Reign of the Supermen | Review

DC Comic’s movie Reign of the Supermen picks up where The Death of Superman movie left off–namely with Superman dead. But, the four new Supermen (Cyborg Superman, Visor Superman/Eradicator, Superboy, and Steel) have already arrived. The story deals with deciding who is Superman. Along the way, they must deal with a dangerous threat.

First off the animation was pretty good. It followed the recent animation style the other DC animated movies have been using. I like how it is a mix of realistic and comic book (or animation) styles; the characters seem cartoon-like but also have a slight human/real quality to them. 

The characteristics of the four Supermen followed their comic book versions well. Superboy is the slightly annoying teenager and Steel is a serious/mature inventor. Cyborg Superman still has that ability to pass himself off as Superman while at the same time making you feel uneasy. Eradicator had that machine logic coldness to him. 

At first, I was a bit disappointed that the movie didn’t follow the comic series closer; but in the end, I was glad it was a new story. I was glad to see that they didn’t destroy Coast City like in the comics–for a bit I thought it might have a happier ending, but then they flipped things at the last second (like after the final battle was over–you think everything is fine, but it’s not). 

I enjoyed the Easter Eggs of them showing the comics’ cover art as the news article photos. During a montage showing the four Supermen as they saved the day, various news articles were shown and the pictures with the article were copies of the Reign of the Superman cover art.

It was kind of a let down to see that Cyborg Superman wasn’t as much of a “big bad” as he was in comic. For most of the movie, he is just a pawn to the real threat. He does finally rebel and become the threat, but he just didn’t have that same uneasy, scary nature he did in the comics. In the movie, he was more of a crazy person than this hate filled man that seemed incredibly powerful. In the comic, people were scared of Cyborg Superman. In the movie, he was just a pawn.

img_2674I liked how Lois had more of a part to play in the movie version. She, as you would expect, was right in the middle of everything. You could say she was the main character and the four Supermen were just supporting characters. 

I also liked how the movie staff managed to develop the four Supermen’s characters in such a small time. I felt like I knew Superboy and Steel by the time the movie was over. I didn’t know everything about them, but enough to like them. I would have liked it if they were given more screen time though. I really hope there are some Steel and Superboy movies coming, even just one for each or something–maybe a new take on the Bloodlines series.

The ending left me unsatisfied though. I’m going to spoil a part of it here, so skip this if you want.

After the battle, all the people change back into humans. I’m thinking, “Whoo, they’re all right!” but they remained motionless and one person, the girlfriend of one of the affected people, stays crying. It then changes to six months later and everyone is happy. There is no mention of hundreds of people dying or a memorial being set up or stories of people getting out of the hospital; it’s just Lois and Clark eating and the audience finding out that Lois and Wonder Woman are going to have a Girl’s Night Out. It then shows everyone being excited that Superman is alive. It just made me feel like, “WHAT?!” It was like, “Oh, yeah, uh, hundreds of people died but that’s okay, everything is awesome now.” It just kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and left me feeling like things were unresolved. The movie had been great up till then. Now I’m just kind of left feeling “uh…what?”

I did enjoy the end credit scene. It was hilarious. Green Lantern’s “Who left the front door open” line just made it even better.

Overall, the movie was really good. I felt like the plot kept to the comics but added to it. The animation and music was enjoyable. The acting and characters were believable. I’d been waiting for DC to do this movie pretty much since the series came and it didn’t disappoint. Other than the fact that I wish Superboy and Steel would have gotten more airtime, and I would have liked Cyborg Superman to have been more of a threat, I was glad I bought the movie. My main problem was the ending and how they just kind of swept the pervious scene under the rug. It made it feel unresolved. 

I have to give the movie an 8/10 maybe 8.5 if I’m being generous. I really liked the movie. I had a great time; I’ll probably watch it again (and again most likely), but there just was some strong issues that stopped it from being a 9.5. It would have gotten a higher score if they would have resolved the final scene in some way.

Joe Rover eBooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and many other online retailers.

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Film Theory: Can You Speak Groot: Find out what makes a language a language. Can only saying “I am Groot” be considered a language?

Mythlands: Mythical Origins by @JasonGreenfield: A story that brings together all the myths and legends throughout time. Every myth and legend lives together in the mysterious Mythlands. They work, play, and try to solve the mystery of how they got there.

Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu (or Eevee): While Blitzwinger only did the Pikachu version, it’s probably about the same for Eevee. I thought it was nice to return to a somewhat semi-Pokemon Yellow game and see it in more than 8 bits. I also enjoyed the surprise return of some old characters (and I’m not talking about Brock or Misty).

Joe Rover eBooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and many other online retailers.

New WordPress Editor|Review

When I first saw the message about the new WordPress editor, I was like, “AwwWWSOME!!” I was really looking forward to the idea of blocks. I felt like with the introduction of blocks, my website would “level up.”

After using the new editor (still in beta), I am really enjoying it. They make the site look more professional and make it easier to move objects around. I really like the introduction to the reusable blocks. Now, I don’t have to keep re-writing and re-copying sections that are always in my posts, such as links to my eBooks.

My problem with the reusable blocks is that when I use them, they don’t show up on the page once I publish the page. I had to convert the block back into a normal block then it would show up. I don’t know if this is intentional; but if it is, it isn’t very user-friendly. If it is intentional that you need to convert the block before it’ll appear then there needs to be a message/tutorial; I don’t know how many people would figure out the conversion process on their own.

I really enjoy the new preview setting. It shows me exactly what the page will look like and allows me to test out the links. Before the new editor, sometimes the preview would show me the page…sometimes it wouldn’t. And most of the time I couldn’t test out the links.

But, while on the topic of links, I am NOT a fan of the new link system. It takes me multiple tries before the link will be added. I finally figured out I had to put the link in the small bar that appeared in order to get it to add the link the first time. If I go into the link settings dialogue box and enter the URL into the text box there and click “Update,” it won’t work. Also if I want the link to open in a new window, I have to enter the link into the small bar that first comes up, then go to settings, click “Open in New Window,” click update, then reselect the text/link, go to settings, check to see if the checkmark is in the “Open in New Window” box–if it isn’t (which it usually isn’t), I have to click the box again, close the settings box, reselect the text, and check it again. Usually the second time, it still isn’t checked and I have to do it again.

If I want to link to a page or post I’ve already made, I have to go into the settings dialogue box, choose the page or post I want, copy the link that appears in the text box, exit settings, select the text, and paste the link into the small text box that first appears.

So, the link system definitely needs to be fixed.

But, I am grateful for the new button blocks. It’s really nice to be able to make buttons. This way instead of always having text saying, “Buy my book” or “Here’s the link,” I can add a button. It helps break up the repetitive information.

I am, however, not a fan of the lists block. It is a bit annoying having to switch from a paragraph block to a list block in order to make something like an outline or a series of lists. But, I think I’ll get use to it. It’s annoying for now, but I can see the potential. It is nice to be able to move the lists around without having to copy-paste or restart.

I really like the “recent blog posts” block. This is great to have on your homepage so that visitors can get a sample of your blog. It also works for an “updates” or “news” section. But, when I posted a new blog entry, it didn’t update…in fact, it erased all of the recent post links. Now, it says, “Recent posts” and it is empty. It makes it look like I never have blog posts and the large white space makes the website look bad.

And while I’m on blog posts, I scheduled a post to be published later, but it published it right away. I set it for 3:30 pm and it published immediately.

All in all, even with the editor’s quirks, I am glad WordPress is improving their editor. I think it’ll really help with making better and better websites and blog entries. I think this new editor will make people’s lives a little bit easier…once all the bugs are worked out. I understand that the editor is in beta so there are bound to be problems. I’m really hoping that WordPress continues to work on their editor. And I’m really hoping one day we’ll be able to move the blocks in more directions than up and down; I’d like to see it where you could have one block next to another, like have a list block next to an image block (there is a inline image block that allows you to have an image next to text, but it’d be great to have images next to text or buttons next to text or tables and so on).

Normally, this is when I would give some kind of rating; but since the editor is in beta, I’ll skip it for now.

Joe Rover eBooks are available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and many other online retailers.

Does Whatever a Review Can|Spider-Man PS4

I finally got my copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4. And now that I’ve been able to actually put it down…for about ten minutes, I can give you an initial review–because boy is it going to take a while to finish it. I played it for like three hours and only have 10 percent completion…but that’s probably because I keep getting distracted by all the collectables and crimes in the city.

So, let’s address the white elephant in the room first (or I could say white spider). You know the first thing people want to know about: the graphics. All I can say is, “Yes, the graphics are good.” The city looks like a city and the lighting is excellent; it looks like they somehow digitized New York and put it into the video game. (New York City is still there, isn’t it? I mean, no super-villain has come along and zapped the city into the digital world, right?)

img_2674My problem with the graphics is that the people look a little weird. It was like they were good and the developers spent time on them but they still look odd somehow. But, what I did like is how every scene so far (remember I’ve only completed 10 percent) looks lived in. Birds and helicopters share the sky with our web-swinging wonder. The inside of the buildings are just as good. The lab Peter works in has notes everywhere and machine parts scattered across the desks; it looks like a lab that has people in it.

So with graphics out of the way, let’s again address the real white spider in the room: the new costume. I was a bit ‘eh’ about it and still am, but what I do like is that you can change the costume, so you can wear the new one or the OG costume or one of the others you unlock. I like how the costumes unlock as you level up and not by finding some random code or doing a certain amount of “X” things. Also, I like how the suit powers work on any of the costumes–once you unlock that power of course. For example, with the original Spidey costume you get a power called “Web Blossom,” but you can equip that to the new suit or you can equip the new suit’s power to the original suit. (My favorite suit power so far is the one that let’s you make hologram copies of yourself.)

The suit mods also work like the suit powers. They work across all suits so you can customize your Spidey as you like.

I do have to add here that sometimes the game had weird camera and response issues. Sometimes Spidey would get stuck on an object; like when a henchman was about to hit him with a rocket, Spidey kept running forward against the railing and wouldn’t move. But for the most part, it’s been very successful.

Finally, the collectables. I really like how the collectables mean something in the game. If you find one, such as take a landmark photo, you get a token. The tokens then can be used to craft new suits, mods, and gear. I really like how this game focuses more on Peter’s science know-how. You get to see him use that mind of his and there are mini-games that involve crafting and technology. I like how they show that the Spider-Man suit is machine-like, that it isn’t just spandex that it has circuitry and technology in it.

At this time, I’d have to give Spider-Man a 4.8/5. Now if you’ll excuse me, Spidey’s got some vent crawling to do.

If you’re looking for more reviews (for instance my next Spider-Man post), you can subscribe to my Patreon account. There, depending on how much you wish to spend a month, you can have access to my reviews, short stories, and webcomic–along with other posts.

Final Adventure | Adventure Time Review

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Cartoon Network on Sept. 3, 2018, aired the final episode of Adventure Time(titled “The Ultimate Adventure: Come Along With Me) and I have to say it lived up to the hype. A while ago, I stopped watching Adventure Time as it grew even weirder than its normal weird, but I had to come back for the final episode. (Man, eight years and ten seasons on Cartoon Network…wow.)

I was glad to see that the final episode had its normal strangeness. It had the same beat and tone that made it so interesting in the first place. I enjoyed how you could not be entirely sure that what was shown in the episode is what really happened because it is told by BMO, who at first calls Finn “Phil.” But Adventure Time was always kind of like that; you didn’t know if what was going on was really what was going on. img_2674

Just like in the other episodes I’ve seen, the main story ended and you think that it is over but then suddenly something else, something more dangerous, happens. The finale continued the high-action and humor that’s been in many of the episodes. And I enjoyed how it wrapped up most of the story. It felt complete. But I also enjoyed how it ended with a hint of a new beginning–not in a spin-off kind of way but in a “the adventure never ends” sort of way. The ending seemed to be saying, “Yes, the series is ending but that doesn’t mean that the characters are gone.”

I also enjoyed how I could watch this episode and still understand what was going on. Like I said: I haven’t seen any episodes in a while, but I didn’t feel lost by all the Easter Eggs or references. The way the episode was presented it could be watched by a die hard fan or a moderate fan. I don’t think someone who never saw an Adventure Time episode would understand what was happening, but people who have seen some, even if it was a small some, could pick it up.

I have to say I am sad to see it go. The episodes I watched were enjoyable and so was the finale. I enjoyed the ending and felt sad that it was ending, but was also happy to see the series get a proper send off. I’d have to give it a 4.9/5 because I’m sure there were issues from animation or storytelling or there might be some continuity issues that hardcore fans noticed, but I genuinely enjoyed the feeling of the episode, and I felt like that mattered more at this point.

So long Finn and Jake and the rest of Adventure Time crew.

Now I’ve got to go binge-watch the episodes I missed.

Joe Rover eBooks are available at most online retailers.

Mega Review

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I recently started watching Mega Man: Fully Charged thanks to Cartoon Network’s on-demand service. I’ve been impatiently waiting for the release. I’m a big fan of Mega Man. It was the first action video game I played–up till then it was Mario Bros. And I enjoyed all the comics and TV shows of the Blue Bomber (who can resist name gags like Rock and his sister Roll).

But, after watching the first few minutes of the first episode, I could see how old fans could be turned off by it. First, Rock is now Aki and his sister is now a human named Suna. Second, the Mega-Mini that “lives” inside Aki’s head was kind of disturbing and off-putting at first. Then there was the fact that for awhile they kept putting “Mega” in front of everything.

However, as the episode continued, I found the series to be quite interesting. img_2674They hint at some previous dark and troubling war, and it was nice to see someone other than Wily be the main villain. I also enjoyed how Mega Man has to stay in range when he’s copying robot powers. In the first episode (second part), he also copies a piece of Fire Man’s personality and has to learn to control his anger in order to finish the fight. It was also interesting how the robots weren’t reprogrammed by Wily (at this point–they might change this at some point); the robots were choosing to attack; it added a bit more personality to the characters.

I also enjoy the short episodes. It makes it great to watch during breaks or just before bed or work. And the moments when the characters switch to 8-bit game characters for flashbacks or moments of extreme emotion add a nice twist to an anime-like formula.

For now, I find the show to be enjoyable and hope it continues. That opinion might change as the series continues; but now, I find it fun and funny–4.5/5.

Joe Rover eBooks are available at most online retailers.

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Hunting for a Story|Review of “The Hunt”

While my review of The Hunt is my opinion (they don’t reflect the views of any person or organization) and I didn’t receive anything in return (except a “Thank you”), Seb Jenkins did request a review.

Fair warning: There may be spoilers.

The Hunt a Wattpad story by SebJenkins and ShaunAllan (and a few surprise authors) takes the reader into a near future world where fox hunting has been banned. In its place, people (that’s right, humans) can volunteer to be the “fox” while hunters aim to kill them. The volunteers, whether they win or not, receive a money prize.

What makes The Hunt different from other collaborations is that the authors switch each chapter with no foreordained story. The two do not discuss plot or anything with each other; each must pick up where the other left off–sort of like those old campfire games.

At first, I was a bit skeptical about this story. I’ve read my fair share of stories written by multiple authors. They can either be very bad or very good. In a lot of cases, even though both writers work on the story, there is usually a “lead” author who after the story is complete edits the story so that it sounds more like one voice.

In the case of The Hunt, the authors have no idea what’ll happen until the chapter is published. I was a bit worried that the story would at worst be a patchwork of confusing tone and plot; or at best, flow like someone learning how to drive a stick shift filled with stop-and-go jerks as the authors flipped writing duties.

So, to be honest, I started reading because I was bored; I had some extra time and nothing else to do. Nothing seemed interesting.

I took a chance on the first chapter and found it promising. Then, came the second chapter. I was pleased to see that the chapters did flow into each other. The tone and voice seemed to match the pervious chapter. And the trend continued.

One problem I came across is that the plot twists are a little too unexpected. Normally, authors will leave clues to a twist well before the actual event. For instance, in a mystery, the author leaves clues to the perpetrator’s identity so that when the reveal happens the reader feels like it made sense. Also, the reader wants to guess at the criminal’s identity so that they can feel like they are part of the story. In the case of The Hunt there isn’t a lead up because the authors themselves don’t know what’ll happen. So when a twist does happen, it can feel like you got sideswiped by a train.

But, sometimes these shocking twists can work to the story’s advantage. If done right, such as the shock characters Marcus and James receive, it can also shock the audience and make them feel part of the story (or even feel like they are the characters). However, it can cause the reader to become confused; such as if someone that seems like a main antagonist (or at least a possibly recurring one) is suddenly dealt with early on, it can make the reader feel as if the story ended. Or they are left feeling unsatisfied. Kind of like if Batman stopped the Joker in the first panel and the rest of the comic was just scenes of Batman polishing the Batmobile.

But, at the moment, the story is unfinished, so it gets a pass on the antagonist issue. Maybe what happens next is the equivalent of Batman stopping Joker then going home to the Batcave to polish the Batmobile only to have the Riddler, Two-Face, and Penguin announce to the world that they will set off a nuclear bomb unless Batman surrenders. You don’t know what’ll happen; and that is the beauty of The Hunt. Anyone can die at any moment; alliances can change; and secrets can be revealed. At any moment, you can step on a bear trap.

To conclude (because this review is getting way too long), if you’re hunting for a story with twists, suspense, and moments that’ll blow your mind because you’re not expecting them…try a Batman comic. No, I’m kidding; though Batman comics are enjoyable. But, they are planned out (and thus can be predictable), unlike The Hunt which offers a read where the unpredictable can and probably will happen.

4.7/5 (as of this moment)