Archive for February, 2013

Arrow 1As Arrow chugs along, banging through the lackluster first few episodes to – where it is now – a pretty solid back-half of a season that’s put some interesting long-term stories into play, some things are becoming clear.

OK, some things other than “Man, they are not spending a lot of money on this show” and “Vigilantes don’t need peripheral vision.”

Perhaps most satisfying is the show actually displaying some interest in examining and reassessing Oliver Queen’s tendency to murder the hell out of people, and how that lines up with his own slowly evolving morality. Throughout the season, he has moved further away from his Island Trauma, received a humbling pummeling at the hands of his buddy’s Barely-Secretly-Evil-Father, and started broadening his mission to include things other than threatening rich people and telling them how disappointed in them he is.

So the show’s getting to be solidly entertaining while also addressing some larger concerns I’ve had, which means I feel more comfortable addressing smaller things the show’s NOT doing well. By which I mean, any time it mentions something from a DC comic.

It wants SO BADLY to play in the DC sandbox but give the concepts a veneer of Dark Knight-on-a-budget “realism,” and as a result kinda fails at both. And the show knows this! Why else would it keep shouting DO-OVER! so often?  (more…)


I may not agree with the internet’s current collective conclusion that Man of Steel will be terrible for some reason (apparently “At one point Clark Kent has a beard” is just too “out-there”?). But I can see why people would be at least very guarded in their enthusiasm.

Because let’s face it, this is still Warner Bros., the company that heard Brian Singer pitch a sequel to a 30-year-old movie where Superman doesn’t really do anything other than lift heavy things, Superman Flyby1bail on Lex Luthor’s court date letting him to go free, and stalk the ex-girlfriend he left pregnant five years ago. They heard that pitch and said, “Of COURSE that is the movie we should be making.”

And then there’s the news that the announced Justice League movie is going back to the drawing board, for the silly little reason that no director will sign onto it because the script is some kind of abomination.

(I don’t even know how that could be – I mean, we TOLD them how to make a perfectly good Justice League movie. It’s like they didn’t even listen!)

Also not helping: the possible Kickstarter-funded documentary reminding everyone of every ridiculous, wrong-headed idea for Tim Burton’s Superman Lives project that flamed out just before America could get a load of Nicolas Cage in a rubber electro-suit and laugh along with Braniac’s sassy gay robot sidekick.

So look, I get it. The odds of a Really Good Superman movie are, at this point, not terribly great. But even if it’s not a great movie – if it does not even surpass Superman Returns somehow – it is still not the biggest misfire we could get.

For that, we can look to J.J. Abrams’ script for Superman: Flyby.   (more…)


Posted: February 16, 2013 in Braak
Tags: ,

Someone build this tool for me, and I will pay you a handsome sum of dollars.



One of my new year’s resolutions: To read fewer bad comics. I mean, to stop engaging shit like Detective Comics or JMS’s agonizing Superman: Earth One books. Seriously, life is too short to hate-read.

(…Is what I’ve told myself, but then, I do have that next edition of Geoff Johns’ utterly, hilariously terrible Justice League comic on hold at the library, so. Pobody’s Nerfect.)Saga

But this column is not about bad comics. It is, in fact, about two of the best comics produced in 2012 – and possibly in years, maybe decades, maybe…look, they’re really good.

And also one other comic that I’m gonna need a little help with.

First things first. Everything you’ve heard is true: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, is one of the best comics I’ve ever read. Here, I’ll sell it for you: “Star Wars, starring two brand-new parents.”  (more…)

This is a very long essay, and it probably constitutes the end of my interest in NBC’s SMASH. I know that most of you will be happy to hear that.

The second season of Smash begins with Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee), dressed as Marilyn Monroe, onstage and singing a song called “Cut, Print… Moving On.” Like all the songs on Smash, it is utterly devoid of context; like all the songs on Smash, it seems impossible that there’s any way to combine it with any of the other songs to form something even resembling a comprehensible musical. All pretense that the in-story show, Bombshell, is really a play that people might actually want to watch is abandoned. The song could have easily been called “Here Is the Beginning of the Second Season, We Have a New Creative Team, We Noticed It Too; Aren’t We All Very Clever?”