Princess Leia Now a Disney Princess

Though technically not a princess, I have always thought that Mulan was the most fierce of all the Disney Princesses. Though many of the Disney ladies teach young girls to be brave and stand up for what they believe in, Mulan basically saves China. It doesn’t get much more bad ass than that.

Unless, of course, you save a galaxy.

I’m sad to say that this week, Princess Leia has dethroned Mulan as the most fierce Disney Princess of them all. Sorry, Merida, a bow and arrow just doesn’t hold up to a blaster. Yesterday, it was announced that Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for a shit ton of moneys and that we’ll be seeing more Star Wars movies with Episode VII dropping sometime in 2015.

On the whole, I find this utterly revolting. But before I go off on my usual, completely biased and unfair rantings, let us dabble for a moment on the light side of the Force.

The Light Side

If Episode I wasn’t enough, Episodes II and III should have well convinced you that George Lucas cannot tell a story. Yeah, he’s a brilliant idea man. But those ideas need to be tempered and forged into coherent stories. That only works when you have collaborators who are willing to reign you in and tell you “no” once in a while. He had that on Episodes IV, V, and VI. Not so much with the prequels.

Episode VII will be written and directed by someone else. And if there’s one thing Disney has always excelled at, it’s telling stories. Episode VII will be amazing. George will probably have some hand in the development, but his ideas will be tempered with story telling, a successful mix that made the first three films so great. And I’m not just saying that because the prequels set the bar so low. I truly believe that we will get a better film now that George has been somewhat marginalized.

There. Great. We get a good fucking story. Whoop de fuck me do. This news still makes me sick to my stomach.


Once upon a time in a fandom history far far away, there stood two independent entities that against all odds, grew to define their industries. Marvel and Lucasfilm. Without the backing of major entertainment conglomerates, both Marvel and Lucasfilm have created characters and universes recognized worldwide by absolutely everyone.

And they’ve both sold out to Disney.

Independence lets you do crazy shit like film Red Tails. Independence lets you give sanction to fans who create their own works based on your property and expand your universe. Independence lets you create imprints like Marvel Knights to speak to a mature audience. Independence gives you the freedom to concentrate on characters and stories rather than the bottom line.

What does Disney get you? A fucking Guardians of the Galaxy movie? You know who wants to see a CG racoon from a cancelled series that only lasted 25 issues? No fucking one. But it’s got a racoon so the kids will fucking love it so make a movie.


It’s probably the whiny artist in me, but I genuinely worry about such huge entertainment entities being united under one banner. News media consolidation has just made things awful and I’d hate to see that happen to nerdy things that I love. Despite the fact that I revile the prequels, it always impressed me that George did things his own damn way with his own damn money. And although Red Tails wasn’t the best movie in the world, I applauded him for doing it. No one else was willing to film it. No one else was willing to distribute it. And now that Lucasfilm is part of Disney, I doubt we’ll ever see anything like that again.

Independence gives you the freedom to fail, to try things that no one else will bother with. That’s all gone now. We’ve already seen Marvel leaning on the year-long event after year-long event. Sure, it boosts sales. But it’s retreading old ground over and over and over and over again. The House of Ideas is down to the House of Idea. A new Star Wars movie is nice. But with Red Tails, I was really hoping that Lucasfilm was expanding their portfolio. I wanted to see what other crazy ass movies George was going to tackle.

To me, the buyout signals an end of an era. Lucasfilm was so much more than a Star Wars factory. Now I fear that’s all we’ll be getting. Long live Star Wars.

Did Fandom Ruin the Green Lantern Movie?

Last night, I decided to treat myself to a “bad movie” night while working on comics. I usually like to have some kind of noise playing in the background, sometimes it’s “Sons of Guns,” sometimes it’s yea olde tyme radio. For whatever reason, I decided it was time to watch the live action Green Lantern movie. I was terribly skeptical when I saw the suit in Entertainment Weekly and totally underwhelmed when I saw the trailer so I never bothered to check it out in the theater. So I figured, what the hell, let’s do this.

Thank god I didn’t pay full ticket price to see this mess.

The Man in the Iron Blockbuster

I think Warner Bros was attempting to do their own version of the Iron Man/Tony Stark/Robert Downey, Jr. franchise. Like Iron Man, Green Lantern is sort of a B-List hero. Before the Iron Man film, Shellhead was certainly a fan favorite, but hardly a character that was instantly recognized by non comic readers. After the Iron Man film, absolutely everyone knew who Tony Stark was. And now, Marvel has a hit franchise with a third movie on the way.

I really think Warner Bros took a look at that and said, well shit, we’ve got a B-List hero, too. Let’s grab us some of that action!

And this is where I think fandom played a major role in ruining the film. I don’t mean to imply that individual fans went out of their way to pan the movie to ensure that it barely made back its budget during the course of its run. I don’t think comic fans are that well organized or that cynical. I’m talking about the phenomenon of fandom. There’s a reason Hollywood parades their latest and greatest at San Diego ComicCon. Comic fans have money and are more than willing to spend it on things they like. They helped make that first Spider-Man film an absolute block buster and they damn sure helped propel Iron Man to the forefront of comic movie franchise stardom. Warner Bros decided that if they can capture the fandom, they can build a franchise around Green Lantern.

That’s why it ultimately failed.

Instead of concentrating on making a good movie, they went for the fanservice.

Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

There’s a lot going on in this film. Hal is an asshole but he has a tragic past seeing his father blow up so we should care about him but we’ve got absolutely no reason to and he’s in love with Carol who works for this government contractor that’s in business with some senator whose son is a nerd who loves Carol but is lame so he’s our villain and we still don’t care and, oh look, Hal’s got a ring and he flies to Oa where he meets all the toys that will go into stores and there’s Sinestro talking and there’s Kilowog punching Hal for being a poozer and then Hal quits and goes home and the lame nerd who has a crush on Carol gets bit by the yellow thing and, oh, did I mention Paralax yet who’s coming to eat the Earth because that’s what you do so Hal goes back to Oa and asks permission to defend the Earth because why exactly and he goes back home and I FUCKING GIVE THE FUCK UP.

It’s a whole lot of nothing. We get a handful of scenes with the Green Lantern Corps that don’t do anything except bloat the effects budget. There’s one training scene where Hal gets passed between Tomar-Re, Kilowog, and Sinestro all in the same scene. Sinestro spends most of his time on screen speechafying about some shit or another. We don’t learn jack all about him other than he likes to make speeches so when he makes his big turn in the epilogue by putting on the yellow ring, we don’t care. There’s no weight to his turn because we don’t give a shit about him. We can’t relate to him as an audience because all we know is that he’s some kind of general. Now for us who have read the comic, we know that he’s a tortured soul, that the world he was charged to protect turned against him because of his pride, and that ultimately, he turned to Fear to bring order to what he saw as chaos. But you don’t know any of that shit from the movie. So who gives a fuck if he turns yellow?

Paralax is a giant fucking mess. It devours worlds and instantly vaporizes Green Lanterns. So why doesn’t it just vaporize Hal like it did those other Lanterns when it wasn’t as strong? Because PLOT! I think Paralax would have been far more frightening if it sewed the seeds of fear in a populace and turned them against the Lanterns than just being a yellow space squid with hunger issues.

Tomar-Re, Kilowog, Sinestro, the entire Green Lantern Corps, and Paralax all felt like they were shoehorned into this thing to show the fandom, “Hey look! We got things you like up in this piece! Now give us some money!” Besides physical features, I really can’t describe the other Lanterns to you from what I saw in the movie. Why bother including them if we’re not going to be given any sort of emotional hook to make us give two shits about them?

Back on Earth…

Hal Jordan is instantly unlikable. It kind of feels like the writers were going for the whole Tony Stark, lovable asshole thing. But it just doesn’t work with Hal. There’s nothing lovable about him and every bit of dialog that he spits made me grit my teeth. I guess Carol is a sucker for asshats because Hal doesn’t really grow as a person throughout the course of the movie. There’s a clunky bit of dialog between Carol and Hal where she’s trying to convince him to keep fighting because the ring chose him for a reason and I nearly fell out of my chair, dizzy from how much my eyes were rolling.

The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is terribly meh. I don’t know how, but every scene with the two of them sucks the life out of an already stagnant experience.

Hector sure screams a lot. That’s how you can tell he’s the villain. Creepy enough, but again, another character I couldn’t give two shits about. The idea of him being in love with Carol since childhood seems like a good foundation to build a villain upon. Add to that childhood rivalry with Hal. But we don’t spend nearly enough time with him to really care. I’m gonna destroy everything because girls. Great fucking motivation for a villain. Yawn. It might have been cool to see scenes with the three of them as friends with just a hint of jealously burning in Hector’s eyes. That could have made for a much more compelling, emotionally entangling plot point for a villain turn. Instead, we got the Cliff’s Notes version which fell flat.

Make Up Your Mind

In the end, it felt like two different movies hacked together into one mess. On the one hand, it wanted to be a big space opera. On the other hand, it wanted to be an emotional redemption story. Both movies smashed into each other with pieces all over the damn place. I think if they picked one movie, it could have been quite enjoyable.

I could very well see this as a proper trilogy. The first film would take place all on Earth with no GL Corp or Sinestro or Paralax. This would be your origin story, Hal gets the ring, tries to unlock its secrets, learns that the ring is weak against yellow, tries to patch things up with Carol, fights a big bad, ultimately learns the good ol’ “with great power comes great responsibility.”

Second film, you introduce the GL Corp. Hal gets called up to Oa where he has to unlearn all the shit that he’s been doing wrong with the ring. We get some real training scenes. All the while, a cosmic big bad is coming to destroy Oa. This is where you’d introduce Paralax and explain the weakness against yellow.

Third film, Sinestro turns. He decimates the Corp and it’s up to Hal to save Oa and the universe. You could even have the battle return to Earth with Sinestro looking to destroy Hal by decimating Earth.

Give the movies space to breath. You don’t have to introduce every GL trope in one damn film. Space them out and build up a proper franchise.

Green Lantern, No More

I’d be really surprised to see a sequel to this thing. Maybe in five years, they’ll do a remake like Sony did with Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve heard rumblings that Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role as Hal Jordan the upcoming Justice League movie. I don’t know that I could stomach more of him as Hal. His portrayal was completely unlikable from the moment he opened his mouth. I’ve liked Ryan Reynolds in movies, but for some reason, he just didn’t do it for me here. Sure, he looked pretty good in the CG suit. But I just couldn’t give two shits about his Hal.

So there. Green Lantern. Not nearly as good as the animated version. Any of the animated version.

Monster Roll Needs to be a Feature Film!

Monster Roll from Dan Blank on Vimeo.

Sushi chefs versus giant monsters!

That’s the premise behind Monster Roll. The team put together this short as a sort of proof of concept of the kind of film they’d like to see on the big screen, which just so happens to be the kind of film I’d like to see on the big screen. I love that there’s an underlying social message just like the old Godzilla flicks. At some level, Godzilla was a warning about the dangers of nuclear war. Monster Roll warns against the unbalance between what we kill and what we eat. Classic!

Although it doesn’t seem like there are solid plans to make this into an actual feature film, the more people see it and support, the more likely the team will be able to find a studio willing to fund it. I say let’s make this happen. We need more giant monster flick and this would make an excellent entry into the genre!

From: Monster Roll

Evil Dead Remake Looks Terrifying

So I’ve been a loud opponent of the remake culture of Hollywood, but there have been a few that have grabbed my interest. I had no idea they were doing an Evil Dead remake until I saw this Red Band trailer and holy fuck, does it look sick.

A lot of us remember the original as a hysterical cult classic. But it wasn’t originally intended to be funny. The low budget, the bad acting, all added up to hilarity. So it seems like they want to put the horror back into the Necronomicon with this remake. I don’t think I’ll be able to get that image of that girl slicing her tongue open out of my nightmares any time soon.

The FORM 1, High Resolution 3D Printer

What was once a pipe dream for 3D artists, desktop 3D printing is now becoming an affordable reality. If you’re looking for a one-off print of your piece, there are a number of websites that will take your file and print it for you. It can get a little pricey, but the resolutions of the prints are pretty good at a lot of these commercial sites. If you plan on printing more than one thing, the best solution would be to print from home. Unfortunately, the affordable desktop printers don’t have the best layer resolution. Your parts will have these rough edges that require a lot of filling and sanding to get what you want.

FORM 1 wants to change that:

The project is already funded so now it’s a question of getting in on what is essentially a preorder.

If you can’t wait there’s always Makerbot which just released their highest resolution printer ever:

I do so desire one of these units. I have many toys that I wish to create.

By Grabthar’s Hammer, Coulson, You Will be AVENGED!

If the camera had stayed on Maria Hill a few seconds longer, we may have seen her full reaction to the news of Coulson’s sacrifice.

I fucking love gag reels!

Here’s More of That Eva Horse Thing

Seems like the JRA Evangelion commercials are continuing their story line. In this edition, we get to see the Eva Pony racing its ass off. As weird as this entire series is, Unit 1 looks kinda good as a horse. I love that Unit 2 and Unit 0 give us a “WTF” reaction. If Bandai releases model kits of Eva Ponies, I think I’d call that the beginning of Third Impact.

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