Month: August 2015

RANT: Fantastic 4 reboot is possibly the worst comic film ever

RANT: Fantastic 4 reboot is possibly the worst comic film ever

I typically do not blog on films that I watch, but the latest release of Fantastic 4 has me motivated to save you a few dollars.

I need to caution you that there are some plot spoilers below. If you have any desire to watch the Fantastic 4 movie, go to another site. Frankly, I encourage you to read my comments simply so you don’t waste your money or time watching the Fantastic 4 in the theater – yes, it was that bad. This movie should have gone straight to DVD. No one should spend $8-$10 on a full priced ticket.

Really bad writing and extremely bad plot development. They chose to show how Reed and Ben met as kids so they did flash forwards (e.g. 7 years later). I really do not care how 2 people became best friends as elementary school kids. It really doesn’t matter. Just establish that the two boys are best friends. You didn’t establish that they were born by watching the birth. Good story telling doesn’t need to explain that small of a detail.

Also, the ridiculous episode where they borrow the toy airplane (and destroy it) doesn’t really establish anything – there are better ways of showing that Reed is really an immature jerk and displaying this as a teenager in a science fair shows nothing about the adult.

BTW, why in the world was Dr. Franklin Storm at the high school science fair? Presumably, Sue had an exhibit as well, but this was clear as mud. Once again, good story telling establishes a back story, but this one falls apart. It is obvious that the meeting is important and it is far more important than Ben and Reed meeting as children and becoming friends just because Ben lives in a junkyard.

But then they weren’t consistent – they threw in Victor and he had a back story with Dr. Storm and his employers, but all they did was mention it. They didn’t do a flash back to explain it. They didn’t even tell the story of how he fell out with Dr. Storm’s employers.

It is established that Victor was a jerk before the trip to the other dimension. However, somehow he survives over a year with no food and has found enough fabric on a desolate planet to create a cape. No plot holes there.

Reed escapes from the military hospital. The three other heroes have specially designed suits to fit their powers. Somehow, Reed also designs a special suit specifically for his unique powers without the resources of military to assist him. He also copies the same basic color pattern as the suits for Jill and Johnny even though he hasn’t seen them since the accident. He isn’t even surprised at Jill and Johnny’s powers when he meets them again, even though they are not in the news and he didn’t see them before his escape.

They capture Reed after he has escaped. He comes back and in 10 minutes, he fixes the transporter that couldn’t work without his help.  He does this by writing some code, but the entire movie is setup that he is a mechanical wizard not a coding wizard. Then, half a dozen “astronauts” are ready to go at a moment’s notice and they jump right in the now-working transporter. No testing required, because the amazing Reed fixed it in 10 minutes. Also, no concerns that the last expedition had an explosion that horribly maimed 3 of the travelers and one person that was in the lab upon the return.

There were at least 2 (maybe 3) flash forwards which you would assume means that they have more time for the big battle. However the big battle is lame with Victor (now Dr. Doom) building an inter-dimensional, Earth-destroying machine that is mostly rocks. After destruction, the Fantastic 4 fly through it in just enough time before the hole between the dimensions is collapsed. Really? The machine is destroyed, but the hole stays open long enough to save them. This is the same hole that is so powerful, it is sucking up the Earth and massive amounts of Earth are flowing one way through it, but the Fantastic 4 are able to fly through it the other direction against that flow of Earth matter.

I almost forgot. That final battle is on the alternate dimension planet. On every visit to the planet before the planet, ordinary humans require spacesuits and oxygen supplies. On the final battle, suddenly there is sufficient oxygen for the Fantastic 4 members to breathe and for Johnny to burn.

The acting was decent, but the lines that they said were bad. The plot was very simple, but left huge holes. I really do not blame the fine actors involved for the problems of the plot. They did decent performances that were significantly hampered with bad directing and bad writing. The actors should be continued to be employed, but the director needs to go back to doing commercials (or selling cars on a used car lot).

I saw no reason for a reboot back to the origination of their powers. It was a waste of time. Also, going back to the original meetings was really a waste of time that had no value to understanding the final battle. I would have preferred that they just had the powers and were fighting bad guys.

My teenage son watched it with me and thought it was boring. This is about the worst criticism you can make about a comic film.

For me, the Fantastic 4 is a film that I will never watch twice and wished I had watched on DVD from Redbox spending only a couple bucks v. full price tickets.

This trailer is far better than the movie will ever be!

Marc Andreessen On When The Robots Come To Take All Our Jobs

Marc Andreessen On When The Robots Come To Take All Our Jobs

It’s one of the great mysteries of our time, why there are so many insisting that this time around is different. That automation, as it proceeds, is going to leave everyone out of work and idling away their time with nothing to do and no income to do nothing with. It’s as if no one is willing to believe that the Luddite fallacy was in fact proven wrong. What’s worse is that all too many of those getting this wrong are setting themselves up as thinkers, philosopher kings, on the subject and as a result of their complete misunderstanding of the basic situation then they’re proposing all sorts of nonsense.

The simple fact is that as long as there’s things that humans can do which add value then humans will continue to have jobs. And when there’s nothing left that humans can do which adds value then no one needs to have a job so who in heck cares whether there are any or not?

Let’s instead go and look at what happened the last time technological change wiped out 95% of all jobs. Take it away Professor Friedman:

“When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.”

Source: Marc Andreessen On When The Robots Come To Take All Our Jobs – Forbes

Clinton’s Email Evasions

Clinton’s Email Evasions

The FBI is finally looking into Hillary Clinton’s handling of email as Secretary of State, but her campaign says not to worry because it’s not a “criminal referral” and she followed “appropriate practices.” The relevant question is why isn’t it a criminal probe?

Congress asked Charles McCullough III, Inspector General for the intelligence community, to evaluate whether classified information was transmitted or received by State Department employees over personal email systems. His office sampled 40 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, determined that four contained classified intelligence, and passed that finding to Justice for review. This was merely a first step, and now we know the FBI is investigating the security of Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

The McCullough findings at a minimum rebut Mrs. Clinton’s claim in March that there was “no classified material” in her personal email. Extrapolate the McCullough finding of four of 40 classified emails to the 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton gave to State, and thousands could contain classified information. State has already redacted and withheld dozens of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from its monthly, court-ordered email releases, having deemed them confidential.

She knew the rules, yet she chose to break them for her own political benefit. In the process she put state secrets at risk. This is gross negligence in the pursuit of gross self-interest.

Source: Clinton’s Email Evasions