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Batman 1919

I scribbled this down right after my knee surgery, when I was stuck being awake at nights because of the pain anyway. I tend to write fragments when I'm trying to get the feel for a project. I had no intention of doing anything with this. I am mostly posting this oddity because I ran out time yesterday. Written as a popular history of Batman covering 1919-1939   ******************** I’m telling you Bruce Wayne is a once in a century...

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Why Did the Star Wars Hotel Fail (Part 2)

In part 1 we took a look at the marketing failure of the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser.  People had absolutely no idea what the Star Wars Hotel was going to be, which was a LARPing experience, Disney Marketing had no idea how to sell that. So they didn’t.  Even the name was wrong. It was too long, too convoluted, and told you nothing about it.  Remember when Disney would name stuff Frontierland or Space Mountain?  Back then the attraction had a...

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The Dark Herald Recommends Ford Vs Ferrari

Nothing pisses me off more than coming in Second. If I take third place, I’m still unhappy but I’m also calm and resigned. Show, was clearly going to happen long before I got to the end.  The game didn’t develop right.  I threw the dice on a play that didn’t work out.  The opportunity to pull ahead was never there.  Plain old bad luck is a genuine factor.  Like I said, unhappy but calm and resigned. I knew what was coming. Second place leaves me seething.  I...

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Marvel’s Endgame?

Maybe. Marvel Comics hasn't turned a profit for a long time. Even during the 1970s the primary means of profit for those companies was in merchandising and media sales. The comics themsleves became something of a loss leader. Still it was a good idea to keep the losses as low as possible and that meant telling good and engaging stories. It wasn't the worst business model in the world. DC got snatched up by Warner, more or less by accident as part of merger package....

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Why Did the Star Wars Hotel Fail? (Part One)

When the Walt Disney Company finally collapses and its various parts are cut off and auctioned away, people will be asking, “When did its fall begin?” That’s an easy question with an extremely complex answer.  It’s like answering, “When did Rome fall?” With 476AD.  It’s accurate so far as it goes but doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. The accurate so far as it goes answer to the question of “When did Disney’s fall begin?” Will probably be the opening of...

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We Was Samurai

This has literally been presented as proof “When Cleopatra was forced to commit suicide for being a black woman when she was supposed to be Yugoslavian, her eldest son and heir Black Caesar fled to the Far East where he settled in Nippon which had been colonized by black people after the Fall of Atlantis, these were the original Japanese. Who were then driven out of Japan by racist Polynesians. They fled to Mozambique, where they fiercely maintained their Samurai traditions. ...

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Marvel Is Going to Concentrate on Quality 

No, I couldn’t keep a straight face when I wrote that.  They could play numbers games with the other Marvel movies. Most people are Tinsel Town math innumerate and can be told the budget for Antman 3 was $200 million (*snort* yeah, right!) and it pulled in $460 million at the box office, so it made $260 million in profit.   Assuming Marvel wasn’t lying about the budget and they were, it lost at least $100 million at a minimum. But low information...

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Trailer Drop Thursday: The Return of the Rangz

FIRST Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 2 I've got three trailers for you today and for once I was looking forward to seeing all three. Granted, I was only looking forward to this first one in the same way you look forward to a root canal. You know it's going to hurt and you just want to get it over with. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power was honestly kind of impressive in that it got every… single… thing… wrong....

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Roger Corman RIP

In 1947 after getting his degree in Industrial Engineering at Stanford Roger Corman got his first job at US Electrical Motors.  He started on Monday and quit on Thursday telling his boss he had made a terrible mistake.  The next week he got a job in mailroom at 20th Century Fox making $32 a week.  He eventually worked his way up to script reader and did a lot of rewrites on a Greggory Peck film called The Gunfighter. He received absolutely...

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Anime is Great… It’s the Fans That Suck: Urusei Yatsura 2022

A few years ago, Emilia Clarke was making a backdoor pitch for a superheroine movie by means of a comic book that she claimed she had written.  She hadn’t and the project was still born.  However, she or rather her publicist put out some statistics that I thought were hilarious at the time.  Queen Dani: “In doing my research, I found that 16% of comic book creators are female, according to a 2019 study, and only 30% of comic book characters...

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Doctor Whoke

I know, I said I wasn’t going to watch this again but it's kind of like having a quart of milk in the refrigerator that you know has to be bad.   I mean it was stuck behind something for two months and you forgot that it was there. Gallons of milk have come and gone since that one quart was forgotten about. There is no possibility whatsoever that it is fit for human consumption.   And you still have to smell...

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The Dark Herald Recommends: Midway

I thought I should do something for Pearl Harbor Day. In 1976 WWII was about as far away for audiences as the Gulf War is for us. Midway was that fresh of a memory when the Charleton Heston film with that title hit the theaters. I was seriously considering a Does Not Recommend rating for this film. It’s borderline. Roland Emmerich loves him some epic spectacle. The kind of films he loves making are the BIG ones. The sort of screen grandeur you...

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It Just Keeps Getting Worse for Middle Earth

Warner Brothers has decided to feed off of the massive success of the Gollum game. Apparently.  With Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum Oh, it came and went so fast you don't remember it? It was this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0acyYZAfio They are making a movie about Smeagal. The most pathetic creature on all of Middle Earth. “For over two decades, moviegoers have embraced the ‘Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy because of the undeniable devotion Peter, Fran and Philippa have shown towards protecting the legacy of...

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Disney to Pay $100 Billion for Hulu?!?!

Of course, that title is clickbait but it's not entirely inaccurate. All of the studios have been so badly burned by the streaming wars that it was just announced that Disney+ and Warner Brothers' Max would be bundled together on Hulu. I have a feeling Zaslav is getting the better end of that deal. He won't be paying for Hulu for a start. Quick reminder, Disney was originally an equal partner with Fox and Universal for Hulu. When they bought up Fox they got the...

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Disney’s Stock Craters After Earnings Call

Inspiring performance Bob. Disney's Q2 earnings call was today and I think it spoke for itself. I suspect some of this was put options being exercised. Everybody knew that the price of Disney stock had been artificially inflated because of Nelson Peltz's bid to get on the Disney BOD. Which means there were a lot of sell orders with a hair-trigger. Now that Iger's job is safe for another year, the investors have finally started badgering him about Marvel's disastrous performance. And he really didn't...

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RE:View – Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone

It’s better than it has any right to be.  Which is not to say that it’s good. One of the joys of a total knee replacement is the insomnia.  I had been watching Wicked City on Tubi, drifted off before the end and Spacehunter had come on because, for some inexplicable reason, Tubi thought I would like it.   I kind of did. Back in the eighties anyway.  One thing that always strikes people who watch this thing is that it feels like it...

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RIP Bernard Hill 

This would appear to be a weekend for sad news, and I’m afraid I have some more. Bernard Hill who played King Theoden in Peter Jackson’s epic of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has passed at the age of 79. Hill was born to a catholic mining family in Manchester, in 1945. He got into the business when Britain still required actors to earn their Equity card.  Meaning he spent most of his twenties in out of way corners of...

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Sony’s Helldive (Update)

Wow, Sony actually managed to make a bad situation worse over night. Helldivers 2 was cutoff from all 177 countries where PSN is unavailable last night. It took a while to find out who did it. If it was Valve, that would have been understandable. They were going to have to refund any games sold between now and the end of the month anyway, so it would make sense for Steam to cut it's loses. No, it was Sony. They have officially doubled down. This California...

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Helldivers II Disaster

It was fun while it lasted. Helldivers II was the great white hope of the gaming world. AAA games are trash now but this one was the kind of game that we all used to love. It was a hell of a lot of game for $40 bucks. There was no pay-to-win or pay-to-cheat. No subscription required to play it. No DLC that was obviously created concurrently. Nothing was disabled for the lower price except Stratagem Hero. Live service games in recent years...

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Zaslav Takes One to the Knee Cap

Comcast/Universal has put together a bid a $2.5 billion bid for TNT’s contract with the NBA that is currently due to expire at the end of the 24/25 season.   TNT’s owner Warner Brothers Discovery is countering with a bid of… ZERO. They will not be challenging Comcast’s bid. From the Blazer's Edge: Comcast’s NBC Universal is prepping a huge bid to take over TNT’s role of the NBA national broadcaster. The Wall Street Journal broke the news Monday, with Deadline reporting details afterward. Turner...

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Avoid Like the Plague: Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver

.  There is an annual contest for writers to come up with the most hackneyed and cliched opening sentence they possibly can.  They come up with gems like "She was a beautiful woman; more specifically she was the kind of beautiful woman who had an hourlong skincare routine that made her look either ethereal or like a glazed donut, depending on how attracted to her you were."  This entire movie is like that sentence but it lasts for more than two hours...

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Paramount’s CEO Fired Right Before the Earnings Call

Well that was brief but exciting.  Bob Bakish “stepped down” right before the Paramount earnings call started on Monday.  Like the tombstone says, I had looked for this but not so soon.  I actually no, I had looked for this and been surprised I hadn’t seen it long before now. Under his “leadership” Paramount has fallen to the bottom of the Hollywood ladder.  It has assets but no real ability to make use of them now.  Like every other studio that gambled...

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Snap Shot: Bluey – The Sign

From the Babylon Bee: Where did Calvin go? When did he leave the room?" asked father John Pearson, 32, after he and his wife Bridgette suddenly snapped out of a trance-like state, realizing that they'd been watching Bluey episodes alone for three hours. "What?" his wife asked, slowly emerging from her stupor. "Oh. Yeah, I guess he did wander off a while ago. But... you know, we should probably just finish one more episode. I like to, uh, make sure there's...

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The Dark Herald Recommends: Spy X Family – Code White

I have made no secret of my fondness for the anime series Spy X Family.  A TV show that is at its heart about some lonely and broken if hypercompetent people forming a make-shift family works for me on just about every level.  If you throw in James Bond early 1960s aesthetics then I’m hooked and in the net.   From my review: Spy X Family takes place in a world that is very much Cold War Cool Sixties. The nations of...

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RE:View Ladyhawke

Few things were more terrible than video rental night in the Eighties… When it was her turn to pick. Blockbuster night in the Eighties was fantastic when it was the guy’s turn to select the tape but when it was the girl’s, you, the young male Gen-Xer, knew you were facing an avalanche of overwhelming boredom.  Chick flicks in the Eighties were an unclimbable mountain of ennui that you would nevertheless be required to try and scale. The reason for all of this suck was...

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RE:View – The Last Starfighter

No generation ever had bigger promises made to it than Gen-X.   The world we were supposed to inherit would be beyond imagining.  America would be even greater and more powerful than it had ever been.  The average life expectancy would be 180 years old. We would definitely be getting farther ahead than our parents had gotten in life.  Our first cars would be able to fly.  And a lot of us were expected to be living and working on the moon.    No member of Generation-X has...

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RE:View Highlander

The sword fighting is T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E! After the first five minutes of this movie and I was wondering if I’d made a mistake.  Some things just play better in the halls of memory. Henry Cavil’s commitment to the Highlander has instantly injected a lot of interest into what has been a dead franchise since the early 2000s.  On the face of it, he is perfect for the role. Consequently, I decided to watch it for the first time since I was dating my wife, and...

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If Star Wars Had Been Made in the Fifties

I'm doing better. Not great you understand but at least better.  Enough so that I can at least give my Darklings low-energy new material. Which this is. Star Wars 1950 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUm3oRYV7yM Tron 1950 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjvU6Fwb3JM Avatar - 1950 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZMB5HnMRQU The Matrix - 1950 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5jCFWlGlnQ Discuss on Social Galactic

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RE:View – Clash of the Titans

“Greek and Roman myths contained characters and fantastic creatures that were ideal for cinematic adventures. If some of the adventures were combined with 20th century storytelling, a timeless narrative could be constructed that would appeal to both young and old.” -Ray Harryhausen  Clash of the Titans was both the end and the beginning of an era. It was first of the Eighties sword and sorcery movies, but it was also the last Ray Harryhausen film.  And it was quite the swan song. In a career...

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