When is it going to happen?

When is a certain former insider going to be hired to ask questions at the press briefings at the White House?

Which network is going to do it?

There is no use in some false sense of loyalty. This person is in that position because of a lack of loyalty.

Moreover; one lucky news agency or network can make a great decision.

One lucky former insider can make a pay-day.

Sounds like the best for everyone.

When is it going to happen?

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The ShoutDown : We know the origin already

[Spoilers for Spider man : Homecoming but nothing too major]
Comic book movies are littering the movie theaters all year. Warner Brothers with DC Comic stories and Sony, Fox and Marvel with Marvel Comic stories. There is no formula for success though. Only thing that bothers me worse than a boring and bad story is seeing the same stories over again. Weird that one comic executive is advocating just that.

There are comments from Nick Lowe in an article that can be found here : https://www.fatherly.com/play/spider-man-homecoming-uncle-ben-problem/?utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=377. Nick argues that we need Uncle Ben in the new film Spider man : Homecoming. Maybe Nick means Uncle Ben’s sage advice and strong moral character he instilled in Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. But something tells me Nick thinks we need to see Uncle Ben die. Again. And I am wondering, why?

I think Uncle Ben Parker’s death had a big effect on Tobey Maguire’s Peter in his trilogy. It is a real turning point in the movie and for Peter when Cliff Robertson gets killed. The first two movies were solid and moving in the right direction. But the real problem with that version and its sequels are, Tobey was age 27 when he made the first film. And his character didn’t age well primarily because the stories were not interesting. No true intrigue to keep the viewing public interested in the character just bad stuff happening. Reference this ill-advised scene that is not up to Superhero dance sequence standards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu2IlAKu4po [I will mention the gold standard later].

Andrew Garfield was equally unconvincing as a teenager. He was of course even older at age 29 when he started his shortened tenure with the webslinger. The real problem with Garfield’s Peter is he is mean. I reference this clip and the proof comes at about 6:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETMvpdfS1rU it shows what I mean. The story at least did not start with Green Goblin who is overused. Martin Sheen bite the dust in this series but not sure if he taught this Peter well enough so I question Ben’s inclusion. Worse still they botched trying to introduce Mary Jane, who is kind of an important character for the franchise, so much they did not even include the scene though I am told they are in the DVD additional scenes category. Shailene Woodley took the blame for her perfomance here : http://www.tvguide.com/news/shailene-woodley-amazing-spider-man-2-1082883/ . But this two film “franchise” was botched from the beginning. At least we got Branzino.

So why exactly does Homecoming need Uncle Ben? Tom Holland’s Peter seems to be a responsible kid. The choice he makes at Homecoming is the responsible one. In fact; he seems to crave more direction from a certain Avenger which substitutes for the lack of Uncle Ben in a way that is much more enjoyable. Tom Holland’s Peter is able to find things that demonstrate he is a responsible person even if he needs more maturity. Which he should since he is a teenager.

If someone is missing it is J. Jonah Jameson. It would have been interesting to see how teen Peter took Jameson’s form of criticism. Especially from someone who later becomes his boss. Assuming Sony goes that route which they didn’t for the “Amazing franchise”.

Speaking as someone in the viewing public; I am weary from origin stories that have been told multiple times over the last 3 decades on screen. Particularly Batman’s and Superman’s respective origins which are so well known. Weird thing is during my first decade of Superhero exposure; I am not even sure if some of my first superheroes depictions had origin story episodes.

My first Superhero was Batman ‘66. Adam West in his Blue and Gray “The Bright Knight” suit. I can’t remember them covering the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. I do remember that I knew Batman was a good guy doing good things. Not because his “Batusi” was so groovy [even though it is the gold standard of superhero dance sequences I mentioned]. And not because of the capes, of which Spidey does not have conveniently. It was because he was doing good to the bad people. Fairly easy premise to understand. Even for a kid watching old syndication during the afternoon.

My second Superhero exposure was Wonder Woman series from the 70s. I think the origin was mentioned that she was from Paradise Island. But there is little mention why she is so righteous from her upbringing as a demigod. To the contrary; in the show her primary motivation is her attraction to Steve Trevor. Not that heroic a narrative to have. But she did what a superhero should. She did good and beat the bad people.

My last real basic exposure to Superheroes was the Superfriends cartoons. And while I still don’t know what Wendy and Marvin were doing in the Hall of Justice; this group of Heroes did good. I don’t remember if origin stories were mentioned. The action crowded out the origin if it ever was mentioned. The stories were compelling and looked cool, that is why I watched. Not because any of the Superheroes lost someone.

Plus these days; we don’t have to rely on just comics for an origin. Most major characters have had their stories told on TV or movie screens multiple times. Superhero origins are well documented on not only Wikipedia and even on comic and character specific wikis. So why does every reboot need to redo said origins? Why is that appealing? Particularly when most of the origins are about death. The stories no matter the medium don’t keep characters dead forever.

When Henry Cavill is replaced [because he will be at some point, just like Brandon Routh and Tom Welling and Dean Cain to name a few] why do I need to see Krypton’s destruction? Again! To get to that destruction, we have lost some great actors. We have seen Marlon Brando die (2 Oscars experience lost). Also seen Russell Crowe died (1 Oscar still a great loss). Even Kara Zor-El’s parents died on the TV version of SuperGirl. What did this do to the narrative? Very little at this point. There are 75 years worth of stories to draw from. Producers should feel free to diversify from Krypton’s destruction and Zod; two things that come up in most Superman franchise products.

Same with Ben Affleck when he is replaced [seriously Warner Brothers had 4 animated films in 2016 with Adam West (Return of the Caped Crusader), Jason O’Mara (Justice League vs. Teen Titans & Bad Blood), Kevin Conroy (The Killing Joke) alongside Bat-Fleck in BvS: Dawn of Justice. That is 4 actors playing the same character at one time so his replacement is inevitable] . Michael Keaton saw his parents die. Christian Bale made it international. Ben Affleck too had to relive that. Even young David Mazouz has gone through this trauma on the Gotham TV series. Why?

We have the internet now. We get it. Joe Chill or Jack Napier killed The Waynes. Beyond the morbid motivation it provides; that scene had about a ⅓ of the influence someone like Alfred Pennyworth (Bruce Wayne’s butler and Batman’s assissant?) has. Who should have had more of an impact? A live Alfred or two people who died when Bruce was 10? Why hasn’t anyone tackled Alfred’s backstory/ origin in earnest. It is being addressed on the Gotham TV series. Still that seems like a movie Warner Brothers could make and it might even be something that is not all that expensive.

This could even be a series with the right writers. Show him as a young man. There are a few stories including on Gotham of Alfred being in the Army and moreover the Special Forces. There is a story there. Also how he learned to be a butler which probably expanded on his duties in the Forces. And last how he came to work for the Waynes. You got a trilogy about a beloved character that audiences already know and love. Wouldn’t that be better than trying to tell a story no one wants?

Of course; having a fan base does not guarantee success. The Mortal Instruments has not only its own series of main books also two other series. But the first movie was not a success. It is on TV now on the little know channel Freeform which used to ABC Family. I wouldn’t call that a huge success considering it is a popular book series. ABC Family had success with Pretty Little Liars so maybe Freeform can do it with Shadowhunters. Only time will see.

Same happened with the Divergent series. It look like they will not be making the last film Ascendant with this current cast. But Lionsgate owns the rights for now. Nothing stopping them from trying to redo it. There was some talk of Ascendant being put out on TV. Maybe it was intended as a backdoor pilot? Either way; the storytelling is what you have to take a chance on. Not simply trotting out old characters without good purpose.

All movie companies should focus on telling good stories. Telling the same story with new actors is in no way compelling or interesting. Look at Tom Cruise’s The Mummy. The lackluster reception puts Universal Studios plans for a “Dark Universe” in jeopardy. It will be interesting to see what they do with the many other properties they own like Van Helsing, Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man and others available.

Maybe this will force studios to tell a truly compelling story(ies) in the future. Not just trot out a “star” in a “classic tale”. More than the same for superhero stories we have all seen too. The right story could have just about any cast / “star” in it. Which should be a refreshing revelation to movie studios trying to cut budgets at every turn.

New and compelling stories are what is going to keep the viewing public engaged. Look at the success of series on Netflix like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. I know they are building towards a franchise. But is seems like the right way by building up with good stories and then meddling those complex character.

Telling the same stories did not work for the first two Spider man franchises. I found it refreshing seeing something a little different and high school aga appropriate. Maybe now the character can grow with Tom Holland? It will be interesting to see where this franchise goes

Also I would really like to see cameos from Tobey Maguire and/or Andrew Garfield. Because I do like nostalgia when it is done correctly. Just not when it is done ad nauseum. But oddly, Tom Holland has an interesting idea for a cameo : http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1681109/tom-holland-wants-tobey-maguire-for-this-spider-man-role.

I find it funny I am more in line with Tom Holland who is half my age than Nick Lowe who is closer to my age. I am just a strange guy though. I still think it high time the industry tell good stories. Concentrate on the product. Get the perspective of the customer. Let that be the standard instead of rolling out tired stories that no longer need to be told. Let’s hear about a Peter who is in college or maybe even out of it?

Uncle Ben could be a moneymaker for Sony. Maybe his own origin could make a story the fans could sink their teeth into? A character that fans and Nick Lowe like. I mentioned Alfred Pennyworth’s origin as a compelling story. Nick Lowe might suggest Uncle Ben’s origin as compelling too. But Mark Millar’s take was not that well received in the miniseries Trouble. That might have been because the series pushed a lot of boundaries and changed some vital canon. Still young adult Ben Parker making a hard life decision sounds more watchable than the upcoming Emoji Movie.

In the end, Good Luck to Sony. Look at what Marvel has done at Disney. Fox is doing some fun things with Logan and Deadpool. Sony has to look at how to leverage good stories. Capitalize on the momentum the this new Spider Man has generated. Make a ton of cash along with it.

Maybe even make people happy and have some fun too !!

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Net Neutrality is a very important subject

Streamlined Process

  1. Go to- http://www.gofccyourself.com

2.  Hit- Express

3a. And type in- I support strong net neutrality and backed by Title II oversight of ISPs.
[or cut and paste]

3b. Or- Preserve Net Neutrality and Title II

3c. I support strong net neutrality and backed by Title II oversight of ISPs. As such, I want to preserve Net Neutrality and Title II oversight of ISPs. The government has a duty to protect citizens from corporations. I want the government to take its duty to me more seriously. Never give my rights away.

Otherwise you can use the entire process the FCC wants you to follow :

  1. Go to – http://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search-proceedings    
  2. In the block Specify Proceeding (Optional) Enter 17-108
    1. Hit Search
  3. Restoring internet freedom should be the only result on there
  4. Hit Express
  5. Then type or cut paste one of the following phrases
    1. Preserve Net Neutrality and Title II.
    2. I support Net Neutrality and backed by Title II oversight of ISPs.
    3. I support strong net neutrality and backed by Title II oversight of ISPs. As such, I want to preserve Net Neutrality and Title II oversight of ISPs. The government has a duty to protect citizens from corporations. I want the government to take its duty to me more seriously. Never give my rights away.
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ShoutDown Observation of the TV Show Scorpion

On the 27 February 2017 episode of the TV Show Scorpion season 3 episode 18 titled Don’t Burst My Bubble; a girl named Ada Pearce in Lancaster, California has to be kept in a sterile environment due to a form of immune anemia. Her normal home configuration is threatened and the team needs to find a way to help her. The solution that the Scorpion Team devises is to put her into a restaurant’s meat locker. Which is basically a big refrigerator.
I am not sure if the writers did that intentionally. But if so; they may have found a way to turn the trope called Women In Refrigerators [ http://www.lby3.com/wir/ ] on its ear. The term referring specifically to Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern finding his girlfriend Alexandra DeWitt stuck in a refrigerator by a villain. The larger observation being that many superheroines, superhero girlfriends and women in comics in general are at least damsels in distress and at worst simply victims in waiting.
After watching the episode of Scorpion; I realized that this is very similar to Women In Refrigerators. But the twist being this young lady is saved by the refrigerator. Are comic book fans being trolled? I am not saying this hatefully. I am simply asking the question.
It has been a long time since I was an active comic book reader. I was during the 80s and 90s. Hopefully the tide has turned for female characters of all ilk since then. Or at least limiting the carnage to the deserving villains. Leaving lots of intriguing stories for the women in the story.
Hopefully mentioning doesn’t make me a Lot Less Super & Not So Fun Male Dude. Just a quick observation.

Enjoy !!

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The ShoutDown Movie Review of Get Out [No Spoilers]

On 22 February 2017; I got to see the new movie Get Out at a Victory screening at the Mainstreet Alamo Drafthouse. I enjoyed this movie from start to finish. These are my initial reactions and I am an amateur reviewer.
Get Out is the feature film directorial debut for Jordan Peele. He has written for the film Keanu before this. However Get Out is his first horror film, dipping his toes into his favorite genre.
Peele is known for his comedic work on MadTV and more notably on the sketch comedy show : Key and Peele. His experience leads directly to my comment that this film is a wonderful dark comedy but at its heart the film is truly a horror film. It makes a strong social commentary as well which is hard to do all in one. I think that Peele has done that with this movie.
Daniel Kaluuya is Chris Washington the main character. His sweet awkwardness keeps the movie rolling. He continues to second guess himself in the attempts to maintain harmony. He really reflects what the viewer should be feeling. His experience is raw and emotional and you are on the journey with Chris. I think his character takes you on a real adventure ride; a safari during a roller coaster ride.
Allison Williams as Rose Armitage delivers a praiseworthy performance. Her range is illuminated throughout. She sells it throughout and she is sweetly nefarious. How she draws you in makes it obvious why the movie’s theme works. Afterwards; everyone should be clear how Chris’s character is pulled in. You should really feel why this is possible with her skill. Which is evident in her acting talent.
Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford star as Rose’s parents Dean and Missy Armitage respectively. Solid performances by both. Distinguished by Catherine Keener provides a pivotal sequence that truly displays the sinister nature of the setting. Bradley’s Dad is just the kind of Dad every person is embarrassed by regardless of their circumstance. They make an intriguing pair of leaders for the Armitage clan.
The large emotional anchor comes in the form of Lil Rel Howery’s comic relief. Rodney Williams is the character you are supposed to laugh at. He brings that funny. Without dragging the film nor diverting it from the true purpose.
Caleb Landry Jones as brother Jeremy Armitage is menacing. Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel as Walter and Georgina are fantastic in their subversive behavior. Allying suspicions while maximizing the creep factor.
There could have been a lot of different sources of the foreboding presence in this film. The film is not really out-of-this-world. The story is so well crafted that it kept me on edge. I enjoy plenty of one hour police procedurals that are constantly trying to be the most twisty. This movie was a good twist but if you are busy trying to figure it out; you will miss a good movie.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that this film has a lot of different elements. Comedy-check. Horror-check. Action-check. Fantasy-check but just a little and in an appropriate amount. That part really threw me at first. But it was so well done; I can’t see it without it.
The rest of the supporting class is spot on. They really add a lot in a very specific way. Never overbearing but integral.
Something great about the movie making was it all happens without CGI or tons of sets. The main setting of the movie is the Armitage house. There were a few other sets [Airport pick-up, Apartment, Police office] and that is about it. I may have missed something but even still; it really does a lot with a little.
This movie is fun and thought provoking. I felt a real connection to it. Overall, I had a great viewing experience.

Rating 4.5 out of 5.

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Just realized

I am watching the new CW show “No Tomorrow”. Instead of watching the VP debates. Seriously. I did not mean it ironically. I think.

Show is starting off slow. Not bad though.

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Why I don’t Like Polls 2016 Week 1

It Begins Again! And the Polls continue to let the college football fan down. It is just the first weekend of college football. The polls are already a disaster.
I have a personal metric about the polls with respect to the college football rankings. No team in the Top 10 should lose to someone outside the top 11. No team in the Top 25 should lose to an unranked team. That seems fair to me. I feel those types of games should be predictable.
Some one could argue I have an unfair metric. But what are rankings for? To tell who is anticipated to be better. But if there is no predictability associated with the rank, why have them?
We don’t have ranking in the NFL. I think most people are confident that their scheduling system that the winner of the Super Bowl has played a sufficiently enough to be claimed champion. I do not think a majority of people would say the same about college football. Even with the change from a Bowl based post-season to the two game playoff. The system is still rife with problems.
I think the genesis of those problems are rankings. There is little reason to have them. They do not offer any help to the fans. They also actively hurt the playoff.
I am opposed to the notion of a committee in closed sessions ranking then choosing who will play in the playoff. One of the power 5 conference champs misses out. Actually at least one because I think soon the committee will pick two teams from the same conference.
Based on the bias in recent polls; I would predict the two teams will come from the SEC. For instance; 6 in the Associated Press (AP) top 25 in week 1 are in the SEC. I will get to why that is erroneous later.
A few games went how you would expect. Big blowouts. Alabama slammed USC who looked wholly unprepared for this first game. The Tide made some big plays that befuddled the Trojans. Alabama was the much better team and overmatched USC in every facet of the game. It was a lopsided mess. Not sure who USC is ranked 20th because they did not look good.
Ohio State, Michigan, Louisville, Baylor, Oklahoma State & Washington destroyed their competition. Won by more than 30 points. Those wins were impressive. Not sure if they are indicative of their potential for future success. Still they are off to a good start.
Same can not be said of some other teams.
I am going to start with one team that is does not fall within failure side my metric. I still believe it shows both the weakness of polls and the bias toward the SEC. Tennessee was able to beat Appalachian State. They had to come back in the second half after a dismissal performance in the first half. They were able to squeak by in overtime. Appalachian State did not keep up their enthusiasm in the second half or overtime. Plus they missed two field goals that would have won the game. Even in a winning effort by Tennessee; this is not the performance of the ninth ranked team against an unranked opponent. There was little evidence to justify their high ranking. So let’s see what happens to them this week in the polls.
This bias was confirmed by LSU who was ranked fifth losing to unranked Wisconsin. The score was close; 16 for the Badgers to the Tigers 14 points. But in watching the game; LSU was not doing well the entire first half. That was reflected in the score which was 13 to 0 at halftime. This was changed quickly by a pick 6 interception and a solid offensive drive by the Tigers. After those the Badgers were able to score a field goal and played solid defense that led multiple sacks and an interception of their own. That interception was followed by a cheap shot by Josh Boutte which Les Miles defended for some reason :http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/les-miles-defends-lsu-player-after-vicious-clothesline-hit/ar-AAiudQk?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=ASUDHP . I can understand that he might not have seen him go down. I believe the whistle had already blown. And that hit was far from appropriate even if the play was still live. But I digress.
LSU has a bunch of talented players. Primary among the bunch is Leonard Fournette on offense and Tre’Davious White on defense. Same can be said for Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs who the leader amongst a talented bunch. That does not produce wins though. Tennessee squeaked by. LSU didn’t. I predict both these teams will be out of the hunt for the championship before November. So why are they ranked so high? I think it is SEC bias.
While I think the SEC is the main conference that is overvalued; they are not the only team gets a bump. I already mentioned USC getting thrashed. The Trojans are ranked 20th but did not play like it.
Another team that has been overvalued is Oklahoma. They were ranked number 3 coming to this season. They are going to make a solid run at the Big 12 Championship I believe. But they started off on the wrong foot. Losing to Houston. Houston is a ranked team at number 15. But I think they should be higher ranked after watching their performance.
The Sooners played a good game but The Cougars were better. Houston played a great game. Solid offense and defense play for four quarters. They made less mistakes. Solid opening weekend.
The Cougars are one of the best teams in a non Power 5 conference. They are building off a solid season last year. They won the American Athletic Conference championship. Beat Florida State in the Peach Bowl. But will they get consideration even if they do have a good season. All signs point to no. They were undervalued in opening polls. They likely will stay that way.
The most satisfying to me personally was tenth rank Notre Dame losing to Texas. I am sure plenty of people will try to excuse this lose. They will say that Texas is back. But if they were; why weren’t they ranked like they were?
Because so many people assumed that the Longhorns would lose to the tenth ranked Irish. Didn’t happen. Notre Dame got lucky on a few plays. And Texas was losey with stupid penalties. Yet they maximized the two quarterback switching. I think they should slow down on the hurry up constant offense. Their freshman center is making too many mental errors that almost cost them the game. In contrast, the freshman QB needs to be the starter with limited snaps for Swoopes.
In contrast; Notre Dame proved the adage that if you have 2 QBs, you don’t have 1. And 1 is all you can put on the field.The Irish were e ill-prepared for the season without a starting QB. They likely had one person in each of the other positions. Why college coaches think having 2 QBs is an an asset is beyond me. Having a start-ready and credible back up is fine. Having a short yardage direct snap [not WildCat which infers the threat of passing which most of these guys do not do AT ALL] is good.
Unfortunately they will likely get more “leeway” by the polls and ultimately the committee than any other team in the bowl series Division. If the committee gives bias to one conference; it is the SEC. If it gives bias to one school; that school is Notre Dame. That does not extend to the ACC which Notre Dame is pretty much a part of in football and totally a part of in every other sport they are involved in. For only the bad reason that Notre Dame “travels well”; first the BCS and now the committee gives The Irish deference. When realistically; one bowl or maybe a commission of bowls that are outside the playoff should pay the committee to keep Notre Dame out of the playoff. That might seem outlandish but possibly still the case. Is there anything that precludes this? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.
I bet you don’t either.
The bigger bet; you “the college football fan” don’t care!
This is only week 1. The trials and fortunes of these 18-23 year olds [primarily but not exclusively] are unpredictable. So these things happen often. I think they happen every week of the regular season last year. Probably more often in the years prior because of the unreliable predicative analysis and less reliance on science.
If we had a system based on matching the best teams against each other; it would ensure fairness to all teams. Not be swayed by pollsters who could not possibly watch the entirety of the college football slate. This is demonstrated by the polls inaccuracy with the initial polls.
I am your College Football Commissioner. I have a plan to make this work.

[P.S. I apologize for my bad editing. I had to rush this to beat week 2 and I still missed out because Louisville stomped Syracuse last night.]

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