Posts Tagged ‘movie’

Here there be spoilers…

Halfway through the fun cosmic adventure that is Dr. Strange, I realized that the movie followed the same structure as the failed Green Lantern movie:

In the first 15 minutes, we are introduced to the charming but deeply flawed hero. Whereas Green Lantern gave us a likable actor in Ryan Reynolds, Dr. Strange gave us a likable Benedict Cumberbatch. But Dr. Strange gave us something that Green Lantern never did: A reason why the protagonist decided to “protag.” Like the comic book creators say in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, “The question is why.” For Stephen Strange, his why is the same as Tony Stark and Thor Odinson: hubris. We never really get the “why” in Green Lantern. He just found a lantern and figured he’d become a super hero.

 

benedict_cumberbatch_as_doctor_strange

After the intro, both heroes are indoctrinated into a universe that is greater than the Earth they know. The GL Guardians can easily be substituted with the Ancient One and the rest of the sorcerers. They are a police force that protects Earth from otherworldly threats that the average person is completely unaware of.

They teach the hero how to bend reality to his imagination. They even give him a ring at one point. The hero goes through the stages of adventure, from denial to acceptance, and is soon kicking butt better than those who have trained for years. He faces off against the bad guy, who is just an appetizer for the cosmic, shapeless true evil. And his mentor turns bad.

Despite the parallels, Dr. Strange was a stronger movie. It wasn’t stuffed with characters, just enough to get through. There was only one computer-rendered character, and it was the end villain. Everything was grounded in an internal logic that explained why magic was OK. (And thank you, Marvel, for just saying it was magic, and not science or midi-chlorians or whatever.)

And finally, the fight scenes were unique to the movie. What I mean to say is that the action sequences could have only happened in this movie. In particular, the scene with mystic monks fighting while time is going backward was something I had never seen before and could only be done in this kind of movie.

What I learned: When people say that you can’t do something if it happened in another movie, you still can, if you do it better.

Other Worlds cover

The Year of Batman Doing Things Batman Wouldn’t Do

(mild spoilers)

People complain that the theaters are filled with super hero movies. Well, 2016 had three theatrical releases with the same super hero: Batman.

Batman Vs. Superman

The Killing Joke

Suicide Squad

Most people didn’t care. The Killing Joke had such a limited theatrical release that it didn’t blip on too many people’s radar screens, and the people it did were happy to have more Bat for their bucks. Suicide Squad wasn’t technically a Batman film. And, finally, he had to share the first one with the big blue boy scout.

However, in each of these three movies, Batman did things that were very un-Batmanlike.

Much has been written about Batman’s murderish thuggery in BvS. In Killing Joke, he crossed the line with Barbara Gordon. In Suicide Squad, he kissed Harley the way someone using roofies would. He also endangered a child when bringing in Deadshot. (Although, it could be argued that he was scaring his daughter to make sure she grows up right.)

Other Worlds cover

It’s true that comic book characters get trapped into never changing for decades. Sometimes, radical changes are forced upon them. But some things are just a part of them. Sure, there are articles showing a bunch of times that Batman used guns. And sure, he killed people even in his first appearance. But after 80 years, with multiple appearances every month during the last few decades, if you can only count on a handful of times that he did those things, then those are the anomalies, not the true character. They were probably lapses in writing, or times when the character hadn’t been fully developed yet.

Heroes should make mistakes. However, these were mistakes Batman wouldn’t make. It makes you wonder who at DC approved these parts of the scripts.

At one point during The Avengers, I suddenly realize that here I am, in a big screen theater, full of people, watching a live action Thor and Iron Man fight. And it’s good.

Decades of comic book movies have brought us to this point: Where we can have high budget movies with A-list actors and directors bring our comics to the screen for the mass audience.

Sure, there have been some bumps along this road. But Marvel’s The Avengers paved over a lot of them.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts had more charisma in five minutes of screen time than in the previous two movies put together. (But why was she dressed like that?)

Chris Evans stopped being a boy in man’s clothes who didn’t emote (like how he was throughout the whole Captain America movie) and started being the take-charge man of principle that we all know he is.

The Hulk looked less like a cartoon, and more like a big, green Mark Ruffalo (This is a good thing). Ruffalo did a good job playing the conflicted Bruce Banner, and you could see in every scene that he’s trying to hold it together. I think Edward Norton could have done it well, too, but these things happen.

Black Widow was given something to do. Instead of just slinking around and kicking people, she was the brains of the operation in a way that Stark and Banner couldn’t be.

I should add here that I liked all of the previous movies, but The Avengers became the rug that really tied the room together.

Joss Whedon’s fingerprints were all over this thing. The bickering. The long stretches of dialogue. The humor.

There were times when a few characters are talking, then it switches to another scene where a few characters are talking, and then another. Compare that to the X-Men movies, where there’s a few minutes of dialogue and then someone is attacked. It was a welcome change, with all the testosterone flowing around, for people to have intelligent, character-revealing dialogue.

I’m very happy for Whedon. He helmed a very large, very expensive, and very high profile project and he did it well. However, I do NOT want him to direct any sequels. Whedon has a tendency to get too familiar with his characters, rendering villains harmless and heroes little more than people who just hang out together.

The plot was paper-thin, when compared to what Loki attempted in the Thor movie. But, this movie was all about bringing the heroes together, and there might not have been room for an overly elaborate villain plot. That’s debatable. The heroes spent almost as much time fighting each other. That may have been the plot, actually.

Loki was a bit too brutish with some of his combat. I don’t see him as the type to bring down helicopters with an energy weapon while riding on the back of a truck. He is the master of illusion. However, maybe his fight was just a ruse. As you see later, when he gets caught.

There was a hint of romantic subplot that may happen at some point, but there was no burden of forced romance when there are a bunch of big storylines running around.

Image

So, I’m very psyched for a sequel, although I have no idea how they’re going to top the villain they introduced (I saw it coming, for the record!) for the eventual part 3.

What I hope the Muppets Movie will be:

Celebrities

I’d like to see some celebrity cameos, as long as they are celebrities worthy of costarring alongside Muppets. This is a mainstay. The Muppets always had big name stars. It’s always fun to point out famous people.

For the most part, the human cameos of the Muppet movies were great. Take a look at the talent in The Muppet Movie: Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, Madeline Kahn, Bob Hope, Elliot Gould, Dom Deluise, Carol Kane, Orson Welles, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Telly Savalis, Cloris Leachman, and tons more. Hell, some of those people were practically Muppets themselves.

Of course, the celebrities that get used were very much a sign of the times. Brooke Shields appearing in “Muppets Take Manhattan,” which came out in 1984, for example.

This is a tough call, because I just don’t want the movie to have lots of cameos by stars-of-the-moment. I don’t want to see any reality show star, a Kardashian (I’m proud of myself that I had to look that name up on the Internet to learn how to spell it), a teeny bopper music “star,” or any other flash-in-the-pan. If we’re going to have to Google these people in five years, they shouldn’t be in this movie.

Little to no Elmo

I’m taking the fact that Elmo is not on the movie posters as a good sign.

People have told me their kids think Sesame Street is Elmo, and everyone else is a supporting character. I’m under no delusion that he won’t have a cameo. But the scene stealing red furry kid can stay home.

This movie is about introducing kids to the Muppets – they already know Elmo. And the adults either don’t know him or know him and are sick of him. Give me Big Bird again.

My family recently went to Sesame Place. All the older attractions were named after the Count, Cookie Monster, and others. Everything newer was Elmo. Granted, Cookie Monster made a plea to host Saturday Night Live and Grover did the Old Spice Parody, but you can see who’s King of Sesame Street.

I made a video about it. I used pictures I took at Sesame Place, video of my daughter’s toys, and pictures donated by people on Flickr.

Every Minor Character

It’s also telling that even the Mana Manas are on the poster. Every little character that we even slightly recognize will be crammed in – hopefully in a good way. But you know that at some point, Crazy Harry is going to blow something up. The chef will have a spotlight. And Lew Zealand will throw a fish.

A Send-up of Current Movie Trends

I expect jokes about 3D (involving Bunsen and Beaker), bad parody movies, comedies that are only made for adults, etc. There’s an endless supply of things that are wrong with movies today. That’s why the Muppets aren’t around – because Hollywood keeps making movies that are bad.

Now maybe the “Scary Movie” people can lampoon this, “Muppet Movie.”

Actual Puppetry

There are still parts of the older movies where I can’t figure out how they made the puppets move that way. The rat kitchen dance scene in “Muppets Take Manhattan.” Any time they ride bicycles I’m like “How do they do that?”

This means no digital toys. The director has already said he doesn’t want to do computer animation. This makes me very happy.

Oh, and can I tell you how jealous I am of Jason Segel?

I’ve been fortunate enough to start making money off of my YouTube videos. Small ads pop up on the bottom from Google AdSense. Mind you, it’s very little money. I’m up to $3.41. (Edit: There’s some potential for much more-check out Entire Channel at the bottom) The reason for this is that my videos shoot up in popularity, then drop into obscurity. It’ll get a few hundred or a few thousand views in one day and then nothing the next.

This is the chronology of events that takes place over the course of a few days:

  1. The video gets popular (a few hundred to a few thousand views)
  2. YouTube sends an e-mail asking if I want to sell ads
  3. I apply for the program
  4. Ads go up

I wanted to share how this happens, and hopefully help people make some money from their videos.

First, here’s a video detailing how to make a video suitable for ads, and then how to publicize it.

How to promote

I have a word file where I write the name of the video, the date it’s uploaded, it’s address and embed code.

Then, there’s a chart with all the different places I tend to send them: Stumbleupon, Tosh, etc. I don’t send every video to every place. There are some sites, like www.iheartchaos.com, that are monitored by human beings and they probably won’t appreciate me spam submitting things every week. There are some videos that work on their site, and some that don’t. I only submit the ones that do. When it comes to someplace like Reddit or Digg, no human has to approve it going up. It just goes up. So I send everything to these places.

Here’s some videos of mine that have started to make money, and how it happened (Some of them have really inappropriate humor):

Smooth Randy and The Socky Show

Smooth Randy and The Socky Show: This was my first video that I started making money off of. It was uploaded 3/4/11. It got 2,700 views in one day! Most of them were from Reddit. 2,700 views is a drop in the bucket in YouTube terms, but still, it got the ball rolling on making money back.

Later in the week, I got an offer from YouTube to start selling ads on it. But by this time, it was already too late. Nobody was watching the video anymore, so no one was watching the ads anymore.

I wound up making 19 cents on Smooth Randy. This post was almost called “How to make 19 cents off YouTube,” but then I got a few other small successes:

Really Big Hole

Really Big Hole was uploaded 6/20/11. It got an invite June 23 after 2,200 views. It received 1,700 views from IheartChaos.com on June 21. About 500 more views on June 22.

I’m not sure when it got the invite. Maybe it was just after the first day’s views of 1,700 on June 21.Who knows?

Parenting: Making Sacrifices

Parenting: Making Sacrifices got an invite at midnight on June 24, after 487 views, 250 of them on June 21, and 150 on June 22. Of these, 420 came from www.buzzfed.com

This is pretty strange because I uploaded it 12/2/10. So this was a case where someone else came upon it – probably from watching Really Big Hole – posted it to buzzfed and it just took off.

A Good Transformer Movie Should Be Easy

A Good Transformer Movie Should Be Easy. This one is safe for work and not offensive. I was very excited that this got chosen so quickly. I put a lot of time and effort into the Transformers movies. The first one is almost up to 10,000 views right now, but it never got invited in. This one did, though. This leads me to believe that after a little bit of success in advertising on other videos, you get invited quicker.

It was uploaded on 7/7/11. I got the e-mail 7/9/11 after 275 views. The views came from all over (because I promoted it all over), but the largest referrer was www.tfw2005.com.

Another video of mine received 270 views in one day a few months earlier, but it was not enough for YouTube to consider ads. So, back then, I figured the magic number must be somewhere between those two. Until the above Transformer movie got an invite after 275. So, either there really is no rhyme or reason or the invites flow more freely if you’ve already got ads on other videos.

Parenting: Testing Boundaries

Parenting: Testing Boundaries. This one was really strange. This video was uploaded June 5, 2011. It got 6,000 views on June 22. It was invited into the AdSense system on 7/10/11. (5,000 views were from I-am-bored, and 1,200 views were from buzzfed.com. I remember logging into my YouTube page and seeing 6,000 views suddenly there and thinking there must have been a mistake.)

I got a big boost on several videos on June 22 and 23. Back then I counted 10 total videos that could get invited into the adsense program. And I waited impatiently for the invites. This is the only straggler. So, maybe they just take a while. I don’t know.

I posted a question to YouTube’s forum about what process YouTube uses to decide what gets invited and what doesn’t. The responses were that there didn’t seem to be any real rules. It just happens.

Elmo Demands Executive Producer Credit On Sesame Street

 

 

By way of comparison, this video, “Elmo Demands Executive Producer Credit,” received 900 views in one day after Katy Perry was cut from Sesame Street, (and later  the Grover Old Spice ad parody aired), and I was sent an offer from YouTube for advertising. However, this was made before I really understood the copyright rules, so I can’t have ads on it.

Entire Channel

Seemingly out of nowhere, the entire channel gets the invite for ads July 27, 2011. This was after 60,000 lifetime views, about 150 a day for two weeks. And about a month after that big hit where I got 20,000 views at the end of June.

Now, I was able to go through every video I had and enter it into the monetization program to get ads.

Even more importantly, I can enable ads the second I upload a video. Therefore, if the video takes off, there will already be ads on it.

Partner Program

YouTube has a partner program that allows for far more money to be made. I don’t qualify for this yet.

Firstly, all your videos have to have no copyright problems. About 8 or so of mine are still made of pictures I didn’t take. I’m working on reshooting these, though.

Secondly, every video has to have thousands of views. I’m nowhere near that yet.

Hopefully, this helps you make some money off your videos. Let me know if it works.

The only reason I haven’t seen Green Lantern yet is because the trailer was very…busy…

Parallax. Hector Hammond. Sinestro. The Corps.

I understand you’re trying to start a franchise, but this could be bad.

 

Green Lantern and all his amazing friends

When I first started collecting comics, I knew nothing about GL except what I learned from the SuperFriends cartoon. Then, without really reading the books, I learned that Hal Jordan got his ring when an alien crashed on Earth. That was good enough for me. Then, I learned that it was because Hal is fearless. OK, now I’m very interested.

Now, as I read a few Green Lantern graphic novels a year, I learn that Atrocitus the Red Lantern caused Abin Sur’s ship to crash. And that Parallax was contained inside the battery, creating an impurity. And on and on….

It’s almost as if all the new stories are actually backstories.

Yes, I’m very glad that they explained the weakness to yellow. Yes, I’m happy for the details being filled in.

But my question – not a criticism, really (This is the first time I’ve ever questioned Geoff Johns) – my question is how elaborate is too elaborate for an origin story?

How much of it is story, and how much of it is explanation? Can you sum it up quickly while still retaining its power?

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave him spider powers. He failed to use his powers to stop a burglar. That burglar later killed his beloved Uncle Ben who always told him “With great power comes great responsibility.”

You don’t really need much more explanation than that for Spider-Man.

What I Learned: You have to keep the beginning simple. Make them want more.

I can’t say I’ve really learned this. I make this mistake all the time. I started a comic book with a time travel story, for crying out loud.

As a writer, you want to sink as much depth into your creations as possible. Then, you can’t wait to show your hand. But you’ve got to hold out, slow bet, up the ante, then go for the big reveal.

So, maybe what we should achieve in an origin story is a sense of wonder: We should be as wide-eyed and amazed as the hero. These wonderful/scary things are happening and we are just along for the ride. And we only learn as much as the hero does.

 

For the record, I like Kyle Rayner more than Hal Jordan. (Sorry!)

 

 

 

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

Even if you don’t like Thor, you will go see it because you want to know what’s happening in the Avengers movie.

This is a trick comic companies have been doing for years: You only buy Uncanny X-Men, but they want you to also buy X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force, Generation X, Astonishing X-Men, Wolverine and Dazzler. So, they parse the story up and put a page or two into every title, forcing you to buy it.

Now, just think of it as a multi-million dollar film deal. They want you to watch each one, so they put Samuel L. Jackson into all of them, and spread the storyline around a bit, and then you’re hooked.

That said, it was a good movie.

Acting was solid. Costumes. Sets (except the New Mexico town seemed like it was built in the literal middle of nowhere).

Loki’s plot was good. He had me guessing. And he was a well-rounded character, not what I’d expect. Also, I appreciate that his plot wasn’t a MacGuffin. He had a real motivation, and it was layered.

The only issue was there was a bit of a reality problem. Like I said in:

https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/super-hot-super-genius/

I just don’t buy the idea of a beautiful young single scientist who just so happens to be in the right place at the right time. Maybe there are hundreds of young, gorgeous scientists who are busy chasing storms, spelunking volcanoes and exploring ancient ruins. Anyway, half of the movie is in Asgard, which has a lot of digital animation. And the other half is on Earth, with this relationship that’s blossoming between a scary stranger and a brilliant scientist who turns into a 13-year-old schoolgirl every time the Thunder God smiles in her direction.

I asked my friend Michelle, one of the people I saw it with, if she thought it was too weird. She didn’t think so. My reason for asking is that most super hero movies to date have been pretty grounded. Ideas like mutants and radioactive spider powers introduced slowly and carefully. Then, we have the 9 realms, Asgardians, Destroyer, the Warriors Three, Heimdall (who kicked ass) and the Rainbow Bridge. And…wow…is this too much for people to swallow?

Granted, maybe this movie isn’t for grandma and grandpa. Unless your grandpa is Stan Lee.

It helped that Sif and the others were pretty one-dimensional to begin with. You’re not really going to get into the mind of Fandral or Volstagg. That’s OK. You got enough of them to know their motivations, and not to get them confused with other characters in armor.

It’s worth seeing, if you can suspend disbelief about gods and about awkward romance blooming. Especially if you want to see Avengers.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

Here’s the beginning of it:

 

And here’s the end:

Issue 5

 

Grimlock goes to the Autobots. They think he’s there to fight. He’s not. He tells them he renounced his allegiance, showing Starscream’s insignia.

Prime takes Grimlock to task. If he’s such a noble warrior, why did he kill Mudflap?

“I did you a favor.”

Skids goes ballistic at this and launches himself at Grimlock. Grimlock just steps out of the way. He doesn’t want to waste an ounce of energy on him. He doesn’t even make eye contact with him, he has such little respect.

Grimlock tells the Autobots that the Insecticons are mounting an attack on the Autobots’ human allies. Some of them think it’s a trap. Ironhide respects Grimlock as a warrior, no matter what stripe. He says they’d be lucky to have him. Alpha Trion says “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.”

At the very least, they try to warn the humans. Ratchet attempts to open a line of communications. Unsurprisingly, their secure channel is jammed. “It could still be a trap, Prime.”

“Then it’s one we’ll have to risk if innocent lives are at stake. Roll out.”

Everyone but Grimlock transforms. Prime opens the back of his truck. “Coming, Grimlock?” Grimlock steps inside.

For the first time, we see the inside of Prime’s trailer on the ride down. There are missile turrets, a repair bay, and various other sci-fi stuff. The turrets are keeping a close eye on Grimlock.

Bumblebee is with Sam, Mikaela and Wheelie when he gets word that the Autobots are on route to intercept the Decepticons. He goes to leave, but Sam wants to come.

“Hey, I actually beat Megatron once. That’s gotta count for something.”

Bumblebee gives in and lets them all come.

Switch to the Autobots on the road. Arcee pulls up close to Prime. “I’ve got five clicks coming in-fast. 200 miles northwest.”

“Coming in? From where?”

“Based on trajectory…Cybertron.”

We flash to five meteors streaking through the sky. They pound into a bay area. It’s an oceanfront city, with a shipping port, lots of bridges, and a skyline of skyscrapers. The five meteors rip through everything they hit. As they make impact, Starscream, Buzzsaw and Kickback fly in and transform, welcoming their new friends, the Stunticons. Motormaster and crew take their new forms and cause some chaos on the highways expressly to cause damage. Some real Bayhem.

“If there’s five of them, it’s got to be the Stunticons,” Alpha Trion says.

“We’ve only got, what, half of an Earth hour,” Hot Rod says to Prime. The Killswitch is going on soon.

“The Stunticons could level a city in that time. I don’t care if this is our last stand, we’ve got to save those people’s lives.”

Bumblebee arrives at about the same time as the others. The Autobots have to split up, because the waterfront area where the Stunticons landed is nearby but not close enough. So they split: Fighting at NEST HQ: Bumblebee, Wheelie, Sam, Mikaela, Sideswipe, Ironhide, Ratchet, Mirage.

Fighting at the bridge: Optimus Prime, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Alpha Trion, Trailbreaker, Hot Rod, and Grimlock.

When the Autobots arrive at the NEST base, it’s definitely a case of quiet….too quiet….

Suddenly several Transformers spring out of hiding. A super-fast blue race car, Blur, a white fighter jet, Silverbolt, a military construction drill, Nosecone, a green truck, Brawn, and a white sports car, Wheeljack. The Autobots have gone into full battle mode. But Ratchet scans one of the enemies and alerts the others that there are human pilots. “Non-lethal combat only!”

Ironhide looks at his huge arm cannons. “Is there any part of me that isn’t lethal?”

Ironhide turns into a truck and slams into one. Mirage turns invisible and dodges another so that it rams into a rock. Bumblebee cranks his stereo and disrupts one.

Bumblebee plays the line “What is your major malfunction?” to one of them. He opens up the machine, and it’s Lennox. He explains that the controls are locked up. Like someone’s controlling them.

Bumblebee spots Shrapnel using his antennae to direct electrical impulses and override the controls. He and Sideswipe chase after Shrapnel.

They follow him to an abandoned building in that empty town they were in earlier for training. He could literally be anywhere. They both spot Shrapnel mini-insects and give chase, getting separated.

Sideswipe finds the rest of him. When he fires at him, Shrapnel dissipates into the smaller insects, so he can’t get a good shot. He punches Shrapnel, and Shrapnel dissipates slightly, and reforms, closing around the Autobot’s hand. Sideswipe turns his hands into cutting blades, which shred a bunch of the bugs. Shrapnel then calls lightning down, and the electricity flows through him and into Sideswipe. He’s fried, but just wounded. Shrapnel then bites Sideswipe’s neck open, rears back a second, then dissolves, pouring his insect plague into the hole he made in Sideswipe’s neck. We pan back, and the insects eat their way through, making holes.

Bumblebee manages to squish the single Shrapnel he followed, but by now he realizes it was a distraction. He returns to find just pieces of his friend.

Suddenly, Shrapnel swarms Bumblebee. Tearing pieces off of him right and left. He is chanting horrible things at him in his insidious echo. “We killed your comrade….and you were helpless….and now you’re next…” One of them tears open Bumblebee’s fuel pump. The fuel splashes everywhere. Bumblebee aims it like a hose and splatters them all. He leaps back and fires, making a huge explosion and destroying the swarm. But he’s severely wounded and running low on fuel.

When he returns, Lennox, Epps, Furman and the others have regained their control of the Exosuits. The humans have come out of the suits and are talking to the Autobots. Simmons comes out and reminds them that there’s less than a half hour until the government triggers the Killswitch. Bumblebee tells them about Sideswipe’s death.

The Autobots get ready to meet their allies at the bay city to stop the Stunticons. The human Sector Eight troops want to come too. They’ve fought this long, they want to finish this.

There are five Sector Eight 2.0 Exosuits. (The first ones were either destroyed or damaged by Decepticons early in the story.) There are only three soldiers. So Lennox offers Sam and Mikaela a chance to each pilot a bot. They jump at the chance.

Lennox says their names: “Brawn, Blur-”

Sam interrupts. “I want Blur. That sounds fast.”

“No. I get Blur,” Lennox says.

“Then I want Brawn. That…sounds like it….fits me…”

“I’ll take Brawn,” Mikaela says, and Lennox gives him to her.

“Then who do I get?” Sam asks.

“Wheeljack,” Lennox says.

“Wheeljack? She gets a Brawn and I get a Wheeljack?”

“Yeah, we named him that because he kept breaking down. Good luck.”

Lennox and Epps suit up, but Sgt. Furman hangs back. The other fights really got to him, with Buzzsaw picking into his Exosuit and other things. He doesn’t want to freeze up in combat. He feels he’s a liability.

So there’s another spot. Leo is about to step up when Agent Simmons talks over him. He’s been studying aliens for all his life. Now he’ll know what it’s like to be one.

They suit up. At first, Sam is very unsure on his big, metal feet.

“Just think about what you want to do before you do it,” Lennox tells him. The interface is completely thought-guided. It’s meant to be an extension of you, not just a weapon. You don’t have to be able to fly in order to fly Silverbolt. So, for reference: Blur (Lennox), Nosecone (Epps), Silverbolt (Simmons), Brawn (Mikaela with Wheelie inside), Wheeljack (Sam).

Meanwhile, the Stunticons are tearing up the city until they see the Autobots approach. Starscream, Buzzsaw and Kickback are there, too. The scenes should probably bounce back and forth between the NEST base and the bay city.

The Stunticons cause havok on a road, and the Autobots have to do some amazing maneuvers to not only stop them, but save innocents caught in the crossfire. For instance, the fight starts to destroy a bridge. Trailbreaker forms a shield to support the bridge while Alpha Trion repairs it. Also, Trailbreaker’s shield catches humans being flung from the undulating bridge.

Motormaster sees Prime and his troops approaching. He transforms into truck and targets Prime. They talk some smack to each other as they approach. Motormaster knocks empty cars off the bridge as he charges. The two trucks rush toward each other on the bridge. There’s no way they’re not going to smash. Then, at the last minute, Prime veers off ever so slightly and scrapes by Motormaster. As they pass, Prime’s back opens and Grimlock leaps out. Grimlock grabs onto the back of Motormaster and is enough of a weight that Motormaster, with all that speed built up, falls over and jackknifes, falling off the bridge. Grimlock rolls harmlessly to a stop.

Jolt drives really fast at Drag Strip, transforms and releases his electrical whips. He wraps one around Drag Strip and with the momentum he’s built up, drags the ‘con a few hundred feet.

Hot Rod launches himself off the bridge, transforms into robot mode, and lands on Starscream, who is transformed into a jet. The sudden weight throws Starscream off balance, and he flails around for a bit. Hot Rod takes advantage of this. His hand turns into a circular saw and he cuts up Starscream’s wings. Then Starscream transforms, they throw a few fists/shots in mid-air, Hot Rod holding himself aloft with his jetpacks, before Starscream blows off his jetpacks and he falls. On the way down, he pleads for help from Trailbreaker, who has his hands full holding up the bridge and catching humans. So Hot Rod lands in the water. He stands underwater, and sees Motormaster barreling toward him on the bottom of the river. He gets rammed and goes flying out of the river.

The remaining Insecticon, Kickback, transforms into his giant insect mode and kicks Grimlock so hard he flies across the street. He swings his sword, but it goes right through Kickback. He transforms, and the bugs easily maneuver away from his tail. He has more luck with the spray of his fire breath, but it’s still not enough. The Insecticon keeps breaking himself down into the little insects every time big, slow Grimlock strikes.

Grimlock’s starting to get worn down. Kickback’s actually getting too many shots in. He’s not seriously wounded, but he hasn’t made a single successful shot yet. Kickback is doing damage, but it takes a lot to bring him down. Kickback tries doing what Shrapnel did, and just swarms all over him. Thousands of tiny bites. It’s starting to work. Grimlock’s tiny forearms can’t clean himself off.

Grimlock spots an oil tanker. He runs at it as hard as he can and cannonballs into it. The tanker explodes in a fireball. Grimlock then calmly walks out of the blaze, smoking, scraping dead insects off him.

The time is almost up. The Killswitch is about to go off. Prime tells Starscream this in order to scare Starscream away, hoping he’ll order the Decepticons to leave on their own. The plan works all too well.

Motormaster, back on dry land, orders the Stunticons to merge, but Starscream tells them to halt. There’s no need.

Starscream, using his new powers from the Decepticon Matrix, opens a space bridge. He gets his Decepticons out safely. Knowing that only Alpha Trion has the ability to teleport the Autobots away, he blasts a hole in him. Then Starscream grabs Prime and disappears into the space bridge. Now the Autobots are left on Earth, leaderless, with no way to go after Prime, with only a few minutes left before they all get deactivated.

(Maybe Shockwave opens the portal from Cybertron….There’s no reason for Starscream to have powers that Megatron didn’t have.)

 

Issue 6

 

Starscream has teleported his Decepticons (the five Stunticons and Buzzsaw) outside the building where Vector Sigma is housed. Shockwave comes out of the building, greeting Starscream.

Motormaster and Wildrider hold each of Prime’s arms, and Starscream uses Buzzsaw to literally cut the Autobot Matrix out of him. Starscream, holding the Autobot Matrix triumphantly, is about to finish off Prime.

Shockwave warns Starscream that Vector Sigma has been completely unresponsive to him. Perhaps they need a live Autobot to do this. Reluctantly, Starscream grabs Prime’s arm out of Wildrider’s hands. He drags Prime inside with Shockwave. He orders Buzzsaw and the Stunticons to stand guard outside.

“For what?” Breakdown says.

“Yeah, the Autobots are done,” Dead End says.

“The Autobots have a habit of being very resourceful,” Starscream says, as he leaves.

Back on Earth, the Autobots gather around Alpha Trion, who is just barely alive. The clock is ticking. Only a few minutes left. Ratchet works feverishly to fix him. “Work on my space bridge, Ratchet,” Alpha Trion pleads. “Let me die if I have to.”

“Forgive me, Alpha Trion, but that’s what I am doing.” Ratchet gets his Space Bridge technology back on line, and Alpha Trion opens a portal. The Autobots, and their human allies, all go inside, just as the Killswitch goes online, sealing their way back forever. Trailbreaker has himself, Ratchet and Alpha Trion in a bubble shield, to protect them while they go through the violent warp. Ratchet is actually working to keep Alpha Trion alive during the jump.

When they land on Cybertron, they are far away from where they wanted to be. The jump was not perfect, since Alpha Trion was strained. But he’s stable, now.

Head Count:

Autobots: Prime (wounded and captured), Bumblebee (very wounded), Ironhide, Ratchet, Arcee, Jolt, Skids, Alpha Trion (very wounded), Trailbreaker, Mirage (wounded), Hot Rod, Grimlock. Pretenders: Blur (Lennox), Nosecone (Epps), Silverbolt (Simmons), Brawn (Mikaela with Wheelie inside), Wheeljack (Sam). Decepticons: Starscream, Buzzsaw, Shockwave, Motormaster, Dead End, Drag Strip, Wildrider and Breakdown.

The humans take a look at the grim, cold world of Cybertron. It’s like nothing they’ve ever seen. Arcee senses the Decepticon signatures quite a distance away. Everyone’s worried what they should do. They feel all hope is lost.

“Weaklings,” Grimlock mutters. “If you wanted to be deactivated, you should have stayed on Earth. While you’re licking your wounds, the ‘Cons are celebrating their victory. They think the war is over but it’s not. They don’t know we’re here. They don’t know we outnumber them.”

“So what are we waiting for?” Hot Rod says, leaping into action. “Let’s go save Prime!”

“Prime’s probably dead,” Grimlock growls. “I’m in charge now.”

The Autobots and even the humans look around at each other, not knowing what else to do.

“Autobots,” Grimlock shouts. “Transform and roll out!”

They all follow Grimlock’s lead, some more reluctantly than others.

In the chamber of Vector Sigma, literally hundreds of lifeless Transformers stand motionless, awaiting the spark. Starscream and Shockwave bring Prime in. Starscream now has both Matrices.

“This is it, Starscream: Vector Sigma,” Shockwave says. Starscream approaches it, first with wonder, then with contempt, as it is just another thing to bend to his will. Shockwave’s still holding Prime.

“Well? Where is it, Prime?”

“I don’t know what-”

“Don’t lie to me. Since I received the Decepticon Matrix, great powers were unleashed. I can sense the Key. You have it in you somewhere. Do you want me to cut it out of you like I did the Matrix?”

Starscream’s standing a bit away from Prime, leveling a cannon at him. Prime looks at Shockwave and Starscream for a long time. Then he opens a container in his body. Starscream warns him against any trickery. But he doesn’t expect what happens next. Prime holds the Key to Vector Sigma out toward Starscream, then gives it….to Shockwave.

Meanwhile, the Autobots and humans are racing toward the chamber of Vector Sigma for the final battle.

Back in the chamber, Starscream asks Shockwave for the Key. Shockwave hesitates. Starscream turns his cannon toward him. Shockwave lets go of Prime’s hand and turns his own into a cannon.

“Don’t shoot, Starscream.”

“Then give me the Key!”

“I’ve been looking for this for ages.”

“Hand it over, Shockwave. So that I may make my legion.”

At this point, Prime starts to slink back into the shadows, ignored by the two Decepticons. He’s diverting power to his self-healing processes.

“Whoever uses the key places some of himself into his creations. It is only logical that I-”

“Slag it, Shockwave! The only reason you’re still standing is that I need all the warriors I can get. But I warn you not to stand in my way any longer. I killed Megatron, what makes you think I won’t kill you!”

“You…killed Megatron…?”

Meanwhile, outside, Buzzsaw comes screeching down toward Motormaster.

“What’s he squawking about?”

“What else?” Motormaster asks, stepping up and looking at the horizon. “We’re under attack.”

“Heh. Starscream was actually right,” Dead End says.

The Autobots race in to attack. The fastest are on point: Arcee, Jolt, Blur (Lennox), Silverbolt (Simmons), and Hot Rod. The slower guys, Ironhide, Skids, Trailbreaker, Ratchet, Nosecone (Epps), Wheeljack (Sam) and Brawn (Mikaela) are providing cover fire. Mirage and Alpha Trion are still wounded, so they hang back a bit. Bumblebee’s hurt, too, but nothing stops him. Some of Sam’s cover fire becomes friendly fire, but he’s just given a look and he tries harder next time.

Inside the chamber, Starscream and Shockwave hear the fight outside and Starscream realizes there isn’t any time. He grabs the Key to Vector Sigma, and Shockwave shoots him. They start to fight in the chamber, as Prime slinks deeper into the shadows.

Grimlock races toward the chamber of Vector Sigma, knocking Stunticons out of his way as he goes. Motormaster barrels down on him in truck mode. He’s about to make contact when a missile explodes in front of him. It’s Agent Simmons, riding Silverbolt, hooting with Han Solo-like joy from above.

The Stunticons tear into the Pretenders. “They’re the weak link!” Wildrider tells the others.

Lennox’ Blur has the speed over the Stunticons, but this becomes a detriment on Cybertron’s unpredictable landscape. He winds up being rammed into a building by Breakdown. Still functioning, but hurt.

Sam’s about to get scrapped by Wildrider when Mikaela’s bot comes charging in, spin-kicking and launching missiles.

“How did you do that?”

“You just have to think about it, remember? You don’t have to be able to do it in real life.”

Bumblebee, Sam and Mikaela fight side by side, and there’s great camaraderie. Wheelie is inside the cockpit with Mikaela. Mikaela’s bot gets damaged, and Wheelie crawls out and does some repairs on it, like an insane, backwoods version of R2D2.

Bumblebee and Sam knock back a Stunticon or two, but are ambushed by Buzzsaw. Buzzsaw speeds at Bumblebee in saw form, cutting up his shoulder as he flies past, aiming next at Sam. Bumblebee spins and shoots him as he heads toward Sam. The blast knocks him off balance and he has to transform. That’s when Sam claps him to the ground and stomps him flat.

Back inside the chamber, Starscream guts Shockwave, leaving his lifeless husk on the ground.

“Don’t worry, Shockwave. I’ll put a new spark into you. One that won’t ask so many questions.”

Prime watches, waiting for the right moment.

Grimlock’s hunting his way toward the chamber. He transforms into Dinobot mode to sniff it out.

Motormaster gives the order to merge. Dead End and Motormaster combine. The Autobots do their best to try to keep them separate. Trailbreaker throws a shield between Motormaster and Wildrider. But that leaves him vulnerable. Breakdown blasts him and the shield goes down. Motormaster and Wildrider merge. Mirage, invisible, tries to grab Drag Strip, but he breaks free and joins the merge. Jolt wraps his electro-whips around Breakdown, but he joins the merge and becomes the last arm.

Now Menasor is formed and Jolt’s whips are wrapped around him. Jolt dangles helplessly. Menasor swings his arm and Jolt becomes a flail, knocking back several Autobots. Trailbreaker puts up a shield, and Menasor flings Jolt down on it. The shield is transparent, so Trailbreaker sees Jolt’s face as it’s slammed into the shield over and over until the lights in Jolt’s eyes go dim.

The Autobots are trying their best to hold off Menasor. Mirage snipers him and flees. Menasor shoots in the general direction and obliterates anything Mirage was hiding near. Trailbreaker tries to trip him with a shield, but it doesn’t work.

They have to attempt a combine, Ratchet shouts.

“But we haven’t tested it yet!”

“We have to try,” Ratchet says. He calls the team together. Ratchet. Hot Rod. Arcee. Trailbreaker and Skids. They merge to form Defensor.

A mighty gestalt battle on Cybertron erupts. They are trying their best, but it’s tough. They can barely hold their new form together for long. And they have none of the experience that Menasor has.

Alpha Trion gets an idea. Defensor is able to hold Menasor at bay (possibly using Trailbreaker’s force field) long enough for Alpha Trion to open a space bridge. Menasor is charging away from it.

Alpha Trion is suffering. It’s taking all his energy to open this huge portal.

“What are you doing?” Mirage asks. “He’ll be a threat to whatever planet you send him.”

“He’s not going to a planet…”

We see huge flames on the other side of the space bridge portal. Defensor picks Menasor up and throws him through. Menasor plummets into the sun. Huge flames shoot through the portal before it closes. Alpha Trion falls to his knees, exhausted. Defensor, now beaten down pretty badly, can’t hold himself together any longer and falls back into Ratchet, Arcee, Hot Rod, Trailbreaker and Skids.

The Autobots and humans race toward the chamber.

Inside the chamber, Starscream’s about to put the Key into Vector Sigma, when he looks over and sees Prime holding a gun on him. Starscream just sighs. He’s tired of this. “How many do I have to kill to make an army?”

“Add one more,” he hears, and looks over at Grimlock. Starscream’s standing in front of Vector Sigma. Prime’s holding him at gunpoint on one end, and Grimlock the other.

“I’m surprised to see you alive, Grimlock,” Prime says.

“Same here.”

“Oh, I’m not,” says Starscream sarcastically. “This is the kind of day I’m having.”

“Can it, ‘Con. Hand over the Key. There’s no way you can use it before one of us guns you down.”

“Fine. You win, Optimus.” Starscream takes a step back and looks at the Key. He holds it toward Prime, then smiles, and gives it to Grimlock. He steps back from Vector Sigma, laughing. Because now, Prime and Grimlock’s guns are still pointed to where he used to be. But with him no longer there, they are pointing at each other.

Prime quickly corrects his, keeping Starscream at gunpoint. Grimlock just lowers his gun and stares at the Key.

Meanwhile, Alpha Trion is leading them toward Vector Sigma, where he stored all those robots he built. Even without his directions, they could have followed Grimlock’s trail.

An argument escalates between Grimlock and Prime over who should use the Key. Legend has it that the recipients of the spark will have a piece of the personality of whoever holds the Key. Legends have a way of turning out to be false, Optimus says. Prime, as leader of the Autobots, is humble but still thinks it should be him. Grimlock thinks Prime’s too weak, and that the new legion of Transformers should value strength.

Starscream watches from the sidelines. Absolutely loving this. Grimlock turns his back on Prime and points to the legion of empty Transformers that they’re arguing about. While his back is turned, Starscream blasts him. Grimlock thinks the shot came from Prime and goes into an unthinking rage. The two titans tear into each other. Prime’s trying to contain him, but it’s not working. Grimlock’s in too much of a rage. And his ferocity is threatening Vector Sigma’s safety.

Grimlock finally listens to reason. Prime, holding his jaws open, tells him it was Starscream taking a potshot. Grimlock comes to his senses and sniffs out Starscream. Besides, Prime says, one thing we can agree on is destroying Starscream.

A three-way fight is formed. Prime vs. Grimlock vs. Starscream. Grimlock and Prime are at an uneasy truce, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take shots at each other after Starscream’s knocked back. The surviving Autobots and humans have made it into the chamber of Vector Sigma, but are wisely staying back.

Prime’s hurting. He’s the only one who’s holding back, at least as fighting Grimlock is concerned. Just as Optimus is about to get fragged by Starscream, Ironhide jumps in and takes a bullet for him. He dies in Prime’s arms as Starscream just cackles.

Grimlock steps up to avenge him. Starscream is ready for him.

“No!” Prime shouts. Grimlock stops to look back. Prime walks past him. “Starscream’s mine.”

Now, Starscream’s scared.

A savage battle ensues. A stray missile from Starscream heads toward Skids. Grimlock jumps toward him and pushes Skids out of the way, saving his life. They look at each other. They still don’t like each other, but they’re not going to be fighting anymore.

Showing great ingenuity, cunning and even ruthlessness, Prime utterly destroys Starscream.

After the battle, Prime is winded, and it’s Grimlock who offers a hand to help him up. He offers him Starscream’s Decepticon insignia that he had ripped off of him from before. Prime takes it and throws it to the ground and grinds it under his foot. Grimlock laughs and claps him heartily on the back.

Alpha Trion looks at the hundreds of inanimate troops in the chamber of Vector Sigma. “I made their bodies. But that’s all I could do. We need Vector Sigma to give them life.”

Grimlock gives Prime the Key to Vector Sigma, finally acknowledging his leadership. Optimus pushes the Key and the Autobot Matrix into Vector Sigma. It glows wondrously.

“Welcome, Optimus Prime.” An emotionless voice says.

“Vector Sigma …as leader of the Autobots, I ask you to take the wisdom contained in the Matrix of Leadership and share it with these creations.”

“I cannot do that.”

“What? But…” Optimus is stunned, but is not disrespectful. He speaks with the awe that would come of someone talking to their god.

“Life needs more than just wisdom. It needs ambition if it is to thrive. All Transformers are constantly evolving. It is the nature of your species. Thus, my creations must have both the wisdom of the Autobot Matrix and the ambition of the Decepticon Matrix.”

“NO!” shouts Hot Rod. “We can’t do it. I don’t care if we’re the last ones! We can’t make more Decepticons!”

“Autobot and Decepticon are just your names. They mean nothing to me,” Vector Sigma says. “Each Transformer must make their choice.”

“And we will be there to guide them,” Prime says, looking at his comrades, stopping at Grimlock. “For anyone can change their mind.”

Ratchet and Bumblebee go to Starscream’s body and remove the Decepticon Matrix. A little bit of red light with crackling purple electricity jumps through the air when they do it.

Prime puts the Decepticon Matrix into Vector Sigma. “We honor your command, Vector Sigma.”

“Then let these new creations live, with the spark I give them.” Energy flows from Vector Sigma. A golden light bathes the area, lighting up the darkness literally and figuratively.

One by one, the automatons move. Look around. Look at their hands. Transform. Speak in Cybertronian. They are no longer dark. They are rich with color. Vibrant. Each one different and unique.

“Fellow Transformers,” Prime greets them. “We are the Last Autobots. Welcome to Cybertron, your home.”

It’s time for goodbyes.

The Autobots will stay on Cybertron, and guide the new life there. Bumblebee will return to Earth. He likes it there. And Earth needs a protector just in case. Prime grants Bumblebee’s wish, calling him “Autobot Commander of Earth.”

Agent Simmons says he’ll stay on Cybertron and help the Autobots. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and there’s enough air in the exosuit for months at a time. He’ll just go home for refills. And he won’t have to see his mother again.

Lennox and Epps will relay Simmons’ order that they’ll get the Killswitch shut down so that Bumblebee…and Wheelie…can come back.

Sam says goodbye to Optimus. Bumblebee says goodbye to his friends. Then Arcee and Bumblebee share a tender embrace before they leave. It’s meant to be funny, catching you off guard. Sam has this look on his face like “When did this happen?” Mikaela says “Oh, come on. It was so obvious.”

Alpha Trion opens a space bridge to Earth, and Mikaela, Sam, Lennox, Epps, Bumblebee and Wheelie step through.

Prime then turns to the new troops. They are all looking around, confused.

“My friends,” he begins. They all stop to look at him. “I am Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots.”

“Leader of Cybertron,” Hot Rod corrects. Prime looks at him, surprised.

“I suppose so. But leader or not. I need your help. Cybertron is at the end of a dark time. You are the first lives to be created here in millions of years. Our war…is over. We must rebuild what has been lost. For inside each of us is great potential that has yet to be tapped. We must work together and bring forward a Golden Age of peace and prosperity.”

Some of Prime’s speech is used as final narration here, as he has narrated each of the movies. We watch all the people go back to their homes and see their loved ones. Sgt. Furman welcomes back Lennox and Epps. Their families and Leo are there. Back on Cybertron we see the Autobots standing valiantly. And we get one last sweep of the new Transformers listening to Prime’s motivational speech. The camera stops on one last Transformer. We get a close-up of his eyes. They glow red with purple lightning.

 

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

Much has been said about the difficulty in bringing Wonder Woman to the silver screen, so I’ll just mention some ideas I have.

The plot should revolve around two things: being an outsider and being a warrior.

Wonder Woman has a dual origin. 1. She is created from clay. This could get weird. Don’t know if you want to just skip over this and just show her as an adult on Themyscira. 2. Her own acceptance of her role on Earth.

She has two rites of passage. 1. The challenge that shows her as worthy of being the emissary from Paradise Island. 2. A little more complex, a challenge that shows she is worthy of being Earth’s hero as well.

As an outsider, Diana is able to see problems in society and know how to fix them. But as an Amazon, she’s practically perfect, so she comes off as lording over other people and condescending. This comes into play very much with Steve Trevor, the love interest.

As a warrior, she is a brutal combatant. Amazons fight with their whole body and souls. But she must learn, as she fights, that just because she has the power to destroy her enemies, she also has the power not to destroy them.

She is the Amazons’ champion on Earth, and Ares chooses Cheetah. Whereas Ares is a strategist as well as a warrior, Cheetah is pure ferocity. Not sure what the MacGuffin would be that makes them fight. Wonder Woman is able to completely defeat Cheetah, and chooses to let her live even though she deserves to die. It’s part of her rite of passage to being a human. Or, better than human. We fight for oil and territory. She has to show us a better way.

In a sequel, Ares will pit her allegiance to the Amazons against her sworn duty to protect Earth. She can only save one.

Oh, and Lynda Carter has to play her mother.

 

 

For my (sometimes inappropriate) humor videos, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge?feature=mhee

I was never much of a Thor fan. I like the character all right, but all that “thou” and “zounds” got really hard to read. But what’s worse is the continuity. It’s hard enough to learn of the Norse mythology, but then it’s blended and mixed in with half a century of Avengers and other stories.

So the lesson here: If you’re going to borrow a mythology, either stick to it 100% or just take a few things and ignore the rest.

Because continuity is a huge wall to a new reader. Add a complex second backstory – mythology – and you’ve just built the wall higher.

Anyway, the trailer was good and bad.

It gave me a few small chills. I liked that this is a story of Thor’s redemption. In the comics Thor is a blowhard and only sees things in black and white. But I never really thought of him as a problem child. But yeah, he got tossed from Asgard. He’s like Lucifer, except it didn’t turn out the same. I wonder if Thor and Mephisto ever had a talk about that.

Other good things: The actor (despite the guyliner) looked the part. He’s an unknown, which is good. It’s directed by Kenneth Branagh, which is a curious choice. The costume and hammer all look good, and even Loki’s horns don’t look ridiculous. I was able to guess that certain characters were Fandral, etc. just with a second of screen time. And Jesus Christ, Destroyer?

I’m guessing that SHIELD guy bites it. He’s done amazingly well for a nobody character who I thought was an extra until the very end of Iron Man.

The Bad:

It isn’t really Bad as unexpected. Maybe I was the only one who was imagining this, but I wanted this movie to be more of a sword and sorcery epic. But the trailer shows explosions. Loud music. Thor knocking through an unending supply of generic guys in black.

It looked like every other super hero movie trailer. Maybe that was the editor’s fault. Maybe Branagh is purposely trying to ape comic book movies for fun. Or maybe he was told to do it. Or Marvel is trying to cash in on what made Iron Man tons of money. (Charismatic bad guy’s path to redemption littered with badder bad guys and rock music.)

Super hero movies have become a genre at best, and a formula at worst. Let’s try to make each one different.