Ghostbusters 2016 and the Age of Reboots

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Rexis here!

Ninja Turtles. Beauty and the Beast. The Jungle Book. Independence Day. Tarzan. Pete’s Dragon. Ben-Hur. Dredd. Total Recall. Robo Cop. Terminator. Planet of the Apes. Jurassic Park. Ghostbusters.

What is going on? Why am I listing classic beloved movies and franchises? Because all of these have been rebooted, sequeled, or copied to some degree (or will be soon). And we find it most prominently in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now, I love episode 7 to an almost worrying degree, but even I notice the similarities between it and A New Hope. I’m not blind. Terminator Genisys was guilty of the same thing, going so far as practically lift the intro from the first movie and paste it in the beginning. Now, the Ghostbusters preview shows Slimer and the Stay Puft marshmallow man.

  But Why? Why all the throwbacks to the originals?

I started thinking about this when I saw the Ghostbusters trailer for the first time. You see, I have two kids and we LOVE movies. I have a catalog of awesome films I want to watch with them someday and its constantly growing. And it includes the original Ghostbusters as well. The problem is that the list is, like, crazy long. It is literally a list of all the movies I’ve grown up with and loved my entire life. Literally, a lifetime of movies. The same applies to some of my younger coworkers who have never seen a lot of my favorites. When someone tells me they haven’t seen Back to the Future, a lightning bolt strikes a clock tower somewhere.

How can I reasonably expect them to watch all of the movies I consider great?

Casablanca. Sunset Boulevard. Psycho. Gone with the Wind. Citizen Kane. Singin’ in the Rain. Vertigo. Some Like it Hot. 

Do you know what those movies have in common? A couple things: they are considered must watch classics and I’ve never seen any of them. And I don’t plan to. There are several reasons I lean toward movies released during my lifetime. I’ve talked about it before, but let’s discuss nostalgia once more.

You see, our brain has this funny way of remembering the good things and letting go of the bad things. Its why we love Star Wars: A New Hope even though the acting was subpar, the special effects are dated, and the entire story is a copy/paste of the hero’s journey. Its even obvious that George Lucas had no idea where to take the franchise in the following movies. We are able to look past that because of our nostalgic love for the movie (also space samurai and magic), myself included (This is an example. Put your pitchforks down.) The same applies to the original Ninja Turtles movie, and there’s probably no bigger Ninja Turtle fan that I used to be. Watching that movie now is… painful. But nostalgia keeps a special place for it in my heart.

The point is that these older movies aren’t going to have the same impact on the current generation, similar to how Casablanca or Sunset Boulevard would have no impact on me due to a general disinterest. We don’t spend a lot of time looking at death photos from the 1800’s (most of us anyway) because the times have changed and its not a thing we relate to quite as easily as we once did. That’s how art works. Seriously, if you are going to demand the younger generation to sit down and watch the original Ghostbusters movie because they need to be more cultured, please tell me the last time you put on music from Billie Holiday (not the Fallout soundtrack, you nerd). Jokes that used to work just don’t anymore. Film theory and story telling have evolved. Things have changed, as scary as that is for a lot of people, and you have to accept it or you’ll live in this little bubble consisting of only things from your nostalgic past.

Do you understand now why we have these reboots/remakes/sequels from some of our favorite franchises? The entertainment industry understands this, and you aren’t dumber than an entertainment exec are you? Are you?!

This is why they blew up a bigger Death Star in episode 7. Its why the ID4 aliens are coming back. Its the reason we are seeing how Earth became a planet of apes. These were great stories and retelling them for a new audience makes sense in two ways: It introduces these worlds we hold so dear to the younger generation by keeping the material fresh and current -AND- it makes money! It makes so much money! Money! Money! Money! If you want to know why nothing original comes to theatres these days, its because of money! You don’t think episode 7 fired up the sales of the first 6? Of course it did! And there’s nothing wrong with that! If you’ve ever thought “I’m not going to see this because its obviously a reboot cash grab,” then you know nothing about economics, generation gaps, or how art works. And yes, it is a cash grab. They don’t make movies out of the kindness of their hearts.

Things will never be what you think they should be ever again because what you think they should be are based solely on your past experiences and nostalgia. And you know what? If that’s how you feel, no one cares what you think anyway. The future belongs to those who want to participate in it, not criticize it for being too different from the past they love so much.

So let’s talk about this whole Ghostbusters thing. There are a few different camps people fall into when it comes to their refusal to see the movie. The Angry Video Game Nerd recently came out with a video saying that he wouldn’t be seeing it or reviewing it, primarily because he thought it would never live up to the original which he holds in such high regard. This is just… ignorant. And I love the AVGN, so its hard for me to say that. But to discredit a movie because you don’t THINK it’ll be what you want is ignorant. Of course, he isn’t really known for reviewing movies, especially new ones in theatre…. So… Why did he even come out with this if not for YouTube views? Hmm…

Another camp you could fall into, and I believe AVGN mentioned this as well, is refusing to see it because the trailer wasn’t funny. I can understand this. Don’t give the studio your money if you generally aren’t interested, but once you’ve made that choice, how about just moving on with your life instead of blasting it all over social media. I can judge whether or not something is funny to me. I don’t need your help. Oh, by the way, trying to make a statement about reboots by not seeing Ghostbusters isn’t going to stop the industry from making more reboots. Did you see what I said before? Reboots make money, even if it isn’t yours this one time.

You could be one of those idiots who won’t see it because the cast is all female. You’re stupid. Or maybe you just don’t like that the cast isn’t the same as the original. Hate to break it to you, but that’s true for a lot of reboots. Get over it.

I haven’t seen many complaints beyond this. I’m not in any of these camps and I will absolutely be seeing this. I found the jokes in all the trailers to be hit and miss, but I’ll give it a fair chance in theatres. And I won’t be watching it to compare it the original. I’ll be seeing it because I LOVE movies. I love the art form. I love the experience. I even love seeing beloved characters and franchises from different perspectives, and that’s what I’ll be getting here. Hey, I even love bad movies because of how bad they are.

So if you still have reservations, that’s fine. You do you. I can promise you this though; you will find a review for the movie right here on Ability Points within a few days of it opening. So if you want a legit, unbiased review before you check it out, check back or follow me here or on Twitter @RexisGamer.

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Disney’s Greatest Villain

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Rexis here!

I love Disney movies! I have a hard time finding fault with any of them and I know this doesn’t resonate with a lot of people. A more recent disappointment in terms of box office sales was The Good Dinosaur and it was unfounded in my opinion. I thought the movie was really good and had a great villain; that scary vulture thing that follows the storm. Very cool. Not to mention the artistic style the movie was filmed in. This isn’t about the merits of The Good Dinosaur, however. This is about a villain that absolutely struck fear into me when I saw him.

For many years, I was dead set on the fact (yes FACT!) that Scar from The Lion King was the greatest Disney villain. He’s evil, manipulative, and straight up killed someone. Not many Disney villains have accomplished this. After he tells Simba to “run away and never return,” he commands the hyenas, very bluntly, to “Kill him.” He has no emotion and is absolutely power hungry. I love him.

But he’s been replaced at the top of my list of villains.

Without further hesitation, I give you Disney’s greatest villain:

Shere Kahn

This is Shere Kahn from Disney’s The Jungle Book.

I am not exaggerating when I say that he literally gave me goose bumps in the theatre and still does when I think about certain scenes. I won’t spoil the movie too much (considering this is a remake, there really aren’t spoilers for a book from 1894 and a movie originally from 1967), but I will be talking about what drives this character, his history, and what makes him great. If you don’t want to hear it, or you’re scared of spoilers, this would be the time to go.

I found an interesting article here where Chris Culver, a real-life bestselling author expounds on what makes a good villain, and I think his list does a great job of summarizing what I see in Shere Kahn. So let’s use that as a template, shall we?

1   Good villains are exceptional persons.

From the moment we meet Shere Kahn, he stands out. The other animals remain completely silent and even fearful in his presence. He is agile, yet heavy. Intelligent, yet menacing. He follows the laws of the land and even refuses to kill Mowgli near the watering hole as that would break one of those most important laws. He values justice but is not above murder. Calculating. Cold. Absolutely exceptional. Instead of wondering what he can do, you are left wondering if there’s anything he can’t do.

2  Good villains are fathomable.

Culver explains that we should understand the villains goals and that they should be rooted in his psychology. We all know Shere Kahn wants Mowgli dead, but why? Because he has a deep disdain for man. SPOILER: His backstory involves him attacking a traveling man and his baby son. The man burns Shere Kahn with fire and scars his face, which saves the baby. The man is not so fortunate. That baby grows up to be Mowgli. Shere Kahn knows what fire can do. He knows that only man can wield it. And he knows who Mowgli is. This is as much about revenge as it is about preventing a potential forest fire.

3  Good villains get screen time.

The movie has other villains including Louie the ape and Kaa the anaconda (#TeamBlackWidow). Screen time has to be shared, but every appearance of Shere Kahn is a breath-holding nightmare, especially when he gets ahold of that wolf cub. If you know the scene I’m talking about, you’ll understand how “edge of the seat” that whole ordeal was. While screen time doesn’t make the villain great, it gives you the chance to get to know them, and boy do we get to know him.

4  Good villains are multi-faceted.

I think this is the most important distinction. As I said before, Shere Kahn is very much about law and justice. Its what drives him to revenge against the boy who’s father took a torch to his maw. Its also what drives him to force man out of the jungle. Man is dangerous and he knows it. By keeping a man cub, he knows the wolves are flirting with disaster and that it won’t just affect them; it will affect everyone.  This is utilitarianism at its best. If he kills the man cub, everyone benefits.

5 ?

There is one aspect that Culver hints at, but doesn’t say outright. He comes close by saying that a villain needs to be fathomable, or possible within the world they live in, but there is a more important aspect to this whole thing. If I added a number 5 to the list it would simply say “Relatable.” We see a lot of villains with convoluted back stories, things we can’t relate to, but Shere Kahn’s desires are so visceral, so familiar to us that we can relate to him immediately. We don’t know what its like to nearly be a king, like Scar. We can’t imagine why we would need to collect poor unfortunate souls, like Ursula. We have no idea what it would be like to live forever, like Mother Gothel. But we can all relate to vengeance and to justice. That’s what makes him a great villain above all else. He represents the very animal within us, the beast that cries out against injustice while simultaneously questioning how far we are willing to go to prevent it.

Movie Review: Civil War – Underoos!

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This is a badly photoshopped image. Why is Black Panther 50 feet tall? Who’s in those suits in the back? Is that a crashed tie-fighter? I just had to use this.

 

Rexis here!

And spoilers. There’s spoilers here.

I haven’t written anything in almost two months and it feels good to be behind a keyboard to do something other than work and play video games. I’ve been itching to put words on paper (paper means electronic screen in 2016), but my schedule has been crazy. During my absence, I’ve done quite a few things, but I mostly wanted to talk about Captain America: Civil War and how absolutely amazing it was!

Seriously, I cannot gush about this movie enough! And for the love of all things sacred, Iron Man calls Spider-Man “Underoos” in reference to the underwear, which Wikipedia can sum up for you here:

“Underoos were developed as a product idea in 1977 by an independent entrepreneur, Larry Weiss, who obtained licenses for the four major comic character groups (DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Hanna-Barbera, Archie Comics) which included Superman, Batman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Spider-Man, and Captain America.

NBD. Just dropping yet another culture bomb on you. I’ve seen so many people asking what Iron Man says that I had to answer the question in my blog. Sigh.

Anyways, this movie was absolutely everything I’ve come to expect from the MCU. I had no doubt I was going to enjoy every minute. I will admit I was skeptical about Spider-Man, but in my opinion, he stole the movie. The few scenes he was in were incredible. Just watching Peter Parker go toe-to-toe with some of the Avengers biggest names was like a dream. His banter with Tony Stark, how we DON’T see Uncle Ben get murdered, the way he rekt Falcon, Captain America, and the Winter Soldier…. Wow. Just wow. Tom Holland, you da man.

The movie wasn’t without its flaws, however. I didn’t read the comic because I don’t read comics, but I know one of the main criticisms was that the movie doesn’t follow the comic storyline. I don’t care. I just don’t. I was actually hoping to see a lot more plot involving the accords, but in the end we got a revenge story of sorts. And I’m fine with that! It managed to set up a sort of rift between the different groups that will carry over into coming movies. This “civil war” doesn’t simply end when the movie does, as it shouldn’t, because super hero registration is a big deal and can’t be resolved in a couple of hours. Still, I would have enjoyed more info in that regard.

I’ve also seen a lot of complaints about Baron Zemo, the main villain, in case you missed that somehow. He was an interesting character, in my opinion, and a well written villain. He suffered from the acts of the Avengers and sought revenge in an incredibly devious way. He attempted to tear them down from within. His plan was extremely convoluted and required a fair bit of luck to pull off, but isn’t that to be expected? This is a movie based on comic books, after all. He was definitely displaced, though. The original Zemo was a Nazi, but aren’t we tired of watching Captain America kick the crap out of Nazis? I take that back. Its always fun watching Nazis get beat. Tarentino made a whole movie about it. But it gets repetitive if that’s the only thing Cap does. New Zemo struck me as a little more human. I liked that.

As for everything else: the action was on point, the acting was superb, the plot was good-not great, the story telling was above average, and overall – this is how it’s done, Zack Snyder. Side note: Please stop making movies, you hack. You’re ruining everything.

If you’ve read this far, I’ll assume you’ve already seen the movie. What did you think? Did you like Spider-Man? Wasn’t Black Panther just awesome? Because I loved every bit of it and cannot wait for this to hit Blu-ray. I feel like I say that about every Marvel movie these days…

How to Write a Successful Young Adult Novel – The Lunchroom Theory

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Rexis here!

Hello internet peeps!

Last night I finally sat down to watch the conclusion to The Hunger Games. It took me awhile to catch up, sure, but it was worth the wait. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something I just adore about the franchise. Its probably the political upheaval or the fact that I have a special place in my heart for rebellion against tyranny. It could be the lust for power in the series’ villainous dictators that harkens back to World War II, a period I am fascinated with. Perhaps I just enjoy thinking about Katniss and Peeta’s celebrity couple name.

As much as I love The Hunger Games I can’t help but notice its similarities with many other recently released movies that I’m not such a fan of. Katniss Everdeen set the world on fire and Hollywood has been trying to catch that lightning in a bottle once more. With franchises like The Mazerunner and Divergent being the better known attempts. We’ve also got The Fifth Wave, Ender’s Game, and The Giver, to name a few. We’ll even find bits and pieces of the Twilight franchise strewn throughout. All of these have one particular thing in common; they are young-adult novels that have found a place on the big screen. Of course, the commonalities don’t end there.

The books these movies are based on are no failures either. We’re talking about best sellers here. (They don’t make movies from crap books.) So assuming you were interested in writing a book with a young-adult audience in mind, a good place to start would be in the examination of what these things all have in common. I feel like this is good time to mention that I am by no means an expert on writing. Hell, I barely even read. But I do love movies. And I do follow trends. And I do see patterns. So bare with me. Also, take this with a grain of salt because its really just a commentary on some movies I like.

That said, I believe we need to start with the most important aspect of your story; the high school lunchroom. All of these movies can be broken down into a very simple idea:

hslunch

Every one of these tables represents a group dedicated to killing you. Except for the guy in blue. That’s your hero.

 

“In a world where there are multiple different groups/factions/districts, Hero must discover the undeniable truth that they are the chosen one  by rebelling against said society, usually by just not fitting in.”

And that’s it!

A high school lunchroom will tell you everything you need to know about writing young-adult fiction, particularly if  you are targeting a female audience. Think back to your high school years. Remember the different cliques? The jocks, nerds, goths, band geeks, punks, stoners… whatever. Every particular group seemed stupid to every other group. Divergent hits the nail on the head with this idea. Enter Tris who just happens to NOT fit in anywhere. Am I the only one who has flashbacks while watching this movie? Draw your own parallels here, but every one of these movies sets up a high school lunchroom as its society, even my beloved Hunger Games.

Don’t believe it? Katniss is just a plain teenage girl forced to rebel against a hierarchy of fashion-obsessed metaphors that represent a “popular kid” clique she could never fit into (the Capitol). Sure its set in a dystopian future, but that brings me to my next point.

Your plain teenager with no discernible talent or skill (as to relate to most kids these days) is forced to rebel. You must set your lunchroom in a dystopian future of some type in order to facilitate this rebellion. And, as I said before, relate the rebellion to simply not fitting in. Katniss becomes a symbol of the rebellion because she doesn’t fit in with the capitol after winning the games. Thomas is the answer to a disease plaguing a society, thus he doesn’t fit in with Wicked and opposes them as they seek to use him and his friends. And we already talked about Tris.

The icing on the cake for this type of novel will be my last point. You need to have not one, but TWO love interests. Again, this is especially true when writing for girls. Don’t ask me why. I just call it like I see it. I don’t know if this is a leftover cliché from Twilight, but it works. The Hunger Games would have been considerably shorter and wouldn’t have required 4 movies if there had been only one love interest. Even The Fifth Wave got on board with this idea.

5th-wave

She spends about 5 mins of movie runtime with her brother and the other 79 hours making out with one guy while worrying about her crush on another. There’s freakin’ aliens! Stop messing around!

 

To recap:

  1. Design the aspects of your high school lunchroom set in a dystopian future.
  2. Make your main character who doesn’t fit in rebel against that society.
  3. Make it happen amidst a love triangle.

Nothing else you do in this novel will matter. You can use aliens, zombies, angry beavers, a giant robot…. Literally any reason for the world to be in a dystopian state is fine. It literally doesn’t matter who lives or dies. It doesn’t matter who your protagonist ends up with. It doesn’t even have to be very good. All you need to do is appeal to young girls (or boys, but I don’t think the market is as big) who don’t fit in, who feel rejected, or lack confidence. You are targeting the ones who just don’t understand why people do the things they do. And you are targeting the ones who feel oppressed by whatever chaotic state their particular school lunchroom is in. The more vague, the better. Because that’s what this type of writing is about. Despite the war-torn settings, these kids are just finding themselves while surrounded by metaphors for high school.

Now get out there and write a best-seller, you winner!

Batman v. Superman – Who will win?

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Rexis here!

Hello super friends!

 Later this week we are finally going to see the big budget production of the fight to end all fights. Two of the biggest juggernauts of comics are going head to head in a brutal bout that will decisively answer the question “Who would win in a fight; Batman or Superman?” So many endless debates will be put to rest. A million fan boy voices from one side or the other will cry out and be suddenly silenced as the credits roll.
Or will they?

The idea of these two fighting is nothing new. And while I don’t have a tally on hand because it isn’t pertinent to this post, I can assure you that the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel have seen their share of relationship troubles. This is nothing new between the pair. What’s interesting about this round of drama is that it will occur on the big screen in front of millions who may have never read a comic before. The stakes are high.

The movie is subtitled “Dawn of Justice” which represents both heroes attempting to exact justice on one another. Batman is trying to stop a god-like figure who he believes was responsible for the annihilation of metropolis; a man who could literally do whatever he wants. Superman, on the other hand, sees Batman as a vigilante law breaker deserving of prosecution. They both have valid points which makes it easier to side with one or the other.

Regardless of their motives, there is something more important going on here. The Dark Knight stands as a testament to the best the human race has to offer when facing absolutely insurmountable odds. The Last Son of Krypton is a figure we can aspire to, a representation of hope that is alien to us. The winner of this battle comes with a price. We either lose our humanity or our hope. If Batman crumbles, it would be a metaphor for humans meeting their end at the hands of something we cannot control. If Supes falls, it would be a metaphor that hope has no chance in this world.

I feel I can safely predict the outcome of this battle. There will be no clearly defined winner. That may seem obvious given the trailer, but I feel too many people are going to walk into the theatre expecting something different. Fox isn’t going to green light a movie that would kill off hope or humanity. Likewise, they aren’t going to alienate half the DC audience by choosing one character over the other. It just doesn’t make sense emotionally or financially.

The real story in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, in my opinion anyway, is going to be the origin of Lex Luthor. This is a man with no sense of right and wrong, for whom the ends always justify the means. He is a billionaire, an entrepreneur, a business mogul, and he will stop at nothing in his conquest for power. Luthor is not content with simply controlling the free world (he becomes president at one point). He wants to be a god. His jealousy of what Superman can do is what drives him to reason that if a man can defeat a god, then he is more powerful than god. His arrogance and greed are the very things that will unite Batman, Superman, and their audience (and Wonder Woman).

This is not a battle between humanity and hope. This is a fight against everything that is wrong with our society embodied in Lex Luthor.

As with most comic book movies, a lot of people are going to be disappointed by what they see (my wife already hates this version of Batman). I prefer to stay open minded and I am looking forward to seeing yet another representation of one of my favorite villains. Jessie Eisenberg is an interesting choice, but I have a feeling Michael Rosenbaum will still be my favorite Lex. I’m also mentally preparing myself for a huge cliffhanger ending after a long round of heroes barely hurting one another. Still, I’m going to enjoy every minute of this movie! I just hope the rest of the world can put aside their preconceptions and try to enjoy it as much as I will. Try to forget about who would actually win because you won’t be getting that answer. I feel like you’ll be getting something so much more meaningful.

Ghostbusters 2016 Trailer – Remake? Reboot?

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Rexis here!

The new Ghostbusters trailer is out and I am already livid! Not about the movie, of course. The movie looks just fine. I’m not one to judge an entire work based off the trailer. Something about a book and its cover. You get the gist.

What I’m mad about are the scores of MORONS who don’t know the difference between a remake and a reboot, either of which this movie is not! A simple scroll through ANY comments sections regarding this trailer will prove my point. What is it with these idiots clogging up perfectly good feeds where I would love to have a decent conversation on the merits of the movie and the idea of bringing back the franchise?

Listen, let’s just get right to the meat of this angry, albeit short, post. I’ve got some definitions for you to learn, and feel free to point your “friends” over this way as well.

Reboot – This is what happens when a franchise stagnates and you have to start all over again. This is what you get between Spider-man with the Tobes and The Amazing Spider-man with that other guy who sucks at slinging webs. Simple right? Another example, you say? Sure. The Dark Knight Trilogy. He’s no George Clooney. Amirite? Michael Keaton? How many reboots does the Batman need?

Remake – To COMPLETELY replicate the first movie. Every Dracula movie after the first Dracula movie is a remake (unless its a sequel to a remake). If its the same exact story and characters with new actors, new effects, a new director, then its a remake. You can also see this in a lot of Japanese films remade in America like The Grudge or The Ring. On a side note, Japan has revealed a deep rooted fear of little girls with long dark hair I didn’t know I had in me.

Retcon – This is a term that is more common to comic books than movies, right up until X-Men: Days of Future Past which involved time travel that wiped the events from all the previous movies completely out of existence. The franchise continues on with its storyline afterward.

Prequel – It involves events that happened in the past tense! Star Wars had prequels. I’m sure you’re all aware….

Sequel – It comes next in a series. Back to the Future II is a sequel to the first and a prequel to the third. What’s so hard about this?

So where does the new Ghostbusters fit in? Can you guess? Too slow, Sanic! Its a sequel! Seven seconds is all it takes before the trailer references the events that happened 30 YEARS AGO! They acknowledge that the first two Ghostbusters movies happened, effectively making them canonical. This is no retelling, no rebooting, no remaking. It has an original story, new characters, and happens in an established franchises universe! This is a SEQUEL, and the third in the series!

These people make my brain hurt!

Now that you’ve learned the difference, you are free to go spread how much you hate the movie already, based only on the trailer, because its popular to do that and will get you Twitter followers for some reason. Just try not to look like an illiterate idiot while doing so. I can deal with the hate, but the misunderstanding of simple English makes me want to throw myself off a bridge. (If English isn’t your first language, you get a pass. But after reading this, try to get it right or no one is going to take you seriously.)

/rant off

Superhero Movies and Why I Love Them

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Rexis here!

Hello, internet! As I sit here with pink eye and a head full of congestion brought on by some kind of odd virus I’ve picked up from who-knows-where, I think of superheroes. Wouldn’t it be nice to be immune to these ridiculous diseases, like Wolverine? Can we at least get some sweet nano tech to inject that fights off viruses in ways our bodies never could? Its 2016 for crying out loud! Give me my nano tech already!

Rant over. I’ve been spending too much of my time lately watching videos about comic books on YouTube. NerdSync is my favorite. Here’s the thing though: I didn’t grow up as a fan of comic books or super heroes. Crazy right? I’ve never seen all the Superman movies with Christopher Reeves and I finally saw the Michael Keaton Batman in 2015. Blasphemy? Perhaps. My first experience with the super heroes movie genre was actually Batman Forever. I remember it because it was around this time that Six Flags over Georgia embraced the movie and built the Batman section of the theme park. It was awesome! Not the movie. The movie was stupid. But the park was so fun!

I don’t like campy superhero movies like early Batman and Superman flicks. (I’m leaving out the first X-Men movie. I saw it, but I barely even remember it. I’d rather have watched a toad get struck by lightning.) I didn’t develop an actual interest in the genre until Spider-Man with the Tobes (Tobey Maguire). That was in 2002. I was around 18 then and I would say I’d never followed a comic storyline in my life until that point. As far as the movie goes, I loved it at the time, though its aged really, really badly. I’m talking to you, Green-Goblin-looking-like-he-walked-off-the-Power-Rangers-set-and-into-a-blockbuster-movie.

After I saw that movie, I found a world I didn’t know about or understand in comics. I still didn’t read them, but I read a lot of summaries of story lines and character bios. Time passed and movies released. X-Men got better. The worlds these characters lived in was growing and I learned so, so much about them. And still, I didn’t get into comic books. And to this day, I still don’t read them.

I’m a fan of movies. I love them, for the most part. I enjoy B movies and laughing at the cheesy dialogue and intentional bad acting. I love blockbuster movies about the world being destroyed. I love sci-fi and I’ll take all the lens flares J. J. can fit on a screen because the man tells a great story. I don’t like campy-ness. I don’t like war movies that don’t have Bruce Willis. And I’m not a fan of paranormal garbage because I find it hard to suspend my disbelief when watching them. I’ll even get into the young adult novel’s gone to film. Katniss is my girl!

My point is, superhero movies have found a place in my heart and because of the way the medium has changed, I can now be included in a subculture of nerdom that I wouldn’t have fit into before. I may not read the comics, but I can totally hold my own in an argument about Thor’s hammer and whether or not he could beat Superman. (We discuss this a lot where I work, believe it or not.) I enjoy getting stories recapped through YouTube videos. Comicstorian is awesome, too.

And I am looking forward to seeing ALL of the movies on the Marvel and DC lineups. Deadpool just hit theatres and I’m going to have to carve out some time to catch it. I’m super psyched about Suicide Squad. And I don’t care what anyone else thinks, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is going to be so fun to watch! New X-Men, new Avengers, new Guardians, and the Inhumans… OMG the age we live in! Amirite?!

There is just something about these movies that seems to call to me. They can take something we are struggling with internally, expand upon it, give the villain a face, and defeat him. They tell stories that are far-fetched, but impact us very close to home. Its like a grandiose version of what we are thinking and feeling. I love that. Who wouldn’t want to be the superhero of their own story?

Yes, I missed the comic craze because I was always too busy gaming, but I am catching up now and loving every minute of it! And to lay any questions to rest: my favorite superhero is and always will be Superman (Gambit comes in 2nd)! We can get into why another time, as well as who I prefer when it comes to DC v. Marvel. That’s always a hot debate.

So, I’d love to hear your thought! Who is your favorite super hero and why? Do you have a favorite movie? What do you think of the old campy comic films? Who would win in a fight: Thor or Superman? Let’s discuss!