Public Domain '16 Damage Report includes Supergirl, Ironman, Groot.

Happy Public Domain Day! I join Duke University in celebrating all the works that our current copyright has stolen out of the public domain.
But no offense, Dukey, nobody  gets angry they can't remake Gone with the Wind and shit. I don't know about you, but they didn't show that on TV when I was growing up. People need to know which pop culture artifacts of the today would have been everyone's soon.

This first year's list includes some of the more popular sidekicks and villains in the world, including some who are just now getting on TV and Movies!

I'm dividing this list into two parts.

After the first extension:



Copyright has been lengthened  for 40 years. First they gave it 20 in the 70s, then 20 more the 90s. The following are what would have happened if the second extension had not come to pass.

Lex Luthor


Luthor and Superman go together like nail and flesh.  While there's not a lot about him that's trademarkable (bald, mad scientist, villain) it'd be pretty neat to just up and use him without going all Superman 3 on him.

Cat Woman

Cat puns ahoy! While we're not short on cat themed femme fatales, this would be a total boon on those presumably working on Batman since last year.Catwoman is one of those characters who's just a part of modern Batman. She won't be alone, though since we'd also see...

The Joker


Batman's worst enemy for 75 years straight, the Joker would be a welcome addition to ANY  heroes universe. Or anything, really. Carebears vs Joker? Why nawt?

Green Lantern


 

While not covering the current space cop Green Lanterns, I doubt the opportunity to reinvent Alan Scott, who fought crime with a literal Green Lantern, would be considered a great loss.

Hugo Strange
 

Batman is all  the rage on this list, huh? Hugo Strange is a psychologist, but is also somewhat of a supervillain that wants to kill Batman or maybe fuck him, I don't know.

Flash
 
The original Flash, Jay Garick, could be racing with Quicksilver today.

Hawkman

 

Okay, I don't really know who loves Hawkman. He's just all...well you could use him, anyway.



Robin



Robin is..we all know about Robin. You could go to remote islands  with no electricity and find people who know about Robin. What I'm saying is, it's a bit bullshit that he's not public domain.



But hold on! When those works were created, copyright lasted 56 years.   The above all should have lapsed years ago, and we should be already be getting works from 1959, according to those Commie Pinkos THE FOUNDING FATHERS.

So what stuff from 1959 would lapse today?

Hal Jordan Green Lantern
Hey, unlike the other list, this one includes most of the core elements of today's GL. Carrol Ferris. Guardians.

Supergirl

In this timeline, Superman has lapsed years ago. But until this year, Supergirl remains  locked up.

Gorilla Grodd
With our current fascination with hig concepts, I imagine the villainous, talkig gorilla would be a welcome addition.

Batmite
 

Okay, this one's a bit stupid. Okay, a lot stupid. Batmite is a magic being from another dimension that was around during Batman's "stupid as fuck" phase. Hey, Batman's public domain now, you can do whatever you want with him.

Bizarro
Bizarro am not....Bizarro is one of Superman's most celebrated characters. An endearingly backward version of Superman, Bizarro's just one of those characters you can always find an angle to.


Ironman


Ironman! The guy from the movies! We're not quite talking gold and red demon in a bottle Iron Man yet.

Groot
Groot wasn't always Groot. Well not the Groot he is today. He was once a megalomaniacal tree man from space. I'm guessing that could have it's own uses.


Black Widow
Okay,like Luthor, there's not a lot that Natasha Romanov  has that's  visually important. But  hey,  she's bound to have fans.

Mr Freeze
If you liked chilling with the villains, Mr Freeze would be right up your street. While his mega tragic backstory would remain offlimits for 3 decades more, you'd need fear no lawsuis for including the bubbleheaded icemaster.




I want to make it perfectly clear that when these works were copyrighted, the makers and owners of these characters knew full well that their work was supposed to lapse in 56 years, okay? It was supposed to be an incentive for them to create, and it worked, and now it's not fair to back down and say WE'RE wrong for wanting them to uphold their part of the deal. There's no serious reason why making a Supergirl movie should be  a crime at this point. But it IS.



 That's just my opinion, though. What do you think?






What did Youtube think this says?

Straight out of Palette Town.

Love Letter: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic




Dead or Alive Xtreme Schutta Volleyball


I suspect that by the point this goes up, we'll be knee deep into the backlash phase of the Star Wars Episode 7 Hype. The point where about half the people who were neutral-to-excited about it are now tired of the the social media saturation of it. You know, like with Frozen. Look, guys, it was  just okay, stop singing let it go.

Still, some excitement is warranted. Star Wars is good again, apparently.  I mean, a lot of people think that the prequels where a Dark Time for the franchise. But I remember the time fondly.

Not, because of the movies, mind you. Some people may be find because of the prequels, but I'm not among them, even though the old movies werent  all that easy to find on the 3 channels we had. I liked them well enough, but it wasn't a particular obsession of mine.

However, Star Wars GAMES are some of the Star Wars experiences I am fond of, particularly Shadows of the Empire for the N64, and Knights of the Old Republic.

Kotor is probably the game I most played on the original Xbox, having beaten it around 10 times, until I lost count. It sort of became a running joke, with people walking into my room, only to say "You're playing THAT again?"
"You don't understand the lesbian option with Juhani is RANDOM!"
Yes, again. For those too young to remember, KOTOR was the first and best Star Wars RPG, developed by Bioware, which made me a life long fan and drew me to Mass Effect,  Jade Empire, and...KOTOR 2...so, yeah, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

In it, your generic character wakes up in a ship under attack by the Sith 1000's of years before Darth Vader was even around, so you really don't have to worry about setting up how anybody's droid was built. From there, you discover secrets, become a Jedi, meet lots of cool characters, and decide whether you want to be a heroe, anti-hero, or straight up villain.

So, this game has lots of good things, but lots of things that people forget were not so good. The game had a dearth of animations. It got really bad. The repeated alien quips got on my head, too, especially since every single one began with Star Wars' version of "bitch".
"Schutta better have my money."

It's visual customization options make about your character felt less like Mass Effect and more like Deadly Arts. Some graphics looked pretty great, some graphics looked like shiet. And sometimes it was a little to scene by scene to the movies.

 However, the story and characters are where the game sold me. HK 47, a snarky killer droid, Mission Vao, a street urchin,  Canderous Ordo, a war veteran and Bastila Shan, a conflicted Jedi, among others, made the journey felt worth it.  There wasn't a character in there that I felt like kicking off the ship.

The morality system, with it's multiple choices. Oh, my god. It truly managed a balance of giving you moral options without these options being "feed the puppy" vs "kick the puppy". And somehow it allowed you to actually defeat the bad guys as a dark Jedi motherfuckers.


The gameplay was pretty good, too. I am no fan of RPG's, but discovering and unlocking different abilities felt great.  The partially turn based, but partially no combat delivered a significant amount of strategy, while also making it FEEL like  you where in control.

I loved going to the different planets, and seeing the different things and societies, and the different situations you could encounter. It wasn't just "play the action bits of the Star Wars movies" like most Star Wars games, although it did that, too. It was inviting  you to explore this grand universe full of peoples and factions and intrigue and backstory, and made it all compelling through some good gameplay and solid characters. That's why Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I love you.

The game is out on Android because...I guess Phones can run Xbox games now. I'm old and so's my phone.





DVD and Conquer!

Looking for a gift for the Superman fan of the house? Why not pick up a DVD collection?

What did Youtube think this says?

He-Man is Over-Encumbered

Horrendous Theory: Wanted is Star Wars

Everybody's talking 'bout Star Wars. Which, is, you know, to be expected. Either because it's  an attractive topic for those looking for a few clicks or  because it's just in the air.

Google Image search, do your magicks!



Put me down  for that last one. Even though I Am  doing a boicott of the last movie on account of Disney Copyright bullshit, I would not pretend to say I won't TALK about it. I read things. I...I've already been spoiled, as you'd expect.

One thing that came up is a Cracked article calling out Obi Wan and Yoda for trying to get Luke to kill his own father unknowingly. And the first thing that reminded me is Wanted.

Wanted is based on a comic by Mark Millar, in that it has the same title as it. The book is intrinsically drenched in comic book references and told of a world where supervillains secretly ruled the world, whereas the movie is about a guy who joins an order of assassins and can shoot bullets in an arc, probably because suits thought comic book shit wouldn't connect with audiences.

HISTORY PROVING YOU WRONG, COMING THROUGH!
Or is that the reason? As much of as a  "child's perception of mature" as Millar's overall aproach to stories can come in, I do believe that maybe Wanted's dropping the comic book super hero conventions of it's source material does not owe entirely to the financial cold feet companies USED to get when considering Men-In-Tights-And-Capes antics, but rather, to a change of medium.

Much like Watchmen, a through skewering of comic conventions since mostly abandoned would not have proven a wise course for Wanted The Movie, creatively. A change of medium required a change of target to skewer, and it is my theory that the target in Wanted's case was the Star Wars series.

Oh, sure, the threads that initially tie both stories can be surmised to be the result of these being common, studied tropes that Hollywood now has down to a science. Both start with a guy who's down on his luck, Luke because he's living in a rural desert and yearns for something more, typical teenager, stuff while Wanted Man has more adult problems such medical problems, cheating girlfriends, and having a job typing stuff.
This guy was supposed to play Eminem playing a Supervillain.
Both characters eventually are roped into the knowledge that they are more than the total losers they thought they where, as they discover that through their paternal lineage they have earned great abilities and a great destiny. In Luke's case, he is the son of a great Jedi, of an ancient order of mystic space knights who follow an unseen, mysterious...THING known as the Force, and inherits his father's weapon. In Wanted, James McCavoy discovers his father was part of an order of superpowered assassins that kill targets given to them by a Loom of fate, which is implied to be all wise despite, you know, being a loom.

So far, this is all Hero's Journey shit. You can't pin it on Wanted for following a formula!

But then it goes deeper. Both Luke and McCavoy-Man have an antagonist, in the form of a man who killed their father. This man, in both instances, turns out to have been his father all along.

This is where both stories diverge. Where Luke goes on to face a conflict and eventually redeem his father not through martial might but through the power of love, Wanted's hero winds up killing his, and then immediately being jumped by the people who had pretended to lead him out of the doldrums.

The Fraternity of Assassins turns out to have been corrupt all along, with it's leader, the mentorly Morgan Freeman(is there any other kind?), revealing that he had stopped listening the the Loom of Fate because it started saying that He and his assassin buddies had to die. James McCavoy kills most of them, Angelina Jolie kills herself to end the others. A smug James McCavoy sends us out of the movie by asking what we've done with our lives. Uh...not joined a cult that tricked me into killing my father, McAvoy. Uh...writing a lot.
Getting by, you know. Trying to build an arcade cabinet, not letting Chris Pratt and Common play me like a chump.
So this movie may kind of have been secretly brilliant. It takes the most famous adventure story series  and hangs it out to dry, exposing the idea of a Star Wars' hero's journey that is flawed and guided by lies told by trustworthy  elderly men. In this one, "The Force" wanted to get rid of the very guys who used it, which, as you may know, is a personal theory of mine.

It would not surprise me of the man who considers Lois Lane not Superman's Jane Porter, but Superman's Cheetah, that he wanted to take such an approach to Star Wars. But if my theory is theory is correct, then it's a reference that flew too subtle for most audiences. You can't parody a space opera without the space part, you goof! But the timelines certainly add up. This movie was released 2 years after Revenge of the Sith, which is enough time for Millar to sit down and think about Star Wars enough to wind up deconstructing it to shit and for that idea to somehow saunter into cinemas.


Or, you know, maybe I'm sleep deprived and everyone is talking about Star Wars too much. I'll  let you decide.

To Err is Jedi


I´ve been watching a lot of Moviebob/In Bob We Trust/Game Overthinker. Bob Chipman's dissertations on movies I´ve seen are always somewhat smart, and the videos are short, so I can watch the whole thing on my busted ass LG Venture.

One that caught my attention, though, was his dissection of the prophesy element in the Star Wars prequels. While I disagree that it was a well done element within a vastly not as well done series of movies, I think there is something to the rest if what he said.

The thesis, as it where, he presents, is that the Jedi's strict adherence to the vaguely presented and discussed prophesy within their world of one who would bring balance to the force and or destroy the Sith led them to turn a blind eye to things that where a bit more obvious to the audience: That Palpatine was an evil Sith playing them the whole time and that Anakin was a ticking, expertly hairdressed time bomb. That this is a subversion of  the types of Destined Savior kind of stories that  offers parallels to the story of Jesus.

Ok. Most people know the story of Jesus, Son of God born of Flesh who came to offer humanity salvation, and as a part of that plan, wound up hanging from a cross. But if you go beyond that synopsis(and trust me a lot of people don't) there is a loooot of stuff to discuss in there.

Jesus(ok, in my faith we call him Yashua because it's an actual name an actual Israelite might have had during that time. So I'm calling him that from now on. ) was one of many men who claimed to be the Meshiac, more commonly known as Messiah, a prophesised savior. But they where not expecting a savior of souls back then. Israel had been going trough a rough couple of  centuries, having been manhandled by the Greeks, Persians, Babylonians and at Jesus' time, the Romans. The Messiach was believed to be the one who would finally  pull a combo breaker on those conquerings and establish himself as King of Israel, finally bringing the nation to it's former kingdomey glory.

While that's a noble enough goal in like a movie or something, the biblical account of the actual kindgom isn't all glory. Allowed begrudgingly by the then defacto rulers The Judges, Prophets and God on High, the story of monarchy is resumed in two books that don't agree on everything(and with lots of hooks for a 3rd book that appears to include more detail, but is lost, apparently), but do agree it was all downhill after David and Solomon where out of the picture. King after King is described as having done against god's will, lead the people astray, died, and nothing else remarkable.

The God described in the Old Testament was highly fond of taking all the glory for things. His preffered method of government was a direct form of Theocracy where everything was run by him first. Eventually the monarchy ends abruptly after the king is killed and his heir taken captive. After that, the aforementioned empires took turns battering Israel, deporting it's people, and it's all described as being a result of their bad behavior.

And THIS is where the prophesies of a Messiach  begin. Between berating them for doing no good and being stoned to death, prophets alluded to a savior. And I wouldn't fault them for assuming the saving in this case was "from the skin ripping Persians, faith ruining Greeks, and economically exploitative Romans."

Now that's where it gets interesting.  Messhiach, in the form of Yashua arrives, and instead of offering them the kind of salvation they expected, he offers them advise on their corrupted religious leaders, calls for a return to faith roots as opposed to various  rituals that held no part of the scripturally ordered ones, offers the foreigners a simpler way in on the faith  and tells them that not only is he not about to get on a horse and  eliminate Roman rule, but that he's going to personally see to it that the temple they worship in currently is turned into a parking lot. They didn't take to that all that well.

Now, back to the Star Wars. Anakin is often presented by fans and the actual George Lucas as having EVENTUALLY fulfilled the prophesy by destroying the last of the Sith i.e. Palpatine and himself. While this seems a bit of a backward way to establish that a character fullfilled a prophesy; by having him do the action first, and then later saying it was part of a prophesy, it wouldn't be the first time a character unconventinally fullfilled a destiny. It's very common for characters to create their own destroyers by trying to ensure a prophesy of their own destruction doesn't come forth. But I see a bit more than that.

If we see the Jedi as being purposedly inept and not as part of a series on how George Lucas doesn't know what he's writing, and if we  truly take onto the "your dependence on a prophesy actually wrought about your own demise" narrative Bob describes, we could sort of see a bit of a parallel between the "Dark messiah" Anakin and the Jedi Coincil and Yashua and the Sadducees of Yashua's time.

The Jedi, much like it happens to Saduccees in biblical scripture, are bathed in authority and scriptural know how, but lacked a lot of not being fucking inconsiderate piece of shit people. Their wisest leader advises a young insecure man having terrible and well founded fears of  his mother dying after another Jedi completely opts to leave her in a desert planet and none thought that, with this being the chosen one and all, taking a bit of a trip over there and securing her mother. If there's something you see a lot in the bible, it's helping the foreigner, the orphan and THE WIDOW.

So perhaps there is no coincidence that the Jedi can't see the evil rising to wipe them out right in front of their stupid Jedi faces. One character describes how The Dark Side of the Force is clouding their ability to peer into the future, which taken at face value would indicate that Palpatine is somehow both more powerful than all of them, and constantly able to shroud their powers from often lightyears away. But perhaps it isn't the dark side of the force. After all, the Vanilla Force IS strong in Anakin, and he basically wounds up causing them all to die and the Galaxy to be griped by an empire. What if the force is, much like God is shown to do in Bible Stories like the Exodus, directly guiding people towards a course of action that winds up being their undoing?

In the Bible, it states quite clearly that Pharao would have been good to let the Israelites go after a handful of plagues, because, come on. Bloody rivers and plague of frogs are more than enough for any reasonable man. But God himself hardened his heart, so events would play out  as intended.

If the Force is an extrapolation of mysterious, godly power that subtly shapes the direction of things while occasionally giving people super speed and lightening powers, it seems reasonable that, if it wanted to, say, get rid of a corrupted Jedi Order that has completely lost track of what they truly should be doing, it would obviously not tip it's hand and let them access the knoweledge of a future where the problem is solved and the problem is also them being alive.

The Arc of the Covenant, haphazardly described by a character in Indiana Jones as "A Telephone to talk with God", is said to have been long gone by the time Jesus rolled around, hidden from the seemingly endless series of conquerors  tripping into what was left of Israel. Perhaps in the same way The Saduccees and Pharisees could no longer have that direct contact with God, Jedi wound up having no access to the Force's WILL and, to call it something, mind. The Jedi, desperate to finish what they percieve as their true enemy, cling to the notion that it's probably the dark side, because it's better than admiting they are now obsolete, impotent and cull worthy.

So in comes the Proto Messiah Anakin Skywalker, who is initially outright rejected for training for being too young, and also too emotional, even though they mostly agreed this was the THe ONE. And you don't see that in movies often. "You are the One we expected. Fuck you. Get the fuck out."

It is not until the death of Qui Gon Gin, that Anakin is begrudgingly allowed to be trained in the ways of the force. However, the Jedi doctrine is one that leans heavy on "feelings are bad", and Anakin enters those years where feelings of all kind start to manifest themselves. The oft remembered Yoda saying that "fear leads to anger and anger leads to hate" is dumb if it's for serious, but it's smart if the Jedi are supposed to be complete idiot dullards that say that even feeling afraid is evil. HE'S A KID WHO WAS SOLD TO A MONK BY A SLAVE TRADER AND IS NOW BEING QUESTIONED ABOUT JOINING A GROUP OF MONKS FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, WHAT THE HELL FEELING IS HE SUPPOSED TO HAVE?

If Anakin hadn't been The Chosen One, if it had been, say, Kit Fisto who took up a wife, the Jedi's complete inability to handle "people feel stuff, you know" would have maybe just ended in Kit Fisto leaving the order at most. But they took their chosen one and emotionally repressed him and treated him as less than an equal.

I sustain that George Lucas was trying to say some not so nice things about the Jedi, until George Lucas got in the way and ruined all that. Emotional and sexual repression can indeed be very damaging if mishandled, and a lot of organized religions kind of call for less exaggerated but non the less difficult to follow emotional regimens. Is this a criticism of that?

On the other side of the spectrum are the Sith. Sith embrace their darker desires with no measure. True Sith, anyway. Maul and Palpatine love the pain and suffering they cause, but Dooku and eventually Darth Vader are not presented as such. Dooku is a "political idealist" who left the Jedi order. It's not clear in the movies what his entire motivation is, but The Jedi order at that point had done such things as fail to send official aid to the invaded planet of Naboo. This is the kind of thing an older, seasoned Christopher Lee might see  happen a few times and go "I hate this club. No nookie, no emotions, and we don't even do good where we should be. Fuck everything."

Again, we don't have the full account of what Darth Maul is about, but if this character has anythign to him it's the appearance of outright evil. Many young men during their rebelious years enter a phase of image modification. Piercings, tatooes, dark clothing. Darth Maul looks like what an angsty teenager would look like if he could  change his appearance to something truly mom-upsetting. He clearly enjoys what he does.

Darth Vader, however, never seems to enter a mad cackling phase. He's not turning into The Joker or anythign like that. His descent into darkness is propelled by emotional frustration of not being able to have anything to love or anything resembling a life while also being told he's destined for great things but treated like dangerous garbage. The Jedi's FEAR led him to anger, and his anger gave way to hate, and the hate gave way to suffering.


In this way, Anakin Skywalker isn't a Dark Messiah that  was fullfilling the will of the force in a different way than expected, but like Yashua he is clearing the table from the thing that's actually wrong with the so called Light side of the force. Not the hopelessly evil Sidious, who is more like the way Rome is brought about to punish Israel for disobeying God's will, but rather the stagnant and unkind Jedi Council who have failed to live up to their task. Perhaps, had they actually done what the Force expected them to do, the prophesy would have come trough the way they expected, I.E. their enemies eliminated. But they didn't so it didn't.



Shit guys, I may have looked too much into it. Or not enough.





DVD and Conquer

Looking for a gift for the Sports Fan in the familly? How about a DVD collection?

Nega Nancy: We're sooo dissapointed in you, Tetris.

IT'S IMPORTANT GUYS, REALLY

(In order to be more hip with the kids today, I intend to bring you  more socially concious messages, under the lable Nega Nancy)

The Culture of Gaming is such a toxic playground of machoist attitudes and inferred male power, I don't know if I want to belong to it or fucking kill it. But why wouldn't that be, if even it's most simplist potential is filled with purina for the nascent mysoginist.

Take Tetris. A simple puzzle game invented in Soviet Russia that became a videogame sensation. A series of Blocks is dropped on a field, with the goal of avoiding the screen to be fully cluttered. This game was one of the early successes in the field of videogames with women, perhaps because IT FUCKING IS SEXIST, NO MORE PREFACE! THE PREFACE IS GONE!

Truly, nothing can be more damaging to a woman than being offended without her realizing it, except maybe being offended by a poison dart and not realizing it.  The game of Tetris is a game of social movements, trying to build a fully equal world. As a Head Honcho myssoginist, (or in the case of women playing it, as a subservient self hater) you try to get these groups to destroy one another, and keep the social change from building into True Equality.

And when you win what happens? You get to launch your INCREDIBLY phallic  rocket as stereotypical FEMALE balled dancers  expose themselves.

You went too far, Tetronimos!

BGE investigates: Where the licensed games at?



So, as another nerdy year of movies draws to a close, there's a lingering thought on my mind: Where the hell where all the licensed games at?

It's not that there weren't games based on preexisting franchises out there. There was plenty of that. But, you see, as an old, not as directly in touch with current mainstream gaming veteran, I remember a time where "The Tie In game" was a necessary part of any big summer movie.

Looking back through my Rom cartridge collection in the Sega Genesis is like a mirror held to the big budget summer movies of the time. The Lion King and Predator 2 are there. Terminator makes an appearance. Every Batman movie had a game.

Now, back to the present, was is the Frozen game? Where was the Dark Knight Rises game? Where was the Avengers game? These are the big movies of the decade, and their presence in the game scene is basically nil!
Obviously there is a market. A...really fucked up market.

Where the hell is the Star Wars Episode 7 game? (#BoycottStarWars7) Every single prequel game had a game following the movie's backstory. And now, with the biggest Star Wars release in years, they can't muster up a game bout it?

Well, let's start with the beginning.  Back when gaming was a niche and graphics had less resolution than a lamppost, during the heyday of Atari, there weren't as many games based on Blockbuster movies, in part, because The concept of the Blockbuster was fairly new, and in part because no one knew exactly how to translate a big budget movie into a Pacman clone.

So we got weird things like China Syndrome(Based on a movie about trying to avoid a powerplant disaster) and E.T. (which is legendary in it's badness.).

After the industry fell, and rose up again thanks to Nintendo, the licensed  genre was reborn stronger. Now that the random experimentation and lack of graphics of the Atari days gave way to actual game genre's and distinguishable clothes and faces on characters , it made making games based on movies easier, and more profitable. What's a game based on Jurassic Park gonna be? A Top down shooter. What's a game based on Terminator gonna be? A light gun shooter. What's game based on Total Recall gonna be? Ehh....
Eeeeh...


Games became a part of the marketer's repertoire. Judge Dredd the movie  wasn't just there to sell you the movie, it wanted to sell you the toys, the soft drink, and yes, the videogames of Judge Dredd. There where multiple different videogames based on one of the licensed comic book failures of the 90's.

Over time, tie in games gained notoriety for being bad, rushed out products made on the cheap and incompetent compared to the standards of the time. They where not all bad all the time, but Tie in games didn't completely blow, everyone just stood around wondering why Golden Eye didn't make them fall over in pain.
James, stop masturbating and look behind you!


But critical reception did not deterr licenced games, since the ingenuity of them was the people who where buying them where operating under the influence of  what I call "The Batman Seal of Approval". Here's how it works. I walked into the toy store. I was checking out the games. I see this.

Jim Carrey doing the universal "Well, WHAT DID YA EXPECT" pose should have been a dead giveaway.


I don't even know what the game in this looks like. I'm 12. It's got Batman on the cover. Bruno Diaz wouldn't lie to me, would he?

So basically when the licensed tie in game was one of the worst things to happen to the player and the character and the genre, it could still skate on by on the promise of cool Batman action.

So what happened? Well, several things happened, I think. For one, gaming grew up, in a lot of the ways you might get by that. While in the past a ok action adventure  with a coat of Bram Stalker's Dracula on it might have been at least on par with all the other ok action adventures of the day, after 3D kicked in  and games started becoming more, well, cinematic, this games started meeting less and less of the expectations of people. Why would you play Alien Resurrection and 5th Element when you have perfectly playable Resident Evil and Tomb Raider on your plate?
Milla  Jovovich naked, videogames, lasers. They knew about that.

But so what, right? People who play this things don't read any magazines? Except they more did, now. As a core generation of older life long gamer started becoming the main demographic to be catered to, and these started becoming more and more informed thanks to the internet, it became harder to slip an unplayable piece of shit in there and coast on brand recognition.

And if all that hit the tie in game in the face, the rising cost of developing games managed to knock it down. With games costing as much as a movie, and being far less likely to make their profits back, it eventually shook the Tie In Game's "Sure Thing" status and threw it to the ground. NOTHING is a sure thing now in mainstream games. Even worst, the development cycle for games grew up longer than a movie's as well, meaning that the idea of "we'll just kick up a game, tie it in to our movie" went straight out the window.

Star Wars 7 doesn't have Star Wars 7: The Game. It has Star Wars: BattleFront, a preexisting series of Star Wars games(based themselves on the non Star Wars Battlefront games) that where fast tracked to meet the release of the movie with as Much DLC as possible. Man of Steel didn't have a full game of it. It had a mobile game.  Pacific Rim didn't have a full AAA game for it on stores. It had a XBLA type game. The Dark Knight movies didn't have games, but those Arkham games sure are about Batman, too!
Total Recall had...Ehhh


Could Tie Ins come back in full force? Well, if there was a reliable "Netflix of Gaming" type service that could be accessed by more people than can now afford (and are willing to have) expensive cutting edge consoles, it would make sense to put licensed games in there. In the same way Marvel/Disney can launch a TV series on Netflix knowing it will have an audience, it could launch  a beat em up that follows the plot of Avengers: Age of Ultron if it knew that there is no high bar to entry.

In fact, the one part where Tie in Games still thrive is portable consoles, where development costs aren't company killing high and the audience can be relied on to be more than life long male gamer, and where even the fruitiest  of Disney Channel TV shows can still have a shot at brand recognition.
You Aren't Gonna catch ME playing this on my Xbox One! (Flexes)

I don't know how I feel about licensed games. On the one hand Mission:Impossible was some of the worst shit I ever played. On the other hand, when they where good, you really COULD feel like you where James Bond, or a T-Rex, or a Robocop. I think there's a lot of potential now that games are growing into more fleshed out narratives, for the immersion to fully kick in, for licensed games to truly be like playing the movie's story. It's just that this potential isn't being met by games trying to be arm candy to movies.

What did Youtube think this says?

I urge you to actually watch the video this time.

Catwoman's Cancelled Movie, De-scripted!



Catwoman, uncharacteristically freeing a pair of puppies.
This has been a long time coming, but the first in my four part series of Videoblogs describing the script from a Catwoman movie that never was. Click and watch.Watch and like. Like and Subscribe!

It took me a bit of time to get the whole thing together, including  going through as much as 3 microphones,  and it was basically a year. This one was recorded with microphone 2, so it's going to be a bit lower in quality compared to the upcoming episodes.

In this episode, Catwoman goes to a town just outside Gotham and finds Superheroes you'll never ever guess! But anyway, let me leave you with a teaser.

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DVD and Conquer

Add caption
Looking for that perfect Holiday gift for the wife? Well, how about a DVD collection?

What did Youtube think this says?

Allright, team, huddle up!

Notes on a Reboot: Transporter Refueled


Transporter! More than meets the eye! Not-Jason Statham battles to destroy the evil forces of...stuff?
I have seen Transporter Refueled, yet have no desire for a long review or a run down. Instead, some points of interest.

  • There is only one Jason Statham. He's called Jason Statham. This new guy is no Jason Statham. Jason Statham is the last of the dying breed of heavy accented action movie stars in the house of Stallone, Van Damme and Schwartzenegger. This new guys doesn't even  'ave the right awcksent, oi.

  • This movie is thankfully not an origin story explaining how Frank got his amazing driving super powers or anything like that. Even though he's younger, and his dad is around, he's already basically already driving stuff without asking about it and having a bunch of rules that he's only had to break every movie. But hey, I know a movie about a man quietly and successfully delivering a box he doesn't get to look at wouldn't be all that great.

  • BMW should seriously look at that automatic door opening system. Frank hits a button on the beeper and the doors open violently, knocking around some bad guys. But uh, it really looks like you could hurt a child or pet with that thing.

  • The Transporter-Mobile never ever gets even a scratch on it until  Frank blows it up to cover his tracks( and the detonator too for good measure. Frank apparently drives on a carbomb detonated by a beeper-bomb.) It hits a fence at full speed and still looks like it came right off the dealer.

  • Speaking of which, a ridiculous  scene has  Frank backwhip a row of water hydrants with a drift on a round-about, causing an asterisk made of water streams that allows him to elude capture. Ok, how many fuckin' fires does that round-about get that it needs more than one, MORE THAN TWO fire hydrants. I'm not even gonna get on how sturdy hydrants are, but my sister stuck a car on top of one and it didn't even wince.

  • Frank's dad is the most interesting man in the world. He also winds up becoming a mansel in distress TWICE. Like, he's dropped off from his first kidnapping and immediately Frank gets that call "I've got your father".

  • Frank apparently has a big backstory with the bad guy from the movie from the old army days. Older than 1995, where he was already done with whatever army business he had and was already taking over the prostitution business in a whole city.

  • Oh, yeah, by stating that  this backstory took place in 95, and that the movies current story took place 15 years later, we can piece together that this movie takes place in 2010, and that, as Frank has yet to lose all his hair, and presumably his old daddy, that those adventures are at least somewhere after the 2020's.

  • Also the main badguy's prostition empire, which spans a whole city and he won by shooting a few guys, runs with about a 15 strong, presumably very hard working hookers. This guy is A MILLIONAIRE. From less than 20  prostitutes he dragged into France in 1995. 

  • Frank is probably not gay if this movie has anything to say about it. I like the idea of Frank being somewhat impersonal and, to call it something, asexual in his adventures and not hooking up with every woman in his adventures, but I guess that ship sailed already.

  • After the final showdown, most of the prostitutes involved in the revenge scheme that runs this movie's plot have died, and the bad guy fakely falls off a cliff after being shot by the last one. My mind wandered for a bit, and when I came too, she was pointing a gun at Frank and wanted to kill him for no real reason.

  • While not as ridiculous as other representations of computer and technology, the way bank accounts and money transfers are represented is hilarious. Everyone's face is on the fricking bank account like it's Facebook(yes even the prostitutes have their face in there), and you kind of drag the money from person A to person B. It's like Zynga built a bank app.

  • One particularly good scene had Frank shift the car to neutro and let it slowly roll towards the fence as he cleared some badguys  out of the way. It's particularly fun, but it really looked like the car was about to roll into some concrete stuff at one point and then they edited it like, "nope, it was straight the whole time". Yes, there where people inside who could have corrected it, but since the whole scene was about how they DIDN'T know if they should listen to him OR take control of the car, and they never showed them actually steering it, I assume they didn't steer it.

  • Perhaps because we might forget this is a Transporter movie, they drop a few old scenes from the other movies in there, like hoodlums trying to steal Frank's Car, and someone disguising themselves as a doctor.

  • The whole movie wasn't BAD, per se, as bad goes. But I couldn't help the feeling I was watching like a bad Asylum Knock off of the Transporter series. Like, It had SEEN Transporters and knew to glue some stuff from there, but also wanted other things to fill up the time. The parts that aren't trying to be Transporter Returns are ok. Just ok.

Top 5 best licensed games to not happen

Goodbye, Star Wars 1313. If you  still existed, I'd probably Boycott you because of Disney fumbling around with our copyright laws.

Game development is a tricky thing. Just ask Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro.  Even the shitty licensed games of old should count themselves as lucky, because there were other licensed games that never even made it to the street.

Police Academy-NES


MOMMY! BUY ME!


If making a videogame based on the raunchy 80's Fratboys-as-Cops franchise Police Academy seems stupid, it's because it's not the 80's anymore. But maybe it helps if I say it was going to based on the abysmal cartoon based on the already by then diluted franchise? That help?

Indeed, Police Academy was done, when it was cancelled. Done, done. "Ads in Comics" done.  But it was late in the Nes' life cycle, and sending out a bunch of cartridges with "Police Academy" written seemed about as sensible as sending Hightower to catch the Zodiac Killer all of a sudden, so no dice.

X-Women
"Come on you, guys, you know I can't fly as much as carry myself with telepathy! Where are you going? I'm REALLY POPULAAAAR!"


Did you hear about the all new all women X-Men? Or is...is that still a thing? It's X-Men continuity, as  far as I know they're all wombat babies, now.

But to segue, years ago after the success of X-Men and X-Men 2 for the Sega Genesis, Sega hired "Adventures of Batman and Robin" developers  Clockwork Tortoise to make them a game following the females of the X-Men as they battled Mr Sinister, who unleashed a man-killing virus as a ploy to world domination. Or to challenge Psylocke's claims that she wouldn't do him if he was the last man on earth.

From the short surviving video we can see Rogue, and Storm, playable and flying. Hey, as long as you're doing what I would do,  Devs, how about this(nsfw thingy on link! You been warned!)?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighter(Saturn)

"Artistic interpretation"
Ok, this one might NOT be true: allegedly besides the Snes, Nes, and Genesis versions of TMNT TF, there was a a fourth version slated to be on the Sega  Saturn. I read it on Taringa, but I can't find the info. It said that it was reported as such on a magazine. Any rabid infomaniacs out there willing to check every EGM and Gamepro from 1993 to 1996?  For god's sake I mailed Konami and friended a guy with the name of one of the devs to FB. HALP!

Marvel Universe Online

Marvel went on to have like 7 MMO's.


Oh, sure, we have a Marvel MMO NOW. But before that, Microsoft had it's meaty paws on the licence, and even had a teaser. Sure, it tells us nothing of who you would be or anything, but it would have given us that first Xbox MMO sooner.

But at some point Microsoft just went "'Nuff Said!" and cancelled the whole thing, perhaps inspired then recent MMO failiures.

Steven Seagal's The Final Option
When even Marc Dacascos won't answer your phone...
Unlike the rest of this list, this one you can play at least a bit of the first stage. Steven Seagal is...The Final Option.

So as Steven "Hard to Kill" Seagal, you infiltrated a base and chopsokeyed anyone dumb enough to try to beat you.  While the pre-rendered images where nice enough, they wern't good enough for the bonebreaking aikido holds and locks Steven was known before being known mostly for needing a stunt double to walk across  a door.

And for whatever reason the game came under siege. It probably wasn't all that hard to kill. It was already on deadly ground by being a Steven Seagal game, but the developers found themselves in the belly of the beast. The game might have been half past dead, but for whatever reason the rom found it's way to the public. If you want to play the game, well, that is your final option.


The Catwoman Complex!

This is what a fusion between Michelle Pfeifer and Halle Berry would look like. It's a Catwoman fusion! If you want to know what actually was going to exist between Pfeifer Catwoman and Berry Catwoman, keep watching this blog. I've got video coming soon.

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