The final Wolverine solo film now has an official title and its first trailer. I uploaded my thoughts to YouTube yesterday, but I also wanted to discuss the trailer on the blog. Attention spans are short when it comes to blog posts, but they can actually be worse with YouTube. I try to aim to make videos less than seven minutes long so I often have to condense all my thoughts and points. The blog gives me a little more breathing room, even though there may still be plenty of people who think “TL:DR”.
Wolverine: Origins was terrible, I think most people agree with me on that. A butchered version of Deadpool is the film’s most infamous creation but there was plenty more to hate. Terrible dialogue and CGI as far as the eye can see. Let’s not forget the boxing scene with the blob.
Wolverine was an improvement, although that is not saying much. I loved the idea of wolverine losing his powers and the question that the film raises: How much suffering can one man take? However, the film is brought down by a weak third act and some weak characters. I’m looking at you Viper.
Not only is Logan the last Wolverine solo film, it is also Hugh Jackman’s last outing as the title character. He was the first character to portray Wolverine in a live-action Hollywood film and by the time this film comes out, it will be sixteen years (2001-2017). Hugh Jackman is a great actor and regardless of the quality of the films, I believe he has always delivered a great performance. I have no doubt he will be remembered as one of the best comic book film castings. With all that said, I am hoping this final film gives the actor and character a strong finish.
The first trailer gives me hope that my dream will come true. Director James Mangold has said that he was aiming for a Western vibe with the film, which is also aided by the song choice. Johnny Cash’s cover of “Hurt”, originally by Nine Inch Nails, conveys the loneliness and grief that is omnipresent in the trailer. Although we know that the film will not closely follow Mark Millar’s “Old Man Logan”, there are plenty of similarities.
In Old Man Logan, an aging Wolverine escorts a blind Hawkeye as he delivers cargo across a post-apocalyptic US that is controlled by super villains. After one coordinated attack, the super villains were able to eliminate most of the heroes. Years later, Logan has settled down with a new family with his days of heroism long behind him. His family is bullied by his landlords, inbred children of Hulk and She-Hulk, and his healing factor has greatly diminished.
In the trailer, Logan says that mutants are gone, implying that he and the Professor are the few ones remaining. We see an older, scarred wolverine who is helping an ailing Professor X transport a young girl to safety. Additionally, plot synopses do say that a group of mutant-hunting cyborgs called “Reavers” will serve as the film’s antagonists. The “Reavers” may serve as the super villains that lead to the near-extinction of mutants in this timeline.
There is one shot of Professor X laying in bed, and another shot of Wolverine carrying someone who appears to be the Professor. With how much older Wolverine looks, the Professor is likely near the end of his days. Additionally, the last shot in the trailer shows Wolverine holding a shovel and standing over what appears to be a grave. There is already a lot of speculation that he buried the Professor. This also seems likely since the words playing over this shot could be the Professor’s last words.
Logan also sports numerous scars, and Mangold has confirmed that this is due to Logan’s aging. Like the comic, his age is taking its toll on his body and it can’t repair itself as well as it used to.
X-23 ( a female clone of Wolverine )will likely introduced as well. From what Professor X says the young girl is “very much like” Wolverine. I already know that Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman will be great in their roles, let’s hope the actress for X23 doesn’t bring the film down. Child actors always make me wary.
We still don’t know what X-23’s purpose will be. She is clearly the person being escorted, but we don’t know for what purpose. That is fine with me. IMDB is already swarmed with people asking why Wolverine has scars, why he looks so old etc. Some people need all their answers in the trailer and seem unable to give a film a chance to answer some questions. The teaser got me excited without giving away too much. The red band trailer also showed a glimpse of the R-Rated footage that many fans have been craving. Mangold and Jackman both acknowledge the importance of ending strong so I think that we finally have a Wolverine film that will live up to the hype.
Sometimes, it honestly seems like some people can’t cope without drama in their lives,
It gives them a sense of purpose,
As long as someone else is being ridiculed it takes attention away from them,
By joining in the ridicule, they also get to be part of the accepted group,
Even if that sense of inclusion is only in their heads,
I’ve fallen into this trap myself,
I was surrounded by people whose acceptance I craved,
I wanted them to like me,
So when they singled someone out for their derision,
I was quick to join in with them,
Even though I knew,
That I was not one of them,
It was hard for me to accept this at first,
I was in denial for months,
I ignored one comment after another,
It was harder to ignore the way everyone avoided me,
I was only a conduit for my roommate,
I only mattered if I knew where he was,
It was during this time I also noticed how quickly people follow a crowd,
My roommate was the most popular person on the floor,
He started hating someone,
So everyone else started hating that unfortunate person,
That person’s tics, habits, shortcomings,
While the same ones were ignored in everyone else,
Even when I realized I wasn’t going to be accepted,
Part of me was happy that someone else was more maligned than me,
That was when I realized I wasted too much time trying to please these people,
Nothing I did was ever good enough for them,
And it took a while for me to realize that was fine,
For me to finally realize that I needed to branch out,
I wasted four months of my life in a miserable situation,
Before finding friends that I now cherish,
In a way,
Those four months,
Saved me from wasting years
The first chapter of my second book, The Visitor, is now on Wattpad. As expected, very few views but I’ll try to stick with the platform for a few months. I am only planning to upload one chapter a week so I won’t have to upload the entire book before I get to monitor the progress. In addition to editing and uploading The Visitor I will also start converting my werewolf series, Alive, into a novel. The poetry pieces I have on the site now will serve as the backbone of the story, but I will be expanding it. It will take place in a fictional feudal society, where the protagonist’s curse is used as a weapon to attack other villages.
I am almost caught up with the 130 issues of Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, and will be writing an article for comicommand over the weekend. The series will end with issue 144 and I am hoping the ending lives up the series that preceded it.
Another day on the infinite treadmill,
Feeling like I’m only biding time until my death,
Spending 40 hours feeling hopeless, trapped
Surrounded by sycophants,
Whose voices and antics I have to endure,
So that I can save for a future I am unsure of,
The present is a torture chamber,
The future is an abyss,
The past is a fountain,
I look back at all the hope,
Dreams I once had,
Feeling like I had the world figured out,
Only to be assaulted by reality,
Feeling it chip away at confidence,
Hearing of other people’s happiness,
Wishing that they could share theirs with me,
Analytics show that most of the people reading my blog posts are registered users of the site. Therefore, most people reading this will know that I have been trying to get my first novel published for a while now. For the past few years I have relentlessly pursued the goal of getting traditionally published, where I try to get an agent, who then tries to get my book published a major publisher (Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster). I rejected self-publishing because I knew the struggle I would have as another nobody trying to get recognition for his work. With traditional publishing, there is still a very small change of huge sales, or even profit, but it always seemed like a worthwhile struggle. I think I held onto the possibility that I would be the 1 author in a million that becomes a bestseller, even if that meant years of struggles trying to get an agent.
Now, I’ve exhausted the list of agents that represent science fiction in the US and Canada. A new one might pop up every few weeks, but I’ve been rejected by the bulk of them. I have dozens of copies of the same generic rejection letters. I even spent over $1000 to attend a writer’s conference in New York last summer. I was in no position to spend this money frivolously, but I understood that the value of some experiences can exceed a price tag. I was excited about the opportunity to network with other writers and learn from published ones. I was also excited about the opportunity to pitch my book to agents in person I got 4 offers to send queries, and I finally felt hopeful again. I edited my story, sent it off with high hopes, and got 4 generic rejection letters again. They weren’t form letters at least, but they still lacked any insight on how to improve: “Thanks for the opportunity…not right for me.” The opportunity to pitch to agents, the “pitch slam” was an extra $200. I don’t want to come across as entitled, but if people pay extra for the opportunity to pitch their letter to you, instead of just sending an email, then I think they are entitled to some constructive criticism that can actually help their writing. It doesn’t have to be an essay but even a sentence saying “starts too slow”, “opening is cliched” etc. can be a big help to an aspiring author. I guess the agents figure getting to pitch to them in person was more than enough reward.
Me after my 4th rejection
I haven’t tried to take an easy route with getting published. I originally finished Elseworld in 2008 and after my initial attempts to get an agent failed, I went back to the book and rewrote it. Every time I got an idea of how to make the book better I did whatever I deemed necessary, eliminating characters, subplots, changing the ending, adding more character development etc. I finished this current version of Elseworld last year, and was confident that I finally cracked the code to getting published. I felt more confident about it than I ever had, which made me confident I could get an agent. Maybe I sound delusional but I always hear that self-confidence (to a certain extent) is necessary to succeed. I edited my query letter (a short pitch that is emailed to agents), changing it to resemble the pitch I gave at the Writer’s Conference. Although the book was rejected, I at least knew that my description of it could pique someone’s interest.
Armed with an improved book and query letter, I took on the task of getting an agent. The same pitch that worked on four agents, failed with a horde of them yet again. Two of the agents who were intrigued by my work at the “pitch slam” were two who previously rejected email pitches. I guess being face-to-face made an agent less likely to say no. Unfortunately, this meant that my email pitches (the standard method) were dead in the water again. More form rejection letters and more questions of what it was going to take to get an agent. I interned with one, and she agreed to take a look at my work. The agency didn’t represent science fiction though, so that plan died in the water too.
It’s been months since my last email query, and I completed another book in the meantime. My original plan was to forget about Elseworld for now and try to get this book published instead. At this point, it still requires editing before I will be comfortable submitting any queries. One option is to complete editing by the end of November, in order to get a polished version of the manuscript and start submitting queries. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months for an agent to respond with a form rejection letter, or perhaps a request to see more material. If I go with this plan, another year could pass, and I could be in the same position by the end of it.
My other option, is to bite the bullet and attempt to self-publish. I am not interested in independent self-publishing, where I print the book myself and hire artists for the book cover. There are plenty of platforms that supposedly offer decent readership and the chance for more exposure. Of course, blogging is one, but that hasn’t exactly paid big dividends yet. Medium is another, also little impact so far. Wattpad was recommended to me by a friend, who is considering using it himself, and it may be another avenue I pursue.
Like any tool, I am cautious of using it. I already shared my brief experience with Inklitt, which is nothing but a scam. After looking into Watpadd it does appear to be a legitimate platform, where readers can post their work online, typically chapter by chapter. From what I have researched it also has its faults. Its main readership are female teens and young adults, who gravitate most to romance, teen fiction and fanfiction. Genre fiction, like science-fiction is also pretty popular but gets overshadowed by the latter genres. From what I hear, a lot of the writing is horrible, so my work could be overshadowed by a wannabe E.L. James. I’m not saying I’m Ernest Hemingway but that is a disheartening concept. Yet it may still be one of my best options.
Originally I was considering putting Elseworld on Wattpad but I think I’ll put The Visitor on there instead. As I’ve mentioned before, The Visitor‘s length would make it more difficult to publish traditionally anyway. Taking inspiration from a friend, I might upload The Visitor under a pen name and then continue trying to publish Elseworld traditionally. If The Visitor manages to get enough traction with Wattpad, and attract publisher attention (like it has for some people) then I could use that to better market Elseworld. That is the next goal. Success is obviously not guaranteed but I’ve got to make a plan to move forward.
Tethered to my leash,
Trapped in my cell,
Surrounded by cacophony,
Trapping me for hours at a time,
Sinking into the quick sand of this world,
My body’s slowly breaking down,
One day I’ll be nothing but compost,
A part of the fertilized ground that the next herd feeds from,
The first trailer for the Power Rangers (2017) was released over the weekend and in short, I think it sucks. I wasn’t intending to write about the trailer at all since I was underwhelmed by it and figured that this would be another film that would come and go under the radar for me. However, a friend on Facebook linked to an article that criticizes the trailer as being too serious and dark. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that this is one of my most hated criticisms. I always thought that the mindset that films need to be “fun” was limited specifically to comic book films, but it seems that it is becoming more widespread.
The writer also criticizes the abundance of night-time scenes, as if she doesn’t realize that “dark” does not usually refer to the lighting, it refers to the tone. This just made me think the article is satirical, similar to The Onion. Even if the writer is joking, the comments are serious and many of them share the view that the trailer was too dark.
Nothing in this trailer struck me as being “dark” or “gritty” in any way, shape, or form. The trailer has a Breakfast Club meets Chronicle vibe, beginning with the rangers in some sort of detention program, then cutting to them finding the rings and discovering their powers. There is grade B acting and some cheesy humour, which just makes me wonder what it takes for a film to be regarded as “fun” if it doesn’t have a Marvel logo in front of it. The trailers for Doctor Strange are much more serious than this, yet Doctor Strange doesn’t have droves of people saying that it’s too serious. Maybe the trailers need to start with the actors doing a stand up-routine, Seinfeld style.
I was hanging out with a friend this weekend, and he remarked that the poems on my @wmoviegrapevine Instagram account are dark and depressing. I didn’t mind him saying that, but it made me realize that I may have a different perspective than some people when it comes to my views on entertainment. Since I am used to writing dark stories, maybe I am less sensitive to “darkness” than the average person. This is a valid point but I think that some of my previous arguments about the “make it fun” mentality still stand. Everything is relative when it comes to entertainment. People see DC as dark in comparison to the MCU films, and it appears that people think this trailer is dark in comparison to the old tv show.
For anyone who remembers the tv show, or is bothered to look up a clip on YouTube, you will see that the show was ridiculously cheesy and campy. It seems like people are comparing the tone of this trailer to the tone of the show. So of course, anything that isn’t as campy will be viewed as too serious, “dark” or “gritty” in comparison. There are plenty of people complaining that the trailer doesn’t have any of the cheesiness or “fun” in the original tv show. My question is, why would you want this film to have the same cheesiness as the show? It makes me wonder if people thought Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) was too dark when it came out, since it wasn’t as “fun” as the Adam West show.
We should strive to copy the same tone if it fits the story and the characters, not just because we want to copy the original. . The trailer does have humour and some lightheartedness (although the dialogue and some of the acting sucks). A film as cheesy as the tv show would be horrible. People need to stop thinking that “fun” always equals good. Batman and Robin was fun too. Batman and Robin also captured the tone of the original Adam West tv show, but that didn’t mean it was the right way to go
It always lingers at the edge of my mind,
I have tried to ignore its calling for years,
I have waited too long to heed it,
It is too powerful for me to cure,
I know others have their own,
Yet they are able to defeat it,
Time and time again,
While I struggle,
Time has no shape,
Yet I always try to imagine what it would look like if it had one,
It’s power makes me think of something big,
A powerful beast,
But that wouldn’t be right,
Time isn’t a behemoth that overpowers the things around it,
It is something much smaller,
That adapts to any climate,
Attacking everything in its path,
Time is no different than bacteria,
It can help us,
But it can also destroy us,
Eating away at health and leaving death in its wake,
Delivering death in a smaller,
Slower, more painful package
Sorry for a long gap in posting. A lot of things have come up this week, but no excuses. Back to it with a piece inspired by one of the shorter poems I posted to my @wmoviegrapevine instagram. A lot has been going through my head recently and I have been working on managing stress and expectations, so I felt like doing a piece on the mind was appropriate. Since I post a lot of pieces to instagram that never get posted anywhere else I figure that I may start posting more original pieces on the site.
I am still trying to navigate the maze,
Patches of blinding light,
The mysteries of my mind continue to elude me,
Its terrain changes with each smile or frown I see,
With every word of encouragement,
With every insult,
With every success,
With every failure.