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Danny Franks

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  1. Danny Franks

    Captain Marvel (2019)

    Huh. Top 25? What a flop! Right, guys? Guys?
  2. Danny Franks

    S06.E07: Mobile homes and Frank Rolfe

    And in the latest* instalment of American Capitalists Find Yet Another Way of Preying on the Poor, we have this episode. It's sad that, the second John mentioned mobile homes, I knew that this was going to be about some company or other exploiting the fuck out of the people who live in them. This is what unfettered capitalism is - being given free rein to squeeze as much as you can out of the weakest in society. Yet millions and millions of people, including a lot of those who are among the weakest, still support it. * Not really latest, because I'm a couple of weeks behind with this show.
  3. Danny Franks

    Avengers: Endgame (2019)

    One would hope that Tony being stuck with Nebula should stop him from navel-gazing and lamenting his tragic life. She's not going to stand for that shit, and as soon as he starts, she should be shutting it down.
  4. Danny Franks


    It's so incredibly dumb. Monica knows that he was masturbating, and says something like "you know how many times I've seen him jump up like that?" Okay then, on each of those occasions, did she immediately think that whatever was on the TV or in front of him at the time was what he was masturbating to? "Oh my god! Chandler gets off to cooking shows/DIY shows/Jeopardy!" It never occurs to her that he changed the channel on the TV, and it's just so stupid. I really hate that plot.
  5. Danny Franks

    Wonderful Things in Mediocre (or Just Plain Bad) Movies

    Pearl Harbor is a terrible movie, with awful characters and an insipid, shallow love triangle, but man, that forty minutes or so that depicts the Japanese attack is really, really well done. For Love of The Game is definitely Kevin Costner's weakest baseball movie, and the flashbacks to his tortuous romance with Kelly Preston are too schmaltzy and fraught with silly drama. But the parts of the movie that focus on him as a tired, worn out old pitcher coming to terms with the end of his career as he pitches the best game of his career? Well that's just engineered to hit me right in the feels. I love a good, heroic sports movie.
  6. Danny Franks

    Race and Ethnicity in the Movies

    Jon Favreau has spent his entire career hooking up with women (on-screen of course) who are way out of his league. Heather Graham in Swingers Courtney Cox in Friends Cameron Diaz in Very Bad Things Famke Janssen in a couple of films And the ones already mentioned
  7. Danny Franks

    The Mandalorian

    I never really got into Clone Wars. I'm thinking more from various comic books and video games, where it was always something of a shock if there was a Mandalorian who didn't immediately try to kill everyone.
  8. Danny Franks

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

    Tiptoeing around the edges of saying 'it's fucked up and toxic, and based on emotional abuse'. Fair enough if she doesn't want to upset the fucking weirdos who are into that. Seeing Daisy asked about it puts this into perspective thought - she's the female lead of a multi-billion dollar franchise, but so many fans want to reduce her power by imagining her in a twisted relationship with the villain. That's kind of depressing. And any redemption of Kylo Ren would be utterly wrong, to me. He made his choice. Then he doubled down on his choice. He is the arrogant, snivelling, rage-filled arsehole we saw flailing at Luke, at the end of The Last Jedi. That's who he is. A bit of the teaser seems to show a new mask being made for him, which reiterates that point. He's not the dreamy eyed woobie, just waiting to be saved by the plucky heroine, he's the evil villain who needs to be killed.
  9. Danny Franks

    Sex Education

    I mean, I guess it fits into the 'abuse as romance' trope that is disconcertingly prevalent in a lot of modern television. The idea that the guy is just damaged and dreamy and when he hurts the girl/other guy, it's because he just cares too damned much. It's thoroughly unpleasant, and I'd hope that the second season of Sex Education makes that clear. They've been quite smart about how they've explored sexuality so far, and I'd find it incredibly odd if Otis wasn't telling Eric that any entanglement with Adam is unhealthy. Especially after they already made it clear that, just because there's another gay guy in the school (Anwar), it doesn't mean Eric has to be into him.
  10. Danny Franks

    Titans [DC Universe]

    ^ The less Jason Todd the better. Just generally. Even when DC have tried to write him as likeable, he comes across as an obnoxious asshole. I think the casting for Titans was perfect, on that score. I hated that kid almost as soon as he appeared on screen.
  11. Danny Franks

    The Mandalorian

    So if this show succeeds, the chances of a Knights of the Old Republic show can only go up. I never really had much interest in the Mandalorians as a culture, and found them fairly one-note whenever they showed up. But the cast is good, and it's about time we got more non-Skywalker related, live action Star Wars.
  12. Danny Franks

    The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

    If Marvel follow the example of the Winter Soldier and Black Widow comic book (without Black Widow, sadly) then I could be really into this show - A 70s style, espionage thriller, with them trying to get to the bottom of conspiracies around the Soviet programme that created the Winter Soldier. But as Bucky is my favourite Marvel character, whatever format they go for should be something I'll want to watch. I like Anthony Mackie, and I liked the friendship that grew between Bucky and Falcon in the comics. And now that Marvel/Disney own the X-Men, I will be holding out for an X-Factor Investigations show too.
  13. Danny Franks

    Writing a Novel

    So I thought I'd start a thread to discuss people's experiences with attempting (or succeeding) to write a novel of their own. Or a memoir, or non-fiction title. Or fanfiction, because I have read some fanfiction in the past that was honestly better than plenty of novels I've read. Anyone tried it? Anyone had anything published? I'm currently attempting to write a novel myself, and wouldn't mind sharing some of my experiences with the grind and constant reining in of ambitions it seems to involve.
  14. I didn't think they were talking about him being a hugger. They repeatedly used the phrase "affectionate and physical", which suggests a range of actions to me. Tommy mentioned that kissing someone on the top of their head was creepy, regardless of the intention, and that Biden wouldn't do that to a man. And they raised one or two other issues that Biden may have with women, including failing to protect Anita Hill when Republicans attacked her. They all clearly like Biden, but I liked Jon Lovett's comment that Biden has learned some bad lessons over the years, when he's been able to touch people who either didn't mind, or didn't feel able to say anything. That's the key part that needs to be acknowledged, when people say things like 'well, no one ever complained' or 'oh, that's not sexual. What's your problem?' It doesn't matter if a hundred other people were fine when you touched them (and you shouldn't assume they were, just because they didn't say anything), you still shouldn't feel able to do it.
  15. Pretty much what the Pod Save America guys said. They all agreed that Biden probably didn't ever realise he was doing anything creepy, but the power imbalance of these situations meant that no one ever felt able to say they weren't happy with him being handsy and 'affectionate'. Which, by the way, they all kind of ruefully said he was with men as well - backslaps, arm around the shoulder etc. And they called him out for not apologising and acknowledging that his behaviour could have been troubling for people. I think it's just more evidence that Biden is the man of yesterday. He's not the figurehead anyone should be looking at, to take America into the future.
  16. Danny Franks

    X-Men Franchise

    That whole thing about Storm marrying Black Panther was lame. It felt like 'well, they're both black and African so... of course they'll pair up.' I don't think many fans liked it at the time, and probably fewer do now. I doubt Claremont ever would have written that storyline, because his obsession with Storm is well known. He would probably have ended up doing what Marv Wolfman did with Donna Troy, and written a creepy, self-insert character to hook her up with. The Storm character beats I always liked were when she dropped that regal bearing, and just acted like a normal person. So, of course, I loved her interactions with Gambit. From meeting him when she was de-aged and forging that sibling-like friendship that has endured (albeit, with the odd spike of sexual tension) they've always felt like genuine friends when they were in comics together. The Jean/Wolverine stuff was awful. I never bought that Jean did anything more than pity Logan, knowing he was obsessed with her but didn't have a shot (this was back when he was a 5'3" hairball, of course). But a series of writers who love to insert themselves into their favourite characters have turned him into something completely different (Mike Carey did the same thing with Magneto, turning him into a dark, romantic hero that Rogue just couldn't resist). Having said that, I never liked Jean/Cyclops either, because Cyclops is one of my least favourite characters. It seems like most of the women in Marvel comics deserve better than they get. I've lost track of Marvel comics, but last I checked there were two Jean Greys running around, one a teen and one an adult, and I don't know if either of them were being thrown at Wolverine so he could "finally get his due" or whatever. It wouldn't surprise me, though. Anyway, if Marvel does reboot the X-Men universe completely, then I think they'll have a huge job on their hands. Tying it into the larger MCU won't be hard, because they can just talk about mutations starting to emerge, and go from there. But setting up Professor Xavier and the original five X-Men without repeating themselves will be incredibly difficult.
  17. Danny Franks

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Avengers, etc.

    This cast is looking more and more like some arthouse movie than a superhero romp. But I like it.
  18. Danny Franks

    Derry Girls

    Yeah, that ended up being a sweet episode. I don't particularly think there's romance in the offing, but it wouldn't be terrible if there was. Orla's date was a great surprise too. I liked the way the ending mirrored the first season finale - the adults watching news about the explosion while the kids were having fun. Now, the adults celebrate the IRA ceasefire while the kids are fighting. It's very obvious in its message that, while the adults and the parents lived the Troubles, and worried all the time, for kids it was just the background of their lives. Kids and teens will always focus in the world that revolves around them, and live their lives.
  19. Danny Franks


    Enough people cared that the writers forced it, even though they had no business whatsoever being together. It's such a sour note for me that I never watch the last couple of Friends episodes when I rewatch. A moment that should be full of melancholy and bittersweetness, as they all leave the apartment for the last time, is ruined by two things: 1. Rachel and Ross have decided to get back together, without taking any time to consider whether it's a good idea, and it's absolutely doomed to fail in the same ugly fashion as last time. 2. Joey isn't leaving the building. He's staying in that apartment, on his own, and his life has completely changed through no choice of his own. Phoebe is married and "lives far away", Chandler and Monica live even further away, and have two new babies, and Rachel and Ross have decided to shack up with their daughter. No wonder he chose to leave New York.
  20. While that particular move has no name, Rikishi (he with the large posterior) did have move called - and I'm not joking - the Stinkface. The receiver would sit in the corner, leaning against the turnbuckles, and Rikishi would back into him, hoist up his, for want of a better word, thong, and rub his arse all over the other person's face. Like John said, "wrestling is better than the things you like."
  21. Danny Franks

    Captain Marvel (2019)

    Honestly, Marvel 'fans' who hate diversity and 'SJW culture' are the dumbest fucks in the entire world. This is a company that based most of its Silver Age success on embracing diversity and counterculture. Hell, the most famous team that Marvel ever created, the X-Men, was an overt and deliberate analogue for oppressed, minority groups. Some of the most famous stories they've ever written have been about the hate that comes from ignorant bigotry. I've read one account of someone who posted a photo of an empty theatre who, when pressed, admitted that he'd taken the picture 'before the doors opened and the people were allowed in.' So... it was empty before the movie started, and before the people who had paid had arrived. No. Shit.
  22. Danny Franks

    Captain Marvel (2019)

    Well no, but Mar-Vell was called Captain Marvel as far back as the late 1960s, then Monica Rambeau and several other Kree held the title, appearing sporadically, in the 1980s, 90s and 00s. So it's not like Marvel just demanded the name for Carol a few years ago. DC already sued Fawcett Comics, way back in the 1940s, claiming that their Captain Marvel was a rip off of Superman. They eventually won the case, and prevented Fawcett from ever publishing another Captain Marvel story. So I have little sympathy for DC when, after deciding to license the character in 1970, they found that Marvel already had the name trademarked. The irony is, if DC had never brought that case, Fawcett might have kept printing Captain Marvel, and the name may never have been available for Marvel to trademark. Although given the near death of superhero comic books in the 1950s, it's far from sure that Fawcett would have kept publishing them. As far as I'm aware, DC's Captain Marvel is still called Captain Marvel in the comics, but they just can't use the name as the title of any book. For the movie, I presume they're avoiding the name because it would be too confusing to explain to new viewers.
  23. So Vince McMahon is a very odd duck, to say the least. He is narcissistic, and I think he'd have to be, to have envisioned combining all the wrestling territories under his company banner. But incredibly ambitious and brave too, because those old promoters wanted nothing to do with him, and there was talk amongst some of them of having him killed, back when the WWF was muscling in on their territory, competing for live shows and TV time. He does run the WWE with an iron fist, and has the final say on everything. And I mean everything. He's known for rewriting entire scripts for Raw or Smackdown, just hours before they go live. He's insisted that he knows which stars should be at the top of the card, regardless of what the fans want (hence that booing of Roman Reigns). He's fired people before, for not doing as instructed on TV. He's famous for continuously yelling into the headsets of his on-screen announcers, telling them to say certain things. But he's always there. He attends every TV show, every PPV and even every house show that the WWE puts on. His schedule, while not as physically active as the wrestlers' (any more. He did get in the ring on a number of occasions in the late 90s and early 2000s), involves even more travelling and reputedly barely any sleep. There's a kind of mythos that has built up around him, and he has any number of bizarre eccentricities, from thinking sneezing is a sign of weakness to his honest-to-god fetish for muscular men, despite being married (and a known philanderer) with children. He also once suggested a storyline where it turned out he'd been sleeping with his daughter, and her pregnancy was with his baby. She said they would not be doing that storyline. I'm not kidding. Just google 'Vince McMahon crazy stories' and you'll be entertained for a long time. But he gets credit from wrestlers because he has always been willing to go out there and be humiliated on screen. Those clips of him being beaten up by various people, of kissing Rikishi's giant ass, and more clips not shown (like him wetting himself in the middle of the ring) were all indicative of his belief that the show comes first. Before anyone's ego, before anyone's dignity, including his own. And by most accounts, he's extremely approachable as a boss. If you want to talk to him about your character, your storyline or your opportunities, his door is always open. Sasha Banks was talking this week about how they only created a Tag Team Title for the Women's division because she and other female wrestlers pestered Vince directly for months. He's also very forgiving, no matter what wrongs someone may have done (or be perceived to have done). Wrestlers can leave the company under all sorts of clouds, but Vince has usually been willing to give them another chance, somewhere down the line. Bret Hart is a good example. So Bret left the company for WCW in 1997, rather acrimoniously and less than two years later, his brother Owen died doing a stunt in the WWF ring. Bret supported Owen's widow in a lawsuit against the company, which she won, and he and Vince were famously hostile to each other. Bret felt he'd been betrayed over how he left the WWF, Vince felt Bret was the one in the wrong. They didn't speak at all, for three more years. Then, in 2002 Bret had a stroke and was hospitalised. The first person who called him to wish him well and talk was Vince, and it was the beginning of a rapprochement that led to Bret and the WWE making amends.
  24. I'm glad that John didn't spend too much time on the Mueller Report, beyond making it clear that we still don't know what it says. Just a montage of lying liars, trying to gaslight the public after the guy who covered up Iran-Contra set it up for them. The main story was a surprise, but not an unwelcome one. And it's well-timed, considering the WWE is a week away from their biggest show of the year. Having said that, I never, ever thought I'd see Brutus the Barber Beefcake referenced on Last Week Tonight. Or anywhere on TV in 2019. But it was really cool for John to focus on the issue of the early deaths of so many wrestlers, and questions of how the WWE treats its stars. These have long been thorny issues for fans, all the way back to those attempts by Jesse Ventura to form a wrestlers' union (only for Hulk Hogan to tell Vince McMahon, leading to Jesse being fired). I've always found the business of wrestling far more interesting than the actual matches, and the wrestling territories are fascinating. These (often shady as fuck) promoters who carved out their own areas, built their own stars and their own loyal fanbases. Often their own styles of wrestling as well. And the wrestlers who would work for territory after territory, rarely staying long enough to outstay their welcome, unless they became the big stars and realised they could make more money by sticking around. Vince McMahon is possibly genuinely crazy, and there are so many stories about him that defy belief. But I can't say that he's a complete arsehole. He famously has these odd flashes of kindness, like paying for rehab for many wrestlers with addiction problems, even when they don't work for him, or paying for funerals of impoverished ex-wrestlers (though you could easily argue, they might not have been impoverished if Vince or the other promoters they'd worked for had treated them well). He even sometimes hires wrestlers he has no use for because, in the words of one guy, "sometimes, Vince just does things to be nice." But that doesn't overshadow the carny way he's run his company, and the 'independent contractor' schtick has always been utter bullshit. It is a carry-over from the territory days, and the only reason it still applies is because no one has cared enough about regulating the WWE to stop it. And they still don't, which is why the WWE felt free to perform in Saudi Arabia just weeks after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, and why they still offer little in the way of benefits to the performers. The early deaths are mostly drug related - either steroid, painkiller or recreational drug abuse that has impacted on the long term health of countless guys. Most of my favourite wrestlers from childhood died at ludicrously young ages - Mr. Perfect was 45, Randy Savage was 58, British Bulldog was 39! The late 1980s were a horrendous time to be a wrestler, when Vince was obsessed with huge, bodybuilder physiques and was probably involved in an organised effort to get steroids and HGH to his wrestlers But the WWE is a healthier place than it was - Chris Benoit forced them to take head trauma and concussions seriously long before the NFL was even admitting it was a problem. Even from 2014, when Punk said his concussion was ignored, they now routinely keep people out of action for weeks, if they're diagnosed with concussions. Daniel Bryan is a good example of how the WWE takes this stuff deadly seriously now.
  25. Danny Franks

    Let's Talk Modern Consoles, PCs, And Handhelds

    I know. But I thought one of the issues raised was that the Stadia wouldn't be good for online gaming. I'm saying, I don't care about that.