Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Good and the Bad: My Thoughts on Doctor Who's "Twice Upon a Time"

via Doctor Who Wiki.
The good: The crossover between the Doctor's First and Twelfth incarnations. David Bradley's turn as the First Doctor. Twelve's/Peter Capaldi's farewell speech before regenerating. Thirteenth Doctor!

The bad: Everything else.

So let's talk about the bad first. I thought the plot was weak and thin. It's like Steven Moffat went to the well and came up dry. The antagonist, The Testimony, turn out not to be antagonists at all, so there was pretty much no conflict whatsoever. Add to this that they're barely even in the story and it becomes clear that Moffat was just going through the motions. Not much in the way of action either. Really, "Twice Upon a Time" almost felt like a bottle episode. Like, Moffat and Co. had to do a Christmas special but only with whatever money they had left over from series 10 because BBC wouldn't give them a separate budget. I don't know and I doubt that that's true, but the lackluster nature of the special compared to previous endeavors makes it seem like they were making do with what they had.

I also wasn't feeling the reunion between the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole. It felt tacked on. The cameo by Clara was nice, though. 

Now onto the good. I loved David Bradley's portrayal of the First Doctor. I would love to see him reprise the role again. Maybe the Beeb could redo some of the lost episodes with him as The Doctor? His interactions with Twelve were pretty good too. I especially enjoyed the culture clash with One having the sexist mentality of someone both old and from the 1960s versus Twelve, who is much more open and progressive minded. Watching the latter being embarrassed every time his previous incarnation said something sexist had me snickering. The bit where One asks what browser history is while wearing the sonic sunglasses was one of the best of the special.

via Doctor Who Wiki.
Also? The First Doctor looks cool as all hell in Ray-Ban sunglasses.

The best part of "Twice Upon a Time", though, had to be the Twelfth Doctor's farewell speech before regenerating.

It was heartfelt and emotional without being over the top. It was a self-reflection of The Doctor and all they stand for and why people have loved the show for 50+ years. What really hit me was the final line before he regenerated. "Doctor...I let you go" to me sounds like Peter Capaldi talking and not The Doctor. That this was Capaldi saying farewell to a character he played for three series. It was wonderful.
"Oh brilliant!"
(via Doctor Who Wiki)

And now of course, there's the new kid on the block. The major anticipation of "Twice Upon a Time" of course was the debut of the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. Much has been made of the fact that we were finally getting an incarnation of The Doctor that was a woman, so seeing her debut was obviously the main draw. We only see Thirteen briefly and we won't see her embark on her first adventure unless late next year (the horror! The misery! The injustice of it all!), but from our brief glimpse of the Time Lady, it should be brilliant!

Weak plot aside, I enjoyed the Christmas special. It served it's intended purpose of both sending off Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and introducing Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth.

What did you think about "Twice Upon a Time"?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Random Access Memories #1: Rack & Sack and Circuit City

I wrote this post over on my Tumblr last night and decided to repost it here. I might do more of these.

Back in the 90s, we used to shop at a grocery store called Rack & Sack. Their motto was “We Rack, you sack, you save”. The idea was that you would bag your own groceries and somehow save money from them not hiring baggers. I was talking to my parents about that store recently and they said that you also had to bring your own bags too, but I don’t recall ever seeing them bringing their own, so either they’re wrong or they just paid extra for the store’s.

Part of the reason why I remember Rack & Sack is because almost every Friday, me and my mom would go to the mall, hang out there for a while, then head on over to R&S and start shopping. My dad would head over after he got off work and meet up.

The shopping center it was in had a standalone Circuit City. This was back when they had like red entrances that stood out from the front. IIRC, the commercials at the time always depicted a big red power cord slamming down in front of the store and transforming into the entrance.

gif credit: Contac.
It’s weird how minutiae like that sticks with you. I can’t remember what I did two days ago, but by god, I can remember an old Circuit City commercial.

The shopping center was eventually bought out over a decade ago, torn down, and rebuilt as a smaller one. The space previously occupied by Rack & Sack is now a Kohl’s. The Circuit City was looooong gone by then. They built a Martin's grocery store in the shopping center when it was redeveloped and I think the gas pumps are where CC used to be.

The only thing about Rack & Sack I've ever been able to find online was a picture on Flickr and an article in a newspaper that mentions the grocery chain. Otherwise, it doesn't seem like Rack & Sack made much of an impact in its brief existence.

So it goes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The wax job alone must cost a small fortune

I was reading a post on Armageddon Time last week that mentioned a He-Man action figure called Grizzlor with a link to the website about the figure. I watched the He-Man cartoon when I was a kid, but never really collected the toys, so I'd never heard of Grizzlor until that point. So I clicked the link and was not disappointed.

It's like someone tried to hot wax a Wookiee, but the limbs were the only things done before the esthetician gave up.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Further thoughts on Quentin Tarantino directing a Rated R Star Trek movie


A longer post on Disney possibly buying 21st Century Fox

Yeah, let's start off with the fact that contrary to my previous post, Disney has not, in fact, bought 21st Century Fox. Yet. I jumped the gun in my excitement, opps. Anyways, I do think it will likely happen because Rupert Murdoch isn't going to turn down the over $52 billion Disney is offering. The biggest hurdle will be getting the merger approved by the the U.S. and probably other governments. Basically, any time a company tries to buy another company, the Department of Justice has to sign off on it, provided that it doesn't violate federal anti-trust laws. My one concern there is if the Fox television channel is included in the deal, then the DOJ might not like Disney owning two broadcast networks. If that becomes a problem, then I suspect Disney will simply sell the channel to someone else.

But all that aside, what I'm really keen on and I'm sure everybody else is to is the possible return of the X-Men and Fantastic Four film rights to Marvel and their addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of the two, I'm actually more hyped for the FF because if this deal goes through, then we'll finally, FINALLY, get a good Fantastic Four movie! The reason is because the X-Men franchise has had the luck of success for most of its existence, while the FF haven't. I'm partial to them, so I'd like to see the Fabulous 4some get the treatment they deserve.

So the obvious problem is how to integrate the X-Men into the MCU. The FF can pop up at any point, come to think of it, so their introduction isn't problematic. The X-Men and mutants, on the other hand, can't just show up and like they've always been there.

Or could they?

The thought that occurred to me before the news of Fox's possible acquisition by Disney (back when it was just rumored) is that Marvel could use Avengers: Infinity War Part 2. How? One of the Infinity Gems controls reality and another controls time. My idea is that near the end of Infinity War Part 2, Thanos or somebody uses the Reality and the Time gems or possibly the Infinity Gauntlet to create major alterations (coughcoughretconscoughcough) to the MCU that results in the X-Men and mutants having always existed in the MCU.

So what do you think about the X-ceptional and Fantastic possibility of these new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?


I was actually planning on writing a post today about a possible merger of the two companies and how the X-Men could be integrated into the MCU. I'll post about the latter today when I have time, but hooooooleeeeee shit, guys! If you thought the MCU was great already, it's absolutely going to be bonkers now!

Edit: Disregard this post and read this one instead.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Professional wrestling is serious business

And professional wrestlers are very serious people.

Very serious.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Captain America and Bucky probably weren't happy with the Dodgers moving

This is based on something I posted on my Tumblr a while back. I had the realization one night that when Steve Rogers became Captain Popsicle and Bucky was turned into Winter Soldier in the MCU, the Dodgers were still playing in Brooklyn. That thought led to another: how would these two Brooklyn kids react to finding out that their baseball team had relocated to Los Angeles while they were gone? I just have this mental image of them going to Dodger games wearing (probably counterfeit) Brooklyn Dodgers caps and jerseys. I like the idea of them being salty about that and the fact that their only New York options are the Yankees and the Mets. I can't picture them rooting for the Yankees, and the Mets didn't exist back then, so they stick with the Dodgers and grouse about it.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Well, this is weird: Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will start sharing the same timeslot next year

Arrowverse Wiki.
Strange, weird, and damn unusual are words that I'd use to describe The CW's announcement that starting next month two of their Arrowverse shows, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, will be sharing the same timeslot.
Following the announcement that The CW’s new superhero entry Black Lightning would be displacing Legends on the midseason schedule, the network has revealed that Legends is moving to Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET in 2018.

Here’s what this means for Supergirl, which already airs in that timeslot: After the holidays, Supergirl will return for four weeks starting Jan. 15, after which Legends will air nine weeks of original episodes starting Feb. 12, while Supergirl takes a break until it reclaims the timeslot on April 16 following the Legends season finale on April 9. Supergirl‘s season finale will then air June 18. What this all adds up to is 23 consecutive weeks of new episodes of Supergirl and Legends.
Arrowverse Wiki.
So both shows will disappear for two months while each take turns airing their remaining episodes. This bugs me, honestly, because I'm afraid it could negatively impact each show's ratings and chances of being renewed. I love Legends to the point of it being my favorite of the Arrowverse, and while I no longer watch Supergirl, I'd still hate to see either get cancelled.

Hopefully neither will, but we'll just have to wait and see.

(h/t Tim Knight's Twitter)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Quentin Tarantino might direct the next Star Trek movie? Beam me out of here, Scotty!

So yeah, there's talk going around that famed director Quentin Tarantino is teaming up with J.J. Abrams for the fourth Trek movie in the Kelvin-timeline, with the possibility of him stepping into the director's chair.

My reaction to this: No.

My longer reaction: God, NO.

I can respect the fact that Tarantino is one of the great directors and all, but letting him helm a Trek movie is like letting Tommy Wiseau direct Star Wars: Episode IX. I'd prefer Justin Lin coming back for a second time since I thoroughly enjoyed Star Trek Beyond, but alas, it probably won't happen because while STB made a lot of money, it didn't make a lot of money and that's what matters to the studios.

I'll admit that I originally had a negative reaction when Justin Lin was announced as the director of STB and that opinion was summarily sentenced to life imprisonment on Rura Penthe as soon as I watched that movie, but this is different. I just think Tarantino's style is too different for Star Trek.

But it's out of our hands and we'll just have to wait and see if he does direct and just hope that he doesn't have Spock call the Klingons the n-word.

My thoughts on the new season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (spoilers)

So after missing the premiere on Friday, I finally watched the two-parter the other day.

It was okay? I stopped watching the show like halfway through the fourth season because I just wasn't feeling it, so the first few minutes confused the hell out of me. The idea of the band (well, most of it, minus Fitz) being sent to a space station against their will is an interesting idea. The revelation that they were also sent to the future, one where the Earth is destroyed and the surviving remnants of the human race are left to survive a hard scrabble existence under the control of the Kree ups the interests. Still, I'm not 100% sold? Like maybe 80-90% or something? I can't really explain it, but it feels like maybe they're being too ambitious this season. I understand that each season has to be bigger than the previous one, but I'm afraid that they might have gone too big.

In any case, I think I have a feeling on how the fifth season will play out. It'll follow the same pattern as the previous ones by splitting the season into two story arcs. The first one is them being stuck in the future and in space and will revolve around them trying to overthrow the Kree while also trying to find a way to go back to their time. Either they do or Fitz will and they return home. The second arc will probably revolve around them trying to prevent the world from being destroyed. It might also involve The Band fighting the mysterious group that sent them into the future in the first place.

While I'm not totally sold on this storyline, my interest is piqued enough to see how this season goes, so I'll be watching it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book haul!

Excuse the quality, the camera on my phone isn't great.
Went to a place called the Green Valley Book Fair today and picked up quite a few books! I've been getting the urge to read fiction outside of sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers, and mysteries, so I decided to load up. The book themselves were quite cheaper, less than $5 each, so while I did end up spending $58, I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck.

I don't plan on reading any of them yet, not until I finish A.S. Byatt's Possession, but I am going to peruse each one today to see which I'll read first.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Who has two thumbs and missed the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season premiere? This guy! :D

This late in the year, I'm not used to any of my shows just now getting on with their seasons. Eh, I'll catch it tonight.