Black Adam (2022) a (mildly) belated review

There’s been more hoopla -it seems- about the behind the scenes stuff regarding Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam than there is about the movie itself.

You’ve had the surprise of Henry Cavill’s cameo as Superman at the movie’s end… something which delighted quite a few fans out there, even those who may not be big fans of Zack Snyder’s DC movies yet feel Cavill makes a great Superman. Then you had the disappointment -to those very same fans- when it turned out new DC Universe showrunner James Gunn stated Cavill would not return to the character after all.

There was the strange review situation, where professional reviews of the film were quite dismal yet the regular audiences were far more forgiving (at this date and on Rottentomatoes.com, the movie stands at a really, really low 39% positive among those critics and yet a very high 88% positive among audiences)

Then, when the movie was released, it seemed to do quite well in theaters but petered out relatively quickly. I suspect the film in the end did very well but not well enough for DC to push Mr. Gunn into a potential sequel or force him to use Cavill again. Mr. Johnson entered into that particular fray stating the film’s box office was quite healthy and his statements seemed rather defensive, even if I couldn’t blame him. He’s clearly someone who has pride in what he does and will defend it.

I was interested in seeing the film when it was originally released but, as is often the case for me, it was difficult to find the time to go to a theater to see the film. I also, I have to admit, had my eye on HBOMax and wondered just how long after the movie’s theatrical release I’d have to wait before it was streaming on that service.

In the end, I didn’t see the film in theaters but did catch it a few weeks back on HBOMax. I honestly don’t know if it’s still available to be seen there as of today.

So… what did I think about the film?

Was it as bad as the critics said? Did they miss something that general audiences found?

Avert your eyes, gentle reader, because what I’m about to state may cause some of you to faint…

I felt Black Adam was about as good a superhero film as Dr. Strange In The Multitude of Madness.

Yes, I said it.

Now, don’t get me wrong: Sam Raimi is a director who is in his own class and his direction of the Dr. Strange film was crisp and has his characteristic fun -and wild- elements which you cannot find in the Jaume Collet-Serra (whose previous directed films include The Shallows, Orphan, and Jungle Cruise) Black Adam.

However, I felt Dr. Strange’s story was, despite some really neat elements (particularly the alternate Marvel Universe and its heroes) quite toothless. It felt like the studio imposed the story and had Raimi tone down what could have been a truly fascinating horror/superhero hybrid. It felt to me like Raimi was in a strait jacket, making a good film when he could have made a batshit crazy great one, had he been allowed to do so.

So it was that I felt Black Adam was also one of those types of films. It wasn’t terrible IMHO, but it also felt like it was ticking off the boxes and trying to be all things to all audiences. I suppose, based on those Rottentomatoes.com scores, it achieved that much.

But it could -and more importantly should– have been more.

There were all kinds of fascinating elements in it. In Dr. Strange, as I mentioned, the highlight was seeing the alternate universe Marvel heroes. In Black Adam, the equivalent was seeing The Justice Society and, specifically, Hawkman and Dr. Fate, two characters I’ve always loved from the comics and was pleased to see come to life.

Pierce Brosnan was simply a delight as the weary Dr. Fate and seemed to have a blast in the movie. He was easily the movie’s standout.

Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, alas, is presented as far more one note through the film. I get it: Unlike the comic books, where he was for many years an outright villain, here he’s a hero who is supposed to skirt the edge of being one. He kills, and quite a bit, but the movie -again like Dr. Strange– tries to soften the blow of his actions with humor or quick cuts which dampen what should be rougher stuff for audiences to chew on. As with Dr. Strange, I couldn’t help but wonder what a more no-holds-barred R rated version of this film might have been.

So the bottom line for me is that Black Adam is another reasonably successful superhero studio product. There are some really great effects and some of the action presented is quite wild but the film, in the end, feels like you’re having a Big Mac.

Go to any McDonalds in the United States and order a Big Mac and they’ll all taste the same even as they will help you get you past your hunger. Sure, they’re calories and they’re relatively cheap and you get served quick but it’s not necessarily a gourmet -or memorable- meal.

Recommended, with that caveat.

Lance Kerwin (1960-2023)

Time marches on as it inevitably does.

The above name may not mean much to people today, but if you’re of a certain age -like mine- you may remember actor Lance Kerwin for a couple of very good roles he had in the late 1970’s.

Perhaps the role most people will remember him for is that of Mark Petrie in the very creepy TV adaptation Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.

He was also the star of James at 16, a show that ran between 1977-78 and which I recall rather fondly.

Anyway, Mr. Kerwin, it was reported, died yesterday at the age of (gasp) 62. While his subsequent work may not have been quite as memorable as those he was involved in during his youth, the fact that I still remember those roles after all these years later, shows he did something quite special.

My condolences.

Razzies…

Way, waaaaaay back in the 1980’s or thereabouts I found this book and thought it was hilarious…

Written by Harry and Michael Medved (yes, the same Michael Medved who has become a pretty far right wing commentator) and originally released in 1980, the book focused on terrible movies and made fun of them and the ineptitude shown within.

As I said, I found the book hilarious and, over time, making fun of films became something of a sport. Perhaps the most famous example of doing so is the delightful Mystery Science Theater 3000 show, which has existed in various iterations and with various hosts since 1988 and has branched off -with a few of the original cast members of MST3K into RiffTrax in 2006.

Back in 1981, and perhaps as a result of the success of The Golden Turkey Awards (or perhaps not, I don’t know), the Golden Raspberry Awards premiered. Known as the “Razzies”, the so-called awards are meant to be a polar opposite of the Oscars in that they “award” movies and actors whom they feel in that year did particularly bad work.

This year, they nominated actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong, all of 12 years old, for worst acting in the Firestarter film and, after a backlash, decided to remove her from the nomination. (If you’re interested, you can read the entire story, presented on CNN.com and written by Lisa Respers France, here)

I feel the backlash is appropriate. Ridiculing some misguided or poorly received work by someone who probably should know better is somewhat understandable. But blasting a 12 year old child for doing what was likely the best she could in a (from what I’ve read) poor overall production? Seems harsh.

…and yet…

I can’t help but feel the notion of blasting artists of all/any ages on very public forums for perceived poor works has become distasteful, at least to me.

The market usually dictates hits and misses and there have been times when films were released to great scorn and subsequently were viewed far differently.

The very first Razzies, for example, nominated director Stanley Kubrick and actress Shelley Duvall for their work on The Shining, a film that over the years has come to be viewed by many -including me- as one of the very best horror films ever made.

Further, Shelley Duvall’s nomination as worst actress was voided years later when it was revealed she likely had a very bad working experience (to say the least) on the set of The Shining.

Having said all this, I admit: When I was much younger I found making fun of others’ works and failures was a pretty damn fun game.

But then I became a writer and things changed.

It has been noted that “no one sets out to make a terrible movie” and I would expand that quote into music and writing as well as TV. Everyone who first puts pen to paper or picks up a guitar or sings their first note hopes -and dreams- the work they create will be successful.

At times, it simply isn’t. The Shining, when the movie was first released, wasn’t all that successful. Critically, it had mixed reactions from audiences. Even to this day author Stephen King, whose novel was the basis for the movie, has had a very negative opinion about the work.

Remember way back when a few paragraphs above how I said I consider The Shining one of the all time best horror films ever made?

Welp, I saw it in theaters when it was first released (cough-old-fart-cough) and I didn’t like it.

At all.

Over time I caught bits and pieces of the film on TV when it aired and, over that time, I finally got it. The Shining was not meant to be a film that filled you with horror or slammed you with scary jumps (though it had a couple). The film was meant to seep into your psyche, to make you ill at ease and to descend, along with its small cast, into this pleasant looking -but deadly- hellscape of a Hotel.

I haven’t seen the remake of Firestarter but based on reviews I’ve seen, the film is likely dreadful.

To which I say: So what?

The filmmakers tried and possibly failed to make a good film.

Again: So what?

Many have before and many will again.

My point is: Why waste energy slamming the movie and the creators? Why not move on and find something you like and cherish rather than dwell on something you hate?

I’ve seen plenty of stuff I felt was terrible. I’ve read books that have disappointed me mightily. There are whole categories of music I simply don’t like.

But I’ve realized there’s little point in dwelling on it beyond looking at this as a learning experience.

As a writer, sometimes the stuff that doesn’t work offers lessons to me as to what not to do which, hopefully, helps me make things that are, in the end, better for those lessons.

Anyway, just a random thought (I should trademark that, no?!)

Getting to the end…

…at least the NFL is for this season!

Over the past weekend, the NFL had their divisional round, where we whittle down eight teams into four. Next Sunday we’ll have the semi-finals where those four teams will be whittled down to the two that will play in the SuperBowl.

Before getting to that, the teams that played this past weekend were the Kansas City Chiefs who beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (27-20), the Eagles beat the New York Giants (a pretty big beatdown, 38-7), the 49ers beat the Cowboys (19-12), and, finally, the Bengals beat the Buffalo Bills (27-10).

While it seems there’s a lot of talk about the Cowboys once again losing out on advancing, I find the results of the Bengals/Buffalo Bills game a little more fascinating… in the sense that I don’t quite understand why so many seemed to think the Bills would take out the Bengals.

A few weeks ago we had the very horrifying aborted game between the Bengals/Bills wherein Damar Hamlin collapses and, we found, suffered heart failure (you can read my thoughts about that here).

Mr. Hamlin would eventually be released from the hospital and he was actually present -though obviously not playing- at the game, which much have been an incredibly encouraging thing for both the Bills players and audience to see.

The game itself took place at the Bills’ stadium. Coming into this year, the Bills were viewed as a heavy possibility to make it to the Superbowl this year. Given the torrid way they came out at the start, it seemed they were indeed unstoppable.

So, yeah, I guess I can understand to some degree why many favored the Bills over the Bengals.

Yet they lost. Not only did they lose, they were dominated, IMHO, through most of the game. The final score, thought not quite as dramatic as the Giants/Eagles final score, points to a game where Buffalo lost and lost quite big. Their offense clearly was stopped. Their defense, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have answers to the Bengals offense.

So… a big surprise, no?

I dunno.

Look, I’m the last person in the world one should look for any deep insight into any sport or games. I’m a casual fan, though loyal, to the ones that are local here. Having said that, I just don’t have the time to do much more than catch a game here and there and, often, not the entire game.

Football works the best for me because there are only a limited amount of games to watch and they occur only once a week.

So, yeah, I watched most of the Miami Dolphin games.

I like the team, though they have wallowed in mediocrity for very, very long.

This year, however, they had flashes of brilliance especially in several games where quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got to shine. However, he also suffered concussions and, in their final game of the season, the first round/wildcard of the playoffs, they lost to these same Buffalo Bills, two weeks ago and at the Bills’ stadium, 34-31.

Think about that: The Dolphins, a team that suffered tremendous personnel loss to injury and who were fielding a third string quarterback, held their own against these Buffalo Bills and, if memory serves, lost the game in the last minutes by a field goal.

Yet many thought that one week later these Bills would be favorites over a much stronger, far less injured team in the Bengals?

Again: I’m not a brainiac regarding sports. I don’t pretend to be one.

Yet I felt the Bills, for whatever reason, were looking very beatable going into the playoffs if only because of the very hard time they had dealing with a Dolphin team that was coming into the game against them looking very ravaged by injury.

So… who makes it to the Superbowl?

I have to say the Eagles, what I saw of them against the Giants, looked like a pretty damn fearsome machine. They go up against the 49ers next week and while they likely will have a tougher game on their hands, I suspect they’ll emerge to be the NFC team to go to the Superbowl.

On the AFC side, we have the Bengals going up against the Kansas City Chiefs. Normally, I would give the nod to the Chiefs. However, their quarterback -and one of the very best quarterbacks playing today- Patrick Mahomes, sustained a high ankle sprain in the game against the Jaguars and it is my understanding this can hobble his mobility quite a bit, should he be able to play (he stated he will).

Given this, I have to say the Bengals may have the advantage.

For the Superbowl, if it’s Eagles versus the Bengals I would give the edge to the Eagles. If it’s Eagles versus Chiefs, Eagles again.

If it’s 49ers versus Bengals? Bengals. 49ers versus Chiefs… I would go Chiefs.

Let’s see how it goes!

Rust…

A little over a year ago cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin on the set of the movie Rust.

It is my understanding they were filming a scene where Baldwin’s character aims his gun at the camera and fires. The gun Baldwin used had live ammunition in it and Ms. Hutchins, who was behind the camera, was shot and killed while the movie’s director, Joel Souza, was hit in the shoulder.

The event is an indisputable tragedy and, further, should never, never, never have happened.

It is abundantly clear someone on the movie’s staff was very careless with either checking the guns used on the set or HUGELY irresponsible in bringing live ammo there. Alec Baldwin was handed a gun that obviously did not have blanks in it and therefore the tragedy happened.

Yesterday, prosecutors decided to charge Alec Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the movie’s armorer, with involuntary manslaughter.

Though I don’t know the intimate details of the charges. SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ guild, came out with a response to these charges against Alec Baldwin…

SAG-AFTRA Defends Alec Baldwin Over ‘Rust’ Charges, Calls Prosecutor ‘Wrong and Uninformed’ – IndieWire

They state:

The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use. The industry assigns that responsibility to qualified professionals who oversee their use and handling in every aspect. Anyone issued a firearm on set must be given training and guidance in its safe handling and use, but all activity with firearms on a set must be under the careful supervision and control of the professional armorer and the employer.

I agree with this.

However -and I could very well be wrong here- I believe Mr. Baldwin is being charged as the producer of the movie rather than the “actor” within. As a producer, he then may have some responsibility in making sure the set is safe. However, given the way credits are doled out in movies, his “producer” role may have been in name only.

The big question, unanswered to this point, is how live rounds made their way to this movie set. I suspect we may never get an answer to that.

Ms. Reed, the armorer, has stated she thought the ammunition within the gun was “dummy” rounds.

Either way, tragedy occurred and now we have charges brought forward.

I have to wonder, given today’s technology and the use of CGI effects, why any movie set has to have a “real” gun in it, even if it is watched and checked diligently.

Why, I wonder, aren’t there studios who have warehouses full of dummy guns which realistically “kick” when fired but cannot actually be loaded with real ammunition? In post-production studios can add sound effects and CGI flashes for the gunshots and at least that way everyone is far safer, no?

Who watches the watchmen?

Before I get into this, let me say: Sorry for the dearth of posts!

Sometimes it feels like I’m in some kind of acceleration chamber. My last post, made some 15 days ago shocked me. I’ve been busy, but surely I haven’t been away from here that long, have I?!

Welp, it appears I have and truthfully I find it hard to account for the lost time, even as busy as I have been.

Regardless… onwards!

So yesterday the people investigating the Supreme Court’s Alito opinion piece on Dobbs, the ruling which did away with Roe v Wade and which, IMHO, is going to have pretty severe repercussions for the next few election cycles, issued their report and they said…

…they couldn’t find who leaked Alito’s opinion. An article presented on CNN.com does a pretty good job explaining what this report stated:

Supreme Court issues report on Dobbs leak but says it hasn’t identified the leaker | CNN Politics

The bottom line from the report is that there were some 90 people interviewed and it seems like the Supreme Court’s records are kept in a rather… sloppy way and, bottom line, they couldn’t determine whodunnit.

However…

This article, also presented on CNN.com and written by Joan Biskupic, goes into how…

Supreme Court embarrassed by the opinion leak is embarrassed again | CNN Politics

The author notes that the investigation did not interview any of the Justices themselves or their spouses, a rather odd thing to do if one is bent on getting to the bottom of such things.

There are many who feel, based on examining the report and what’s gone on in this investigation, that perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts ultimately didn’t really want to know who leaked Alito’s draft.

One can speculate as to the why, but it seems somewhat obvious: It very well could have been someone quite high up, up to and including Justice Alito, Justice Thomas, or perhaps Thomas’ wife, who has -shall we be delicate here?- a seemingly very strong political agenda of her own.

I agree with the ultimate opinion of Ms. Biskupic’s article, though: By issuing this “non finding” the Supreme Court does itself no favors. If the original leak was such a huge embarrassment and a stunning breach of decorum and therefore an investigation into the source of this leak was something that had to be done…

…why hamper the investigation from the very beginning?

Mind you, I feel Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley, who conducted the investigation, likely did as well as could be done but the reality is that there are other Justice agencies it seems could have done a more thorough job… and are built to take on such cases.

And as was noted in Ms. Biskupic’s article, the final report is also damning in that it suggests the Court’s internal security is anything but, and further leaks are certainly possible.

Again: One can’t help but speculate as to whether this whole investigation might have been more of a PR move rather than a serious attempt at getting to “the truth” of the leak. One can’t help also speculate that maybe for Chief Justice Roberts, in a Supreme Court which seems to be having its share of problems, felt the need to do something for the purpose of looking like he was doing something… but may have ultimately hoped for this result.

The boat’s rocking enough without the revelation that perhaps a Supreme Court Justice -or a close confidant/spouse of one- is a leaker.

POSTSCRIPT:

Today a few more interesting opinion pieces have been published and are worth giving a read.

First up is Aredba Shah’s article from Salon.com:

Legal experts stunned SCOTUS leak investigators may not have interviewed any justices — or spouses | Salon.com

This article points out the fact that bothers many regarding this investigation: It seems like from the onset it was given certain parameters, including not talking to or interviewing any of the Justices or their spouses, which seems wrong considering the supposed “egregious” nature of this lead.

There is at least one really fascinating tweet referred to in this article and its by Elie Mystal, The Nation’s legal analyst:

I told everybody, from the very beginning, that if the Dobbs leaker turned out to be a Republican, the Supreme Court would somehow never find who did it. Welp, the report’s out and, what do you know, they don’t know who did it.

Yikes.

A second interesting article is by Katherine Fung and presented at Newsweek…

Supreme Court Report Sparks Suspicions About Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito (newsweek.com)

What I’m noticing from many of these articles is that the initial line of suspicion, that perhaps a more liberal minded clerk had possibly leaked the Alito Dobbs decision, seems to be less and less likely.

Sadly, that means that the Supreme Court and its conservative majority is looking increasingly like it has decided to “move on” from this because, let’s be clear here: They kinda know it was either a conservative clerk or someone much higher up responsible for this but simply don’t want to let things get messier than they are.

As I said before…

Yikes.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) a (very mildly) belated review

Back in 2019 -truly a lifetime ago, given all that’s happened to myself and the world at large!- I went out to the movie theater for the very last time before COVID hit hard to see the film Knives Out.

The film, directed and written by Rian Johnson, was a murder mystery featuring Daniel Craig playing Benoit Blanc, the “world’s greatest detective” dealing with a shifty/suspicious family whose benefactor was apparently murdered.

I never saw the whole film, alas, as I received a call somewhere half-way through the film and was forced to deal with a business problem. As a result of the call I missed some 10 minutes or so of the movie and the call and situation left me so fucking bitter I decided it wasn’t in much of a mood to see the rest of the film. So I sat in the lobby and waited for the movie to finish so I could rejoin the group I went with and head out.

I never did bother to see the rest of the film, the bitterness of the situation still being there, despite eventually purchasing the film and considering watching it through.

Anyway, COVID hit and it wouldn’t be until Murder on the Nile -another murder mystery film!- a couple of years later until I once again went to a theater.

When I heard about Glass Onion, I was curious. Despite everything that happened, I enjoyed what I saw of Knives Out and was curious to see the sequel. Netfix bought up the rights to the production and future Rian Johnson/Blanc movies and, after a very brief theatrical release, the film was shuffled onto Netflix’s streaming service where I got to see it uninterrupted.

Glass Onion involves a quirky billionaire named Miles Bron (no doubt an amalgam of such real life billionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs) quite well played by Edward Norton who invites his closest friends (played by, among others, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, and Madeline Cline) to his beautiful island retreat to participate in a murder mystery.

The set up of Glass Onion takes pretty freely from what is arguably Agatha Christie’s best novel, And Then There Were None, and has our diverse cast isolated on this island where the “game” of murder becomes a very real thing after a while.

Like Knives Out, though, the matter isn’t a totally grim affair. There is plenty of humor and outrageous sequences and while there is suspense, one never feels this film is an out and outright thriller like it could have been.

I enjoyed it for what it was, a sugary confection without too many deeper layers. The mystery itself is pretty dopey if you spend too much time thinking about it and involves some things which simply wouldn’t happen in real life. I won’t get into SPOILERS but suffice to say these are pretty pulpy and silly as well.

If you roll with it, you’ll have fun with Glass Onion.

If you don’t…

I’m kinda on the fence here. To some degree I could accept a lot that was expected of the viewers but there were points where things were just a little too crazed.

Some have criticized the movie for having our detective know things that he shouldn’t. However, I think they’re wrong. The things he didn’t witness firsthand it was clear he was told about so that wasn’t such a big thing.

However…

You know, I do want to talk about them but I don’t want to SPOIL things for others so I’ll get to it in a bit.

Before I do, let me offer this conclusion: Glass Onion is a fun film that, while at times outrageous, doesn’t kill you with the silliness. It’s worth a look and I do ultimately recommend it.

Now then…

SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!

BEWARE!!!

Ok… still there? Well, you have been warned!

The film involves, as we will soon find, a group of very diverse individuals who all have a connection to Edward Norton’s Bron but who clearly do not necessarily like him very much. He is a puppetmaster, of sorts, and their success was something that came through him.

Worse, it appears one of the guests who arrives turned on him. She, we will learn, had a brilliant idea and Bron appeared to have taken it from her. The idea is a McGuffin. We’re never quite sure what exactly this was though it seems like it might have been some kind of website like a Facebook which was then stripped from her control.

Anyway, her arrival at this party causes all the others to react. See, they all know that she created the billion dollar idea that Bron took but they are so tied into him and his money they dare not cross him.

Then, later on, it turns out the character is actually dead, having been murdered just before the party but whose murder still hasn’t reached the news. And it turns out she has a twin sister who is the one taking her place and who has asked Blanc to come to this party… he was not, you see, invited to come in the first place!

My issues with Glass Onion lie entirely in the paragraph I wrote above.

That’s an awful lot of stuff to accept at face value and I suspect those who enjoy the film likely will be ok with this while those who don’t like the film will find at least some of what I wrote above hard to accept.

I’m truly on the fence here. The idea of a person dying/being murdered yet they are able to keep this from the news is… tough to accept. Worse still is accepting the character has a twin sister who conveniently is able then to take her place/appear at this island party. Even tougher is understanding how she was invited to this party in the first place given what seems a bad relationship with the host and even harder still is how Blanc gets to the party despite not being invited… yet our host accepts his being there without much protest.

I mean, wouldn’t there be some kind of security at the docks before being sent to the island? Because if Blanc could get to the island and no one particularly cared, then what was to stop a whole gaggle of other uninvited people from going there?

It… defies logic, truly.

Yet I stand by what I said: Glass Onion is nonetheless an enjoyable though sugary confection. It will, at the least, entertain you.

For the second time: Recommended!

Damar Hamlin and Football…

Yesterday’s Monday Night Football game involved the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals in a match that had big implications for the playoffs, at least in terms of who might have a higher place.

But the game was cut short. Very short.

Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, on a play, tackled a Bengal player. The hit didn’t appear particularly vicious yet after Hamlin got up, he collapsed to the ground. Medics came over and it was revealed he went into cardiac arrest.

To say the least, the situation was extremely tense as those medics attended to Mr. Hamlin and administered CPR. Ultimately, he was transported off the field in an ambulance. As of today, the day after, it is reported Mr. Hamlin is sedated and in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

After some delay, the coaches and the NFL decided to suspend the game. Whether it will eventually be made up is to be determined, but given the grim circumstances involved in this situation, that seems like the thing people should be the very least worried about.

I love football. I find the sport exciting as hell. Paradoxically, I also feel the sport needs to be either changed considerably to make it safer or, if that’s not possible, done away with completely.

Why?

Because with each passing year, the athletes who play the game get stronger and faster and because of this the hits may get more and more vicious. At the rate things have been going, I have noted to friends that its only a matter of time before someone dies on the field.

This very nearly happened yesterday.

As I noted above and though the hit wasn’t particularly vicious, it caused Mr. Hamlin’s heart to effectively stop. Perhaps he has some kind of genetic predisposition or perhaps it was a one in a million hit, but the reality is that he very nearly died out there last night.

Yes, there have been vicious injuries which have occurred in football games over the years. There have been moments where medics have had to deal with players on the field. Earlier this year, Miami Dolphins Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a very scary concussion. It is at least the third concussion he’s suffered as he was out for this past Sunday’s game.

Again: I like football. I genuinely do.

But I wonder if it may be time to either look more intently at what can be done to improve player safety and reduce the possibility of such horrible injuries.

But… can this be done without changing what makes football such an exciting sport?

Therein lies the rub.

The alternative, though, is terrifying, especially if something like what happened yesterday happens again.

…and again.

Hope everyone out there…

…has had a terrific holiday!

It’s been incredibly busy time for me, as should be obvious by the dearth of posts, what with visiting family and having my daughter over but now things are coming back to normal.

I’m deep into my next novel and have another project that likely will be started this year. I don’t want to say too much about it but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while with a very talented individual I’ve known for many years now.

Let’s see what happens!

Henry Cavill is out…

…as Superman, that is.

It’s been quite literally years since the last time Henry Cavill donned the famous Superman costume for any significant length of time. It was back when Joss Whedon was doing re-shoots of the Justice League film which infamously had Cavill maintain his mustache from Mission: Impossible which was then digitally removed… quite badly.

Since then, there’s been speculation as to whether Henry Cavill would ever return to the character. To Mr. Cavill’s credit, he didn’t stoke the fires or try to pressure the studios. If anything, he’s been very low key about the possibility and (I strongly suspect on his side) hope of eventually returning to the character.

Cavill’s Superman would show up again, minus Cavill himself, in the first Shazam! film…

Yeah, they wanted Cavill to appear at the movie’s end in his Superman costume but couldn’t. Instead, they had another actor don Cavill’s costume and showed Superman from the neck down. A cheesy solution, I suppose, but what can you do?

Then, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam showed up and, at its end, fans of Henry Cavill had a distinct thrill at the end of the film… a cameo by Henry Cavill himself…!

I suspect this cameo -supposedly pushed by Dwayne Johnson himself- helped Black Adam draw what it did in the box office, though there are conflicting analysis of how well -or badly- the film did in the end.

Regardless, we had this article by Adam B. Vary appear on variety.com:

Henry Cavill: “I am back as Superman”

Alas, that cameo turned out -at least for the time being- Henry Cavill’s last big hurrah as the famous comic book character.

Yesterday and on Instagram, Mr. Cavill posted the following:

Again, Mr. Cavill takes the very high road and, without bitterness, announced his retirement from the character.

Warner Brothers has been, frankly, a mess of late and this is above and beyond their DC Comics properties. When James Gunn was announced as the new “head” of the DC properties, speculation began that maybe he would start with a “clean slate” and build from the bottom up with the characters… which would mean many of the actors we have come to associate with the DC properties might have seen their last appearances as such.

Interestingly, there are still a couple of “old” DC movies to come. There’s Aquaman 2, Shazam 2, and The Flash. There was, infamously, the Batgirl film which was cancelled after being close to complete and we also heard Patty Jenkins is out as Wonder Woman director. Is Gal Gadot also done with the role?

Jason Momoa, interestingly enough, supposedly met with Gunn and was ecstatic with whatever project they proposed he be in. The safe bet is that Momoa is going to play Lobo…

Truthfully when it was originally announced that Momoa was joining the DC universe, many thought playing Lobo was a no-brainer and Aquaman, who is most often drawn as this…

…seemed an odd choice.

I felt it worked in the end, but it doesn’t entirely shock me that Momoa may be cast as Lobo. If so, will his Aquaman days be gone?

As with so many other things, time will tell!

The Blog of E. R. Torre

%d bloggers like this: