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Monday, December 11, 2017

"Go Guarded": I Cannot Even

I cannot even so much that I am, in fact, odd.



What.. what the fuck is this happy horse shit?

It's plastic. PLASTIC. So not only can you not punch with it like the ad would have you suggest (well, I suppose you could, but something's going to break, and chances are it'll be your finger or worse), but you're scratching an assailant with a dubiously sharp and "serrated" piece of plastic. Unless you manage to get incredibly lucky and stab the guy in the eye, the most you're going to do is poke him and maybe draw some blood. So now he's not just attacking you, he's attacking you and he's pissed off.

Put as bluntly as I think the Go Guarded's edge is, this will only be effective at turning a rape into a murder. 

Look, ladies: on average, men are taller than women, which means they have a longer reach than us (every foot taller is 6" of additional reach), and they're also heavier and have greater upper-body strength. At no point do I want to get into a hand-to-hand struggle with anyone who can pin my arms to my sides with his longer reach and use his greater weight to force me to the ground. Hell, I carry a fighting knife and I still don't want to get into melee combat with a man -- or with anyone, for that matter.

No thank you, George Takei. A firearm neutralizes the height/ weight/ reach/ muscle mass disparity between the sexes and it allows me to keep a safe distance, so I'll use my concealed pistol (which also functions as a very loud rape whistle) to make sure my assailant, and whatever accomplices he has, don't get within striking distance of me.

Do not buy this product. It is stupid and ineffective and will get you hurt. Even if you live in an anti-gun state (interestingly enough, Go Guarded is based in Arizona, a state with Constitutional Carry), you have better options than this. Heck, even pepper spray is preferable to this.


And speaking of George Takei, isn't it funny how he hates guns which place women on equal footing with men but approves of a plastic scratcher which requires a physical struggle where women are likely to lose? I'm fairly certain there's a problematic term for this, like "disempowering" or "mansplaining" or possibly even "misogynistic".

As my friend Firehand says:  "Captain, can someone escort Mr. Sulu to the doctor? He forgot to take his meds again."


Sunday, December 10, 2017

GunBlog VarietyCast Radio #173 - Too Many Acronyms


GOA and NAGR tried to make HR38 DOA with FUD.
  • Self Defense with Kids and Dogs! No, not using your kids as shields or throwing dogs at intruders. Instead, Beth discusses the self-defense options that are available when you have small children and/or dogs.
  • In a story that hits a little too close to home, Sean knew the victim (but not the son) in "Friends, family grieve after Franklinton man killed, allegedly by his son."
  • Barron is back with us this week to talk about why you should keep your cell phone number secure, safe, and private.
  • Miguel has a temper. The guy in that truck you just accidentally cut off has a temper. You have a temper. In this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Miguel offers some tips for how to avoid having the worst part of you make the worst decisions possible.
  • In this week's Main Topic, Sean and Erin discuss the "Fix NICS" half of HR38, and why you shouldn't let the freakout by GOA and NAGR over NICS frighten you away from supporting this important bill.
  • Tiffany is attending a week-long Deadly Force Instructor course in Live Oak, FL. She has just enough time on a break to record  her thoughts on why you should attend… and stay tuned for a surprise cameo!
  • It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year for you to buy stocking stuffers for the preppers in your life. Erin makes a list, and you should check it twice.
  • There was so much anti-gun nuttery on the “Professor Puppet” video Weer’d did last week, he had to come back for more.
  • And our Plug of the Week is Contact Your Senators and ask them to support HR38 Concealed Carry Reciprocity.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript: 
Stocking Stuffers for Preppers
Hello preppers! If you are listening to this podcast on Sunday night, you have exactly 14 days until Christmas! 

Hopefully you have all prepared for the season by buying your presents early, or at the very least you know what you plan to get and you have the shipping times worked so that all your gifts arrive on schedule. 

As for myself -- well, not to brag, but I completed all of my Christmas shopping before it was even December and now I’m working on my famous (or perhaps infamous) My Little Pony Christmas Cards. 

But for those of you who haven’t finished your shopping (or for those of you who are just now going “Oh crap, I really need to get started”), Santa’s Elf Erin is here to give you some ideas for inexpensive but useful stocking stuffers for friends and family. Give them to people who aren’t yet into prepping as a combination gift and kick in the butt, or get a bunch of things and make a smorgasbord box of handy preps. 

Everyone needs a good flashlight! I recommend the 300 lumen mini Cree LED flashlight by UltraFire. It uses a single AA battery, is super-efficient, has a zoomable focus and at only 4 inches long it fits comfortably in pockets and purses. It’s only $6 and, like most of the items I’m going to recommend, as Amazon’s two-day Prime shipping. 

Everyone also needs a good fixed blade knife. I’ve talked about Mora knives before, and they’re still the best-kept secret in the knife world. They’re amazingly ergonomic, don’t need sharpening out of the box, and come in a variety of colors including military green, tactical black and magenta. They range in price from $10 to $22 depending on which color you get. 

Worried about loved ones getting lost or succumbing to the elements? No worries, fam, I gotcha covered. There’s a company called SOL for “Survive Outdoors Longer” and they make a panoply of  survival tools for use when you’re the other kind of SOL.  A two-person survival blanket costs $6 and will keep them warm and dry, while a $9 signal mirror and a $6 package of rescue whistles will ensure they are seen and heard. 

If you’re looking for something to put you over the limit for free shipping, get an eyeglass repair kit for $4 that comes with a magnifying glass, 12 screws for eyeglass hinges and nosepieces, and a tiny screwdriver for those tiny screws. These kits are essential if, like me, you need glasses to function, but they’re still nice to have if your sunglasses break. 

Other good things to put inside stockings are things which you can pick up at just about any grocery store, like batteries (AA or AAA), disposable lighters and rolls of duct tape. Did you know that duct tape is made of cotton and can be used as a fire starter?

This last item isn’t really a stocking stuffer, and it’s quite odd, but I’m including it here because there’s a humorous Christmas story attached to it. Three years ago, my mother had cataract surgery and that made it harder for her to focus her eyes enough to do the knitting and stitching that she enjoys. In desperation, I ordered her a multi-power head magnifer -- you know, the magnifying lenses on headbands that jewelers and watchmakers use -- because it was only $9 and I could get it to her in two days. I figured that even if she hated it, I could still find a use for it. 

To my extreme amazement and delight, my mother LOVED IT and uses it daily. It’s given her years of faithful use and has brought peace and joy to the house because she is no longer frustrated about being unable to see her hobbies. So if you have a family member who has poor vision and whose hobbies include precision work like making models or painting miniatures or tying fishing lures, get one of these. I guarantee that you won’t regret it!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hoist By Their Own Petard

No lie, I had to look up what a 'petard' was. Apparently it's a kind of explosive. Thanks, Assassin's Creed, for teaching me all about pre-Renaissance weaponry! 

A lifetime ago, it seems, I wrote about Bahar Mustafa. I wrote about how using hateful language, even if you think you're 'punching up', is still going to come back to bite you because of the rules you set forth, because you've thrown away context in favour of outrage, because you're more worried about scoring Good Person Points than you are talking to someone you disagree with.

And here we go again. I find myself growing more and more accustomed to the phrase "I told you so."

I'll be addressing some points from an article from The Daily Beast, but first a brief musical interlude.

 

Such a catchy song. I think the whole point of it is that it's ironic that a song about irony dredges up example after example of things that aren't ironic but instead just suck.

So the gist of the article is that there are women, ostensibly comedians, being banned from Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, etc) for such benign, harmless phrases such as "men are trash," "men are scum," and "all men are ugly." And yes, this is bad. People shouldn't be banned for writing harmless (but stupid) things like that. This is not a Good Thing.

But, to quote Tony Stark, this is the end of the path you have started us on. When you've spent the last few years attacking, flagging, and reporting everything as harmful and hateful, you shouldn't be surprised when all of the sudden your particular favoured target is now considered 'protected' and your speech is stifled. After all, Facebook is a private company, right? They're not the government and therefore not bound by the First Amendment, right? You're not crying over your freeze peach, are you?

No, of course not. Because it's Different When I Do It™, right? Because your faceless, featureless, monolith of groupthinking physical traits are morally superiour to the other faceless, featureless, monolith of groupthinking physical traits.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, countless women have taken to Facebook to express their frustration and disappointment with men and have been promptly shut down or silenced, banned from the platform for periods ranging from one to seven days.
See, I want to respond to this. And there's such an obvious comeback, but the kindergarten-level #NotAllMen is what I'd receive in return, not any introspection about judging people by their actions and character and not by their genitals.
Kayla Avery, a comedian in Boston said she’s been banned close to 10 times by Facebook and is currently serving out the end of her third 30-day ban.
I'm not sure who Kayla Avery is. Google just shows me someone convicted of murder. Maybe if I add "comedian" to the search something will...
Oh... she seems nice.
The post features screenshots provided by Sanni where Facebook does not deem comments calling her the N-word hate speech.
You know, this one time I stumbled across a profile that was full of sexualized images of young boys. I reported that profile. This is what I got in return. 
It's almost like Facebook just sucks at moderation in general.
As ProPublica revealed in an investigation in June, white men are listed as a protected group by the platform.
A Facebook spokesperson clarified that this is because all genders, races, and religions are all protected characteristics under Facebook’s current policy.
Like it or not, whether you even knew it or not, this is what you were asking for. You wanted all manner of protected classes. Did you think Facebook, one of the world's biggest companies (and a fat financial target for litigation) would open itself up to a discrimination suit by a hungry lawyer by not making a certain group or other a 'protected class'?
Female comedians have speculated that it’s internalized misogyny on the behalf of Facebook’s content moderation team that leads to punishment such as banning to be doled out unequally. Several have tried posting “women are scum,” had their friends report the posts, and subsequently suffered zero consequences.
"Speculation and anecdotal evidence have led us to believe that they're putting chemicals in the water that are turnin' the friggin frogs gay!" Come on, now. 
One issue with the way Facebook moderators currently review posts is that many “problematic” posts are viewed individually, without context because of privacy concerns. Facebook moderators also aren’t able to view personal or demographic information about the original poster. This means that they sometimes don’t know whether a piece of content was posted by a black queer woman or a white straight male.
2015: Fuck your context, you're _____ and that's problematic!
2017: MUH CONTECKST!
In the past, ironic misandry has been a popular way for women to deal with living in a world where they’re exposed to frequent abuse at the hands of powerful men. Yet, if a woman takes to Facebook to vent about how she “wants to imprison men and milk them for their male tears,” she could quickly lose access to her account.
But wouldn't ironic misandry normalize misandric statements, and therefore allow them to creep into the mainstream? You don't want that, do you?

Do you?
...has become a favored tactic of the alt-right, Gamergate, and movements known for their coordinated harassment...
B4? That's B4, right? I'VE GOT BINGO!
“I get cold feet to post stuff, especially if I try to share something that’s going on that I want to bring attention to. because I feel like I’m going to get in trouble somehow,” she said. “Sharing anything is nerve racking. It’s like, ‘What’s ok? What’s not ok? What’s going to cross the line this time?’ It makes me feel crazy, like Facebook is gaslighting us.”
Cold feet? Almost like this sort of thing has a chilling effect on free speech? Oh my, that does sound like a problem I sure wish someone had tried to warn us about this for the last few years

Ok, I'm done picking at The Daily Beast for now. Look, this sucks. It does. I don't want people banned from social media for writing something dumb. If that were the norm, I'd have been banned from Blogger by now, for sure. But this is what you've been pushing us towards. This is the end of the path you started us on, and now we're stuck here. Social media companies have tried so hard to kowtow to your demands that they overreached and now you've been hit, too.

I'm sorry, I truly am. But you had this coming, and so many of us tried to warn you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pellatarrum: The Many Names of Dwarves

As has been mentioned before, the dwarven language is one of extreme concision because their culture prizes conceptual refinement over all other concerns. This pattern extends to naming conventions as well, with only the most illustrious dwarves of myth and legend (or gods) having one-word names and therefore being considers exemplars of their type; all other dwarves have additional names which further describe and therefore diminish them.

The Overname describes what a particular dwarf has chosen to do with his or her life: a devotee of the Church of Light, a worker at a forge, a warrior in service to the defense of the great Citadel-Forge of Agnakorem. Other races often perceive the overname as a title or job description, but it so much more than that: the overname declares a dwarf's purpose, and it comes first because a dwarf without purpose is no dwarf at all and might as well be a lump of stone.

A dwarven ranger who guards the underside of Agnakorem gainst aberrant horrors from the opposite side of the disk would have an overname like "Horizon Warden". *
*Horizon being the term for the line bisecting the disc of Pellatarrum lengthwise, separating the land of the Dayspire from the land of the Nightspire, and serving as a border between What Is Pure and What Is Not. You know you have crossed the Horizon when gravity reverses.

Next is the Clan name, because dwarven culture states that the family is more important than the individual, and the clan is more important than family. This is sometimes observed more in the breach than in practice -- it is difficult to place the needs of blood relatives below the desires of a collective of distant kin -- but this format is stressed because it allows for the formation of dwarven city-states. A contemporary cultural approximation would be the way military personnel swear to serve their country and put its needs before all others, including familial separation and/or death.

Since most dwarf clans are created through heroic action that earns a sobriquet. For example, Clan Ironfoot earned its name through the actions of its founder who used an iron-shod boot to crush the skull of a hated orc chieftain in heroic combat. (Technically all dwarf clan names ought to be rendered in dwarven, but for purposes of flavor and style and ease of use by player characters, the English translation is used instead.)

A horizon warden of the Ironfoot clan would be addressed as Horizon Warden Ironfoot, and this is all the name that needs be used during performance of duties or non-social interaction. Example: "Horizon Warden Ironfoot, is this tunnel safe to use?"


The Patriarchal name is used to denote family ties through marriage. The eldest competent male dwarf of the line is the patriarch of the family, and while he has the ability to speak for the entire family this ability is rarely exercised outside of emergencies or times of war. (Dwarves understand the necessity of a single command voice during a crisis, but the patriarch is often too old, too busy, or both to effectively micromanage every aspect of the family.) During normal life the patriarch acts as the voice of wisdom: giving advice to parents, mediating disputes between adults that threaten to split the family, granting official (read: ceremonial) permission for marriages, and the like.

The patriarchal name is the name of the patriarch plus the suffix -dom, meaning "house of".

If you needed to address a ranger of a particular family -- perhaps you are the commander of a patrol unit and need to inform the troops that a relative has died -- you would say "Horizon Warden Ironfoot Tovhendom, please see me at once" to ensure that only the dwarves whose patriarch is Tovhen would report to you.


In contrast to the patriarchal name which indicates marriage, the Matrilineal name indicates blood relation. While dwarves are hardly a promiscuous people, they are also a very practical one, and realize that while the father of a child may be in doubt, the mother is not. (In cases of foundlings or other adoptions, the adoptive mother gives her name to the child. The reasoning is that anyone who raises a child as her own is that child's mother, biology be damned, because love trumps biology every time.)

The matrilineal name is the name of the mother plus the suffix -vord for son and -vorn for daughter. Unless you are on familiar terms with a dwarf, this is the most specific form of address you may use. After all, how many female Horizon Wardens of the Ironfoot clan whose patriarch is Tovhen and whose mother is Kreska can there be?

Again, keep in mind that dwarven culture perceives concision as ideal; the more descriptors you add, the more familiar (and in the case of strangers, the more insulting) you become. If you call her "Horizon Warden Ironfoot Tovhendom Kreskavorn", she will realize that she is being singled out and will likely be wary, if not outright testy, at the specification.


The Personal name is the given name, or what we in the west call the first name. It is a name of incredible familiarity, and to address an unfamiliar dwarf in such a manner is a grave insult (think "little Bobby" or "little Suzie"). While dwarves are not specifically against a tavern-clearing brawl, per se, most of them have the manners and self-control not to engage in such indecorous behavior; rather, they prefer to nurse their grudges and think of ways to thwart, impoverish and harm their opponents over the long term. On the other hand, sometimes a fist is thrown in the heat of the moment, in which case honor demands that aggression is returned with aggression.

However, if a dwarf requests that you address her by her personal name, it is a great honor. Most acquaintances only use the patronym and matronym, but a true friend not only uses the personal name but often uses only the personal name; in deference to dwarven concision, this is a way of saying "You are elevated in my eyes."

For example. Horizon Warden Ironfoot Tovhendom Kreskavorn Taszvya is known as Taszvya only to her blood family and dearest friends ("blood not of blood"). Her extended family refers to her as Kreskavorn Taszvya, and she is known to acquaintances as Tovhendom Kreskavorn. Use of her full name by non-family diminishes and dishonors her, and requires either apology or blood to cure it.


The Love name is the only name not given by family. It is a diminutive of the personal name and is so shockingly intimate that it is rarely spoken outside of the bedroom, and almost never outside of the home. Shortening a name in dwarven culture effectively says "I elevate you above all, even the gods themselves" and while such affection is encouraged and expected in dwarf culture, it is something which simply Is Not Done In Public. In the best case, it is seem as two lovebirds demonstrating extremely inappropriate and vulgar public displays of attention; in the worst case, it's humiliating (like being called "sugar buns" in front of co-workers and superiors). Inappropriate use of a love name can destroy relationships and start wars, but the lovers who are so confident in their love that they can whisper it in public are quietly lauded as the ideal of dwarven romance.

If you call Kreskavorn Taszvya by the name "Taya", you had better be alone and on intimate terms, and preferably engaged to be wed.


Finally, there is the Titular name, which exists outside the spectrum of overname to love name as it is expected to change over time as the dwarf improves her skills and therefore her position within the community. A ranger who has only just finished training would be referred to as "Horizon Warden Recruit", whereas her superior would be "Horizon Warden Sergeant". Similarly, Blacksmith Apprentice is just that, while a Blacksmith would be his mentor. A highly skilled dwarf would be referred to as simply Smith, which denotes mastery of multiple fields.

It is possible for a dwarf to change his overname, but it is rare and always in conjunction with the ascension of titular name. For example, a Horizon Warden Smith (one who is skilled in the crafting of defenses, patrols, traps and asymmetrical warfare) could become elevated to Grand Protector, the dwarf who is in charge of all defense of Agnakorem. In this case the titular name would reset to Grand Protector Novice, indicating a fresh promotion. A Grand Protector Smith is terrifyingly competent, having spent literal centuries in his profession.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

GunBlog VarietyCast Radio #172 - Vacuums Suck


But in a good way!
  • Beth has never done yoga because she’s not flexible. But that’s the whole point of yoga! Similarly, some people don’t get involved with firearms training because they aren’t proficient with firearms.
  • It's a story with a happy ending, then a sad one: a robbery suspect is beaten with bat by Raleigh store clerk. Sean explains.
  • Barron is on assignment
  • Talk is cheap, and talk without the skills and knowledge to back it up is even cheaper. Miguel is tired of the fake outrage at those who didn’t help a woman and child shot by a gunman.
  • In this week's Main Topic, Sean and Erin talk about HR38, the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, which just passed the House Judiciary Committee.
  • Tiffany is on assignment.
  • Just because something sucks doesn't mean it's bad. Erin talks about vacuum sealers.
  • All through life,  one must seek intellectual guidance on complicated issues. Who better to seek knowledge from than a puppet,  especially a puppet that’s an anti-gun nut! Yes, Weer'd is about to Fisk a puppet.
  • And our Plug of the Week is the TOPOKO 25 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript: 
Vacuum Sealers
If you’ve assembled a bug-out bag, you have no doubt run into situations where you wish you compress items into smaller forms so that you could pack more of them into your bag. 

And if you’ve ever fallen while crossing a stream, or gotten caught in a sudden downpour, you know how important it is to have dry clothes and how difficult it is to keep them that way when your bag is drenched. The same also goes for valuable electronic devices like cell phones, weather radios, and the like.

Fortunately there’s a way to accomplish both of these tasks, and that’s with a vacuum sealer. While you’d be hard-pressed to use one after the SHTF due to their need for electricity, they’re great for setting up long-term storage before disaster, and and they make your life easier in the meantime.

Vacuum sealers are quite simple in operation:
  1. Take the item you want to seal and place it inside the smallest bag which will fit it, leaving an inch between the end of the bag and whatever you put inside it. (Most vacuum sealers come with pre-made bags with only one open end, but you can also make your own using rolls of plastic; more on that later.)
  2. Place the open end into the sealer, close it, and press the activation button.
  3. The sealer will then suck all of the air out of the bag. When there is no more air to be sucked out, a heating element will fuse part of the top and bottom of the bag together, creating a seam. 
  4. You now have a vacuum-sealed bag that is both watertight and airtight!
The applications for a vacuum sealer are limited only by imagination and what you can fit inside the bags. Here are just a few uses:
  • Foods like beans, rice, and dehydrated meals can be protected from spoilage and pests. 
  • Clothes are not only kept dry, but are compressed into a compact shape. I have a friend who sent me a set of surplus BDUs by vacuum sealing them so that they fit into a flat rate box. 
  • Protect things which would be damaged by water like medicine, first aid supplies, electronics or important documents. 
  • If you throw in some desiccant packets -- the moisture absorbers which are included in a lot of over-the-counter medicine and supplement bottles -- you can waterproof ammunition, and possibly even an handgun. 
  • And heck, you can even use it for its original purpose: vacuum sealing meat and fish so that they last longer and don’t suffer freezer burn.
I mentioned making your own bags with rolls of plastic, and while it involves a bit more effort -- you have to measure out the bag, seal one end, then fill it and seal the other -- it’s actually more economical because not only do sheets of plastic cost much less than pre-made bags, you also have the ability to make custom-sized bags instead of being forced to use the ones made by the manufacturer. We’re talking the difference between 100 feet of 8-inch tube plastic for $20 vs $20 for 44 bags.

The one drawback to vacuum-sealed bags is that once you open them, they aren’t air- and watertight any more. This is fine for food items, but you might want a way to keep your clothes, electronics and fire-starting tinder dry afterwards. The solution to that is simple: Include some ziploc bags for small items, and waterproof dry bags for larger items, in your bug-out or get-home bags.

I’ve included a link in the show notes to a good, all-around vacuum sealer that has high ratings on Amazon and only costs $30. If you’d like to know more about vacuum sealers, or want recommendations on different options, I suggest you read the two Blue Collar Prepping blog articles written by Chaplain Tim -- they’ll put you on the right path.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Salem Watches A Movie: Justice League

Let's have a little chat about DC and their films, shall we?
  • Man of Steel: When this movie first came out, I wasn't going to go see movies in the theatres regularly (and in fact wasn't until about Winter Soldier or so). If I'm completely honest, I found it boring. It was very dull. I fell asleep the first time I watched it, and that may just be me not being a big fan of Superman, as the same thing happened watching Superman Returns and I have no nostalgia for the Christopher Reeves movies. 
  • Batman vs Superman: Look, don't watch this. Just don't. It's a disjointed mess. In fact, skip the one before it, and look for a fan film called Man of Tomorrow. It splices Man of Steel into Batman vs Superman and does so in a way fixes all the pacing and tonal issues of this movie, while keeping the great Wonder Woman and Batman/Alfred scenes. Affleck is great. Irons is great. Gadot is great. Eisenberg's Luthor is a crime against cinema. 
  • Suicide Squad: Shut up, I like this one. I know it's bad. I love it anyway. It had some really great performances, great new takes on old characters, some great action, a cameo from Batfleck or two, and introduced me to the dreamy Cara Delevigne. 
  • Wonder Woman: aka 'the good one.' I honestly have no criticism of this movie, aside from maybe they played it a little too safe on the story side. The performances were good, the action was good, the story was good. It stands alongside the better MCU films. 
So, DC is 1 out of 4 so far going into Justice League. How did it fare?

Well... surprisingly well. Maybe it was Whedon taking over from Snyder. Maybe it was them learning lessons of what worked and what didn't from previous movies. Whatever it was, Justice League is actually a decent movie. It's no classic of the genre, like Winter Soldier, but it's at least as good as, say, Age of Ultron, just without that familiarity with the characters that we had there that allowed us to overlook some otherwise glaring problems.

That's not to say that it doesn't have problems. It does.
  • Flash is annoying. Like seriously annoying. Maybe I'm biased, watching him on television being portrayed masterfully by Grant Gustin, but Ezra Miller's Flash is just hard to watch. He's not funny and goofy, he's awkward and cringe-worthy. Maybe in theory that's a realistic portrayal of some kind of condition that's brave to show on film or something, but it's hard to watch in practice. 
  • The movie's villain, Steppenwolf, looks terrible. It's embarrassing looking at him, then seeing Thanos in the Infinity War trailer.
  • Likewise, Cyborg suffers from the poor CGI that Steppenwolf does, but in a much less organic way. Cyborg ends up looking like one of Michael Bay's Transformers until an ending sequence that shows him sheathing himself in much better armour. 
  • The story is a bit light, too, nearly scraping the depths to which the aforementioned Transformers series regularly descended: Big Bad wants to steal Magic McGuffins to take over the world and destroy stuff, good guys must band together to stop Big Bad with explosion that could possibly kill them.
On the good side, there's more of Batfleck and Gadot's Wonder Woman, and a very touching scene in which Diana helps Bruce with some of his injuries while Bruce muses on his own mortality while contrasting that with why the world needs Superman instead of him, owing to Superman's humanity. And speaking of which, I'm sorry if this is a spoiler (and if it is, congratulations on staying in the dark despite everyone's best efforts), but this is the movie that finally got Superman right. After Batman's plan is completed, the cavalry flies in to save the day with an upbeat, witty remark and a cataclysmic haymaker. Cyborg turns out to be a very good character as well, and Aquaman is a much better character than the hokey joke the trailers make him out to be. I'd like to shake the hand of Jason Mamoa's acting coach as well, as he's finally learned to emote on-screen.

There's a stand-out scene where the first battle against Steppenwolf is shown, being recounted as a legend, where the armies of man, Atlantis, and the Amazons drive him off-world with the help of certain familiar aliens and gods, and even a Green Lantern showing up.

All in all, this is definitely a movie worth watching, and it worries me a little that DC is rumoured to be giving up on the interconnected universe idea after this one, as this feels like the franchise finally getting up on its feet. It's by no means a perfect movie, but it's got potential. It's got life. Now they just need to do it again. And again. And keep doing it until they find the right balance of warmth, humour, action, and danger.

And I hope they do. I just hope it doesn't involve a Joss Whedon Batgirl. Stay away from my Barbara, Joss. 

The Fine Print


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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