Suddenly Toronto seems like a city I might like to visit. Pictures and videos are surfacing showing the latest production scenes from the Suicide Squad movies. Ben Affleck, dressed as Batman, is riding on top of The Joker’s pimped out Lamborghini. Not only does it look like Affleck on the car, but Margot Robbie and Jared Leto look to be in the car. Bumper day in Toronto. Add a few special effects and this might be one hell of a movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2hCJ2oqjUc
I liked the imaginative title. I had high expectations and maybe that was the trouble. My expectations for this novel far outstripped its ability to deliver. The narrator seemed like a weak choice. Neil Double bridged a slight gap between unlikable and irrelevant. His name was slightly obvious given his job as a conference surrogate and interestingly considered to be an unimaginative alias by an antagonised conference organiser.
I had trouble with Neil’s almost constant justification of his job as a conference surrogate. When he repeated for what felt like the tenth time what he did and why he did it, as if I might fail to understand a very basic idea, I was reminded of a young child asked what they want to be when they grow up. Neil wants to be a conference surrogate not because he likes conferences, but because he likes anonymity of hotels. Unfortunately, Neil’s justification was as unconvincing as his backstory; his dad was a philandering auto part salesman who was away often and died leaving Neil with cash and less of a wanderlust and more a desire to escape into oblivion.
The spectral references to Adam early on the book were initial enticing. I completely expected Adam to be a William Wilson or Tyler Durden character. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Considering that Neil is the main character, you can imagine how my ability to enjoy and progress in this book was effected.
The first half of the novel is focused on Neil’s professional problems and his conflict with the conference organiser. You are thrown into an oblivion of description as Neil encounters awkward social situations. It was a classic and completely effect case of create your character and then undermine everything that they believe and hold important. The disavowal of Neil’s job as a conference surrogate by the conference organiser, a drink in the face from an old flame because he couldn’t even remember her name but still wanted to hook up with her. Come on Neil you end up saying. You’ve got to do some of the work. It was a refreshing change from what initially seemed like it was turning into a wish-fulfillment novel, except it was all a little boring.
And then, about three quarters of the way through the novel it starts to get interesting. The whole world is undermined and we are given a glimpse of a different reality. Unfortunately (and I seem to be saying that a great deal), it speeds to a conclusion and ends.
My final judgement for the novel? It is a quick enjoyable read. Not a classic to be returned to, but a book to take to the beach and finish in a couple of days.
The Suicide Squad movie is looking more promising than the Batman vs. Superman movie.
It might have already been said everywhere but ‘Good job with Harley Quinn.’ After her Wolf of Wall Street performance Margot Robbie already had a big head start on the character. My initial doubts about Will Smith as a 1970s pimp Deadshot were alleviated when he turned up in the costume. And now recent pictures have been showing the two getting very close.
Killer Croc is a difficult one for film. You either have to go full CGI like the Thing in the Fantastic Four reboot and Optimus Prime in the Transformer movies or you have to accept the limitations of an action which means instead of this Killer Croc:
You get this killer Croc:
The rest of the Suicide Squad line up offers the introduction to some interesting characters. It feels like DC are using their TV shows as a basic sounding board and then throwing a little more money, but not too much at the movies. This is a generally appropriate tactic…I think.
Comics are a completely different medium from films. One of the biggest mistakes can be a literal transfer of character. In Suicide Squad there is a good sense that the film is an interpretation rather than a reproduction of the comics.
Of course, all of this is based on a couple of pictures so, we will have to wait and see.
So it has been told that a day would arrive and that day would have a value 15.5.15. On that day, a change would take place. Those who had lost would find. Those who had fallen would rise. The world would turn and the week would end.
Today is that day. Have a good one and a great weekend.
Hot on the heels of the Supergirl pilot shrunk down into a 6 minute video (Atom pun intended), we now have a trailer for a series that hasn’t got a pilot.
A collection of a characters brought from Arrow and The Flash, add a couple of extra, bring a character back from the dead (intentional or couldn’t make it in the movies?), send them into the future, at some point and pit them against an as of yet unseen (and possibly uncast) villain, Vandal Savage.
Perfect. Who could ask for more?
Supergirl Trailer. Yes. Exposed? Maybe. I thought it sounded cooler.
If you remember the ill-fated and never started Wonder Woman TV show, you might be viewing the news of a new Supergirl TV show with a little trepidation. If not, you probably just watched the trailer and thought ‘hey this looks like the 1984 Supergirl film starring Helen Slater.’ Unless you haven’t seen the film, in which case I have no idea what you are thinking.
On the heels of the successful Arrow and The Flash TV shows, Supergirl is something of a departure. For one, it is based on a character with a higher profile, which means possible Man of Steel, Batman vs Superman confusion. Gotham successfully avoided the confusion by predating the usual frame of the films and comics allowing it to create its own storylines.
In Supergirl there is already a blurring of lines that has been avoided with The Flash by clearly telling us that Grant Gustin is not going to play Barry Allan in the movies. Jimmy Olsen, sorry James Olsen, did not appear in Man of Steel, but pops up in Supergirl to give her a cape from Superman. Why Olsen? Can’t Superman just fly over to see her? They are standing on the top of building. Are we going to see a possible Henry Cavill cameo? Probably not. These are the minor problems that might plague our attention if the actors can’t hold our attention and the action is poor.
If we are paying attention, we might notice that the dark and threatening atmosphere of The Flash, Arrow, Constantine and Gotham is absent. An appropriate move for Superman context of the show. However, instead of a sleek and modern urban Metropolis, we have a vaguely cutest single girl vibe that says more chick flick than superhero.
It is at the point of the Black Widow paradox that Supergirl seems to be getting a lot of attention. In the Marvel films, Black Widow is powerful, resourceful and sexually alluring character. The problem comes down to whether she is eye candy or role model. Is she just for the boys or for the girls too. And finally, why does everyone else get their own movie? (Hulk excepted, he had his shot twice).
Barry Allan is a forensic specialist. Oliver Queen was a billionaire playboy. Supergirl gets coffee. In the Man of Steel, Clark was hiding his powers in respect of his dad who sacrificed (it was a watershed moment for me, I cried at Kevin Costner in a movie and not because he was so bad). In Supergirl, I am not sure why she has been hiding in a chic loft apartment with a ponytail and glasses.
There are some interesting ways of quantifying the status of female characters in popular culture. One of which, the Bechdel test, was developed by a comic book artist so it gets my vote.
If you watch the trailer, you will notice that there are several conversations where female characters are talking to female characters and apart from Supergirl trumping her sister’s business trip to Geneva with a wardrobe question about a date, there is more of a focus on female character’s establishing their individual identity and status. I am not going to mention Calista Flockhart’s character because I have a plastic surgery/middle aged women acting like they are 18 phobia (read all you want into this—are we seeing a rejection of powerful women or is the impulse to conform diminishing the status of our powerful women?).
While the Supergirl trailer seems like it gives away the entire pilot episode with the rise of the lowly personal assistant to proctor of the weak, there is potential for an interesting show.
Or am I thinking about the Jem and the Holograms movie?
Look for Supergirl on CBS from November.
You might have noticed a number of unusual adverts running at the moment for Persona Synthetics. Odd little adverts presenting the New Generation of synthetic humans. You can even head over to eBay to try and buy one for £20k.
The first time I saw the advert was running in an Agents of SHIELD break. Have a look for yourself.
The advert is relatively creepy by itself and also a little vague. Of course, when you follow the link, you will find this website that clearly states: “This page is an advertisement for Humans on Channel 4”.
This is very little more than a little viral marketing. Vaguely interesting but nothing about the TV show itself. For those of you interested, Humans is based on a Swedish SciFi drama of a couple of years ago which ran for a couple of seasons before it ran out of money.
Is the Channel 4 version going to be able to get beyond the basic looking drama? Channel 4 have done some good SciFi inspired dramas sets in the near future (or even now). I am thinking of Utopia. But the problem here is there is a lack of SciFi that makes this look a little like a cheap BBC show. Maybe, but not if the Persona adverts are anything to go by. Humans is out later in the year, so we shall see….