Thursday, May 19, 2016

The X franchise - some Thoughts and Opinions.

The x-franchise has been handled relatively well by fox, but didn't realize what sort of gold mine they had until the avengers run (which, for all it's fault, is one of the greatest moments in cinema history)

What characters they developed, they developed well.  Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Beast and heck even Mystique have personality and heft.  I joke that the x-movies are the "Charles and Erik show", but that's not a dis on the characters as all actors that have taken those roles have done it well.

There is also never been an x-movie that didn't start strong.  I will always argue that the first few minutes of x1 are one of the reasons superhero genre movies exploded, and even stinkers such as wolverine origins, had a great opening scenes and opening credits.

However, what they missed is the development of multiple characters.

I will use x-men 3 as my major complaints to point how they could use better.

For starters pick one plot and stick with it.

Wolverine, Beast, Professor X and Magneto were spot on and don't really need to be touched. It was the plot that let them down.

also the Pyro/Iceman rivalry was surprisingly well handled for what it was.


1. Keep Jean on Ice and do the mutant cure story arc. Have Cyclops show why he's leader as he comes to terms without his significant other. Have him turn inwards and start the transition from dork to magnificent genius.

hell, we never got the lenses comes off with Scott and that would have been awesome. :)

2. Fill in the holes with the next generation. You have a team consisting of Rogue, Iceman, Colossus and Kitty Pryde. That's a team that should be coming of age as they fill in the holes against the brotherhood assault. Hell, use a character or two as background ops (such as that kid who changes channels with his mind in x2. Show him to be their "decker" and use him for exposition).  By developing the next generation, you won't need to do reboots when your original actors get old.

3. And by all means have Rogue do something. You have this great build up over 2 movies that goes nowhere. If you want to reduce the Ms. Marvel shenanigans, have Rogue hold onto Juggernaut to get her super strength and invulnerability so she can keep up with the three (and explains also why she becomes more sassy). Hell have the fight so that it was only by the teamwork of Colossus, Kitty Pryde and Rogue's power drain that they managed to stop the Juggernaut. Plus you can now draw in the tweens with 4 strong characters and have an option if you cannot rehire the cast for the next 3 movies.

3. less of a mutant conga line. I don't mind Warren, but he could easily be written out without any real change. I like their version of Calypso and honestly she seemed like a bigger fight in the movie then in the comics.

If only storm was up to the task. :p

but the others, darm if I knew whom any of them were even after showing the credits. I guess you could pull a mini vid on some of them in the extras, but honestly, a strike team of Magneto, Mystique, Juggernaut, Sabertooth, Pyro, Toad, and Calypso is good enough to require a solid line of x-men. Maybe Emma Frost if you want to use her in x-5 against Jean.

If you want more mutants, introduce them as protesters in the background to draw on in later movies.

Then as they were fighting and the fight is won, then wake up the Phoenix with a to be continued.

you now have the groundwork for x4: phoenix rising. Where the brotherhood and the x-men have to team up to take down the greatest mutant threat.

which ends with either days of future past or awakening of apocalypse for X5.

The other issue I have is the side-lining of minorities and female characters.

The x-universe is often an analogy of minorities, but you wouldn't believe it from the movies.

Hell, until relatively recently, the prominent marvel female was Storm: a black female mutant who was usually in a leadership role, and for good reason.

However, they chose a actor that didn't quite get the character:  Namely a regal drama queen with a deadpan sense of humour.  As a result, the character, despite being advertised hard, never was able to fill those shoes and got sidelined hard as the series progressed.

Another example is in first class.

When they did the split of the teams, the minorities went into the brother hood, and the white characters stayed as x-men.

Worse, one black character, Darwin, was killed specifically by Gideon, despite having a power that should have allowed him to adapt to it.

Even if unintentional, that has stuck up my craw to this day.

Asian characters have faired somewhat better, Lady Deathstrike, despite being a flunky, had a few great fights, and the Wolverine really did showcase Japan well.

But still, Jubilee was literally put on a bus in x-2 and that bugged me as well.  You don't give Jubilee a non-speaking role.  That completely defeats the purpose of the character.

here's hoping that Psylocke is a break out character in this regard.

Ultimately the x-fox movies are like being at a smorgasbord, and only eating the salad.

Its okay to try the other stuff.  Marvel Studios would kill to have this franchise back as it literally drove the company for decade and has a ton of amazing characters of all Race, Sex, and other personalities quirks that could drive stories.

May they one day have the guts to do a Spiral movie (One part reality tv, one part ex machina, one part human centipede, with a healthy dose of Hellboy mixed in. :D)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Iron Man's Rogues Gallery - Some Thoughts

originally posted in REBUILDING IRON MAN'S ROGUES GALLERY on the old forums

most of tony's villains went into limbo so I believe it still applies here.

Gideon should be an iron man villian.

He's the ultimate corporate villain.

Give him a makeover that would make him awesome in a cyberpunk 2020 style, redefine his abilities (explain how he duplicates the x-factor of other mutants and maybe put a limitation or 2) and give them kewl techno-sword thingies, but he prefers to let his henchmen take care of violence. Give him a touch of that Virgin CEO in personality and have him do outrageous things sometimes just cause he can.

He has nothing less then a sterling reputation as a fortune 500 trendsetter to the outside world.

If Xavier's mansion really ticks him off, foreclose and/or release video tapes of their activities to the media, which he controls. Give them a pr nightmare. Plus draft an x-men or two to get better benefits, using the same rational why the FF became celebrities instead of outcasts.

Have him donate millions to genetic research for his own usage, maybe even sponsor sinister for his own plans.

Have privately run orphanages sponsored by him to see if he can find "promising" minions.

Have him outflank the hero's by having them dealing with brush files, while he strikes several places at the same time.

Give him a descent 21st century marvel technology, a descent trading relationship with Wakanda and Lativara, and quite a bit of that old iron curtain technology all merged together with some of the brightest minds on the payroll.

And after frustrating the heroes in ways from 5 to 6 different ways, he smiles shakes hands and goes home, because their actions have helped him in his own objectives.

Do this and he would have been awesome.


Circuit Breaker - although originally created for the transformer marvel comic, with her phobias/hatred of mechanized life forms, raw intelligence and sheer power level (to say nothing of the cheesecake factor), she could be a great foil if redone for tony. 

Plus her em pulse could really give tony a miserable time now that he has nanites in him.

Circuit Breaker is owned entirely by Marvel, so no problem integrating her entirely.

The thing is, Iron Man is the personification of what gamers called power creep.

As we learn more about the science of the world and how it works, characters like Reed Richards and Iron man will only get more powerful over time. Because what was considered super science becomes normal, even expected.

The thing is with characters like this, long term adversaries must be able to duplicate this affect over time (such as great characters as Doctor Doom and Techno have been able to prove) or have abilities that are designed to keep pace and/or strike at a consistent Achilles heel of the character.

Both characters I have suggested being repackaged (Circuit Breaker and Gideon) would be able to keep pace with Iron Man and be excellent additions to the rogue gallery.

Crimson Dynamo and/or Titanium man could be a great repackaging in a manner like Omega Red, a soldier out of time that could be a hoot. Especially if he makes some sort of "faustian deal" to keep pace with iron man. Maybe give a touch of "weird wars" to give it a creepy feel.

Not really a fan of the name Spymaster but the concept of a corporate spy extraordinaire is a good one and could be used throughout the series.

Living Laser concept is a riot, but he needs to keep pace with what lasers can do in the modern world. give him the ability to use the laser to generate missile locks with automated drones and it could be nasty. Also if he starts using military Ladar, he could be really frightening, especially for his own purposes. to say nothing of a very simple, yet nasty thing.

Give a bunch of associates your standard laser pointers, and have them pester tony during a pr presentation. Simply amp it up using his natural abilities and one serious strike against him.

To say nothing about good old fashion cd burners and what you can do with it.

here's a link to brainstorm further laser applications. Feel free to add others.

The Controller is bonded to his suit and has the marvel equivalent of cerebro shells, he could make a great "behind the scenes" villain. In fact if he really takes it to tony after his inevitable falling out with shield. Act as a shadow to give tony a luck that makes spidey look incredibly lucky. 

Make Ghost an ecoterrorist and give him a real axe to grind against tony (perhaps being right, heck, it worked for magneto. Give him firebrand as a minion and it could be fun.

Manderin is dead, and Temugin has made peace with tony, but make it a shaky peace that could come apart at any moment (especially with any of the above) and it may bring him back into full villain status.

The B-stringer Power armors should be used as pawns to put tony in places to make him miserable and set up "no win situations"

I like the idea of making AIM a dedicated Iron Man villain organization, especially if manipulated by either Gideon and/or Temugin.

and if you want somebody nasty, get a character who can alter liquids at a touch, and change a certain tony's IV into alcohol after being hospitalized. Opened to suggestions on that one.

Fin Fang Foom is a neat concept, but alien dragons have to be used sparingly. to be honest, he sounds like a great Hulk Villain.

Ultimo sounds like a great puppet for somebody with the skills to harness him. Pick a villain above who can, and away you go.

Justin Hammer is useful, and if played smartly could help bankroll any of the above.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

TLC - what would I do.

I miss tlc

I miss how it used to be  one of the better channels.

I'll skip the popular, chase execs and reality show members with whiffle bats revenge porn and instead point to what I would do.

My choices harken back to the era of John-Rhys Davis teaching archaeology and James Burke - connections cubed.

1. ANCIENT NERDS!: These guys built the devices that changed the universe and built stuff centuries to millenia before they became mainstream...They are the ancient nerds. Archimedes, Leonardo davinci, and heck even Charles Babbage. You can also focus on an item instead of a person such as the babylonian batteries, the steam engines of rome, the automation of greek temples.

2. Ancient Scandals: Tell us about the scandels of ancient history. Show us the power plays of rome, the war of the roses, and the a reality show. If it's going to be fake, might as well learn about something.

3. The show of imaginary places: Show us places like Dante's inferno, Atlantis, OZ, Middle earth and the history behind them...with the expressed understanding that these places are fake. Bonus points by making fun of wingnuts that believe this stuff.

4. Bizarre science: Show us the stories of scientific knowledge and history that is so bizarre. Show us a hard core trading show, that involves the dutch and tulips. Show us Milkikan dropping oil and why.

5. Great battles that changed the done by coplayers: Go around the country and get civil war reenactors, historical clubs and the sca and show us the great events. Hell, I'd pay good money to see an reenactment of hannibal's use of elephants on the battlefield. ;)

6. Horrors of science: Chemistry, nuclear physics, biological experiements. If we're going to have a horror show, let's give them nightmares. Late night friday night. Give it an 18a rating and watch the fcc throw a hissy fit. ;)

7. Get your ass to mars: a show unabashedly with the goal to get a manned flight to mars, the complications and a list of congressmen to lobby the crap out of to ensure nasa's funding doesn't get cut again.

8. So you want to be a scientist?: A kid show that gives kids the skills they need to learn how to be a proper nerd.

9. the Skeptics guide to the universe: the series. Get the novella clan and watson and give them one hour to rant with a budget and a ranking. Heck, get dumbass, astro stu and the conspiracy skeptic to have their own segments to cut down on their workload. If they are shy about being on camera....use southpark like avatars :D.

bring back the following:
Connections (now called connections 5th dimension)
Junk Yard Wars - hell cross it with that horders show and you kill 2 birds with one stone.

Use reruns as a classic night
great castles of europe
ancient warriors
desmond morris: the human animal
great battles that changed the world
anything by James Burke.
terry jones - the crusades
anything with tony robinson.
and even though it is pbs: where in the world is carmen sandiego.

and get the following:
Scientific america - the series

and if you want to get children involved: steal from the daily show and do "great debates as read by children" :p.

Sunday, May 1, 2016