Posts tagged “books

X-Men take on One Million Moms

US conservative group One Million Moms have launched a campaign against DC and Marvel asking them to stop featuring gay characters in their comic books.

Gay characters have been included in comic books for years, but later this month, in Astonishing X-Men issue 51, Northstar will marry his long term partner Kyle.  Though this won’t be the first time a same sex couple has gotten married in comic books, it will be the first time it’s happened in the Marvel universe.  This, teamed with DC’s decision to make Green Lantern gay when he is reinvented in the New 52, has sparked controversy with the conservative group One Million Moms, who think that by showing children positive representations of gay people they will grow up to think that it is okay to be gay, which the group believes ‘is a sin’.

‘Children desire to be just like superheroes. Children mimic superhero actions and even dress up in costumes to resemble these characters as much as possible. Can you imagine little boys saying, ‘I want a boyfriend or husband like X-Men?’’  A common misconception with comics is that they are for kids.  There are some aimed at children, but not all of them are and some are pretty dark and have sex scenes.  Yet somehow the group has no problem exposing their children to this, providing it’s with members of the opposite sex.  Every form of media show relationships between men and women, yet most little boys don’t say things like ‘I want a girlfriend or wife’ and that’s because they are little boys not little adults, they want the heroes superpowers not their lovers.

One Million Moms recently launched a similar campaign to stop Toys R Us stocking the issue of Archie Comics Life with Archie were Kevin Keller and his partner get marriage.  However, their plan failed and attention brought on by the groups boycott may even have helped sales as the issue sold out.  Hearing of their campaign against Marvel and DC, some comic book writers contacted the group on Twitter.  Dan Slott, author of Spider-Man, sent them a message acknowledging the effects of their previous failure ‘Dear @1milmoms, thank you for the boycotts. They increase sales as people buy extra copies to spite you. PLEASE boycott my book too. :-)’.  Kurt Busiek, another of Marvel’s writers, took it even further by questioning the group itself ‘One Million Moms: There aren’t a million of them and their board is mostly men. If they lie about who they are, they’ll lie about anything’.

In their statement, One Million Moms says that featuring gay characters in comics ‘is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children’s superheroes to desensitise and brainwash them into thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable’.  It’s clear that the group, who are a Christian group, hold a strong religious view, which seems backwards in today’s society, which, as Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso said in a statement to Newsarama, is what Marvel try to represent.

‘For over 70 years, Marvel’s comics have reflected the world outside your window and Astonishing X-Men #50 carries on that tradition. We’re proud to create stories that are not only relevant to the issues facing a modern audience but that also explore these nuanced subjects in a compelling manner. We’ve planned the release of this comic for over a year but the recent discussion of gay marriage, spurred by the comments of President Obama, makes the release of Astonishing X-Men #50 even more timely. The passionate discourse between our fans on both sides of this matter shows that we’ve struck a chord with our millions of fans around the world.’

Issue 51 of Astonishing X-Men will be release later this month, on the 20th of June.  While it doesn’t seem like One Million Moms will convince Marvel to ‘change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters’ like their letters demand, it will be interesting to see what effect they have on sales.  Having gay characters in the media can be really positive for young gay people, so stamping them out would be a huge step backwards.  Hopefully, this issue will sell out and One Million Moms will learn that their hate is only inspiring people to go against them.

What do you think?  Are you going to pick up Astonishing X-Men issue 51?  Do you enjoy seeing representatives of various minority groups, not just gay people, in comics?  Would you prefer if comics avoided dealing with real issues?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also, please subscribe and, if you liked this post, click the like button.

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Psycho TV series ‘Bates Motel’ in development

For those of you that thought showering was just a time to wind down and get clean, you are about to get a rude awakening as Psycho returns for yet another instalment, but this time it’s television.

Even if you’ve never seen the 1960 film Psycho, its sequels, the prequel, its last attempt at a TV spinoff or the 1998 remake, you probably know about the infamous shower scene and that’s because the film, especially that scene, is a horror classic.  Show me one other film that had to be shot in black and white to avoid being ‘too gory’, a concept which is lost these days.

The original film is about, momma’s boy, Norman Bates who runs a motel with his mother.  Then an unsuspecting shower user comes to stay and the rest is Hollywood history.  Two sequels followed, completely unrelated to the two sequels of the book the original film was based on, then came a prequel, that looked at Bates’ teenage years, followed by a spinoff were the motel is reopened and murders start again and finally, in 1998, a nearly shot for shot remake of the original film was made.  The new TV series will be called Bates Motel, the same name used for the spinoff, and will once again examine the teenage years of Norman Bates.

Though still in the early stages of development the show is said to give a close look at how Norman became a psycho.  The story will show him from childhood and through his teenage years, providing the pilot gets picked up.  Viewers will get to see how his mother, Norma, and her lover damaged Norman, putting him on the path to become a killer.  Last time a Psycho show was proposed, the pilot wasn’t picked up and it was instead turned into a TV movie spinoff.  Hopefully this version doesn’t suffer the same fate as it will be interesting to see were, in 2012, they will take the story.  It’s no secret that movies are scarier these days than they were in the past, how will this change the story?

What do you think?  Would you like to see this show get made?  Are you a fan of the original movie?  Have you ever read the book?  Let me know by voting a leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and, if you enjoyed this post, click the like button.


Quest to Join Pottermore

Though both the film and book series of Harry Potter are over, the story lives on and not just in the memories and hearts of the fans, Harry’s hitting the web.

Pottermore is a site where fans of the series can go to rediscover the stories as well as read additional information that J.K. Rowling has never revealed before.  It will also distribute Harry Potter eBooks and audio books.  This will be the first time the series has been, legally, turned into eBooks.  To a Potter fan the website is very exciting, but it won’t be officially launched until October.  However, each day for seven days, five of which have already past, a clue has been put on the site.  The people who solve the clue will be able to go to a different page to search for the ‘magic quill’.  If they find this, they will be one of the lucky few that get to enter early and help shape the site.

Every weekday I wake up at half eight in the morning to walk my dog, but today the first thing I did was turn on the computer and check Pottermore.  The clue had not been posted yet.  I only learned how to try gain access to Pottermore last night, after the clue had already been and gone, so this was my first real try at getting in.  As I got ready to leave, I refreshed the page many times, but still no clue.  I returned from my walk, which takes about an hour, and there was still nothing.  Through some quick googling, I found out that a blog had given the exact time the clue would go up on day 3, which was two days ago.  As the day went by, it was announced that, in my time zone, the clue would be posted at some point between half four pm and eight pm.  I didn’t trust it so I continued to refresh the page, basically every few seconds, until finally, at around six o’clock, the clue pops up.

‘What is the house number of the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, then multiply you answer by 21’, I almost had a heart attack when I realised the clue had appeared.  Knowing that, since it was day five, the clue would be related to the Order of the Phoenix, I had the book at hand.  However, I didn’t need it as that was actually one of the questioned at suspected and even said to my friend.  Once I had the answer calculated, I struggled with my dad’s iPad trying to get the URL in, but it didn’t seem to want to work.  My friend, seeing my frustration, used her iPhone to go to the URL.  She handed me the phone which I end discarded as the iPad finally worked.  I was brought to a page to search for the quill which was in such an obvious play that I thought it was just an example of what to look out for, but I clicked it and it said I had successfully found the quill.  Also my friend, using the iPhone, which I’d so mindlessly dropped on the bed, also found the quill.

We were given usernames and a few hours later we both received e-mails to complete the process.  Now my friend, Amy, and I have joined the ranks of people who get to see Pottermore before it officially opens.  If you are trying to solve to gain access I wish you luck.  Just keep on refreshing.  In completely unrelated news, Amy got accepted to DCU today and is probably going to kill me for putting this in.

What do you think?  Will Amy be popular among her new class?  Is DCU lucky to have her?  Was getting into Pottermore a bigger achievement than DCU?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Breaking Dawn Trailer Review

Some say that vampires shouldn’t sparkle in the sunlight; others say that they shouldn’t be overly protective, possessive and display signs of obsessive stalking, but those people should simply be happy that the series is coming to an end.  However, there are millions of Twilight fans and they’re facing the end of the series, well actually the last film was split in two so there’s still a while left.  Part one comes out on the 18th of November 2011 and part two will be released on the 16th of November 2012.

Today, fans were given a glimpse of the film as the first full length trailer was released.  The trailer really pushes the romantic side to the story, basically excluding the darker themes and focusing mainly on the wedding and the guests getting there invitations, plus Bella and Edward having sex in various locations, wonder if they’ll be able to keep a PG-13 rating, which results in Bella becoming pregnant.  I think it goes without saying that this will be one of the least ‘boyfriend friendly’ movies in the Twilight series.

If you’re familiar with the book you may be wondering where the split will be.  It has been said by both Wyck Godrey, producer, and Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, that it will probably be one movie were Bella is human and one with her as a vampire, though the decision is ultimately up to Bill Condon, the director.  Godrey had the idea of shooting the second one, with vampire Bella, in 3D to differentiate between human and vampire.  Though 3D has become an annoying trend in Hollywood, it’s nice to see it being used to actually aid in the telling of a story.

Fan’s will most likely love the trailer, but it is very one sided.  The more romantic elements are shown, the wedding and the jealous Jacob love triangle, where as the darker mythological part, a woman being impregnated by a vampire, is only briefly hinted at, despite the pregnancy playing such a large role in the book.  Though the actually movie will be more balanced, it seems that the trailer was made to give the audience and over romantic view, thus drawing in the girls and striking fear into the hearts of the boyfriends.

What do you think?  Will Breaking Dawn be rated above PG-13?  Is the trailer boy friendly?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

In 2009 Sherlock Holmes proved that he could still draw in a crowd, but will the sequel be able to live up to the first?

Sherlock Holmes is a familiar name to most people, but how many really know him?  Do people still read the books that made him famous or watch the films that bring him to life?  Judging by the praise that Guy Richie’s 2009 adaptation got, it’s safe to say that Holmes’s fan base is as vast as ever.  The movie used elements from various Sherlock Holmes stories, even going as far as bringing in Irene Adler, who is a massive fan favourite despite only appearing in one story (A Scandal in Bohemia).  Adler will return in the sequel, but just to tie up some loose ends.

The sequel takes inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Problem.  It is this tale that introduces the evil Professor Moriarty.  Originally intended to be the final Sherlock Holmes story, Doyle ends it by killing off both Holmes and Moriarty.  Complaints by fans led Doyle to bring Holmes back by revealing that Holmes had defeated Moriarty and faked his own death to prevent Moriarty’s henchmen coming after him.  The plot of the movie will take elements from the story; it will not be an exact translation.  However, which parts they are keeping is still unclear.  They wouldn’t kill Holmes would they?

Mycroft Holmes, brother of the infamous Sherlock, will be played by Stephen Fry.  Mycroft was briefly mentioned in the 2009 film and has been in many of the books.  Mycroft has even better deducing skills than Sherlock, but he lacks the drive and energy to physically go out and solve a case.  His role in the movie will be to assist Sherlock and Watson in outsmarting Moriarty.  Also aiding Sherlock and Watson is a gypsy called Sim, who is played by Noomi Rapace.

This film will show off Holmes ability as a master of disguise.  Sherlock will even go as far as dressing like a woman, which was, Sherlock Holmes star, Robert Downey Jr.’s idea.  This should add to the comic relief that made the first one so entertaining.  The movie is set to hit cinemas, in America, on the 16th of December and on the 25th of December, in Europe.

What do you think?  Are you excited about the sequel?  Should they kill of Holmes?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


The Three Musketeers

One muska two muska three musketeers.

Originally a series of books, The Three Musketeers has since been made into a film over twenty times.  The author of the original books, Alexandre Dumas, drew inspiration from an earlier book called Mémoires de Monsieur d’Artagnan.  In this book d’Artagnan first meets the king’s musketeers; Athos Porthos and Aramis.  Also present in the book is Milady de Winter, the antagonist of the first Musketeers book.  However, her background was changed significantly.

Alexandre Dumas’s book, The Three Musketeers, was originally serialised, in France, between March on July 1844 under the name Les Trois Mousquetaires.  The plot follows d’Artagnan who travels to Paris to join the musketeers.  When he is arrested along with the three musketeers they join forces to escape.  D’Artagnan falls in love with a woman called Constance and encounters Athos ex-wife Milady de Winter, who has been paid to kill the Duke of Buckingham who is having an affair with the Queen of France.  The musketeers, and d’Artagnan, must then defeat Milady before it’s too late.

On the 14th of October the latest Three Musketeers film will arrive at cinemas in stunning, and pointless, 3D.  The basic elements of the book are there, by which I mean the characters and the role that the characters play, but the plot is not exactly the same.  Normally things like that bother me, but with this being the twenty somethingth Musketeers movie, I think changes may just be a good thing.  Then again, a loyal fan may want to see the classic tale retold in 3D.  In this version, d’Artagnan joins forces with the three musketeers, who were famous but are currently down on their luck, to stop Milady and her employer from taking over France and starting a war.  As I said, it’s not the exact same plot, but it does have a lot of similar plot points.

The three musketeers will be played by Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans.  Logan Lerman plays d’Artagnan and Milla Jovovich portrays Milady de Winter.  Paul W.S. Anderson, Jovovich’s Husband, is directing the film and congratulations to them for finally making a movie that their daughter can watch, but probably won’t want to.

Though it does not follow the exact plot of the book, the movie looks good.  It mixes action with comedy, but in a way that keeps the tone fairly serious.  It has a great range of actors and then Orlando Bloom for some reason.  The delivery of the lines is also great, it’s not always easy especially with one liners, but they appear to have done it with neatly.  Like most movie goers, I can’t see the point in having the 3D, but it is still the trend in Hollywood so we’ll just have to put up with the goofy glasses.  All things considered, this movie may be entertaining for an action/adventure fan, or for someone who is familiar with the source material, but if you don’t fit those categories you probably should give it a miss.

What do you think?  Is the plot being changed a good thing or a bad thing?  Do you like the cast?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Batman: The Dark Knight Rises Bane Promo Picture

A lot of movie goers will have seen Bane in the 1997 Joel Schumacher film, Batman and Robin, but way he was portrayed in the movie is far from his original comic book persona.  The bane of the film is a mindless bodyguard for Poison Ivy, in the comics, as well as strength, Bane has a keen mind.  He uses this mind to work independently to fight against Batman.  In the comics he is the only man to ever have ‘broke the bat’ which basically means he put Batman in a wheelchair.  He also once thought that he and Batman, Bruce Wayne, shared the same father, but it turned out he was wrong.

Now why am I telling you any of this?  Bane is going to be one of the villains in the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy.  From what I’ve heard, this version will be much more loyal to the source material than the previous movie was.  Tom Hardy was cast as Bane and I’m pretty confident in Nolan’s casting abilities so I’m sure he’ll be great.  The first promo picture of Bane was released.  It doesn’t really show much, but it does give an idea of the look they’re going for.  Check it out.

What do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Classic Movies, Serious Illnesses and Almost Funny Pictures

It’s a strange feeling when you realise you don’t have to apologise.  I’ve struggled and pushed myself to write on this blog everyday for over eight months.  There have been bumps, college work has gotten in the way, but it has been a really great experience and I’m hoping to continue on with it.  However, the last two days have no posts.  I know that I will most likely fix this with a trick I’ve picked up, but for now there is a two day gap.  I was sick and actually completely forgot about the outside world, but I’m not apologising.

Recently the blog has been a bit of a mess and I am putting that write, but with two deadlines left to meet and the decision about which college to go to next year, it is hard to get back on track.  Anyway enough of that, let’s get to today’s post.  Last night I saw a movie that I’d never seen before so I thought I’d talk about it today, also it fits into my neglected ‘classics’ tab.  Yeah I remember promising to watch Jaws, but really who has the time these days?

The movie I watched was Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  I’d wanted to see it for a while actually.  I had to read the book last year and I really wanted to see the differences between the mediums.  Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the novel, I’m still going to have to say it was much better.  For anyone who hasn’t read the book, or seen the movie, I’m going to explain the plot.  Writer falls in love with a crazy woman.  The plot has also been used in films like Misery.  Okay maybe it’s not the exact same thing, but Misery was also a book before it became a movie.

Naturally the book goes into more detail, but it was actually details added by the film that I found annoying.  Why make the narrator, who they’ve also named, a prostitute?  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems a little unnecessary, plus they named him Paul.  The writer in Misery is also called Paul, just saying.  I also noticed how racist the portrayal of Mr Yunioshi was, but it’s safe to say that this mistake has been pointed out many times before.  I really did think he was played by an Asian actor though, it was a very racist portrayal, but I thought it was done by an Asian man.  It was not, it was an American actor and it’s one of the biggest falls of the film.

The ending and other plot points were changed to make the film more Hollywood appropriate.  I was really disappointed by the new ending actually.  I liked the whole ‘in a bar years later wondering’ aspect of the book and I would have liked to see that in the movie.  This is the first film I’ve ever seen with actress Audrey Hepburn and I’m just going to point out that Truman Capote, the author of the book, wanted them to cast Marilyn Monroe, but she turned it down.  Monroe was probably a lot closer to Golightly in personality, but I think there is something to be said about playing a part that is so different from who you are and playing it well.  So for that reason I’m glad Hepburn got the role.

I think the book is much better and found the movie a bit boring.  Then again I am a horror movie guy at heart.  What did you think?  Did you prefer the book or the film?  Are you glad Hepburn played the lead?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Songs That Inspire greatness

I’m really stressed out at the moment, because college is nearly over and I have millions of thinks to do.  I know that lately my blogging has been, lets just say, odd.  I don’t really have time to write a big post today, but I’m kind of obsessed with Scott Pilgrim at the moment and I found out that the whole thing was inspired by a song called Scott Pilgrim.  The song is by a band called Plumtree.  Don’t get me wrong, the comic is not just based on the song alone, but it’s just crazy to think how big an effect songs can have.  So anyway sorry about the lack or normality lately, enjoy the song and let me know if you know of any other great stories that where inspired by songs.  Also just a note if you watch the Scott Pilgrim movie or read the comic you’ll notice that Scott ocasionally wears a Plumtree t-shirt, which is a cool tribute and the song featured on the movie soundtrack.


Favourite Superheroes and Villains

 

Today I saw a list of the top 100 superheroes.  I didn’t look at which one was number, because I actually want to go down the list and see them all.  While I probably won’t know some of them, I’m still curious to see were my favourite heroes placed on the list.  I then start thinking about making my own list.  I remember how long my 100 things about me post took so I’m not going to do 100.  Instead I’m going to stick with five, but I’m also going to include my top five villains.  I’m already debating on the order so I’m just going to leave the order random. 

Anyway, let’s start with the heroes.

 

Superman; I know it sounds boring, but I’ve always been a fan.  The first comic I read was actually a Superman comic so I guess that has a lot to do with it.  Some people say he’s too powerful, but I don’t see the problem with that I don’t want to back a weak superhero, besides Krytonite seems to be readily available in the DC universe, plus he’s affected by magic.

The Flash; I just really like the character.  I have for years.  I remember my friend even recorded the movie for me when we were kids.  What’s cooler than being the faster man in the world?  Nothing, that’s what.

Nightcrawler; It all started in 2003 when the second X-Men movie came out.  He was one of the new characters and I just thought he was really cool.  Ever since he’s just been one of my favourite superheroes.  His powers and the flaws in his powers are just so well thought out.  Then again, after seeing The Fly, the remake not the original, I don’t think I’m ever going to want to teleport (no one ends up with a fly head in that version, for people who have never seen it).

Batman; You’ve got to love a spoiled rich kid that uses his money to fight crime.  Big fan of gadgets, pure and simple.  I think Batman is one of those heroes that everyone knows about whether they want to or not.  Who doesn’t know his back story?

Iron Man; I generally prefer my superheroes with superpowers, but, to avoid sounding prejudice to non-powered heroes, I’ve included another.  Also, the 2008 Iron Man film was great and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the upcoming Avengers movie.

Now on to the villains

Dark Phoenix; I was actually going to put Phoenix in the hero section, but I realised I like her better as a villain.  She wasn’t done justice in the third X-Men movie, but it wasn’t completely horrible.  Her storyline is a pretty interesting part of the X-Men comic and animated series’.

Black Cat; Forget Batman, Black Cat is the real anti-hero of the comic world.  Her philosophy is that she is the Black Cat and Felicia Hardy is just a character she plays.

Juggernaut; I just always remember him from the cartoon when I was a kid.  He just stuck with me so he made the list.  He too was not done justice in X-Men 3.

Venom; Definitely deserves to be on anyone’s list of favourite villains.  It’s kind of like Dark Phoenix when I think about it.  The idea that an external force can just sort of takeover, or at least influence you, is really interesting.  Also, both he and Phoenix have infected more than one person.

Doomsday; Though I was let down my how Smallville ended Doomsday’s storyline, the character was done very well.  However, the comic book version is very different, for one thing there is no Davis Bloome.  I do think that adding the human side worked for the show, but either way the villain that killed Superman should be on everyone’s favourite super villains list.

Do you agree/disagree?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


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