A lot has been said about the Ghostbusters reboot since it was announced. From cries about the casting choices and the (to a point) unnecessary drama around it all, Ghostbusters, for better or worse, has been on many people's mouths.
Me personally? I was more worried about Paul Feig being the director than the actual cast, who I have no problems with really (except Melissa McCarthy, I tolerate her roles in small doses, not because I don't like her as an actress, but because I feel many of her roles are kind of the same at this point). I love Kristen Wiig (and yes, I admit it, I sort of have a crush on her, don't judge). So, even though I didn't have high expectations, I was REALLY hoping this would be good, because this movie has become a perfect storm because of the first two trailers.
The first official trailer was a mess. It has one of the most lopsided thumbs up/thumbs down ratio in all of YouTube, and Sony has gone as far as deleting user comments, that is usually a big no-no at the YouTubes, because all that does is fan the fire. This trailer was all over the place, and what infuriated most viewers was the beginning, and ending of the trailer, as far as I can tell.
First off, the trailer begins with the caption (and I may be paraphrasing here) 30 years ago, four scientists saved New York. FOUR!?!?!?!?!? If they are referring to Winston Zedmore, he was not a scientist. He was the everyguy that pretty much was there to represent the movie goer. Unless they were counting as canon the Ghostbusters video game from a few years back, that was the spiritual (no pun intended) third movie, where they gave him more of a backstory and actually included elements to his character that were originally in the original film, but was left out for one reason or another. Then again, why count it as canon when it's basically a remake as seen by the trailer. So that was immediately a big red flag. Then came the ultra fake, neon cgi ghosts, the slapstick, the awkward humor, the somewhat off chemistry, and then, the big one. Leslie Jones' character ended up being called a racist stereotype mostly by the same people that at first defended the casting choice of an all female Ghostbusters. She was not a scientist, she joins the team because even though the other three are "smart about science stuff", she knows New York. And to top it off, in a very, very silly moment, where McCarthy was possessed by a ghost, Jones proceeds to smack her back to reality in a very awkward The Exorcist, uhm, parody/homage I guess? Well, that was enough to turn the hatorade levels to eleven. And then the international trailer hit.
The international trailer come a little less than a week after the fiasco of the first trailer. And it started off....better. Not by much, but it was better cut than the first, and they even made one big change. The intro now said "four friends saved New York" rather than scientists. I personally saw that as a pretty good olive branch by Sony, basically saying "yeah, we flubbed the original intro. Sorry about that." In other words, this trailer was total damage control. And it seemed to be working......until the crowd surfing scene. Not only did it blow my mind in not a very good way to see SOMEONE STILL WEARING A PROTON PACK CROWD SURFING, Leslie Jones once again in a silly slapstick moment, gets dropped when she attempts to crowd surf STILL WEARING HER PROTON PACK AS WELL AND OMGGGGG SHE LANDED SEVERAL FEET ONTO THE GROUND PACK FIRST HOW DID PEOPLE NOT DIE FROM BASICALLY A NUCLEAR FISION AND BECOME DEMOLECULIZED!!!! And then, she says it. IT. And again I may be paraphrasing here, "I don't know if it's a woman thing, or a race thing, but I'm mad!". WOW. What were you THINKING Sony/Feig!? You are seriously going to TROLL the critics of this movie by taking a not so subtle jab at them ON YOUR DAMAGE CONTROL TRAILER!!!!??? And thus, there is a huge disparity on the thumbs up/thumbs down ratio on that trailer as well.
Deep, down inside, part of me still wants this to work, but admittedly even though this is just a trailer, things are not looking too good with this film, because again, as I mentioned before, it has become a perfect storm because things are boiling down to two options:
A- Hate the movie and be a misogynist.
B- Love the movie and be a racist.
And it;s a real, shame, too, because even with this cast, with a different angle, it had so much potential. And I think that if this movie fails, it won't be because it was a woman thing or a race thing. It was a Hollywood thing. As you may know by now, critics and even filmmakers are predicting super hero/comic book movie fatigue, and every time that happens, a big movie comes out and shatters those expectations (Deadpool, anyone?). But you know what I've been noticing? People are becoming more fatigued with reboots than they are with comic books movies.
And I'm not talking "soft reboots" like Star Wars, Creed, and Jurassic Park were. I'm talking Robocop. Total Recall. Hell, even as far back as Conan and Fright Night. It looks like the same way movie goers are embracing something like comic book movies still, they are slowly, but surely, rejecting reboots of classic movies that quite frankly, did not need a reboot. And thus, dear readers, we finally arrive to the point of this blog!
As you know by now because of my list of DC and Marvel comics I would change if I were in charge, I like to daydream and think "what if....?" So, let's brainstorm a little and just play "what if..?" for a little bit. Let's start with what I would draw inspiration for the plot.
I would use two sources of inspiration. The Real Ghostbusters cartoon series and the follow up, the terribly underrated Extreme Ghostbusters. Why Extreme Ghostbusters? Because I think Feig got the concept of diversification and inclusion wrong. Simply doing a gender swap is NOT being a diverse progressive director. That's the easy way out IMO. I dare say Extreme Ghostbusters was more diverse and inclusive than this reboot.
This would be Ghost Busters 3, unless you want to drop the numbers and rename it something else, like Ghostbusters Forever or something. In this little movie, ghost busting isn't much of a big deal anymore, since there hasn't been much apparitions and reality shows like Ghost Hunters have desensitized people to ghosts.
Instead of Egon being kind of the fatherly, professor figure, it would be Ray. He will mentor a group of four people from different backgrounds that have to learn how to work together to save the city. Let's say we split the group evenly, a POC, a latino, and two females, only instead of a guy in a wheelchair, let it be a woman in a wheelchair. They'd come together in a similar way they came together in Extreme Ghostbusters: ghost busting is not lucrative anymore, so everybody goes their own ways, and Ray stays behind trying to study ghosts some more, and recruits four students to help him. And here is where I draw inspiration from Real Ghostbusters.
One of my personal favorites of the Real Ghostbusters is the episode Ragnarok and Roll, where a guy was so heartbroken by being hurt by the woman he loves, he actually decides the world must end because there is too much pain in the world, and sets out to perform the Symphony of Destruction, to bring the world to an end!!! Instant. Epic.
Now, for the sake of adaptation, let's say it's a man that has lost his family, and since ghosts really aren't around anymore, he can't even hope to see them again even as ghosts. He sets off this series of events that set lose apparition after apparition in his quest to find the flute that's tuned to play the Symphony of Destruction (God, that is such a bad ass title for a symphony!). Ray has to saddle-up the group of four students to take care of business one more time, on a bigger scale than the previous two movies. Sounds good? Yes? No? In any event, on to the cast and what not.
Writer/Director: Matthew Vaughn
If there's someone with a proven track record of solid adaptations, mixing comedy with hints of adventure/darkness, as shown in Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Kingsman: The Secret Service, it's Vaughn.
Ray Stanz: Dan Akroyd
That's a no-brainer as to why!
Character loosely based on Roland Jackson: Kenan Thompson
It would totally rock to see him kind of like the new Egon on the team and being the brains behind the newer equipment. What, too old to be a student? You're NEVER too old to be a student! :)
Character loosely based on Kylie Griffen: Brianna Hildebrand
She was awesome as Negasonic Teenage Warhead on Deadpool, she would be interesting as a genius that also happens to be an expert on the occult.
Character loosely based on Garret Miller: Cloe Grace Moretz
An alum from Vaughn's Kick Ass, I'm sure she could pull off being a paraplegic athlete that;s wheelchair bound. Kind of like a young Batgirl/Oracle.
Character loosely based on Eduardo Rivera: Jake T Austin
He's part latino and has said he loves roles that challenges him, how about being a wise cracking latino in a Ghostbusters movie?
Character loosely based on Jeremy/trying to play the Symphony of Destruction: Gary Oldman
I think that if there's one actor that can pull off being the tormented soul that wants to bring the world to the end, yet have people empathize with him and even get a few laughs from him, it's Gary Oldman.
Aaaaand there you have it! Is it the perfect Ghostbuster movie? Nah. But it would be interesting I guess! If you want to share what you would do to a Ghostbusters movie, feel free to comment, thank you for reading!
Hey guys! This week I'm putting up my videos of the 100 Days of Making Comics, a challenge where you work on your comic for at least 30 minutes everyday. Here's the first week of my third run. Have fun!
The official Truthful Comics debut of JET BOY: DAWN OF K.R.O.N.O.S. has been set for June 29th, 2016. It will mark the first release under the Fite Klub Comics merger with Truthful Comics and will include additional pages and extras not found in last year's FKC release. Over the next few months, you can read up on the expanded Jet Boy Universe here on www.truthfulcomics.com
As you all may or may not know, I've been collecting comics since the early 90's and the other day while driving to a comic book shop here in Virginia; my friend and I were talking about how we began to collect comic books. You see, the beauty of having a lifelong friend who has a lot of the same hobbies you do is that; he might remember details of the past that you might have forgotten and vice versa. While i remembered our first steps into this larger world of comic book fandom he remembered that our first real collecting began not with comic books per se; but with comic book trading cards! When he told me this the memories came back like a tidal wave and nostalgia took over me in a way that I did not expected. As we arrived at the comic book shop (it was Zeno's Books), I got the books I was looking for and proceeded to search for something that was insanely popular in the 90's but not so much in this day and age... Marvel Universe trading cards!
Of course they had a few assorted cards in a box and unopened boxes as well but we left that day without buying them but as I went to be all I could think about was how much fun those trading cards were back in the day. Young people, let me help you understand why these cards were so cool and important for someone like myself as I ventured into this world of comic books and geekdom in general. See back in the day we didn't have Wikipedia to learn about all our favorite characters and also, we didn't have enough money to buy all the comics we wanted in order to learn everything about Spider-Man or Wolverine; what we did have were trading cards. Each card told us the character's stats, basic origin, allies, foes, powers and were usually beautifully illustrated by some of the best artists in the business! Another benefit was that they were easier to collect because they occupy far less space than comic books. But one of the things I enjoyed the most about trading cards was that you could exchange your doubles with your friends and complete the sets, making them even more engaging than comics. But how could such a wonderful hobby disappear the way trading cards did? Did fans got tired of them? What exactly happened to comic book trading cards?
I don't know what happened to the hobby of trading cards but i dod know one thing, I think I got bit by the trading card collecting bug again and I'm going in full force; I'm tracking down these trading card sets and collecting them. Hopefully I'll get a few people interested in the hobby again and who knows, maybe we start building a fan base again and companies take notice. Wishful thinking i guess but I think the time is perfect for trading cards to come back because with so many changes and company reboots, the only way fans could keep up with storylines is if A. they're rich or B. they have a trading card set that can tell the main stories in a few cards. So, with that said, here's a few pics of me and my boy opening our very first box of Marvel Universe Series III trading cards from way back in 1992!
P.S. Share with in the comments if you had or still have a collection of trading cards, what you think about them and/or if you'd like to see these make a comeback. Peace.
Before I start this review I want to get a few things straight...
1. I've never been a Deadpool fan.
2. I've never collected Deadpool comics or merch.
3. I've never read more than two Deadpool comics and
I don't intend to read any after watching the movie.
4. I'm no Deadpool expert.
Ok, now that I've come clean; we can begin our review. This movie was fantastic! The end. See ya'll next time. What? You want me to go in depth? Ok, this is my NON-Spoiler review of one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! First thing I'd like to say is that Ryan Reynolds was born to play this Deadpool. From the moment the movie starts till' the post credits scene (yes, there IS an after credits scene!) you can see how much Ryan loves this character. The script was perfect for this movie, the story is fun, action-packed and it has a lot of heart; a feat not easily accomplished in a movie such as this one and with a character as crazy as Deadpool is. Another great thing they took directly from the comics is the "breaking of the fourth wall", and just like in the comics; it was hilarious!
The cast in this movie was great as well. There's TJ Miller as a funny "sidekick" (who isn't really a sidekick), there's Colossus, there's Brianna Hildebrant as a cool mutant chick with a ridiculous name who's powers were very cool, there's Gina Carano playing a villain named Angel Dust (and a kickass villain at that!), there's Morena Baccarin as Deadpool's smoking hot love interest and the main villain Ajax is played by Ed Skrein; they all did a fantastic job! In all honesty, I haven't laughed this much watching a movie probably since Dumb and Dumber; and that's saying a lot! There's were great cameos, great lines in the movie referencing other properties in a super funny that didn't seem forced and there's also a love story at the core of all the craziness which makes you root for this insane merc with a mouth! If there's one thing you can take from me gushing over this movie is this, go see this movie, bring your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your brother(s), your friend(s) and prepare to laugh out loud. Trust me... it's a funny, funny movie!
Heeeey, everybody, happy 2016! I know it's a little late, but as most know SNOWMAGEDDON and school has taken a toll on my projects. But let's leave all the pish posh aside and get down to the nitty gritty: is the comic book industry stuck in the 90s again?
It seems like a continuous cycle now. Comics have always had it's highs and lows as an industry, and as the old saying goes, if you don't look back into the past, you're doomed to repeat it. And as far as I can tell, that's exactly what's happening.
"BUT Lance (people usually thinks my real name is actually Lance, so let's just go with it), but it's 2016! Comics are more progressive now than the lame 90s comics!" A fair point, but not all together accurate.
While people celebrate (and they should) characters like Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel, Miles Morales Spider-Man, etc, for their portrayal of minorities and strong female characters, but what about Milestone Media and Frank Miller's Martha Washington stories? And even though the "bad girl craze" of the 90s presented over sexualized female characters, in it;s own unique way, it started paving the way for more female oriented protagnists, despite the fact that yes, it was not exactly ideal at the time.
But in it's own way, the craze did evolve into concepts that were perhaps a bit ahead of it's time. Take Ultraverse's title Mantra, of a male warrior fighter that reincarnated in the body of a woman. I personally would love to somehow see that tackled in mainstream comics again. "But.,...LANCE...now established heroes are being switched into different gender and race roles I MYSELF can identify with! Not like in the silly 90s!" Except that as far back as the 70s there has been different versions of Thor, and least not forget the original What If..? issue that featured a Jane Foster as Thor. Thor has even been a frog, so, don't give up your hopes yet, furries!
The 90s was PLAGUED by different versions of characters and different costumes and characters being replaced. It's basically a trope and has been for years. And like we're seeing now, that both helped AND hurt the industry. Let's take a look.
Due to the huge success of the Batman movies, that helped spawn a handful of successful comic book movies, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and cult favorite The Crow, that helped lead to a huge boom in the comic books industry. Publisher smelling money like hammerhead sharks smelling blood in the water, got greedy and tried to milk the money out of buyers hands. Variant covers! MORE VARIANT COVERS! New issue number 1s! Reboot this character, reboot that character! Sound familiar?
As a result of publishers getting greedy, the bubble burst, and to this day the industry has been suffering. Much like mid to late 90s, everybody was upset. New fans had no idea what was going on, so they stopped buying, while older fans got alienated and they too stopped buying. That led to an interesting time in that era that also repeats itself and we're seeing more of that. Publishers, bleeding money now, and desperate to get a boost, turn to indie creators to give a shot in the arm in a particular series or two. And that itself brings it's own challenges.
A prime example of this was the Uncanny X-Men creative team that took over after Scott Lobdell and super star artist Joe Madureira left the book. The series was taken over by the creative team of Steven T. Seagle and Chris Bachalo, who at the time were mostly known for their work on DC Comics Vertigo line. Some indie creators fit in perfect with a mainstrea comic....and some simply can not gel in smoothly. Or are good, but not as great as they are with their original characters, especially if it's a creator not entirely keen on mainstream super hero stuff to begin with. And what follows is very awkward series. In the case of Uncanny X-Men it didn't take long for Marvel to turn to established veteran Alan Davis, who took over as writer and artist.
By then comics were losing money and coming under fire by extreme conservatives and the still looming presence of the comics code authority, though not as mighty as it was through the 60s ad 70s, but was still a force in the industry. Only now comics are being blasted by both extreme conservatives and extreme liberals as well.
Even the variant covers, which had taken a backseat for a few years after the 90s, have come back with a vengeance, like a bat out of hell! And even that has met controversy. Batgirl and Spider-Woman, anybody? Just look at Star Wars number 1 from Marvel. It was the first comic to reach the million orders mark since the 90s. How did it do it? On the strength of FIFTY variant covers.
"But...but...LANCE.....90s comics were SO pointlessly violent! Comics surely have evolved from that then! Especially violence against women! Women in refrigerators!!!!" All I have to say to that is Bitch Planet, Saga, and The Walking Dead. Not that any of those titles are bad, mind you, but it is inconsistent to claim hating violence in comics and violence towards a specific gender, and then make icons out of comics that do just that.
But, just as they survived in the 90s, I do believe they will survive now that the industry is in the same predicament, if not worse. Let me give a bit of context. Back in the 90s, a comic selling over 100,000 copies was deemed a failure and cancelled. Now a days, a 20,000 copy selling book might even land you in the top 50.
With all the backlash to reboots and re-imaginings, the industry can look back at the past and correct this now. Less is more. Create and nurture not just new characters, but new creators. ENOUGH OF ALL THE VARIANT COVERS (seriously. Stop. It.). Start listening more to fans again instead and hear what they want instead of just assuming what people that do not even like comics want. I'm not saying to not attract new readers by doing something different, different can be good, but use a HIGHER STANDARD for that. In the 90s NO ONE expected a Marvel or DC title to come out late, but as recently as Secret Wars, Marvel's' HUGE storyline.....the final issue came out late, even after some series already had starting being published and sold.
And just as some indie titles enjoyed success in the 90s because of the struggling big 2, now is the time for indie creators to step up and deliver as well, and this generation has a HUGE advantage indie creators did not have in the 90s: the internet.
You can self-publish and set-up your own online store. Not to mention reach readers that would have been virtually impossible to reach back then.
So yes, even though many things parallel the 90s and the 2010s. I do believe that the industry can change and survive, but it's not just up to the bog publishers, it's up to us as well, as creators and as fans. Thank you all for reading, hopefully I see you all next week if my finals exams permit it, take care and always remember, as cheesy as it is, you can be the change that you want. Peace and love and kitten whiskers.
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