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Nov. 6th, 2015

steven Universe, Garnet

CALLING OUT HATERS: Zamii, “Steven Universe” and The Toxic Side of Fandoms

Fluffyman Calling Out Haters New Complete.jpg

My words probably don’t do any of it justice, but [Steven Universe]'s definitely a show that I think has a strong stable fanbase that would welcome you if you check it out.”

-CALLING OUT HATERS: Steven Universe and Appeal (Mild SPOILERS) March 31st, 2015

Seven Months pass...

*Reads about how a fan artist named Zamii was bullied nearly into suicide by some Steven Universe fans*

Oh for fucks sake.

A very passionate rant to followCollapse )

My words probably don’t do any of it justice, but [Steven Universe]'s definitely a show that I think has a strong stable fanbase that would welcome you if you check it out.”

-CALLING OUT HATERS: Steven Universe and Appeal (Mild SPOILERS) March 31st, 2015

Seven Months pass...

*Reads about how a fan artist named Zamii was bullied nearly into suicide by some Steven Universe fans*

Oh for fucks sake.

Back when I had written my previous rant on Steven Universe I had thought I had found that diamond in the rough, a show that teaches a lot about tolerance and acceptance with a fandom that reflected much the same way. But lo and behold I would come to eventually eat those words and in a big way.

To sum up to how this happened: there is quite a portion of the Steven Universe fandom who expresses disgust at fanart of the show that decides to take quite a problematic approach with the characters. Changing races of characters (or ones that resemble a certain race since Garnet isn't technically black she's a gem), making chubby characters skinny, and of course everyone's favorite: porn, disgusting when made with children's characters and illegal when making them of children characters.

There isn't a tolerance for certain types of fan art being made of Steven Universe and for some part I get it. People have a strong passion for representation in the media, and once someone posts an art trying to erase that representation they find it insulting to look at. And as for porn, we're definitely in an age in which pornographic representations of children's entertainment is more or less a Google search away, it's a hell of the internet we would like to put away in the far reaches of our minds but sadly exist. Frustrated that it's something that kids can be exposed to at an age they likely don't know about the birds and the bees. Not so much in a Helen Lovejoy “think of the children” sense, but more in a “this really isn't something they should know from the internet” sense.

In the case of Paige, known to most of the online world as Zamii070, she drew art of Steven Universe characters that a lot of people on Tumblr had a problem with, some of which is focused around drawing the usually curvy Rose Quartz skinny. But the problem they had with her art, they didn't just express displeasure on a blog... apparently quite a few members of the fandom were harassing her, so much so it nearly drove her to suicide. Even when she made blogs from the hospital, she still gets harassment over it, even with some people saying she is “faking it for attention.” All over fan art.

You know there is a difference between expressing displeasure at something, and then getting worked up over it they want the person to feel like their life is worthless. That it's not enough to just explain how you don't like the way this person drew this character, the artist should be shamed for what they've done. That by altering a character's appearance you are suddenly enabling fat-shaming, going against the progress the show has been striving for, so you are a terrible person, have no worth of being a fan of show and should just stop altogether. And I repeat... all... over... FAN ART.

Not even the opinions of the people who make the show seems to calm down these fans who feel like they should be the authority of the types of fans on the show. Ian Jones-Quartey for instance tried to show out some encouragement for potential fan artists on his Twitter by with the message “letting people draw whatever fanart they want” and you can just choose to ignore the bad things even getting some support from Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch. However some fans took this more as a message of enabling the creeps, that people could draw more underage porn, draw more whitewashed characters! Also there are people thinking that Quartey is also some form of a creep himself because he liked one piece of fanservicey anime fanart one time.

Quartey would later elaborate that people are also free to criticize but bullying isn't a form of criticism, apologizing for his vagueness earlier that might have added more fuel to the flames. Part of me felt like he may have caved in too much for people who take everything at face value, but I do understand why he did it and Twitter isn't exactly the best place to get all your thoughts out at once. Fellow Crewniverse member Matt Burnett isn't as fortunate as the words he tried to put his two cents on the matter, but ended up shooting himself in the foot by making a comparison with underage porn to slash fiction, eventually apologizing and locking his Twitter account.

Not even the show's creator Rebecca Sugar seems to escape some form of criticism. While she hasn't commented on the matter, as when people make light of whether or not it'd be alright to draw underage characters in pornographic material (Which TBH no fucking way it is), points to one time she drew porn of Ed, Edd & Eddy. Like that one thing she did one time is all reflective of anything now, and it would encourage the creeps to leap onto this show like flies to shit. One piece of art, makes her automatically a creep.

This isn't the first time Steven Universe fans have gone overboard, as there have been incidents in the past in which they've been rather hostile towards the creators over plot points (Like Pearl's love for pie but she doesn't eat), clashed with bronies over a fan site and make “joke reviews” to an actual place called Keystone Motel which could have caused bad business for the place. But this is even worse than those because it almost cost a fan her life, that should be never acceptable under any circumstances.

The question of appropriateness of fan art is beside point. It shouldn't mean to bully someone into making them feeling like they have no reason to live in the world. Because their art doesn't conform to your standards on how they should be drawn, shouldn't mean a call to mob-mentality, to flood a persons inbox with threats. Then there is the reasons why Zamii was attacked, because she drew Rose skinny? That is hardly equatable to making Garnet suddenly appear like she's Iggy Azalea or a provocative picture of the character Connie that wouldn't be legal anywhere. But even then it does not give justification for threatening someone else's life, do not deflect the point by making it just about how your feelings being hurt. Does the person who almost ended her life not matter either? Just because she drew Rose skinny is reason enough to not care?

Then there is the interactions with the people who made the show, the people who developed the program you hold to a pedestal. They developed the characters, they crafted the stories, yet you consider them scum because they decided to be a bit more open than just to your increasingly narrow ideas of what makes a fan. As if liking Steven Universe has to be some sort of exclusive club, as one person I've talked to on Twitter put their attitude: You can only love this show if you love it on my terms.” You love a show that preaches tolerance and acceptance, yet you are not welcoming with open arms, you beat away anyone who doesn't have the EXACT same mentality that you do.

When someone makes art you don't like, there are quite a few constructive things you can do, write a rant to show your feelings, make a comment about the art itself, have a civil discussion towards the person about why they feel it's in bad taste, if it goes over-the-line of what is acceptable to the standards within a website (Especially the underage porn) it's likely within your right to flag it. If you have children make sure they have some safeguards in place so they wouldn't accidentally browse something troubling, turning on SafeSearch in Google is one way though it's not perfect. Bottom line: Bullying isn't the only answer if you don't like someone's art!

One thing I'd hate this sort of poisonous attitude would ultimately result in is the cancellation of the show these people claim they are fans of. That suddenly the attitudes towards the fandom should go back to the show, people declaring cancellation just because some people who associate themselves with it are really hateful bastards. I've seen this in response to parts of the Brony fandom in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Bieber fangirls sending death threats to his now ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, last year the controversy over The Colbert Report caused some vitrol towards Suey Park over a joke making fun of Asian stereotypes in context of the Washington Redskins, and certain instances in both sides in the Gamergate debate. At times it's hard to be in love with a piece of media if the fans in the same group are taking it too far.

Now unlike the Colbert rant I made, I will try not to commit the “No True Scotman's” fallacy this time by saying that the people who do this are not any sort of fans of Steven Universe. They certainly go against the themes of the show of tolerance and acceptance, but I will not throw them away because just because of reprehensible actions, that'd be pretty much being in their playbook. I do acknowledge them as fans, they definitely have found something in the show they really attach themselves to.

But there is a fine line between loving something and being obsessed with it. Many times have we seen not just in fandoms but in politics as well, where absolute devotion to something can turn into poison. It was something I had touched on from the very first CALLING OUT HATERS, how those who take something too far ends up pushing people away instead of drawing them in. Much like poison they can be treated, but still may have a lasting impact on the body of the group involved.

Not saying it always will be like that, nor am I cynical enough to think that calling out those toxic elements will ultimately be futile. There still is worth in having a conversation and taking logical action against those who decide to turn a love for something to a violent devotion. We should definitely acknowledge these people as fans on one hand but at the same time spreading the word their passion isn't in any way an alright thing. They might not always listen, they may not change their minds, they may react vulgarly, some even may threaten, but it shouldn't defer us from calling out these horrible people for the jackals they are.

And we really shouldn't act the way they do, otherwise the toxicity wouldn't slow down. A more thoughtful approach to confronting this awful people on their actions can make a difference. And who knows maybe if enough of it happens, the Steven Universe fandom might achieve some state of healthiness again. Maybe that's a little too optimistic, I just really want things to get better, and I know others do as well, and same can be said for many groups I'd figure.

To Zamii, get well soon.

To anyone who loves the show and is kind to others who love the show....

To anyone who threatened Zamii...

I don't think you need to know which finger I'm referring to, you clods.

End of Rant

May. 26th, 2015


CALLING OUT HATERS: Black Widow in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (W/ Jashykins) (SPOILERS)

Fluffyman Calling Out Haters New Complete.jpg



Nat is annoyed with the fanboys as much as we are.

Note: This rant has been edited to make the conversation flow better

SPOILER WARNING! If you haven’t seen Avengers: Age of Ultron or just about all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films up to this point, best to avoid this rant.  Also may be spoilers for Buffy, Firefly, Serenity, Hannibal, The Walking Dead and other pieces of fiction Jashykins is way more versed into than I am.

So here we are standing three years later, another super-ultra-epic Marvel crossover has released and grossed a ton of money.  I wonder what the internet feels of it…

*Sees people with torches and pitchforks*

Oh goodness what’s going on now?

Jash Derin Kol-Ze a.k.a. Jashykins:

*sips coffee*

Oh, haters, didn't see THAT coming. Now


*sips coffee as well*

Huh I thought I smelled the rage of fanboys.


Whedon is not perfect but it feels like he's being picked apart ever since The Avengers. There are things you can complain about, he's not perfect, but then there are things that just show that you're really reaching for something. A few nights ago I saw a post on tumblr complaining about his Twitter icon.

I haven't kept up too much on the hate as I just saw the movie and before didn't want a lot of spoilers (except when it comes to Science Bros and Brutasha headcanons which I just have to take a peek at when I see). Mind you I knew about some of the hate before the movie even premiered.


Apparently they are none too happy about Whedon’s treatment to a certain character.  Now of course it’s not the only thing people are mad about of the movie (The Maximoff twins stripped of their Romani and Jewish origins) but this one particular seems to have been the more popular.

Natasha Romanoff, ex-KGB turned S.H.I.E.L.D. turned Avenger, introduced in Iron Man 2 and to date has made four Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances, all played by the lovely Scarlett Johannsson.  Up to Age of Ultron her character had been given a favorable acceptance by fans, even if Iron Man 2 wasn’t exactly the most flattering of introductions (We’re introduced to her Black Widow costume with a shot of her ass), made up for it in active participation in both first Avengers and especially Captain America: The Winter Soldier essentially being the second most vital character next to Cap himself.  She is also one of the few main women in the MCU without a love interest.

That is when Age of Ultron happened, and things got ruined forever for fans.  Natasha suddenly has a romantic attraction to Bruce Banner, is given a tragic backstory that involves forced sterilization as a “graduation” that supposedly makes her see herself as a monster, spends a portion of the movie being kidnapped only as a way to get the rest of The Avengers to the final set-piece, which may or may not have been due to ScarJo being preggers at the time of filming.  Suddenly the once heralded cult icon and feminist, Whedon is now being trashed as a sexist douchebag.

Or could it possibly be, I don’t know, Whedon isn’t the flawless writer people have idealized him to be?  Though I can’t say as much I haven’t seen his infamous works Buffy or Angel.  I think you’re a little more versed in Whedon, care to comment?


I don't get people being upset when a character has a romantic interest. It doesn't automatically reduce the female to just a love interest. She is just as kick butt, but she has an emotional attachment is the only difference. While I would've adored seeing the beginning stages of that relationship as it really plays into her overcoming her fear of something that she can't control (in this case the Hulk), Whedon had a run time to follow and therefore couldn't cover the whole relationship from beginning to end.

At the end of Age of Ultron her being sad about Bruce going away I believe is two-fold:

First: she is sad that the man she loved and was forming a connection with has gone away from her. It's heartbreaking as she usually doesn't give her heart to anyone.

Second: the reason Bruce left her (as I see it) is because she violated him. He had no interest to being the Hulk at the moment and she was able to push him over the edge (I'm sorry, I'm just loving that that's literal and figurative at the moment). So violating him in a sense. So she probably wonders if she can actually be close to anyone, not just in a romantic sense, when her sense of getting the mission done is so strong.

I'll stop myself from analyzing their relationship in the movie here as that's a post on its own.


I somehow got the sense you might be a little more into Nat and Bruce’s relationship you are a person who is usually into shipping.  However I feel like this was one element I agree with the detractors though not really as severely.  I only agree insomuch that I don’t think it was really that well done.  I get what Whedon may have been going for, but honestly the way both Nat and Bruce interact with each other doesn’t really work as a romance.

They are of course both broken souls who have gone through two different set of circumstances that made them “monsters”, but I don’t really see it as romantic per say.  You can still have a bond between these two and not have it be lovey dovey.  I think it could have worked more as a kinship, thinking like the whole bond between Raleigh and Mako in Pacific Rim, was able to work a strong connection between two characters of the opposite gender without making it romantic.

As well, the MCU seems to want to forget the existence of Betty Ross.  I mean I know The Incredible Hulk wasn’t exactly the high-end of Marvel Cinematic Movies, but still with all the love between Natasha and Bruce couldn’t have some acknowledgement of Banner’s previous love?  They haven’t shied away from acknowledging the film in other ways like the battle in Harlem, or the deleted opening when Banner tried to commit suicide in the Artic.  We even get name drops of Pepper Potts and Jane Foster in Age of Ultron… nothing for Betty… at all?

I will not defend the detractors in-so-much on the aspect that giving a central female character a romantic arc is weak, Katniss Everdeen is still considered a strong character in spite of being tied in a sort-of romantic triangle.  On the other side of the spectrum is Tauriel from the second and third Hobbit movies whose character was pretty much defined by having a romantic arc, and little else, becoming absolutely pointless to the story by the end.  But I never saw Black Widow losing everything about her badass-ness because she had a romance; I just wished if they were to include it, it should have been better written.


Yeah, I am into it. I admit to reading a short fic that sold me on the ship before I even knew that it was going to be canon in the MCU. So saying that seeing the first trailer with hints of Natasha and Bruce nearly broke my heart is an understatement. Hardly any of my ships seem to get the canon treatment.

I think if they showed the Bruce/Nat relationship evolve then it would've appeared better to most people. But with the run time and the movie being crowded as is, it would've been much poorer if Whedon had to develop the relationship from an earlier point as it would've taken up too much time. Any relationship in a movie shouldn't detract from the story at hand, exceptions are if the work of fiction is in the romance genre.

I like the love triangle in The Hunger Games because it becomes just as much about the individual characters as their connections to each other. But that is yet another topic that would take an entire post to fully explain.

Okay, I will admit I need Betty Ross in the MCU again. Because she just gets forgotten so much that it is annoying. Everyone else gets their relationships at least acknowledged but Bruce/Betty?

Basically my feelings on no mention of Betty Ross in the first and second Avengers movies can be summed up in a long and loud fangirl rage.

I don't mind Natasha being captured because of how it was done. It wasn't some 'I am a strong woman until the plot says so' it was 'shit happens'. She was risking everything to get the mission done and it just happened she was captured. In the first Avengers movie Hawkeye was mind-controlled and had to be rescued by Natasha. At the end of Iron Man 3, Tony Stark was rescued by Pepper Potts. So a character being rescued isn't unheard of and it was realistic in how she was captured.

As a Whedonite, he isn't perfect but he has done great things in the way of strong female characters. I like to point out how Zoe (spoiler alert) reacted to Wash's death (who was her husband) by kicking butt instead of crying in Serenity. Buffy (in the tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was able to be just a normal girl that can be girly and yet kick ass. Whedon has even done good with the LGBTQ+ community with the Buffy character of Willow (I'm going to refer to her as a lesbian since after Oz she never has any interest in men again). She started off shy but then really grew for both better and worst.


I think one frustration about the damsel thing happening to Black Widow is that it’s the most played out of superhero movie tropes.  For as much as I love the Raimi Spider-Man films every one of the climaxes hinge on Mary Jane Watson getting kidnapped.  Iron Man 3 (Which I do not hate) does give Pepper Potts the killing blow to the bad guy but much of the climax for her put her in the damsel role.  And most egregious of all in recent memory The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Gwen Stacy for all the progression they try to make with her character being an active role, she pretty much spends the climax with Harry’s Green Goblin as a damsel on a one-way trip to a refrigerator.

In comparison Nat spending a small portion of her screen-time in a damsel role is relatively minor.  It still does serve a semi-purpose with getting all the other Avengers to the site of the final battle.  Of course she still could have escaped on her own I suppose, though she was one person in an area with hundreds and hundreds of Ultron, might be kind of difficult.

Now as far as ScarJo’s pregnancy is concerned, I could easily see that being a factor limiting her screen time, and obviously there are a few stunt people who would do much of the leg work for her big moments (The motorcycle chase especially).  Though I just wonder if there could have been a better way to have worked around that, Iron Man 3 was able to work around injuries Robert Downey Jr. received, without putting him in a damsel role.  There could have been another way.


Okay, this might seem like a tangent but I swear I'll be getting to Age of Ultron. Just hang on.

One of the things about women and minorities getting treated equally is that they'll be in danger. And I like when there is danger, physical danger and even death, that there are as many uncertainties of who is going to survive as possible. It just makes it more exciting to me not to know who will get out okay and/or survive.

And whenever a woman or minority gets killed in fiction there is always an outcry as if people can't look at the bigger picture.

When Beth Greene and Noah died in The Walking Dead people reacted like there were no long running members of the cast that were a minority or a woman (so Carol, Michonne, and Glenn don't exist to them?). As well as when Beth died there was a petition that ignored two strong female characters that would be heavily affected by Beth's death.

Bryan Fuller racebent and genderbent (plus changed Margot Vergere's backstory to make her a better representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the series) characters in his Hannibal tv show to provide better diversity in the cast. But when Beverly Katz died suddenly Fuller was the most evil person ever who didn't care about diversity.

So when Black Widow is captured in Age of Ultron I have to step back and look at the situation as a whole. Men have been captured and have had to be rescued. This is the first time Black Widow was in that kind of situation. In the first Avengers movie her first scene she was captured, but it was clearly shown that she was completely in control of her situation then.

And Black Widow being captured isn't because she was weak. It was because she was strong, kicking ass, and willing to risk everything. It just happened that risking everything meant being captured. And a woman being rescued doesn't make her weak.

Plus her being captured and rescued helped her fulfill her storyline of if she really wants to run away. Bruce Banner, the person she had the conversation with, was the one to rescue her and so she finally finished her dialogue about running away with him. Black Widow was being rescued by the one person who wouldn't blame her from running away and she had the chance to. But she decided to stay and fight. A strong, decisive move there.

I have heard a rumor, just a rumor, that Black Widow will be captured in Civil War and that annoys me greatly as if it keeps happening in the movies she's in it gets worn down. She doesn't need to be captured in every movie. Can see be captured? Sure, but not like it's a running gag.

As for ScarJo being pregnant, that's a behind the scenes thing that I don't think affected the movie badly. Thor's useless sub-plot bothered me more, to be honest.


Well at least Joss used his “kill a likable character in everything I do” card on Quicksilver, if it was Widow I think the internet would have blown up in flames.  I wouldn’t put much stock on any Civil War rumors until there is more evidence to back up I say.

Now to tackle the most controversial element of Black Widow: The Red Room.  As reminded by Scarlet Witch, Nat was trained to be an Assassin stripping her of a lot of things that make humans human, including empathy and part of her “graduation ceremony” sterilizing her so that she wouldn’t be able to have children.  She makes this detail known when trying to appeal to Bruce as a reason they should run and be together, since they are fractured souls that can’t have children.

But some people haven’t exactly liked this detail because they read this particular moment as “a woman’s only worth is the ability to have children.”  I scratch my head because, does the details leading up to it suddenly not matter if she singles out her not being able to have babies?  Being built more as a machine than an actual human being, stripped of a lot of choices to the life they lead, including the choice of whether or not to have a child, is pretty much something to be horrified altogether.  It’s not just that she was stripped of having children, it was she was stripped of leading a relatively normal life altogether.

I do understand people being upset that there are characters who only see their own worth on the ability of having children, but I’m not really seeing Nat as that.  In fact I find it more insulting that people seem to think being stripped of the choice of having children can’t be a horrifying or traumatic thing for a character like Nat.  That the message from that is creating a female character means you cannot have any elements that somebody deems problematic, whether it’d having a love interest or something traumatic that happened in the past or putting the character in a dangerous situation, you’re deemed garbage writer if you have those elements, regardless whether or not they are done well.

I only operate on the belief that there are many controversial plot elements that can be used, but only if they are done well, as opposed for cheap emotional response or shock value.


I was actually just on Twitter with a friend having a conversation about this.

Basically a lot of people are misreading this part of Black Widow. The thing is a lot of people seem to forget why Natasha brings up the whole sterility thing at all. She doesn't say it randomly, but to be a counter-argument to Bruce. Bruce was going on and on about how a romance with them wouldn't work because he's broken and a monster. One of the points Bruce uses to say that he isn't a good romantic partner is because he can't have children (a point he brought up to Natasha in the first film).

Natasha counters with the fact that she can't have children. She talks about how she is also sterile. So when she brought it up she was using it to say that not having children doesn't mean you can't be in love. She's talking about her own sterility to challenge the notion that you need children to be in love.

If anything, the whole sterility thing in this movie is showing Bruce being affected by standards that make no sense.


That’s actually a pretty interesting read on that, if only many random people on the internet can be as nuanced of thought.

So to really sum this up, what can we say of Black Widow in Age of Ultron?


I know. A lot of deep and interesting conversations could be had if people could actually think and not fanrage. Because there have been certain points in certain shows when I wanted to talk about one thing and the majority of the fandom was raging about something else.

Black Widow is still a strong character in Age of Ultron. She doesn't lose anything by being in a relationship with Bruce Banner, heck she 'wears the pants' in that relationship, and a lot of fans are raging about nothing because...that's the internet for you.


Much like Mandarin with Iron Man 3 I feel like this was a bit more of a knee-jerk fandom reaction that honestly has gotten a bit more hate than it’s deserved.  Certainly could there are elements that have been better but I feel like too often flawed certain elements of fiction can be blown up more than they should be, that Whedon writing a character this way means it invalidates all that he has written before it, shreds him of his Feminist card.

Now I am not blind, I have heard other criticisms of his work, at a certain point I hear Buffy dips in quality with certain storylines involving its female cast being highly controversial, (though I hear another showrunner might be to blame on that, not certain since I haven’t seen).  Then there is Firefly, which I have, where people don’t quite find Malcolm Reynold’s off-hand referrals of Inara as a whore “charming.”  And back to Ultron, people did not really like Whedon sneaking in a joke in which when Tony says when he rules Asgard he will reinstate “Prima Nocta” in which a lord is allowed to have sex with a husband’s newly wedded wife, essentially sneaking in a rape joke.  I’m still on the fence on that last one.

But essentially I really think there isn’t much of a big deal to be made over Black Widow, it didn’t feel like suddenly she is stripped of her power as a character because of this.  I think Whedon just wanted to make her a little less like a character type, make her a little more human.  Whether or not he succeeded I feel is an honest debate to have, but not one in which should really warrant torches and pitchforks.


Fandom doing a knee jerk reaction? *fake shock*

The whole Spike raping Buffy thing is not solely on Whedon. Really long story short: someone basically genderbent either their own experience or a experience of a friend and then they came up with that.

You should look into it yourself because it isn't a thing I can easily sum up. As the last time I read about it was a year or two back.

And with Tony's rape joke: Just because a character says something doesn't mean the writer believes it.

I'd need a little more behind the scenes on that one to draw any conclusions.

And, yes, women are people with people problems. It's just people are so used to sexism and such in the media that there tends to be rage whenever something might be off. I've grown used to a minority dying on a show to stay away from social media as the internet always overblows those things. Mind you there are some times when the rage is warranted but that isn't all the time.


What really does warrant hate is… Marvel, Disney… where the hell is all the Black Widow merchandise?


And how about some Black Widow shirts with light colors so I can walk around my home state without dying? Get it because black is a dark color and...I'm only funny to me, aren't I?


I don’t know if I understand that but don’t be ashamed to wear a Black Widow shirt.  She needs all the support she can get so that Marvel will actually give a damn about promoting her in merchandise.

Well hopefully they will change their tune when Civil War rolls around, but considering how stubborn they have been so far… I doubt it.  And I only fear what they’ll do when Captain Marvel comes out, a Marvel film that actually has a female lead.


In Florida wearing dark clothing is a sign you're either a True Floridian, you have a death wish, or you're a tourist.

And, yeah, hoping Marvel woman's up when Captain Marvel comes onto the big screen. Female leads can work and hopefully the merchandise will be good.


*Still sees torches and pitchforks*


Well, I'm just going to watch the fanrage for now. It was nice working with you again.


Been a pleasure for me as well.

Maybe someday we will finally see fanrage to something that deserves it.

*Sees fanrage over recent events with Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones*

Oh yeah, finally something I can agree on.

Rant to be continued… maybe…

Mar. 31st, 2015

steven Universe, Garnet

CALLING OUT HATERS: “Steven Universe” and Appeal (Minor SPOILERS)

Me when I heard this show was coming back for a third season.

Oftentimes we like to narrow fiction into specific audiences, that the Sylvester Stallone action shoot-a-thons are for the testosterone fueled manly men, or that the movie where Sandra Bullock falls for a guy she initially can’t stand is just for the sucker-for-romance-loving women.  World of cartoons it seems like the divide is made clear boys love action, girls love pink, something I’ve covered before last year so I don’t think I can say much more why that has been pretty much something children’s media has been struggling to break from.

But where does a show like Steven Universe fall?  A show centric around a male character, surrounded by women who aren’t there to just make him look better, in a world covered in pastel colors and it’s not afraid to be cutesy.  It may have predominantly female characters in the cast but it isn’t all light fluffy and pink, the show doesn’t shy away from a bit of immature humor and deals with some very heavy adult themes.  It is a kids show that is released for the mass market, yet decidedly takes risks on gender identity and sexuality, including having ended its first season with two female coded gems expressing a lot of love to fuse into one.  It may be on Cartoon Network, the network that seem to love to cancel shows that try to appeal more than just one demographic, have not only ordered this show for a second season, but a THIRD. And yet still airs the same damn promo over and over again, even when promoting its big #StevenBomb week?

In the words of the titular character as he’s sees his pants suddenly become sentient: “That’s unusual!”  A show that doesn’t conform to what we expect children’s entertainment, yet it looks to have a healthy life and a lot more stories to tell.  What is this odd beast that Rebecca Sugar had created?

I honestly ask because I have become far too used to networks pretty much burying shows because they don’t conform to certain standards: they don’t pander to just one group, they don’t sell merchandise, they got low ratings on a timeslot we barely promoted.  Reading stories about what happened with shows like Sym-Bionic Titan, Thundercats, Young Justice, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and The Legend of Korra made me fear that Steven Universe would fall victim to the same thing that undone them, because like many of those shows this is really hard to pin down and define to just one thing.

Is it a cute?  Is it a dark?  Is it a silly?  Is it emotionally draining?  Is it simple?  Is it challenging?  Do people talk about weird things?  Do people talk about serious stuff?  Does it have content kids can watch?   Does have content adults can watch?  The answer to all of these: Yes.

I just find it so fascinating that now we’re getting shows that seem to appeal to more than just one crowd and are not thrown out because of it.  That appealing more than just to the core audience of children and boys is not considered a determinant.  This show in general deals with themes of growing up, having friends, responsibilities of raising a child to be live up to a legacy, an ongoing story arc involving an ancient war, interpersonal character drama, as well as the somewhat standard happenings of the week like dealing with a sentient fry costume, playing at the arcade or the disturbing illusions in a room that is tailored to a child’s fantasies.

Another reason I’ve been thinking of this broad appeal thing is when supposedly the founder of a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Brony fan website would do the same for Steven Universe, and rumblings that there would be a fanbase like Bronies calling themselves Gemtlemen.  I have no real hard feelings towards Bronies (At least those who don’t draw porn of it), but it’s an absolutely absurd concept, a show that has had appeal towards multiple audiences, yet one portion wants to be treated differently.

I get that MLP isn’t normally something that is geared towards boys, but what does diverging yourself from a main fan base to cross-appealing show like Steven Universe accomplish?  Because it covers itself in pastel colors, usually has a genuine feeling of warmth and cuddliness, that sort of stereotypically girly things you think it’s not common to enjoy that kind of stuff? Steven Universe itself is a case in which it doesn’t try to conform to the usual gendered roles, has its moments in which characters of both genders display feminine treats and other times masculine ones neither of which is used with scorn and disdain.  It just feels like a sickening desire some people part of a fanbase just like to be treated different from everyone else, like it gives them a high of being noticed.

But what’s wrong with being noticed as just a fan?  You might get odd looks from some people not aware of it, but it doesn’t mean it is anything to be ashamed of.  You have plenty of people who love the same thing that you do and it’s nothing to be ashamed with to be part of them.  I think people would love to have you as long as you don’t express your love in a way that just makes you look like an entitled dick.  Though Steven Universe like other fandoms do have a portion that might be taking their love a little too seriously, though at least looks very small, right now most of the outrage seems to be about the upcoming Uncle Grandpa cross-over (Which was actually Rebecca Sugar’s idea… so there’s that).  I’d really dread if there will ever come a shipping war out of this show.

But putting all that aside… oh my glob, I am just so excited this show looks to have a healthy future.  It just feels like so much love is being given to it, by its writers, it’s animators, it’s actors, it’s composers, set out to make a show that just feels like the right combination of warmth, excitement, tears and laughter.  Deals with the fantastical but at the same time feels very human, wears the numerous inspirations proudly (Magical girl anime and animated sitcoms like The Simpsons in particular), but at the same time trying to break out on its own.

My words probably don’t do any of it justice, but it’s definitely a show that I think has a strong stable fanbase that would welcome you if you check it out.  I see a lot of people just finding a whole lot within the show to latch onto, whether it’d be character moments, how absolutely addicting the songs are (Helped by a cast mainly made up of capable singers), getting caught up in the on-going story arcs and foreshadowing, getting excited to see when something from their childhoods are referenced, it’s not just one thing that people seem to love.  And it certainly does not feel like it’s just meant for one demographic.  Though maybe not those hateful conservative people some of which that run organizations like the Parents Television Council, I’d imagine if they were completely aware of this show, they’d want CN to be burned to the ground.

Does it make it the best animated show out right now?  Well… honestly I haven’t seen Gravity Falls, so I probably couldn’t make that call.  I’d really wish there was an easier way to catch up on it, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about that show as well, and apparent to me that has some cross appeal.  But I can say that I’ve been feeling more attached to Steven than the current state of Adventure Time, which seems to have lost me a bit in terms of tone and plot progression.

End of Rant

Feb. 15th, 2015


CALLING OUT HATERS: To: Marvel Studios, Re: Spider-Man

Image Source: LongLiveSpidey (Originally made by Marvel I think)

So after an Amazing misfire (In my eyes anyway), Sony has finally soaked up pride and decided that Spider-Man would be better off joining the likes of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Star-Lord, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther… the Marvel Cinematic Universe essentially, and possibly making his debut during Captain America: Civil War. Though with great acquisitions also comes great disappointment as for making room for the web-head in 2017 they’ve delayed 4 of their movies including the debuts of Captain Marvel, Black Panther and the Inhumans. But there is still some hope to be had, even if it’s pretty much ridiculous how the wall-crawler is going through his third reboot in the time-span 15 years.

The underwhelming box-office of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were a sign that people may have been too tired of a red-and-blue tighted superhero swinging around. You want Peter to survive another reboot, heed my advice Marvel and Sony…

Yes, we know Uncle Ben dies… move on…

When the word “reboot” enters a person’s conscious, they react in revulsion: “Great now we get to see the same story again.”  The origin of Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man has already been done twice, to do the origin a third time would be just laughable.  I don’t think people would miss anything if the origin was skipped out in the Marvel CU Spider-Man.  Brief recap or a mention could be fine, try to retell the story verbatim would I think yield some major diminishing returns.

Tighten those threads

One thing that I think completely undid The Amazing Spider-Man was the attempt to make things epic than they actually are.  It can’t just be a boy bitten by spider learning about responsibility it has to be this grand tale which involves a conspiracy involving a corporation involving Peter’s parents that also happens to be about Peter getting bitten by said spider to learn about responsibility.  Not to mention deliberately leaving many plot threads hanging with that whole “to be answered in a sequel” syndrome that some movies that try to build universes do, and was really awfully utilized in The Amazing movies.  Such convoluted plotting isn’t needed to hold the audience’s attention, Spider-Man 2 (As in the Sam Raimi film) was still able to spin a story about Parker’s struggles with personal life and being a superhero without having such a car wreck of mythos, and it did it really well in my eyes.  If we can keep it to that simple thought process of Spider-Man and finding the balance between life and responsibility, then it’s all the better for it.  Of course we’ll now have the Marvel Cinematic Universe on it’s side, but hopefully establishing it taking place in the MCU be more something in the background and not a core focus, basically not be Iron Man 2.

Ditch Most of the Spinoffs

One thing that was made known on top of rebooting Spidey is the fact that the spin-offs Sinister Six, Venom and as of yet named female centric film will still be going ahead.  To be honest about two-thirds of that sound like a ridiculously bad idea, as famed as much of Spidey’s rogues gallery is, I feel like their distinction away from the character isn’t strong enough to center a movie around them as compared to say the upcoming Suicide Squad on DC’s end which pairs supervillains like Deadshot, the Joker and Harley Quinn.  I feel like the likes of Doctor Octopus, Electro, and many others need a Spider-Man to bounce off of, them on their own just doesn’t feel right.  Same with Venom for that matter the quintessential nemesis of Spider-Man, without a connection Eddie Brock would have with Peter and Spidey or the symbiote originally attaching itself to Peter, I don’t think it would work at all.  I’d see maybe a prime opportunity to bring in the symbiote to Avengers: Inifinity War… yes I know it’s Secret Wars, but no reason to just toy with mythology a little bit (Though probably piss off fanboys).

The only spin-off idea I can really get behind is the idea of a female centric Spider-Man film that could provide a bit more of a unique perspective into his universe.  Everyone has been thinking Felicia Hardy/Black Cat, and of course that would be great to see the character be brought into film, Spider-Gwen would be cool though I see more that of an alternate universe thing, but no way would I be for an Aunt May spin-off on the basis she isn’t that interesting.  But above a lot of expectations, I am kind of thinking that it could be interesting if Mary Jane Watson was given her own spin-off movie.  The character’s complicated history as well as her unique relationship with Peter Parker can make the framework for a compelling spin-off film, one that doesn’t conform to the standard superhero formula.  But that’s just me.

Do Not Be Afraid to Take Risks

In spite of the overwhelming fanboy outrage I was one of the defenders of the Mandarin twist in Iron Man 3, I thought it threw a good wrench into expectations, and subverted what could have been an incredibly racist element to the film.  With the complaint on how superhero movies seem to stick to formula, I’d much rather have quite a few expectations subverted for the new Spider-Man, not afraid to step outside and deliver something different.

And I’m not talking about a “risk” like the death of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, probably one of the worst kept secrets of the film and all the more frustrating with how it plays out.  Not talking about “risks” like minor changes to the mythology like Peter shooting webs from his wrists.  But taking a turn with the story of Spidey that not many would expect, keep the audience surprised rather them feeding them another basic three-act hero’s journey.

I mean for instance the expectation being Peter Parker still being in high school and a lot of recent casting has been rumored they will keep it that way, but could it be interesting if it was a much older Parker who has been through a lot in his life?  Though the young perspective might still work of having Parker trying to find a place in a world where there are big heroes around who have public personas and he’s just small in comparison and keeps his identity safe.

One big push that has been made though is possibly not making Spider-Man Peter Parker, but rather Miles Morales, the guy who takes up the Spidey mantle in the Ultimate universe after Parker dies.  It has the two-fer of not only being a different Spider-Man but also a non-white leading superhero, which until Black Panther doesn’t seem like the MCU will get around to.

I do see though there being a very slim chance Miles Morales will be the wall-crawling hero, as he is not as well-known.  As much as people love Donald Glover, it’s likely he won’t be joining Danny Pudi and Joel McHale as Community cast members who have appeared in a Marvel movie… unless they decide to make Peter Parker non-white.  Now there is something that will rile up the fanboys.

Above all else… have fun

If anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made itself is trying to have fun while also making it about superheroes.  While there is heavy subject matter tackled once in a while, there is still is plenty of humor and light-hearted moments that makes it a bit more engaging to watch as opposed to some dreariness of movies like Man of Steel.

Having Spider-Man quip in The Amazing movies was a step in the right direction, however it is in a minor element compared to the 70-pound weight that is the angst… angst about his parents, angst about his uncle’s death, angst about creating a supervillain, angst about his girlfriend… whilst typical of the character the way they are handled drags down the movie considerably and it’s not all that enjoyable to watch.  For all the complaints about “moping” in the Raimi trilogy it really didn’t become so overbearing to annoyance.  Ooh boy if I were to peg one moment in which it goes to worst it’s the “Gone, Gone, Gone” montage that feels more like a fan music video than an actual scene (Though maybe more fitting if it were Linkin Park’s “In The End”).  And honestly some of the humor does feel a bit off as well, Parker and Spider-Man’s personalities come across as a blur as opposed to being two distinct personas as they should be.

If there is a way to find a balance between the personal drama and light-hearted-ness it’d definitely feel closer to the Spidey we should have on film.  Look at the balancing act of Spectacular Spider-Man for instance, it is able to rope in personal drama, comedy, and even able to pace out its story better than any of the movies.  Not saying I want an exact copy of Spectacular Spider-Man (Though I’d like SOME continuation Marvel and Sony), but I think it’d be a good framework.  And most certainly when I mean “having fun” I don’t mean anything of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon’s idea of fun, would love fourth-wall and cut-away jokes to be nowhere to be found thank you very much.

But ultimately there was one loud omission that The Amazing movies sorely lacked…


The Marvel Cinematic Universe needs Jonah Jameson, the motor mouthed head of the Daily Bugle who hates Spider-Man.  If they want to have Spidey make it with Iron Man, they have to have Jonah Jameson.  The last series didn’t have Jonah and see how that went?  Bam, series done in two movies.  Just a simple Gmail from him is not enough, Jonah is the blood that can keep a Spider-Man series running!

But in seriousness, Jonah does need to be in the new MCU series, whether it’d be J.K. Simmons or not, he’s just part of the stew that makes for some really entertaining Spider-Man. The Amazing series felt a little empty not bringing Jonah in with the last series, hopefully not make the same mistake with this one.

I don’t really have many ideas on who will be casted as Peter Parker, or any of the other characters, or how the romance should be handled (Though I know one part… NO STALKING), or how it will work within the context of the MCU, but ultimately these reasons above I think what I personally look for in a Spider-Man movie.  Though to be honest I’m not as excited for it as much as some of the other Marvel movies coming out.  I think too it probably would have worked better had he been introduced in the universe sooner rather than later especially when his debut film will be apparently Captain America: Civil War, but… you know Sony.

End of Rant

Jan. 16th, 2015

dr orpheus, venture bros

CALLING OUT HATERS: Korrasami and LGBTQ+ Representation in Kids Cartoons (SPOILERS)

I know the feeling Garnet.
Screenshots and Gifs taken by me, Gifs created using GifYouTube

SPOILER WARNING: This rant contains spoilers for Clarance, The Legend of Korra and Steven Universe, if you haven’t caught up on these shows than this may spoil things for you.

One rant I had originally planned on writing is about how there have been a lack of positive LGBTQ+ representation in children’s media, specifically kids TV shows… but then these events happened…

Kiss on the Cheek, Clarance

To be honest I have not seen this show, but putting aside from the fact the creator/former showrunner Skyler Page was revealed to be a sexist creep, I’ve heard a lot of good things.  One of them being a moment in which it shows two guys lovingly kissing another guy on the cheeks, to which one of the characters (Who was expecting a date) doesn’t react with disgust instead saying “Well that’s good.”  It’s a brief moment that doesn’t explicitly say they’re gay but still speaks a lot of volumes and probably the closest thing we have to an intimate moment between two gay characters.  There is also supposedly a moment which show’s a character having two moms but I haven’t seen that one yet.

Korrasami IS Canon, Legend of Korra

So the sequel series of Avatar: The Last Airbender came and gone, sadly with Nickelodeon screwing it over in its last two seasons.  But one thing that a great many seemed to be overjoyed with is how they decided to close off the romantic stuff that sadly was a pain in its early seasons… pair the characters who had the most chemistry together.  Korra and Asami Sato weren’t exactly the first attempt at romance on this show considering they first had a love triangle with a bland broody plank, but I think the writers got much better spark writing interactions between the two women than they ever had with Mako.  And it pretty much sailed right into the sunset as the final moments of the series were with Korra and Asami going into the spirit world holding hands looking lovingly into each other’s eyes, much like the last moments of Avatar were of Aang and Katara finally resolving a series-long romantic tension.

This is definitely rare because you would think that the show would have taken the atypical route and had one pair with Mako, in fact that is how Book One ended with him and Korra, and was going to be the end of the series had Nickelodeon not ordered three more seasons.  It’s one of those things the creators decided to do and at least I feel it worked, even if admittedly it isn’t quite perfect, even they don’t think so either.  As much as it’s great to see a canonical pairing of two bisexual characters there seems to be forces at work in this country (by which I mean network censors), who would never allow something to be explicitly said of such a pairing in a children’s cartoon.  We only get silent stares and loving kisses on the cheeks because I would imagine there would be fear that the show would be shut down by a bunch of conservative reactionary jackasses.  And this show has really seemed to just throw a lot of censor rules out the window as there are some brutal (albeit brief) deaths and not beating around the bush to serious consequences of actions.  When it came to the final canon pairing though, there still seems to be that stigma in which they can’t go far with it.

On the other hand speaking of censorship being thrown out the window…

Rather not spoil the fusion of what happens next

Stevonnie, Fusion Dancing and Steven Universe

Right now fresh on a lot of people’s minds is the Steven Universe episode “Together Alone” in which the titular character is being taught how to gem fuse yet ends up being a reflection of both gender identity and anxiety.  To lay it down (And I already put up the SPOILER warning) Steven and his friend/implied love interest Connie fuse to make a non-gender binary coded teenage-looking character named Stevonnie (Coined by Amethyst), ends up being the attraction of not just males but females, isn’t referred to any sort of gender pronouns, and is designed to inhabit the characteristics of both male and female where they don’t lean heavily to either side.  What works so well is not just seeing these two lovable dorks finding both the positives and the negatives of literally being one and the same, but how it brings together some commentary about people who choose not to associate with a gender binary and what sort of reaction they may face. 

Steven Universe in general seems to be pushing boundaries all the time, even earlier in the episode itself showing how gem fusion can be a little… heated, if it wasn’t enough subtext with Garnet’s dance moves in “Coach Steven”, certainly can be read with how Garnet and Pearl end up demonstrating a fusion to Steven.  With all the sexual and romantic tension read between the Gems, that doesn’t even seem to count as subtext.

Then there is another challenge to gender norms in Steven himself, he does have the interests of a little boy, but he also doesn’t frown upon anything girly, he even has a Sailor Moon manga in his drawer at one point.  Not to mention he looks up to three powerful women, excited at just about everything they do and excited to learn from them, literally having stars in his eyes in the process.  In fact a lot of these representations are really positive and not frowned upon.  There is a lot that is going on that’s positive with Steven Universe and I hope it only continues to be great in pushing that sort of boundaries in children’s television.

In fact I hope many modern children’s cartoons are able to push against the stigma of what is and what isn’t allowed.  That they can handle in a mature subject matter such as sexual orientation and gender identity.  It will certainly piss of the PTC’s of the world, but I would rather they get pissed than having networks to bend to their regressive wills every-time homosexuality is portrayed in a positive light.

If this makes me an SJW, then I don’t even know what the hell the term is.

End of Rant

Jan. 7th, 2015

real life, fluffyman, costume

CALLING OUT HATERS: 8 Personal Best Blogs of 2014

Do not envy the people who have to clean this up.
New Year's Eve in Times Square New York City working with NBC by Anthony Quintano
Use Protected Under: Creative Commons as long as it's attributed

Another year came and gone, and a lot has changed over the past year, for one thing people now know my real name Brian Myers.  But there was so much that happened, that I kind of wish I had written more, topics like Ferguson, Gamergate, our war with ISIS that we don’t call a war because of using drone strikes, how much the loss of such a big actor like Robin Williams really meant to me.  To say the least, 2014 was less of a political year for me and COH, and I think if anything the reaction to my rant on Men’s Rights Activists kind of put me off of doing political blogs as often, part of the reason why you won’t see it on this list.

Still doesn’t mean there weren’t some blogs I’m proud of or felt was very fun to do, and here is eight of them:

Diversity and America

This past Super Bowl, Coca-Cola wanted to show America as it truly is, a stew of cultures who are of different ethnicities and like to speak multiple languages yet still feel American.  But of course the ignorant in this country decided to exposit some toxic sludge that says Coke did something un-American.  These people are just the bile that feeds into a system that brushes off the cold-blooded killings of African-American youth as “just something that happens”, a showing of widespread human apathy, not caring that people exist in this country beyond their narrow perspectives of what an American is.  America isn’t just some guy who has the flag waving on his front porch, it’s a great many things, and Coke really did show that, even if it’s shoving an unhealthy drink on us.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Part 1, Part 2

People just love to put down the old Spider-Man films in favor of the new ones, and yet for all it’s faults, still I felt was the better experiences than both of Marc Webb’s films, especially the second one which (SPOILERS) fridges Gwen Stacy in a matter that makes just about all of her development pointless, no other film from 2014 has made me so angry at how it ended.  There was just something that I felt more emotionally attached with the Raimi films, maybe because they aren’t too worked up on trying to tell a convoluted mythology that stops the film dead in it’s tracks, villains that have much better development (Yes, even Edward Brock Jr.), and importantly have emotional beats feel like emotional beats and not feel like just stepping stones to the next plot point.  Heck I even found Spider-Man 3 to be not as miserable to watch compared to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even if Raimi himself doesn’t think back too fondly on it.

And for all that the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy did, what it didn’t do is put Sony in a situation in which they are seriously considering selling the property back to Marvel or at least coming to an agreement. As well it seems any plans for Amazing Spider-Man spin-off films seem to be dashed, so it looks like those plans for a Sinister Six and a female-led Spidey film are dashed, though with the latter I really would have been curious to have seen.  Marvel also has plans to do another reboot of Spider-Man but without an origin story, which thank glob we’ve had enough of reboots and rebooting origins.  I don’t think the Sony hacking scandal has done them any favors either, but needless to say Amazing hasn’t really worked out for them and it looks like we won’t be seeing anymore Andrew Garfield Spidey.  Tragic I know, but they were going in a really bad direction to begin with IMO.

Advent Rising: Gem or Turd?

Funny what I feel one of the best blogs of last year was a game from 2005 that no one really remembers.  But it is definitely one I feel deserves to be included because it is my first attempt at a really comprehensive game review, and one that I hope to do again in the future, even if I don’t have as much time to blog or game anymore.  This game didn’t make a great impression on me when it first came out and most certainly hasn’t actually playing the darn thing, just felt like a game that tried to be ambitious but wasn’t anywhere near polished enough to actually pull it off, it’s buggy, it’s clunky and ultimately it just feels like it needed far more development time.  I don’t know if I’ll ever do that blog in which I’d write what I’d do to improve the game, but needless to say I’d think it’d be pretty apparent from what I’ve written what it really needed to do to finish off a trilogy.  Well maybe the developers now known as Chair Entertainment may visit it again after they are done with Infinity Blade 17.

Shipping (w/ Jashykins)

It had been years since I did my last cross-over and I decided to do it with someone different this time: Jash Derin Kor-Ze also known as Jashykins who writes about fanfiction and shipping extensively in her blogs, which inspired by to do a first in what I’d hope to be many co-op blogs.  First topic was of shipping and basically me playing the role of the person who doesn’t really get what all the shipping is about (Which pretty much echoes reality for the most part), and I feel like I had more than I needed to know from Jashykins.  We discuss various ships we’ve either noticed or felt strongly about, makes for very enlightening conversations.  But you might find The Legend of Korra rant I had to be particularly dated especially when SPOILER ALERT, the final canon pairing is of two bi-sexual characters, something I hope to get back to in the future.  This was still a fun little blog to do with Jashykins and I am still happy to ship with her.

That still sounds wrong.

The Ending to The Last of Us (Big SPOILERS)

I was late to the party of The Last of Us only taking time last year to finally finish the game (On PS3, didn’t have the PS4 Remastered version at the time), and have actually heard quite a bit of controversy about the ending beforehand.  Having finished the game, I found my own conclusion of why it’s controversial, the lack of choice made by the player, that Joel’s actions at the end people didn’t feel that easy by, especially when it’s forced onto the player.  I didn’t find how the game concluded to be bad mind you, but I understood why many were frustrated and the fact you have to go along the developer’s path as opposed to pave your own.  I almost felt it when I was forced to kill sneak and kill Fireflies in order to achieve a goal, like “I don’t think I want to do this” sort of way.  In general though, the game is pretty solid and worth playing, no matter what Spoony Ones will tell you and how somehow dramatic stories make “games less fun.”

10 Worst Movies I’ve Seen in Recent Memory #10-6, #5-1

To compile this list I had to really remember which movies just gave an utterly rotten taste in my mouth.  Targets like The Last Airbender, Sucker Punch, Transformers, Dragonball: Evolution, A Good Day to Die Hard, and Birdemic were easy enough, but how many really talk about The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Spirit or Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem?  I almost feel like they’ve been the forgotten pinnacles of cinematic excrement, ones that we tried to block from our memory only to be reminded once in a while.  But I remember, and I really dread them for what they tried to do, and ended up failing utterly.  To do a Best List however will be a much more difficult task and one I would put much more thought right into.


This is what over two weeks of sleep depravity does to you, makes you do topics that on a more rested mind might not have thought of.  But 2014 was the year of the Booty and with people being “All About That Bass”, years-old singers popularizing on their infamous assets and singing about Anacondas walking with buns many years after Sir-Mix-A-Lot, it was hard to ignore.  The result is one blog that I thought would be shark jumping but actually wasn’t that badly received when I posted it.  I also tried to avoid trying to be too rash on the subject matter, because it might be easy to put people at the butt end of the joke, but I tried to be respectful to women who decide to take pride in their rumps, whilst also acknowledging that it’s not a sole standard of beauty.  Also maybe admitting something about myself more than people may like to know.  Like I doubt many would even know who Muhler Melancia (meaning “Watermelon Woman”) is, yet I do and I’m not entirely certain if I should celebrate or just feel a bit unclean admitting to knowing about a Brazilian celebrity who is famous for her butt.  Well now I hope no one thinks I might be this uber-pervert who lives in a basement.

Favorite Blog of Last Year:

Loss (RIP Justin “JewWario” Carmical)

I like many others felt utterly devastated last year when Justin Carmical took his own life, and decided to make a rant about how we cope with loss.  Just because we never knew this person doesn’t mean we can’t be affected.  Justin was someone who just about everyone who knew him said he was one of the nicest people they’ve ever met and tragically it seems like he had some personal demons that he never could quite get over.  This might be some of the reasons why I didn’t write a rant about Robin Williams, another person who was said as one of the nicest people in life sadly had his own personal demons get the best of him, because I don’t know if I could say anymore about the concept of loss and why it affects us all.  It’s just tragic in general who we have lost this past year, making 2014 feel all the more worse.

But one thing I will say lastly, fuck the guy who decided to question AngryJoe’s grief on his friend’s passing.  I will not link to the person’s utterly detestable videos make on the subject, nor his Twitter that seems to read across as the tell-tale signs of a sociopath, but needless to say, I fucking weep for humanity who sees how a person expresses their grief for a fallen friend as something more insidious.  This person didn’t fucking know Justin as well as Joe did, so what the hell can he really say?  Does he fucking know more about JewWario than one of his closest friends?  He’s also the same guy who decided that TotalBiscuit getting bowl cancer was “justice.”  This person is just a horrible human being by using a tragedy to spew out some of the most vile things I’ve seen on the internet this past year.

*breathes out*

Can 2015 be any better please?

End of Rant

Nov. 24th, 2014


CALLING OUT HATERS: What I’m Thankful/Not Thankful For Vol. 3

Unfortunately the turkey became sentient and started shooting lasers into the crowd.
"Thanksgiving Day Parade" by martha_chapa95 on Flickr
Protected Under: Creative Commons

Keeping the annual tradition of What I’m Thankful and Not Thankful For this past year. Since I will be working on Thanksgiving, I thought I would get this out a little earlier. Re: my political rants, and I have been meaning to write about a lot of these subjects as their own blog, but just didn’t quite have the energy to do so, trying to write a political blog without shooting yourself in the foot is hard work. Well hopefully you’ll see these as a nice alternative.

I’m Thankful For The LEGO Movie

I’m Not Thankful For Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

I’m Thankful for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy

I’m Not Thankful for having to wait years before there is a female-led mainstream superhero film

I’m Thankful for the twist in Gone Girl taking me by complete surprise (Didn’t read the novel)

I’m Not Thankful for no real twist put into The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I’m Thankful for Interstellar giving me the best IMAX experience I’ve had since Avatar and having some of the best visuals I’ve seen in years

I’m Not Thankful for the film not quite being that subtle

I’m Thankful for both Interstellar and Big Hero 6 having largely positive messages about people who pursue science.

I’m Not Thankful for those in society still treating science as like the boogeyman, especially when it comes to climate and impacting the environment in general. I guess we should just ignore the drought California is going through, spills that have been happening across the nation or politicians being paid off by corporate interests to deregulate environmental protection, push laws to tear up national parks and build a very bothersome oil pipeline. *rant over*

I’m Thankful for Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I’m Not Thankful for not enough people watching it

I’m Thankful for Steven Universe

I’m Not Thankful for Dish Network closing off people from seeing such a great show

I’m Thankful for Legend of Korra Books 3 and 4 making up for the disappointing Book 2

I’m Not Thankful for Nickelodeon fucking the show over by making them exclusively online.

Also Not Thankful: Nick screwing over Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) for making the brilliant decision of having the last episodes of Season 2 online almost a week before they aired on TV

I’m Thankful for John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight taking off, especially his segment on Net Neturality

I’m Not Thankful for no longer having HBO

I’m Thankful for Netflix

I’m Not Thankful for when something gets removed from Netflix before I had the chance to watch it. Also I’m a big procrastinator, haven’t watched much in the past couple of months.

I’m Thankful for “Too Many Cooks”

I’m Not Thankful for “Too Many Cooks”

I’m Thankful for Bayonetta 2 and the new Super Smash Bros.

I’m Not Thankful for Other big releases coming out in very unpolished states (See Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed Unity).

I’m Thankful for Xbox One seemingly finding their footing, as much as the PS4 is superior, it’s nice to have healthy competition.

I’m Not Thankful for fanboy comments, fanboy comments everywhere.

I’m Thankful for finishing The Last of Us

I’m Not Thankful for wasting my time on Advent Rising

I’m Thankful for Still being able to enjoy playing video games.

I’m Not Thankful for #Gamergate. For being so diverse of a movement (I won’t doubt with the whole #NotYourShield thing) it keeps on pushing anti-feminist agendas and has little to no understanding about gender politics or even how journalism works.


I’m Not Thankful for humanity thinking Kim Kardashian showing off her bum was bigger deal.

Also #Shirtgate. The reaction to the scientist’s shirt might be a little overblown, but he still apologized for it (Though some say “he was bullied into it”). I really am sick of those that treat people being upset by a T-shirt like it’s the complete reason why Feminism is dead. Sorry but there is a big difference between when a woman dresses sexily and when a piece of art does, the latter doesn’t speak. The fact a woman made the shirt doesn’t really change that much, Bayonetta was designed by a woman but does that make the character’s design exempt from criticism? Not really.

I’m Thankful for Butts, and people who are comfortable flaunting them.

I’m Not Thankful for how media and misogynistic scumbags treat people for the basis of having big butts.

Also Not Thankful For (But not as much) Having earworms as a side-effect from listening to butt songs. Yes, I know you’re “All About That Bass.”

I’m Thankful for progressive policies like gay marriage and better pay being more accepted by the public.

I’m Not Thankful for regressive politicians somehow being elected back to office. I get the strong feeling it wasn’t completely the American public’s fault with all the talk of gerrymandering and trying to push Voter ID laws.

I’m Thankful for soldiers not being sent out to war.

I’m Not Thankful for the fact we’re sending drones instead. Drone strikes are still warfare.

I’m Thankful for the situation in Ferguson showing awareness police brutality and abuse of force, especially towards minorities and violating the press’ first amendment rights.

I’m Not Thankful for the abuses still happening period. As well as those who still defend abuses of authority and call any Ferguson resident who protests it thugs, even those who don’t even incite violence. Also the fact Darren Wilson didn’t get questioned for his unlawful execution of Michael Brown sooner. Yes, I said unlawful execution, by many accounts there was no reason for Brown to have been shot to death.

I’m Thankful for having a well-paying job

I’m Not Thankful for not knowing whether or not I’m really doing good at it

I’m Thankful for writing much more fun CALLING OUT HATERS rants

I’m Not Thankful for maybe not calling out as much haters as I really should

Happy Thanksgiving, and hopefully the turkey you consume doesn’t bite.

End of Rant

Oct. 23rd, 2014



Hypnotic and on someone who is confident about flaunting it.
Image Source: Billboard

Okay, this might be probably one of the strangest subjects I’m going to ever cover on COH and probably the most perverted, so if there was ever going to be a shark-jumping moment for me this might very well be it. I am currently on the skis right now, waiting for a boat to take me out in the middle of the ocean, no turning back now.

In the words of one Space Dandy: “It’s time to give booty the respect it deserves!” Or at the very least one that acknowledges respect that has come before, but people seem to keep forgetting.

I mentioned briefly in my blog on Bayonetta, that while in the process of writing it I was overtired and had butts a lot on the mind. That seriously was not an exaggeration, somewhere in my state of restless hell I became all about the booty. A rather notable part of our lower anatomies (Aside from the one we reproduce with) that whilst has the primary function of excreting waste of whatever we’ve eaten has time and again been the fascination of pop culture and sexual expression. People commonly like to compare them to breasts, in which aside from desire is only comparable in producing some sort of fluid or waste. We like to love them, like to kick them, we like to shove them, we like to lick them, love to flaunt them, love to watch them, we love to pick them, and love to kick them, for we’re an ass man (or women just not to discriminate).

There seems to be especially a fascination with booties when they are big and plump, especially on a female. Some people think having a big butt as a sign of fertility, that it makes for some great child bearing hips tied into our origins with primates and, I’m not kidding, has been scientifically proven to produce healthier and smarter women. Queen says they make the rocking world go round, ZZ Top wants you to take them downtown to look for them, Spinal Tap say they are cushions more for a pushing, and Sir Mix A Lot said that he wouldn’t deceive you in saying he likes them. Certain foreign countries like Brazil and within the continent Africa value greatly the size of a woman’s posterior as a sign of beauty, at least from my basic understanding, don’t hold that as an absolute fact. Brazil is a well-known cosmetic surgery capital of the world especially when it comes to butts, hold a competition called Miss Bumbum to determine the best one and there is a dancer named Mulher Melancia (the “Watermelon Woman”, also known as Andressa Soares) whose popularity is commonly attributed to her endowed butt dances. Even ancient civilizations such as Greece have art attributed to behinds, and a lot of dances like samba and belly dancing have long history that show people have been loving butts for centuries. Or maybe people simply just love the way the move and feel.

But for some reason people in America seem a little surprised when big booties continues to get mainstream attention. The latest thing seems to be butts being used as a symbol for feminine empowerment. I mentioned before Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” which samples “Baby Got Back” as a framework to flip the gender switch on how big butts are seen, and it’s hardly the only song that has a close connection with her rather robust derriere, “Super Bass” has a different meaning when you put the b at the end of the first word and more explicitly a song simply called “Ass” that she makes a brief appearance in. Then there is Jennifer Lopez after years of being noted for her backside, decided to finally devote a song called “Booty” collaborating with not only her husband Pitbull but another artist who is coasting off of her culo Iggy Azalea. Then there is Meghan Trainor who is “All About That Bass”, as in all about big butt pride, and thinks people who are skinny shouldn’t be threatened by it. Other people who have been made note of because of their butts and in some form of another have had an embracement of it: Shakira, Christina Aguilera (Specifically when she gained some weight post pregnancy), Beyoncé Knowles, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, Nelly Furtado post-“Loose”, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jessica Simpson, and for better or worse Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. It seems the popular thing to have a donk.

Of course with popular things come consequences, and this worship of booty crosses the line when it becomes the sole standard of beauty. That everything else about a woman is less important if she doesn’t have nice buns. The sentiment is nice enough when it’s just complimenting another way that makes a woman great, to go along with personality and other areas of her body like if she has an overall curvy figure akin to Christina Hendricks, but keep in mind not everyone is going to take the compliment. Some people don’t like it when their butt is given attention and called out especially from complete strangers. Not to mention there are creepers who like to candidly photograph or videotape women’s butts without expressed permission or grope them when they pass by. Sexual harassment is not okay no matter what the size.

When you approach someone about their butt, it’s best to really know that person would be okay with it first, it’s something that friends, intimate partners and people looking to “have a good time” at clubs or public functions would likely do, but it shouldn’t be the call for people who have no real connection with one another. Butt compliments have to be earned, not forced.

That goes for our shallow media too, whose standards for beauty seem to take precedence over whether or not they are good people. Fame through cheeks always doesn’t mean that the person itself can always be pleasant. Kim Kardashian is an example of a socially shallow heiress who has been complimented more on her butt than contributing anything that positive to society. Miley Cyrus’ whole twerking shtick doesn’t come across as natural, more seeing what others have done and cynically copy it to gain attention, and use people of color with bigger butts than hers more as objects. Same with Iggy Azalea who may have the donk but stylistically seems to copy closely to what others have done, not even getting into the fact both her and Miley have been accused of cultural appropriation with how they’ve been gloating. It’s really dumb when twerking itself is considered something new as it isn’t that far removed from how people have been shaking what their momma gave them for centuries through different dance moves. Singers like Lily Allen and Taylor Swift have tried to parody this sudden uptrend of singers overtly sexualizing themselves but have gotten criticism for falling into the same traps themselves, especially the whole “background dancers as mere objects” thing.

To move on to a more personal perspective, I will shamelessly admit to having a weird attraction to a woman’s butt. A woman who can shake a mean rump is one that can immediately catch my eye, the sort of thing is very hard to look away from. Certainly there are other, more important factors to take into consideration with a woman’s beauty, booty is not an absolute deciding factor, and I always like a woman who can be confident, in control in her dancing so rather than one who seems to just be forced into doing it. I’m also trying hard to distance myself from creeper behavior, as I’m not exactly the most social person. I always try be careful in where my eyes go and I never compliment if the woman isn’t asking for it. I am very sheepish when it comes to confronting women who have shown even a small bit of sexual energy towards me being a self-admitted 28-year-old virgin: my 2012 college graduation party involved quite a few women who have decided to use me as someone to grind off of, including one who was intoxicated enough that she outright sexually harassed me, so for a long while has turned me off from hitting the club, and being that close with someone who has impaired judgment is never alright.

Regardless though, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to appreciate booty, but you must really remember that there is a person attached to it. As well anyone who loves to flaunt it shouldn’t be shamed for doing so. Anyone who hates a woman who is confident in their booty, I hope a lot of farts are pointed in your general direction.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a shark tank with my name on it.

End of Rant

Oct. 20th, 2014



She doesn't look like she gives a shit whether you find her empowering does she?
Image Source: Manufactured Cosplay

Author’s Note: Part of this rant was written while I am fighting a really bad cold that has made me sleep deprived and taking an over-the-counter drug that has some funky side effects, so if some of these thoughts seems half processed, also strangely had butts on a lot on my mind, so you’ll know that I didn’t exactly write it with 100% clear mind. Oh and


I haven’t finished the first Bayonetta or seeing anyone complete the second so plot details won’t be discussed. This will be based on the general principal of the character.

For many reasons, I should hate a character like Bayonetta. She most certainly isn’t a character that can be easily accepted, a leggy witch who loves to sway her hips in an exaggerated fashion, does sexually suggestive poses at the drop of a hat, because her outfit and part of her weapons is hair her special moves involve a degree of undress, ultimately culminating in her practically being naked to finish off an enemy. The games also cater very much to the male gaze in which the game seems makes sure you get very intimate with Bayonetta. Adding to the sexual stuff is moves being described as “Climaxes” and the fact you can even have a one-handed option to play the game.

But beneath her curvy exterior, there might actually be something a bit… empowering about Bayonetta? I mean think about it, she may use sex as a weapon but she is never submissive. She may gyrate, seduce and flirt just about every other moment in the game, but never comes at the expense of dehumanizing her. Being sexy is pretty much built into the character is made, would be a hell of a lot different had she been set-up as trying to take seriously like say the women of Dead or Alive which seems to be only putting up its main cast as well-endowed models yet wants you to take it’s convoluted plot seriously.

Then there is who made Bayonetta, and it may falls into place why the characters exist the way they do. The main brain was Hideki Kamiya is the guy who helped us bring the masculine equivalent of Bayonetta to the gaming industry in 2001, Dante from Devil May Cry. He also helped bring Clover studios together and helped find Platinum Games both companies loving to dip into the excess of style whether it’d be Viewtiful Joe or The Wonderful 101. It doesn’t feel unusual why the game is over-the-top in terms of its sexiness when you put those together.

Then there is the character designer herself… that’s right herself, Mari Shimazaki. I just feel like if you are to tackle the arguments of Bayonetta’s design you shouldn’t throw Ms. Shimazaki so casually to the side, she may not be responsible for the final result of the game but she certainly has a big hand in some of Bayonetta’s more controversial design choices. The fact that Bayonetta seems to be mainly comprised of limbs, giving her a freakishly tall appearance, a butt that won’t quit and a bodysuit made entirely of hair can be attributed to her thinking what an inherently sexual female character can be. And apparently she enjoyed doing it, so this is a case of not only men having a somewhat off-beat idea of what female empowerment through sexuality can be.

And what is there to say about empowerment through sexuality? Part of the reason why some women take up specific careers like being a stripper, sex worker, practicing BDSM for a living or even something as not quite as intimate like being a professional model or part of a burlesque routine, the idea of using sex as a ways of feeling powerful, that putting out for someone can be a rewarding experience. Some women like this feeling in control of their bodies as opposed to being forced to perform such duties, when they grind on someone’s lap it’s normally on their terms.

Of course not everyone will see it that way, really there is no denying there is a point in which sexy can become a problem. There is a key difference from when a character like Bayonetta pops up in video games in comparison to say Nicki Minaj releasing her single “Anaconda.” It was Ms. Minaj’s choice to write a song which is seen as flipping the idea of “Baby Got Back” in which big butts can taken as a symbol of feminine pride as opposed to male lust. Mari Shimazaki is only one part of a team of many men in which their gaze seem to be serviced more than hers, as Bayonetta is shot provocatively and even shamelessly poses for the player at times. Alternatively it can be seen as her just wanting to spread the sexual energy not just for herself but for the audience as well (And whose to say lesbians can’t enjoy it), but it still remains a valid thought that Bayonetta’s sexual freedom isn’t one that will be everyone’s cup of tea.

I can take the fact that people won’t universally see Bayonetta as a symbol of female empowerment, and I won’t argue against their views as video games are hardly the progressive side when it comes to positive representation. Where I will draw the line however is shaming those that do embrace Bayonetta for all that she is, that a woman enjoying the game shouldn’t be considered lesser of a feminist to see the character as empowering. People who declare themselves feminists yet spout a high degree of sex negativity is one thing I cannot support, not everything that has to do with sex is bad. One woman’s dismay may be another’s pleasure, and I think it’s perfectly alright for feminism to embrace both, just as long as they don’t start acting awful towards each other.

Well that was more than I thought I would write on the subject, and hey this is the week to really write about it as Bayonetta 2 releases on the Wii U this Friday and the anime Bloody Fate releases tomorrow on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digitial. I will tell you this definitely of Bayonetta, for all the stylish excess the game divulges in, it’s still plenty of fun and makes me wish there is a lot more character action games out there than there are currently. I’d love for old-school Dante to return.

End of Rant

Sep. 29th, 2014

Johnny Storm

CALLING OUT HATERS: 10 Worst Movies I’ve Seen In Recent Memory #5-1

Due to LiveJournal space limitations, I split this rant off into two parts.  So let us continue.

5. The Spirit

Nothing is more pathetic than seeing a film attempting to re-capture magic of a creator’s glory days, yet ends up falling face first into the toilet (“What? Toilets are always funny.”). Frank Miller’s attempt at making his spin at Will Eisner’s legendary comic book hero not only is comically inept in just about every way imaginable but also is another sure sign that the best days of Miller are LONG behind him.

The film attempts as some sort of combination of the gritty noir of Sin City but with some of the campy elements of Batman… that is the 60s Batman, but comes across the worst of both worlds. The noir itself doesn’t come across as Sin City as much as it feels like a parody, as the exaggerated noir tropes charm just don’t feel natural with the 60s Batman-esque campiness, two tones that just don’t mesh together. Not helping the fact that the film contains some of the clunkiest dialogue grown men and women should never have to utter on camera.

Miller has his typical tropes and that is objectifying/fetishizing women, can’t seem to write one without making them slutty. There is annoying protagonist narration that philosophizes without really saying anything. And just overall just seems confused on what sort of thing he wants to make. If he wanted a spiritual embodiment of the source, many people have said he’s failed. If he wanted to make something so off-the-wall batshit insane, he definitely succeeded. And it’s not the somewhat significant insanity that brought us The Dark Knight Returns, it’s the unhinged insanity that brought us The Dark Knight Strikes Back.

About the only relatively decent thing of it is Samuel L. Jackson’s Octopus, because he seems very much the only one who seems to have a good time with such stupidity. Scarlett Johansson seems to be slumming it up (Though maybe it was a point), Eva Mendes hasn’t shown beyond her range, Gabriel Macht is just an unappealing lead. Honestly, Miller, just stop, your best days are behind you, between this and the “acclaim” for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For just give it up.

4. Dragonball: Evolution

How many of us 90s kids dreamed of a Dragon Ball movie? Well how many of us didn’t dream it with the annoying kid from War of the Worlds as the hero and without any semblance of effort? It’s one of those movies where it was immediately apparent when details were leaked of it that it was going to fail, and in a big way.

I mean for the love of god, Justin Chatwin as Goku, just what universe was the filmmakers living in which that was a good idea. Not only an actor who has yet to prove himself capable as a compelling lead, but also is a white guy playing a character who is pretty much Japan’s equivalent of Superman. Goku may be canonically alien but his origin is inherently Japanese and Dragonball based upon the story of Journey to the West which I don’t even think these filmmakers really cared for (Goku has no tail for one thing). Chatwin was right away a big mistake, and he hardly has an ounce of the naïve innocence that Goku has in the anime and manga.

Even bigger mistake is basically boiling this movie down into trying to be a dry dull blockbuster, one that gets straight to the point without a hint of personality or energy to it. We have a cast of characters but save for Chow Yun-Fat’s Master Roshi, good luck finding anything endearing about them. Emmy Rossum’s Bulma is completely devoid of anything interesting, the inventor who tails along with Goku searching for Dragon Balls well in over her head is turned into Generic Action Heroine #12900, and only has strands of the character’s trademark blue hair. Joon Park’s Yamcha hell if I can find anything quite memorable aside from getting steamed in the balls, annoying comic relief is annoying. Jaime Chung’s Chi-Chi barely even a footnote, just written strictly as “Goku’s love interest.” Piccolo, your generic evil warlord through and through, goes down pathetically easy and is only noted to be played by James Marsters of Buffy fame. And just what the hell was Ernie Hudson doing in this movie?

Then there is the poorly done action and visual effects, granted they only had a $45 Million budget and probably couldn’t afford to do some of the elaborate stuff from the shows, but them trying to make big action set-pieces come across as just laughable. Much of the sets and art design have a cheap vibe to them almost looking like a slightly above budget Power Rangers episode. The fights manage to be poorly choreographed, shot and leave absolutely no impression. Final battle feels like a dime store version of a lot of the fights of the anime, and lasts a small fraction as long. With no care to the story, comes no care to the action, so what do I really care about this film?

The only glimpses of the original source material are in the scattershot way they bring in specific story elements. Try to weave in the story of the original Dragon Ball series, whilst trying to make it about Goku being in high school echoing Gohan’s Great Sayiaman Saga, and at least have certain elements in which it acknowledges the filmmakers have familiarity with the source. But it’s in what they change is makes it more noticeable, the botched attempt at Oozaru and the significance of Gohan’s death, a whole clichéd plot element of an eclipse, element-bending which really doesn’t amount to much other than I think ripping-off Avatar: The Last Airbender, the lack of the silly elements like anthromorphsized shape-shifting animals or just anything that light. Naturally half the humor of the original would likely not go well with American audiences, but when not even the sort of fun energy, it just feels like it’s mostly just hitting beats without passion.

Could have been capable of more, especially since Stephen Chow, a man who pretty much has made silly action work is producing, but I’d guess his involvement is about as much as Spielberg to the Transformers. The directing duties go to James Wong whose big movies of note before this were the first and third Final Destination and the Jet Li kicks his own ass vehicle The One which whilst only had a $49 Mil budget actually boasts a bit more impressive visuals than this Dragonball abomination.

Overall, this felt like Fox just pushing out a movie because they had the rights to it and ended up being the most soulless adaptation I have seen in recent memory. The Last Airbender can be laughed at how incompetent it is, but this… just can’t even make me laugh. Well if anything didn’t sour Justin Chatwin or Emmy Rossum enough to not re-appear together in the Showtime series Shameless and as far as I know their characters have sex with each other... yeah there’s that for you slash fiction writers.

3. A Good Day to Die Hard

If I were to make an appropriate metaphor, this film is akin to that of the current state of The Simpsons, forgot what made them charming in the first place and instead cynically tries to keep up with what is hip with today. Live Free or Die Hard at least had that feeling of overwhelming odds and a sense of fun to be had with some of the action, in spite of the over-the-top ridiculousness certain scenes evoke and a questionably pursued PG-13 rating. A Good Day to Die Hard just feels like a shallow cash-in through and through.

The fifth installment John McClane (Bruce Willis) in Russia so that he could get his son Jack (Jai Courtney) and ends up blasting away bad guys again. And just how John handles things? In the most obnoxious and unlikable way possible. He always acts like a grumpy asshole, does things that only solidify this status like whining how he is on vacation, carjacking a Russian and deciding to punch him because the guy doesn’t speak English (You’re in HIS country John), and has completely non-existent chemistry with his son. Jack McClane is definitely no better either, such an equally unlikable character makes me pine for Samuel L. Jackson or hell even Justin Long. Jack is the typical son who grew up to be a neglectful adult, if he’s not blasting away at baddies he’s nagging about his father and how his childhood sucks and just once I would like this character type to die. The whole John neglected by his offspring, already felt played out in the last movie with Molly but at least tolerable due to Mary Elizabeth Winstead selling it and the character not doing it when it matters the most. Sadly Ms. Winstead is only a regulated to a brief cameo in the Theatrical Cut of the film.

The action isn’t even that interesting as Max Payne director John Moore settles for quite possibly the worst sins of modern action movies, shooting them too close and edit them in which at times produces an incomprehensible mess. One of the major chase scenes at the start is quite possibly one of the worst action scenes I’ve seen in a long time. And ultimately you feel no tension as the McClanes are pretty much superhuman to which they can face off against hordes of bad guys even standing in full sight without getting a graze, even surviving impossible explosions and drops from high heights. Compounded by some laughably bad visual effects, this is quite possibly the worst action scenes you’ll see in a Die Hard movie by far.

Now there are a few questions that come to mind: Why? Why did this get made and in such a cynical and downright passion-less way? In spite of being the first movie of the franchise that actually was meant to be a Die Hard movie from the beginning, it is quite possibly the most far removed to how the series had set itself out as. Can definitely hand a brunt of the blame of Skip Woods who helped give us such “classics” as Swordfish and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I’d quite imagine there were stars in his Mr. Woods’ offered the job but doesn’t excuse the fact he ended up churning an absolutely abysmal charm-less shoot fest.


2. Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem

Oh look, another Fox movie. Seems to be a thing in which the worst movies I’ve seen are Fox’s cynical cash-ins to famous names, they seemed especially bad at it in the turn of the millennium. This one though is the most joy-less I’ve seen out of all of them, an exercise in crudity that manages to do a disservice to both the Alien and Predator names, as if Paul W.S. Anderson wasn’t enough (Though that’s just off of other people’s words haven’t seen the first film entirely).

The film leaves off where the previous AVP film did in which an alien bursts out of a Predator and causes a ship to crash into Gunnison, Colorado. The alien itself turns into an Alien/Predator hybrid called a Predalien which has the ability to impregnate alien embryos through its mouth… don’t ask me why. The crash gets the attention of a Predator canonically named Wolf who is sent down to Earth to clean up the mess including hunting down some Aliens who have sprung up. Oh and there are quite a few humans caught in the cross-fire.

Feel uninterested already? Well it gets a lot worse when you see the film. Its human element is almost treated as an afterthought, as the characters are just so flat and unmemorable that there isn’t any real attachment to them or feel anything for them when they meet their demises. Most dumb of all is a female soldier back from overseas who is meant to be an expy for Ellen Ripley, but by god does she not have a quarter of her personality. There is also a geeky pizza delivery boy, his fanservicey crush, a “bad boy”, a cop… yeah I won’t refer them by their names because that is about as much care I have for them, on the level as the filmmakers seem to have. One tries to even make a reference to “Get to the choppah” but it just comes across as just soulless pandering.

The film itself really isn’t scary either, relies on a lot of cheap fear in order to give the illusion of fright. And by cheap I mean REALLY cheap, not just regulated to cheap jump-scares. One of the first victims of a chest-burster is a father and a little child, the Predalien actually is able to produce many different aliens from the pregnant wombs of women and you get these in graphic detail. It’s shock value pure and simple, yet there isn’t really any feeling that it’s relevant other than the Brothers Strause essentially saying “Hey we got an R-rating, we can kill kids and pregnant women!” There is such a cold detached attitude of these deaths are part of what makes the film just joy-less to watch.

It might not be watchable anyway, unless you can even make out most of what happens. This film is dark, so dark in fact it’s hard to make out much what happens. We could be seeing the biggest fight of the century yet could barely make out a damn thing. Some filmmakers use darkness for tension Alien was definitely exemplary on that front, this just uses it as a way of saying “oooh, look at how scary things are in the dark.” That’s about the extent of the atmosphere and it doesn’t add anything to a paper-thin story.

And in the end what the hell does it all matter? With all the bloody carnage and cheap scares, the film ends with an empty feeling of, what the hell was the point? Did any of us really ask for this? People certainly asked for an AVP film that actually delivered on gore, but these filmmakers forgot to write anything else. The reason why people hold movies like Alien, Aliens and Predator with a high regard is that the characters weren’t just throw-away victims, the scares weren’t just cheap Carnival tricks, there was tension, there was atmosphere, a feeling of weight to the proceedings.

This is just chickenshit… no outfit with it just chickenshit. You might be able to wipe away the grime with Predators, but Prometheus is only a slight improvement, it still might make you yearn for the older movies.

Whoever wins, who gives a shit.

1. Birdemic: Shock and Terror

This is almost a cheat because one glance at the movie and you could already tell this was an incompetently made mess. But if I were to put on an objective hat for one moment, this film stands as quite possibly the worst made film I have seen in recent years. James Nguyen’s environmental message thriller makes The Room look like an Oscar contender, Manos: The Hands of Fate couldn’t even compare to how this film commits large sins of filmmaking (And not the dumb CinemaSins nitpicky kind).

From the very moment the film starts, there is a feeling you are taken for a ride, nearly endless shots of a person driving to music that ends up looping like a Sega CD game. Then there is the first spoken line of dialogue which sounds like it has been recorded with a tiny microphone that you’d usually use on talk shows, but was used as this film’s sound equipment. The incompetence doesn’t end there, editing at times feels like it starts too early or even stops too late, cross-fades are incompetently employed, scenes that seem to have no purpose but to pad out the film. It was like the editor did one pass on this film and didn’t even bother to do a second, I’m certain I can edit better than this on Windows Movie Maker. And this is cinematic incompetence even well before the titular Birdemic happens.

The leads are Rod (Alan Bagh) a man who works for a company who specializes in solarpanels (Not a mistake, that’s how he says it) and Nathalie (Future cameo star of Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Whitney Moore) a wanna-be Victoria’s Secret model who somehow finds the former character’s woodenness and creepy stalker vibe to be appealing. Virtually the first half of the movie is spent on this flat unappealing characters one who ends up being so ridiculously successful with his energy company ideas it’s funny, hanging out with friends by seeing An Inconvenient Truth and seeing their romance “blossom.” So much devotion made to setting things up, bland people doing bland things with a minimal of significance makes me wish the Birdemic happened sooner, so I wouldn’t have to put up with all the boring, at times laughable (Like the longest applause scene ever), but mainly boring.

When the Birdemic hits though, the movie becomes legendary. There is very little to prepare except a few shots of silence and then BAM birds are attacking! Not even well animated birds either, somebody seemed to forget to tell James Nguyen the advancements in visual effects that have been made over the past few decades, as the birds are stiff lifeless and at no point convincingly blend in with the film they are in, at times just stay in one spot whilst the camera does the movement (Like the birds were taped on the lens). At times I swear Nguyen was going for a film adaptation of Duck Hunt with how poorly animated the birds are when shot… or moving… or even hovering. About the only menace they provide is just being annoyances who occasionally explode (for some reason), slice throats and have I guess acid bird poop. One scene the characters try to fight off birds with coat hangers… it’s that sort of movie.

Now outside the post-apocalyptic setting the film tries to be a message movie. There are at least two characters who I can remember that stop the film dead in its tracks to deliver an environmental message, one of which reminds me of Woody Harrelson’s character in 2012. That this whole Birdemic happens is because humanity has been fucking around with nature for too long, “damn global warming.” Though a funny aside to this is centric around characters who want to be more environmentally friendly, and end up being received quite a bit of the receiving end of the Bird’s attacks. In fact there isn’t really a feeling that this Birdemic is affecting everyone, as in quite a few shots you see cars go by as if nothing was happening. What if this movie was just the crazed imagination of the protagonists?

Simply what else is there to say aside from two little kids end up joining the heroes but are absolute annoyances (Whine even when their parents have been BRUTALLY mutilated), the film just doesn’t so much end as it stops and somehow James Nguyen got enough attention to make a sequel, that even has a bigger non-ending than this (I haven’t seen all of so it’s not on the list). Let this movie be a lesson to any aspiring filmmakers, you should really know how to make a movie before you do it. This film’s utter ineptness in every level makes it legendary, but it shouldn’t be a guidebook on how to make a film. I think there should be classes devoted to this film on how not to make one. Just to think, had this never released, we would have never known what cinematic hell looked like.

Half-joking hyperbole aside, it’s both amazing and kind of sad that a film like this exists and continues to garner an audience who see it as some sort of epic. And you don’t have to watch it alone, as Rifftrax has a commentary for the film both as a stand-alone audio commentary (DVD required) and was the subject of one of their live shows which is probably the only time I’ve seen the whole film (But have seen enough w/o to really make this judgment).

Whatever legacy it leaves though, I still consider it to be the low point of cinema in recent memory. Shock and terror indeed.

You know what, it was actually good seeing Birdemic. That is it, I’m going to see a movie that’s cinematically friendly.

End of Rant

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