Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Expendables 2

"The Expendables 2" actually opens with a great deal of promise, much to my unending shock.  Stallone and his crew charge into some ridiculously-defended town on huge modified trucks covered with armor and guns.  One of the trucks basically has a plow on the front with the words "Coming Soon" that mows down random foreign enemies.  Then they got an I-beam on the front of the truck to ram right into hapless enemies.  Everybody is kicking ass kinds of ass.  All to save some mysterious person covered in a white sheet held by some random Asian mobsters.  Everybody splits up to either shoot-up, stab, snipe, or kung-fu a lot of bad guys to death, depending upon their skillset.  The Expendables crew busts in, smashing through three buildings, murder everybody, and pull up the sheet to discovery its... ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER!  And despite being captured by these random bad guys, he's just as awesome as ever, the greatest action hero to ever live.

But the escape is even more impressive.  Schwarzenegger can take care of his own Austrian ass, the Expendables need to get some Chinese guy out of this area, but the charge into the buildings was the easy part.  They all get on jet skis white Stallone and Statham get into the cargo seaplane.  If you thought the "Death Race"-style trucks were the end of the awesome, you are just as dead wrong as these random mooks who thought they could fight a team of action heroes.  Because this plane has a dude firing a machine gun on the nose, and it gets better.  The enemies are all chasing in their own boats, getting blown out of the water by the Expendables Air Force.  Everybody climbs into the plane for the final escape.  First there's a bridge covered by dudes - they got a solution for that.  The nose of the plane has a goddamn CANNON on it, which blows up that stupid bridge.  They fly through the explosion, raise the plane up above a bridge, and just barely avoid crashing into the structure and being killed in a massive collision.  After that, they throw the guy overboard into Beijing, and they all go home for drinks.

And for a moment, I thought "The Expendables 2" actually had a chance to be good.  I mean, not just good, really good.  A true send-up to the 80s action B-movies - which is all the more relevant and necessary today when the last big action movie of the summer was... well... "Total Bullshit".  It all seemed to be going well.  Then I saw the rest of the movie.  Nothing replicated the raw excitement of this first sequence.  "Expendables 2" at least is a huge improvement over the pathetic mediocrity of "Expendables 1".  It actually stands up as a decent action movie, with more classic stars, who actually get to do something.  I mean, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Willis are actually on screen at the same and get to actually kill something while there.  But still... the movie is something of a mess.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Robot & Frank

"Robot and Frank" is immediately right now one of the best movies of 2012.

Most of my favorite movies this year have been huge loud explosive adventures with people dying almost every scene.  "Batman 3", "Cabin in the Woods", "The Raid", these are violent, violent movies that really are more spectacle and action over characters and introspection.  Quit soul searching movies don't really start up until roughly around now, as the summer turns into fall, bringing us once again into the wonder of Oscar Bait season.  However, "Robot and Frank" is not really Oscar Bait, I don't think anybody would list it on any Oscar Predictions listings, which is really a shame because character dramas really don't get any better than "Robot and Frank".  This is an actor's movie, where the entire movie rests on the likability and skills of the actors, so its really lucky they got Skeletor to play Frank.

Frank Langella is one of the greatest actors alive today, and its really only in the last decade or so that he's begun to really show off his just perfect mastery of his craft.  He is virtually playing himself here, he even shares the first name with his character.  It really wasn't until 2008, with "Frost/Nixon" that Langella got a really deep dramatic role, when he spent his first few acting decades playing Dracula, Zoro, Skeletor, and the idiot who sets himself on fire in "The Ninth Gate".  And right after "Frost/Nixon", Langella went straight back to his villain roots as in the astonishingly awful movie, "The Box".  "Robot and Frank" really shows how brilliant this guy is, since the two humans he spends the most time with are James Marsdan and Liv Tyler, actors who cannot even begin to compare to this guy.  If you're looking for a movie where a great actor just rules the screen without being ridiculous or hammy, this is it, and Frank Langella is that actor.

But here's the best part about "Robot and Frank":  despite obstinately being an old people movie about life's end and coming to grips with oncoming dementia, learning to let your kids help you, and how stupid young people are, its also SciFi!  And not bad SciFi either.  There's a robot in that screenshot for a reason.  Its a buddy movie between an old man and his robot live-in health aid.  And just in case the drama or the touching affection aren't quite your thing yet, Frank and the Robot are cat burglars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Have I ever told you all how much I love the movie "Coraline"?  Its more or less the exact item I'd pick as the perfect example of a great movie, a true classic.  "Coraline" is so good that its basically elevated itself in my mind beyond all rational explanation or objectivity, I simply worship it as a sacred object.  It had a great story, dark visuals, exciting animation, excellent music, great characters, heck, "Coraline" had it all!  Everything you could want out of an animated movie, it was there.  So when Laika*, the company behind "Coraline" decided to make another movie, I had to be there.

"ParaNorman" much like "Coraline" is a stop-motion kid's movie that dares give the kiddies some dark visuals and heavy themes with a horror movie vibe.  In fact, this one goes quite a great deal further with the horror movie stuff, including making the entire story a direct homage to 70s B-Zombie-Movies.  It again stars a misunderstood preteen child caught in a strange supernatural adventure and tasked to save the world, but this time the lead character, Norman, is not merely suffering the awkward isolation of  a move but actually is a true loner.  Norman can talk to ghosts, which isolates him from his family, his class, and his entire town.  As  defense measure, he seems to have grown to accept his segregation and prefers the company of the dead, applying that obsession to a very healthy love of crappy often Italian horror movies.  Unfortunately it turns out Norman is also key to an Colonial Witch Curse that plagues his home town, forcing him to save the entire world from ultimate darkness.

What I was looking forward to was a brilliantly-animated family film with an edgy tone like "Coraline", and "ParaNorman" completely delivers on that front.  I don't believe it quite reaches the same glorious heights as Laika's first film, but it still stands an excellent movie for which to end my summer vacation.  Yeah, I'm going back to school, and this appears to be the last movie I'll be seeing before I must return to that place I call "college".  That's really weighty stuff, considering its my last year, and in just nine months or so I'll have to become... an adult!  DUN DUN DUN!  While dealing with the neverending stress of that kind of transformation, its good to have decent movies to distract you for a moment with an interesting take on the world.  "ParaNorman" is one of those great movies that dares not only to entertain children and families, but actually maybe teach them something.  I guess I didn't need the lesson, but I was glad to be entertained for the ride.

Monday, August 20, 2012

In Memorium, Tony Scott

Unfortunately yesterday British director Tony Scott committed suicide, personally ending a solid action film career spanning four decades.  Tony Scott is director Ridley Scott's young brother, and never quite received the praise he deserved from critics.  While Ridley made acclaimed classics like "Blade Runner" and "Gladiator", Tony Scott directed crowd-pleasing action films, often starring the ultimate crowd-pleasing actor, Denzel Washington.  He was a man who just made movies, it didn't matter what kind of movies or what they were supposed to mean or represent, he just made simple entertaining movies.  Unpretentious fun, right to the very end.  Tony Scott lived an interesting life, he was born in 1944 but spent nearly as many years directing commercials as he spent directing feature films.  So if you've never heard of Tony Scott, I'll briefly list his filmography below, and I'm sure one of your favorite action or thriller movies is listed below somewhere:
  • "The Hunger", 1983 - I haven't seen this yet, but its a vampire movie
  • "Top Gun", 1986 - one of the best movies ever made, still Tom Cruise's best movie
  • "Beverly Hills Cop 2", 1987 - all around decent film in the franchise
  • "Revenge", 1990 - a Kevin Cosner thriller, I haven't seen this either
  • "Days of Thunder", 1990 - a Tom Cruise NASCAR movie, pretty infamous for being awesome, now at the top of my Netflix queue
  • "The Last Boy Scout", 1991 - a Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans cop movie, I can't recommend this
  • "True Romance", 1993 - a stunning crime movie filled with amazing actors in bit parts, but all around awesome, easily Tony Scott's best movie
  • "Crimson Tide", 1995 - excellent submarine thriller with Denzel Washington vs. Gene Hackman for the fate of the world
  • "The Fan", 1996 - a psychological basketball thriller of all things, I haven't seen this either
  • "Enemy of the State", 1998 - Will Smith stops doing SciFi for a second and makes a decent government thriller
  • "Spy Game", 2001 - Robert Redford and Brad Pitt work together in what was a surprisingly cool spy movie, probably Tony Scott's best directorial work
  • "Man on Fire", 2004 - Denzel Washington kills a lot of people to save Dakota Fanning, pleasurable fluff
  • "Domino", 2005 - this movie was honestly disappointing to me, but for a film written by Richard Kelly, its amazingly lucid and can be a bit of fun if you aren't expecting too much
  • "Déjà Vu", 2006 - sorry Tony, but this movie sucked >_<
  • "The Taking of Pelham 123", 2009 - this was a lot of fun, especially when John Travolta gets to bully Denzel Washington the entire time
  • "Unstoppable", 2010 - Denzel Washington stops train, saves world, pretty much exactly what you'd expect from Tony Scott, simple fun, a solid popcorn flick.  Not every movie needs to be a classic, some of them just need to entertain the masses, and that's what Tony Scott did best.  The world is a worse place without him.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Make-A-Wish Foundation Final Fantasy Charity Stream

Have you ever wanted to watch a lot of English people playthrough every game in the Final Fantasy series for charity?  If not, you do now, because I'm ordering you to be excited by this.

Console Realm is raising 1000 pounds (which in real money from real countries is probably only two or three dollars) for charity, based upon the unimaginable humiliation of playing through every main Final Fantasy series and streaming it online for the entire Internet to enjoy.  Their host, Adam, has asked me to advertise in any way I could, I've already given some money, and you should too.  Because charities are good things, and they'll get you into Heaven.  And even if you want to go to Hell, you could probably make up some excuse to Satan for your good deed.  The playthrough will be up on the 25th.  They're going to do the entire series in just a week - which is, to coin a phrase, ball-steamingly insane with a side of fries.  You should support them, by giving money.  Or by watching.

Here's where you give them your money.

Here is their site.

Happy giving.

All-Star Superman

Last month I reviewed "All-Star Batman and Robin Boy Wonder" as part of my big Batman celebration, and decided that it was the worst superhero thing I've ever seen.  And we don't need to recap why it was terrible.  But I again need to restate the fact that I am not the person you want to trust when it comes to superheroes, and you'll see why in this post.  This will probably be the last comic book discussion from me.

There happens to be another title in DC's (mostly failed) All-Star line, and that is called "All-Star Superman" by Grant Morrison.  If you take all the hate, annoyance, and confusion that resulted from Frank Miller "All-Star" series, and flip it upsidedown to pure unending praise, you'd get the reaction from the superhero critics about "All-Star Superman".  Its repeatedly listed among the best comics of the last decade, its won awards, it is simply beloved by nearly everybody who loves Superman, superheroes, and comic books.  It apparently redefined and reaffirmed everything that made Superman SUPERMAN.  I thought, "hey, I had to suffer through goddamn 'All-Star Batman and Robin', I deserve to read a good superhero comic, don't I?", so I sat down at a Barnes & Nobles for an hour, found a copy of "All-Star Superman", and read it cover to cover.  And wow... what the fuck was that?

I've never really been the world's biggest Superman fan, but I've always respected the idea of Superman.  I could appreciate what he was:  the quintessential embodiment of American exceptionalism.  A walking avatar of what our brightest dreams for what American should be:  the invincible guiding protector for the entire world.  And its probably due to my own personal cynicism that I've always preferred Batman to Superman*, but this seems to be a notable cultural shift in our entire mass consciousness.  At some time as the generations passed Batman became more popular.  It would take a sociologist years to figure out what exactly that means, but I don't think its good news for our mass-psychological health.  If somebody could remind everybody why Superman is so important and why we need our Superman dream, I would be there to support the idea.  Unfortunately, "All-Star Superman" loses whatever high-minded plans it had thanks to the great disease of superhero comic books:  continuity obsession.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Total Remake

Did anybody actually think this was going to be good?

I suppose the only thing that helps is the fact that the original "Total Recall" was just an above-par Schwarzenegger action flick.  Don't get me wrong, the 1990 "Total Recall" is still a perfectly fine movie that's still lots of fun twenty-two years after its first release.  It starts out as a normal silly action movie, and then as led by director Paul Verhoeven, it grows increasingly silly and awesome in its third act.  Suddenly we got mutants on Mars, a psychic baby growing out of Marshall Bell's chest, and Arnold's eyes popping out of his head.  Its actually pretty amazing how much fun Paul Verhoeven was able to pull out of a normal 80s action flick.  And it has some of ARRRnold's best Teutonic lines "GIVE DEESE PEOPLE AYRE!" "GET YO ASS TO MAWS!"  So right there the original was a perfectly fine movie and any remake would naturally be inferior and pointless.

What did Hollywood do?  They made an inferior and pointless remake, naturally.

The new "Total Recall" is directed by Len Wiseman, who is best known as the creator of the Underworld franchise and directing "Live Free and Die Hard"*.  Len Wiseman is probably a nice human being in real life, but as a director, he's mostly floated by because his wife, Kate Beckinsale's ass looks excellent in tight bondage leather.  Does he have a fraction of Paul Verhoeven's talent or irreverent sensibility?  No, compared to Verhoeven he's a hack.  And his movie is a piece of crap compared to the 1990 original.  The studios probably thought that using the old "Total Recall" name was the recipe for success, then don't even try to do anything else.  Rip-off just about every futuristic SciFi movie from the last fifteen years, cast less interesting actors, and cut out everything that made the original movie fun, now that's a recipe for one hell of a ruined afternoon at the movies, isn't it?

The new "Total Recall" isn't a cinematic abortion that will leave me furious for months afterwards like "Abraham Lincoln: Idiot Hunter".  But its really really boring.  Colin Farrell is a fine actor, but as an action lead he has NONE of the charisma for Schwarzenegger, so already the remake fails, just on that.  But everything this movie does, the original does better!  There is not one role, one visual effect, one action sequence that was not topped by the 1990 version.  This is a remake utterly outclassed by Verhoeven.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chrono Cross Part 2

Well, I beat "Chrono Cross".  Am I a more complete person having played this game?  Have I learned some deep insight into the hidden philosophy of the universe that has left me a changed person forever?  Will my life have been forever altered by the deep indisputable truths of this weighty tome?  No.  In terms of life-changing-ness, the "Scott Pilgrim" comics probably have done more than any video game.  That's a seriously scary and accurate portrayal of slacker life in my generation, especially for me since I find the idea of growing up to be utterly terrifying.  That's why I play Japanese video games made for teenagers, get it?

I suppose the heavy philosophizing "Chrono Cross" blasts you with roughly every scene might be very thrilling to a teenager, since those angsty folks by nature believe themselves to be specifically hated by the entire race.  Don't tell me it isn't true, when you were a teenager, you thought everybody was out to get you.  And if you've never gotten over adolescent obsessions with invisible audiences, start a blog, where you can have a real life invisible audience just for you!  So when "Chrono Cross" repeats an endless theme of how humanity is totally wretchedly evil and the planet is scheming to murder us all*, a certain audience might nod and say "yes, humanity is evil, wow, I never thought of that before, this game is so deep."  While my reaction is something more of a "cut the hippie bullshit and let me fight this next boss already!"  Just a difference of temperament, I guess.

On the other hand, I kinda feel bad bashing "Chrono Cross" the way I seem to.  These reviews come off a bit more negative than I think I actually feel towards this game.  If it were a bad game, I'd regret playing it, I just think its a mistaken game, and there are lessons to learn from its mistakes.  Its also clearly a game that the development team cared deeply for, just like in "Chrono Trigger" there is a whole secret Developer's Room ending where you can sit back and have a drink with the design staff's digital avatars to celebrate a wonderful journey.  That leaves me feeling like the one guy at the party not having a good time, which trust me is a terrible feeling.  I can appreciate the labor of love that went into this game's story, environments, characters, even battle system.  The only problem is that the storyline is confusing, as I've mentioned before the battle system is not fun, and I get the sense the great ideas and great artmaking that went into "Chrono Cross" were simply let down by the other parts that do not work.  Which is a real shame.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bourne Legacy

The Bourne series is another one of those 21st century film franchises that I don't think actually has any true fans.  Its not to say that the Bourne movies do not represent a collection of decent action movies, because they do, its just saying that nobody is exactly emotionally invested in the fate of "The Bourne Legacy".  Its just like the "Mission: Impossible" films, they're all more or less solid entertainment, but will they ever become pillars of pop culture?  Nope.  Are their rabid Bourne fans out there crying "BETRAYAL!" at the replacement of Matt Damon for the star?  I really hope not.  As for me, I don't even remember most of the stuff that happens in the first three Bourne movies, I think I saw them out of order, and I can't for the life me remember if I saw "The Bourne Supremacy" or not.  I do remember though that Matt Damon kicks Clive Owen's ass in one movie, which is bullshit, Clive Owen could totally take Matt Damon.  Anyway, as it turns out I didn't have to worry about being lost in "Bourne 4", since this movie has almost nothing to do with the first three.

So "Bourne 4" from the start is a low-impact action movie that I was mostly bullied into seeing.  I say "bullied" because EVERY movie I have seen in the last six months has had a damn trailer for "The Bourne Legacy".  ALL OF THEM.  I think they even snuck a "Bourne Legacy" trailer into "Brave".  I was thinking:  "Come on, Hollywood!  I really don't think this movie is really worth my time."  Then I saw five more movies, and then I finally I gave up.  "Alright, fine, Hollywood, I'll go see your friggin' Jeremy Renner action movie.  But you owe me now.  You better find a way to make Guillermo del Toro's 'At the Mountains of Madness' movie*, or else you're sleeping on the couch tonight, film industry."  So then I went to see the movie, and it was a perfectly serviceable action movie.  Now I want my "Mountains at Madness", goddammit.

If you're really deeply into the Jason Bourne adventures, you'll probably be unhappy with "Bourne 4".  But since I don't believe that population actually exists, its otherwise a finely-tuned action film that is slightly above mediocre.  There is really only the most tangential connection to the Bourne movies, and I think the movie is stretched overly long because of wasting the first hour showing off its Jason Bourne credentials - when Matt Damon does not appear once in this entire movie.  So while the Bourne logo might help with advertising, it hurts the final production.  They should have called this "Jeremy Renner: Supersoldier" and it would have been slightly better... but still this was never going to be a classic.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Trailer

So "Final Fantasy XIV".  Um... Not exactly Final Fantasy's strongest moment, was it?  Yeah...  If there were any people left believing that the Final Fantasy series was just as strong as ever, FFXIV broke their spirits pretty quickly, and I don't think FFXIII-2 has done much to win back the crowd.  Anyway, I mostly ignored FFXIV as soon as it was announced, since its an MMO, and I don't play MMOs.  That's not my thing, and it never will be.  Even when the game was released and turned out to be the biggest turd in history, I didn't play it, I didn't really comment on it, and I let the entire miserable event pass right by.  However, Square Enix wisely decided that they weren't going to simply roll over and lose millions of dollars, so they fired the old team and set to work saving FFXIV.  Here's the new trailer:

So I don't know about anybody else, but that looks ROCKING.  Now, obviously I'm not convinced enough to actually go out and buy a copy of FFXIV, there is absolutely no room in my life for an MMO, I still got to play "Chrono Cross", "Xenogears", "The Last Story", "Terranigma", "Mystic Quest", and "Pokemon Black Version", along with finishing "The Last Remnant" and then somewhere in that huge ass-storm I need to have a life.  But still, this is one of the coolest looking trailers Square Enix has released in years.  This is what a PS3 AAA Final Fantasy game should look like, and sadly... its wasted on a damn MMO.  What a shame.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chrono Cross Part 1

"Chrono Cross" is probably going to be the single most troublesome game I've had to review.  Last week I was ready to just savage this thing with a hammer, saw off its limbs, and kick it into the tallest Martian volcano I could find.  Because there a crap load wrong with "Chrono Cross":  its battle system is a pitiful mess of bad ideas, there are too many friggin' characters and most of them suck - both in terms of raw fighting ability and the fact almost none of them are developed, and as a sequel to "Chrono Trigger", this is a huge insult.  "Chrono Trigger" was probably the best-made JRPG ever made.  I mean, its so good that I can't even make up a coherent sentence describing it.  Its battle system, its storyline, its characters, all were just perfection, nothing felt unnecessary, nothing felt tacked-on, it was all engineering balance, design perfection.  And as for this game, its a mess.

BUT - that's a big "but", its in all caps - "Chrono Cross" is not quite the hideous failure I thought it would be.  Actually I think I have enough energy to go all the way and finish this thing.  Because as bad as the ideas are around "Chrono Cross"'s battle system, its still something of a very interesting game.  I mean, the game doesn't work, but its something of an admirable failure.  I can respect a game like "Final Fantasy VIII" on some level because even though the Junctioning system was confusing as all Hell, it was at least an experimental attempt at innovation*, if still a huge mistake.  More importantly, "Chrono Cross" is a beautiful game, perhaps the single prettiest game on the old PlayStation.  You can tell with every location and every character that a lot of work was put in.  And yeah, the storyline is inferior, but it is still an epic RPG adventure that keeps you engaged as to whats going to happen next.  Ultimately it really helps when you stop comparing this game to "Chrono Trigger" and just try to enjoy the wonderful scenery and excellent soundtrack.

What we have here is a game form the Golden Age of Square.  Back in the PlayStation era, Square was making all kinds of innovative experimental RPGs, like this, FFVIII, "Xenogears", "Parasite Eve", and "Vagrant Story".  Since then the now Square Enix has been riding on endless cheap mediocre Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest spin-offs**, then they whored out Kingdom Hearts like you'd never believed, and lately has gotten even lazier in that now most of its games are actually made by Eidos.  "Final Fantasy XIII-2" is my Exhibit A for why we should appreciate games like "Chrono Cross", because while that's a failure for being lazy, completely recycled, and then left it all on a cliffhanger so they could sell more crap like DLC, this is a failure because director Misato Kato and his team simply had too many creative ideas.  There was too much love put into this game, too many things to deal with, and the final product is something of a mess.  So its a failure, but a remarkable failure, I feel.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Piranha 3DD

Just how low is the lowest common denominator?  "Piranha 3DD" (pronounced "three-double-D") is the one movie that dares to find to answer.

"Piranha 3D" probably remains the best monster movie of this current decade, being exactly what a monster movie should be:  fun, gory, silly, and full of bare boobs.   This is the movie that brought up the underwater nude lesbian sex scene, remember.  And its also the movie that brings us the sight of hundreds of idiot spring break kids getting eaten by fish with great gruesome effects.  It had a great cast, funny scenes, and just a perfect sense of unserious fun that Michael Bay wishes he could achieve.  A true return to proper 80s horror movies, unlike the CG gore crap that has devoured the entire horror world.  It even managed to use the 3D gimmick properly, making "Piranha 3D" the only horror remake to be better than the original.  So obviously there would be a sequel, and "Piranha 3DD" is that movie.  Weirdly, however, this got the most bizarrely limited release, coming out in only one hundred theaters around the country, and just one in my entire state.  So this review would have come out earlier, but sadly I couldn't see this in theaters.

Anyway, the big question:  is "Piranha 3DD" any good?  Well, right off the bat, its not as good as the first one.  This is probably going to be a short review because its really a short movie and not exactly world-changing stuff.  From the start, the cast isn't nearly as good.  Adam Scott's character is dead, Jerry O'Connell's character is dead, the only survivors to come back are Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames, and they only have cameos, really.  Instead its just a bunch of nameless faceless horror movie twenty-somethings who are guaranteed to get killed.  So right the cream of the acting crop is wiped out.  Gary Busey opens the movie... but gets eaten immediately (though at least he dies after biting one of the piranha's head off).  The big surprise here is David Hasselhoff, playing David Hasselhoff, and teaching the giant fish to never hassle the Hoff.  The gore effects aren't nearly as good, the entire film is terribly color corrected* to blue and orange - so that means we can't have too much blood, since blood is red.  There's too much CG gore, they don't really do anything with the piranhas that we didn't see last movie, and everything is just a lot less fun.

So realizing they made a more mediocre movie, the filmmakers inserted tits everywhere.  Finally we have a movie that lives up to its "Double-D" promise.  Its at least watchable then.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Batman: Night King

We haven't had a Fanwank Corner in a while, have we?  I need to correct that.  Here's a Batman sketch:

So after writing so much on Batman that I could probably publish all of those posts as a short novella, eventually my mind starting swirling around this concept Batman.  Unfortunately I have this bad habit of mine that somehow when I think about something long enough that I start to formulate stories in my head.  Its an entirely uncontrollable process.  So somewhere between reading "The Dark Knight Returns" and watching Moviebob's review of this movie, I had an epiphany.  "Warner Bros should totally make a 'Batman 4' starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, man.*  It would be totally lame if they just rebooted Batman again in like 2015 in some crappy Superhero movie starring Channing Tatum or something, they should move in this new direction here."  Then somehow that idea moved into it being a "Batman Beyond" movie (which we've already done here), then somehow that idea just kept on warping until finally I had no idea what I was dealing with, but it kept on moving.  Fermenting, evolving, changing, until somehow it became this, something totally new, something cool.

A few months ago Moviebob was typically complaining about Master Nolan's influence on superhero movies he always does, he mentioned how the Nolan storyline of Batman films seemed so medieval - this part of his long running issue with Batman because he's "right-wing".  Medieval because it seemed like Gotham City was this ancestral noble territory that Bruce Wayne had inherited from his parents and that he had to step up to save it by virtual divine right.  The Nolan films treat Gotham City has the Wayne family responsibility, a burden of the ruling nobility, of which Bruce Wayne is the heir to.  It isn't merely revenge on the system of social corruption that killed his parents, its a Princely duty.  Bruce Wayne is the Prince of Gotham City, and he's fighting a war to win it back from the forces of crime and insanity.

So how about this:  make Gotham City a fallen kingdom.  And Bruce Wayne the prince of the lost dynasty.  And set it in THE FUTURE.