Wednesday, January 26, 2022

I Mean, Peter Dinklage Isn't Necessarily Wrong

I like Peter Dinklage. He's been in a lot of great movies and folks loved him in, "Game of Thrones," which I did not watch but heard was good (I prefer sci-fi to fantasy, as everyone knows). Dinklage has a form of dwarfism and has been an advocate for the fair and nonstereotypical treatment of little people. While recently promoting a new flick he's in, "Cyrano," he discussed how Disney is going to be making a new live-action, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," and how he has concerns.

During a podcast--Marc Maron's WTF-- Dinlage pointed out that Disney is proud of how they're being progressive with the casting of a Latina as Snow White (Rachel Zegler) but a problem remains. He stated “You’re progressive in one way but you’re still making that fucking backward story of seven dwarfs living in the cave. What the fuck are you doing, man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox? I guess I’m not loud enough. They were so proud of that, and all love and respect to the actress and the people who thought they were doing the right thing, but I’m just like ... what are you doing?”

I mean, Peter Dinklage has a bit of a point. We need to look at the old versions of, "Snow White and Seven Dwarves," as products of their time, but some stuff just doesn't translate that well into the modern-day without a lot of changes--if at all. I've seen suggestions that if the dwarves are portrayed as a fantasy race as opposed to people with dwarfism it might be okay, and I have no clue how accurate or inaccurate that is, I've just seen it suggested. There are people saying Dinklage is being too sensitive or, "Woke," as if that were a negative thing, but I do see his concern. I'm not sure what the solution is, the whole thing is messy. 

This isn't a case where you can cut one problematic element from a story (get rid of the, "Red Man," song in, "Peter Pan," or the racist crows in a remake of, "Dumbo," to give two big examples), the problematic element is the story. I'm not sure what the answer is here, but I imagine something's gotta give. For what it is worth, Disney responded to him with a short statement that they've been, "Consulting with members of the dwarfism community." What exactly that means is unclear, but again, something's gotta give.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

"Far Cry 6," Has Guapo the Crocodile, and I Appreciate That

"Far Cry 6," is basically more, "Far Cry," with the addition of a fantastic actor as the big baddie--Giancarlo Esposito. Besides that, you fight an evil force that is in power, hunt some animals, fiddle with your weapons & such at workbenches, and drive around. I was playing it and found myself relatively unimpressed by the samey style until quite early in the game I met my first--and the best--animal companion, Guapo. 

Guapo is the pet crocodile of another character you recruit to the rebel cause and he is as adorable as he is deadly. He has a gold tooth, a snazzy windbreaker, and a lot of energy regardless of his cold blood. Guapo will follow you around and sic any enemy troops you point him at. He also will let you pet him and when you give him some affection he hisses with glee. Guapo is a treat and made me want to play, "Far Cry 6," longer than just a smidgen of time. I still didn't play the game a ton ("Far Cry," games have gotten pretty samey over time), but I played it a lot more than I would have without Guapo. We all love Guapo, we are him and he is us.

Guapo needs a spin-off. If they make, "Far Cry: Guapo," it will sell so many copies and be the game of the year. Heck, give him a prequel movie too. Guapo is amazing and our World is richer for having him in it.

Monday, January 24, 2022

"Clodagh," #2 Review

Blue Fox Publishing consistently puts out great horror-influenced comics. With the second issue of, "Clodagh," they continue that trend! After a solid first issue that sets up the story of an evil witch stealing the child (named Aine) of a woman named Clodagh and a man named Fillin to give chase. This issue follows Fillin as he faces various challenges in pursuit of the witch and Clodagh as she prepares to join in the search for Aine. 

There are all kinds of creepy and hideous creatures under the influence of the witch and Willi Roberts illustrates and colors them with skill. The comic's writer, Simon Birks, gives everything a suitably eerie tone as well, with various supernatural occurrences building us readers unease throughout this issue.

I quite enjoyed the second issue of, "Clodagh," and would encourage folks to watch for when its Kickstarter campaign starts in February (which will bring opportunities to read the first issue as well so you can enjoy the whole story). Now, we just need to await issue #3 to resolve some cliffhangers at the end of this issue!

5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

M&Ms are Getting an Advertising Revamp and People are Genuinely Upset

Mars Inc. announced they were tweaking the designs and attitudes of their M&M candies. People went absolutely berserk at this news. The fact that the green M&M was going to be less sexualized, the red M&M would be less mean, and other changes would occur led to more tweets and news stories than I would have expected. The thing is, I am pretty sure Mars knew they would get a ton of press and I--along with some others--think this is a ploy to get attention

Maybe Mars genuinely wants to be more inclusive as they say, but I think they just wanted clicks and to cause a hubbub. Why we care what an advertisement for candy looks like is beyond me (some people really do want to bang that M&M though). I myself think people who are outraged that Mars is trying to be, "Woke," as well as people angered that it is an, "Empty gesture," are missing the point. The point is Mars wanted to troll us all and get attention. Mission accomplished. Snickers are the best Mars Inc. candy anyways.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

My Review of, "Falconspeare," is Up at Forces of Geek

I wrote a review of the new original graphic novel, "Falconspeare," over at the website known as Forces of Geek. My chums there thought it might appeal to me. Did I enjoy it? Well, why don't you click on over to read my review and find out!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Film Friday: That Upcoming, "The Batman," Movie is Almost 3 Hours Long

I don't mind short movies. I also don't mind shows that have fewer episodes. Sometimes you can have all killer and no filler. Now, long movies or shows with tons of hour-long episodes can be fine as well, but I appreciate stuff that doesn't require a huge time commitment. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," was a breezey 97 minutes with credits, and that was just long enough! Hence, when I hear, "The Batman," is two hours and 47 minutes--without counting the credits--that just sounds like a big commitment of time. I mean, the Zack Snyder cut of, "Justice League," being a smidgen over four hours has scared me away from it, to be honest. 

I don't mind long stuff, I just appreciate it when something is less stuffed. The same thing stands with video-games. I don't need a 100-hour epic journey, just give me something tight, focused, and fun. For all I know, "The Batman," needs every minute of its runtime to give us the best experience possible, so don't think I'm complaining (just a tiny bit, maybe). Whether it's long or short, "The Batman," looks promising so I'll want to check it out at some point, regardless of runtime.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Advance Review: "Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine," is a Fantastic Blend of Art and Poetry

Nick Francis Potter is the author behind, "Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine," which will be published by Driftwood press this March. It's a collection of Potter's works of comics-meets-poetry. Some of his pieces read a bit like a poem that has had art added ("Vacationing," for example), and others incorporate the poetry and art in fascinating ways such as, "Look Stop Have Haircut My Hair Maybe." One poetic comic piece is quite political and funny, "After the President," which clearly riffs on how terrible a Commander in Chief Donald Trump was.

"Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine," is a fantastic read and I would recommend it to fans of indie comics as well as poetry. It melds the art forms via increasingly interesting ways throughout the book and I enjoyed it immensely. When it comes out in March of this year I'd encourage folks to check it out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Microsoft to Buy Actvision-Blizzard for a Bucket of Money

Remember last week when I talked about how Take-Two acquiring Zynga was a big deal in terms of video-game acquisitions? Well, now that pales to how Microsoft is going to buy Activision-Blizzard for $68.7 billion. That's a bucketful of money. Activision-Blizzard had been going through a ton of made-public struggles and apparently the fact it is a bit weakened prompted Microsoft to want to swoop in, buy it, and most likely kick beleaguered CEO Bobby Kotick to the curb. Sony takes a hit here, with Microsoft's buying spree really giving it more power in its effort to create a, "Netflix/Metaverse/whatever," of games. 

With this acquisition, the largest gaming company is still China-based Tencent, then Sony, and now Microsoft in third. All these mergers and acquisitions make me think the big dogs are going to keep gobbling-up smaller properties and I do wonder what Sony may do in response. Looking at all this I just simply think, "Trouble brewing," and how much trouble will remain to be seen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Television Tuesday: The Clayton Echard Season of, "The Bachelor," Has Me Wondering What We Did to Deserve Such Punishment

"The Bachelor," and, "The Bachelorette," have good seasons and bad seasons. Oftentimes a season rises and falls based on who the actual bachelor/bachelorette is. Sometimes we get a fantastic personality who we root for to actually find love and other times it is a total slog of a season. We are two episodes into the Clayton Echard season of, "The Bachelor," and all I can do is hope things improve.

Clayton finished eighth in the most recent season where Michelle sent him home before a whole chunk of other men. Do you know who would've been a better bachelor than Clayton? Basically any of her top 4 (besides who she picked, Nayte, as they're still happily together). We have Rodney just sitting here being sweet, amazing, caring, and actually sporting a personality and now we just have to hope he's on Bachelor in Paradise this Summer. Seriously, look at who we could've had:

Why couldn't we get Rodney?

Now know that we got Clayton, someone whose entire personality seems to be that new host Jesse Palmer refers to him as, "Genuine." Oh, and he played football in the past and wants kids. He's bland, like if you sat down to a meal and started chewing cardboard. Thank God the ladies are interesting, with the usual mix of sweet and vicious (that should be a hot sauce flavor). I wish Clayton were more interesting as his hometown of Eureka is just 20 minutes from where I live, so I should support someone local, but he's just kind of...there. He listlessly wanders around the room like an abandoned spaceship floating through nothingness and all the women in this metaphor are space bandits swarming him as if he were holding a big treasure. Anything at all intriguing on this show comes from the contestants and I kind of get what one who got sent home the first night for talking smack about Clayton was getting at, he's just a bit boring.

Again, Clayton is a perfectly nice guy and he is extremely...genuine. He just is kind of boring for, "The Bachelor," and it hasn't been this drab a season since Colton was on, and Colton's season only became retroactively more interesting when he came out as gay (and it gave us Demi, one of my favorite participants on the franchise ever). Maybe these two episodes have not set the tone for the season and it will, in fact, be the most dramatic season ever as we are always promised with every new lead. I have concerns right now, however. We'll see next week (this week there wasn't a show due to football) if things can turn around.

2 out of 5 stars (for the first two episodes).

Monday, January 17, 2022

Television Tuesday a Day in Advance: That Moon Knight Trailer Was Cool

Just a bit ago today the full trailer for the upcoming Disney+ show, "Moon Knight," dropped. I have been very excited about this show as Moon Knight is my favorite character. Having watched the trailer, it looks promising! They seem to be keeping the elements of his personality disorder but are bringing in issues with sleep as well. There is a bit of humor but it is a little serious and mysterious too--not super quippy like some Marvel stuff. The outfit has a nice look as a bit of a twist on the classic getup (no Mr. Knight style for now). Here's the trailer so you can watch it:

See what I mean? Oscar Issac is a great actor so I know he'll do a fantastic job, and I'm a fan of Ethan Hawke so his presence is definitely appreciated too. I look forward to when the first episode comes out on March 30th!