[Review] Suicide Squad

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a progressively more drunken review by Jamus

So check this out. Dayna has asked me to do a review of DC’s recent movie Suicide Squad. The trouble is, given my tight schedule and other real-life distractions, she put a twist into the request and asked me to make a vocal recording for her to transcribe/stealth-edit into coherent text later. Plan is, I create this introduction and then stop it, and then proceed to go get trashed. This may take a few…hours, minutes, whatever. It’s going to take some time. But when I have done that, I come back and finish this.

Okay, great.

Here we go.

Don’t try this at home, kids.
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[Review] Ghostbusters (2016)

written by Kate Spencer

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A mildly funny, mediocre, and cynical attempt to cash in on the popularity of the original film.

But enough about Ghostbusters 2, let’s talk about Ghostbusters (2016).

I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading this film’s release for months, mostly because the internet wouldn’t shut up about it. The trailers made it look somewhere between “all right” and “bad” (but that’s not why they got so many dislikes). As a fan of the original film, I was a little concerned with how well this would turn out. Not because I was afraid the new Ghostbusters would somehow tarnish the original – that’s idiotic. I was worried that the new film might be biting off more than it could chew by being a reimagining of a beloved classic. Then the positive score on Rotten Tomatoes gave me hope that maybe at the very least, the film would be an entertaining couple of hours even if it wasn’t great. Some reviewers I respect were calling it “okay”, “meh”, and “mediocre” though, so I lowered my expectations a tiny bit. Then I went to see it.

That was a damn fine movie.

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[Interview] Gotham’s Robin Lord Taylor

written by Emily Whitten, full interview originally published on ComicMix June 11, 2016. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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Fox’s Gotham TV series has been going strong for two seasons and is now renewed for a third. The show began with a focus on (future Commissioner) Jim Gordon’s early career in Gotham, but has quickly expanded to include the early days of many Batman villains as well. One of the most striking of these is The Penguin; a previously cartoonish character (in screen adaptations) who has been masterfully portrayed in Gotham by Robin Lord Taylor as a complex young man who rises from being a minor player in Fish Mooney’s entourage to becoming the self-proclaimed “King of Gotham.” Taylor’s nuanced portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, The Penguin, has made him a compelling, horrifying, and yet somehow still sympathetic character – one I’m invested in even while I’m despising what he does.

After having had the opportunity to speak with Taylor by phone in the week leading up to Awesome Con in Washington, DC, and to meet him at the Con, I can see where The Penguin’s charm and disarming manner originate; but fortunately for us, and unlike The Penguin, Taylor himself strikes me as a delightful human being; and he has a lot to say about his role in Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery.

Read the full interview here on ComicMix; or listen here for the audio version.

[Editorial] And Then the Heroes Fight

written by Kate Spencer

This year saw the release of two big superhero films where their primary selling point was a battle between beloved superheroes. Any comic book fan will tell you this is nothing new – heroes fight all the time. It’s an exhausted trope in the medium, so much so that “and then the heroes fight” has become a joke. When it’s done right, it can make for an interesting conflict between sympathetic characters while maintaining their heroic status. When it’s done poorly, one or both heroes have to be reduced to villain status and someone is going to need a retcon or a mindwipe to make them even remotely likable again.

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, trying to let my thoughts and first impressions really settle on Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice before I did a proper comparison. I even considered watching X-Men: Apocalypse and doing a three-way comparison, but I decided against that for a few reasons. Adding X-Men would have been a bit too much and I’d be trying to justify it by saying that Storm, Psylocke, and Angel are some of Apocalypse’s horsemen. A lot of times Apocalypse brainwashes his horsemen – and I think a brainwashed hero fight is a different sort of story. Even if they aren’t brainwashed there’s still a clear “good” and “evil” side to the conflict. It’s not heroes having a disagreement that escalates into a fight, it’s heroes working for the bad guy for “reasons”. Civil War gives you heroes on opposing sides who are both and neither morally in the right, and BvS…well, it tries.

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[Editorial] From Hydra To Ghostbusters: The False Equivalences Of Fan Culture

written by @Ceilidhann, originally published on Bibliodaze May 31, 2016. Reprinted with permission from the author.

I don’t read the Captain America comics. Indeed, I’ve pretty much fallen off the Marvel wagon this past year or so due to general fatigue with the oversaturation of superheroes in pop culture. It doesn’t really do much for me these days, and the recent news that Captain America in the comics would be revealed as a stealth Hydra agent exemplified my exhaustion with the genre and a particularly insidious strain of storytelling. Others have spoken more passionately and eloquently about the nastiness of this trend and the way real and incredibly painful history is used to create cheap shock value, so I’ll direct you to those pieces.

My particular focus today is with a piece Devin Faraci wrote on the issue of fan entitlement on Birth Movies Death, which you can find here. For the record, I’ve never been a Faraci fan. I’ve found many of his arguments sloppy and the ways in which he attacks people who disagree with him to be sad at best and creepy at worst. This article, which posits a generally agreeable hypothesis regarding the toxicity that has begun to pervade that vaguely defined space known as “geek culture”, draws a staggeringly inaccurate and willfully blind false equivalence to the fan opposition to Hydra Captain America and the orchestrated misogynistic hate campaign currently faced by the new Ghostbusters film, of which I’ve previously written about here.

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[News] Site Updates and More

Hey all! Just a quick update to let everyone know about the changes coming to Made Of Fail.

Obviously we haven’t done a podcast for a while. Unfortunately, Cleo and Emily have to retire from full-time hosting due to real life stuff, but that doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. Starting in June, Made Of Fail will be featuring rotating co-hosts, which means basically anyone from the Made Of Fail family could be showing up. Hopefully this will alleviate podcaster burnout and allow us to keep to a monthly or bimonthly schedule.

The website is going under some restructuring as well. I’m working on uploading all of our old episodes from the LiveJournal era to the site and making sure all the links are updated. I’ve managed to stop it from auto-posting to Tumblr and Twitter, but if you subscribe to our mailing list, you’ll probably get flooded. Uh…sorry about that.

At the moment, if you do a Google search for us, you’ll probably see a “this site may be hacked” error. This is due to changes made to the front page, and should be corrected by the time everything is finished in June.

Any further questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment! I hope you all enjoy what’s coming to Made Of Fail.