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  1. - Top - End - #421
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thecommander236 View Post
    To be fair, why the hell did Loki decide to **** over his daughter so badly on the first place? I'm sure he had some reason for it, but it's still an incredibly horrible thing to do even if he is chaotic evil.
    We don't know. One theory says he wanted to screw over both Thor and Hel so that he would come out on top of both and get extra souls. Another theory says he didn't have any goals, he just wanted to stir **** up because that's what he does. Yet another one says he wanted to have fun while teaching Hel a lesson and he didn't foresee how bad things would get, perhaps because he didn't think the world would last this long or simply because he underestimated the impact on Hel. My pet theory is similar: Loki wanted to have fun while teaching Hel a lesson, but in his calculation he foresaw that the eventual demolition of the world would give Hel a huge boost, which in his mind would compensate any hardship she experienced beforehand. If his daughter became stronger than Thor or even the new queen of the pantheon, he'd be proud and also find it hilarious. But I think his priorities changed when he realized the Dark One's quiddity could change everything.

    But if Hel is suggesting that most worlds get undone by the Snarl, this theory has a serious weakness.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thecommander236 View Post
    To be fair, why the hell did Loki decide to **** over his daughter so badly on the first place? I'm sure he had some reason for it, but it's still an incredibly horrible thing to do even if he is chaotic evil.
    My guess is he didn't realize it would be THIS bad for her, and he assumed the world would end before Hel got in serious danger of dying. But now that Purple Quiddity has shown up he has to save the world and prolong Hel's suffering.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Incompetence? The entire movie, the enemies are shown to be incredibly competent (the only time they appear incompetent is when they are letting the heroes escape, which the movie explicitly states is intentional on their part, which conveys competence), and Luke is shown to be able to fly by skill and merit of his own. If you disagree... I don't know what to say.


    A staff and a lightsaber could be quite similar, and we've got nothing in-movie to suggest otherwise.

    Trust me, I'm very familiar with how the T16 and the T65 are supposed to be similar. It's still going from an atmospheric crop duster to an intergalactic piece of military hardware, with no time to get accustomed to any differences, being thrust immediately into a dogfight against the most superior weapon the Empire had available and an entire squad of TIE fighters with turbolasers lighting up the skies in the meantime (the film also explicitly states that the ships can evade the turbolasers, but that means actively evading them, which adds complexity to flying, especially in a dogfight against enemy fighters), and Darth Vader and his personal wingmen.

    I say again, if you think any part of this is supposed to convey incompetence on the enemies instead of supreme skill on Luke's part... I don't know what to say.


    He favors that side, he is constantly making pained expressions, and he moves poorly compared to before. Seems like they show him being affected by that blast. Were you expecting him to turn to the camera and say "I am weakened by being shot"?
    They can't hit anyone when shooting at them? How the hell is this competence? It's like they never held rifles before. The protagonists aren't pulling off Matrix-esque stunts. If stormtroopers shooting at the floor instead of at the protagonists in front of them is supposed to convey supreme skill on the protagonists' part... I don't know what to say.

    For the sake of argument, I went to watch the fight scene again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWF0f183tSA

    Starts off with... Rey overpowering Kylo on a force pull, nabbing her lightsaber while he was trying to take it. then they fight a bit, and Rey's on the defensive, because, you know, dramatic tension. They they get to the ledge, and she's in a bad spot (dramatic tension), and then she focuses, and knocks him back, and kicks his ass. She drew first blood. She wounds him, again and again, kicks him down. He's now visibly in pain. And she proceeds to victory.

    To be honest, I don't recall when he gets shot. I don't see him getting shot in these scene. If he was shot prior to where the clip begins, he displays absolutely no signs of being wounded in that battle. I went and found a clip that goes a bit that goes further back. And we see Finn getting his ass kicked, though slipping in a small flesh wound. Honestly, I didn't like that at all either, I don't really like anything about Finn. A deserting storm trooper just raises so many questions. But him picking up lightsabers and being good with them, too? He's not even force-sensitive, as far as we know. And why does he have a number for a name, when Han didn't? I digress.

    Quote Originally Posted by BasiliskSoldier View Post
    I got the impression that the Rebels were pretty tight on time, and didn't have the time for anything but maybe a quick 101 session.

    With complex pieces of equipment, even between similar models, people generally require training to get accustomed. I speak from personal experience with that. Luke knows how to fly an atmospheric light aircraft, and he should pick up some skills that can be transferred to a spacecraft that controls similarly. But he's still never flown out-of-atmos before, and to our knowledge he's never flown in a combat scenario against a target that could shoot back.

    Luke is able to make the leap from in-atmos commerical model aircraft to military grade spacecraft and still be ungodly levels of talented is a a bigger leap than 'Someone who's proficient with a staff is also able to use a sword effectively'. I think both of those are pretty easy leaps to make, especially when both characters have space Magic on their side.



    Rey actually has a pretty decent explanation for all her skills. She's proficient with a Staff, because it's a skill she picked up as a scavenger on a lawless frontier planet. She frequently does work for Unkar Plutt on his collection of spaceships, doing maintenence work on some (presumably including the Falcon) and even flying some in-atmos. She can climb sheer faces, established immediately as a skill necessary to scavenge Starship husks.

    As far as force goes, she does a mind trick on a stormtrooper and after a bit of training is able to make some rocks float. I don't think either of those were presented as difficult tasks in universe. She's also able to defeat an opponent of superior skill because he was severely injured and suffering an emotional crisis.

    I don't think Rey is a great character, but nothing she does strains my suspension of disbelief.
    But Luke doesn't have ungodly levels of talent with the x-wing. He just does really basic manoeuvers. The ones pulling off amazing stunts are Han and Rey. One of which had a ton of experience with his specific ship, the other never flew before. Spot the difference.

    TIE fighters aren't amazing pieces of engineering. I don't care what the lore says on that, that's not what we see. They fly clumsily, slowly, have bad targeting systems, and their pilots keep crashing into everything. They are basically China-made toys flown by children. That's what we see on screen. If I play tag with my kids and I keep winning, it doesn't really prove that I'm awesome at tag.

    We don't see Luke doing mind tricks before the third movie, where we also see him fail with them. He clearly struggles lifting things when taught how to do so by Yoda.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    Luke blocked three laser blasts in the first training scene, with no prior combat experience. With a blinding blast helmet on. So tell me why you think Rey, who also has the Force, and who has combat experience with a staff, should be worse (or no better) than Luke in her first attempt.
    And he also misses shots and gets hurt and discouraged. We don't see Rey /failing/ all that often...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yirggzmb View Post
    My theory is that Luke grew up being shielded from hearing about the force out of fear he'd end up like his father, so part of his learning was to let go of the idea things weren't possible. Meanwhile, Rey grew up hearing all the great stories and rumors about what Luke and other force users had done, perhaps making her more likely to experiment sooner and believe that it might work.

    Also I've seen some people speculate that Kylo mucking about in her head "unlocked" some of her force abilities. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but I could buy that it could have reminded her of what she had heard about the force and made her want to try.
    Luke was born the moment the republic fell and the jedi were slaughtered. Everyone just merely a few years older than him would know all about the jedi. Watto, in the prequels, proves that even in remote systems like Tattoine, they knew what a jedi was and about mind tricks. Heck, even Anakin did, as a boy, when he saw Qui-Gon's lightsaber he immediately recognized it as a jedi weapon. He also knew about Darth Vader, and presumably Darth Sidious, and presumably about both of them having jedi-esque powers.

    Rey was born well after the fall of the republic and the jedi, with only a few very old people having lived during the time of the force.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    And use opaque, technically incorrect, and loaded terminology to do so. Calling Rey a poorly written character is an observation, viz, “This is poorly done.” Calling her a Mary Sue fangirl self-insert of the head of Lucasfilm is an attack with an agenda, viz, “All evidence to the contrary, this is the fault of a woman who must be fired and replaced by a white guy who will pander to {scrub the post, scrub the quote} like me.”*

    *Not that all people who use the term Mary Sue or dislike Rey have {scrub the post, scrub the quote} .
    Now who's projecting?

    I have issues with Rey. I do think she's too competent, too quickly, and unlike Luke, we don't really see her learn anything. We also barely have a clue about her personality and motivations other than "stranded, orphaned, scavenger looking for her parents." Luke at least has more of a personality and some background that allows us to fill some things in (such as his longing to get off the family farm and experience the galaxy). Honest Trailers actually points out some scenes in Star Wars where Luke is actually almost as whiny as Anakin was in the prequels. But at least Mark Hamill actually emotes. Meanwhile, Rey pulling off a Jedi Mind Trick with zero training was flat-out absurd.

    Doesn't mean I explicitly want a white dude, though. Finn, from his backstory in the first movie, was a far better and more interesting candidate for the "main character" role, for me. He's flawed, he regrets his service in the First Order, he's a bit conflicted -- there was so much more story to be told with him, in my opinion. But instead we get plug 'n play Rey who just is magically great at everything, even more so than the literal last remaining Jedi. Force sensitivity is established as somewhat hereditary, and yet there she goes besting Luke and Kylo, because, uh, girl power? Barf.

    I wouldn't mind a female lead if there was any growth or story arc or anything interesting about her, but Rey is a staggeringly disappointing character, the same bland cardboard cutout that was all over the prequels. She's just a video game character cipher to me.

    What cheeses me off is people insisting that people are racist/sexist/misogynistic/whatever for not liking characters pumped up and promoted as "strong woman," when they're really just crappy characters in crappy movies. There are plenty of good strong female characters in cinema, and have been for years. For me, if you have to say a character is a thing rather than SHOW me a character is a thing, then it isn't good storytelling, and it isn't a good character, either.

    Maybe "Mary Sue" is too strong a term, but what else should we call a character who is (1) seemingly good at everything she does with little to no justification for any of it, (2) has everyone follow her for seemingly no reason other than Railroad Plot, and (3) basically has no personality or emotion other than being plugged in to the "starring hero" role?
    Last edited by Peelee; 2019-08-22 at 11:00 AM.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    They can't hit anyone when shooting at them? How the hell is this competence? It's like they never held rifles before. The protagonists aren't pulling off Matrix-esque stunts. If stormtroopers shooting at the floor instead of at the protagonists in front of them is supposed to convey supreme skill on the protagonists' part... I don't know what to say..
    You ever shot a gun before? They're ordered to let them go. So the stormtroopers are having to shoot at moving targets, who are also firi g at the stormtroopers, with the specific goal of not hitting them, but also not looking like they're trying to not hit them. Thsts pretty dang hard. Han and Luke clearly believe it was earnest attempts to kill them, and only Leia isn't fooled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    But Luke doesn't have ungodly levels of talent with the x-wing. He just does really basic manoeuvers. The ones pulling off amazing stunts are Han and Rey. One of which had a ton of experience with his specific ship, the other never flew before. Spot the difference..
    Han does "basic maneuvers" in the Falcon too. They're able to be more flashy because technology has risen to let them shoot it that way. EVERYONE flies with amazing stunts in the movie. Poe takes out what, six TIEs in 5 seconds? It's power creep and bad filmmaking, not an indicator that Rey is better than Luke.

    In the OT, what amazing stunts does Han do? Fly straight when he says "I know a few maneuvers, well lose 'em"? Filmmaking limitations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    TIE fighters aren't amazing pieces of engineering. I don't care what the lore says on that, that's not what we see. They fly clumsily, slowly, have bad targeting systems, and their pilots keep crashing into everything. They are basically China-made toys flown by children. That's what we see on screen. If I play tag with my kids and I keep winning, it doesn't really prove that I'm awesome at tag..
    See above, filmmaking limitations at the time vs power creep and bad filmmaking now. You say you don't care what the lore says, then if course you're going to have issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    And he also misses shots and gets hurt and discouraged. We don't see Rey /failing/ all that often...
    We do you just choose to ignore those parts. Luke gets hit a few times, then blocks three shots. Rey gets the stormtrooper guard angrier and angrier, then convinces him. But according to you, that translates to Luke failed and Rey succeeded immediately.
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  6. - Top - End - #426
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fish View Post
    an agenda, viz, “All evidence to the contrary, this is the fault of a woman who must be fired and replaced by a white guy who will pander to {scrub the post, scrub the quote} like me.”*
    I chuckled, yes I did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruck View Post
    The latter, though I am blissfully unaware of both. The Evanescence one at least was roughly in my age-appropriate time frame.
    While that band isn't in the sweet spot for me (I am more of a 60's -70's blues rock fan, and some 80's stuff) bits and pieces of 90's stuff really struck a chord with me. Some of Evanescence's songs are in that list and on my Pandora play list.
    Quote Originally Posted by selected bits from Goblin_Priest View Post
    Plot armor? Sure. A movie sin, sure. But it doesn't fall against his character, because it's all rather consistent... storm troops have terrible aim and reflexes against everyone, not just Luke.

    Luke had years of experience flying, did Rey ever touch a ship's controls before? He also doesn't do very complex maneuvers. he's not the pilot when the Millenium Falcon goes and does all kinds of near-suicidal stunts. Han does. as does Rey, without 1% of Han's experience with the ship under her belt.

    Rey isn't a "strong female character", that's just the concept, the pitch-line. It was the target, but not the result. She's just an overpowered one-dimensional female character with no strength of character. Leia, Conor, Ripley are all examples of interesting strong female characters. Rey is not, she does not belong to that club.

    Kennedy doesn't say that word per word, but actions speak louder than words. She said she wants to bring more "strong female characters" to Hollywood, and then she delivers us ridiculous one-dimension characters of unexplained power levels.
    She's not the first movie exec to have a vision that didn't pan out in a film or two.

    As to Luke's training in the force, we only see a cut scene with Obi Wan as Obi Wan is trying to get him to learn how to harness the Force. They didn't want to spend a lot of screen time on a training montage so we got a brief example of "this Force thing is really different!" Under Obi Wan's mentorhip, Luke begins to let the Force work through him. It isn't so much Luke blocking those blasts as the Force working through him doing it. I saw the original SW movie when it came out. Part of what we liked (being D&D players) was how they folded magic into an SF movie. Luke was blind with that helmet on, and he didn't block them when he didn't let the Force in. The Force is what made the reactions possible. "reach out with your feelings" ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by drazen View Post
    Finn, from his backstory in the first movie, was a far better and more interesting candidate for the "main character" role, for me. He's flawed, he regrets his service in the First Order, he's a bit conflicted -- there was so much more story to be told with him, in my opinion.
    Yeah, and then they dumped him into the "incomplete secondary character" bucket. I was very bummed that they took this fertile material and wandered off. I was hopoing that Finn would be the, or a, major character in the three films. Instead, we get Mr Pouty Kylo Emo .... *barf*
    What cheeses me off is people insisting that people are racist/sexist/misogynistic/whatever for not liking characters pumped up and promoted as "strong woman," when they're really just crappy characters in crappy movies.
    The modern "if you disagree with me you are a racist" or "if you disagree with me you are sexist" or (pick another perjorative, there are many) habit is about shutting down a discussion, not having a dialogue.
    Maybe "Mary Sue" is too strong a term, but what else should we call a character who is (1) seemingly good at everything she does with little to no justification for any of it, (2) has everyone follow her for seemingly no reason other than Railroad Plot, and (3) basically has no personality or emotion other than being plugged in to the "starring hero" role?
    Badly written.
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  7. - Top - End - #427
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Badly written.
    Alternatively: "genre-appropriate characterization".

    Adventure films need so much of their runtime for, you know, adventures, that a lot of characters just sort of get carried along by the general madness of what is going on. It's not that this Rey person is badly written (again, I repeat: haven't actually watched the film, so I'm in no position to affirm or counter such claim), as much as in general such films don't have time to properly develop anyone.

    It's like complaining that one specific person in one specific romantic comedy was badly written because they fell in love too quickly. It's probably true, but focusing in one character rather than noting that it is a general trope of the genre feels weird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Alternatively: "genre-appropriate characterization".

    Adventure films need so much of their runtime for, you know, adventures, that a lot of characters just sort of get carried along by the general madness of what is going on. It's not that this Rey person is badly written (again, I repeat: haven't actually watched the film, so I'm in no position to affirm or counter such claim), as much as in general such films don't have time to properly develop anyone.

    It's like complaining that one specific person in one specific romantic comedy was badly written because they fell in love too quickly. It's probably true, but focusing in one character rather than noting that it is a general trope of the genre feels weird.

    Grey Wolf
    Haven't watched the movie either so I'm just guessing here, but isn't Rey supposed to be an important character? Main characters usually get a lot of scrutiny.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Haven't watched the movie either so I'm just guessing here, but isn't Rey supposed to be an important character? Main characters usually get a lot of scrutiny.
    Yes? Not sure how that changes anything I said. The example from romantic comedy also applies to the main character. Indeed, as several people have shown, the criticisms leveled at Rey also apply to the previous main character, Luke. As indeed they do to most other such characters. Adventure films are littered with practically-superhuman-skilled characters. How exactly does a archaeology PhD develop skills with the whip? Who cares? It's an adventure movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Yes? Not sure how that changes anything I said. The example from romantic comedy also applies to the main character. Indeed, as several people have shown, the criticisms leveled at Rey also apply to the previous main character, Luke. As indeed they do to most other such characters. Adventure films are littered with practically-superhuman-skilled characters. How exactly does a archaeology PhD develop skills with the whip? Who cares? It's an adventure movie.

    Grey Wolf
    Your first post gave the impression that your reasoning ran on the idea that the writing of every character is on equal levels of importance, but the main character is the one who's supposed to carry the story so if the main character suffers from bad writing it has a bigger impact and will naturally produce more criticism.

    As for the second part, given that I haven't actually seen the movie (or any Star Wars movie for that matter) I can't really make a judgement call about who I believe is correct about how well Luke is written and how well Rey is written. For all I know Luke was fantastic and Rey was horrible or the other way around.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsong View Post
    Your first post gave the impression that your reasoning ran on the idea that the writing of every character is on equal levels of importance, but the main character is the one who's supposed to carry the story so if the main character suffers from bad writing it has a bigger impact and will naturally produce more criticism.
    Aaah. Yeah, that wasn't my intent. My point is that a film has only 90-210 minutes to tell its story, and it's focused on locations, excitement, spectacle, etc. Characterization is of tertiary importance at best, so if characters suddenly join the main character for not-particularly-well-explained reasons, well, it's like why people don't call the police in a drama:

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred Hitchcock
    The sheriff’s intervention comes under the heading of what we have discussed many times before: “Why don’t they go to the police?” I’ve always replied, “They don’t go to the police because it’s dull.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by woweedd View Post
    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Alternatively: "genre-appropriate characterization".

    Adventure films need so much of their runtime for, you know, adventures, that a lot of characters just sort of get carried along by the general madness of what is going on. It's not that this Rey person is badly written (again, I repeat: haven't actually watched the film, so I'm in no position to affirm or counter such claim), as much as in general such films don't have time to properly develop anyone.
    They do, though. They just place a premium on more flash than character development. For reals, you should watch A New Hope and then The Force Awakens (which is basically ANH Redux), and note how the pacing is wildly different. More action, less character development, faster overall. Rocky or Jaws would have difficulty getting made today because they are intensely character-focused, and are very slow movies for big blockbusters. I'm not saying they couldn't be, or nobody dies it anymore (the show Better Call Saul is a fantastic example of a modern-day character-focused story), but it's significantly less common. Hell, Lucas himself did this with the prequels; we never really get to know the characters, we just see a lot of events happen to them.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    They do, though. They just place a premium on more flash than character development. For reals, you should watch A New Hope and then The Force Awakens (which is basically ANH Redux), and note how the pacing is wildly different. More action, less character development, faster overall. Rocky or Jaws would have difficulty getting made today because they are intensely character-focused, and are very slow movies for big blockbusters. I'm not saying they couldn't be, or nobody dies it anymore (the show Better Call Saul is a fantastic example of a modern-day character-focused story), but it's significantly less common. Hell, Lucas himself did this with the prequels; we never really get to know the characters, we just see a lot of events happen to them.
    I would like to point out that Better Call Saul is a very different animal from any Star Wars film, because it spends hours upon hours on its characters due to the differences between television and film, I’d say most TV shows nowadays do have a lot of time on character building, even stuff like The Flash or Arrow, due to the advantages tv has over film, even the extended hobbit films combined would be overtaken by a thirteen episode season of your average drama.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    I would like to point out that Better Call Saul is a very different animal from any Star Wars film, because it spends hours upon hours on its characters due to the differences between television and film, I’d say most TV shows nowadays do have a lot of time on character building, even stuff like The Flash or Arrow, due to the advantages tv has over film, even the extended hobbit films combined would be overtaken by a thirteen episode season of your average drama.
    I agree, I just wanted to plug one of my favorite shows shamelessly. The first Star Wars is still the best example; it is an action/adventure story with a lot of time spent getting to know the characters. ANH contrasted to TFA or TPM show very different pacing (TPM is by far the worst between those).
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Thecommander236 View Post
    To be fair, why the hell did Loki decide to **** over his daughter so badly on the first place? I'm sure he had some reason for it, but it's still an incredibly horrible thing to do even if he is chaotic evil.
    I suspect part of the issue is that he didn't expect Thor to inform the dwarves either, nobody expected the dwarves to rewrite their culture to the extent they did, Loki probably expected his daughter to do more scheming instead of sitting and sulking, and without the Scribblers this place would've gone boom a couple generations ago. Lots of variables in play.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Badly written.
    Yes but there must be a trope name for the particular combo of

    (1) Good at everything way too easily, without learning or growth;
    (2) being the leader that everyone blindly follows, despite having no discernible personality or charisma, because plot, apparently
    (3) Writer insists the character is excellent despite these obvious flaws and attempts to shout down all criticism with ridiculous baseless accusations.

    Hmmm... how about {scrubbed}

    It's not like Disney can't do character development, the MCU and animated movies have it. Rey just doesn't, she's just a blank avatar who goes on adventures. She might as well be a magic Lego brick, except a Lego brick would have more charisma.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    I'm sure using a term like "{scrubbed}" will convince everyone that you're interested solely in film criticism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snails View Post
    You are just not paying attention.

    Rey was a reasonably capable person in many ways from the get go and had sufficient motivation and means to learn skills. We have good reasons to expect her to be more competent than Luke in most every respect, with the notable exception of piloting skills. The piloting bit, I do find annoying. Alas it has been established in this universe that very strong Force users can be magically good at all sorts of things -- that makes me want to upchuck, but it is what it is.

    Yes, George loved Luke and George loved Anakin, and we held our nose and accepted a lot of nonsense. Rey is not much of a deviation from in universe precedent, unfortunately -- I wish she were more so.
    No, you're not paying attention.

    In the 6 previous movies, they way you learned to use the Force was being taught by a Jedi Master. The most anyone could do with the Force without such training was a little bit of anticipation of the future while flying.

    How many different ways did Rey use the Force in The Mary Sue Returns, or whatever the heck it was called?

    "We have good reasons to expect her to be more competent than Luke in most every respect, with the notable exception of piloting skills"? Really, why?

    She was a scavenger, living on the edge, in the middle of nowhere. She had no time for anything that wasn't immediately related to her survival, and no one to learn from other than herself. This is not how you become someone with a wide range of skills.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Hey, if we're talking about Force Awakens, that I haven't seen Last Jedi isn't a problem!

    Quote Originally Posted by drazen View Post
    It's not like Disney can't do character development, the MCU and animated movies have it. Rey just doesn't, she's just a blank avatar who goes on adventures. She might as well be a magic Lego brick, except a Lego brick would have more charisma.
    So close...and yet so far.

    Rey gets about as much character development time as the rest of the cast...which is the actual problem. Force Awakens is a series of action scenes...with very little bridging between them. And, as these past couple pages have shown, there are all sorts of "surprise" details that could be readily explained...if the movie bothered to show any of it. Character-driven stories work by the action pushing the characters forward, and the characters pushing the action forward...and Force Awakens looks about like what I expect would happen if the scenes of characters pushing the action forward were all cut; there's a lot of cheap stunts that could have been dramatic payoffs if they'd been set up.

    Of course, Rey isn't a Mary Sue. We do see her fail...twice, as I recall: First where she's Force-convincing the guard to release her, and then when she's fighting...Ren. (I can't decide if having "Rey" and "Ren" is better or worse than having "Chi Cho" and "Chuchi"...but I digress*) What's telling is the structure of both scenes: Rey isn't succeeding, dramatic pause, Rey tries again and succeeds. I find myself wondering how many struggles were cut because they couldn't be overcome in the same/adjacent scene.

    I understand that stringing energetic scenes together and leaving the audience to piece things together themselves is kind of J.J. Abrams' thing, but that approach certainly doesn't seem to have translated well at all. And if movie doesn't care about Rey as a character, what's the audience supposed to evaluate her by?


    As is frequently the case, Film Crit Hulk has a much more interesting read about it from the production side of things.


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    Quote Originally Posted by BasiliskSoldier View Post
    Luke is able to make the leap from in-atmos commerical model aircraft to military grade spacecraft and still be ungodly levels of talented is a a bigger leap than 'Someone who's proficient with a staff is also able to use a sword effectively'. I think both of those are pretty easy leaps to make, especially when both characters have space Magic on their side.
    1: I have been, at times in my life, competent with a staff. I have also done some fencing. There is essentially no commonality between the two. Where you hold it, the way you hold it, how you move it, how you damage with it, they're all almost totally different. Just fo one thought: you hold a staff in the middle. If Rey was operating on her "staff fighting" reflexes, she'd quickly lose one or both hands

    2: Yes, there's a huge difference between dogfighting in the atmosphere, and dogfighting in space. Something which Star Wars is entirely unaware of. For example, if the bad guy is "on your six" in a space fighter, you simply flip a 180 and shoot him, because the direction you're facing has almost nothing to do with the velocity you are traveling. For whatever reason (and I don't care enough to argue about this one) Star Wars fighters fly like they're in the atmosphere.

    3: IIRC, Luke got training and practice at shooting space weaponry when the Falcon escaped from the Death Star. He also got training in the Force, and possibly other things, while he was on the Falcon. How long was that trip?

    4: In what ways was Luke "ungodly talented" as a fighter pilot? He was saved from Vader by Han. He did some dodging and weaving, and made the shot on the Death Star due to his training in the Force from Ben.

    Quote Originally Posted by BasiliskSoldier View Post
    As far as force goes, she does a mind trick on a stormtrooper and after a bit of training is able to make some rocks float. I don't think either of those were presented as difficult tasks in universe. She's also able to defeat an opponent of superior skill because he was severely injured and suffering an emotional crisis.

    I don't think Rey is a great character, but nothing she does strains my suspension of disbelief.
    "After a bit of training"? From who?

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Goblin_Priest View Post
    They can't hit anyone when shooting at them? ... If stormtroopers shooting at the floor instead of at the protagonists in front of them is supposed to convey supreme skill on the protagonists' part... I don't know what to say.
    Watch any movie from, say, 1945 to 1985. “Bullets hit the ground at the target’s feet” is common cinematic language for “near miss.” An actual near miss (with bullets) is invisible to the camera, so squibs are planted at the actor’s feet. This trope is everywhere. It is as common as six-shooters that shoot 95 bullets and guns that throw the target through brick walls and plate glass windows. It’s a thing Hollywood has done for decades and isn’t meant to depict a literal reality.

    The “bullets throw people a long way” wasn’t always so prevalent. It’s become a tradition more recently, because filmmakers think it makes the film more visceral, more exciting. It’s a kind of stylized power creep. If you want to show something is dramatic, you have to go over the top from what has been seen before. That, I feel, is a main reason why Rey is depicted as better than Luke; we’ve seen Luke already, and the new thing has to be bigger, with go-faster stripes. Not because Rey is female, but because the old movies are 40 years old.

    Starts off with... Rey overpowering Kylo on a force pull, nabbing her lightsaber while he was trying to take it. then they fight a bit, and Rey's on the defensive, because, you know, dramatic tension.
    This is a sign of an impatient filmmaker trying to hit a home run and secure a new SW franchise. The heroine has to progress from talented nobody to full-fledged badass, but has to make the journey in one movie. There was too much money at stake to go for the slow build, so they rushed it. It was briefly satisfying but ultimately made little sense.

    Bad writing, I grant you.
    And he also misses shots and gets hurt and discouraged. We don't see Rey /failing/ all that often...
    The movie is very inconsistent with Luke’s prowess. He is a superb flier who one-shots the Death Star without a targeting computer but a single Tusken raider sneaks up on him undetected and kicks his butt.

    Quote Originally Posted by drazen View Post
    I have issues with Rey. I do think she's too competent, too quickly, and unlike Luke, we don't really see her learn anything.
    No, we don’t, but we also don’t see Luke learning the saber or mind tricks either. When a lot of accusations are aimed at the woman, but not the man who does the same things, I wonder why. It seems unfair.

    Doesn't mean I explicitly want a white dude, though. Finn, from his backstory in the first movie, was a far better and more interesting candidate ...
    Totally agreed. Finn’s backstory is underserved.

    Rey is a staggeringly disappointing character, the same bland cardboard cutout that was all over the prequels. She's just a video game character cipher to me.
    A lot of adventure heroes are pretty bland. I’d call her typical, rather than disappointing.

    What cheeses me off is people insisting that people are racist/sexist/misogynistic/whatever for not liking characters pumped up and promoted as "strong woman," when they're really just crappy characters in crappy movies.
    There certainly are people who think the movie is bad, and who aren’t sexist. There are people who do, and are. When someone says the movie is badly written I just say “welcome to Star Wars, have you watched the other films at all?” When they say “Mary Sue” and “it’s Kathleen Kennedy’s fault” and blatantly disregard and ignore examples of the male character being as badly written as the female one, i have a harder time giving the benefit of the doubt. There were lots of men making decisions in that production — JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt, the head of Disney Bob Iger ... but let’s blame the woman? Curious. I mean,JJ Abrams has a daughter; doesn’t that mean it could be his fault? Nope. Blame Kennedy, I guess.

    There are plenty of good strong female characters in cinema, and have been for years. For me, if you have to say a character is a thing rather than SHOW me a character is a thing, then it isn't good storytelling, and it isn't a good character, either.
    Agreed.

    There have also been terrible “strong female characters” written. There just haven’t been many women around to blame when it happens, because there are so few women producers. So people generally blame the actress (eg, Halle Berry in “Catwoman”).

    Maybe "Mary Sue" is too strong a term, but what else should we call a character who is (1) seemingly good at everything she does with little to no justification for any of it, (2) has everyone follow her for seemingly no reason other than Railroad Plot, and (3) basically has no personality or emotion other than being plugged in to the "starring hero" role?
    Bad. It’s not hard.

    What annoys me is that people say, “Well, she meets one criterion of a Mary Sue, let’s find a woman to blame for it, and Ret will meet another criterion.” It’s cherry-picking. It’s self-fulfilling. What evidence is there that Rey is Kathleen’s wish-fulfillment self-insert, other than that Kathleen is a woman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    Adventure films need so much of their runtime for, you know, adventures...
    Exactly. Conservation of run time. You can have a complex plot with twists and turns, or a massively complicated new world to explore, or deep, well-crafted character journeys; it’s really hard to have all of the above in 120 minutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    They do, though. They just place a premium on more flash than character development. For reals, you should watch A New Hope and then The Force Awakens (which is basically ANH Redux), and note how the pacing is wildly different. More action, less character development, faster overall.
    Again, conservation of run-time. As a sequel, less time must be spent explaining what stuff is. Star Wars was fast for its day, throwing a ton of new things at the viewer without pausing to explain. Force Awakens has the same story, without the setup, so it cruises. Yes, they probably could have set up the characters better, rather than cramming in more CGI and action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregTD View Post
    She was a scavenger, living on the edge, in the middle of nowhere. She had no time for anything that wasn't immediately related to her survival, and no one to learn from other than herself. This is not how you become someone with a wide range of skills.
    Being a scavenger, living on the edge, in the middle of nowhere, is a pretty good way to become someone with a wide range of skills. Because if you don't, you die.
    Just look at Han Solo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by drazen View Post
    (3) Writer insists the character is excellent despite these obvious flaws and attempts to shout down all criticism with ridiculous baseless accusations..
    What writer is doing this? Can you give an example of a character creator “shouting down criticism with ridiculous baseless accusations”?

    Edit: also, why are we still arguing about “Mary Sue”? I’m tempted to start putting anyone who continues to use that tired overused phrase on ignore.
    Last edited by Dion; 2019-08-22 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    For reals, you should watch A New Hope and then The Force Awakens (which is basically ANH Redux), and note how the pacing is wildly different.
    I could also hammer a shiny nail and a rusty nail into my hand to compare the results. But why would I want to subject myself to it? (I'll leave which nail is which film as an exercise for the reader)

    The one thing I've gathered from watching the OotS comic discussion threads turn into bickering over SW details is that it's a fool's errand to try to get into that fandom. Every thread, instead, serves to reaffirm my decision ages ago to give up on the whole thing after failing to enjoy the films. It honestly doesn't feel like it makes anyone happy to watch any of this. And I have time limitations and a child, so if I do have a bit of time to myself and want to scratch the nostalgia itch, I think I'll just re-watch the Marvel movies. At least I know I will enjoy all of them.

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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Hey, if we're talking about Force Awakens, that I haven't seen Last Jedi isn't a problem!

    So close...and yet so far.

    Rey gets about as much character development time as the rest of the cast...which is the actual problem. Force Awakens is a series of action scenes...with very little bridging between them. And, as these past couple pages have shown, there are all sorts of "surprise" details that could be readily explained...if the movie bothered to show any of it. Character-driven stories work by the action pushing the characters forward, and the characters pushing the action forward...and Force Awakens looks about like what I expect would happen if the scenes of characters pushing the action forward were all cut; there's a lot of cheap stunts that could have been dramatic payoffs if they'd been set up.

    Of course, Rey isn't a Mary Sue. We do see her fail...twice, as I recall: First where she's Force-convincing the guard to release her, and then when she's fighting...Ren. (I can't decide if having "Rey" and "Ren" is better or worse than having "Chi Cho" and "Chuchi"...but I digress*) What's telling is the structure of both scenes: Rey isn't succeeding, dramatic pause, Rey tries again and succeeds. I find myself wondering how many struggles were cut because they couldn't be overcome in the same/adjacent scene.

    I understand that stringing energetic scenes together and leaving the audience to piece things together themselves is kind of J.J. Abrams' thing, but that approach certainly doesn't seem to have translated well at all. And if movie doesn't care about Rey as a character, what's the audience supposed to evaluate her by?


    As is frequently the case, Film Crit Hulk has a much more interesting read about it from the production side of things.


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    While underdeveloped characters are a Star Wars franchise epidemic, the original trilogy at least gave us some sense of who the characters were. Luke had motivations: his family, seeing the galaxy, being caught up, being headstrong and quite a bit like his dad, etc. -- and it's not that it was a TON of development but the writing and acting had just enough nuance that you could glean some of these things about characters like Luke, Han, or even Leia.

    Effectively none of that happens with Rey. And in the first movie there's Finn, who actually DOES have some of those things, so it stands out really badly for me. My beef with Ep 7/8 is that the main character is less developed than a secondary character! You cite 2 failures of hers, but then point out they're immediately reversed -- which is so fast they might as well not even really be failures at all. I cannot invest in the character at all because there's essentially literally nothing to connect to. Having her start out as a nomadic hermit was probably a disservice, because unless you're Tom Hanks with a volleyball or Peter Capaldi in a clockwork castle, it's really hard to get insight into a character who spends a lot of time in stoic, expressionless non-interaction. I had the a similiar problem with the movie "Wakefield," as well. Good concept, terrible execution.

    I don't know about Rey specifically, but I'm going to coin "Boba Fett Syndrome" for the later Star Wars movies in general. Boba Fett was barely developed in the original trilogy, yet the character developed a cult following. And the franchise kind of went over the top with making cool-looking secondary characters who are supposed to be totally badass, but who end up not amounting to much of anything from a storytelling perspective. I'm looking at you, Captain Phasma!

    Rey... I could not tell you her personality traits, motivations, anything. She just shuffles from scene to scene as the plot demands. An utterly uninteresting, uncharismatic, non-emotive lead makes for a bad movie.

    (3) Writer insists the character is excellent despite these obvious flaws and attempts to shout down all criticism with ridiculous baseless accusations..
    What writer is doing this? Can you give an example of a character creator “shouting down criticism with ridiculous baseless accusations”?
    The original quote by someone else was partially scrubbed. What I wrote that wasn't scrubbed was:

    "What cheeses me off is people insisting that people are racist/sexist/misogynistic/whatever for not liking characters pumped up and promoted as "strong woman," when they're really just crappy characters in crappy movies. There are plenty of good strong female characters in cinema, and have been for years. For me, if you have to say a character is a thing rather than SHOW me a character is a thing, then it isn't good storytelling, and it isn't a good character, either."
    Rey in Star Wars and Ghostbusters (2016) are the biggest two examples of this phenomenon. Criticizing either of them results in author or fan backlash that the person criticizing them is automatically one of the "-ists" listed above, regardless of the content of the criticism. Basically, the author will write a sloppy character and then attempt to dismiss anyone who dares to criticize the sloppiness with an ad hominem attack.

    I don't dislike Rey simply because she's competent. I dislike her because she's inexplicably competent in ways that contradict the previously established narrative of the film's universe, and the films give essentially zero justification for this. Luke at least had a little bit of practice and training, not to mention a lot of it being hereditary (even if that was technically a bit of a retcon, it makes the original trilogy stand up a lot better). Maybe Rey will be established as Luke's daughter in Episode 9, but that hasn't happened yet, and Kylo Ren indicated her parents were just a couple of nobodies. Even if I assume that an explanation will be forthcoming, her abilities are still way over the top compared to previous films' latent Jedi, and her personality is still virtually non-existent. Luke had clear motivations: for example, in Empire, when he confronts Vader, he wants to help save his friends (after being with them for months on Hoth). Yoda advised against this but Luke was headstrong and stubborn (like his father) and quickly found himself over-matched. Meanwhile, I have no idea what even ties Rey to her group of people, because two of the three she should be closest to spend half of The Last Jedi unconscious. Nothing really gets expressed other than "crisis, solution" in rapid fire, and there isn't any room left to understand the characters. Luke had a yearning and aspiration that drove the original trilogy. Rey, by contrast, is a cipher. She just seems caught up and going along with the whole thing, but there doesn't seem to be any real personal stake in it. She's got the Millenium Falcon and Chewie because... uh... why, exactly? She was there when Han got sliced and diced? She'd barely even met the two of them.
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Hel explicitly told Durkula that it doesn't matter that he was sired by Nergal's snake, all dwarves are under her purview. Hence we see once again the formula "If Dwarf=True, ignore all other rules and send to Hel" at work.
    I'd forgotten that detail in the dialogue! So, yes, AU Marduk-worshipping Durkon would have his vampire self supplied by Hel by virtue of being a Dwarf.

    Makes me wonder what concessions they gave to the other pantheons to make that happen, but that's Wild Mass Guessing fodder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    The one thing I've gathered from watching the OotS comic discussion threads turn into bickering over SW details is that it's a fool's errand to try to get into that fandom.
    The first two movies were pretty good. The third is mediocre, but still probably better than some of the Thor movies.

    The next three are unwatchable for me. They apparently have an incredible backstory, and if you like backstory conveyed through supplementary media, you might like them. But they’re terrible movies.

    I’ve heard good things about the cartoon. I like adult cartoons (cowboy bebop and the second season of venture bros are my favorite television of all time) so I should probably watch the cartoon.

    The most recent movies are like DC universe after Christopher Nolan. Big and dumb and loud and a few places to eat popcorn, and completely and utterly forgettable beyond that.

    But yeah. The first two (or maybe three) movies are important. Watch them. You might enjoy them. The rest are disposable.
    Last edited by Dion; 2019-08-22 at 12:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    But yeah. The first two (or maybe three) movies are important. Watch them. You might enjoy them. The rest are disposable.
    I have watched them. As I said, I decided I was done with the series after I failed to enjoy them (specifically, the prequels). Same reason why I will probably skip Matrix 4, and anything in the DCU: when the number of films I dislike in a series outnumbers the number of them I did enjoy, why would I continue to watch the series? How many free passes do I hand out? How much time do I waste in the hopes that the next one might be better? Well, as it turns out, it's 2. After two bad films, I stop watching. Which means I did not subject myself to, say, Batman V Superman. And that turned out to be, I suspect, a good decision.

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    I would say that's the dumbest theory Grey Wolf's heard, but, let's be honest: It's Grey Wolf. They've probably heard dumber theories today. Point is, neat idea, but it's a real stretch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I have watched them. As I said, I decided I was done with the series after I failed to enjoy them (specifically, the prequels). Same reason why I will probably skip Matrix 4, and anything in the DCU: when the number of films I dislike in a series outnumbers the number of them I did enjoy, why would I continue to watch the series? How many free passes do I hand out? How much time do I waste in the hopes that the next one might be better? Well, as it turns out, it's 2. After two bad films, I stop watching. Which means I did not subject myself to, say, Batman V Superman. And that turned out to be, I suspect, a good decision.

    Grey Wolf
    Did you only watch the prequels? Yes, those were largely terrible, with only the third having even the slightest of redeeming qualities (and very slight at that). If that's what you're going by, I can see why you would be put off the series.

    Episode IV (A New Hope) was released first, followed by The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V). To most of us those, are "the first two." And they're vastly superior to pretty much every other movie in the series.
    Last edited by drazen; 2019-08-22 at 12:48 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #450
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    Default Re: OOTS #1176 - The Discussion Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Stuff
    This banana is everything I agree with. I'm going to try a self-induced coma for a while in an attempt to reverse the revolution my body started waging at 2 in the morning, so I think I'll just agree with the yellow one for the forseeable future.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    I have watched them. As I said, I decided I was done with the series after I failed to enjoy them (specifically, the prequels). Same reason why I will probably skip Matrix 4, and anything in the DCU: when the number of films I dislike in a series outnumbers the number of them I did enjoy, why would I continue to watch the series? How many free passes do I hand out? How much time do I waste in the hopes that the next one might be better? Well, as it turns out, it's 2. After two bad films, I stop watching. Which means I did not subject myself to, say, Batman V Superman. And that turned out to be, I suspect, a good decision.

    Grey Wolf
    You should see Shazam!. I know my superhero cred may be shot with you after Spider-Verse, but it's amazingly fun. So good.

    Now, time to take Hulk-strength prescription painkillers and hope I can keep 'em down.
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