All that is wrong with the world…

January 11, 2014

Lena Dunham and Body Shaming

Filed under: Entertainment, Issues...the world...etc.. — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 1:48 pm

I’ve seen a lot of accusations that a reporter that asked Lena Dunham why she was nude so much in her show Girls was body shaming, that the question was rude and misogynistic and all manner of negative things. The thing is, the reporter asked a completely reasonable question. He noted that on the show Game of Thrones the nudity is to titillate, while the nudity on Girls serves no purpose.

This is a completely reasonable question. It isn’t misogynistic or rude and it makes no implication or commentary on Lena Dunham’s body. The point is that Game of Thrones is essentially soft porn, while Girls is not. Lena answered the question by saying that it is a realistic expression of what it is like to be alive. That’s all that was needed to answer the question, as it clarifies that in her opinion, the nudity does indeed serve a purpose.

There was no need to be so defensive or to label false accusations of misogyny or body shaming. Doing so only lessens the claims of actual misogyny and body-shaming. Of course, if I am not understanding the issue and have missed something, I would love for somebody to clarify.

November 21, 2011

Thoughts on Red State

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 10:35 am

I was interested to see Red State as I’ve liked all of Kevin Smith’s films bar Cop Out and as I consider him an intelligent guy was curious to see how he would tackle the issue of dangerous fundamentalist religious groups. Using it as the premise for a horror story sounded full of potential. I was sad to see how much the movie disappointed. It’s been a while since I saw a movie that was so mixed up in what it was trying to say or what it wanted to be. The movie starts off with three teens responding to an ad for a woman who is up for sex and so off they go hormonally charged full of anticipation and glee at what awaits. Of course this goes horribly wrong, and they wake up prisoners of the crazy scary religious people. It’s interesting to note that at the start of the film the fictional religious group seems to be a direct parallel to the Westboro Baptist Church, only for Fred Phelps to be mentioned and then dismissed as not as crazy.

This first part of the film is excellent and had it continued along this path could have been a great film. Part of what makes that aspect of the film great is because it is so very plausible. The film then makes a radical departure to a long drawn out firefight between the ATF and this religious group. This goes on for far too long, maybe 30 minutes too long. It doesn’t progress the story in any way nor does it really give insight into the crazy religious people. After the unnecessarily long drawn out firefight it seems to be a random attack on the US government. The lead ATF agent played by John Goodman is at a hearing to defend his actions, where the government representatives basically say outright how they are fine with killing people, how the terrorism laws are deliberately vague so they can be abused. It makes them look so bad that is it not at all believable. It seems like Smith wanted to comment on some of what has happened to the US in the last decade but it is shoehorned in and doesn’t help the film at all.

Done with subtext and drawing parallels with the film focusing on dangerous crazy religious people this could have been an amazing film. As it is it is all over the place and doesn’t seem to really know what it is trying to be. Which is a shame.

November 8, 2011

J.J. Abrams is vastly overrated

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 5:03 pm

J. J. Abrams has to be one of the most overrated people working in Hollywood for the last few years. What’s weird is he isn’t considered as such, rather he is very popular with critics and the public and widely considered to make good films. The reason I consider him overrated is because his films all seem to follow a formula. He tends to do a few things very well which also happen to be the things that overshadow the flaws in his movies. A good example might be the Star Trek film from 2009. Star Trek wasn’t really true to the spirit of Star Trek and indeed had many things that were out of place in a Star Trek film or just didn’t make sense. However he managed to focus on the things that fans care about and so, everybody praised the film. The Kobayashi Maru, Captain Pike, Spock Prime, etc. There is so much wrong with that movie as enjoyable as it is, but it all gets ignored because people see familiar elements that they like and that’s what dominates. What’s more they see their beloved universe realized with a proper budget, which blinds them even further.

J. J. Abrams seems very similar to Drew Goddard was as a writer on Buffy, which is to give little nods to the fans such as having Buffy learn that Xander lied only for it to ultimately lead to nothing. It was only there as a reference to make fans excited and start talking which somehow stops them from realizing that it was nothing more than what it was. I think it’s great when shows or films that are part of a franchise give little nods to fans, but that should not be the focus. With J. J. Abrams films it seems to be and he does it so well that people stop caring about the numerous plot holes and character flaws. J.J. Abrams has done what almost every other direct in Hollywood has tried to do…to make people think your movie is great by hiding behind cheap nods and visuals. Well, good for him, I suppose.

Why is Hip Hop always dismissed?

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 4:14 pm

I love Hip Hop music. I think it is one of the most interesting and diverse genres of music with its emphasis on storytelling and the mixtape arena. There is a lot more diversity in that one genre than most other genres and a lot more music coming out consistently. The mixtape scene is one of the most interesting with artists able to create work that can get word of mouth exposure easily and just lets them experiment. Personally I feel that the creativity in Hip Hop is a lot more raw and a lot richer than in other genres. It seems like it’s really only in Hip Hop where the artists still bother to stay in touch with fans and interact. Of course the main reason I like Hip Hop is the storytelling. Other genres just don’t have story telling as a factor at least not to the same extent. Quite often what passes for a story in say Rock can be reduced to a few lines with most of the story being implied and then a repeating chorus which adds nothing. Rather the songs seem to be about the emotion from an event, not telling the story of that event. There are only a few storytelling songs, The Hurricane being a notable example, that actually tell a story from beginning to end.

I get that not everybody likes Hip Hop….what I don’t get is why people keep attacking it. Are they just idiots? Perhaps, but I have to wonder if there is a strong correlation between people who dismiss Hip Hop and a complete inability to think critically. Hip Hop has a few things other genres don’t have that make it unique, has a strong associated culture and has been around for about 40 years or so. There is no indication that it is going anywhere. Yet people continually dismiss Hip Hop as nothing more than songs about killing people and bitches. Which is far from what the genre is limited to. So then, are these people simply willfully ignorant? The type of people who can’t be bothered looking into something before speaking authoritatively on it? Even at the Grammy Awards Hip Hop seems to be acknowledged without being taken seriously. It makes me sad to see my favorite type of music continually under attack and being dismissed but I have to step back and look at the people doing the attacking. Given it seems to be only shallow minded people who can’t think for themselves who do the attacking however, I guess I shouldn’t worry about it.

September 26, 2011

Thoughts on Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 2:43 am

I finished playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution recently. A lot of reviewers were saying it was one of the best games of the year and equal to or better than the original. While it is certainly a worthy game and an excellent successor I think the fact that it was getting ratings of 9/10 or above are an indication of just how low the bar has fallen for PC games.

One of the more annoying things I noticed was the long loading times on PC. So many games got past this issue years ago; I find it hard to understand why every game has not gotten past it. I thought the transition from talking to a character to a semi-cinematic was fairly seamless and nicely done. Having only 20 saves seemed an unnecessary limit, especially for a game where your actions can have different consequences later on.

When compared to the original I found there was less of an RPG element and far less weapons available. There seemed to be no equivalent to a baton for example and while you could creep up on people and do some flash martial arts to subdue them, it just wasn’t the same…nor was it that stealthy. I also missed the ability to sneak up on people and pickpocket, something entirely lacking from the game. I also didn’t like that you are forced to kill the bosses, which somewhat negates having the differently styles of play available. Although I found the boss fights easy and the Russian girl boss got stuck running in water and I killed the last boss while he was hopping over the wall in about 2 seconds.

Adam Jenson’s character also didn’t seem to interesting to me, although I don’t know why. I feel like he was designed well but never really fleshed out. Ex cop blamed for tragedy now doing private security working with his ex….aaaaand what? Apart from a poor attempt at Christian Bale’s Batman voice there wasn’t much else too him. Although he does like to wear sunglasses at night.

As for gameplay I found it getting repetitive. Sneak past a room full of guards or kill everyone then speak or obtain something, then repeat. Later on when I got enough energy and cloak augmentations I would just run past all the guards who would know I was there, but couldn’t see me to shoot. I would normally make it to the elevator just as they saw me at which point I would disappear to wherever I had to go. It may seem like defeating the purpose of the game, but at the same time it is surely more practical than going desk by desk hoping not to be seen at all. Before if I got seen I pretty much ended up killing everybody because it too far too long for them to go back to not being alarmed. Which, after killing everybody I could then walk around freely anyway. Speaking of which, it was far too easy to kill all the police. I didn’t even have to hide the bodies really. I felt like the Police should have been more challenging and if fired upon relentlessly hunted you down like the UN staff in the original game.

I would have liked a random mugging attempt or something to show how dangerous the city was and just how some people feel about people with augmentations, which would have added more character than simply hearing a woman’s scream being repeated every 10 seconds. There was also an annoying bug, when exiting out of the search screen your input would be processed twice causing the escape menu to come up or a weapon to fire, which could be frustrating depending on circumstances. I also didn’t like the en which seemed to close to a zombie game….and how did Zhao explode from…information? I don’t understand why there are open endings if only one is canon in future DLCs or sequels. I did however like some of the references…Eliza for an AI, room 802.11 for a wireless broadcast station. It was also kind of cool to be in Montreal and see future Montreal in the game. Ultimately it was a fun game that brought back fond memories, but was lacking in the RPG aspect and too repetitive to truly be great. I’d think it would be a 7/10 at the most.

September 25, 2011

So the Caves of Steel is being adapted

Filed under: Entertainment — allthatiswrong @ 11:33 pm

According to ComingSoon The Caves of Steel is to be adapted into a film. Isaac Asimov was one of my favorite Sci-Fi authors and just authors in general while growing up. The Caves of Steel was one of if not the first sci-fi novel I read featuring robots in a prominent role showing how society would potentially deal with them. With the premise being an intriguing detective story set in the future with class issues also being central to the plot, I think it could make for an excellent adaptation to film, if done correctly it could rival Blade Runner. I’m not so sure this will happen however.

The rights to the Foundation series lie with Roland Emmerich who is the only person less qualified than Uew Boll to handle such an adaption. The Bicentennial Man was actually not a bad adaptation although I didn’t like that Disney approach that was taken with the story. I, Robot also was not entirely bad and I actually thought it was clever how they ended up incorporating the short stories in certain scenes. It was interesting to see the Zeroth Law as a catalyst for robots terrifying humans, the very thing Asimov eschewed.

As for the Caves of Steel adaptation? It will be directed by a new team who have no track record or work to judge them by until their first film, Maggie is release. The script is being written by John Scott III who has, according to IMDB, never written a script before. I don’t have a lot of hope for this adaptation, but will be paying keen attention to see how it turns out.

September 23, 2011

Thoughts on Batman in the New 52

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , — allthatiswrong @ 5:13 am

Batman has been largely unchanged by the New 52 reboot although not completely untouched. There have been some changes which I have to wonder about the thinking behind them, because they just seem strange. Firstly would be the streamlining of the Robin’s. Batman #1 shows Damien as the current Robin with Dick and Tim as past Robins. Which would be absolutely fine except they all appear to be under 20. Dick seems a good foot shorter than Batman and 18 at most, which seem odd considering he had grown into Nightwing and looks far from 18 in Nightwing #1. Likewise Tim looks maybe 15 which would suit for him being a Teen Titan, although I would have though closer to 17. It isn’t that bad….but certainly seems odd to me.

Batman and Robin introduced the development that Batman is going to stop mourning his parent’s death and start celebrating their Wedding Anniversary. The Death of Batman’s parents is his motivation for who he is….it seems odd that he would be “over it” after 10 years of being Batman. This is the most troubled, full of turmoil, internal suffering character in the DCU and one of the most interesting. This new optimistic attitude is not becoming of the character and seems like a change to make the character more appealing to new readers. Aye. Another odd observation is that Batman, who always is always several steps ahead allowed very low level thugs to steal the Batmobile. Allowed implies it was planned, but it appeared to be something Batman did not anticipate. I also thought in odd in Detective Comics #1 that he said to Gordon “I’ve always been in Gotham. I am Gotham. I mean…it’s Gordon, not some thug you’re trying to intimidate. You can drop the theatrics somewhat.

What about the costume? I think it’s excellent. Some people stated Batman has more armor now but he doesn’t seem to have anymore than he did before, i.e. limited to mainly cowl,globes and boots. The actual costume is still, I assume, a Kevlar weave or some such thing and Catwoman #1 shows it is still more like cloth than armor, allowing Batman to maintain his acrobatic skills.

The only villain that seems to be changed is The Riddler, sporting a shaved head Mohawk and question marks on his scalp. I don’t like this. I thought it was far more interesting having Eddie attempting to be taking seriously as a SuperVillian and being shunned by the community, dealing with him feeling pathetic. If they were going to change a villain I wish they would have had Killer Croc be human size and explore him having to hang on to his humanity, as opposed to just being an animalistic hulk. Which is boring.

Perhaps the strangest change is that Gordon is now ginger. I wonder how Flashpoint resulted in that. So far it is interesting, with Detective Comics being spectacular. I will definitely keep reading for the moment.

Top 30 The Simpsons episodes of the last 10 seasons

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , — allthatiswrong @ 5:06 am

I find it annoying with people claiming that The Simpsons has declined in quality, is no longer funny and that the best episodes were from the first 10 seasons. While it is true that the show has changed in tone from time to time, it has always remained funny and a quality show in my opinion. Out of 22 seasons I would say season 20 was the only truly bad season and even then a lot of the episodes still had some good jokes.

When looking at lists of the best Simpsons episodes the selection is always limited to the first 10 seasons. As such I have made a list of the Top 30 Simpsons episodes from the last 10 seasons. Many of these episodes are not as memorable as say Flaming Moe’s or Homer at the Bat, however I think they are still pretty damn good. They are not ordered or rated above each other and are simply arranged by order of appearance. It’s also nice to note that since Season 18 the show seems to have gone back to it’s sentimental roots, which is wonderful.

  1. Bye Bye Nerdie s12e16 – A great episode where Lisa tries to make friends with a new girl, who turns out to be a bully causing Lisa to investigate and determine the cause of bullying.
  2. Trilogy of error s12e18 – A story from three different points of view in the style of Run Lola Run. A very funny episode with many funny moments.
  3. She of Little Faith s13e06 – Lisa questioning her faith and embracing Buddhism with a pep talk by Richard Gere. A funny and meaningful episode, one of the best for sure.
  4. I Am Furious (Yellow) s13e18 – Bart finally creates a comic book character, an appearance by Stan Lee and a fantastic transformation of Homer into the Hulk.
  5. How I Spent My Strummer Vacation s14e02 – Homer becomes a rocker at camp under the tutelage of rock legends. What more needs to be said?
  6. Three Gays of the Condo s14e07 – Homer making friends with gay guys and the hilarity that ensues, as well as a great appearance by Weird Al.
  7. Moe Baby Blues s14e22 – This episode fleshes out Moe’s loneliness a bit more while having many great Godfather references.
  8. My Mother the Carjacker s15e02 – The second appearance of Homer’s mother with another sentimental episode and great performance by Glenn Close.
  9. I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot s15e09 – Homer pretends to be a robot so Bart can participate in robot wars …a sentimental episode with many funny moments.
  10. The Way We Weren’t s15e20 – I love all the Homer and Marge flashback episodes. This one shows that Homer and Marge liked each other before they even knew it which I think is sweet.
  11. There’s Something About Marrying s16e10 – Homer starts marrying gay couples for money and Patty comes out as gay.
  12. Goo Goo Gai Pan s16e12 –Selma wants to have a child and ends up going with the Simpsons to China to adopt a daughter.
  13. Don’t Fear the Roofer s16e16 – Ray Romano is Homer’s best new friend which everybody doubts exist, until Stephen Hawking explains everything.
  14. Thank God, It’s Doomsday s16e19 –Homer becomes convinced the rapture is coming and tries to protect his family, only to be made a fool of when his prediction is incorrect.
  15. Million Dollar Abie s17e16 – Grampa wants to kill himself and after failing to do so finds a new lease on life. One of the better ones from Season 17.
  16. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore s17e17 – The main plot of this episode isn’t so great, Homer going to India however it is still entertaining and the subplot with Richard Dean Anderson being kidnapped by Patty and Selma was fantastic.
  17. Moe’N’a Lisa s18e06 – Moe’s loneliness is further explored as he finds he has a hidden talent as a poet
  18. Springfield Up s18e13 – A parody of the Up series showing young Springfielders at different points of their lives.
  19. Stop or My Dog Will Shoot s18e20 – Bart gets a snake and Santa’s Little Helper becomes a police dog and grows distant from Bart in the process.
  20. 24 Minutes s18e21 – An excellent parody of 24 starring Keither Sutherland.
  21. You Kent Always Say What You Want s18e22 – Kent Brockman fleshed out a bit more as he loses his job for saying a cussword on TV
  22. I Don’t Wanna Know Why the Caged Bird Sings s19e04 – Marge helps a criminal played by Steve Buscemi. A very funny episode with some great references.
  23. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind s19e09 – Homer has to recount his nightly experiences when he things he has done something horrible but is unable to remember.
  24. The Debarted s19e13 – A great parody of The Departed.
  25. Take My Life, Please s20e10 – Homer finds out his life could have been drastically different if he had won an election in high school.
  26. Million Dollar Maybe s21e11 – Homer wins the lottery but can’t tell Marge, so instead does a lot of sweet things in secret.
  27. Chief of Hearts s21e18 – Homer and Chief Wiggum become good friends.
  28. Moe Letter Blues s21e21 – Moe sends letters to Homer’s, Apu’s and Reverend Lovejoy’s wives to make their husbands realize how lucky they are.
  29. How Munched is That Birdie in the Window? s22e07 – Bart doesn’t want anything to do with Santa’s Little Helper after he kills a pigeon
  30. Flaming Moe s22e11 – Moe turns his bar into a gay bar and ends up pretending to be gay to keep his new friends.

If you don’t know any of these episodes by name, you can check on Wikipedia and if you haven’t seen any, they are well worth a watch before dismissing The Simpsons as unfunny. There are still quite a few that I didn’t leave in as well, such as The Blunder Years, Strong Arms of the Ma, Weekend at Burnsie’s and many more. I should also note, even the unfunniest episode of The Simpsons is better written and more entertaining than any episode of Family Guy.

September 19, 2011

Why I don’t think the Universe can be destroyed

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 11:43 pm

I watched the Star Trek episode titled ‘ The Alternative Factor’ recently. What the plot could be reduced down to is that Kirk had to stop a person from one universe from coming into contact with counterpart in another universe or the universe would be destroyed. This cliché recurs pretty often in many Sci-Fi shows movies and novels. I think it is poor writing…given how frequently such events seem to happen with the destruction of the universe only being diverted by the unlikely happenstance of the hero being aware of the problem before it’s too late. Given the apparent ease of which the universe can be destroyed it would seem such universe destroying events should be somewhat frequent. They don’t have to be, as it would only take one such event without a Hero to prevent it and then the universe would be…gone.

Given that the Universe has never been destroyed in real life or in fiction (well, probably in some fiction) then it seems likely that any universe destroying event would not actually destroy the universe, but simply affect some small subsection of it. The hero for whatever reason believes the destruction of the universe will result and so works to stop it, surely saving some lives or resolving a domestic conflict, but not averting the destruction of the universe as it was never actually a possibility.

It seems likely that with all the various ways the universe could be destroyed…crossing over into the anti-matter universe, screwing with the timeline ala Timecop…whatever else, that it is probably happening frequently. Yet, the universe seems more resilient than most people give it credit for. At the most it would seem like a small centralized destruction effect….probably even as big as a solar system and certainly nowhere near as big as the universe. Obviously using universe in place of galaxy or solar system is meant to be more epic, yet it just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. What isn’t explained is why the people of the future aren’t smart enough to realize this.

You could say that perhaps only one universe destroying threat happens per show, so only once in each respect ‘universe’ is it encountered and so it is not actually that common a threat. Yet, given the easy access to the technology that causes the threat, why would it not be assumed to be common? Lazarus from the aforementioned Star Trek episode was surely not the only person in either universe to have access to craft to traverse both universes? In the end it just seems like lazy writing. Its one thing I appreciated about Stargate, as they were concerned enough with the galaxy and seemed smart enough to realize the universe was unlikely to get destroyed. If only more writers could realize the same.

September 2, 2011

Thoughts on the New 52

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 9:26 am

I wasn’t too sure what to make of the new reboot. DC has had reboots before, but this seemed different with each issue starting at issue 1 again. It was also interesting that certain story arcs would be considered canon, while the rest would be discarded. I had avoided reading the flashpoint event leading up to it…as it just seemed boring. Thomas Wayne as Batman going around killing people….Wonder Woman at war with Aquaman over Europe….such drastic changes yet the same characters. I find such alternate realities lazy. If the timeline changed, especially if it were only from the death of one woman who was not overly significant…well it is unlikely this would affect the timeline as much as it did. I don’t see how it would affect the Kents finding Kal-El, or Thomas Wayne managing to fight of his attacker, or any of the other changes that occurred.

Especially having Thomas Wayne as Batman seemed one of the most stupid changes. Bruce had the motivation and drive to fight crime and a direct influence causing him to take up the mantle of the bat. That Thomas Wayne would also take up the mantle of the bat…it’s just stupid. Maybe if some explanation was given like….there needs to be a Batman in the timeline because it is expected or something…but no such explanation was given that I’m aware of. So, I only read the last Flashpoint as it was meant to branch into the New 52. What we see is Flash talking to Bruce in the Batcave with a very touching moment….but seemingly nothing is different.

Which is where Justice League #1 comes in showing that indeed things have changed. Everything is familiar, yet different. The first thing to note is the art was amazing. I’ve always liked Jim Lee’s Batman…drawing him without stupidly oversized ears and getting the costume to be a good balance between protection and just spandex. Its pretty much how I imagine Batman should be.

I do wonder if this Batman is slightly more tech augmented than other versions. The police refer to a group leaping 20 feet at a time, but it is unclear if the group is Batman and the foe he is chasing, or the foe being part of a larger group of foes. I really hope that Batman isn’t leaping 20 feet at a time…Batman shouldn’t be reliant on technology, something the Nolan movies have failed to realize.

There was a lot of exposition and while it was transparent, it was still entertaining. It worked well in this new world and first encounter and I am interested to see how things will turn out. I liked Batman calling the GCPD idiots…some people criticized this, but what kind of police force fires first upon someone who is only running? Idiots.

The main mystery at the moment is the timeline. Just what is in this new continuity? Apparently a lot of key storylines such as Knightfall, The Killing Joke and Death in the Family are still canon. Apparently Nightwing is in this new continuity. So, that means there have been at least 2 Robins. Yet, Justice League #1 opens 5 years ago, with Batman still being an urban myth and not being known by the other heroes, even still being hunted by the GCPD. So…how has he had 2 Robins already?

Some of the other changes seemed dumb. I don’t get why they killed Superman’s mom. Now he is too similar to Batman….his mother played an important role in keeping him grounded. I don’t really get why they would remove that. I also hope that Superman has gone back to just having an average intelligence, without any new fangled Kryptonian super genius bullshit. I think it’s odd Wonder Woman is still fighting crime in short shorts…especially after reading something where DC wanted to stop sexualizing their female heroes. Oh well.

Plotwise….I thought it odd the Guardians would not be familiar with Darkseid, although hopefully this will be explained. The excuse for going to Metropolis seemed weak..”they say he’s an alien”…really? Wouldn’t Green Lanterns alien GPS have picked up Superman for sure…or was he considered authorized?

I’m not sure why this new universe came about and why after Flashpoint things didn’t just refer to the normal universe. It isn’t clear what caused the changes in this new continuity. I get that the timelines merged…but the new continuity has elements that were not in any of the timelines. Still, I’m going to keep reading for a while, or at least until all the changes are explained and they actually start having adventures.

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