Stalled Out on Diesel — Bloodshot

From August 2017-January 2020, Keith R.A. DeCandido took a look at every live-action movie based on a superhero comic in the weekly “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch.” He caught up to real time, as it were, with Joker in January, but now that we’re at the halfway mark of 2020, Keith will take a gander at this year’s releases to date (Bloodshot today, Birds of Prey next week), as well as one movie he missed the first time through, 2000’s Faust: Love of the Damned.

Jim Shooter is one of the most polarizing figures in comics. Getting his start at the tender age of thirteen writing for Legion of Superheroes in 1966, he eventually worked his way up to becoming editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics in 1978. After he was fired by Marvel in 1987, he formed Valiant Comics.

[“All that’s left is Ray Garrison.” “And that’s enough.”]

Series: 4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Thaw”

“The Thaw”
Written by Richard Gadas and Joe Menosky
Directed by Marvin V. Rush
Season 2, Episode 23
Production episode 139
Original air date: April 29, 1996
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. Kim is practicing his clarinet, but Ensign Baytart, whose cabin is next door, is not happy about it. Apparently the fluid conduits in the bulkhead transmit sound; also apparently, soundproofing is a concept that will disappear from human consciousness in the next three hundred years…

[The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

John Boyega Delivered a Powerful Speech at a Black Lives Matter Protest in London

John Boyega delivered a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter protest in London’s Hyde Park on Wednesday. “Black lives have always mattered, we have always been important, we have always met suffering, we have always succeeded, regardless,” he began, as recorded by The Evening Standard, after thanking his fellow protestors for coming out.

“And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. I ain’t waiting. I have been born in this country. I’m 28-years-old, born and raised in London. And for a time, every black person understands and realises the first time you are reminded that you were black. You remember. Every black person in here remembered when another person reminded you that you were black. None of you out there, all those protesters on the other side, protesting against what we want to do, protesting against what we want to try and achieve. Darn you, because this is so vital.”

[Read more]

“All Edible, Except the Squeal”: Language and Power in Bong Joon-ho’s Okja

Parasite made history in 2020 when it became the first film not in English to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. Director Bong Joon-ho’s success is groundbreaking in the conversation about diversity in Hollywood—from the United States’ side. Hollywood may only now be opening its doors to South Korean cinema, but the door has always been open in the other direction. Bong Joon-ho directs with a transnationalist, Korean lens on Hollywood tropes and expectations; his work is part of a long conversation South Korea has been having about Hollywood and the United States’ cultural influence on the world.

[Read more]

Space Force Betrays Its Premise in the Very First Episode

Space Force has the kind of pedigree that should make for truly entertaining television. Brought to you by Parks and Rec co-creator Greg Daniels, and The Office’s resident micromanager, Steve Carell, Space Force is part office comedy (if you think of the military being run like a giant office with a ridiculous budget), part satire of our current political era. It has an impressive stable of actors and writers, and a lot of money to back up the exercise.

But satire is notorious for being the most difficult type of comedy to write effectively, and there’s a reason for that—you can’t create effective satire without knowing precisely who you are offering critique of, and why they deserve that critique. And while you would think that Space Force had the easiest job of all on that front, it turns out that no one was quite prepared to give us the scathing irony its subject matter required. And that’s a problem.

[Read more]

More Action, More Science, More Thrills: Gray Lensman by E. E. “Doc” Smith

In this bi-weekly series reviewing classic science fiction and fantasy books, Alan Brown looks at the front lines and frontiers of the field; books about soldiers and spacers, scientists and engineers, explorers and adventurers. Stories full of what Shakespeare used to refer to as “alarums and excursions”: battles, chases, clashes, and the stuff of excitement.

Today, we look at Gray Lensman, the next installment of the continuing adventures of Kimball Kinnison, star-traveling lawman extraordinaire. In the last installment, Galactic Patrol, immediately upon being commissioned as a Lensman, Kinnison rocketed up through the ranks, helped in the development of new weapons system, discovered powers that no other Lensman had yet unlocked, and single-handedly killed Helmuth, the leader of the evil Boskonian space pirates. There were secret missions and space battles galore. But if you think Doc Smith had written himself into a corner, you’ve got another think coming: Even bigger and more exciting adventures are ahead for our plucky adventurer.

[Read more]

Nature, Horror, and the Inherent Darkness of the Human Condition

Almost all of us harbor an innate and powerful fear of nature. Much of our anxiety is rooted in logic, the wild is, after all, dangerous and unknowable. But there are inexplicable instincts coded into our psyche that seem more rooted in myth than reality. At night, when we peer out our windows into the waiting dark, we fear a faceless evil, and while we don’t know its nature or that of the wilderness that harbors it, we dread it just the same.

These instinctual anxieties toward nature manifest in much of the literary canon—from fairytales like Red Riding Hood, which warn of the dangers of the woodland wilderness, to early texts like Dante’s Inferno, which crafts a powerful parallel between natural bodies and the underworld in its opening lines:

[Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark…]

Everything We Know About Fabrials

Greetings, oh my people, fellow fans of the Cosmere! Welcome back to the next installment of Stormlight Archive review! This week, we’ll take a good hard look at what we know about fabrials, those wonders of modern technology that attempt to make life easier for the… well, probably not the average Rosharan, just yet, but not for Navani’s lack of trying. We’ll look at what they can do, and then what little we know of how they’re made.

[It’s what we call a fabrial, a device powered by Stormlight.]

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