Tag Archives: superheroes

Movie Review – Aquaman (2018)

So many fish, so little time.

BQB here with a review of “Aquaman.”

I’m just going to say it.  This movie is solid.  I think “Wonder Woman” was better.  There were some parts of this movie that were silly and it’s a half hour too long (two and a half in total) but it’s a feast for the eyes, very beautiful with a lot of colors and great action.

In other words, DC/Warner Brothers screwed the pooch by getting the super friends together first in “Batman vs. Superman” and “Justice League.”  Rather, they should have intro’d all the heroes in their own films with an ongoing subplot that ties them all together i.e. the Marvel model.

Oh well.  Perhaps now that the super heroes are doing the solo act, DC/Warner will be able to figure out their piece of the comic book movie pie.

Suffice to say, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is half Atlantian and half human, the product of a lighthouse keeper (Don’t know the actor’s name) getting his fuck on with a runaway Atlantian queen (Nicole Kidman).

Note that this is the second movie in recent years where a human fucks a fish person so Hollywood might be into some pervery behind the scenes but I digress.

The hard task here was to make a likable Aquaman, one who is cool and awesome that you want to root for.  The problem is that Aquaman has always been the joke of the superhero universe.  You scoff but think about it.  Given your choice of superpowers, you’d surely choose flight or indestructibility or invisibility or any host of awesome skills before you’d say, “I want to be able to boss dolphins around.”

But the filmmakers lived up to the challenge here.  Arthur lives among humans, an outcast not welcome in Atlantis, using his abilities to save people and is fresh off of helping the JL save the world from Steppenwolf.

Alas, Arthur’s half-brother, King Orm (Patrick Wilson) (the product of a fish person fucking another fish person and call me old fashioned but that’s the way it should be) is solidifying his power with the other fish kingdoms with the help of another fish person king (Dolph Lundgren doing the most acting he’s ever done in his entire career) and seeks to lead a vast army to the surface world to destroy and conquer.

Ergo, it’s up to members of the Atlantian royalty to commit treason and help Arthur overthrow the king.  Those traitors include Vulko (Willem Dafoe who looks out of place in this movie and literally at any minute you end up wondering if he’s just going to look at the screen and break the fourth wall and say, “How the fuck did I end up playing a fish man in this schlock?  I was in Platoon, for Christ’s sake!”

And of course, there’s love interest, Mera, played by Johnny Depp’s one who got away Amber Heard.  Mmm boy, now there’s some sushi I wouldn’t mind in my take-out box.

Hmm.  That comment was probably inappropriate.  Oh well.  Good thing only 3.5 people read this blog.

Did I mention there’s a kickass fight scene in Italy with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul Mateen II?) I enjoyed the visuals but also the entire time as Aquaman and Manta pummeled each other I wanted to call my travel agent and book a trip to this exotic locale.

There are a few moments where it is absurd but the absurdity comes with a bit of self-awareness.  For example, SPOILER ALERT, Willem Dafoe makes a more skeptical than usual face when the long lost, thought to have been executed queen (Kidman) returns.  Heard shrugs it off and tells him, “It’s a long story.  I’ll tell you later.”

I took that as a wink as if the writers were telling me, a member of the audience, “Yeah, we’re sorry we couldn’t think of a reason why she’s back but aren’t you glad she is?  By the way, keep plunking down your ticket money and we’ll tell you why she’s back when we figure it out.”

Overall, the flick is a good time and a sign that if DC/Warner take their time and worry more about putting out good movies rather than rushing to put their characters together, it will pay off.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Choose Your Super Power

If you were able to be magically granted one of the following super powers, which would you choose and why?  Choose only one and discuss in the comments:

  • Ability to fart fire.  (You knew that was coming.)
  • X-Ray vision but it only allows you to see senior citizens naked.  You can look through anything else but like, when you look at hot chicks they’ll still have their clothes on.  Bogus.
  • Vivid, highly detailed memory of anything that ever happened on any Wednesday in your life.
  • Perfect parallel parking.
  • Perfect grammar.
  • Exceptional mathematical computation abilities at a high speed.
  • Mind reading capabilities but you can’t read the mind of anyone named Steve.  Thus, anyone named Steve will be your arch-enemy.
  • Super fast bicycle pedaling ability.
  • Karaoke master.
  • Ability to make others think you look hot even though you are very ugly.
  • Flying skills – you can fly, but you have to make, “put, put, put” noises like a poorly maintained engine is moving you, which makes it way less cool and impressive to the ladies.  Still, you can fly, but if you ever stop making the “put, put” sounds, you’ll fall.
  • Perfect comedic timing.
  • Accurate restaurant bill tip calculation skills.
  • Super fast speed with the exception that in New Jersey, your power is reversed and you are only able to move in slow motion.
  • Sonic masturbation.
  • Always the guy who brings the pizza to any party.  That’s it.  Show up to any party.  Pizza is mysteriously delivered.  Pizza delivery guy announces it’s from you, makes it look like you paid for it but you never have to pay for it.
  • Drink unlimited booze without getting drunk.  In theory, cool.  In reality, why?  It’s just like drinking a shit ton of old, expired soda.
  • Ability to travel great distances by being shot out of a cannon.
  • You’re the greatest painter in the world, but you can only paint pictures of Chester A. Arthur arm wrestling infamous 1960s bedazzled piano man, Liberace.  Still, your paintings of these two are superb and sell for millions.
  • Ability to separate all recyclable materials out of your trash by snapping your fingers.
  • Extreme foresight – ability to tell exactly how all your decisions will work out in the future.
  • Extreme hindsight – constantly reminded of how your bad decisions in the past got you to today’s intensely shitty present.
  • Eternal life, but you must play a kazoo while a Filipino hunchback named Raul beats you in the face with a smelly fish for five minutes, every hour on the hour, forever or else you’ll die.
  • Ability to stay in the lines when coloring in coloring books with crayons.
  • Unlimited money.
  • Unlimited sex (consensual, of course, you freak.)
  • Unlimited Arby’s coupons.
  • You can predict whenever any convenience store within a 50 mile radius is about to be robbed of all it’s slushee machine syrup by a man with athlete’s foot.
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Comic Con 2015 – Suicide Squad Trailer

Hey 3.5 Readers,

BQB here with some thoughts on the Suicide Squad trailer:

The official story is this trailer was only intended for Comic Con but DC decided to release it because nerds had pirated it and distributed it so they figured they might as well put out a quality version.

If you’re a nerd who isn’t in the know, the Suicide Squad is basically DC’s version of Dirty Dozen.

Based on a DC comic series of the same name, the government forces/recruits the DC villains (mostly Batman’s enemies) to use their evil powers for good, sending them on high-risk, practically suicidal missions.

Overall, the footage looks great and Jared Leto, in my opinion, looks like he’s going to be a better Joker than I’d originally given him credit for.

Like most geeks, I’m a big Harley Quinn fan.  If you’re not a nerd, Harley is the Joker’s girlfriend who got her start in the 1990’s Batman: The Animated Series.

Why do we love Harley?  Because she’s so hilariously over the top.  Now, I get that when there’s an attempt to make a serious movie, she can’t be running around in a full harlequin outfit with a massive novelty hammer to bonk people over the head with but come on, at least do the “Harley” voice.

Judging by this footage, they movie’s going with a half-powered Harley.  Harley at 50%.  She’s sort of got the voice a little, she’s a bit out there, but she’s not bouncing off the walls.

All I can say is if she doesn’t say “Hiya Puddin!” or call the Joker “Mr. J,” there’s going to be a nerd revolt.

DC’s definitely trying to pull a Marvel.  Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad both come out next year and assumably it will all lead up to the Justice League giving evildoers what for.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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Comic Con 2015 – Batman vs. Superman – Dawn of Justice (Featuring Wonder Woman)

This trailer shows more of what we can expect.  Batman fears Superman’s power and vows to destroy him.  Plus, our first peak at Wonder Woman.

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Bookshelf Q. Battler and The Meaning of Life – Part 1 – A Toaster Pastry Too Far

My name is Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Bookshelf Q. Battler - World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Books, Movies and Culture Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter, Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog

Bookshelf Q. Battler – World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Books, Movies and Culture Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter, Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog

That’s not the name I was given. It is the name I have chosen, for it describes who I am and what I do.

I am the world’s foremost authority on bookshelf combat. I’ll give you a minute to let it sink in that such an activity even exists.

For as long as I am able to remember, going back all the way to the days when I was just a little Bookshelf Q. Battler in a pair of super hero jammies, I have been the owner of a mystical, magical bookshelf. It is a shelf that contains awesome power – power I have yet to fully comprehend.

Whenever I put a book on my bookshelf, the characters in the book gain the ability to step off of the pages of their tale and onto the surface of my shelf. These beings appear as miniature forms of themselves.  After all, a bookshelf can’t support the weight of a fully grown person. That’s just science.

You can’t argue with science.

One might get the impression that such a shelf is a wonderful gift, providing me with endless hours of entertainment and the chance to get to know beloved characters from classic and modern works of literature.

One would be wrong.

The space on my bookshelf is limited and these tiny characters know it. For years, they have been locked in a bitter, never-ending struggle against one another to claim and hold territory on my shelf.

Needless to say, the battles on my bookshelf have not been pretty. I hate to admit it, but the characters who call my bookshelf home do not exactly follow the rules of the Geneva Convention.

My home is constantly filled with the sounds of beloved book protagonists turned warlords, terrorists, and dictators. Tiny bazookas, mini-cannons, diminutive machine guns – if it fires little projectiles, these minuscule beings will use it against the books of their rivals. They know I only have so much space, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the book they call home from being culled off the shelf and tossed into my trash can.

I try to tell them that will never happen.  I’m an easy going critic and rarely give books a bad grade.  I understand that most authors bleed their soul out onto the pages of their works and for that reason I hate to be judgmental.

These tiny characters refuse to listen.  They will never adopt the age old adage of “sharing is caring.”

I suppose I should be flattered that all of these characters are seeking my approval. However, my position as caretaker of the bookshelf can, at times, be a tiresome burden.

You see, when it comes to my bookshelf, I am the UN. The book characters fight and fight, but when they cross the line, I have to get involved and reign their shenanigans in.

I command a contingent of green Army men who hail from my books about World War II. In exchange for listening to them tell me how they’re all going to “marry Peggy Sue” as soon as they get state side, they take up residence in the middle of the shelf, acting in their role as peacekeepers in a demilitarized zone.

The green army men on a peacekeeping mission.

The green Army men on a peacekeeping mission.

When this happens, the characters relent, retreat, the Army men are dispersed, and then the characters start fighting again. It is a vicious cycle, to say the least.

Sometimes I send in humanitarian aid – little care packages to help the book characters who have been cut off from food supplies. Unfortunately, a tiny Machiavelli just steps out of my copy of The Prince, steals all the packages, then turns around and sells them to the other characters at extortionist, highway robbery prices.

God I hate Machiavelli.  He’s so himself-ian.

I love all of the characters on my bookshelf equally. I wish they could love each other as much as I love them. I yearn for the day when they might learn to live side by side in perfect harmony. Until then, all I can do is keep them from murdering each other.

Tessa Fireswarm, heroine of the YA hit book series

Tessa Fireswarm, heroine of the YA hit book series “Arrowblast.” Catch her this summer in Arrowblast 5 – Cashgrabber Supreme.

One morning, I woke up to the sound of high impact explosions.  I knew it had to be the handiwork of Tessa Fireswarm, or at least the tiny version of the young adult fiction heroine who calls my shelf home.

If you haven’t read Tessa’s series, Arrowblast, you totally should.  It’s a harrowing tale of a corrupt dystopian future, in which a vicious totalitarian government led by the cruel Overlord Kwazlo is somehow easily overthrown by a band of plucky teenagers with literally no prior military training or battlefield experience.

I jumped out of bed and ran into my office, where I found a tiny Tessa launching explosive arrows at my collection of Tales of the Lost French Children.

You’ve never heard of Tales of the Lost French Children?  Oh those books are classics.  They’ve entertained countless generations of youngsters for many a moon.

Surely you remember being a young lad or lass reading a copy of

Surely you remember being a young lad or lass reading a copy of “Tales of the Lost French Children” in your local lending library.

I don’t want to spoil the plot, but essentially what happens is the Croissantiers, a group of wayward French youngsters, discover a hatch hidden underneath the laundry hamper kept in the bathroom of their modest Parisian home.  They crawl through it to find a magical land of mystical make believe in which a saintly aardvark and a butt ugly crone fight for control.

Oddly, the kids decide to stay but before you judge them, remember they were from 1940’s France so their choices were live under the control of a crone or under Hitler’s Nazi rule. Arguably, the crone was a step up.

Wow, that was a longwinded explanation.

Anyway, Tessa’s act of aggression was in direct violation of the Fireswarm/Croissantier Accord of 2014, a treaty I skillfully brokered between the hero of Arrowblast and the children who are always getting into hot water in their magic land.

Up until Tessa whipped out her bow and arrow, the agreement had held strong for a year.

The Aardvark, the Crone and the Hamper Hatch is the only book in that series worth reading!” Tiny Tessa yelled up at me. “Clear the rest of those trash books off the shelf or I’ll do it for you, Bookshelf Q. Battler!”

“It’s a box set,” I replied. “You’d miss Arrowblast 2: Big Box Office Returns if I threw it away, just like the Croissantier kids would miss Journey of the Tedious Plotline.”

I knew that Tedious Plotline stunk worse than a pile of moldy rotten cheddar, but all of these book characters had become like my children. As their adopted father, I was constantly lecturing them on the need to love one another, faults and all.

“Easy for you to say when you’re not living on a cramped bookshelf,” Tessa replied as she fired off another exploding arrow at my copy of Tedious Plotline.

“You are in direct violation of the treaty, Tessa!” I said.

“They started it!” Tessa whined.

She pointed to my copy of Return of the Crone, over which had been placed a sheet of typing paper, likely swiped off my desk by the mischievous Crossantier children in the middle of the night. On it were the words, “TESSA STINKS!  OVERLORD KWAZLO 4-EVA!”

I crumpled up the note and threw it away.

“I’ll talk to them later,” I said. “But for now, it’s bed time. Back in your book, Tessa!”

“Awww!” Tessa stomped her foot. “You always side with the Crossantiers!”

“Right now, young lady!”

“Fine. Hmmmph!”

And with that, Tessa opened up my copy of Arrowblast 6: The Final Blastening, walked into one of the pages, and disappeared.

Kids. These characters had traveled to breathtaking lands that exist only in our imaginations, fought vicious creatures, and saved the day more times than I could ever count. But once they were on my bookshelf, they resorted to acting like a bunch of cranky toddlers.

I couldn’t sleep. And I knew that Tessa’ explosions must have jostled Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was sleeping somewhere in my copy of his book of essays about the need for man to get back to nature.  I knew if I didn’t leave soon, Ralph would wake up and give me a long lecture about the need to move outdoors.  I was too tired to argue about how I’ll never live anywhere I can’t plug in my numerous electronic devices.

I was hungry. I walked downstairs and headed for the kitchen. I popped a frosted cherry toaster pastry into the toaster. Don’t judge me. Those things are delicious and with all of their preservatives, they will be here until the next ice age. When the apocalypse comes, I’ll be the one laughing, and you will all be my slaves, doing my bidding for the low wage of one toaster pastry per week.

No. I haven’t thought about this to great extent at all.

I plugged in the toaster. With the help of an enormous wall outlet adapter, I also plugged in the following devices:

  • Tablet charger (to allow me to stream TV shows while eating my toaster pastry)
  • Cell phone charger (in case I needed to call someone to tell them about my toaster pastry)
  • Nose hair trimmer (I like to look good at all times because you never know when you might bump into an elegant lady)
  • My belt sander (my belt had been looking a little rough around the edges)
  • My electronic toothbrush (cherry toaster pastry residue is not a substance you want to leave on your teeth for too long. Just ask my cousin, Gummy McGee)
  • My automatic bass finder (because it’s all about the bass, bout the bass, no sturgeon)
  • My e-reader (I like to read indie authors’ books while I eat pop tarts)
  • My super e-reader (I like to watch tv and read books on the same device)
  • My television (on which I only display a video of a pile of wood on fire. I find it relaxing.)
  • And at least 10 other appliances I’m too lazy too mention.

“When in doubt, add another plug.”
– Bookshelf Q. Battler

In addition to being an expert on bookshelf military maneuvers, I am also a distinguished scientist. I hold a Prestigious Degree in Science from the Advanced Science Institute of Science University. It was presented to me by my mentor, Dr. Hugo Von Science.

Dr. Hugo Von Science A

Dr. Hugo Von Science
Advanced Science Institute of Science University Faculty Photo

I am very proud of my Prestigious Degree in Science.  (If you wanted to get fancy, you could refer to me as BQB, P.D.S.)

Sometimes I wear my degree on a chain around my neck when I go out clubbing. Women come up to me and are all like, “Wow! Is that a Prestigious Degree in Science??!!” And I’m all like, “What? This old thing?”

Anyway. Since I am a scientist, I am fully qualified to explain to you what happened next. In hindsight, I should have seen it coming and saved myself. Alas, hindsight is 20/20 and I was too focused on the warm cherry goodness percolating inside my toaster to pay attention to the storm that was brewing outside.

High in the skies above the Bookshelf Battle Compound, the sprawling fortress I call home, the clouds belched out buckets of rain. Claps of thunder shook the surface of the earth and lightning streaks brightened up the normally pitch black sky.

I ignored it all. I wanted that toaster pastry. And at the exact moment when said tasty treat popped out of the toaster, a bolt of lightning, attracted by all of the energy surging through my overburdened adapter, launched itself into the wall of my headquarters, through my adapter, and into my toaster. With nowhere left to turn, the lightning jumped out of the toaster and into my late night snack.

Before my very eyes, my toaster pastry grew to a tremendous size – six feet tall and three feet wide.

Most men would tremble in terror at the sight of a colossal toaster treat. Me?  I laugh in the face of supernatural baked goods.

I ate the whole thing…and it was delicious.

An hour later, I was binge watching one of my favorite shows.  I felt intense pain in my bowels, a pain no human being had ever felt before.

And then it dawned on me:

I had eaten concentrated lightning.

The bolt in my belly scrambled to and fro in my gut, tearing my insides apart as it desperately searched for an escape route.

And we all know the path of said escape route.

I ran to the bathroom, dropped my trousers, sat on the throne and….

KABOOM!

Darkness. I was surrounded by nothing but darkness. I walked around for what seemed like forever until I finally discovered a light.

It was the light at the end of the tunnel that we’ve all heard so much about. It was finally my turn to see it.

I did what anyone would do. I walked toward it.

What happens when Bookshelf Q. Battler reaches the light at the end of the tunnel? Find out in the next episode of “Bookshelf Q. Battler and the Meaning of Life!”

Copyright (C) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Bow and arrow woman, French kid, adapter and mad scientist images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Attorney, a lovely woman you’ll meet in June, advises “Any resemblance to other literary works/characters is purely coincidental and/or for parody purposes only.”

Hooray for lawyers!

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Amazon – Superman or Lex Luthor?

DEBATE QUESTION OF THE DAY:  When it comes to self-publishing, is Amazon Superman or Lex Luthor?

AMAZON IS SUPERMAN:  Once upon a time, if you had a story in your heart and wanted to tell the world, your only choice was to roll the dice, write it, submit it, and there was like a 10% chance maybe you’d find a publisher and a 90% chance that your manuscript would collect dust in your sock drawer.  To increase your odds, you could abandon your home, family, and everyone you know from the place you grew up and move to New York City or LA and try to hobnob with the beautiful people but in reality, the closest you’d get is a form reply from the assistant to the assistant of the book agent’s assistant.

Amazon has changed all that.  You are in control.  You build your platform.  You draw in your readers.  An entire self-publishing industry has been created to help writers like you.  You can find editors to help you polish your work, beta readers to give you feedback on what works and what doesn’t, formatters to put your book together in digital form and artists to create your book cover.

Roll up your sleeves, work hard, upload your book to Amazon, and you now have a foot in the door of the world of publishing.  If your book is as good as you think it is, people will read it, tell others and God willing, you become the next Hugh Howey or Amanda Hocking.

Does KDP Select lead to authors making their works exclusive to Amazon and push them to give their works away for free or on the cheap?  Yes.  But, come on.  We’re struggling no-names.  Readers only have so much expendable income.  If they have ten bucks to spend, will they buy my book or Steven King’s.  King has a proven track record.  You buy a Steven King book and you know you’ll be entertained.  Me?  I still have to earn that reputation.  So, take my work for pennies, world and if you like it, I hope you’ll come back for more and pay for the privilege because a steady flow of book sales income is what I need to justify writing as a full time career.

Thanks Amazon!  Like Superman, you’ve saved us all!

AMAZON IS LEX LUTHOR – Muah ha ha.  Yes.  Gather around my table at Legion of Doom Headquarters where I will now share my evil plans.  You had dreams of becoming a writer, did you?  We got you hooked on our service.  You uploaded your books, built your fan base, pushed them toward our site and thank you.  Your reward?  Pressure to give your books away for free and keep them only with us – we’ll get plenty of clicks on our site, you might get a little bit of pocket change for your trouble.  We’re driving down the cost of books all across the board, and even traditionally published writers are complaining about profit declines.  We don’t really care…we’re getting ours.  Muah ha ha.

DEBATE:  I lean toward the Superman argument but I can understand why some people might go with Lex Luthor.  What say you, self publishers?

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