Tag Archives: Batman

17 Geeky Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2017

Yes, I can make this list work. I can come up with 17 reasons that the year 2017 is going to be a good one that are all geek-related. Can you? Is there anything on this list you didn’t think of? Anything I didn’t have room for?

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Batman v Superman- A Review

Batman v Superman is probably one of the most highly anticipated movies of this year. Maybe one of the most anticipated movies of the last few years. Considering the movies that have come out or that are coming out, that’s saying something. After seeing the numerous previews and teasers for the film, everyone was left with the same question: Would the movie hold up to expectations? The people wondering this ranged from people who were hoping that it would finally be the movie we have been waiting for from DC to the people who were fully planning on seeing a train wreck in the theater, and couldn’t wait. So, who was right? The answer, in my opinion, is all the people who were in the middle of the two extremes. It wasn’t earth shattering, game changing good like, say Marvel’s The Avengers, but it wasn’t the steaming pile of brown stuff that was 2010’s Green Lantern. Simply put, it was mediocre at best.

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Batman v Superman Reversible Capes

Batman and Superman reversible capes aren’t really a new thing or something that I came up with, they have been around forever, but they are something that I enjoy making for my kids and for gifts so I thought I would show how I make mine. With Batman v Superman opening next week I thought it was a good time to share them. Also FanX is coming up next weekend and these capes are perfect for an easy cosplay option for kids. I made the traditional Batman on one side and Superman on the other but I also decided to make a girl version. I thought about doing Batgirl and Supergirl but since Superman and Supergirl’s capes would look the same I decided instead to do Batgirl and Wonder Woman.

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My Top Ten DC Comics Superheroes

I read a list recently of the ten greatest superhero characters of all time in  Marvel and DC Comics. I had some major issues with this particular list, well two really major issues. First, I don’t like trying to compare Marvel and DC Comics and including both in the same top ten list just seems impossible and weird in my mind. In a lot of ways, it really is like comparing apples and oranges.  My other major issue was where the ranked some of the characters. In particular, I did not like where they had Superman ranked. He clocked in at number seven, simply because the person writing the piece does not like Superman. I get that, but he deserves a higher spot than seven simply because he’s kind of the original superhero. He deserves higher than seven. I get that these kinds of writings are all subjective, but I think most would agree that seven for Superman is too low. So, I decided to remedy this list by putting together my own TWO lists, one for Marvel and one for DC Comics. We will start with DC Comics this month since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in just over a week. Next month I will publish my Marvel list. So, here we go:

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10 Favorite Cartoons

Lion-Force

I think our kids live in an amazing time as far as how they watch and what they have available to watch. Streaming has changed the world of content consumption, mostly for the better. I was thinking about this as my daughters were sitting down to watch yet another episode, in a row, of Doc McStuffins (Ugh…I guess I’m just not the intended audience). They can watch this show any time they want, thanks to services like Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s amazing. But, you know what they are missing out on? Saturday morning cartoons. Was there anything better than waking up on Saturday, knowing there was no school and then sitting down and watching something totally epic? I submit that here was nothing better than that. That got me thinking about some of my favorite cartoons from growing up, so I put together a list. This list. This is not a ranking, so they will not be numbered (trust me, there’s 10), and it is by no means a comprehensive list. In other words, your favorite may not be on here. Share with us what your favorite was, if that’s the case. Mostly, this list was just for fun. I am not saying these were the best. These were simply 10 cartoons I have fond memories of, hopefully you do too.

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What Kind of Collector are You?

Collecting is a big part of the geek life. It seems like almost every geek out there has some kind of collection, most of us have multiple collections. I personally have always felt that I am a collector, though my wife might say I am a hoarder. There is just something in my brain that has a really hard time with letting things go, especially things that tie somehow into something I love. It probably really is a problem on some level if I don’t try to keep it in check. For the most part, though, I take a lot of pleasure in my collections. Because of all this, I thought it would be interesting to start a new feature on the blog all about collecting. Welcome to the first ever Collector’s Corner on the geeky mormon.

I thought it would be interesting to take a look at collecting in general, starting with the question: What kind of collector are you? There are all sorts of collectors out there, and there is no wrong way to collect things, or wrong things to collect, for the most part. I knew a kid in middle school who really liked this girl in middle school. He used to collect her hairs that would fall onto her backpack, and then staple them to his wall. That is probably a weird and creepy thing to collect, especially since she didn’t know about that. My parents never let me go to his house again, and I keep searching the news to see if he has been caught as some kind of weird stalker or something. Don’t be that kind of collector.

One kind of collector that I have always really admired is the “Mint in Box” collector. This is the geek who buys whatever collectible of their choice and then they never open it. They keep it in the package and place it up on a shelf somewhere for display, or even more admirable, they have so much that they have boxes in storage full of unopened collectibles. This is an impressive type of collector, and one that I could never be. To buy something, and then to never open it and enjoy it, I just couldn’t do it. However, these collectors are the ones who could be laughing all the way to the bank. These are the items that can show up on eBay years later and be sold for a pretty hefty price. Most of these collectors, however, would never part with their treasures. There are two sub-types to this collector. One is the “Buy two of everything” collector. They one item for themselves to open and display, and then one item to never open and to store away, mint in box. If I could ever pull off this type of collecting, this is how I could do it. Even then, I would probably cave because buying two of everything is expensive.  The other sub-type is the comic book version, the collector who buys issue after issue of comics and never reads them to keep them as close to mint as possible. You can find these folks at your local comic shop on Wednesdays inspecting each copy of each issue to find the most mint issue they can. Sometimes they will buy two of each issue, one to collect and one to read.

Another type of collector is the variant or exclusive collector. These folks will typically go after exclusive versions of the things they collect or variant covers of the comics they collect. They may keep them mint in box, or they may open them and display them, but they are drawn to the exclusive versions, because the normal, average version just doesn’t cut it. The exclusives are better because they are more rare and are somehow unique to the average version. For example, the Doctor Who Funko Pop figures recently released, and Hot Topic has an exclusive version of each figure. The 12th Doctor, as an example, has a spoon when purchased from Hot Topic, while the 12th Doctor purchased through Amazon does not. The exclusive collector needs the one with the spoon.

Another type is the “Completist.” This type of collector picks a collection and then gets every piece for that collection. They will not rest until every last bit of that collection is theirs. They will hunt high or low, brave garage sales and eBay in hopes of finding the one piece or issue that is missing from their collection. They try to find nice pieces to add, but at some point, they give up just as long as they can get that piece that is missing. They will collect every variant or exclusive piece, as well as the main pieces. Every piece has to be there for them to feel like the collection is complete. They are working toward an end goal. There is a part of me that is drawn to this type of collecting, but I also know that it is almost always unattainable, so I try to refrain. I settle for having a lot of cool pieces instead, and try to tell myself that it’s enough.

In other words, I am an eclectic collector. I don’t have to have the whole set, but I like to have cool pieces in my collection. Pieces that mean something to me, more than pieces that are super valuable. I would probably never really look online to find out the value for any piece of my collection, because I am just not interested in parting with any piece. Sometimes, I will add to my collection based solely on impulse. I see something cool that I don’t have, and it is coming home with me, if I can afford it. My collection might include some exclusive or variant pieces, but it won’t include all of them. This is basically the ” I see it, I want it, I collect it” approach to collecting. It may not be as refined as some others, but I enjoy it. While a completist may someday have the satisfaction of knowing that their collection is complete, I will always have the satisfaction of knowing that my collection will never be complete. And that makes the whole thing worth it. So, what kind of collector are you? Let us know in the comments section on the blog or in the comments on Facebook or Google +, or tweet at me @thegeekymormon. I will respond to any of the these forms of feedback. You can even email me at thegeekymormon@yahoo.com. We love hearing from you.

My Collection

I thought it would be fun when I write these posts to highlight some of my collections. I promised to reveal my favorite collection in this post, so we will start there. This is not my only collection, but for the moment, this has been the one that I have had the most fun collecting. It is my Funko Pop collection. For some reason, I saw these a few years ago, and decided I wanted a few. That few multiplied and has now grown into quite a collection. I just love these little guys. The thing I really like about them is that there are so many to choose from, so no matter what you are into, there is something for you. Here are some examples from my collection:

DCFunkoPop

 

First we have some of my DC Pop Heroes. These are some of my favorite characters from the DC Universe. The first one I ever bought was Superman because he is my favorite Superhero. Batman has been my most recent addition. I am not a big Batman fan, but this one was purchased for me by my 2-year-old, who believes she is Batgirl, so she wanted me to have a Batman.

AvengersPop

 

These are my Pop heroes from the latest Avengers movie, except Thor. I think he is from the second Thor movie. Each time Marvel releases a new movie, Funko releases new pop figures, so there are different versions of a lot of them. I personally have three captain Americas (or would that be Captains America?). The thing I like about the Marvel characters is that they are bobble heads, which just adds to their cool factor.

RandomPop

This is just a random assortment of figures that don’t fit into any one category. You could argue that Ollie there on the left could go with the DC guys, but I keep him separate because he is from Arrow the TV show instead of the comics. Next to him is Mal from Firefly, the 12th Doctor (Hot Topic exclusive with spoon). Soon he will be joined by a bunch of other Doctor Who figures, so they will get a section all their own. I’ll post pics on Facebook when they come. Then of course we have Raphael, purchased for me for Father’s Day by my son who loves Ninja Turtles and loves Raph “because he’s the red guy.” That’s why I love him too. Last, but not least, The Rocketeer. He might be my favorite figure.

So, there is one of my collections. What do you collect? What would you like to discuss in future editions of Collector’s Corner? Let me know through one of the various methods of feedback listed in the post above. Thanks for reading, and good hunting out there!

The Dark Knight Returns: A Review

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I had mentioned a while back that I was going to be reviewing some classic graphic novels or comic collections. Part of the reason I wanted to do this was to review this particular story. I have been interested in reading it since we have found out that it will be a big influence on the upcoming Batman V. Superman movie. I’ll be honest, despite considering myself a bona fide geek, I had never read this book before. There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one, I am not a big Batman fan. I am sure I have mentioned that before, but I’ll mention it again. Bats is dark and dreary, and I just don’t like it. I can only take so much of it before I feel dark and depressed. Number two, I did read Batman: Year One, and it was ok. It was definitely heavy, which in itself is not a bad thing, but it was that heavy mixed with the dark, and somehow, even pulling for Batman, you still feel like you’re pulling for the bad guy. Because of those two reasons, I had avoided this book.

Now having read it, I feel pretty justified in those reasons. I’ll try to be objective in my review here at the beginning, though. Taking a step outside myself and looking at this book, I would say the story is well written and intriguing. Having Batman be a little older and retired at the beginning is an interesting place to start. His body is worn down and broken after years of fighting crime in a style only Batman could pull off. After doing that for years, though, it is hard to get and keep it all out of your system, and that is how we find our hero in the beginning. He is retired, but he is itching to get back out there. One really depressing thing is that Gotham doesn’t seem to be any better off after his years of cleaning up the streets. In fact, Gotham may be even worse off just 10 years later. This really puts into perspective what Batman is really trying to accomplish, and leads the character to wonder if he needs to push it even further, do more to take control, and how much would be too much. How much can he bend the rules before he leaves that morally grey area and ends up in the black? He toils with this throughout the book as he is fighting criminals, including the leader of the Mutants and the Joker. Each fight, he seems to get closer and closer to that edge, almost going over it in his battle with the Joker, breaking the clown prince’s neck, but not technically killing him.

In addition to Batman’s own inner turmoil, we have the city responding to his return. There is a lot said in this story about the media and society and how we judge events and people in the spotlight. Is Batman good, despite the fact that his little regard for the laws and rules of the land? Or is he a criminal like all the psychos he helped put away? There is a psychologist, who, throughout the story is claiming that all these super villains are a result of Batman existing. This is an interesting debate, and one that is explored in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Is Batman there, fighting these insane criminals because he is needed? Or are they there because of him? It all escalates based on Batman being there, so they have to get bigger and badder. Nolan asks this question, but Miller asked it first.

Then there is the battle between Batman and Superman, which was really only a small part of the story, relatively speaking, so it will be interesting to see how much influence these scenes will have on the new film, which is also rumored to feature Wonder Woman, Aqua Man, Lex Luthor, Doomsday, and a partridge in a pear tree. In the graphic novel, Superman is sent by the President of the United States to stop Batman. Batman knows he is coming, so he is prepared with his own super armor suit-no Kryptonite-(as pointed out in the comments below, Ollie does show up, a one-armed Ollie, to shoot a Kryptonite arrow at Supes) however, Superman is weakened after just being involved in a nuclear explosion, so he is not at full strength. The two duke it out, and this really the battle between two very different ideologies. Superman has always believed that mankind can become better. He always sees the potential in everyone, and is always optimistic. Batman sees the worst and is always suspicious. He doesn’t trust in mankind or have hope that they will get better on their own. The two iconic titans duke it out, and eventually, the battle ends because Batman has taken a drug that nearly stops his heart, to make everyone think he is old and worn out and has died. It fools Superman, until the funeral, when he can hear Batman’s heart going again. To be honest, the battle was so hyped up in my mind, that it was a little anticlimactic for me, plus, I still say that in any battle, Superman would eventually beat Batman, Kryptonite or no, but that is a debate for another time.

Now, stepping back into myself and my biases, I will say that this is as dark and heavy as Batman gets. It was really kind of sad and depressing to see this old man unable to let go, to the point where he almost dies. To the point where he almost becomes the criminals he is trying to stop. The story started dark, and got darker with each new chapter. If dark brooding Batman is your thing, then this story is great for you. If, like me, you prefer something a little brighter, a little happier, don’t pick this up. In all honesty, though, every comics fan, whether die-hard or casual, should read this at least once. Not reading it is like saying you like fantasy books, but you have never read Tolkien. That might be a stretch, but we’ll stick with it for now.

What are your thoughts on the Dark Knight Returns? Is it a favorite of yours, or did you not really care for it? Let me know in the comments.

The 10 Best Geeky Movie Franchises

Who doesn’t love a major blockbuster franchise? I think everyone does, especially the studios who make said films, and consequently make lots of money. These films have a tendency to be a huge part of our lives. We literally spend years waiting for the next one to come out, and then when it does come out we pick it apart with our friends and begin waiting for the next one. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t anticipating a new film. Granted, sometimes I was waiting for films that probably weren’t really coming out. That was before our magical information age, so I was relying on friends, who had no more information than I did.

In any case, I have taken it upon myself to seek out the 10 greatest geeky film franchises, and then to rank them from 10 to 1. Why? Because, obviously, I love starting arguments. You won’t agree with my list. That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion, however incorrect it might be. Just  joshing’ you. A list like this is absolutely subjective, so your list would definitely be different from mine, and that’s ok.

You’ll notice that the Marvel movies did not make my list. I love these films, for the most part, but I felt like a whole “Cinematic Universe” was too broad. Since I am the one making the list, I felt comfortable making the rules, like that one. I also did not include two franchises that were the same, like the 1990’s Batman and Nolan’s Dark Knight, or Star Trek and the new Star Trek. I picked one or the other.

This list is supposed to be anything ground breaking. Mostly it was just for fun, and to hopefully start a conversation or two. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. We love hearing from you.

10. The Spider-Man Trilogy

SpidermanThis trilogy seemed like the first big Superhero hit of the century. This thing was just massive when the first one came out. It was well done, as it brought Spider-Man to the big screen for the first time. It’s interesting because this was before Marvel Studios was really a thing, so they were more invested in this one. Go back and watch these films. They feel like the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, more than the recent Amazing series. Tobey Maguire was great as Peter Parker and was decent as Spider-Man. The suit was spot on. Everything was pretty good. It was a shame that it was rebooted so quickly after the third film was released.

The Best

By far, in my opinion, the best film of the trilogy was number 2. The story seemed to flow the best, and Doc Ock was fantastic. I think it worked because there was one, count ’em, one villain in the film. That just seems to work the best. It built on to what we saw in the first film, and had the classic moment where Pete decides to hang up the suit for good. As well as the classic moment where he saves the train and the people of New York finally really embrace him as a hero. Start to finish, this installment was the most watchable.

The Stinker

Number 3 is the infamous franchise killer. If this installment had just been any good at all, Tobey Maguire may be getting ready for his close up in Avengers instead of a new Spider-Man being cast. Start to finish, this film was just not good. Part of the problem? It was the opposite of what we saw in 2- it had too many villains. For some reason there always seems to be a desire with a superhero franchise to begin character cramming. It never turns out well. Ever.

9. Back to the Future

vmtcdyxThere were few movies that were as cool as Back to the Future when I was a kid. I loved these films. Each of them was one of my favorites growing up. I always dreamed of someday having a DeLorean of my own. It has yet to happen, but I am holding out hope. I loved watching the adventures of Marty and Doc, and I always get sad when number 3 comes to an end and it’s all over. Despite all the 80s references, it is still timeless in a lot of ways. My kids watched the first one a couple of weeks ago and really liked it quite a bit.

The Best

The best of the series was the original. It had the tightest story (notice I said tightest, not necessarily tight), and the fewest gimmicks. It seems like the second and third movie thrived on the gimmicks and the same jokes from the first one, just replayed in different times. The first one was just so original, it is hard to top. It is the main reason why the franchise has endured as long as it has.

The Stinker

Number 3. It was just too cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, number 3 is still a lot of fun, and out of nostalgia, I still love watching it, but it is just not the same quality of the first film.

8. X-Men

x-men-group-fox-is-creating-an-x-men-tv-show-what-will-it-be-likeWhere does the X-Men movie franchise end? is it 2 separate franchises, or just one? With Days of Future Past, it became one franchise. I grew up in the 90s watching the old X-Men cartoons, and I was in love with them just as much as any other kid alive at the time. It was just amazing when this franchise was launched, and seeing Hugh Jackman step into the Wolverine role for the first time was just incredible. He was born to play the part. As was Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. I remember thinking he would be a perfect Xavier if they ever got around to making an X-Men film. I was right.

The Best

My personal favorite was X-2. I always liked the story of how Wolverine becomes Wolverine. I have also liked the Nightcrawler character. I’m sure is has nothing to do with the fact that he is German. The second movie was a lot of fun from start to finish. Although, First Class is a close second for me. It was also very solid and enjoyable.

The Stinker

Easy. Last Stand. I am can’t tell you how happy I am that Days of Future Past basically retconned that Last Stand never happened. It should have never happened. I wish it hadn’t. Unfortunately, I do remember paying good money to see it in the theater.

7. Harry Potter

Harry-potter-filmsOne of the best modern book series became one of the best geeky movie franchises. There is a definite shift in these films as they transition from Chamber of Secrets to Prisoner of Azkaban, just like the books did. The young actors were not very good at first. They got by mostly on just being “cute,” but they grew into their roles and each one was pretty good toward the end. The movies may not have followed the books perfectly, but I think they did a great job capturing the feeling of the books, which is really almost the best one can hope for.

The Best

For me, I have to say, I really dig any of the movies from Order of the Phoenix onward. They are paced well, and pretty action packed. That’s saying something, because I did not enjoy the Order of the Phoenix book. It was one of my least favorites.

The Stinker

The Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for our British friends). The kids were just learning how to be actors and just developing their chemistry together. Plus, it was like a Disney version of Harry Potter. It was way family centric and almost kid focused. It started getting better with Prisoner of Azkaban.

6. Superman

publicity-photo-superman-the-movie-20409126-1600-1080Superman: The Motion Picture was pretty amazing for its time. I understand it doesn’t compare to what we see today as far as special effects, but it’s not bad either. Plus, Christopher Reeves will always be Superman in my mind. I admit that this is probably higher up on the list for me simply because I grew up watching these movies constantly. I’ll admit right here that Superman has always been my favorite, and I know I am opening it up for all the Batman and anti-Superman folks to send me hate mail or stop following my blog, but I’m proud of my love for Big Blue.

The Best

For me, none of the films in this series touches Superman II. That was always my favorite. I think the main reason why is because Superman actually had a real challenge on his hands with 3 other beings just as powerful to fight against. Then to top it all off, he had just given up his powers to be with Lois. Yes, the costumes definitely date the movie, but 30 years from now, some other blogger, or whatever they will be doing then, will be writing about how the costumes in Man of Steel date that movie.

The Stinker

Superman III. Out of all the stinkers on this list, this one is the one that I will say go ahead and just skip it. There is no reason to watch it, unless you have a couple of hours you simply don’t want.

5. Indiana Jones

indy_200s-c20eab301543d37f3db8f450889906c7fc72d1a6-s6-c30Indiana Jones was the reason I wanted to study History as I got older. I know, he was an archaeologist, but in High School, History was as close as I could get to Archaeology. Then I found out that archaeologists don’t have adventures like Indiana Jones, plus, in History class, I learned about how the Nazis were not really around anymore, so it kind of lost some of its magic. Not completely, though. Indiana did really teach me that there was value in the past and that it was worth studying. I credit him for my love of History. Plus, Harrison Ford was pretty much the coolest guy in the late 70s and through the 80s and early 90s. Who am I kidding, after walking away from that plane crash last week, he’s still the coolest guy around. Indy was so iconic, with his fedora and his leather satchel and jacket, and the whip. He was awesome. I loved this trilogy growing up, and I even have fond memories of seeing Last Crusade in the theater and thinking it was awesome. What a way to end the series. Let’s all pretend that’s how this paragraph can end.

The Best

Raiders of the Lost Ark is tough to beat. While Last Crusade will always have a special place in my heart because I remember seeing it in the theater and it started in Utah, Raiders is the superior movie. It is a classic in every sense of the word. This movie, along with Star Wars launched Harrison Ford from being a relative unknown to being a super star.

The Stinker

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Pretty easy choice, if you ask me. Maybe I need to go back and revisit the film, but it is just so hard. I left the theater thinking, “Why?!” Last Crusade was so perfect, this one just did not need to happen.

4. The Dark Knight Trilogy

dark-knight-this-dark-knight-rises-fan-theory-redefines-the-whole-damn-movie In an attempt to stem the thousands of comments I was sure to receive about how Batman is better than Superman, I have ranked Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy above the Superman series. It would be hard to rank it below. This was a very solid trilogy, and what I love most about it is that it was a trilogy. Nolan is not coming back to do another Batman film. He told his story, and now he has moved on. This trilogy really showed what Superhero movies could be. It’s no coincidence that this series is the highest ranking superhero franchise on my list.

The Best

Could there be any other choice? The Dark Knight is one of the most perfect films from start to finish. It was a masterpiece, from the storytelling to Heath Ledger’s Joker, it is hard to find a lot of fault with this movie. It has to be the best of the 3.

The Stinker

The Dark Knight Rises. It just didn’t flow as well as The Dark Knight, and Bane was a poor substitute for Joker, but for obvious reasons Joker did not return in this film. It wasn’t a horrible movie, so maybe calling it a stinker is unfair, but I had to pick one film to be a stinker from the trilogy.

3. Star Trek

hero_EB19791207REVIEWS905089998AR10 movies puts this franchise at the top of our list as far as number of installments. It is a testament to the endearing qualities of Star Trek that have allowed the franchise to last as long as it has and still be relevant. I selected the original, prime universe, franchise, and not the new rebooted universe franchise because of how long it lasted. I have always thought of Star Trek as the best of the best as far as Science Fiction goes, at least on TV and on film. Trek was such a big part of my growing up. I used to go through my house and pretend that there were sliding doors in every doorway, like my house was a starship. I would even do sound effects as I went from room to room. I mean I eventually grew out of it…when i got married and I was too embarrassed to let my wife know that I did that kind of weird stuff. Ok, fine, I do it when she is not at how and the kids are in bed. It’s really not that weird.

The Best

When you have so many films, it is hard to choose which one is the best. I have always been partial to First Contact because Picard is so awesome in it, but I think for the Best, I have to go with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is the movie that saved the franchise after the first Star Trek Movie was less than good. It is also the movie that set the pace of every even-numbered Star Trek being good, while each odd-numbered was typically not as good. Go ahead, look ’em up if you don’t believe me. It pretty much works out that way.

The Stinker

When you have this many movies, chances are there are a couple of stinkers in the bunch, but the stinkiest of the stinkers has to be Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. So much bad heaped into one movie. They almost had to make VI just to save the franchise and get it back on track. They couldn’t with this dung pile.

2. Star Wars

star_warsLet the arguments begin. How is this not number 1? I hear you, but I think it is indisputable that this belongs in the top 2 with my number 1, and the 2 franchises could be interchangeable, at least in my mind. So how did Star Wars end up at number 2? The stinker was just a little more stinker than number 1’s stinky. Star Wars has so many fond memories for me, but what I love is that the series remains pretty timeless. I know the prequels get a bad wrap, especially by people my age and older, but for my kids, the prequel are just part of the story, good or bad, it is the way it is. This and X-Men were the only franchises I had on this list that we know for sure are still going on. I will be eager to see how Episode VII turns out, even if it is a Christmas release. However, good news today as it was announced that Episode VIII will be end of May in 2017. That just feels right.

The Best

This comes down to A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. For me personally, it is Empire Strikes Back. There was just always something great about this movie for me. The characters seemed more developed, more comfortable in their roles, and more complex. The story was also really good and flowed well. I love watching Empire Strikes Back, and the big reveal scene never gets old, even when I know it’s coming. I am right there with Luke shouting NO! Literally. I mean my wife usually has to calm me down and remind it’s only a movie.

The Stinker

A lot of people will say it Phantom Menace. I disagree. For me it is Attack of the Clones. I think part of the problem is the name. I could never get past the name. It just sounds stupid. I think the other part, and this is the bigger part for sure, was Hayden Christensen. Attack of the clones was painful for me from start to finish. This is the movie that is responsible for Star Wars at 2 instead of 1. This movie and Jar-Jar.

1. The Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit

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First of all, congratulations on making it to the end of what has ended up being a very long post. Congratulations, and thank you for reading and sticking with it. Yes, The Lord of the Rings is my number one. When you think about it, it has a lot in common with Star Wars. Both had very solid original trilogies,  followed up with prequel trilogies that were not as good. In my mind, the Hobbit trilogy, although obviously not needing to be a trilogy, is better than the Star Wars Prequels. Hence, it takes the number 1 spot. These movies are huge time commitment (much like this post), but they are always worth it. I can’t think of a time when I have been bored while watching these films, at least the original trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The scene when Sam picks up Frodo and carries him up the mountain, it just hits me in the feels every time. So much so, that I won’t include the video here.

The Best

It is hard to say which of the Lord of the Rings movies is the best, and really they were all shot at the same time, and are all one continuous story, so the whole trilogy is the best, and should always be consumed in one sitting. Always.

The Stinker

The Desolation of Smaug. Just shouldn’t have happened. The Hobbit was too long by about one whole installment, maybe two. But definitely this one. And whoever heard of a romance between an elf maiden and a dwarf? No one, not even Tolkien.

Well, there’s my list. What did you think? Which ones do you agree with? And disagree? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you, and love talking about this stuff, so let me know. In any case, there’s a pretty good list of movies for you to watch, if, you know, you’re bored or anything like that.

DC’s Multiverse vs. Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Part 2

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Yesterday, I began my look at the two big comic book companies’ future movie plans with a look at Marvel. I think, at this point, the only thing you can really call Marvel’s attempt at creating one cohesive television/movie universe is a big success. Well, more like a giant success. With GOTG being the major blockbuster it was last year, it became apparent that Marvel can do no wrong (as long as you forget Iron Man 2). They are the reigning champs, and it doesn’t look like they are looking to give up that title any time soon. Avengers: Age of Ultron looks amazing, and somehow, Ant-Man is picking up steam. DC has only put one movie out there as part of their cinematic universe, and that was a couple of years ago. It will have been 3 years by the time the next one, Dawn of Justice, comes out. By comparison, in that same span of time, Marvel will have released 7 films total. 7. It almost seems like DC isn’t even trying.

That’s not totally true. The idea for DC to put together their own universe like Marvel’s has been around for a while, but they just haven’t been able to get it off the ground. The original plan was to launch the DC universe with Green Lantern (2011), and begin building from there. Unfortunately, we all saw Green Lantern and it was just painful. That put the stop on the whole one universe, Justice League idea for a while. DC started going in a different direction, called TV, as it launched Arrow. The series became a hit, leading to a spinoff series, The Flash. These two series, however, were not attached to the Green Lantern film. Or to the Nolan Batman trilogy, which was also not connected to the Green Lantern film. Leaving DC with three different universes in which their heroes now resided. Enter Man of Steel (2013). This introduces yet another universe, and DC’s first hit movie of this century not starring Batman. In the time between 2011 and 2013, it became apparent that Marvel’s whole plan is coming together nicely, and with MOS’s success, DC revisits the idea of creating one big universe where all their heroes can reside. They decide to go for it, but they still take a different approach, as Geoff Johns refers to their productions as being part of a Multiverse, instead of a universe. Oh bother, DC.

What is it?

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Basically, it was DC is calling their upcoming productions, both Films and TV shows. Marvel had their catchy “Marvel Cinematic Universe,” so DC had to come up with something catchy to compete. Hence, the DC Multiverse. Think of it as being similar to when DC started their “New 52” in the comics, so Marvel had to respond with “Marvel NOW!” The good news for comic book fans is that both companies have kept both stupid monikers going for way to long. (What is the rule for how long something can be called “New”?) To be fair, DC isn’t just trying to come up with a clever name. They are also trying to cleverly sidestep a major issue. They don’t want to tie in Arrow and The Flash  with their upcoming films. They want them to be totally separate. So, because fans eat this stuff up, they have decided that DC will have a multiverse in their Television/Cinematic world just like they have in the comics. In other words, don’t expect to see Stephen Amell or Grant Gustin sharing the screen with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. In fact, they have already cast Ezra Miller to play the role of the Flash in the Justice league and Flash movies. No special appearances by the heroes in the big movies on the small screen either. It’s just not happening.

Why it Works

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image by LoganChico at loganchico.deviantart.com

It will work for one big reason. We, the fans, want to see it. We finally got to see the Avengers come together, and it was awesome. Now we get to see the two biggest superheroes ever come together for the first time on the big screen. That alone is worth all of it. At least I hope it will be. DC really has an opportunity to make all of this something special, just like Marvel has. Let’s just hope they don’t screw it up. In addition to seeing Batman and Superman together, we will get to see Wonder Woman for the first time on the big screen, as well as the Flash, and of course, everyone’s favorite, Aquaman. DC has so many characters that we have not seen up on the big screen before, so it will make for some exciting, fresh characters.

It will also work, because this model allows DC to do whatever they want on the big screen as well as the little screen. They have a good thing going on Arrow and The Flash,  but they aren’t tied to making that world the same for every character. In fact, it seems like Gotham is taking place in another universe as well. The result is, Gotham is not hindered by what’s happening in Arrow or The Flash. The studio doesn’t have to give any explanation for any kind of inconsistencies fans will see when Batman is on the screen in Dawn of Justice and something doesn’t match up to what is happening in Gotham.  The studio has already provided us with the answer to any of those questions-it’s a multi-verse.

Why it Doesn’t Work

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To be clear, The Flash and Arrow are not reasons why this model does not work. Well, maybe indirectly. More like examples of a potential issue. That issue is that it is going to get confusing. Right now, DC has 3 different universes going: The movie universe, the “Flarrow” universe, and the Gotham universe. Wait, 4. I forgot Constantine. 4 different universes right now. That could potentially grow with other projects that DC has announced, like Titans on TNT and Supergirl for CBS. Both of these series could be set in a different universe. A different universe from the 4 mentioned, and a different universe from each other. That could bring it up to 6 different universes. That is going to be hard to keep track of. Who is in which universe? And who knows about whom, and so on. Maybe the plan is to have a universe for each network that DC has a show on, and then the plan is to have a show on 52 different networks (they seem obsessed with 52). I doubt that is really the plan, but hopefully you get the point. It seems like, at least on TV, there is little to no cohesiveness, and that is kind of lame too. At the very least, keep all the TV properties in one universe and the movie properties in another.

That wraps up my look at the two different models, at least for right now. It is really hard to tell what will happen with DC because we just don’t have enough from them right now to make any kind of judgement. All we can do is speculate on how it will all play out. I am hoping for the best. I am not really interested in who “wins” between the two companies, because in the end,I am hoping I win and we have years and years of quality superhero entertainment coming our way. What are your thoughts on the whole thing? Do you like Marvel’s or DC’s model better? Let us know in the comments.