Marvel vs DC: Who Truly Reigns Supreme in Entertainment?

Marvel vs DC: Who Truly Reigns Supreme in Entertainment?

For many years geeks have been debating each other on who is better Marvel or DC? Friendships have ended, relationships broken, silent treatments given. Message boards, trolls were born on this burning question alone.  Justin finally enters the ring and give my two cents on this endless debate.

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The Pros and Cons of a Cinematic Universe

Hollywood is never short of following the mode monkey see monkey do. It's no surprise after the huge success from Marvel/Disney cinematic universe everyone else would follow. These days in Hollywood the focus is no longer about a stand alone film. It's not about a basic trilogy with three films and done. Today is all about expansion; connecting the dots and keeping the story going. This works well in a genre like a comic book films. It's great that Marvel, DC, Valiant, and Dark Horse are getting their just due in film world. These great comic book companies have endless of amount of material and stories to share with the world. We're in the golden age of comic book films at this point in time. Two years from now we're getting a Justice League movie. I never thought in my wildest dreams this would happen.

As much as I love the cinematic universe for my comic book films. I'm starting to see other genres take notice and trying to create cinematic universes, crossovers for films that don't need it. There were rumors of two Ghostbusters movies: one with the all female cast and one with all male cast and they will share the same universe. You can argue for plot it makes sense that the Ghostbusters expanded their business. However, do the Ghostbusters need their own cinematic universe? Did Paranormal Activity need the Marked Ones and try to connect it to the original? There are pros and cons for the cinematic universe and I'm going to share with you my take on it.

Pros of The Cinematic Universe

1. Crossovers: One of the great things that we get from a cinematic universe is crossovers that we only dreamed about. Marvel and DC are putting all their heroes on the big screen together. We've seen The Avengers, and soon we will see the Justice League. The fact that Batman and Superman are coming together is a big deal. It's something most of us thought would never happen. For my Otakus think what would happen if Jump did a cinematic universe. Imagine the possibility of Luffy, Goku, Naruto and Yusuke all in one movie. It will be the most epic thing for us. Crossovers mean interaction, big stories, epic battles, and hilarious moments you wouldn't get in a stand alone. Instead of Easter eggs, or a small cameo we have characters together for a whole two hours.

2. A Universe Is Much Bigger Than A Trilogy

From a business standpoint and longevity standpoint, a universe is infinite. In a cinematic universe there is no end game. New characters can be introduced, new situations, new location and more. A trilogy is one complete story and it's over. There is no revisiting the world again, there is no next chapter for the series. A successful universe is a money train that keeps ranking in the cash. If you need a proper example see below the map of Marvel's Cinematic Universe for the next couple of years.

As you can see Marvel has everything mapped out and plan from TV series to movies all the way to 2019. From a business stand point if each film at least gross worldwide 400 million and cost was around 150 million Marvel and Disney have some decent returns. Notice in Marvel Phase 3 the only two heroes returning in stand alone films are Captain America and Thor. Iron Man 4 is not happening as of right now. Marvel is keeping the universe alive and fresh by introducing new characters like Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Inhumans, and Black Panther. This gives audiences a break from Iron Man, Thor and Capt. With infinite stories and possibilities a cinematic universe is more open to crossovers and bigger chances for constant money returns.

3. Beneficial For Everyone

One thing I'm loving about the cinematic universe is that talented actors, directors, screenwriters are getting a chance to shine. Anthony Mackie is really making a name for himself now after Winter Solider. His role of Falcon is becoming one of my favorites and I would love to see a stand alone film for his character. Robert Downey Jr. resurrected his career thanks to Iron Man. Henry Cavill received a huge leading man status off of Man of Steel. Now he is leading roles like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Chris Evans made his directorial debut based off the money he made working as Captain America. If used right everyone wins in the cinematic universe. Actors of course get paid and get exposure for other projects. Directors and screenwriters get more work from the studios on other projects. The studios make their money and we the viewers have a great time watching the finished product.

The cinematic universe opens infinite ways on how to approach a franchise now. It's enables crossovers, big box office returns, epic battles, endless storylines and for us a a good time. However what comes good also comes with some bad and it's time to list the cons of the cinematic universe.

Cons of The Cinematic Universe

1. Story Limitations & Barriers

One major con of the cinematic universe is the story limitations and barriers within that universe. Everything story wise has to connect or reference to the overall big picture. This leaves some movies feeling more like a  set up film than feeling like a meaningful plot device for the big picture. If your story is not connected into the overall plot of the universe then it doesn't make the cut. This limitation can be hurtful because you can miss out on key characters, key story-lines, or overall great ideas because it doesn't connect or reference your universe. This is a major problem Marvel is having right now. They're having a hard time keeping directors or writers because of the barrier. Everything has to connect, this film is a set up film while this film is more important this one. If you take away creative freedom from an artist that artist is not going to want to do it. Edgar Wright left Ant-Man due to creative differences. He had his vision and Marvel had theirs and at the end the studios wins. If Ant-Man was just a trilogy without any universe tie in I bet Edgar Wright could do what he wanted. A cinematic universe can suffer greatly when you have to worry about how to connect and co-exist with another film. It's like five authors, five editors and five proofreaders are trying to write one book. While in a trilogy it's one story, one author, no worry about expansion just a self contain area and you work in that area. 

2. Quantity over Quality

I will be the first to say I'm happy with that we are getting all these films from Marvel and DC. However to be honest I'm a man that likes quality over quantity. The cinematic universe seems to be more quantity over quality. If we only got one Marvel and DC movie a year I wouldn't complain. At least that tells me that the studio is taking their time with each solo project and move. We're getting a lot of superhero movies next year from different universes. We got Deadpool and X-Men Apocalypse for the X-Men Universe by Fox. We got Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad from DC Universe by Warner Bros. Finally Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange from Marvel Universe by Disney. That is a total six superhero films next year alone. That is a flooded market of heroes next year. It's possible that all these films will be a knockout. But when sequels are being announced before you even see how your film is received you're caring about quantity more than quality. If it took three years for another Marvel film I wouldn't be mad. I want the best product out there. Take your time there is no rush. You don't always have to strike when the iron is hot.  There is a flaw with overexposure and flooding the market. People get use to the formula and eventually get bored. Everything comes full circle and the age of comic book films will be at an end soon. I believe that quantity over quality will be one of the shots that kills it.

3. The Studio System

This one is not really related to us the viewer but for the people in the industry. One thing the cinematic universe does to an actor, director or writer is lock you down. Some of these contracts resemble the old studio system. The old studio system  is where an actor, director signed for a certain amount of films with a studio. Then that studio has the power to tell the actor or director he or she has to do a certain film regardless. The actor can't say no because they signed the contract and are now obligated to that ink. Sebastain Stan who plays Winter Solider signed a 9 picture deal with Marvel. We don't know what's in his contract, but 9 pictures is a very long time in the movie world. Hugo Weaving signed a contract with the studio and voiced his pleasure not to return. However if they need Red Skull, they can force him because he signed a contract.  This contract can affect you doing other projects, time off to reset the mind and more. It can become a career killer as well leaving some people pigeonhole in a role or genre. Many studios are following suit by locking down their talent to multi picture deals. While the exposure, money and pay off might be beneficial the end game can be a risk on artistic freedom and control. 

One thing is for sure that the cinematic universe will be here at least till 2020. However will the pros outweigh the cons? Or will the cons outweigh the pros? As a film buff I'm excited to see how this new vehicle rides out. 

Top 5 Touching Moments In Hey Arnold

Top 5 Touching Moments In Hey Arnold

Hey Arnold is one of my favorite cartoons and Nicktoons of all time. The show had a good moral compass, great cast, fun stories. However once in a while Hey Arnold got serious. The show gave episodes with adult themes, adult problems and these episode as a kid made you think. These episode were pack with emotional depth and it was touching. Here are the top 5 Touching Moments in Hey Arnold. 

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Five Anime Shows to Watch on Crunchyroll

One thing I have been doing lately is binge watching Crunchyroll. I have narrow my shows down to five shows you should watch. Check out the list. Tell us in the comment section what you are watching.

Isuca

Shinichiro Asano is a penniless high school student who decides to look for a job in order to pay his rent. His teacher suggests that he find work doing housekeeping. While working for the Shimazu family, he meets Sakuya, a beautiful girl who comes off as a bit crude and selfish. But Sakuya is also the 37th head of the Shimazu family and works as an exorcist, capturing and eliminating unwanted creatures. One day, Shinichiro accidentally frees one of these creatures and they must cooperate to recapture it.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Based off of a light novel of the same name written by Fujino Omori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda, Is It Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is set in the world of Orario, where adventurers band together and look for treasures in an underground labyrinth known as Dungeon. However, for Bell Cranel, fame and riches are secondary to what he wants to find the most: girls. He soon finds out though, that anything can happen in Dungeon, and winds up being the damsel in distress instead!

Plastic Memories

After failing his college entrance exams, 18 year-old Tsukasa Mizugaki is offered a position at the renowned SAI Corporation due to his father’s connections. SAI Corporation is known for its production and management of androids that possessed human emotions called Giftia. Tsukasa’s position is in the terminal service department where the main job is to recover Giftias that are close to their expiration, a graveyard department in every sense. To make matters worse, Tsukasa is ordered to work with Isla, a female Giftia who is never given any responsibility other than serving tea to co-workers.

My Love Story

Takeo Goda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don't want him! (They always go for his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn! Takeo can hardly believe it when he crosses paths with Yamato again, and he finds himself falling in love with her… But with handsome Sunakawa around, does Takeo even stand a chance? 

Parasyte The Maximum 

They arrived in silence and darkness, descending from the skies with a hunger for human flesh. Parasites - alien creatures who must invade and take control of a human host to survive – have come to Earth. No one knows their secret except high school student, Shinichi Izumi, who’s right hand has been invaded by an alien parasite. Shinichi and Migi, the parasite in his hand, begrudgingly form a friendship and find themselves caught in the middle of a war between humans and parasites.

 

 

  

Five Things We Want to See From Final Fantasy VII Remake

Yesterday on June 16th 2015 at Sony's E3 press conference. Sony revealed that Final Fantasy VII remake will be happening. A trailer was shown and the gaming community went nuts. Now that it's finally happening its time for me to list things we here at O & G want to see.

 

1. Crisis Core & Advent Children: While Final Fantasy VII is an epic story in its self. The prequel and sequel are both worthy to be included in this remake release. I would like to see the remake, start off from Crisis Core to show where Cloud beginnings began. Since Cloud is the protagonist it will be great for newcomers to see how he became the Cloud we know from Final Fantasy VII. Crisis Core also gives great backstory on Aerith, Zack, Sephiroth and introduced a Final Fantasy baddie Genesis. Crisis Core is an important to the Final Fantasy VII lore because it shows the rise of Shrina, the fall of Sephiroth and the story of the Buster Sword.

Also adding the Advent Children movie with it will make the full story feel complete. Advent Children shows how Cloud deals with the events after Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core. It ties up loose ends and gives closure for the character. I would love to have the movie playable in the remake. However if the film is just included with the game I will be satisfied.

2.  Full Orchestrated Soundtrack: I know this is most likely will happen. However I want this game to be fully orchestrated by the Distant Worlds team. Final Fantasy is known for three things, story, gameplay and music by Nobuo Uematsu. A cinematic soundtrack will not only add to the tone of the game, but really bring players into that world.

3. Crisis Core Gameplay and Original Gameplay: I don't think Square Enix will have the turned based gameplay for the remake. I would like to see the gameplay style of Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core implemented for the remake. While I love the original gameplay. I think a more action rpg approach like Crisis Core would do the remake justice. Square Enix should give us the option for those who like the new way of playing Final Fantasy games and the old style for purist. 

4. Full Voice Acting Cast: Final Fantasy VII  is beloved by many people. As much as I enjoyed the cast of Advent Children. I think it's time for a recast. I would like to voice actors like Troy Baker, Matt Mercer, Laura Bailey and many more in the roles for the remake.

5. Dirge of Cerberus DLC: While the game had its problems it's still part of the Final Fantasy VII lore. After Advent Children Final Fantasy VII character Vincent had his own story. The game explored greatly on Vincent character and reintroduced Genesis. The gameplay should be revamp to reflect today's modern day shooters. This will be a nice 20 bucks DLC for those who want the complete Final Fantasy VII experience.

What would you like to see in Final Fantasy VII remake? Leave a comment below.

 

Five DC Characters That Is Best For Tyrese Gibson To Play

For a couple of months, singer/actor Tyrese Gibson has taken to social media, campaigning for a role in DC Cinematic Universe. Tyrese is mainly asking to play Green Lantern’s John Stewart. While I think Tyrese will make a good John Stewart. I feel a few more DC Characters are a better fit for him.  We usually see Tyrese playing more comedic roles like in Furious 7 etc. However fans shouldn't forget he has done dramatic roles such as Four Brothers and Baby Boy. I think Tyrese needs a character that can explore his dramatic chops and give him more range as an actor. Check out my five picks and tell me which character in the DC Universe you think would be good for Tyrese.

1. Black Lightning

Black Lightning is one DC Comics first black characters. Jefferson Pierce was a gold winning Olympic athlete. He grew up on the Southside of Metropolis called Suicide Slum. Pierce is a meta human with ability to generate electromagnetic fields and create force fields as well.  Black Lightning was also a member of the Justice League. He has had many interactions with Batman and Superman.

Black Lightning

Black Lightning

How Can DC Incorporate Black Lightning To The Cinematic Universe: The best way to incorporate Black Lightning, would for DC to use the story of Lex Luthor as President of the United States. In the comics, Luthor appointed Jefferson Pierce as his Secretary of Education. We can use that as the door to introduce Pierce and explore his relationship not just with Luthor but Metropolis.  DC later can do a quick miniseries or one shot special showing the back-story of Black Lightning, and how he protects the city of Metropolis from the gang The 100. Lightning has enough character development, personal rogue gallery, and story for Tyrese to sink his teeth into. He is not a comedic guy, but he is a bad ass and a very intelligent one at that.

2. Steel

John Henry Irons is a weapons engineer for Amer Tek Industries. He is responsible for creating the BG-60 powerful energy cannon.  When it fell into the wrong hands, he left for Metropolis and took a job as a construction worker. One day on the job at a construction site John fell off the skyscraper where he was rescued by Superman. Steel doesn't have any powers but is very skilled in technology. He has a suit of armor that not only enhances his strength but endurance as well. His signature modified hammer has the ability to hit harder than an ordinary hammer, have independent flight and has an analysis system to detect stress points of targets. Like Iron Man in Marvel, Steel has a variety of armor each with its own modification. While Steel might not have an enriching backstory as Black Lightning or other heroes on this list. He still is a solid addition to the DC Comics.

Steele

Steele

How Can DC Incorporate Steel in The Cinematic Universe: The best storyline to introduce Steel will be the Death of Superman. That storyline is the first time Steel encounters Superman. The Death of Superman storyline is when Superman saved Steel from the construction building. That scene can be put in as a nice easter egg in any movie actually. Another way is to introduce the BG-60 Cannon weapon and AmerTrek Industries. Let’s use Lex Luthor as the man responsible for its improper use. Have Steel feel responsible and suit up to take down the crooks and Luthor. There are many ways to introduce Steel into the universe. Tyrese has enough experience to really nail the character. To be fair the bar isn’t set very high and he won’t have to do much with his performance. At this point any actor can beat Shaq’s performance as the character.

 

3. Mr. Terrific

Michael Holt has been called the 3rd smartest man on Earth in the DC Universe. Michael has a very natural aptitude for solving complicated problems and possesses a great memory. He also has T-Spheres which are robotic spheres that is able to project lasers grids, holograms and manipulate electronic devices. The mask he wears protects him from harmful chemicals, contains a communicator, and can be used to project holograms of himself. Finally, Mr. Terrific is one of the only heroes that can go undetected from all forms of electronic frequency and devices.

Tyreese                                                                                                           Mr Terrific

Tyreese                                                                                                           Mr Terrific

How Can DC Incorporate Mr. Terrific in The Cinematic Universe: The best way to introduce Mr. Terrific is through Bruce Wayne. In the comics Michael Holt and Bruce Wayne are friendly business rivals. Holt is a self made millionaire with a technology firm entitled Cyberwear. The company was brought by Wayne Tech. On the superhero spectrum Batman seeks the help of Mr. Terrific during Infinite Crisis to take down the Brother Eye Satellite. What I would like to see from Mr. Terrific is something that makes the character appealing. Mr. Terrific has strong views on religion. Holt has seen a lot of death during his life. He doesn't believe in souls, reincarnation, or the afterlife. I think with Holt’s views DC can do something no superhero film has done. His back-story of losing his family is great for Tyrese to show his dramatic acting chops. Also giving Tyrese a character, which is not popular in his views of religion, will not only challenge him as actor but the audience as well.

 

4. Bronze Tiger

Ben Taylor has a lot of rage issues. He grew up in a black neighborhood in Central City. At the age of ten he killed a robber attacking his parents. After that incident he trains in martial arts to try to overcome his demons. He travels to the far East and meets teacher O-Sensei where he learns his craft. Eventually Bronze Tiger joins the League of Assassins and Suicide Squad. Bronze Tiger has no powers; however he is a skilled fighter.

Bronze Tiger

Bronze Tiger

How Can DC Incorporate Bronze Tiger in the Cinematic Universe: The best way to introduce Bronze Tiger will be the Suicide Squad. However, I think Common might have that role. Bronze Tiger can also be introduced if they have the League of Assassins on the big screen. Tyrese will have to show his physical acting chops by learning martial arts.

 

5. ICON

Icon will be a stretch mainly because Tyrese will really have to buff up for the role. He would have to be on Dwayne Johnson’s level of physicality. Icon has been around since 1839 when his starliner malfunctioned. When the life pod landed it landed on a plantation in the south. The pod changed the appearance of the passenger to the first life form it saw. He then was adopted and kept changing his appearance to resemble offsprings of the life form. ICON has many powers such as super strength, reflexes, stamina, speed, flight, senses, healing factor, and energy generation.

How Can DC Incorporate ICON in The Cinematic Universe: The best way to introduce Icon is to show he’s been on Earth way before Man of Steel. However, this will eliminate the whole purpose of Superman being the first alien. If they decide to do a Final Crisis movie arc then that is when ICON can show up. Icon is not in the New 52 so there is not much material on him right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another Five Annoying Anime Cliches

About three years ago I wrote two articles listing my hated cliches in anime. As I started watching anime even more, I can't help but nitpick things I keep seeing.  These cliches are annoying to a lot of otakus with the new school anime. Tell me what you think otakus about this cliches in the comment section.

1. High School Location and Kids - I don't know about you readers, but lately it seems that all anime characters are in High School or Junior High. The main characters usually range from 14 - 18. For me this is limiting story chances that an adult might experience compare to a child. The kids usually deal with High School drama like winning the girl, dealing with a sports team, having a class rep etc. Depending on the genre there is usually some melodrama element like being an orphan in the mix. In the old days of anime we had adult characters with adult situations. Why can't I have a slice of life anime that focuses on the challenges of marriage? It just seems like anime is becoming more focus on the younger crowd. I love a good High School story but I want the return of some adult story and action.

2. The Alien Invasion -  I see this a lot of in mech anime shows. Anytime an alien race is introduce it's usually to take over the world or destroy something. To me there is plently of ways to introduce a hostile alien race. It doesn't always have to be all out violence from the beginning. Make the alien  smart by trying to use diplomacy instead of violence. Or have them come in peace and then go have them go nuts. Change the motives of the alien race from time to time. The alien race usually destroys a city, the hero family dies and he is chosen one to take them down. If the alien invasion is going to be use , have it be refreshing or take an old story and put your spin on it. I love mech but the whole invasion angle is tiresome.

3. We're Just Friends - I touched on this in the first write up about cliches. However that was regarding characters taking too long to say I love you. This is about the dense character is truly blind to the feelings being sent. I'm seeing this cliche on my favorite anime shows of the 2015. Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?  The main character Bell is oblivious to the feelings his friend has for him. She sends him countless sighs, like wearing sexy outfits, saying the truth in joke form etc. He still doesn't get it. I know they're going for that tension element, but it's over use. Instead how about we get the reveal in the first episode. Then explore the consequences of the answer. I think that will be very interesting to see.

4. The Virgins - This one might be controversial for some. However this is really an add on to number one. I'm tired of the virgins in anime. The most cliche romantic gesture in anime is the perv technique. Don't look at my boobs you pervert. The guy walks into the girl getting in the shower etc. Their both shy about their body. Reason I like more adult situations and adult characters because it avoids these constant cliches. I don't want to see any sex scenes etc. I just want my characters to get rid of this overused element. 

5. The Quiet Girl - Don't you find the quiet anime girl with big boobs, voice is so soft and low annoying? I see this in so many high school anime shows. The quiet girl usually has some dark past or a huge secret that won't be revealed till mid season. Personally I get frustrated watching a character like this. Mainly because the reveal doesn't pay off, or you know from the beginning something is off with the character. It will be more believable if the character was out in the open and keeps a secret to throw off the scent.  

What anime cliches you find annoying? Leave a comment below.

Otakus & Geeks Top Five Best Movies of 2014

Otakus & Geeks Top Five Best Movies of 2014

2014 was a great year for movies. We saw the return of the X-Men, the Captain put his stamp on the Marvel Universe. Gone Girl made me think twice about getting married and many more. However with so many great and horrible movies to enter this year. It's time for me to choose the best of the best.

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A Few Reasons Why I Love Misato Katsuragi

A Few Reasons Why I Love Misato Katsuragi

It's no secret that Neon Genesis Evangelion is my favorite anime series of all time. It even made my number 1 on my 25 Essential Anime Shows You Must Watch List. One thing that made me really love Neon Genesis is the character Misato Katsuragi. Misato is a character I consider to be the backbone of the series. 

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