This weekend, my daughter and I saw The Lego Batman Movie. This was to make up for that time I promised her we would go see The Lego Movie, but secretly I didn’t want to, and then we never saw it. She likes to remind me of that from time to time, and also that lying is wrong.
Anyway, I don’t know how The Lego Movie is, but The Lego Batman Movie is very cute. Their little Lego bodies are cute. Their little Lego faces are cute. The references to various movie villains is super-cute, because AWWWWW THEIR SAURON IS MADE OF LEGOS IT IS SO CUTE.
I’ve heard people describe The Lego Batman Movie as the best Batman movie ever, because those silly guys clearly aren’t familiar with this work of staggering genius, and also my personal fave from the late ’80s.
I mean, it’s got a pretty potent storyline (Lego Batman is afraid of losing people, probably because he has lost Legos in the carpet before and then stepped on them with his bare feet), but the best Batman movie ever?
It doesn’t even have Batdance!
My biggest problem with Powerless is that every time Vanessa Hudgens is on the screen (and she is the main character, so she is on the screen a lot), I get really angry because she is a national park-grafittiying jerk.
Anyway, her character is the perky, always-look-on-the-bright-side kind of person that just rubs me the wrong way.
But the show itself is funny, and I like the other characters, because they are mean and broken like me, and also they hate Vanessa Hudgens, because how can you not?
The pilot episode establishes that the characters work for Bruce Wayne, inventing things to protect the powerless from supervillains (and also the fallout from superheroes, as evidenced by one character saying the number one cause of workplace injury is Superman crashing through windows), and they’re not doing great, and everyone gets fired, but then Vanessa Hudgens comes up with a brainstorm, which is silly, because she is NOT an idea man, and then all their jobs are saved. And then Batman uses a similar invention to fight a bad guy, and the characters and my daughter are all like: “Wow, what a coincidence,” and I shook my head in shame because I have told my daughter Batman’s secret identity so many times I probably qualify as a supervillain by now.
In one corner, we have the best lady android ever, R. Dorothy Wayneright. She is the sidekick of the Japanese Batman, who wears nice suits and pilots a giant robot, making him even more awesome than regular Batman.
In the other corner, we have Robin, who is the sidekick of regular Batman, who is actually pretty awesome, even if he doesn’t pilot a giant robot.
Who shall win? Let’s find out, why not.
Physicality. Robin is an athletic teenage boy or young man in his early 20s, depending on your source. I mean, sure, who doesn’t like athletic young men, amiright? R. Dorothy Wayneright is a robot designed to look like a young woman with a really cute pageboy. Winner? I’m a sucker for girls with cute pageboys. R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Is a fighting machine? Robin has been trained to be a fighting machine by Batman, the fightiest of all the fighting superheroes. On the other hand, R. Dorothy Wayneright is actually a machine. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Lives in a post-apocalyptic world, or possibly a Matrix-esque simulation? Robin lives in, like, our world, except physics is insane there, which must be nice, because people can fly and whatever. R. Dorothy Wayneright lives in Paradigm City, where everybody lost their memories 40 years ago, after some sort of apocalyptic scenario, or else everything is just a Matrix-esque simulation and life is only a fleeting dream. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
Has a better code name? Dick Grayson’s code name is Robin, which is a pretty, pretty bird. R. Dorothy Wayneright’s code name is R. Dorothy Wayneright, because awesome lady androids don’t need code names, that why. Winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright.
This battle is seeming pretty lopsided. Yeah, I’m rewatching The Big O, and I remembered how much I love R. Dorothy Wayneright, and I never have liked Robin, but I haven’t had any good blog ideas lately, so I thought, hey! Why not?
So should we just call it then? Yes. Yes, we should.
Overall winner? R. Dorothy Wayneright, the best lady android ever!
The thing about the new Superman movie is it looks just DULL. Like SO BORING. Like I literally find myself nodding off during the 30-second TV spots because YAWN.
I don’t blame the actors for this (although both Affleck and Cavill come off a little wooden). I’m not sure I even blame Zack Snyder (although he really does beat a dead horse, stylistically). I kind of blame the studio (because Nolan’s Dark Knight movies were successful, so they’re like: “Dark! Darker! The Darkest!”). But mostly, I blame us. Because some of us went to see Man of Steel, even though it looked like poo and Superman was a big whiny baby, “boo-hoo, I am like a god to you people, it’s so HARD to fit in,” and he murdered civilians and Zod (but who cares if Zod isn’t Terence Stamp, you know?).
I blame you people. You people, of whom there were enough who watched Man of Steel that they went ahead and made a sequel.
I hope you’ve learned your lesson.
Lately, you’ve decided you want to fight crime and battle evil, but you know you haven’t got the chutzpah to manage solo. Luckily for you, there’s a whole, wonderful world of sidekickery to satisfy your vigilante needs!
So who should you team up with? Well, good news! I’ve made a list of heroes who tend to work in duos or would, at least, be amenable to that sort of thing.
1. Batman. The Dark Knight seems like the kind of guy who’d prefer working solo, so he can brood and stuff, but it turns out he doesn’t mind spending time with pubescent boys! The plus side is you’d get to work with Batman. The negative side is he’d want you to wear that outfit.
2. Sherlock Holmes. Another loner type, it turns out Holmes is happiest when he has someone stupider than him hanging about so he can show off his marvelous intellect. Luckily for Holmes, everyone is stupider than him, so it’s not like he needs to slum. The plus side is now you’re John Watson! The negative side is if you’re not actually John Watson, you don’t really get to spend time with Sherlock Holmes.
3. Captain America. Captain America had Buddy, which, as a superhero sidekick name, is even worse than Robin. The plus side is Buddy totally turned evil, so Captain America is absolutely in the market for a new sidekick. The other, even better plus side is that Captain America looks like Chris Evans now. The negative side is there is no negative side. Run to him! Run to Captain America!
4. Green Arrow. Green Arrow is like Robin Hood, but he wears even more green than a man trying to blend into a forest landscape. He’s worked with Speedy and, apparently, Speedy II, because why shouldn’t sidekicks have sequels, right? The negative side is you’d probably be stuck lugging all his arrows around. I can’t think of a plus side.
5. The Green Hornet. The Green Hornet is another guy who wears green to fight crime. I’m not sure why this is a thing. I don’t know much about him, except that Bruce Lee was really great. So, actually, I don’t know anything about the Green Hornet, except that Kato was his sidekick, and Kato was great. The plus side is you’d be the new Kato. The negative side is we live in a world without Bruce Lee.
6. Superman. I know it seems like Superman works alone, because, seriously, who can keep up with a demigod who has all the superpowers? But you’re forgetting the plucky Jimmy Olsen, who is absolutely useless, but never gets laser-visioned by Supes! The plus side is you’d probably never be in danger because of your association with Superman, as you would be like a gnat compared to the monstrous villains he faces. The negative side is gnats get squished.
7. Archie. I’m just putting Archie here because I found Jughead on a list of sidekicks. They probably fight crime sometimes, I don’t know.
8. Iron Man. Iron Man is a guy who wears, like, a robot to fight crime. As War Machine, you would also get to wear a robot, and you would have an even cooler name. The plus side is those things I just listed. The negative side is wearing a robot sounds heavy.
9. The Flash. The Flash’s sidekick is Kid Flash, although I think maybe Kid Flash is the Flash now, and has a new Kid Flash? Also, doesn’t it seem like Speedy should be the Flash’s sidekick, and not Green Arrow’s? The plus side is you’d get to move at speeds that are fatal to most mortals. The negative side is you probably have to have some kind of mysterious accident, like getting struck by lightning while petting a cheetah, to gain that ability.
10. Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman doesn’t need a sidekick. Wonder Woman works alone. Wonder Woman is an Amazon goddess, and she can kick ass all on her own, unlike the boys here. The plus side is that Wonder Woman seems nice, so she’d probably let you hang around and pretend like you’re sidekicking. The negative side is seriously, kid, she can handle this on her own, so why don’t you just step out of the way?
I’m so sorry, guys! I tried to watch Gotham, really I did, because I know you count on my opinions to help you make choices about your day-to-day entertainment needs.
But the truth is: I couldn’t even make it to the credits. It was just that terrible. It was so terrible. It was really, really terrible.
So I’ll review the few minutes I watched of Gotham, because it’s either that or, ugh, work. Also, because I forgot Gotham was happening, this is a review of the first few minutes of the second episode, not the series premiere.
Gotham opened up with some very fake-looking buildings scrolling past, like the result of either the cheapest CGI ever, or a kid with some scissors, markers and cardboard. If these are actual buildings somewhere, that architect should be shot, because they just look so phony.
Then we’re in an alley and Catgirl is there. She’s Catgirl because she’s not a woman yet, that’s why.
Anyway, she’s homeless and doing your standard TV homeless routine, when all of a sudden a bus pulls up with, I think, Lili Taylor and that guy who’s in everything hopping out to offer sandwiches to the homeless kids. So of course Lili Taylor and that one guy stab the kids with needles filled with, I don’t know, date-rape drugs or something, except Catgirl because she didn’t want a sandwich, and this old dude, who gets killed by that one guy. Then one of the kids escapes, so that one guy chases him and ends up throwing him through the fakest window ever. All of this happens in front of tons of witnesses, because they are the worst criminals ever, I don’t care how corrupt the Gotham police department is.
Speaking of corrupt police, the next scene is Detective Bland White Guy Who’s An Honest Cop and his partner Donal Logue Who Is So Corrupt He Could Only Be Playing Harvey Bullock. (Side note: I couldn’t remember Harvey Bullock’s name at all, and I was tempted to go through my issues of Gotham Central to find out, but then I got distracted wondering why they didn’t just make Gotham Central into a TV series, because that would be awesome, so then I had to google it).
They show up at the crime scene with the dead old guy, and then they meet up with yet another corrupt cop, and Detective Blandy McBoringPants drops this line:
“You’re not a bad person, but you’re a bad cop.”
Like, ugh, seriously, who is writing this dialogue? Are their parents ashamed of them? I bet their parents are ashamed of them.
Then we head off to the precinct, where the kid who got thrown through the window is waiting for Detective Boring Guy and Donal Logue, and after some threats of violence and the kid proclaiming Gotham doesn’t care about homeless kids, I said, “Oh my god, this just keeps getting more terrible, I am turning off the TV until Brooklyn Nine Nine comes back on,” and then I did.
One is a magical penguin from Adventure Time.
The other is a guy who looks like a Penguin from the pages of your favorite Batman comics.
Which one’s better? Eh, it’s obviously the magical penguin, because penguins are soooo cute, and magic is really great!
But let’s try for a semblance of fairness here.
On to the battle!
Physicality. Gunter is a penguin. As previously mentioned, penguins are soooo cute. Cartoon penguins are also extremely cute. Gunter is a magical cartoon penguin, and he is soooo cute! The Penguin, on the other hand, isn’t a penguin at all, but a man who wears tuxedos and/or resembles a penguin. That’s not so cute. Winner? Gunter, the adorable magical cartoon penguin. So cute!
Eviler? The Penguin is a Batman villain and, as such, is evil. And who can blame him, really, after being born a grotesque freak who resembles a mad penguin — wouldn’t anyone turn their rage on a cruel and unloving God and a cruel and unloving world? Then again, Gunter the adorable magical penguin once met a soul-sucking demon who declared Gunter to be the most evil being he had ever come across. Look, folks, if a soul-sucking demon tells you you’re evil, you are so evil. Winner? Gunter.
A more dapper dresser? The penguin wears tuxedos. That’s pretty dapper. Gunter usually goes around naked, as penguins do, but once he wore a skirt made of socks. It was really cute. Gunter is really cute.
Winner? The Penguin.
Has a better arch-nemesis? As a resident of the magical land of Ooo, when Gunter acts up, he gets schooled by Finn the Human and Jake the Dog. I wouldn’t really call them his arch-nemeses, though. The Penguin, like all other Batman villains, has a pretty badass nemesis in Batman. Winner? The Penguin.
Is magical? Gunter the adorable magical penguin is magical! Glory be! Winner? Gunter.
Lives in a post-apocalyptic world? The magical land of Ooo was built upon the crumbling remains of an empire that spanned a continent, and was possibly America. You don’t get much more post-apocalyptic than that. Gunter lives in Ooo, and also the best children’s cartoon ever, you should totally watch it. The Penguin lives in Gotham City, which is maybe New York, maybe not, but definitely pre- to mid-apocalypse rather than post-. Winner? Gunter, the magical penguin, who is totally one of my favorites.
Has a cooler attack? Gunter likes pushing glass bottles onto the ground so they break, and also sometimes pecking at you with his hideous penguin beak.
The Penguin likes strapping bombs to penguins, or maybe stabbing you with his umbrella. Winner? The Penguin, I guess, even though murdering penguins is terrible, at least his attack is more terrifying than, you know, breaking glass bottles.
Overall winner? As predicted, Gunter, the adorable magical evil penguin wins it all! Hooray! Hooray for Gunter!
That’s … certainly a casting choice.
So I’ve decided that some movies should be re-made so as to accommodate my new fetish: Watching Benedict Cumberbatch hurt people.
Here is a list of those movies, in no particular order:
Because Benedict Cumberbatch already killed Robocop with his bare hands, and they’re planning on remaking it anyway, so why not, you know?
2. Terminator 2
The original Terminator would be OK too, but I really think of Benedict Cumberbatch as a liquid metal type of emotionless android rather than an old-school Schwarzenegger-type.
I don’t know much about Taken, except that Liam Neeson hurts a lot of people in it, so I would be fine with a shot-for-shot remake of Benedict Cumberbatch doing the same.
4. The Bourne movies
I know even less about the Bourne movies than I do about Taken, except that Matt Damon is not as attractive as Benedict Cumberbatch.
Not that I think The Thing needed to be remade, because it didn’t and it doesn’t, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Benedict Cumberbatch kill aliens with a flamethrower.
6. Sherlock Holmes
Both the first one and the other one, not that I think they’re good movies, but Benedict Cumberbatch makes a wonderful Sherlock Holmes and I wuv him.
Because, unlike Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t look permanently teenaged, so I could totally buy him as a masked avenger.
Hah, no, I’m kidding. Versus is practically perfect in every way.
9. The Matrix
10. Star Trek: Into Darkness
OK, I know this movie was just released, and also that Benedict Cumberbatch is actually in it, but now is the time for the producers to remedy their grievous error and re-insert the shower scene.
Dear Milligan (a character in The Mysterious Benedict Society, the books I’m currently reading to my daughter),
I love you.
Sure, part of it is because everybody else is so damned wholesome and sweet, because you live in a children’s book, but the other part of it is because you are the Batman of said children’s books. Actually, that’s the biggest part of it, because who doesn’t love Batman?
There are many wonderful things about you, from the way you wear disguises while kicking ass to the way you sometimes don’t wear disguises while kicking ass. Also, you seem to be pretty good with kids, which is awesome, because did I mention I’m reading your books to my daughter right now? Also, I’m pretty immature, so there’s that, too.
Now, I know you’re pretty busy what with going off on your secret spy missions and protecting the group of children under your care and kicking serious ass, but I hope you’d be able to make the time for a candlelit dinner. Or, if not that, maybe we could bomb a warehouse together? I mean an evil warehouse, of course, because lately I’ve been trying to use my powers for good. Or at least mediocrity.
Anyway, I’m up for a secret mission or two if you are! We could kick so much ass together, or you could, and I could try to stay out of the way and not get hit by any flying debris or murder pencils or whatever.
I’ll be waiting to hear from you!