Tag: Movies

[Something In Review] Super 8

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Just a lil story about a boy on his bike and the cute alien he keeps in the front basket…

…if by cute alien we meant horrifying kaiju – and by basket, we meant ‘from destroying the entire city’

It’s our Year 8 festivities yet again (hint: they’ll be going on all month) – so we are taking a favorite of Hatton’s and discussing whether it holds up – now or ever. So settle in, have a Slusho and dodge the incoming lens flare – it’s Super 8 on Something In Review…

Ok, here we go!

Full Episode

Year 8: Favorite Movie Quotes

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♫ Happy Birthday to us… ♫
♫ Happy Something dear Something… ♫

That’s right – the Somethingcast has made it to Year 8, and with that comes a month of a little something we call: More Episodes

That’s right, we’re celebrating Year 8 in style with a theme this month.. you’ll figure it out.  That said, this week we went live on Twitch to party with a crew of folks and recorded it to become this week’s episode. We’re talking movie quotes, which is one of those topics that feels so remarkably part of who we are, it was a surprise we never actually broke down some of our favorites.  Not the world famous, but OUR favorite. 

So settle in and let us know what your favorite quotes are… we’re all ears – and cheers to Year 8!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra : My issue with Zack Snyder

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My issue with Zack Snyder

Zack Snyder is what you might call ‘polarizing’.  You either seem to love or hate his films.

For myself, when he’s held to fairly strict limitations (IE 300, Watchmen), his films can be amazing to watch.  WHen left to his own devices and creativity, his films can be an absolute convoluted shit show.
The only exception to this may be his first movie, “Dawn of the Dead”.  It was brilliantly done, and really put Snyder on the map as having not only an eye for cinematography, but… dare I say ‘reverence’… for the original material?  Romero’s original is beloved among fans, and it was a dicey proposition to take on a remake of that property, but is usually regarded as his best work.

300 and Watchmen (and yes, I can forgive the creative change to the squid), were visually stunning to the point that, to me, it felt as if the pages of those graphic novels came to life.  The way the scenes were shot, the feel of it, the faithfulness to the original material (again, squid notwithstanding) made them, for me, highlights of what Snyder was capable of.

Then… you get absolute messes like Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman… all which COULD have been amazing (in my opinion, some do actually like them), except for the fact that Zack Snyder remembered he’s “Zack Snyder” and had to Zack Snyder all over them.  If you’ve seen any of those movies, my statement needs no explanation.

Which, brings me to Army of the Dead.

The pre-title bit was actually amazingly intriguing, and set my expectations for a fairly specific story which…  Zack being Zack…  completely went sideways and off the rails, and not in a good way.  By the time the opening credits were completed, it felt like the entire concept of the movie had changed, and yet.. .I was still curious to sit through 2 and a half hours of Zack being Zack to see where it went from there.  Sadly, the rest of the movie seemed to not give a shit about not only the pre-title stuff, but even the stuff that happened during the opening credits.  Was the CGI cool?  Sure, but Snyder movies are always visually stunning, even when the stories are shit.  Was the acting good?  Hard to say, and, in a zombie movie, is that really THAT important when zombie tigers and over-the-top gore are your primary drivers?

I’m sure people get in to the film business because they have stories they want to tell, but in my opinion, Zack Snyder should stick to telling other people’s stories in a different medium.

– PCR

[The Wheel] Elevator Pitch: Movie Franchise Amusement Park Ride

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Last week, we were honored to be a part of Livestream For The Cure and if you weren’t there, you missed out on a helluva party.

That said, we wanted you to see our hour of the party and hopefully you’ll get in on the fun next year.

Joined, and judged by Nick of the Epic Film Guys, the Somethings are on an elevator, and we only have a few brief (..or not so brief..) moments with Mr. Anthony Michael UsementPark to sell him on our great idea that merges an oft ignored movie franchise and give it the big park treatment.  Roadhouse Bumper Cars? Karate Kid: The Crane Kick Dropper? It could be anything – and before we get to our floor, one of us will get to live our ‘big ride’ dreams…

BUT FIRST! – If you are looking to donate to help us live in a world without cancer – click here for the current donation page.

Now, settle in and keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times – Ok, here we go!

Full Episode

[BLOG] Hatton defends ‘SAW’!

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It is not a surprise, if you are a fan of the show, that I am a big Saw fan – and am looking forward to seeing Spiral. I’m not mentally prepared to head back into a real live theater yet, but the minute I have the ability to see it at home.. I most assuredly will.

That said – Saw gets a pretty bad wrap.  I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘murder porn’ and I use the term myself, just because it is a great definer for the genre. Saw, Hostel, Final Destination.. movies where there is less focus on the murderer (Jason, Freddie, etc) and more on the vehicle of demise.

At its heart though, Saw has a grander story to tell – that if they knew it was going to be such a success beyond its first and second installments, I’d like to believe they would have secured that vision tightly. Since, though, there was a period of time in the late 00’s where a new Saw film was as regular as the sun rising – some corners were cut and opportunities missed.  I do understand that there are some holes in the following logic because of actions that occur throughout the series, but it is my headcannon for Saw, and I think it elevates it beyond the ‘Cool Death Simulator’ we see it is.

John Kramer was a man with a string of bad luck. Doctors who didn’t care about him. Insurance that wouldn’t back him. A wife that was trying to change the world, who because of of her work, lost a child. The world spit on John and cast him aside at every turn, and he was going to find a way to get revenge. Each of the initial murders was, albeit impossibly difficult and with some amount of pain and disfigurement, escapable. We even learn that more than one person has not only escaped, but followed Jigsaw’s ethos and joined in his cause.

Of course, great power, great responsibility – and not all of Jigsaw’s converts are fighting for the forces of (exceptionally deadly) light. Detective Hoffman becomes the anti-version of Jigsaw’s vision, killing out of sociopathy versus method. Amanda, Jigsaw’s most dedicated apostle, and his ex-wife who was both estranged but also sympathetic to John’s fight – are left to stop him.

At its heart, when John Kramer is doing the killing – there should be a method – a vehicle – an answer – and a punishment that fits the crime. When Hoffman acts as Jigsaw, that should be a perverted and near always unwinnable challenge. Yes, this is all concerning the methodology of two murderers.. but, if you remove the bodycount of exploded limbs, John Kramer made the people that survive rethink their lives and reconsider what living is. He is obviously not a hero, but in terms of roleplaying games, John should always be Lawful Evil and Hoffman should always be Neutral Evil — but both will always think they are doing good.

What do you think of the Saw franchise? Do you think there is a moral component beneath the reverse bear traps and the pits full of hypodermic needles?  Let us know!


James Hatton – Freelance Writer, Professional Host, and Online Nuisance
Creator of In His Likeness @ http://www.inhislikeness.com
Babbling twice a month @ https://www.somethingcast.com
Sign up to keep up with all things Hatton @ http://eepurl.com/beGGuP

[Something In Review] Star Wars Prequels

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Since ‘This is the May’ or ‘The Fourth Be With You’ or ‘Revenge of the Sith’ or ‘Bleep Bloop BawThirteeneep’ month, we decided to not just give you ONE episode of a galaxy far far away, but a couple of them!

This one was live on Twitch on May 4th, so go sign-up so you don’t miss next month’s. We could have talked Mando again.. we could have talked Battle of Endor – we decided to go back and check to see if the Star Wars from a decade ago holds up. Does the Trade Alliance negotiations make a good story? What about a 3 hour podrace? And love stories abound…. that’s right, it’s the heel turn of Anakin himself, the Star Wars Prequels.

So settle in as we dive into 6+ hours of everyone’s life that has been hotly debated since the’sa come out to the biggum movie screens.

Ok here we go!

Full Episode

Star Wars Tech

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A Long Time Ago… On A Podcast Far Far Away…

The Somethings are getting in on all of the May the Fourth fun, jumping parsecs ahead of all of the other podcasts and discussing some of their favorite toys of the Star Wars universe. From blasters to droids to ships to those cool binocular things – Hatton and PCR are breaking down some of the coolest toys from the universe of the light and dark sides. 

And if you happen to be seeing this the day it posts, the boys will be live on Twitch tonight with another sojourn into a particular star war – some come hang out!

So sith right back… ok, here we Grogu…

Full Episode

[The Wheel] Vs: Robots

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WHEEL! OF! TOPICS!

That’s right Somethings, it’s time for everyone’s favorite piece of radio flair,  The Wheel – filled with a whole bevy of options for the guys to answer over… this one – well, this one needs your help. 

At the end of this episode you will have the chance to make a decision as to who won… and we will reveal the results on our next Wheel episode. 

But first, you have to hear about two forces of robotic supremacy… the lines in the sand have been drawn and only one team will stand tall at the end.  From films across the genre spectrum, what would YOUR robot team be?

After listening, not beforeclick here to make your vote!

Ok, here we bidibidibidibidigo!

Full Episode

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra…PCR talks the MCU hits and misses

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Hey all, PCR here.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the MCU.  Going all the way back to our Year 1 celebration we’ve talked about it, hypothesized about it, fawned over it and reviewed aspects of it.  Today, I’m going to dive a bit deeper into the “why” I enjoy it so much, and some things they do that I’m not fond of.

First, the Infinity Gauntlet comic crossover is, by far, my favorite comic crossover.  End of story.  Was it perfect?  No… most huge comic crossover events tend to start amazingly, then seem to have a hard time finding a way to finish, but it still struck a chord with me and has stuck with me since my comic-collecting days… so when Marvel teased at the end of Avengers that we were getting Thanos, I was in.  I felt “there’s no WAY they would do Thanos and NOT do Infinity Gauntlet!” and I was pleased to be correct on that count.

One of the most amazing things in my opinion that the MCU gets right is casting.  I have not found one instance of casting.. hero or villain.. that I’ve been against.  Now, have I thought some were ‘meh’?  Sure, but in those instances it’s more of a “I don’t hate it” and much less of a “They missed the boat..So and so would have been MUCH better!” (looking at Corey Stoll as Yellowjacket here and to a larger extent Anthony Mackie as Falcon).  Those examples aside (I’ll get into the Mackie thing later), from hero to villain to supporting role, the casting in MCU movies and shows has been amazingly spot on.

Another thing I absolutely love about the MCU as a whole, is how they set precedent for future endeavors.  “Ok, we got you to understand The Convergence and The Nine Realms?  Good, here’s The Quantum realm and Dr. Strange”  “You good with multiple suits of Iron Man armor flying around on their own?  Awesome, here’s Ultron and his army” just to use two examples.  It’s brilliant storytelling in my opinion, and makes it easier for those who *aren’t* huge comic fans to digest what they’ve been seeing on the screen.

Now, a “meh” thing for me… neither good nor bad… is that, much like the comics, you don’t HAVE to watch/read *every* movie/issue in order to understand what’s going on.  Can it help?  Sure, do you have to to understand the story?  Not at all.  That can be both good and bad.  It’s good in a way that you don’t feel forced to sit through a movie you may not really be interested in, but bad in the respect that, it’s all about making money on the bottom line, so one would think there WOULD be some driving force behind making someone want to see all of them.
Now, for two of my peeves.

I’ll call it “loyalty to the source material”.  Civil War was a great comic series (not Infinity Gauntlet great, and fell off with a much weaker finish, but still a great concept).  The movie we got, while entertaining and giving us some great fan service in scenes, was not the story told in the comics.  Now, I get it.  It couldn’t be.  Civil War comic run was a huge crossover event in and of itself.  There’s no way to effectively condense that down into one movie…and I also know the MCU shouldn’t be a slave to the source material in a way that doesn’t allow for moving the MCU plot along.  That being said, to me, there’s something about a movie using source material so loosely that it almost retcons and makes the original source material irrelevant.  This isn’t just an MCU flaw, this is a movie flaw in general, but it’s one the MCU and Marvel doesn’t do better on.  Is there a way for them to?  I’m not sure, but it stands out to me nonetheless.

And finally, let’s talk about the Netflix shows.

Overall, I enjoyed them.  Daredevil was spot on.  Jessica Jones wasn’t my kind of show, but I found value in watching it.  Luke Cage season 2 was far better than season 1.  Iron Fist …well… was necessary for The Defenders to work (which, to me, it did) and Punisher was amazing.

None of them (to date) have ever been ‘shouted up’ to the greater MCU movieverse, and there’s an easy way they could have been in Infinity War.

The Snap.

When Thanos snaps, there could have been a montage scene (much like they had in the comic) of scenes from around the world of people disappearing.  Imagine, Thanos snaps, and we cut to Hell’s Kitchen and see Matt talking to Foggy and Foggy dusts… Jessica and Trish both dust mid conversation…Luke watching people in Harlem suddenly dust away… it could have taken them… 2-3 minutes of movie time to intersperse something like that, and it would have paid the TV shows respect for carrying on the MCU torch in other media.

That’s it for me for now, Hatton’s up next week!

– PCR

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra… Hatton talks Scarlet Witch: Wanda Ex Machina

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Heya Somethings!

If you haven’t followed along the last few months, we’ve talked a lot about the MCU’s TV outing WandaVision – and for good reason.. whether you dug it or not, it was a fresh take on a story that really felt beyond the scope of what DizMarv would try and pull off.  The concept of the show isn’t precisely a straight from comics series, but it does take some points from the comic and the on-again off-again low bubble story of the Scarlet Witch’s tragedies. The on-again / off-again aspect is very much because comic writers sometimes pick up a character where they want them to be and another character sees where they should be differently, so you end up with disparate versions of the same character… but since it’s comics, it’s usually begrudgingly accepted.

That said – Wanda is, quite literally, my least favorite Avenger… and it is mostly because her power set is so vaguely ‘chaos magic/hex powers/mutant ability/reality warping/etc’ that she has become the go-to on how to get into a bad situation or out of one.  So why don’t we take a look at the reason the Scarlet Witch has the power to disassemble how much great stuff the MCU has done…

First – let’s take a look at Wanda in the early years of Avengers…

Using her mutant ‘Hex Power’ she basically had telekinesis that only worked half the time. If the villain was too strong, too not-human enough, too aware, too magic, or too advanced.. there was a lot of this sort of ‘OH IF ONLY…’  But from this issue above (Avengers #99, 1972) to this panel from (West Coast Avengers, #56, 1989) she has fallen in love with Vision, he’s been taken apart by the government and replaced with an emotional white husk of his former self (sound familiar) and has been corrupted by an evil something er another…

And just like that – Wanda’s powerset has grown exponentially and is never reined in again. It just continues to morph and grow and get bigger and dumber and more unwieldly.  All the while she ends up being the go-to damsel in countless stories.  Wanda’s been brainwiped. Wanda’s in a coma. Wanda’s been kidnapped. Brainwiped again. She gets over the Vision. She’s not over the Vision. She has moved on to become a better person. She can’t handle the Avengers. Just non-stop using her as a foil and a victim and a catalyst when honestly, all she really needs is some good head meds and a shrink.

Then….. in the 2000’s – literal hundreds of comics later.. she becomes enraged about her kids and takes down the Avengers.  She’s locked up and the Marvel heroes are legitimately contemplating killing her.  Yes, there’s a lot of handwringing and ‘we can’t do that’ talk, but the fact is – the idea pops up and is considered… so when Xavier and her comic dad, Magneto, show up at her cell.  She does this:

She creates an entire reality where mutants never existed and her dad is the king and everyone is happy. (House of M) — When we break out of that alternate world, no more mutants are being born… like she literally altered the DNA of the world. All the while she continues to disappear for a while, come back and be forgiven, or atone, or have her powers changed yet again — the cycle continues on. When there is an unstoppable unbeatable villain?  Who do writers call on… whatever version of Wanda is useful for them.  No reason to explain it – just call it ‘Untapped Remarkable Powers’ and it’ll do just fine.  When Wanda can’t do it.. just have someone photocopy Wanda’s powers so DOUBLE WANDA can do it. (Avengers v. X-Men #12, below)

I’m thrilled that Wandavision was so good. I just hope that the movie writers don’t fall into the same pit that the comic writers have for years – that by not defining the Scarlet Witch, you leave her available as a crutch to lean on whenever you didn’t have a better ending in mind.