Regarding X Men, Hornets, Pandas and Magic Lanterns


It’s been a luke warm summer blockbuster season. Now, I’m not a cinema snob. I find enjoyment in many flicks with little merit. I am the only one on earth who enjoyed Nicholas Cage’s DND adventure SEASON OF THE WITCH. And yet I haven’t had that much fun with usual adventure fare in the theater.

But X-Men: First Class was pretty damn awesome. Granted, it’s a period piece, and a Cold War one at that, so I was already keen. Loved the Nazi hunting back story. The cast was great for the most part. I did notice the Red Shirt Syndrome with the more, ahem, ethnic characters, and that stunk. And the re-envisioning of Angel was awful and pointless. But the leads were great.

And I saw Kung Fu Panda II last night. I was a big fan of the first one, having been raised on Black Belt Theater and Shaw Brother’s flicks during my misspent youth. It was okay. Needed about two more drafts to find out what the heart of the story was (there were about five plot threads that COULD have been the core tale, and instead they were all just hanging out there). And they seemed to forget that Po was the Dragon Warrior, by which I mean he’s supposed to be the most amazing kung fu dude on earth . . . and he gets his ass handed to himself a lot. Not as much as the first movie, where he knows NO kung fu, but so much so that I didn’t buy it when he makes the heroic come back. Plus, the balance between serious theme and humour was way, way off. Not nearly as funny as the first one, making it a rather somber experience which I don’t think was the intent.

Now, I’m a abuzz for Green Lantern. Yes, the reviews have not been awesome. But most of the crits have been about the plot being “out there”. Well, yeah! It’s GREEN LANTERN! The premise for all of the Green Lantern mythos is stupid! The original one was awful! This is the rejigged one that, I believe, Alfred Bester cranked out and made all science fictiony. And that is awesome. As I said to my pop culture bud Heath McCoy, not all super hero flicks are supposed to be BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT. Green Lantern is hyper heroics and wild premises galore! Space ships! Magic rings! Onward! Though I will agree that I think Blake Lively is about as charasmatic as a cardboard cutout. Really, Hollywood. Being pretty in your town is mandatory, so why not pick one of the thousands of gals who can also, you know, ACT???

I also watched the GREEN HORNET movie on the plane ride home. It was perhaps the dumbest super hero film every made. I mean, one draft, written while stoned, no causal connection on how and why things happen, dumb, dumb, dumb. Oddly, I enjoyed most of it in spite of itself. Seth Rogen needs a tad more skill to be a heroic lead, especially his voice acting. Had a three note range on that front (scream, yell, and talk loud).  So here’s the more awesome theme from the show!





About ridlerville

Jason S. Ridler is a historian, writer, and improv actor. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and has published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Mr. Ridler holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Richmond, CA. Visit him on Facebook at
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