Archive for the ‘Needless Things’ Category

“There Will Be No WWE Women’s Revolution until the Old Guard is Gone “

I hated writing that headline, but I’m certainly starting to feel that it’s true. The WWE has been making a lot of noise about their women’s division of late, and, to a large degree, it’s deserved. On a purely technical level, the division has some of the best workers in it that it’s seen in a long time. On a purely entertainment level, you’ve got a larger number of workers who show a stronger and better foundation for being able to engage an audience than they’ve had on their roster in a long while. But, in the end, none of that may matter in the here and now because of who currently makes the ultimate creative decisions for WWE programming.

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From time to time, I just want promote (plug) stuff that I like. Sometimes it’s podcasts, sometimes it’s writers, sometimes it’s filmmakers. This is one of those podcast times again.

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Marvel’s batting average on Netflix has been pretty good so far. Daredevil had many people changing their tune about how Marvel was unable to get its act together on the small screen; Jessica Jones was tremendously well received by fans and critics alike; Luke Cage brought things to a whole new level even if the series fell off a bit in the last few episodes. All that was needed to properly ready fans for The Defenders was the premier of the series featuring the last of the four of them. So last weekend Netflix dropped Iron Fist for binge hungry superhero fans everywhere. Iron Fist was to square off against an adversary that none of the others had to fight though.

The show faced a social controversy over the casting of the lead character long before the first scene was ever shot. When it became clear that the powers that be were not going to change the course of their casting choices, there seemed to be a growing chorus of people who wanted the show to fail no matter what. This was above and beyond the now expected gaggle of critics who these days simply cheers on the idea of “Marvel’s first big bomb” before every new Marvel release. When the flood of negative reviews- some even referencing the casting issue -came in during the week before its release, it created a bit of an issue. Where the reviews completely legitimate or were some of them negative because they wanted to be negative no matter what? Sure, every franchise has to make an inevitable misstep, but was the show truly as bad on so many levels as they were saying or was this in part the tail trying to wag the dog? That was at least one of the things on my mind when I sat down to start watching Iron Fist last Friday.

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Thursday hit as one of those rare beast days where my regularly scheduled Needless Things piece dropped at the same time as one of my Gruesome Magazine pieces. Interestingly, they both have roots in Japan. One looks at a classic kaiju film version of an iconic American monster while the other looks at the modern Japanese take on the ravenous undead.

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I’m going to swing over into the boss’s territory today and cover a little bit of 2017 toy news. It’s a subject I don’t dive into very often, but, hey, it’s LEGO and I’m a LEGO kind of guy. It’s one of the few toys that really had an impact on me as a child, and it’s really the only toyline I still regularly purchase anything from for myself to this day. Plus, I have kids who have become LEGO fans, so I can always excuse the larger purchases to my wife as something for the wee ones to enjoy.

LEGO has over the years gone from a line of exclusively basic, generic building sets to a line filled with original sets and multiple lines of licensed products. You can go out there right now and get yourself a Ghostbuster Firehouse, a Beatles Yellow Submarine, Adventure Time fun, Star Wars action, and even a little Doctor Who adventures in time and space on top of a huge number of original, LEGO owned concept series sets. But, as much as I love some of the other stuff, I have to admit to being a superhero guy, and that’s what I’m going to look at here today.

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People say that Hollywood has lost all of its creativity in recent decades. I tend to not agree with that if only because people tend to overrate the level of creativity Hollywood actually used to display. But there’s one place where a lack of creativity on Hollywood’s part is truly evident, and that’s in the modern Hollywood movie poster art and lobby card art.

 

I’m going to put on my grumpy old man hat today. I am not going to do the “It was always better back in my day!” routine along with donning that hat though, but only because many of the posters I’m going to use here today are from films that predate my coming kicking and screaming into this world. Plus, the decline in overall poster and lobby card quality started when I was younger, so a lot of the bad is in fact from back in my day.

Have you seen the social media posts poking fun at the Kong: Skull Island posters that look for all the world like rip-offs of the Apocalypse Now movie posters? To a degree it’s funny seeing someone in the promotional department commission posters and lobby cards that so closely (pardon the expression) ape the look of the classic posters, but at least the end result was posters that stand out. They pop when you see them, and they have a fantastic artistic style that makes them stand out like few other posters, lobby cards, and ad images for movies do these days. This is kind of a problem.

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I’ve been contributing to Needless Things for a while now, but I’ve recently become a contributor out the horror themed e-mag Gruesome Magazine as well. My Needless Things pieces drop every Thursday  while my Gruesome Magazine work drops whenever it’s ready. Today both sites had work go live.

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