Monday, February 14, 2011

"In those days, nickles had pictures of bumblebees on them!"

hat-tip to Jeff Wells

Andy Rooney reviews"The King's Speech," in a manner that's both sincerely endearing and also, unintentionally, explains how and why this particular film became an awards season juggernaut:

"I like movies that remind me of something I know about," indeed.

Easy to roll your eyes at, granted - though I'd caution folks my age and persuasion to keep in mind that this is basically the "sweet old man talking about actual history" version of how WE sound when explaining why Star Wars references still "work" (back when they still did, anyway...)


Peter said...

Hey Bob. This might seem like a weird question but I know that you're a guy to ask about this. I was thinking of checking out the Ultimate Spiderman books and I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts on them before I do. Thanks.

Sssonic said...

Peter: I know you wanted Bob's opinion, not some random schmoe who peruses his blogs, but since I know Bob does not hold USM in the highest of regards, I thought I'd just mention that it has, to me personally, some of the best "Spider-Man" material of the last twenty years, particularly in its opening volumes. Just puttin' that out there as a longtime USM fan. ^_^

Anywho, as for the actual topic...

I'm always amused when you become fixated on movies like this around Oscar season, Bob. Seriously, by your own admission it doesn't feel like "The King's Speech" is REALLY worth all the attention you're giving it, even in the negative sense, and given that you had similar hang-ups with "Dreamgirls" and "Brokeback Mountain" in the past (though you seemed to dislike both of them more than "Speech", admittedly), it winds up feeling less like anything to do with "Speech" itself and more to do with the Oscar system and how it selects its frontrunners. And THAT is neither particularly noteworthy at this point nor all that worth caring about, in my personal perspective. But whatever; I'll just wait for the next movie of "Speech"'s kind to roll around and we can start the whole cycle over again.

rob said...

Agreed on Ultimate Spidey. It's fun to read, but not extremely engaging and blow-your-mind story telling.
Having said that: I do have nearly the entire series ^^

About the old guy in the video: Meh. An american correspondent on a british king. Sure, now we're all experts on everything.

Arturo said...

I could high five you through the Earth for that Simpsons reference.

Dave Kraft said...

@Peter: Bob may seem like the guy whose advice you should ask about this sort of thing, but he really isn't.

I recommend checking out the book for yourself and seeing what you think without letting the subjective opinions of another influence your perception of something you haven't yet read..... ESPECIALLY those of someone who has a clear bias and doesn't care enough to check his source material whenever something brushes up against him that doesn't jive with his opinions.


There was a radical shift in creative direction and tone with USM after the first two trade paperbacks. From what I have heard, the first two TPBs read like a manga. Some people really liked it, some people really hated it. To each his/her own, I guess.

HOWEVER.... I am also told in both cases it gets lots better after that.

So I would recommend that if you decide to pick up trades of USM, don't be quick to judge it after one TPB or so. Give it some time and see where it goes.

That, at least, is what I have been told by people who actually read the Ultimate Spider-Man book. All I've read of the Ultimates continuity is Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum, so I don't have my own opinion on USM. I'd recommend sticking with it, as comics have the tendency to oscillate in their tone and portrayal after editorial/creative team shifts, etc.

If you're interested in checking it out, then check it out and see if you like it. Read a bit in the store before you buy the books and judge for yourself whether or not they're worth your money. OR, if you have a membership with a local library that carries the comics (many 'round here do), you can check out the books there without it costing you a dime.

If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. It's up to you, man.

Dave Kraft said...

Now, with regard to Sssonic and rob's statements with regard to this posting, I agree. I also think that, since Bob had already made a video with regard to "The King's Speech" being Oscar bait, continuing to perseverate over this does nothing but suck the potency out of the previous video. Same goes with other videos which repeat Bob's opinions insistently and redundantly.

I agree with Bob's videos and I enjoyed them, but vigorously beating a dead horse does nothing but undermine his previous points.

I would quote Sssonic's last paragraph to reflect how I feel about it, but it'd just make this post longer than it already is and you all are big boys. Scroll up and read it yourself, because it's true.... it isn't really worth all this attention.

Daniel said...

As a pretty huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan I'd say it could go either way depending on you're personal taste. If you're new to comics I'd say the first volume is a terrific way to start. The first few volumes are great, a terrific story with terrific characters but... you'll only enjoy it if you learn to enjoy its almost "whedon-esque" style. Since it expands the origin into almost a full volume it really gets into the details of Peters life.

The series has its fair share of low points. At no point in time is it terrible, but it got pretty damn close to it at times. The overall low point in my opinion was the Hobgoblin arc.

@Dave Kraft

Dave, I'm sorry but I really think you're taking the criticism a bit too far.

Must every aspect of Bob's thoughts on comics-or movies based on comics- be subject to you're mean spirited critique? I'm not saying there isn't a place for constructive criticism, but when was the last time any of you're complaints actually added to the conversation?

Hell, I myself have always thought Bob should be allowed to be as biased as he damn well pleased on this site.
This is HIS blog after all. Not a news site, a BLOG. Last time I checked this was the proper definition;

a web site containing the writer's own experiences, observations, and OPINIONS.

It's one thing to criticize his factual errors, its another to criticize his opinions.

Back on the topic... well sort-of;

Its already clear how this years Oscars will turn out.

Its also growing more and more apparent how this year's crop of films will turn out on the long run.

In a years time;

The King's Speech- Long Forgotten, on the bargain bin collecting dust next to all the copies of Hurt Locker.

Social Network- That great film that really established Jesse Eisenberg as something more than a Michael Cera stand in.

Edge of Darkness- One last terrific film before he finally lost what was left of his sanity.

Scott Pilgrim- The underrated classic that really established Michael Cera as something more than... well, Michael Cera.

Twilight Eclipse- Wow, we thought it couldn't get any worse than this but somehow they managed to pull through.


Psyckid008 said...

Speaking of Spiderman, I just saw the new picture and found out the title. My conclusion is this. Bob had no idea what he was talking about. The Amazing Spiderman is going to be incredible.

Dave Kraft said...

@Daniel: Really, now? I agreed with what Sssonic and rob wrote. If you weren't engaging in selective reading and actually bothered to read the bulk of my comments, you will find many comments of mine which were constructive. Take a look at my post on the X-Men: First class video, and everything past the first two paragraphs on my posts here for proof of this.

Branding the entire content of MY posts (when two other people wrote the same damn thing) based on two opening paragraphs says miles about your reading comprehension skills. It's like you're trying to pick a fight.

Regardless, there's a clear difference between OPINION and PURPORTING FICTION AS FACT. All of you need to learn this.

Not checking source material and making stuff up does not equal opinion. Using made-up stuff as the basis for an opinion is a great way to invalidate or undermine one's argument.

Does Bob have a right to his opinion? Certainly. Does he have a right to make videos about stuff he doesn't like? Of course. Is he permitted to make supporting arguments for the sake of substantiating his perspective? ABSOLUTELY.

But at the same time, if his supporting argument is comprised of stuff he made up because he didn't bother checking his source material, does that not undermine his underlying argument? Y'know, as opposed to citing actual information from the books he bitches about as part of his supporting argument.

Furthermore, Peter's post here is yet another bit of proof that people on the internet trying to get into the hobby turn to others they view to be authorities (at least, better versed in the subject than a layman). Would you not say that a person who is paid to make these videos has a responsibility to his/her viewers by trying to make sure that the information is factually correct?

There's a difference between fact and opinion. Making up stuff and purporting it as fact in order to substantiate an opinion is NO DIFFERENT THAN WHAT GLENN BECK DOES.

Do it in court and it's called purgery. Do it for a publication not owned by News Corp and get caught red-handed and you get FIRED.

Dave Kraft said...


The costume design is different, much more like the House of M outfit for sure..... but I must say, his posture is far more like what I'd expect out of an actual comic book than whatever Raimi's movies pulled off. Very convincing, reminds me of the runs on Spidey from the '90s. Very form-fitting.

The lighting in this picture is also very, very good. Took some time to look up the production crew and I must say I'm actually impressed by some of the names I saw.

My understanding is that this IS meant to be a darker film. Been asking around with some of my contacts vis-a-vis people they know who've worked on the film. Visually, it's different, but from what I've gathered thus far, it's no Spider-Light.

Spot on, Psyckid. There's lots of stuff about this film which has yet to be disclosed to the public, so while first impressions are one thing, branding the entire tone of a movie when presented with insufficient information is beyond dumb. And Bob's perspective apparently doesn't line up from what I've been told from others in-the-know.

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

@Dave Kraft

Nothing I say will ever change you're opinion, and nothing you say will ever change my views, this is just pointless.

I'm tired of arguing.

Bob said...

Y'know, it's AWESOME having all of you apparent psychics reading this blog - able to predict with total certainty exactly what I'm going to say in any given situation. It's like I don't even have to do any news-blogging any more: I can just tell people "Nah, just read the comments pages - they'll tell you how I feel about whatever's going on that day ;)

I was never terribly fond of Ultimate Spider-Man, but it's strictly a matter of indifference - in my general experience it was decently-written if frequently waaaay too drawn-out and had solid art... I just never really hit on what the "point" was, since it was neither radical enough to be an "all new" take or adherent enough to be some kind of retro-wank. I got the consistent sense that, were it to have been a book about a Spider-Man-ESQUE "new" characrer it would've been A.) an exponentially better product and B.) nobody would've cared it existed.

Dave said...

@ Dave kraft

I have no idea how I missed I09s article about the new spider-man. Oh wait, new gawker layout makes finding anything horrible. Now I remember.

Anyone else interested in predicting how Bob will try and make the name "the amazing spiderman" somehow indicative of how horribly heartless and totally gay the makers of the movie are?

Dave Kraft said...

@Daniel: This isn't a matter of opinion. The fact that you keep coming back to that clearly shows me that a) you don't seem to understand the difference between fact and opinion, and b) you lack cursory reading comprehension skills.

@Bob: No telepathy required. Our comments are in response to past posts, not future ones yet to happen. Regardless, you have quite the track record, and thus you've become predictable. And thank you for clarifying that you've been news-blogging. Now you can stop committing violations of journalistic integrity. Quit bullshitting your way through "news" reports. If you claim to be addressing a history, then please, for the love of Christ, just address the damn source material. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds of your time, will help keep your videos on-track and prevent digression, and won't lengthen out the videos as much as you think.

Beyond that, I agree with your statements on USM based not only on what I've heard but it seems to reflect my feelings toward the Ultimates books I HAVE read. I feel your statements are valid overall and resonate true throughout the entire Ultimates line.

However, I still think Peter should've just tried out the books for himself, rather than unintentionally imposing those views onto him. I just wanted to warn him not to form an opinion of the book after a single trade paperback, as the storytelling and overall creative direction do change significantly as USM runs on. He might like it later on even if he doesn't like the earlier books, so I wanted to make him aware of that.

@Dave: I'm not quite sure what you're talking about. I didn't find that on 109. A European colleague had posted up a link on a French site. That being said, I fail to see the relevance of your post.

rob said...

@ Bob, yeah, funny huh? Been watching that for a few weeks now.
Either they think you're too famous and busy to read this stuff or they consider themselves moderators of this forum and prophets of your holy scripture :p

Either way, they're fanboys.

Dave Kraft said...

@rob: First off, I'm not a fanboy.

Second of all, you need to read what I actually write before you judge me for it. It's a matter of getting facts straight, plain and simple. Journalistic integrity and all that jazz.

Purporting misinformation is bad. Getting your source material right is good. I don't know how much more crystal clear I can get than that.

rob said...

Quote: Dave Kraft said...
@rob: First off, I'm not a fanboy.

Yeah, that's a fanboy response. ;)

But Dave Kraft, yeah, you're right. The level of your responses is higher.

You are a critical reader and give your opinion. You are probably not above posting "Worst. Post. Ever."
I'd equate you with a Comicbookguy.
(I mean this in a jesting way :) )
But I also mean some of the other responders over the last few weeks/months.
They're almoast trying to gain favor from Bob by trying to respond to questions for him.
It's becoming an amusing end the posts themselves.