We keep seeing signs that Imagination Connoisseurs are looking out for and standing by their fellow fans. That gives us a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. For a warm, fuzzy feeling outside, try owning a cat.
A message to a fellow Imagination Connoisseur
Greetings, Rob. Thanks for all the good works!
I don’t mean to use you as my personal messenger service, but I’d like to respond to one of the letters you read recently from Undead Sick. So, with your permission:
Dear Undead Sick, I want to thank you for sharing your letter with Rob and the Post Geek Singularity. Your letter touched me. I’m sorry you experienced bullying growing up. I know that it seems that if you are a fan of genre entertainment that a certain amount of isolation comes with it.
And I know that when you exist in that isolation, it feels like you are the only person to which the bad things are happening. And it becomes real easy to downplay your accomplishments.
So, let me tell you, I’m pushing 60 and I have yet to own a house. And when you mentioned you had bought your own home I was totally impressed. After hearing that, all I can say is: I’m a fan.
That’s all I have to say for now. Just know that you are part of the Post Geek Singularity family and we’re in your corner. We hope we hear from you again. We all bring our own slant to the entertainment industry and it enriches us all to hear it.
I look forward to your next letter, Undead Sick.
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Are you worried about THE ETERNALS?
I’m a bit worried about The Eternals.I’m not losing sleep over it, but I want it to be good.
I’m kind of burned out on superhero movies, and have skipped a lot of them. This one I care about because I dug the original comic so much. I liked the mid-80s revival, and even liked when the Destroyer took on the Celestials in Thor.But doesn’t this cast look too old to play ageless immortals? I like a lot of the cast, especially Kumail Nanjiani. Very talented, funny guy. Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek? Very talented, but too old.
I don’t mind that it’s a “diverse” cast. Kirby drew them all as white, but of course you couldn’t do an Eternals movie with an all-white cast. (It’s 2021, Rob. Get with the program. Feige would end up like Mussolini: killed, stripped naked, upside down in the town square, pelted with tomatoes.
They were supposed to represent Greek gods, so cast Greek actors. Although, no one cared when DC cast an Israeli as Wonder Woman. It’s not necessary to have actors of the exact ethnicity and/or nationality as the characters. Okay, so have a racially diverse cast. Instead of being from Mount Olympus, they could collectively represent all humanity. Fine.
But they’re too old.
I guess they’re going for near-immortals who age more slowly? Sort of like the Wizards in The Lord of the Rings. I’m less crazy about the gender swapping, especially with Ajak. Based on Ajax, a human hero from the Iliad. In that war, the only women fighting were gods. How was Ajax part of it? It would be like making Porthos a chick in The Three Musketeers. (Actually I take that back, that might work. That could be interesting.) Why not then make Thena a dude? That’s only fair. There were already enough good female characters in The Eternals. My favorite was Sersi, based on the sorceress from The Odyssey. Now Sersi is Asian. Okay…but why is she in love with Ikaris? That was never in the comic, and seems to negate the faux-feminism behind a lot of gender swapping. Why not instead some wife swapping? The Eternals could all be swingers.
Of course, gender swapping isn’t always bad. Maybe it’s because I didn’t watch the original, but when they changed Starbuck to a chick for the remake, I didn’t mind. That was a great character, and works better as a female. I don’t know that they would have done that for any P.C. or “woke” reason, but just so it wasn’t such a complete sausage fest. (I hope my use of the word “woke” doesn’t trigger anyone too hard!)
It’s not like I’d refuse to watch something with a female lead character. One of my favorite shows is the 1990 Australian TV sci-fi show “The Girl From Tomorrow.” I wasn’t bothered by the two leads being two girls, and didn’t think I *should* be. I was a big fan of the cop show “Rizzoli and Isles,” with Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Or “Killing Eve,” which I stopped watching because it got too ridiculous. Not because of it having two female leads.
I’m certainly not bothered by a racially diverse cast, if done for the right reasons. My intro to the Green Lantern character was John Stewart, through the animated Justice League. (I would have really dug the Justice League movie if they’d made it more like that cartoon. As in, true to the characters and also fun instead of a “dark and gritty” snoozefest.) John Stewart isn’t a race swap of course. The example people always give of how that can work is Nick Fury. I guess it’s easier to take with relatively minor characters. The Eternals don’t have the place in pop culture that Superman or Spider-Man do, so if you race- and gender-swap them, fewer people care. And like I said, a case could be made for having the Eternals represent all of humanity. (Not that they do. Shouldn’t at least the Polar Eternals be Inuit?!)
It will be interesting to see how Marvel explains the Eternals’ inaction in recent MCU events. They’ll have to break out the tap shoes and do some real fancy footwork. Like how they tried to explain Wakandan inaction. All those evil European empires rampaging across Africa. The transatlantic slave trade. I skipped Black Panther because I always thought he was a lame character. (Aren’t all panthers by definition already black? They have to be. They’re not a species. In the Old World, a panther is a black leopard. In the New World, it’s a black jaguar. Only call him Black Panther if you’re doing it as a blaxploitation movie. Which I suggested, wisely, for Black Superman. Lex Luthor as the evil honkey mad scientist. Awesome.)
Thanos, I thought, was an Eternal. They did nothing to help? Unless it will turn out they were acting behind the scenes. I’ve skipped a lot of these movies, which I found boring. So they might have changed Thanos backstory a lot. I preferred his original motive for killing: to impress Death. I guess he’s still from Titan, but is he an Eternal?
Where is Zuras?
Jack Kirby never wanted the Eternals to be part of the main Marvel Universe. It means doubling up on gods. The Eternals are relegated to mere representatives on Earth of the Olympians. If he’d created them decades later he might have retained creator control.
That trailer bugged me. It was so padded out with so much other garbage. Show me the Eternals! What a ripoff.
I’m still going to see it because I dug those comics so much. The basis for Eternals was the books of Erik von Däniken, Chariots of the Gods and its sequels. A lot of nonsense about aliens building the pyramids and stuff like that. A good basis for a comic book though.
I do wonder how Kirby would have ended the Eternals story if he’d had the chance.Anyway. I hope this letter wasn’t too long for some people, or to use the parlance of our time – too “extra.” 😉
P.S.: The idea of race swapping is usually justified by the ridiculous idea that a person can only identify with someone of their own race. What about swapping of sexual orientation? I forgot to mention the gay Eternal. Phastos. He wasn’t gay in the comics. I loved his character because he was an inventor, a gadget guy, a gearhead. Even though I’m none of those things. I’m also not black. But I loved his character. Why change him to being gay? It makes no more sense than race swapping or gender swapping. Eternals can alter their physical form at will. They could alter things like being gay or straight will equal ease.
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Thanks for everything, Rob!
Just wanted to say I love what you do. I’ve been watching for a while now and quite a lot of the science fiction you talk about here on Robservations goes straight over my head. I was wondering if you could recommend some science fiction films, tv shows and books that every imagination connoisseur needs to have watched/read?
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This Imagination Connoisseur is really upset with DC
Kia Ora Rob (Key-uh, Or-rrah)
(Maori for hello)
Anaru (Un-uh-rroo) here – a New Zealander living in Australia.
I have been watching you since Collider heroes with our late King of the sweaties Jon Schnepp. Miss him. 😔 I still enjoy watching you and John (Campea) on TJCS or Robservations. I appreciate your guys understanding of how the movie industry works, or doesn’t, depending on many factors.
As a life long fan of comic books, and these characters (Marvel & DC), how can one group get it so right (Marvel) while the other gets it so wrong (DC)?
I mean it’s frustrating beyond belief!WB consistently pisses off their fans (not knowing their audience wants & needs, when they constantly voice their opinion) their Actors (Gal & Ray treated disrespectfully), their directors (Nolan, Villeneuve & others, going behind their back re: HBO Max), I mean – they just go from one bad decision to another 🙄.
I understand that “in part”, they’re decision making is bound by fiscal responsibility, but it seems like WB only… make their decisions based on money? I.e. we lost “X” amount of dollars, or.. it’ll cost “X” amount of dollars, or.. Man of Steel “should have” made “X” amount of dollars (says who???).
It’s all about money💰, or getting a quick win by doing whats the in thing right now i.e. race swapping Supes for example, not Calvin Ellis, or Val Zod, but just straight race swapping Supes. 🙄😤 They just come across as lying untrust-worthy 🔨 money grabbing suits.
They lack respect (for the material, audience, and creatives – they just care about money) Kevin Feige and Marvel have EARNED… the most successful film franchise in the history of Hollywood in Only 11 years… by doing the exact opposite!
•WB have next to no level of cohesion and continuity. (See fox X-Men also for continuity)
•Marvel fits it movies & now series together like pieces of a large jigsaw 🧩 puzzle, and while not all pieces are perfect, the overall tapestry is beautiful.
•WB has virtually Zero👌 brand loyalty, No faith & trust with the fans. (The fans play a “we’ll wait and see” approach)
•Marvel has so much good will and faith, the audience just trusts almost everything they do. People know the brand and generally speaking they know what they’ll get. Much like Nike, McDonalds, Coke-a-cola, Sushi, & the All Blacks (NZ national rugby 🏉 team – The most successful sports team in the History of the world with a 84% win record in Over.. 100 years by the way 😆)
Anyways, I just wanted to say I love your work, I’m so frustrated with WB because I care about these characters, and the great storytelling we’re missing out on.
If only Kevin Feige had DC, we would be like Jeff Bezos, King Soloman, and Mansa Musa, some of the richest people to have ever lived!
(In stories, not money)
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Another look at our nostalgic past from our disappointing future.
Oh mighty Robcaster! How your discussion of the 1980s has hit me in all the right ways! Like you, I am very much a child of the 1980s, as I was born in the Year of Physical Graffiti and Wish You Were Here. For me, perhaps, the time was extremely formative. The hope and optimism of the 1980s are, I suspect, as you pointed out, very much a draw. Let me explain my perspective.
I spent a good portion of that decade growing up in Germany. My father was in the Army and travel every few years was part of the deal. This was unavoidable and at one point, we packed up and went to Germany. During this time, my curiousity about the world around me was awakened, and eventually, even as a young lad, my interests turned to history. Eventually my interests were drawn to a city called West Berlin. (Damn, if that doesn’t give away my age!)I’d come home with maps of Berlin with the four sectors on them, and show them to my father, and ask him to explain what this was about. And so he did, and that left me with more questions than answers. At one point, late in my third grade year, my father announced that he had to travel to West Berlin on business. “You in or are you out?” he asked. Damn skippy I wanted to go there myself and see this Berlin Wall I was reading so much about. I wouldn’t get to go until I was in fourth grade, and when my fourth grade teacher found out I was going to Berlin, she insisted that I go to the museum at Checkpoint Charlie dedicated to showing how people escaped East Germany. She had been there and she was so enthusiastic at the thought of my going there, I honestly thought she was going to call my parents and tell them everything we needed to see once we got there.
Sure enough, I got to see that museum and much else besides. It’s all ingrained in my memory even now, and to make it even better, we drove there, through Checkpoints Alpha, Bravo, AND Charlie. I say all this to set this up: had the 14 year old me gone up to the nine year old me and said “See all this? It’s going to be gone before you turn 15”, I would have thought me insane. Yet that is exactly what happened. What was a less than ideal situation, to say the least, that was seemingly set in concrete, never to move, was gone, and the world had forever changed for the better before the 1980s ended. For me, such things epitomize the optimism of the decade. I could go on, but I’ll address one other thing: the music.
By the way, ANY time you mention Los Angeles, or especially L.A., I say to myself, “nobody walks in L.A.” 🙂 Yes, I get a little obsessive about music. And what a decade to go through to open up with. Just grab a given top 40 list. The diversity on the list is astounding to me, especially now. I began that decade with my parents getting me a turntable with an AM/FM radio for Christmas, and I spent my time perusing the music available on the air at the time.
To this day, I can’t listen to 80s pop without thinking of these times. I had two older sisters who were all into the music scene, to make things more interesting. As a bonus, when we were living in Germany we were exposed to what people in Europe were listening to as well as what was big, music wise, back home in America. I remember well not only listening to not just AFN Radio, but also German radio, and from time to time my sister would go into town to the record store to buy some albums, and it was here we were further exposed to the European music scene. It was here she, and by extension, I, would hear of a band that at the time barely registered in the United States: Depeche Mode, who for me is probably one of the most innovative bands to come out of the 1980s. (When they eventually took off after we had moved back to the States, my sister and I were of the mind “where have you been?)
Perhaps most important, though, was the fact that as much music as I heard in the 1980s, I began the decade as a curious boy surfing radio channels and listening to all the pop music I could, and ended it as a teenage headbanger. My older sisters were all into the glam rock/hair metal bands of the time, but I turned to the heavier, and more dangerous, world of heavy metal. They were all about bands like Warrant, Slaughter, and Poison; I was quickly finding myself in league with Slayer, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Metallica and the like.
I guess the point of all this rambling is that all your points made about the 1980s were valid, and it’s not surprising that the 80s really haven’t left us. The innovation, creativity, and optimism that typified the decade are all draws. (Did I mention that the pop music of the time was, quite simple, fun and joyous?) And as a final note, this was probably the last decade where students in schools were told by teachers that we need to learn the ways of computers as they are the way of the future!
In fifth grade I took a class called “computer literacy”. Do they even have such things in schools today? My family wouldn’t have a computer in the family until the mid-1990s – and I was the one who bought it! As such, we all had to interact with each other personally, instead of hiding behind screens, e-mails and texts, and I suspect, we all had to be more civil with each other, as no one would dream of behaving toward each other as they do on, say, Twitter.
If nothing else, civility (for the most part) and basic human interaction – that’s enough reason to continue to venerate this decade that hasn’t truly left us.
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So, should it be SUPER-man or super-MAN?
Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,
Since we are getting a new Superman movie, which J.J Abrams will produce and Ta Nehisi Coates will write, I started thinking about what I want to see in a Superman movie.
Often times, we will hear about how hard it is to write for Superman because creators are not sure how to create conflict for him.However, in my experience of reading the comics and seeing adaptations of Superman, the best Superman stories are the ones which focus on the “man” aspect, not the “super”. Looking at the first 2 Richard Donner movies, the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini/ Alan Burnett DCAU animated series, and comics like Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman, and both Alan Moore’s For The Man Who Has Everything and Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow, those stories worked because they focused on the “man”, not the “super”.
So, with that said, a story I think would make a great Superman movie, where the focus is on the “man” not the “super” is an adaptation of the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale comic series, For All Seasons.
It’s a very sweet and sentimental story about the core of who Superman is and what he is about.
While I would not have a problem with this, the only problem, I think, people would have with this story would be the same problem some people had with Superman Returns, which was the lack of action scenes. There are some set pieces in this story, but I don’t know if it would be enough for some people. The set pieces in this story, which I can recall, are a tornado, a burning building, Superman going underwater and bringing a submarine out of the ocean, and Superman stopping a speeding train. I think there are more, but I cannot completely recall them.
I know we are getting a completely different take on Superman now, with Abrams and Coates, but I would be really interested in seeing a story like For All Seasons made.
Thanks, live long and prosper.
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