Excitement level: Tepid

My love of superheroes extends beyond comic books and trade paperbacks. I like playing superhero video games (my favorite is  Spider-Man: Web of Shadows), watching superhero television shows (CW’s The Flash is arguably my favorite), and of course, watching superhero movies. I love me some superhero movies. For the longest time, my favorite was Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (yes, I’m a fan of Tobey-as-Spider-Man although Andrew Garfield did a good job too), but it was supplanted by the first Avengers movie, which hit *all* the notes I was looking for in a superhero movie (it didn’t hurt that my favorite comic book has been the Avengers for the last several decades). IMO, it was damn near perfect (it could have used another woman or two on the team, and at least one PoC). Aside from Avengers, there have been multiple superhero movies I consider among my all-time favorites, such as The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, and X-Men: First Class. I really wanted to add Man of Steel to that list but I can’t. And I’m worried that I won’t be able to add Batman vs Superman to that list either bc based on Zack Snyder’s work on Man of Steel, my excitement level is lukewarm.

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Excitement level: Tepid

Bats in the Bromley belfry

Masked vigilantes prowling the streets doling out justice to ne’er-do-wells are typically the province of comic books. These fictional vigilantes operate outside of the law and rarely have any official oversight, no governing body to regulate their actions. Usually, their strong moral character ensures that they only punish the guilty (leaving aside the fact that the vigilante sets themselves up as a judge and jury; something else they have no authority to do) and don’t typically present a threat to civilians (though as we see every day in USAmerica, organizations who are governed and regulated by official entities still trample on the rights of civilians and get away with it). For these reasons and more, it behooves civilians to not engage in vigilante activities, no matter how well-meaning they might be.

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Bats in the Bromley belfry

Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15

I have a fondness for Godzilla (thanks dad). A huge fondness (seriously, thanks dad). Toho Pictures’ 1954 film depicts the awakening-via nuclear testing-of a prehistoric creature that subsequently ravages Japan. Gojira (or Godzilla, as he is typically referred to in USAmerica) is a suspenseful film that invokes the horrors of nuclear testing, and serves as an allegory for the deadly forces that might be unleashed when humans tamper with forces beyond their control. Despite the mixed to negative reviews the movie garnered in Japan, the film was financially successful and paved the way for a host of sequels. All told, Godzilla has appeared in 28 Toho Co., Ltd films, as well as several USAmerican ones (including Godzilla 1985 which was a heavily re-edited version of an earlier Japanese Godzilla movie; the 1998 Roland Emmerich-directed abomination of which the less said the better, and last year’s Godzilla movie from Legendary Pictures). In 2004, following the release of Godzilla: Final Wars, Toho Co.,Ltd decided to put the Godzilla franchise on hiatus for 10 years. The box office success of 2014’s Godzilla convinced Toho that it was time to dust off everyone’s favorite King of the Monsters:

“Neon Genesis Evangelion’s” Hideaki Anno and “Attack on Titan’s” Shinji Higuchi will co-direct “Godzilla 2016,” the first Japanese film in the long-running franchise in 12 years.

Anno will also write the film’s script, while Higuchi will oversee special effects. Anime News Network notes the two have been close friends for decades, and previously collaborated on Studio Ghibli’s live-action short “Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo.”

“Ever since Hollywood announced that ‘Godzilla’ was to be resurrected, the expectation for another Japanese Godzilla grew,” Toho said in a statement. “And if we were to newly produce, we looked into Japanese creators who were the most knowledgeable and who had the most passion for Godzilla.”

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Janusz Grünspek is an artist who uses little more than glue and tiny wooden dowels to create scale replicas of everyday objects such as a laptop, chandelier, or power tools. Hmmm, I wonder if he could construct a scale replica of Godzilla (and how many dowels would that take). Check out more of his work here.

(via Colossal)

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Over at TV Insider, Oriana Schwindt gives a list of the Top 5 Fight Scenes That Pack A Punch:

#5 Arrow vs Flash:

#4 The Real Housewives of New York City: Aviva vs Everyone

#3 Game of Thrones: The Mountain vs The Viper

I won’t spoil which fight scenes made the top two (you’ll have to click the link to find out) other than to say neither one of them is King Kong vs. Godzilla.

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As a kid, the idea of being a superhero greatly appealed to me. Actually, it wasn’t so much being a superhero as having super powers. Being able to walk on walls like Spider-Man seemed like a really cool idea to me. Or being able to create any object I wanted with Green Lantern’s power ring. And being able to run like the Flash or lift one of the Great Pyramids like Superman? Can’t beat those powers. Unlike many kids, I didn’t have much appreciation for Batman growing up. To me, he was just a normal guy. Yeah he was the world’s greatest detective, was mega rich, had lots of cool gadgets, and could fight really well, but at the end of the day, I wanted to be one of those heroes who had cool powers. I do know that many people love Bruce Wayne. This next link is for all the kids and adults who wish they could be the Dark Knight (and for anyone else who simply thinks this is rather cool). A real-life Batman suit has been created:

Made from Kevlar, quarter inch Kydex plating and impact resistant foam, Armatus Designs created a real life version of the Batman suit. It won’t stop bullets or make you Bruce Wayne but it is stab and slash resistant while still being pretty lightweight and flexible. I wouldn’t recommend you putting it on and becoming a vigilante or anything.

I must stress that last part. Don’t become a Batman-like vigilante. Everyone knows the police don’t like vigilantes (and for heaven’s sake, definitely don’t become one if you’re a Person of Color). They don’t like anyone using brutal or excessive force unless they have the sanction of the government.

That suit is pretty nifty though. I bet it wouldn’t offer much protection from Godzilla’s atomic breath (now I want to see a Batman/Godzilla battle).

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Speaking of Godzilla (oh, wait, I have been already)…have you ever wanted to stay in a King of the Monsters-themed hotel room?  Come April 24, you’ll be able to, provided you live in (or have the money to visit) Tokyo, Japan.

Opening April 24, the 30-story Hotel Gracery, which sits atop the Toho Cinema in Shinjuku, boasts three themed rooms: two Godzilla View Rooms, which overlook the 39-foot head of the King of the Monsters that erupts from the roof of the theater below; and the Godzilla Room, which, as the video shows, boasts its own statue, a gallery of movie posters and an enormous claw that looms over the beds. The hotel of course also offers Godzilla memorabilia and special sweets.

The Godzilla Room costs between $334 to $417, depending on the night, while the Godzilla View Rooms go for a more reasonable $125.

(h/t CBR)

Pop Culture Link Round-Up 4.10.15

Who will emerge victorious?

In this corner:

Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 210 lbs., this fighter is engaged in a war on crime. With his genius-level intellect, incredible wealth, and world-renowned fighting skills, this man needs little introduction. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Batman!

His opponent is another man of tremendous power and resources.  His name is synonymous with terror and death. Despite bearing the mantle of “Chosen One”, this man brought a once-proud intergalactic organization of so-called peacekeepers to the brink of destruction. Armed with a lightsaber and the ability to manipulate the Force, I give you Darth Vader!

When these two titans tussle, who will be the winner? Watch this video to find out:

Not happy with that ending? Here’s an alternate version:

Done watching? Cool. Maybe someone can answer some questions for me. I’ll preface the following by saying I enjoyed the battle between the two (though I’m a bit weary of Bat-god).

1- how did the Batplane reach the Death Star? Even assuming the presence of the Death Star in our solar system, I wasn’t aware the Batplane could reach escape velocity. I suppose it could have launched from the Watchtower (whether its based in orbit around Earth or on the Moon), but even then a trip to the Death Star would surely take some bit of time.

  1. The technology in the Star Wars universe appears (to me) quite a bit more advanced than the technology Batman has access to. How the heck is the Batplane’s cloaking field sufficiently advanced to be able to render it undetectable to the sensors aboard the Death Star?
  2. How did Batman gain entry to the Death Star?

  3. Batman is remarkably proficient in the use of a lightsaber. I know, I know. That’s not a question. Sue me.

(h/t The Laughing Squid)

Who will emerge victorious?