Simple Answers no. 10: Why is Suicide Squad getting so much hate?

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 3, 2016 10:54:14 AM

suicide-squad-title-card.gifThis is a recurring segment, with a recently-updated title, "Simple Answers," where I gather the questions I come across on the Internet in a given week, and provide a straightforward answer.

This week's question again addresses the controversial DC Extended Universe movies. Previously, we drilled down into the reasons why Zack Snyder is allowed to keep making movies.

Today, we talk about why the Batman V Superman follow-up Suicide Squad is getting so much hate.

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Topics: Review, video games, whiny questions, simple answers, shared universe

Star Trek Beyond's Plot is a Middle Finger to Isolation and Pessimism

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM

star-trek-beyond-title-card.gifYou might notice there are three separate condemnations of haywiring isolationist psychos hitting the movies this summer.

The timing couldn't be better if God himself carved it into the walls of his prison cell with a toothbrush shank like this is the year we finally get out. We're going through the final, painful transformation.

First, we had Civil War (go team Cap), wherein Iron Man wants to take authority from Captain freaking America. Next, we spent three hours learning that Batman is a violent, childlike weirdo who grew up wrong.

This brings us to Star Trek Beyond. It's unfortunate the film was built as a space action-adventure, which it is: but it's also a prescient moral lesson about mankind's obsession with war, domination, and life's emptiness when we stare into the universe bucking and exploding within our own skulls.

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Topics: Review, storytelling analysis, Movie Review

Simple Answers no. 8: Why do people hate Pokemon Go?

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 18, 2016 12:00:00 PM

pokemon-go-squirtle.jpgThis is a recurring segment, with a recently-updated title, "Simple Answers," where I gather the questions I come across on the Internet in a given week, and provide a straightforward answer.

This week's question again concerns the summertime mobile-phone phenomenon, Pokemon Go.

Never mind the fact that the game is inviting traumatized war veterans and autistic children to socialize in public in a safe environment, there are clusters of people that are outright opposed to the game.

Why is that?

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Topics: Review, online etiquette, video games, technology

Differences in Batman V Superman Ultimate Cut Explained | Zack Snyder Movie Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jun 26, 2016 12:48:05 PM

superman-missed-the-bomb.gifBatman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is an F+ movie. It hums a very weird tune compared to its contemporaries. It hates Superman. It wants Batman to be its dad. Its Lex Luthor reads as a self-proclaimed alpha male's opinion on modern wealth. It is an advertisement, a vision-statement, a joyless creature with cracked skin, bleeding at the seams.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - Ultimate Cut (BvS) is not an F+ movie. It's a much better movie. Its thesis actually makes sense. I'll dissect the film's updated version here, point out the differences in the two separate cuts, and shine light on its more bizarre choices.

First, understand the statements BvS makes in its characterizations of the two protagonists: Superman is conflicted, and Batman is in the wrong.

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Topics: Review, Movie Review, shared universe

Unfinished Video Game Micro-Reviews: Monster Hunter 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Max Payne 3, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Included here are four micro-reviews for major video game releases from a few years ago. You may remember them. You may not. Still, enough time has passed to give them a more thorough, unbiased perspective.

There is tremendous hype and mindshare that influences criticism on creative endeavors. I pointed this out in my study of Paradise Lost ages ago. As they are now, videogames are disposable candy snacks, like a rockabilly single from the 1950's, meant to spin on a radio turntable for a month, only to be replaced by the next single. Then very smart people started enjoying music, listening to music, and producing music of their own.

The same can be said of film. Formerly just little image reels, movies got, uh, big, to put it lightly, and EVERYONE wants to BE movies, be they athlete, rapper, or videogame. That artisitc perspective came with time.

I will not flex any muscle to say the micro-reviews included below are set to become celebrated triumphs five decades from now. None of them is the Citizen Kane of videogames (we won't know that for about 20 years after the assumed videogame is released). Nevertheless, these are THINKABLE games.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review, Game Review, PS3 Review

Every Instance, Actually, Of Mansplaining In Dan Brown's "INFERNO"

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 9, 2016 12:00:00 PM


Most are familiar with the Dan Brown novels starring the knowledgeable art history professor / symbologist (sic) / smart-dad Robert Langdon character. He's the hero of Angels & DemonsThe Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno

His adventures carry him to European cities including Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, and also to Cincinnati once, but we don't talk about that one, all while extolling knowledge on jerks who haven't opened a history book in a while.

People who just don't really think too much, alright?

Like James Bond, except American, and tweed, and definitely not a sexist jerk, Langdon always gets a new Gal-Friday in every story. One time, the female lead was a yoga master. Another time, the female lead might've been the descendant of Jesus (Christ).

In Book 4 of Langdon's adventures, Inferno, he finds himself with a gunshot wound to the head and retrograde amnesia in a hospital in Florence, Italy.

Despite this, he manages to overcome his concussion-like symptoms and be smarter than every woman he meets. He even manages to teach the sheeeeeple a little something as they run from deadly, who the heck cares?

He mansplains his way across Europe. Here's every instance of it, along with a few other male characters following his example:

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Topics: Review

The Only Perfect Destiny Review On The Internet

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Nov 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM


Destiny is a $60 bookshelf.

Part 1: Why Is It So Hard To Reviews Destiny?

Bad marketing can turn insecure people into jerks.

You've seen folks of that sort, their words weed-whacker buzzing and thrashing all about the Internet, summoning the jargon they've been taught to justify a purchase. Good jargon indicates good marketing and good long-tail marketing contains language to turn customers into delighted evangelists. Ideally, these people promote a product long after the purchase. Once the person has bought the item, and experienced it, they’ll want to talk about its worth beyond the dollar amount applied to it. It doesn't matter if it's a $1000 iPhone 6 pre-order or a $60 copy of Destiny. When certain people buy things, they’re going to have to talk themselves into the purchase again and again.

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Topics: Review, PS4 Review, Game Review

Transcendence | Stupid Sci-Fi Movie Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 15, 2014 12:00:00 PM

“Why don’t you just turn it off?” Rebecca Hall’s character, Evelyn, chides during TRANSCENDENCE’s opening.

part i | TRANSCENDENCE is full of bad ideas


What high school sophomore scribbled this story, eyes leering in bored desperation at the stains on the classroom ceiling, searching for a clear thought as his math and home-ec classes ooze and BLORP together? Truly, if a high school sophomore conceived of the story of a man that dies and is reborn again as a godlike computer through his wife’s pants-on, lights-on, Facetime-on-iPad love-facsimile, then it was most certainly proof-written by his gluten-free former-missionary Earth Sciences teacher.

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Topics: Review, Movie Review

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge | Nintendo Wii U review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 1, 2014 12:00:00 PM

"The last of his people comes to a strange land."

part i | Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge is a suicide note

As a reminder, only sociopaths take full, physical glee in videogame violence.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge positions the series' main character, Ryu Hayabusa, as an outdated, barbaric relic. All he does is slaughter. He's kept his face hidden. He hardly talks. His favorite weapon is a sword, one sharp enough to hack off limbs. You can't track him. His agility is inhuman. Other global forces from outside Japan whisper tall tales about the ninja and just how many people he has killed in his life. The actions of a videogame character are being dragged into a realer light—what, did you think nobody would notice when you just spent two full games leaping over rooftops, summoning demons to modern cities, killing the demons, beheading people, and then vanishing off into the secluded hills of Japan. It's like, man, Japan is full of psychos, isn't it?

In games and in real life, I mean. Right? There is a western videogame producer somewhere snorting over his early-morning Monster Energy Drink, wondering who makes a game where your avatar is a masked, remorseless bladestorm in this day and age? When will the Japanese learn that that isn't what videogames are about anymore?

Ryu the super-ninja is outdated.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review, Game Review

In Defense Of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Dec 16, 2013 12:00:00 PM

With the two Hobbit movies, we, the people that bother to think, and wonder, and hope for good movies set in worlds other than our own, are living the life. We are not living well, though.

The movies are so long. They serve so many masters, standing trial accused of Being A Chopped-Up Hobbit Movie and three charges of Being A Lord Of The Rings Movie. There are a lot of places for them to go wrong and send out ripples of wrong across all of that real estate.

Two questions arise:

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Topics: Review, Movie Review

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