Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Reality Shock 3.0: Episode 1

The Reality Shock 3.0:
Episode One:
“Back Once Again With That Old School Swagger”

Hello everyone, its been a long time hasn't it? For those of you who remember my old version of this column, I thank you for coming back after my 3 year break, as for those of you who've never read the old version, well, get ready for abit of a crazy ride through the world of entertainment as I drop some truth, knowledge, and blunt reality on all of you if you are ready for it or not, because I am back once again to spread the gospel of the truest and most passionate out there, sure its not what the entertainment world wants you to think, its that passon and love for these things that are why I decided to come back to this, because so many out there ask me what I think on matters most entertainment, and I feel the time is right, the landscape isn't completely bleak and drab and full of nothing but horrible rehashed and reused and watered down into mush at the moment and that is where I like it, I like variety, I like knowing some nights you gotta flip a coin on what show to watch and what show to DVR/Download as apposed to just watching one show each time its on, simply because there is no other choice. Anyway, with all of that out of the way, let us all rejoice, for I am have returned, with my wit as sharp as a osafune katana, and my reality as blunt as a sledgehammer swung by Deadpool, so with no farther delay, lets dive headfirst back into this... and lets hope we don't flop harder then Louie Anderson's fat ass on that horrible celebrity diving show Splash....

Anyway.... A'Room'a Zoom Zoom.. here we go!!

Ok first thing I would like to touch on is something thats rather near and dear to my heart, and the thing i've been asked about the most, I am talking of the 50th Birthday of Doctor Who. For those of you that know me, you know I am a life long fan of the series, and can truly say, its one of the few bright moments from my childhood, with that being said, I will answer outright, I really didn't like the way the show's birthday was handled. See, its rare that a television show makes it to 50 years, let alone that its still on the air when it makes it to that age, let alone that its the longest running series in its genre, and a global juggernaut with fans that make Twihards, Juggalos, Bronies, Trekkies, and Star Wars Nerds combined look smaller then the group of middle aged virgins that still play Magic: The Gathering, or if you're too old for that reference, smaller then the group of middle aged virgins who still play with Pogs, and if you're too old for that reference, smaller then the group of people who didn't return their copies of ET the Video Game for the Atari, and if you're too old for that reference, tough shit I’m not going back into the 1970s for a reference for this joke I already beat into the ground. Anyway my point is the fans of Doctor Who, or “Whovians” as they're called by people that want me to punch them in the face for saying the word whovian, is the largest fanbase on the internet, it literally spans three generations, grandparents, parents, children all united in their love of a mad man with a blue box who travels through time and space having adventures and thwarting shrill voiced salt and pepper shakers with plungers and egg beaters for hands, a global audience of well over 50 million viewers world wide.

Now I mention this only as a means of expressing just how large of a viewership they have for the program and the love those viewers have, now, taking all of that into account, don't you think it would be wise for the BBC to make a big deal, and celebrate a series that has endured everything from being put “on hold” for over a decade, to being a radio program, to an online web series, to audio books, and back to tv, but in the end, what do we get? Afew “retrospectives” on each lead to play the role, a television movie about the early days of the show, an anniversary special that seemed to have been written over an afternoon and wasn't even what they were promoting it to be, followed by a Christmas special that made very little sense and just seemed to be a means of dumping one lead for another, this might sound like a lot, but the problem is, honestly, other then the movie about the early days of the show, “An Adventure In Space And Time”, the BBC totally dropped the ball on this. And though I would love to put all the blame on them, the truth is, its not at all the fault of the BBC, the fault lies as much with show runner Steven Moffat, who wrote the two specials, and pissed fans off last year by splitting last year's 13 episodes into 6 last year and 7 earlier this year, he claimed “starving the audience for new episodes” would guarantee high ratings, when all it did was piss people off, forcing us to be subject to your stupid high concept crap that doesn't make any sense, and when we do get the show, the episodes being lackluster at best, isn't gonna make us happy we waited, its just gonna piss off long time viewers, you also don't mispromote a program simply because you know its what people would like to see. When you start lying to the fans, the loyal fans, whom your job depends on, the fans get mad, and when they get mad, they stop watching. I hope Moffat learns that lesson, and I hope the BBC does too... course looking at how the BBC is treating Top Gear, I doubt they've learned anything. Shame really. Still though, if you have time, catch “An Adventure in Time And Space”, it'll give you the feels something hardcore.

So there is gonna be a musical based on the life and music of Tupac Shakur, it'll be called “Holla If You Hear Me...” and open in London soon, this will either be the greatest attempt to bring hip hop to the legit theater world, or it will crash and burn worse then Spiderman Turn Off The Dark.

Speaking of Spiderman (epic segue for the win!, also extra points for spelling segue right instead of “segway”), I would like to express my worry over something else i've been asked about a lot lately, the second Amazing Spiderman film and the next X-Men movie, and well I guess comic book movies in general recently... Now lets start with Amazing Spiderman 2, now, lets face facts, there will never be a perfect spiderman movie, you will always get an actor thats a great Spiderman, or a great Peter Parker, sadly, its nearly impossible to find anyone that could be perfect as both, Peter Parker is meant to be the nerdy guy that no one notices is cute because of his nerdness, and that he's only able to express his true self, behind the mask, you just have to take whatever you can get and be happy with the middle ground, likewise with his cast, you either cast his family and friends perfectly and the villains horribly, or the villains right and his family and friends wrong, this being said, I feel with the current series of movies, they've done as well as possible with casting Spiderman, and as good as possible casting his family and friends, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy? Oh hell yes. But sadly, much like the trilogy this new series of movies is meant to reboot and save us from, the weakest casting is in the villains, though I give them props for going with The Lizard as the first film's big bad, and proving you can do a superhero movie with just one bad guy, but all the headway they made, proving you can make a credible Spiderman film, is about to be forgotten in this horrible mess that is going to be Amazing Spiderman 2, cramming in B-List baddies Electro and The Rhino as the major threats and shoehorning in The Green Goblin just for shits and giggles, it just won't work, it'll give each villain roughly one act each, but that just isn't how movies work, someone's gonna be forgotten quicker then Malekith the Accursed in Thor: The Dark World (Oh don't worry, we'll get to that in abit), and let alone the changes they've made to make the characters so far changed from the comic book originals that its almost like they're trying to just pander to the non-comic audience, and that.. I just don't like. I can deal with Electro being black and looking like a homeless person, instead of a dumb white two bit criminal turned lightening bolt, but The Rhino isn't a dude in a mech suit, he's a former wrestler who was enhanced with speed and strength and through an accident got stuck in the suit he wore in the ring, a rhino suit, sure that sounds stupid to most, but, its better then a pale little shitwipe like Paul Giovani inside a mech that looks half like a rhino and half like a bear with a gun on its back... I am seriously worried this film will tank because the studio just wanted to character grab.

I am also worried about the next X-Men movie, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, not only is this movie, the follow up to the amazing X-Men: First Class, being handed to the director who killed the first X-Men trilogy by taking the greatest X-Men story ever, The Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga, and turned it into a no sense made at all b-story, who instead of taking the hint that no one cared about his story anymore, because, you know, it ruined the x-movies, has decided to take the movie all of us fans loved, and force it into the old storyline he's already proven wasn't what people wanted. Whats worse is he's using the ever not handled properly in films that don't involve a DeLorean or H.G Welles, trope of time travel through the mind, where the past and the future try to correct the present, it just... ugh. Days Of Future Past was another amazing X-Men story, but it didn't involve time travel, it was a stand alone nightmare apocalypse story, back when you could write a story of that nature in comics and it not be a “giant crossover event that changes (place comic book name here) forever” or something stupid, it wasn't anything like this, and though I understand the need to change things for the wider audience, I just don't understand the giving it back to the man who ruined things the first time out, thats just like creating a masterpiece of art and then paying a homeless man thats been living off scraps outside of a indian take out to take a crap on it while singing one of those post civil war super offensive folk songs no one wants to admit were popular at one point in time. Whats even worse, they're already trying to hype up the movie that will come AFTER this one, before its even out, which really worries me, you don't do that, oh sure, we knew that Avengers was coming four movies before, and we knew with Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars there were more movies coming after each one that came out, but like, you didn't see articles on movie sites or comic book sites talking about the next film BEFORE the current one hits theaters... that seriously worries me, a lot, its as if they're saying “hey, this movie is gonna utter dog shit, but look what we've got coming next if you stay with us!”, classic deflection and that just... I just don't know, I don't like it.

Now, you might think I'm just having a bitchy whiny fanboy rant with this, but you see, the thing is, as a life long lover of comic books and related material, I always want to see anything related to them do well, I want to see movies set box office records, and tv shows hit ratings highs and bring some amazing characters and amazing stories to either the big or small screen, even if they are from books I don't read or care for, because, well simply, the inspiration, and the wonder that they bring, oh sure, I hate Superman, but who knows, some kid, maybe a little girl in Egypt named Elena might see him take flight with Lois Lane in his arms and be inspired, with alittle help from her uncle who's a brilliant American writer/critic/columnist to write what could be the ultimate Superman story, or create her own character who will become loved the world over, you never truly know.

But I do know, at this point in time, comic book movies might be at the point where the bubble bursts, and that worries me, in a world where Marvel has basically half assed its two big films that followed up Avengers, yes, thats it, I’ve said it, and I’ll say it again, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, where NOT adequate follow ups to a film as giant as The Avengers, I understand there has to be dealing with fall out, but they could atleast advance toward the next film, Iron Man 3 introduced us to AIM, who will play very big into the tv series Agents of SHIELD, but at the same time, turned Iron Man into a terrified little school girl, thats NEVER been Tony Stark, not even at his drunkest, was he EVER scared of what he does, he sucked it up, downed a bottle of expensive vodka, smacked Pepper Potts on her sweet ass can and handled his business, no matter what happened to him in life, thats how Tony Stark do. As for Thor, well, I'm amazed they didn't just edit the villain, Malekith The Accursed, the dark elf king, out of the film entirely as to fit more Loki into it, its like that sickly third world albino african orphan Eric Ortwine I sponsor was saying the other day, “they should have just called the film Loki's Revenge and left Malekith out of the film entirely, sense he only shows up for three scenes, and they only use his name twice..” it just goes to show, if a sicky third world albino african orphan can see how obviously lacking something was, that means you really need to take a good look at it and fix it. Marvel is playing the extra long game now, branching its movies off into more obscure places and leading to bigger team up films, with rumors of major storyline “Civil War” being in the works as long as our already setting up saga of Thanos and The Infinity Gauntlet, this is a dangerous cliff they're hanging over, and they need to make sure they don't fall off. Also, they need to make sure when the time is right, they do Thanos Quest as a movie, just to hear him say the final lines in the book on film, if they do that, I can die a happy man.

Its not just movies by Marvel that need to get their act in gear I should add, in a world after Nolan and Bale working on Batman films, and a world where, lets face it, Man Of Steel was by no means a blockbuster, even if they are acting like it was, the film barely made 100million, which actually was less then it cost to make, thats not a blockbuster, thats barely breaking even, but yet, they're still going on with the next one, and seemingly destroying the whole thing in one shot, cramming a completely miscast Batman and Wonder Woman, as well as a rumored Denzel Washington as the black Green Lantern, and rumors of casting The Rock as a major character also, all into one movie, it just seems so stupid and so wrong, and it just screams talent grab and money grab, a totally wrong and horrible money and talent grab to me, as well as proof whoever is making the films for DC Comics truly has no idea what the hell they're doing.

Ok, comic book related rant over... now onto other things...

I would like to now talk about something thats probably an issue we're gonna only deal with here in America, verses a problem all around the world, I am talking about Syfy, a network devoted to science fiction programing the world over, now, when I look at their programing in other countries, its pretty good, pretty sci fi, but here, well, things are just going wrong. I don't understand how a network that claims to be the definitive science fiction place on television the world over, can clearly no idea what you're doing or who your target audience is, or what it is they like. I will used for examples, afew questions and answers from recent social media question/answer sessions between programing heads and viewers, I feel they will help me prove my point. Recently, when asked why the network has stopped showing classic sci fi series enlue of day long marathons of modern in house made programs, some of which are current and some are canceled, the head of programing claimed “our viewership doesn't want to see older sci fi series like V, the original Battlestar Galatica, Misfits Of Science, Lost In Space, or even comic book based shows like The Incredible Hulk, WonderWoman or the short lived Captain America and Spiderman live action programs from the late 70s, we feel they have no interest in such things, they'd much rather watch programs like Farscape, Fact Or Faked, Stargate SG1, Ghost Mine, Haunted Highway or Paranormal Witness.. there is no demand for classic sci fi, anyone that wants that, owns it on dvd/blu ray anyway.” Umm... NO. You're just more then likely lazy and really have no idea what the hell you're doing programing for a science fiction themed network, because you probably were a brown noser who wanted to do programing for a big five network, well tough shit blanko nino learn to do your damn job or step down. More proof of what i'm talking about, when asked later on, if the network was going to air classic sci fi movies or monster movies, or even kaiju movies (Godzilla, Mothra, Gammera, ect..) with the recent increase in popularity thanks to the surprise hit of Pacific Rim, they were treated with the answer of, “we as a network believe that older sci fi movies, monster movies, and kaiju films, are no longer what syfy viewers want, we feel they would rather watch movies like Sharknado, Ice Spiders, Sharkipus, or Jersey Shore Shark Attack instead of films staring people in foam rubber suits stomping over scale model cities...” … You starting to see what I mean here? Did you read that last statement? Seriously, read it back afew times, let that sink in, thats a head of programing for a network that averages 13 million viewers a week, clearly having no clue about their viewership. Seriously think about that.

Now while you're thinking about that, also take this into note, this is the same network, that felt the best way to create original programing was to cancel five of their top ratings getting shows; Destination Truth, Alphas, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Ghost Hunters International, to clear up 100million dollars to produce a television show called Defiance, that honestly, wasn't all that good of a program, oh sure, it allowed us to watch Jaime Murrey make out with other chicks, but aside from that, in all honesty, Defiance fell short of the bullseye they were expecting to hit with it. Now think about that too, they cancel five programs to make ONE show with 100million dollars, where in the fuck did all of that money go? Because it sure as hell didn't all go to that show's production, the F/X alone prove that. Honestly I've no idea what they're thinking they're doing... I just don't. My only real hope for them this year is that they don't fuck up the American airing of The Almighty Johnsons, a favorite series of mine from New Zealand they're airing this year, though with edits, you know, because far be it from American TV to air nudity and swears.. and hopefully it'll lead to an American remake, because they said the series itself is dead in the water down where its from, sadly.

Terms I'm hoping we leave in 2013 and never see again; “yolo”, “manscaping”, “man cave”, “obamacare”, “twerking”, “honey hole”.

Terms I would like to see become more popular in 2014; “Haberdashery”, “Shtaco”, “mimiograph”.

Interesting fact, the soon to be released Mr. Peabody and Sherman movie isn't because of the popularity of Doctor Who, which it is a lot like, nor is it because of the adventures of me and my friend Rose, the plucky young lass who assists me, its simply just when a proper script was given to the company that holds the rights to Jay Ward's creations.

I was recently filled with joy and adulation when I heard the news that not only was the french television series “The Returned” a hit when broadcast here in the states, and that though there are many series in the same vain starting in the near future, that there will be an american adaption on ABC called “Resurrection” airing soon much to my excitement, don't get me wrong, I don't mind watching subtitles with my tv, well unless its a spanish soap opera, then I just make up the plot till the hot women start smacking each other Dynasty style, but its good to also get a well made adaption of a program into a language that doesn't involve me remembering all I did in french class was stare at my hot french teacher and not really learn any of the language.

For those of you that don't know, The Returned is the story of this small town in France where one day, out of the fog, comes many of the people who died in the last few years, they come out of the fog, perfectly healthy looking and not aware of why they're brought back, they just are. Its based on a novel, but its also a lot like a french movie from afew years back called “They Come Back”, the same movie that fueled the creation of the once doomed to never go past pilot, but now thanks to this craze will see the airwaves revived for series “Babylon Fields”, which long time readers will remember is a personal favorite of mine, also word is FOX is adapting the film to series under the name “They Come Back”, so we'll wait and see just how many zombies and zombie like creatures are coming to tv soon, after all, it can't be worse then what they did to vampires... sigh.. oh how I miss the days when vampires weren't the metrosexual well dressed possibly gay friend to every lonely teenage girl.... that reminds me, I hate teenagers.

Time for many of you long time readers favorite segment, the list of what I'm watching these days, well here goes, separated by country; From the USA: Revolution, American Horror Story, Sleepy Hollow, Almost Human, Once Upon A Time, Agents Of SHIELD, Grimm, Space Dandy,The Tomorrow People, The Walking Dead, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, Under The Dome, Defiance, Fallen Skies, Warehouse 13, Haven, Banshee, The Following, Justified. From the UK: Doctor Who, Utopia, Lightfields. From Canada: Orphan Black, Lost Girl, Bitten, From AU/NZ: Nothing Trivial, Auckland Daze, The Strange Calls, Twentysomething, Upper Middle Bogan, Wonderland, Winners and Losers, Serangoon Road, Underbelly, Top Of The Lake, Wentworth, Nowhere Boys, The Almighty Johnsons, Tricky Business. From Other Places: Hellfjord (Norway), The Returned (France), Real Humans (Sweden), Hard (France), Love/Hate (Ireland), Trivia (Ireland)... There are some more there but I can't think of them as I write this, the curse of late night writing I guess.

And for those of you who are more of the music listening kind... The list of what I been jamming to lately; “Born And Raised in Lowell” by Kevin G. Moore, “The Man” by Aloe Blacc, “Bang Bang” by Monophonics, “How I Learned To Pray”, “To Young To See”, “Can't Fix Whats Not Broken”, “Love Don't Die Easy” by Charlie Worsham, “Nutbush City Limits” by Beth Hart, “Bad Moon Rising” by The Mourning Rituals, “Rap Viper” by Wordburgler, “Dress Blues” by Jason Isbell, “Here's To Never Growing Up” by Avril Levine, “Wild and Lonesome” by Shooter Jennings, “Old Fashion Morphine”, “All My Love”, “Burnt Toast”, “I Like You Better When You're Straight”, “Know Your Roots” by Dallas Frasca, “Soldier’s Song” by Stevie Nicks, “Into The Mystic” by Jen Chapin, “If It Hadn't Been For Love”, “Ghosts Of Mississippi”, “Sticks That Make Thunder”, “Midnight Train To Memphis”, “Where Rainbows Never Die” by The Steeldrivers, “Gimmie Head” by The Radiators, “Flame Trees” by Cold Chisel and I think thats enough for now, but there are more as you always know... curse my love of music.

No one is watching Trisha Paytas' youtube channel for her “wit and incite” into the world around her. Also, most of you just went and googled Trisha Paytas, half of you just went “oooooooooh” the other half just wished you'd had the time it took to google her back. However all of you are wondering if I mean my statement sarcastically or not.

Really Snoop Dogg? You're doing adds for loan agencies in other countries now? Really? Did you smoke through all that Snoop Lion money that fast? Hahaha I'm just kidding, his Snoop Lion project never made any money.

I was hoping that I wouldn't have to touch on this, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions of what I think of this matter, so I figure while I’m speaking from the pompatus of reality, I should address the issue of one Phil Robertson. For those of you who don't know who Phil is, he is the elderly head of the Robertson family, the family behind the not really reality series Duck Dynasty, who recently said some rather homophobic and racist statements in an interview with GQ magazine, and its pissed off a lot of people. Now, the matter of free speech aside, here is the facts that people seem to forget, Phil is a 70 year old man with xenophobic and technophobic tendencies and is incredibly antisocial. Anyone thats seen atleast one episode of the series is aware of these things, he constantly refers to anyone that doesn't live in the woods like a hoarder like he does, as “yuppies” and claims his own grandchildren disgust him because they were raised in large beautiful homes, go to good schools and have cellphones and various computer devices, he refuses to do interviews with any reporters or business people who do not believe in god or will not pray with him, he also refuses to learn about the world outside of the world he created for himself, he is no different then any other old southern man in his age group, so why, would it shock anyone that he would have an issue with gay people? Honestly, have you not seen the show? There was an episode where he had to deal with an obviously gay photographer taking family pictures, and Phil was insanely rude to him, constantly making cracks about him going back to the city, and after shooting a squirrel out of a tree proclaimed “I bet thats the first time you've ever seen one of those isn't it?” and then mocked him for having never eaten squirrel. Seriously this happened, lord knows the network its on airs the show in long enough blocks most days, have a watch he totally does this. I don't know why his beliefs surprise anyone honestly. This is normal behavior for those raised as he was, and where he was, its just old folksy beliefs, nothing more.

And also to make my other point on this matter, honestly, why is it a big deal who does and doesn't like or accept gay people? Now don't get me wrong, I have no issues with homosexuals or homosexuality, I believe whatever makes you happy is your business, and honestly, why is it, in 2014, we still feel the need to care what others do in their own bedrooms, or Burger King bathrooms, or where ever else one gets their end away? And in the same vain, why are there people who feel the need to make examples and spectacles of people who do have an issue with gays? What is the point of pointing out their beliefs, sure, I don't agree with them, but they've their right to believe what they want. I just wonder if maybe its just witch hunting for the sake of witch hunting, because, you know, witch hunts have always turned out so well for people in the past. Seriously, I just wish people would leave people alone and not care what is going on in the lives of people they don't know or care about, its just wasted energy. Energy that could be better spent twerking or ghost riding a whip, or parkor or planking or whatever other stupid thing people are doing these days.

Now that we've settled that, I promise you, that will be the closest to serious news this column will ever become, now back to the normal fodder...

You wanna know what saddens me? That the film The Knights of Badassdom didn't get any love when it was in theaters for the very short time it was, honestly, it was a who's who of people the internet loves, in a movie about a LARP troop fighting zombies, aside from the fact its the only group to not fight zombies on the big screen yet, its also such a crazy idea that it almost makes it, in theory anyway, as brilliant as Dead Snow, remember, the Jews vs. Nazi Zombies film from afew years back? Yeah now you do, and now you're pissed you forgot about it. Ah well, atleast the next Muppet movie is coming out soon.

And thats where we're gonna end things this time around, but, before I go, I always do, I shall leave you with afew random thoughts to ponder until we next meet....

I have seen imagery and toys from the new ninja turtle movie, its gonna suck more then Megan Fox did to get her role in it. I don't get why ABC is going to take The Wizard Of Oz and give it the Once Upon A Time treatment, did they not learn with Wonderland? Why is Cee-Lo Green still a thing? Thank you Guardians Of The Galaxy for giving me Rocket Raccoon in movie form, life needs more foul mouthed insane giant gun packing space raccoons. DC Comics are a bunch of homophobic idiots. As he reads this, Lord Bez is Fandangoing. I don't find Cedric The Entertainer all that entertaining honestly. Seriously, they're remaking Kirk Camron's horrible Left Behind movies for the big screen with Nick Cage? Honestly, does he have any shame? I mean really? I wonder if people take heavy hallucinogenic drugs and watch In The Night Garden, because I'm pretty sure you gotta be tripping balls to make sense of it in general.

And thats it for this time around... so, till next time you crazy little Wottingers... blessid be