downey Junior was a washed up, has been.  Marvel Films was reeling from the disaster of Ang Lee's Hulk, the only reason they didn't fold completely was because Universal owned the rights to that character and had footed the bill.

The only other superhero films out there weren't really superhero films, they were the monster hero films from the 1990s (Blade, Spawn) and camp like, Mystery Men and the post Burton Batman movies.

The Incredibles was the first superhero movie to really blow the doors off with a worldwide take of north of 600 million.  Xmen 2 was it's closest competitor with 400 million.  So while I still maintain that Xmen set the standard for the modern superhero genre, a strong argument can be made for it actually being the Incredibles.

It was lightening in a bottle.

The Incredibles indulged itself in all the best known tropes from previous iterations of the genre.  These were clearly silver age heroes in a silver age world.  The cars, fashions and even the architecture all screamed the cool early Sixties. 

The archetypes of all the characters worked amazingly well. Bob was the father, the protector and tower of strength.  Helen was the mother and the nurturer stretched eight different ways from Sunday.  Violet was the adolescent girl that wanted to be invisible had barriers everywhere.  Dash was speed and vitality.  And Jack-Jack's multiple powers represented endless potential.

It's safe to say the first movie couldn't be made today.  Elastigirl made all the proper Women's Lib noises in the first few minutes "Leave the saving to the men? I don't think so." But then more Softly, "I don't think so," this second iteration indicated one or two stray thoughts in the opposite direction on her part.   It was after this that Helen betrayed her sisters to the patriarchy and settled down into happily into being a wife a mother.

It was Bob Parr that was having trouble settling down.  Everything from his cubicle to his car constrained him  His frustration at being an exceptional man in a world that demanded that he be a lesser one spoke pretty loudly to Generation X.  Most of whom were starting to seriously settle down about the time that first movie came out.  We all felt the walls of PC-dom closing in around us.  Our world was not going to be a man's world.  The Fembots and Gammas had successfully yoked us.

Bob's trying to relive his glory days wasn't the bad thing, it was his disengagement with this own family that was the real problem.

Everything about that movie including the vaguely Randite tone and the formerly super cool best friend  and now henpecked best friend just plain worked perfectly.

As I said, it was lightening in a bottle.  Brad bird managed to create a comedy that both reflected and focused the times in which it was made.

It was damn near perfect and didn't need a sequel.

So why did Brad Bird make one?

Because Tomorrowland cost $190 million to make and raked in a lousy $209 million worldwide.  He needed a nice slow, easy pitch right across the center of the plate and Incredibles II is certainly that.

It's a good movie like I said.  But not a great one.

 I will now invoke Cataline's Spoiler Rule.  Anything that happens in the first five minutes of a movie is not a spoiler.

This movie picks up immediately where the last left off, fourteen years ago.  The Underminer is attacking.   The Incredibles counter attack. The Underminer escapes and leaves a lot of collateral property damage behind but no fatalities.  (Sidenote: Unlike the first movie where there was an implied bodycount of bad guys what got 'blowed up good.'  They explicitly point out at the end of each action scene that no one has died. )

Anyway, the superhero relocation program is canceled. The Parr family is looking at the real possibility of being homeless if Bob doesn't land a job soon.  And suddenly Helen lands one.

Interestingly, she isn't too cool about leaving her family to take the job.  Which is being a fulltime superheroine again.

There is a billionaire backer who wants to bring back the Supers and to do that he needs some positive spin and Elastigirl is less likely to cause excessive collateral damage than Bob is.  And frankly that is kind of fair.

Mister Incredible is now Mister Mom.

It's not a bad setup but it's not an exceptional one either.  The truth is, it's been done before just not with superheroes.

The positives are there.  Despite the fact that Helen is now the breadwinner, she isn't really fullfilled by it and is constantly looking for excuses to drop everything and come back to her family.  It's not as SJW friendly as the SJWs wanted it to be.  The fan service is there but it isn't bad or distracting.

Look, I still recommend this flick, Jack-Jack fighting the Raccoon is easily worth the price of admission but that said.  It's doesn't have the magic of the first one.

* No, I don't include anything from the 1990s and neither should you.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Shock! There is an Actual Star Wars Fan That Liked the Last Jedi!

Okay, still catching my breath from the shock and horror of discovering such a thing can possibly exist but her credentials check out.  She is actually a Star Wars fan and she actually likes The Last Jedi.

Right, I knew that this was theoretically possible. So after a few deep breaths I am going to post her critique of the top ten criticisms of Star Wars The Last Jedi.

And here we go. POST!

So as you can see if you are strange emo girl that remind's Cataline of his sister, then the Last Jedi might indeed be for you.

And before you yell, "shill!" At Jenny.  Here is her review of Soylo.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Basement Dwelling Manbabies Unite!

Now it's full on SJW war against the Star Wars fans.

Repeat after me.  We are all rascist, sexist Manbabies living in our mother's basements. 

Slimey, wriggling, squirming pile of self righteousness and alleged comedian, Stephen "Cockholster" Colbert said so and everything.

This one felt timely again.

UPDATE and bumped

Apparently they heard you guys

Friday, June 15, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hasbro's Secret

What little boy doesn't want to be this?

This is a follow on from yesterday's post:

The only other company as badly hurt by Kennedy's Folly is Hasbro. Last year at this time their stock was sitting at a comfortable $110 a share and is now at a decidedly uncomfortable $90 a share and they are dreading the next quarterly report.

Hasbro bought up Kenner specifically to acquire the golden Star Wars brand back in 1991. It's never been a money loser for them...until now. Any sad stroll through Toys R'Us during it's tragic last gasps would reveal about a third of the shelf space in the entire store packed with First Order era Star Wars merch.

Situation at Hasbro is more of a problem than for Disney since they can't play the shell games that Disney does.

But Hasbro does have one potential savior that Disney does not.

According to one insider at Hasbro, they are strongly considering bringing back a toyline that was banished long ago in the name of Clinton Era political correctness. Unthinkable a couple of years ago but now the time may be right for the return of GI Joe.
The dirty secret of the toy industry is this.

The doll/action figure is really nearly a loss leader. They are almost sold at cost.

The real money is in the accessories. Planes, ships, tanks (etc).  That is one of problems Marvel has. The action figure is it. There isn't much in the way of secondary stuff.

That was why Star Wars was so huge, AT-ATs, AT-STs, Tie Fighters, X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, Landspeers, Star Destroyers, Slave-One, The Falcon and the list goes on and on.

It was a money making machine for Hasbro/Lucasfilm but one with an integral part: the Boy.

The Boy needed a reason to play with the toy.  The Boy needed a reason to want to pretend that he was Han or Luke.  The Boy needed a story.

There was plenty of reason to want to be Han or Luke or even the mysterious Bobba Fett.

No boy (unless he has truly hideous parents) is going to want to play with a Rey doll.