Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 770 – Connections In The Underworld

Oh Hunter. You’re still so naive.

So I did the Favorite Film For Every Year Of My Life Challenge over on Facebook. Considering how much I talk about film and TV here, it’s worth pasting…

1971: The French Connection (Runners up: A Clockwork Orange, Diamonds Are Forever)

1972: The Godfather (Runner up: The Poseidon Adventure)

1973: The Exorcist (Runner up: Disney’s Robin Hood)

1974: Chinatown (Runners up: The Godfather II, Blazing Saddles)

1975: Jaws (Runners up: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, A Boy And His Dog)

1976: Network (I’ve seen very few of the movies released this year)

1977: Star Wars (Runners up: Kentucky Fried Movie, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind)

1978: Superman

1979: Star Trek – The Motion Picture (Runner up: Alien)

1980: The Empire Strikes Back

1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Runner up: Stripes)

1982: Blade Runner (Runners up: Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan, John Carpenter’s The Thing) (This one hurts.)

1983: Return of the Jedi (Runners up: Fire & Ice, Trading Places)

1984: Ghostbusters (Runners up: Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator)

1985: Fright Night (Runners up: Back to the Future, The Goonies) (I feel dirty.)

1986: Big Trouble In Little China (Runners up: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens) (I have a feeling that this is going to get harder and harder.)

1987: Predator (Runners up: The Princess Bride, Lethal Weapon) (With apologies to Hugh Scott and Betsy Hill)

1988: Die Hard (Runner up: Coming to America)

1989: Do The Right Thing (Runners up: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, When Harry Met Sally, Lethal Weapon 2)

1990: Miller’s Crossing (Runners up: Die Hard 2, Ghost, Dances With Wolves)

1991: The Rocketeer (Runner up: Silence of the Lambs)

1992: Unforgiven (Runners up: Aladdin, A Few Good Men)

1993: The Nightmare Before Christmas (Runner up: The Fugitive)

1994: The Shawshank Redemption (Runner up: Forrest Gump)

1995: Friday (Runners up: Goldeneye, 12 Monkeys)

1996: Star Trek – First Contact (Runners up: The Craft, Fargo, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

1997: The Full Monty (Runners up: too many to count. NOT Titanic.)

1998: Run Lola Run (Runner up: Out of Sight, Shakespeare in Love)

1999: Fight Club (Runners up: Galaxy Quest, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix)

2000: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Runners up: Pitch Black, Almost Famous)

2001: Amelie (Runners up: Monsters, Inc., Fellowship of the Ring)

2002: The Ring (Runners up: The Two Towers, Lilo & Stitch)

2003: Finding Nemo (Runners up: Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean)

2004: The Incredibles (Runner up: Collateral)

2005: Batman Begins (Runner up: The 40-Year-Old Virgin)

2006: Casino Royale (Runners up: Children of Men, The Prestige)

2007: Ratatouille (Runner up: Juno)

2008: The Dark Knight (Runners up: Iron Man, Wall*E)

2009: Up

2010: Toy Story 3

2011: The Descendants (Runner up: Fast Five)

2012: The Avengers (Runner up: Looper)

2013: Gravity (Runner up: Oblivion)

2014: Ex Machina (Runners up: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero 6, Edge of Tomorrow, Gone Girl, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Grand Budapest Hotel)

2015: Star Wars – The Force Awakens (Runner up: Inside Out)

2016: Rogue One – A Star Wars Story (Runners up: Captain America – Civil War, Deadpool, Moana)

Normally, I would have italicized all of those titles, but I don’t have that kind of patience tonight. Lots of Pixar represented! Not much comedy, though.

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 769 – Where’s The Downside?

I could be wrong, but I think that this is the first time that Hunter has acknowledged that The Revenger just might be more trouble than its worth.

So, #Squirrel and I just got back from seeing Logan…FINALLY. I have to say, it is hands down the finest film in the X-Men franchise. The next closest is Deadpool, and Logan is just plain a better film, for me, anyway. Now, I have to confess that I haven’t seen either of the previous Wolverine films, and I skipped both Days of Future Past and Age of Apocalypse. I’ve yet to hear a ringing endorsement of any of those four films, so I’m not planning to change that.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT. CONTINUE READING AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

SPOILERS!!!

SPOILERS!!!

SPOILERS!!!

The X-Men films that I have seen haven’t done Wolverine justice. Hugh Jackman has always been great as the character, but they’ve always missed out on that key element that makes the character work, his driving need to be better than the animalistic killing machine that he sees himself as. Sometimes they’ve tried to hit that note, but they’ve always failed to make it work. (Now’s a good time to say that The Usual Suspects is the only Bryan Singer film I’ve ever enjoyed. He and Zack Snyder will be seated at the same table if #Squirrel and I ever renew our vows.) The earlier films also always seem to miss out on the fatherly elements that have always been a part of Wolverine’s nature; his father-daughter relationships, most notably with Kitty Pryde, have shown him at his most successful at being more man than monster. I’m not spoiling anything to say that X-23 is in many ways the engine that makes this film go, and these two key themes/elements are at the forefront of this remarkable film.

I’ve seen A LOT of superhero films. I’m not prepared to put this one at the top of the heap…or even necessarily in the top five. The comparisons to The Dark Knight aren’t really apt. This film had a great deal more in common with The Dark Knight Rises, insofar as each of them presents to us the end of a hero’s journey. The Dark Knight Rises really didn’t stick the landing. It was sort of a jumbled mess that never felt like it was about BATMAN, while Logan is very much about Wolverine. X-23 and Charles Xavier and Caliban and Pierce (great performance by that guy, by the way, whoever he was) are simply well-crafted lenses through which we see Wolverine as he proceeds to the end of the line.

I heartily recommend this film. Do NOT bring your kids. It’s not for them. Logan is a film for adults, for reasons beyond the language and brutal violence.

(Also, I will endlessly be grateful to James Mangold for having X-23 just GO OFF on Logan in rapid fire Spanish. It helped put my marriage in perspective. Heh-heh-heh.)

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 768 – The Dragonbone Purse

Man, sometimes I have to create on the fly. We’d established long ago that the Divine Quintet was made up of relics created by all four of the Younger Gods in tandem. We’d also established that one of the relics was an “Everfull Purse,” although we never used that term. Why would that require all FOUR gods? What would Sentine, the god of the body in its many forms, have to do with the creation of a bag of coins? And now you know why coins once were bone.

I’m frankly exhausted, but for the best of reasons. I unfortunately can’t go into those reasons now, but you will be among the first to know. First family (which includes Will), then Patrons, then you all. Hopefully, it all pays off.

Oooooooooh…mystery!

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 767 – If You’re Going To Rob The Church…

Tzetzem’Tze’Tzemoze’s expression is priceless. It’s exactly what we were going for character-wise, the exasperated expression of the neat roommate/spouse/co-habitant as they pick up after the not-so-neat roommate/spouse/co-habitant.

Not a lot of time for blogging today; I have lots to do in both of my jobs. I will say that if you’re not watching The Expanse, you’re missing some of the best [REDACTED] that television has to offer. #Squirrel watched Season One with me, but jumped ship on Season Two…and it was the worst TV mistake she’s ever made. It’s a an order of ten better than it was, and also that much better than almost anything else I watch.

Imagine if Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead were set in outer space, but without any of the problematic elements that annoy me about either show. (Meaning no pointless rape and no weird racial politics playing out with who lives and who dies.) That’s The Expanse.

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Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 766 – What’s Next?

I won’t lie, writing the line, “What’s next?” was a particular thrill for me. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. My favorite TV show of all time is The West Wing, and that was one of President Bartlet’s signature lines. I was thinking about that as I wrote that slug of dialogue.

Look, Disney is the devil. They just are. They’re a ravenous corporate entity of overwhelming size and enormous wealth. They start culty communities. Rumors abound that their lawyers are at the ready to corner you and reach a settlement ON THE SPOT, non-disclosure agreements in hand, should something terrible happen in one of their theme parks. They’re the devil, no doubt about it.

They’re also AMAZING. They don’t do anything half-assed if they can avoid it. I can’t remember the last time I saw something from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, or Lucasfilm that wasn’t quality. My wife complains about the every rising ticket prices at the theme parks, but as far as I’m concerned, if their attendance stays high, and it does, then people feel like THEY’RE GETTING WHAT THEY PAY FOR.

I say all of this because #Squirrel and I watched Moana today (I’m writing this on Saturday). Holy [REDACTED], it was good. You guys know how much diversity in storytelling means to me personally, and seeing an animated children’s film filled with beautiful brown people meant the world to me, especially because “being brown” wasn’t what the film was about. It was just a wonderful addition to modern mythology, an especially good addition for girls. Once it was over, #Squirrel announced that we were buying it. (We watched it on demand.) I certainly wasn’t about to argue.

Also, no joke, it might have been the most beautifully animated film I’ve ever seen.

The movie is a masterful use of color and motion. There were tears standing in my eyes for…half the movie? It was an excellent, excellent film. As someone who lives for great fantasy, it was like this film was made for me…and I’m about as far from a little girl as one can get.

This the kind of work that we want to do, at least in terms of quality. (Hell, I’d kill to tell exactly this kind of story.) Man, this fired me up this past weekend.

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