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Comments for the week ending November 13, 2011

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Oh Sweet Jesus, I am not sure how many of you are on the "Get Disney to release Season 2 Volume 2 of Gargoyles on DVD" Thread on Facebook. But there is a formalized chat function for such groups and Jonny Modlin just IMed me among a handful others... doing whatever it is he does so well.

You have all be notified... haha

Justin Lindley - [justin.lindley@gmail.com]

Well, "Disordered" was awesome. [SPOILER] Loved seeing the reprecussions of last week's episode - I'll admit, while I didn't dislike it by any means, I didn't like it as much as previous ones. Until now, with those events being directly followed up on and, to me, giving them a greater impact than in just a stand-alone episode - exactly what I've come to expect from Greg Weisman's shows. Especially liked Robin's talk with Black Canary.

And the team now has a motorcycle, and one not shoehorned into the plot in a contrived way just to advertise a toy! Love it.

M'gann's therapy session in particular got me wondering something... Now, I'm another person not all that familiar with the DC comic universe, so if I'm off base on anything, corrections from the more-knowledgeable folk are welcome. Based on my brief Wikipedia search, I think I've gleaned that in the comics, the Green-White Martian conflict is based not so much on bigotry, and more on the White Martians' tendency to be Always Chaotic Evil. But from M'gann's comments in earlier episodes and in the comic where she gives her backstory, it seems to be implied that in this universe the problem is more directly bigotry-related. Which brings up the question, which I hope will be addressed in the show eventually: how on Earth (or Mars, I guess) can there be discrimination based on skin color in a species that can change color at will? [/SPOILER]


Thoughts on Disordered....[SPOILER] The Forever People were kind of Kirby's kooky creations. Serifan, Vykin the Black, Mark Moonrider, Big Bear and Beautiful Dreamer. But I enjoyed reading the comic in my Forever People TPB along with New Gods and Mister Miracle. Because of their long quest to stop Darkseid and get home to New Genesis, "The Way" by Fastball would always pop into my head whenever I read the Forever People. I can't help it, it just does. The episode does a few good saving throws with the original material such as, shorting Big Bear's name to just "Bear" and explaining why he would call himself that. Explaining how the Infinity Man works. They still kept the "Taruu", which I loved. I think Desaad's deformed design is awesome. And we still have a major Gargoyle actor unaccounted for. We know that Darkseid is going to come soon and he'll need a deep booming authoratative voice. Hmm, who could play that?;) [/SPOILER]
Richard Jackson

I was a big fan of this episode too. I wasn't really that into last week's, it felt like a lot of stylistic shock value, but this justified it. I got the character development I was looking for, and I felt like I really got into the character's. Conner especially didn't spend a whole episode just being a whiny bruiser, and instead got to use his head and sort of just have some fun on an adventure. That really appealed to me.

Also like their take on the people of New Genesis. I enjoyed Desaad's design as well, but felt the voice/characterization was a little... much. But maybe that's just because I'm used to the DCAU interpretation. (That seems to be a recurring problem with this show for me... :P)

I'm usually not a huge Nolan North fan, but I thought he really got into Superboy's character here. Kevin Michael Richardson and Grey Deslisle were really cool too. In general this was just a fun breath of fresh air after last week's downer episode.

I'm looking forward to Darkseid and Granny Goodness. Seeing what they do with them.

Next week's episode sounds like fun too. Artemis is another character who's pretty much just been a downer since she walked onto the screen, so it'll be good to see her having some fun next week.

Aldrius - [ShadowAldrius@gmail.com]

"Disordered" continues the long, looooooong streak of fantastic episodes; no question about it. A couple more specific thoughts below:

[SPOILER] Not only do we get some good ol'-fashioned Silver-Age New God shenanigans (including easily the creepiest version of Desaad ever to appear outside of the comics, the introduction of Intergang and Bruno Manheim into Earth-16 continuity, and even the first outside-the-comics appearance of a Father Box), but the therapy sessions featured easily some of the best writing so far in the show. As an Andrew Robinson ("Drop Zone" and "Targets") script this is hardly surprising, but the intensity of the emotions stirred up for each member of the Team from the simulation-gone-wrong is simply heartbreaking.

Definitely looking forward to seeing Darkseid proper in this series, but as of now, my base craving for a Jack Kirby fix has been amply sated. [/SPOILER]

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love!" - Freddie Mercury of Queen

And speaking of Episode #17...that was impressive. I will admit I grinned quite widely when [SPOILER] I heard Bill Fagerbakke's voice [/SPOILER].
Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

Chris Jones writes a commentary on Young Justice issue #9: http://blog.christopherjonesart.com/?p=852 Episode #17 airs tonight at 6:30pm (ET).
Landon Thomas - [<- Gargoyles News Twitter Feed]

I wouldn't call Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny the worst. At least it had entertainment value, albeit unintentionally. Like when the supposedly smart dog nearly gets himself run over by the Bunny's truck. Twice. Or when the racoon went berserk. I only saw the movie once, quite a long time ago, but I got a few good laughs out of it, at least.

For me, my least favourite movie was "An American Werewolf in Paris". There was absolutely *nothing* I enjoyed about that movie. It tried being funny. It failed. It tried being scary. It failed. It tried being interesting. It failed. Worst of all, it tried to make sympathetic charactors, and failed utterly. I spent half the movie hoping each one of them would die a particularly nasty death, and was later dissapointed when they didn't. In short, I couldn't find one redeeming thing about that movie.

Granted, I've never seen a single film by Michael Bay, so I can't say if he's any worse or not.


Jurgan: Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny-What is the obsession with this movie of late? Someone else I know brought this up in facebook just the other day-wanting to see it(I gave her the link on Youtube). I couldn't get past the first of the 10 parts(it's that bad).

MASTERDRAMON - Thanks for the information.
Todd Jensen

Great review, Todd - I'm always interested in hearing from the perspective of someone less familiar with the original subject matter. And I'm quite glad you enjoyed 'em regardless.

Now, to address a couple of your idle questions...

1) While I won't say anything further in the interest of spoilers, yes, we learn why the "ice villains" were attacking simultaneously later in the season. Specifically, in episode 11, "Terrors."

2) Kaldur'ahm isn't necessarily a member of the Atlantean nobility himself, but he's the personal student and protege of its King, which should explain some of the formality of his speech patterns. You'll see more of the Earth-16 version of Atlantis up-close in episode 8, "Downtime."

3) Yes, Dr. Desmond's transformation into Blockbuster (going by the comics at least) is permanent.

Hope you enjoy the remainder of the season, whenever you get a chance to view it! :)

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love!" - Freddie Mercury of Queen

Sorry for the double post, but I checked out the DVD of the first four episodes of "Young Justice" from the library today, and got to see them. Here are my thughts on it.

[SPOILER] I enjoyed it. Good animation, and I liked the "place/time" captions, which reminded me of "The X-Files".

INDEPENDENCE DAY/FIREWORKS: I get a kick out of how the episode begins. Four different super-heroes, each with his own atmosphere and m.o., all battling cold-themed super-villains! (I'm glad, too, that Batman brought that up and mentioned that they'd have to investigate why so many cold-themed super-villains were on the rampage on the same day; I wonder if it's been addressed yet in the episodes which aired but which weren't on the DVD.) And it takes care to establish that the "sidekicks" (if you'll pardon the expression) are looking forward to something big.

Got a kick out of some people thinking that Speedy is Kid Flash's name (no wonder Speedy changes his name to Red Arrow after he strikes out on his own!), and the scene where the Justice League members tell their proteges that most people don't get to see this much of the Hall of Justice - followed by a shot of the tourists staring in through the windows. I liked the way the "sidekicks" handled it, particularly Speedy storming out.

Another touch I really like is the difference in speech patterns: Robin and Kid Flash speak in everyday style, while Aqualad has a more formal tone. (I've picked up from the "Young Justice" discussions that he's apparently a member of Atlantean nobility or royalty, which would fit in with that.) Reminded me of the difference in speech patterns between the trio and Goliath. (On a related topic, I noted that Aqualad is the one who points out the echo of the Greek myth of Cadmus sowing the dragon's teeth in Cadmus Labs' name. Appropriate if he's from Atlantis, with its own links to ancient Greece through Plato.)

The creatures at Cadmus Labs were truly creepy, especially the little imp-like ones who perched on people's shoulders and were used to control them. Though I was pleasantly surprised when they turned out to want their freedom and that it was just the head scientist who was the villain - and his transformation was also creepy, especially since I had the impression it was permanent. All that intelligence, gone forever - though in light of what he was using that intelligence for....

WELCOME TO HAPPY HARBOR: I remember Greg Weisman's uneasy remarks about all the historical artifacts that get damaged or destroyed in many of the fights in "Gargoyles", and the scene where the historic-looking old house gets demolished in the fight between the team and Twister gave me the same feeling.

I suspected, even before it was pointed out in the dialogue, that Superboy wouldn't be too keen on Miss Martian using telepathy on him after the way he'd been educated with it.

Kid Flash's response to Miss Martian shape-shifting into him was great.

The episode ended with a couple of big surprises: 1) Twister turns out to have a human pilot inside him, and 2) the "human pilot" is actually a robot designed to look human. (Shades of "The Edge" and "Leader of the Pack" combined!)

DROP ZONE: A few moments that I especially liked:

Aqualad pointing out to Robin that he has to do things differently when working with people who don't know his methods (and vice versa) as well as Batman does, and this being one of the reasons why they agree that Aqualad is the best fit for team leader.

Robin telling Aqualad that he's the best choice as leader - and therefore the best choice to explain to Batman why their mission got out of hand.

Batman telling off the team, then switching to "Good job" and explaining that no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

The report to the Light at the end. The Light do a great job as a "Big Bad" for the series, but I think that what makes them all the creepier is that name. "Light" is so often associated with goodness that seeing it associated with this band of arch-plotters is unsettling.

I think that Greg and Co. have done a good job on this series, based on the first four episodes. And I was able to follow the story, even though I'm not a DC Comics expert (the only member of the team whom I knew anything about outside the context of the series was Robin - though I also knew who Bane was, and had come across mentions of Cadmus Labs before). I hope that my library will get DVDs of the other episodes as well. [/SPOILER]

Todd Jensen

Though at least they went out in a great way - a crossover between "Duck Tales" and "Darkwing Duck". (And from what I've seen of it in the previews, an effectively creepy adventure - not to mention the surprise of a team-up between Magica de Spell and the Phantom Blot. That last part got my attention, since the Blot was an old Disney villain, but usually pitted against Mickey Mouse rather than the ducks.)
Todd Jensen

LANDON> I think that calls for a moment of silence. :'(

Adding that to my movie quest.
Harlan Phoenix

I thought Torgo was a legitimately good part of Manos- the actor really came across as a frighteningly bizarre character (sad about his suicide). As for The Room, it was incompetent, but I got the feeling that Wiseau was trying to say something that was important to him (though, Bishansky, you made a good point about possible misogyny in the movie). No, the absolute worst- the movie that not only has no competence, but no soul, and no one who gave a damn at all: could only be: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. I have never seen such a worthless movie in my life, and it was made entirely just to promote some crappy theme park. The Rifftrax is brilliant, though- click my name and give it a watch. You really have to see it to believe it. It's the greatest movie ever made- by which I mean it is the worst, but it's so transcendentally bad that it's almost unbelievable.
Jurgan - [jurgan6@yahoo.com]
"He doesn't look a thing like Jesus/ but he talks like a gentleman/ Like you imagined when you were young." -The Killers

No, I can't say as there was anything entertaining about Manos. Yes, I laughed, but I laughed at how terrible it was. The horrble acting, terrible editing, bad direction...nothing about the movie made me "hang on the edge of my seat" or want to watch it again. I only watched it because my friend and I had heard how terrible it was.
Battle Beast - [Canada]

The last Disney comic release from BOOM! Studios is out today in Darkwing Duck #18: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=preview&id=10393
Landon Thomas - [<- Gargoyles News Twitter Feed]

While I've never seen "Manos..." I do in fact own both "The Room" the Super Mario Bros. movie (though the latter was initially a gag-gift) for precisely that reason. XD

Doing your own MST3K-type running commentary when watching these atrocities with friends can be a real hoot. Sorta hard to do with Michael Bay's stuff, because the production values are so high. Certainly fun to savage in a review after-the-fact, I suppose, but hardly to actually sit through, even with friends.

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love!" - Freddie Mercury of Queen

Battle Beast: I don't know how you can put "no entertainment value" and "laughed all the way through" in the same sentence... Aren't those two completely opposite statements? Even if it's unintentionally funny, it's still entertaining you, even if it's for all the wrong reasons.

I think Manos is entertaining for all the wrong reasons. Even Harold P. Warren wanted to redub it as a comedy. Heck, I own the DVD.

D. Taina
"The story is told -- though who can say if it be true..." -Shari

Battle Beast> It still made you laugh, though.

I've been watching a series of lectures on the history of medieval England in the "Great Courses" series. Last night, I watched the lecture on the reign of Edward I. When the lecturer reached Edward's attempt to conquer Scotland, she talked about his carrying the Stone of Destiny off to England, and mentioned its 1950 theft/recovery by the Scottish students, and its return to Scotland in 1996.
Todd Jensen

Manos had no entertainment value for me... I laughed all the way through at how terrible it was. There was nothing remotly entertaining about it. And as for Michael Bay... while I can't say he is the worst director ever (I liked Armageddon), I can say that most of his movies are terrible. But the one thing they do have over Manos is PRODUCTION VALUE. They are legitimate films. Manos is so bad it's hard to even call it a film.
Battle Beast - [Canada]

Algernon: I don't think having more parties really makes more choice, it just means the voters choose at an earlier point. You either vote for a party which is a broad coalition of interests or you vote for a party which joins a broad coalition of interests after polling day. It's harder to have democratic accountability under these circumstances so I tend to prefer systems where you hash out the leader ahead of time in primaries etc.

I've linked a great article about major elections that fell to one vote. But even if you don't get to be the tipping vote, as long as you have a vote and a voice to persuade others to vote too, you get to force the lords and masters of the land to speak about your issues. And it comes down to that great President Bartlet quote, "Decisions are made by those who show up."


MATT> Here's the thing, I can't fault the fertilizer salesman for not knowing any better. I can and do fault Bay because he should know better.

That and "Manos" has an entertainment value to it Bay's filmography doesn't.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Greg's Blog of Clue-by-Fours]
Elisa Maza, why don't you just take that "sodie pop" can and stick the straw right into New York's eye!

I dunno. Bay's crap is pretty... crappy. But at least it had special effects... if not plot, believability, maturity or interesting characterisation.
Matt - [Saint Louis, Missouri, USA]
"... And if we did it before, we can do it again." "And we will. Together." - Goliath and Elisa, "The Edge"

I've seen worse than Manos as well. For starters, Michael Bay's entire filmography.
Greg Bishansky - [<--- Greg's Blog of Clue-by-Fours]
Elisa Maza, why don't you just take that "sodie pop" can and stick the straw right into New York's eye!

Battle Beast> I've seen worse than Manos.
Harlan Phoenix

Greg> Well said! I've been meaning to review this "film" for a while... I'll probably do it this wekk... I just got through Manos: the Hands of Fate, truly one of, if not THE worst film ever made. My revew should say it all.


Battle Beast - [Canada]

As someone who comes from a European style parlimentary system, I've always found the American Tweedledum or Tweedledee system pretty bizzare. How does a system with only two real political parties evolve in the first place? Is there not a significant minority in the American electorate who'd like to try something different?

I do understand Carlin's point. I often don't vote for members of either major party in representative elections unless I agree with their platform/positions VERY strongly (my requirements for voting third party are much lower). I feel justified to complain simply by submitting my ballot, regardless of whether or not I actually do choose an elected representative.

However, not voting at all is something I can't stand behind. I disagree with Carlin not at the level of choosing elected officials, but at the level of making a choice on issues. The democratic portion of voting is where I feel most obligation; the republican portion I can take or leave.

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

TENTH in the name of Restoring Sanity -- sometimes people just have more than enough to worry about in their everyday lives without having to listen to the shouting coming from both sides.

That said, I turned in my early ballot a week ago d:

"The suspense is terrible . . . I hope it lasts," -- Willy Wonka

I'm shipping off...to find my wooden leg!

Eighth in the name of knowing that my vote doesn't count, since the mayor is guarenteed of re-election. We haven't had a new mayor in 20 some-odd years, and I highly doubt that this will be the year he loses, particularly as he's unopposed. And I'm pretty sure that's all we're voting for this year.

Vinnie - [tpeano29@hotmail.com]
God Bless you All!

Sixth(maybe?) in mostly agreeing with Carlin even though I am sure I will vote anyway. A sort of feeling in me that even if voting does not matter to much I might as well anyway.

I just justify voting by telling myself that the majority (I live in a conservative state and I am... well, not conservative myself.) might just not vote out of a feeling that they're solid in the lead so they aren't as worried about losing and such. Or the other way around if I was in the majority and would think maybe some wouldn't care enough to vote since they felt solidly in the lead and did not see the point.


Chip - [<------The League of Extraordinary Nerds Here!]
"An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason." C. S. Lewis

...Okay, I was assuming that it would auto-censor the f-word. My apologies, LOL.
Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love!" - Freddie Mercury of Queen

Fourth in the name of asserting that, while I adore George Carlin, that's fucking bullshit and every American whom I have an ounce of respect for will indeed be out at the polls on Tuesday.

^ Honestly, I think the above is just the kinda way he'd like to be remembered. XD

Masterdramon - [kmc12009@mymail.pomona.edu]
"I ain't ready - crazy little thing called love!" - Freddie Mercury of Queen

THIRD in the name of, Brainiac... you're totally wrong.


George Carlin is right.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Greg's Blog of Clue-by-Fours]
Elisa Maza, why don't you just take that "sodie pop" can and stick the straw right into New York's eye!

Now, now. Language...

First in the name of performing my civic duty tomorrow afternoon...mostly because I was raised to believe that if you don't vote, you don't get to complain.
Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!