Review

Detective Comics #27 – Introduction of the Batman

2014-11-10 by Jack B Nimble. 3 comments

Detective Comics #27 (Introducting the Batman) is available for free in your favorite eBook form. This issue is a 6-page story featuring the one and only Batman.

We know that the Batman has evolved over the years, and is typically retconned every decade or so. So how far as Batman come from his first iteration? Here are a list of things that strike me as very strange in that first appearance of my favorite character.

  • They can’t decide if he is Batman (cover), Bat-man (spoken), or “Bat-man” (narrative).
  • Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon are close friends, so much so that Bruce Wayne is often hanging out at Gordon’s house.
  • Despite the size of Gotham City, Commissioner Gordon is routinely called on to investigate single homicides. Ɨ
  • Gordon decides to invite Bruce Wayne to visit a fresh murder scene with him.
  • Gordon rides in Bruce Wayne’s car to the crime scene (red car, Gordon arrives at a location later in a green car, stated to be his car).
  • Batman’s chest symbol was originally just a black bat, no yellow circle.
  • Batman drives Bruce Wayne’s ordinary red car around while dressed as Batman.
  • At one point Batman ‘speeds his car forward to an unknown destination.’ Presumably this destination is known to Batman, just not us. Because in the next page Batman arrives at the correct place.
  • Throughout this episode, Batman is operating during the day time.
  • There is a lot of action narration that today’s comics omit. Batman picks up a wrench, jumps into the glass chamber, and smashes it with the wrench. In today’s comics, all of that would be derived from the art, and probably not stated.
  • Batman punches the murderer, who then crashes through a railing, and falls into a vat of acid. He’s dead. To this Batman says ‘a fitting end to his kind.’ The next day Bruce Wayne describes this story as ‘a very lovely fairy-tale.’ Bruce Wayne is a sociopath.

And here are the most glaring differences between original and modern Batman.

  • Batman considers Gordon to be a close friend, but Bruce Wayne is just something of an acquaintance to Gordon.
  • Batman prefers to work at night.
  • Batman wisely decides that driving around in his alter-ego’s car is a bad idea, and builds his own unique ride.
  • Gordon may still be a detective who holds the title of Commissioner, but at least he isn’t inviting rich kids to tag along and gawk at bodies.
  • Batman still kills, but he does it in a ‘I don’t have to save you’ kind of way, instead of ‘I’m punching you into a vat of acid’ way.

Ɨ To be fair, they didn’t actually name a city, but the only cities that bother to have commissioners are large ones, with thousands of police officers under the administrative guide of the commissioner.

The Flash – Pilot Episode

2014-10-08 by Jack B Nimble. 6 comments

The show opens with an 11 year old Barry Allen coming downstairs to see a swirling yellow and red thing encircling his mother. Suddenly he is teleported a few blocks away from his house. By the time he makes it back home, his mother is dead from this mysterious presence.

The Flash

Flash (pun intended) forward to a now 20-something Barry Allen. He is a junior forensics analyst for the Central City police. He’s a scientist (Batman’s a scientist!) and he is excited for the opening of a Star Labs in his town with a new particle accelerator. He ends up missing the opening day and returning to his lab only to see an explosion in the distance (the particle accelerator) and an energy wave pass through the city. Some of the energy collects above his lab and he is struck by lightning, and then rushed to the hospital (who knew to call an ambulance for him? He was alone).

At the same time his adoptive father is running down a lead on a couple of bank robbers who drive a Mustang (product placement). The perps manage to escape in a plane, but not before the same energy wave hits their plane, destroying it and leaving the two presumed dead.

Barry Allen awakens from a coma nine months later and has the abilities of The Flash (i.e. super speed and super reaction time). He works with a few people from the now defunct Star Labs (the explosion really spooked the investors) and not only starts to learn his own abilities, but also learns of the existence of other meta-humans that were created as a result of the particle accelerator gone bad.

When a man who can control the weather starts robbing banks (you might say he is something of a wizard at it) Barry has to decide if he is going to use his newly found powers for good. He has a short conversation with Arrow about it, and ultimately decides to go all super hero and become a vigilante.

Overall I thought it was a pretty decent pilot episode. I’m much more of a Batman fan, but I enjoyed The Flash pilot a lot more than I enjoyed the Gotham pilot. Gotham is apparently all about silly cameos and corrupt cops, while The Flash has a lightheartedness to it that makes it fun. I couldn’t really get into Arrow, but I’m definitely going to be following this sister-series.

Things I noted;

  • The mysterious death of Barry’s mother is obviously going to be a major plot point. Particularly since it makes a viewer think that Barry himself could potentially be responsible.
  • Barry has already revealed his secret identity to five people. This means he tells his secret faster than Batman. I wonder if that will become an issue down the road…
  • We’ve already seen a major antagonist of The Flash perish. Comic Tv shows and movies seem to hate recurring villains, I guess that is why they die so often.
  • The explosion, which potentially affected lots of people, opens the path for many meta-humans to appear in The Flash and in Arrow.
  • We see a news article 10 years in the future which says that The Flash mysteriously vanished during a crisis. Is this the kind of crisis that could span infinite Earths?

Starship Troopers – The Mobile Infantry definitely does not accept Hippies!

2014-07-22 by markrogers. 4 comments

Starship Troopers is Heinlein’s Hugo-winning right-wing, pro-war, ultra-nationalist (ultra-fascist?) manifesto masterpiece.  Set against the narrative backdrop of boot-camp and interstellar war, Heinlein describes what his ideal military, and by extension future society, looks like.  In Troopers, Heinlein’s paternal characters explain that “might makes right” is the only true moral code and every other point of view is selfish delusion.  At the start of the story, humans live in utopian bliss due to having discovered, and forced to accept, the greatest possible form of government: Democracy where only veterans can vote.

Written after the Korean War, but before the Vietnam War, Heinlein posits the probably naive view that volunteer soldiers are the least corruptible and most moral members of a society.  Non-veteran civilians, on the other hand, are considered unworthy childish scumbag sheep who never had the courage or moral fiber to become true men and women.  Did I mention that Heinlein goes on a 3-page rant about how social-workers and child-psychologists are “pseudo-professional and pre-scientific”, and their notion of not beating your kids (and also not allowing juvenile delinquents to be beaten by the government) led to the downfall of the US before the end of the 20th century?

When ST isn’t explaining why genocide is good, Heinlein is discussing in meticulous and fascinating detail his vision of a perfect military and the awesome array of weapons the Mobile Infantry employs throughout the universe.  One gets the sense that many of today’s sci-fi war franchises, like Warhammer 40K, Battletech, and StarCraft borrow heavily from the torrent of technologies and brutal ideologies that Heinlein presents.  Indeed Warhammer 40K’s ultra-violent Space Marines seem to spring directly from the Mobile Infantry, especially their battle armor, jump-jets, drop pods, and callous ethos.

The Mobile Infantry are soldiers in armored mechanized battle suits equipped with an automatic movement and jump-jet control system, as well as sophisticated communication and sensor equipment.  Each suit has a lengthy array of weapons from hand flamers and rocket launchers to chemical and small-scale nuclear weapons.  This makes the two main battle scenes that bookend the novel graphically entertaining and often thrilling.  Sadly, the couple of other battle scenes are only vaguely mentioned with minimal detail.  One gets the sense that Heinlein only created the two large battle scenes so that he could begin his thinly veiled lectures on his socio-political philosophy and to describe his ideal military.

Heinlein´s Terran military is described in wonderful and intriguing detail.  Though, at times like when Heinlein details the chain of command or the wide variety of possible patrol routes, these descriptions become tedious and down-right boring.  That’s not to say this isn’t a true sci-fi story, it is, but the attention to detail on military matters at times feels more like a distraction. Certain parts stand out, only enlisted men who have proven themselves in battle can become officers, only retired military can vote (no civilians or active military), a small military force comprised entirely of fighting men (no army barbers). The military is hard to join and easy to quit. The book goes out of its way to state this numerous times, and extol the virtues of a volunteer army.

The book has spread to comics, anime, animation, and a film series. In the last few years there has been talk of remaking a Starship Troopers film which will be closer to the books than the 1997 film.

This entry was originally written by markrogers in September of 2011, but was abandoned and placed in a state of limbo. I recently read Starship Troopers and remembered this entry. I decided to finish it and allow it to be published. The title and all but the last two paragraphs are virtually untouched from markrogers’ original draft. – Jack B. Nimble

The First Formic War (Ender’s Game Prequel Trilogy)

2014-07-02 by Jack B Nimble. 2 comments

The First Formic War is a trilogy (Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, Earth Awakens) set in the Enderverse leading up to the first Formic invasion.

I was both excited and afraid when I found out there would a prequel trilogy about the initial Bugger (Formic) invasion. I was excited because I love Ender’s Game. I didn’t get too much into the Shadow series, but I’ve read all of the novels directly involving Ender repeatedly. I was afraid because I hate prequels. It seems to me that every prequel in existence tramples on existing canon. I don’t know if it is because authors are incapable of reading their own source material, or too blinded by the dollar signs, but they can’t keep their stories straight.

The First Contact

Ender’s Game spells out the first contact story pretty well. Eros (the Asteroid) suddenly blacks out, a team is sent to investigate, and they are subsequently murdered by Buggers. I really expected this story to play out in the first book. Therefore I was quite surprised when it never did. In Earth Unaware, first contact takes place in the Kuiper Belt. It makes sense that it would probably be further out, particularly with the current interest in space mining and expansion in general, but still.

The Terminology

At some point Orson Scott Card decided not to use the slang term Bugger and instead always use Formic. The term Bugger does not exist in these books, nor in the Ender’s Game movie. I feel that is very strange. It is in our nature to label our enemies with derogatory or otherwise slang names. And yet other than the novel Ender’s Game and Speaker For the Dead, people are very careful to always use the technical term.

The Technology

My number one issue with the books is their introduction of what eventually will be called the Little Doctor (or MD Device). It is clearly started in Ender’s Game that the Little Doctor came after the second invasion. This is further backed up in Ender In Exile when Ender discovers the Little Doctor is actually a result of an uncontained faster-than-light drive, which humans got from the Buggers. It is stated by Ender and Mazer that up until the start of the third war, they were using nuclear missiles as their primary space-based weapon. So it is frustrating to read about the Little Doctor being developed before the Buggers arrive.

In contrast, the introduction of what becomes ultimately becomes the Battle Room gear is a nice touch. It shows that humans were developing these devices for the military already, and they just adapted it later for Battle School.

The Action

The problem with prequels is that if you are going to include a character who shows up later (such as Mazer Rackman) you know that character is going to make it. There are several times throughout the books where he is in trouble, and to me, these are wasted pages. You can’t kill a character who is going to show up later, so there is no suspense. Mazer has a love interest that he has to leave because of his duty to the military. Is this a heart breaking moment? No, because we know from Ender’s Game that when Mazer left in hyperspace to jump forward in time, he left behind a wife and family. It is hard to get anxious about events that you know are going to work out.

The new characters were all more interesting to me. Because there isn’t anything keeping them alive. An interesting character in a bad situation will peak my interest. An essentially invincible character (from a future story point of view) on the other hand is less interesting (I’m looking at you, Superman). The tension comes because sometimes interesting characters die (unless your name is George R. R. Martin, in which all of them die).

The Summary

These books are okay. The cover credits Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston as the writers. Based on the writing, you get the impression it is more of the latter than the former. Everything about the book just doesn’t feel like Card, and I feel like he was more of a consultant than anything else. At no point did I ever stop reading because of the writing (such as with Eragon). They are good stories in there and interesting ideas but they are not great.

I feel like the things which were just briefly mentioned (such as China’s decimation, or the Battle of the Belt) were done well. The more specific the details, the more the prequels seem to feel the need to run them over.

The 100 – Pilot Episode

2014-03-20 by Jack B Nimble. 4 comments

The 100 is a new CW television network series set in a post-apocalyptic(as if there was any other kind) future.

Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. (imdb)  
The 100

Kids on the ground

Human apparently survived the nuclear fallout by combining all their space stations into one large one. Because of limited resources extreme population control is enforced. Any crime, no matter how small, results in the criminal being ejected into the vacuum of space. If you commit a crime before you are eighteen, you aren’t killed, but are locked up until you come of age. But even in this totalitarian society, resources are becoming scarce, and the station only has a few viable months left.

Faced with the destruction of the human race, the leaders decide to send 100 juvenile convicts to Earth on a song and a prayer that they will find 97+ year old resources that will save them all. Fortunately a few of the convicts are the children of the leaders, and so appear to have inherited both leadership skills and education. Unfortunately, the other 95 odd teenagers sent down have only read Lord of the Flies and believe that society is a model of success. Up above in the space station, the adults try to monitor the kids’ progress and fight their own political battles.

A few things I noticed about the space station.

  • It has rotating sections for producing artificial gravity.
  • It apparently has the resources to produce new clothing (including leather jackets).
  • It has the resources to build a landing ship capable of holding 100 passengers and with fuel and parachutes to land.
  • It has enough fuel to stay in orbit.

Granted only the pilot episode has aired, but for a station that is running out of resources, it sure seems to have a lot.

No one seems to know much about Earth. I don’t know if this means all the weather and down-looking satellites are gone, or were scrapped for the space station, or what, but they are really going in blind. The primary kid leader takes a small team to look for resources, and makes a comment about there being no animals. Two seconds later they come upon a large buck, only to then see that all isn’t quite right on this nuclear Earth. When night falls some of the foliage glows, which would be a warning sign for any child of the atomic age (or probably a society after a massive nuclear war) but these kids don’t seem to care. In the evening it also starts to rain. The adults monitoring on the station are awestruck at this news. That seems odd to me, since there are orbiting the Earth. Try looking down now and then, people.

Unfortunately I feel like this show is really just a version of LOST set in the future. I became frustrated with the show LOST after 5-6 episodes because the characters weren’t intelligent enough to realize that working together was going to be a lot better than not. This appears to be how things are going to be starting for The 100. Already in the pilot episode we see the 100 breaking into cliques, and the Lord of the Flies taking over. I’m not going to put a nail in the coffin on a single episode, but already I’m leery about what course this series might be taking.

 

Movies With Time-Traveling Robots

2014-03-05 by Jack B Nimble. 4 comments

Have you ever been in the middle of asking a question but your love of time traveling robots distracts you? So your question starts off with something like “How many times on Red Dwarf does the spaceship break down?” but ends up with “While I’m on that subject, if you could you please provide a list of all movies that deal with robots traveling through time I would be very appreciative.” It can happen to anyone, but it specifically happens to one person.

Here we present a comprehensive list of movies that involve time-traveling robots. What is the criteria? The robot / cyborg / android / super intelligent A.I. must travel through time, not just be a character in a movie where other things (humans) travel through time.

Terminator

A cyborg from the future comes to the past to try and woo its one true love, Sarah Connor. Unfortunately some meatbag named Kyle Reese swoops in and impregnates her when she is most vulnerable. The cyborg’s heart is both figuratively and literally crushed by a hydraulic press because of this betrayal.

Terminator 2 : Judgment Day

This time two robots come from the future, both seeking the affections of one woman, the same Sarah Connor. The heart broken cyborg from the first movie tries to reconcile their differences and become the father young John Connor never had, while the other robot takes a much more aggressive stance. Both robots perish as their love burns hot enough to melt steel, which was deadly to their cold mechanical hearts.

Terminator 3 : Rise of the Machines

Our love struck cyborg is back again. Sarah Connor is long dead, but the cyborg feels it is important that now adult John Connor receive his inheritance. In this case it ends up being a coffin full of guns. Another cyborg comes back hoping to win John Connor’s heart, but much like the first movie, is thwarted by a meatbag who takes advantage of the situation when both her and John are trapped alone together in a nuclear bunker.

Lost in Space

A robot tries to save the humans from their own stupidity, constantly warning them of dangers to which they turn a deaf ear. Eventually this robot gives up and lets the humans crash land on a planet and die.

Star Trek: First Contact

Android Commander Data has been in the same job on the same ship for 9 years, but with his positronic brain, it might as well be forever. His programming wants him to become more human, which sounds pretty racist in a universe with hundreds of varied sentient species. Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he travels to the past, joins a radical anti-free thinking group, and tries to destroy the race he always tried to emulate.

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

Bill and Ted travel through heaven, hell, and time in order to build very poor robot versions of themselves to fight very evil robot versions of themselves. It is kind of like a bodacious exodus.

Flight of the Navigator

A robot space ship is just trying to do its job, when a routine stop causes a traffic accident with some electrical lines and lose its navigation charts. Conveniently the child who was being dropped off has all the necessary charts in his head, Jonny Mnemonic style. Follow that with an hour of evading the government shenanigans, and a trip back to 1978, and you’ve got yourself a time traveling robot.

Bender’s Big Score

Bender is just a robot trying to make ends meet. So when he travels to the past over and over again to steal Earth’s historic treasures, what could go wrong? Apparently everything. Paradoxes ensue.

Cyborg 2087

Cyborg travels to the past to try and fix dystopian future. This is almost more detail than is provided on the Wikipedia page.

Meet the Robinsons

Like most good robot time-traveling stories this one is a tragic love story. Hatty the Bowler Hat just wanted to be appreciated by its maker. When that doesn’t work, it travels to the past to make sure everyone will always love bowler hats. There may also be a couple of kids in this movie.

Unidentified Flying Oddball

Hermes the Android and his lookalike human companion Tom travel to King Arthur’s court to stop Merlin, who apparently is a bad guy now. Hermes has the advantage here, because he is the only one who doesn’t fear death and is a robot.

A.P.E.X.

Attack Robots are sent back in time to work a union job, destroying a virus that causes a paradox and ruins the future. Unfortunately yet another human is on duty to get in the way and steal all the credit. Meatbag extraordinaire Sinclair decides to do things “his way” and fix the future behind the killer robot’s backs. The nerve of some people.

Future War

A movie about love, hate, beauty, tragedy, and ultimately redemption, Future War (set in the present day) sees the caring Cyborg Master travel to the past to find his lost puppy of a slave “Runaway”. Unfortunately Cyborg Master suffers a fate worse than death, which is appearing in this movie, and then finally is given sweet release when his slave kills him, setting him free from the agony of this picture.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

They call Marvin “the paranoid android,” behind his back, because kids can be so cruel. Is it paranoid to have hyper suspicion, anxiety, and fear? Marvin probably wouldn’t be so depressed if he didn’t have to aimlessly wander the galaxy with people approximately 50,000 times stupider than himself. After meandering around for 100 minutes or so with these half wits, he needs a break, and decides to travel to the end of time and matter and dine at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

TV Shows with a Supernatural Theme

2013-12-27 by Jack B Nimble. 0 comments

It seems like it is a good time for fans of the supernatural. There are plenty of current TV offerings. Here is what some of the regulars of SciFi.SE Chat room have to say about them, presented in no particular order.

Supernatural – Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.

Keen – Two brothers traveling the US, fighting monsters. Essentially a weekly horror TV series, with a monster of the week. Layered on top is a season-long arc, which is referenced almost weekly, with arc-centric episodes every 3-4 episodes.

Grimm – A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.

BESW – I like it. It’s cleverly self-mocking without being self-indulgent, its premise is similar to many other shows and books on the market but they’ve managed to freshen it up, the characters are interesting, and even when there’s a bad episode Monroe makes it worth my time.

True Blood – Telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse encounters a strange new supernatural world when she meets the mysterious Bill, a southern Louisiana gentleman and vampire.

Keen – Trashy vampire romance novels turned into a supernatural soap opera. A guilty pleasure.
Jack B. Nimble – I saw a comment for True Blood that says it is a show about sex which just happens to have vampires.

Once Upon A Time – A woman with a troubled past is drawn to a New England town where fairy tales are to be believed.

Jack B. Nimble – A lot of twists on the classic fairy tales. Who would have thought everyone was so connected? Originally StoryBrook felt like a very small town. As the story (and fairy tales) progress the population seems to be growing exponentially.
Keen – This one is harder to describe at a high level. It has a weird premise and structure. I’d say it’s a fantasy series that mashes up Disney films with some public domain fairy tales and stories, then dumps the lot of them into the real world.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland – In Victorian England, the young and beautiful Alice tells a tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole.

Izkata – Skip out on the tie to Once Upon a Time, since there’s no overlap (yet).

Warehouse 13 – After saving the life of the President in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that the Regents, an Authority above and outside any government, have collected over the centuries. Their new assignment: retrieve any lost objects and investigate reports of new ones.

BESW – Seems to be back on track after some time exploring various styles and themes that weren’t working for it. The reveal that one of the characters has a real-life terminal disease seemed a bit over-dramatic but it’s being handled well.
Donald McLean – I’ve been watching Warehouse 13 since the beginning and I like it quite a lot.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

 Jack B Nimble – It would be hilarious to find out that Tahiti is a sponsor of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 Sleepy Hollow – Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

Keen – A cop/fantasy procedural with monsters of the week. The show’s fast pace and clever writing keeps it entertaining as it piles insanity upon insanity. Highly recommended.

Haven – A shrewd FBI agent with a lost past who arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine, to solve the murder of a local ex-con only to discover that the curious enclave is a longtime refuge for people with supernatural powers that holds a lot of secrets, including to her own past.

BESW – Haven has always been interesting to me (surprising since I don’t like Stephen King) but for a couple seasons that was mostly because I was fascinated by how much they could promise to reveal and then backtrack on at the last minute. However, they’ve started answering so many solid series-long questions that I’m wondering if they’re powering up for a series-ending finale. I’m somewhat concerned they’ll get renewed anyway and have to invent new plots to keep going.

There are other shows on TV dealing with the supernatural, but these are the ones that members of the SciFi.SE community chose to comment on.

  • All show descriptions were pulled from the plot summary listed on their respective IMDB pages –  http://imdb.com.

Review – Frozen

2013-12-03 by Jack B Nimble. 0 comments

Frozen is a page from the Disney of yesteryear. While I’m consciously aware that there are songs in Tangled, I don’t feel like it was a musical in the classical Disney sense. Frozen reminds me of the great animated musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. When I walked out of the theater the people (both children and adults) around me were still singing the song “Let it go.”

The movie revolves around two sister princesses. The older one is born with a power to create snow and ice, though is unable to control it. Her powers are subsequently kept a secret to everyone, even her sister. The other sister is born with the capacity to be optimistic in all circumstances. When things turn bad for the older sister, it is the younger sister who sets out to try and repair the damage.

The Sister Princesses

The Sister Princesses

Along the way they pick up a few more characters. An ice miner, a prince, and a snowman. I usually hate comic relief characters, but Olaf the Snowman is delightfully funny and his usage is clever. His naivete and the fact that he is a snowman make for a lot of great comical moments. There is also another snowman, who is quite different. I was watching the movie with a couple of 3-year-old nieces and at one point she became very frightened by the other snowman. People with smaller children should probably wait to see it at home (this is actually true of anyone who thinks it is a good idea to take little children to the theater).

Olaf finds a flower.

Olaf finds a flower.

Frozen has a lot of things going for it, good characters, songs, jokes, animation, and fun. Maybe it is the start of another run of great Disney films.

Review – Thor: The Dark World

2013-11-21 by Jack B Nimble. 0 comments

Thor_The-Dark-World_Poster

Thor: The Dark World is decent film. In this movie an ancient enemy called the Dark Elves is attempting to revert the universe back to a time when there was no light. Apparently the ideal time to do this is every 5000 years when the 9 realms are in alignment. The last time this happened, a great war was fought and the Dark Elves were annihilated. This makes me wonder if there was a war every 5000 years with the Dark Elves after light began or if the universe is less than 10,000 years old, making the first war the only war.

The subtitle the Dark World refers to the world of the Dark Elves, which has subsequently fallen into ruin. As an inhabitable planet it is pretty forgotten. Why haven’t the Asgardians (or other realms / races) moved to colonize the now abandoned Dark Planet? It should be noted that the Dark Planet is dark in name only. There appears to adequate light available.

The Dark Elves had a secret weapon (the Aether) they hoped to use during the convergence, but that weapon was captured by the Asgardians and locked away. As it happens, the convergence is happening again. This becomes the major plot point of the movie, as Jane Foster comes in contact with the weapon, which kind of/sort of possesses her. There are also dark forces trying to acquire the weapon in time to use it during the convergence.

Thus we see Jane Foster brought to Asgard in an effort to cure her of the Aether. There is the obvious question of the rational of Thor being in love with Jane Foster. She is from another world and will not live the standard 5,000 years of an Asgardian. There is also the obvious looks from Sif, who is probably the logical choice for Thor. But really, unless Jane were somehow given the same lifespan as Thor, Sif just has to bid her time before she can marry the heir apparent to Asgard. At most it is going to be 60-70 years. What is that amount of time considering the lifespan of Asgardians? Also Sif has been around for a long time, apparently not making her move, she can hardly blame Jane for that. The dark forces subsequently come to Asgard to acquire the Aether, and there is much conflict. Thor is eventually forced to seek the help of Loki, his imprisoned brother.

Before the movie came out I asked my wife if she was interested in seeing it. She said “I don’t know, from the trailer it isn’t clear to me that Thor will take off his shirt.” I said “is that all Thor is to you, just something to ogle?” she replied “that is all Thor is to anybody.” For the female audience that loves Thor for his muscles and not his origin story, I will say that what you seek is in the second movie, if only briefly.

I felt the movie was a worthy sequel to original movie. It was certainly better than Iron-Man 2. At least these characters get sequels, the same cannot be said for poor Hulk, who doesn’t even have his own movie yet (with the current actor).

For all the questions I raised in this review, there are only 7 tagged as thor-the-dark-world on the Scifi.SE site at the time of writing. Over half of them are related to the end credits scenes.

Guide to either loving or hating Ender’s Game (film)

2013-11-08 by Jack B Nimble. 3 comments

Warning, potential spoilers ahead (for those who didn’t read the book).

enders-game-522d060f0382d

The internet is extremely polarized, maybe it is because of all the 1’s and 0’s, but there is only enough room on it for love or hate. If you walk out of Ender’s Game unsure which extreme position to take, here are some things that might help you.

Something to love: After 28 years of screwing around, they finally made it into a film
Something to hate: The beloved children’s book The Hobbit gets 3 – 3 hour movies while we get a 2 hour film that could have easily been 2.5 hours and refined a few points

Something to hate: “The enemy’s gate is down” is now Bean’s idea
Something to love: Bean still says it as the end of the movie to try and relax everyone

Something to love: The Battle Room is pretty cool and larger than you imagined
Something to hate: The Battle Room now has an incredibly distracting view of the Earth

Something to hate: All of the kids appear to be the exact same age and Bonzo is inexplicably a foot shorter than everyone else
Something to love: Almost all of the important characters are represented

Something to love: Rather than just shooting light, the guns now shoot balls of energy
Something to hate: The Battle Room is reduced to paintball in zero gravity

Something to hate: Ender’s fight with Bonzo is short and ends more in an accident than intent to win
Something to love: Ender still drinks the blood of his fallen enemies

Something to love: Many of the special effects look amazing
Something to hate: The mind game looks like a modern day video game

Something to hate: The film portrays Ender as having been in only one army and only one battle before being promoted to commander
Something to love: We don’t have to see Ender cry himself to sleep every night because no one loves him

Something to love: Peter and Valentine take a major back page to the story
Something to hate: If Peter and Valentine were your favorite parts of the book, then you hated the book as well

Something to hate: The Formics are never called Buggers
Something to love: Ender still gets to destroy that filthy Bugger race