While The Monkey’s Been Away… AKA monkeyHEARmonkeyDO

Hey! How could I have not thought about this before now, but in the past year, I’ve been working on another project – The Film School Janitors Review Films!

We have plenty of NSFW podcasts about some of the last years biggest (and some of their not so biggest…) films. Check them out on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Stitcher! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook!

Or watch this video my cousin made a few years back (it won an award or something):

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Yes Or No, Y’Know? All. Things. Geek.

This 42" tall playset gets a definite YES! from me.

This 42″ tall playset gets a definite YES! from me.

There are plenty of geeky things to get to today.  So let’s start with the big one.

YES!
J.J. Abrams has been confirmed as the director of Star Wars Episode VII.  Be ready for fanboy battles to reach all new levels.  Can the director of Star Trek pull off the switch?  Considering he was raised suckling the hairy teat of George Lucas, I wouldn’t worry.  Plus, this might pave the way for Joss Whedon directing Episode VIII.  (No logic for that statement… only hope and speculation.)   The only downside – a Damon Lindelof rewrite of Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt’s finished script.  Fuck you, LOST!

NO!
Two of my favorite newer shows are getting cancelled!  Ben and Kate and Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 have officially received the ax.  Hopefully they receive a DVD release – I don’t think I’m ax-ing for much.  At least they’re in good company.  Some of my highest recommendations lasted only one or two seasons – Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Freaks & Geeks, Action, Profit, Undeclared, Jericho, and Firefly.  (Veronica Mars, Deadwood, and Arrested Development got three.)  P.S. I’m still waiting for my Sons and Daughters and Warren the Ape DVD’s!

YES!
Two cool video games I’ll buy and never play: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and Pokémon X and/or Y!

NO! OR MAYBE YES?
Django Unchained toys came out, and that’s a baaaaaad idea.  A good idea would have been buying them, though.  They’re selling for upwards of $500 each (though I’m not sure what they started out at, I’m sure they were under $50).  An entire set went for $6000 on eBay!  Why are my feelings so conflicted right now?!

Punch Drunken Recollection… Laffy Taffy Ride

My original plan for this post was to write about a collection of strangers I made up stories about while at a concert.  There was:

  • Bored Larry – this was a guy standing in front of me that would hunch over for extended periods of time, then suddenly start standing upright again… he also went by Emotional Larry because there was a chance he was moping instead of hunching
  • The Kissing Kouple – these two people couldn’t have been more mismatched… he was a Barenaked Ladies understudy; she was a less famous pin-up girl from the 40’s… and they made out the entire concert
  • Two  Jims – these two guys wouldn’t shut up behind me, bonding over the minutia of life and beer
  • Drunk Poor Man’s Parker Posey – this girl was beyond trashed and asked everybody and anybody if they were ready to leave… I believe one of the Two Jims (if not both) might have taken her up on her sad offer

But instead of doing what I just did, I decided to share some Laffy Taffy jokes my siblings and I made up while driving from Chicago to Detroit in two different cars.  Enjoy!

Not a very polite beginning, but a beginning nonetheless.

Not a very polite beginning, but a beginning nonetheless.

Too easy.

Too easy.

I was not involved in this one so I had to make color alterations.

I was not involved in this one so I had to make color alterations.

You see, my sister had this tobacco moth on her tomato plant. It was disgusting... and a terrible guess.

You see, my sister had this tobacco moth on her tomato plant. It was disgusting… and a terrible guess.

All acceptable guesses. But only one is right.

All acceptable guesses. But only one is right.

Sexist!

Sexist!

It should have been a stamp, but that Laffy Taffy joke probably exists. Hence, convention was turned on its head.

It should have been a stamp talking to an envelope, but that Laffy Taffy joke probably exists. Hence, convention was turned on its head.

Callback!

Callback!

This was in reference to me making everybody guess my favorite Wang Chung song.

This was in reference to me making everybody guess my favorite Wang Chung song.

*Head slap!* Atlantis Morrissette!

*Head slap!* Atlantis Morrissette is better!

Unofficial Trilogy… Filmic Comic Book Bookends Edition

(OPENING SIDENOTE: I like the title of this post.)

Today’s Unofficial Trilogy is about the nails in the coffin of comic book film series (or as in one case, a stake in the heart). Spider-Man 3 was saved by a summer reboot, otherwise this would have been an Unofficial Quadrilogy.

Oh, so dark these heroes..

Oh, so dark these heroes… except maybe the last one.

This movie was, um, weird.  It barely featured Wesley Snipes as Blade (was he out of the country evading taxes when this was made?), and the scene where John Michael Higgins interrogates him is laughable.  Gay subtext in a James Bond superhero/vampire  film?  Well I never!

Two words: Brett Ratner (wow, I haven’t bashed on him in a long while).  Two more words: cobbled mess.  Four more words: I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!  Two last words on The Last Stand: whiny Wolverine.

I was really upset with the lack of purpose this one seemed to have.  And critic Chris Gore made a good point about it by stating something like this (I’m poorly paraphrasing):

His parents’ death made Bruce Wayne become Batman, but Rachel Dawes death made him not be Batman?

But then I read this article, and something happened… my opinion kinda sorta changed.  I won’t go into too much detail, but the author basically regards the third film as a contradiction to the second film, and that in turn made me realize TDKR was the answer to the TDK problem that nobody asked.  What I always enjoyed about the first film’s ending was that it agreed with my theory:

If someone figures out how to be a superhero/villain, then someone will figure out how become its opposite.

The Dark Knight answered that question perfectly.  But what question did TDK ask?

Is a lie okay if it’s for the greater good?

TDK was all about bending means to certain ends.  TDKR was about the inevitable collapse of those well-intended lies.  Too bad it just felt shoddy and shitty.

(FYI: The above Batman poster was made by this guy.)

Unofficial Trilogy… Crappy Comic Book Movies That Were More Satisfying Than The Dark Knight Rises

These are not the brightest, but they are far from the worst.  To go even further, I enjoyed these three crappy comic book movies more than I enjoyed The Dark Knight (*yawn*Returns Rises.  See what you think about my Unofficial Trilogy:

Maybe I should have picked all DC/Vertigo adaptations… Would anyone have noticed?

CONSTANTINE (2005)

Based on the main character from Hellblazer, and released a year after Hellboy, this film at least benefited from a variety of baddies and demons.  All Hellboy faced was a multitude of Sammael’s (the devil squid-dog creature), but I digress.  Constantine was fun because the story was about heaven versus hell, Satan was played to hammy oddness by Peter Stormare, Shia LeBeouf dies (spoiler!), and it followed logic and a plot.  It was crappy because John Constantine was played by Keanu ReevesGavin Rossdale of Bush was in it, and Shia LeBeouf came back as an angel (double spoiler!). The rise of John Constantine felt much more natural than Bruce Wayne’s.

FANTASTIC FOUR (2005)

This was a breezy adaptation of a very old comic book.  To begin, Doctor Doom was nowhere near menacing and maniacal enough.  But they got the relationship stuff right, especially when it came to the pranks between The Thing and Johnny Storm.  Even the shout outs to Yancy Street and the inclusion of Alicia Masters were surprising.  But still… it was cheesy.  But I guess Fantastic Four should be cheesy.  TDKR shouldn’t, but you wouldn’t have known by the ending (which was the only thing I liked incidentally).

GREEN LANTERN (2011)

Greg Berlanti, one of the writers of this film, knows nothing about superheroes.  His TV shows, No Ordinary Family and Eli Stone (he had powers, sort of), were flimsy attempts at showing the extraordinary in the ordinary, and this film was no different.  So why did I like it better than TDKR?  Even though it had purple aliens and power lamps and magic rings and a killer cloud and Blake Lively’s cleavage, it still made more sense than all the loose story threads in The Dark Knight Rises.  Perhaps if The Dark Knight wasn’t so damn good…

The Silver Lining… At Least The Dark Knight Rises Ripped Off An Academy Award-Winning Script

For anyone who hasn’t seen The Dark Knight Rises yet, I won’t give any spoilers.  But let it be known… I thought it was meh.  The ending is the only thing that saved it… and the funny thing is it ripped off another movie.

So this film was made up of…

…a cool vertical airplane destruction scene…

…an extreme tragedy on a football field…

…explosives chasing our hero and being disposed of by our hero…

…and the ending of this Academy Award-winning film.

 

Drunken Recollection… Superhero Sexism? Well I Never!

So one day while drinking, the topic of superheroes came up.  (Surprise!)  In discussing whatever aspects we leaped and bound through,  we realized something:

There’s a Spider-Woman, but no Superwoman or Batwoman!

Well, since that day, I’ve done some investigating, and the others have existed.  Hence, I’m changing my postulate to this:

No major character spin-off with ‘woman’ in her title has ever had her own comic except for Spider-Woman!

But what about Wonder Woman, nerds you cry, or Catwoman!?  They aren’t spin-offs based on some male version (even though there is a Wonder Man over at Marvel, and who the hell was Catman?)…

Even Hawkwoman and Invisible Woman were originally Hawkgirl and Invisible Girl.  (Okay, so Hawkgirl and Hawkwoman are different characters, but latter hasn’t had her own comic line like the former.)

Hawkgirl gets love; Hawkwoman gets second-billing.

Anyshehulk, in the Marvel UniverseSpider-Man has nothing to do with Spider-Woman’s origin, whereas the Superwoman and Batwoman incarnations had ties to their male counterparts:

Some incarnations of Superwoman.

Some incarnations of Batwoman.

So what makes Spider-Woman so unique?  Compared to the above, Jessica Drew has almost always been Spider-Woman.  And she came before any of the other Spider-Man counterparts, too:

Spider-Girl is Spidey’s daughter, May; Spider-Boy is a mixture of Spider-Man and Superboy in a combined comic event (so in other words, not real, figuratively speaking).

Supergirl and Superboy have always been Supes‘ cousin or him as a kid (or later, a clone):

Supergirl… more like Superhot, and Superboy looks Superbored…

And as for Batgirl and Bat Boy

…you should have all seen this coming.

SIDENOTE: For more on sexism in comics, check out Women in Refrigerators… this just turned into a PSA.