The Oscars lost credibility forever on the night a Woody Allen flick beat out STAR WARS for Best Picture of the Year. A film that completely reinvented popular culture and changed moviemaking for all time. And a Woody Allen comedy. Yeah, which one is REALLY the most deserving of recognition? And then there’s Oscar’s refusal to recognize genre work, the innate snobbishness that also severely hinders its legitimacy. As little as the Oscars mean, though, their dark companion, the Razzies, mean absolutely NOTHING. They never had credibility to lose. They are an embarrassment to themselves.

I don’t know what movie “won” the Razzie for worst picture this year, and I don’t care. I’ve never followed the Razzies and I never will, again because they are meaningless drivel. I did hear that BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN got nominated. Seriously? Even by Razzie standards, this is embarrassing. I could, with little effort, name dozens of movies deserving of that “honor.” BVS doesn’t even belong on the list. If it WERE a bad movie—which it ISN’T—I doubt it would be even in the top (or bottom?) one hundred.

Try to wrap your mind around this concept, BVS haters. A movie can be well made, well executed, and still not be well LIKED. A lot of folks didn’t like BVS, but a lot of people DID, and there were far more of the latter than the former, as statistics bear out. Numbers don’t lie. But you wouldn’t know it, listening to all the self-important wannabe Hipsters who lazily throw around the word “suck” as if it means something. They may not have LIKED the movie, but the amount of viewers who did not care for it is NOT equivocal to the quality of said movie. It is simply that the final product was not to their tastes. That doesn’t mean it was a failed execution. With BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, the creators set out to make a certain kind of movie and they made it. Technically, it is sound. It’s like a chef preparing a special dish for a dinner party. Not everyone at the party cares for the taste. That doesn’t mean the chef is a lousy cook or that he fouled up the recipe. Only that not everyone has a common palate.

I figure all this is over the heads of the tryin’-ta’be’trendy pilers-on who make up the Razzie fan base and I’m probably just preaching to the choir, here, but it needed to be said, anyway. People who use their brains, well, they do just that. People who don’t? They wait for the Oscars and the Razzies to tell them which movies are any good and which ones “suck.” Know what REALLY sucks? Not thinking for yourself and following a vocal (but not too numerous) crowd in a pitiful effort to be a part of said crowd. Oh, and the ones who pander to those lemmings as they march along blindly. The rest of us sit back and chuckle as we watch them all play follow the leader right off the nearest convenient cliff.

Who’d want to have a COMMON palate, anyway?

A couple’a three weeks back, I reported that the long-awaited second HELLBOY sequel was likely in preproduction, as writer/director Guillermo del Toro had conducted a “poll” on his Twitter page to see how many fans were interested, and as I pointed out, he wouldn’t have mentioned it at all if some progress hadn’t already been made on the project. Sadly, Del Toro just announced, also via his Twitter account, that the film would “100%” NOT happen. This would seem to be the final word on the subject. What happened?

If Del Toro wants to do the project and star Ron Perlman wants to do it, it would seem a logical assumption that the holdout is character owner Mike Mignola. I don’t know WHY Mignola wouldn’t want them to do another film, as it could only help sales of the HELLBOY comic book. Maybe Mignola has reached a level of success where he no longer has to worry about book sales and royalties? There might be other reasons, too, why it all fell through, but it’s hard to figure what those issues might be. Del Toro is himself at a level of success where he can get projects made, even if the studio involved isn’t crazy about said project, so we can probably rule out the studio as a contributing factor. We’ll never know for certain, but it’s sad news to all fans of the films that the planned finale to what was supposed to be a trilogy will never get made. As Hellboy would say, “Crap!”

This, in my (not so) humble yet educated opinion, is exactly what the BATMAN comics need right now. To my mind, there has never been a satisfactory rematch betwixt Batman and Bane. Batman never really got even for bane snapping his spine way back in the 90s during the KNIGHTFALL event/publicity stunt. For all the times they’ve locked horns, there was never a satisfying round two. Not for me. Not on the printed page. In the film THE DARK KNIGHT RISES there sure was. Batman laid some serious smack down on Bane in that one. I could scarce stay in my seat in the theater. It was like I was a kid again, watching Hulk Hogan battle with some nefarious heel inside the WWF ring. (Back in those days, it was the World Wrestling FEDERATION. There was no “entertainment” in the title.) THAT is the kind of visceral reaction I want to have to a comic book showdown, and I’ve never gotten it. Maybe this time will be different. Twenty years is a long time to wait, but it could be worth it. Come on, writers! Don’t let me down!

Superman got HIS second round with Doomsday. He came back from the dead to whip Doomsday like meringue pie topping. And that was BEFORE he got to kill him in the BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN movie. I don’t want DC to kill off Bane. He’s much too good a villain for that. But I DO want to see him get his ass kicked. I have a feeling he will, this time. The question is, how much damage will he do before that happens?

He’s officially out as the DIRECTOR of the forthcoming BATMAN movie. That he will not be playing the character, either, is just a rumor at this point, and probably a rumor is all it will remain, despite all the online prognostication to the contrary. Nor is it necessarily a bad thing that Affleck is stepping down as director. He states that it is because he doesn’t have the time to devote to both starring in and directing the feature, that he doesn’t want to limit himself by dividing his energies. He could have let his ego drive him into doing both, and as such he might have failed to give either his full effort. The film would have suffered because of it. I’d much rather see him focus on playing the lead role. There are plenty of competent directors out there.

Don’t forget, also, that Affleck is co-writing the screenplay, so there’s another labor to potentially distract him, as it is doubtful that the script, once completed, would have remained set in stone once filming began; revisions large or small would have likely been necessary. This is another reason why stepping down as director was a prudent move. Lastly, the fact that the script has undergone several rewrites does not bode ill for the production, as some have said. Affleck has gone on record that he will not be involved in the film until the script is “perfect.” His commitment to keep working on it until it IS perfect should give fans hope rather than make them doubt. IF—and note this is a big IF—Affleck leaves the project altogether, it would mean that the studio has made it impossible for him to create a quality film. THEN we can all give up hope. Until then, give the man credit for not settling and for demanding the best of himself.

I’m a tad behind on this one, but I’m bringing it to you in real time. I’ve been behind in all my reading as of late, and I couldn’t very well review the comic before I read it. (Sure, I coulda lied about it, but you all would have seen through that, plus it would be disingenuous of me.) I finally read the comic this morning; it’s now one o’clock in the afternoon. That’s as “hot off the press” as you can get, even if the review itself is coming several weeks after the comic hit the stands.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the series overall, I was a tad disappointed in this final issue. It sorta felt like a cop-out by writer Brian Michael Bendis. I’m a big mark for the guy, but this time he seems to have taken the easy way out. He gets rid of the character, Ulysses, who is causing all the problems with his premonitions of future events, by having him “evolve” to a higher spiritual plane or some such. No satisfying answer is reached over whether or not it was morally right for the superheroes to seek to prevent crimes from being committed before they could happen. Maybe there IS no satisfying answer. And then Bendis puts Tony Stark into a coma for a little while, conveniently allowing him (flowing Marvel’s orders, probably) to ramrod his new character, RiRi Williams, down everybody’s throat as the “new” Iron Man. (INCLUSIVITY AND DIVERSITY AT ANY COST—EVEN GOOD STORYTELLING!) It does afford him the opportunity to give us Dr. Doom putting on Tony’s armor and playacting as a good guy—no, I still don’t think he’s sincere—as the “infamous” Iron Man, so it isn’t a completely disappointing move. Even so, this last issue of CIVIL WAR 2 felt anticlimactic to me. Unlike with the first CIVIL WAR, which was solidly based on real world politics, this one came off as contrived –which, let’s be honest, it was. The first series had long-lasting reverberations. I don’t see this one has making the same sort of impact. Tony will be out of commission for a few months, long enough for the ALL NEW! ALL DIFFERENT! Iron Teenager to get established. That’s about it. The only thing this series really accomplished was to make me dislike Captain Marvel, who came across as a total b*tch. After the original CIVIL WAR I never again cared for Reed Richards. Will I likewise be turned off to Captain Marvel? Or will some other writer manage to make her likable again?

File this one under “It’s about time!” It seems that visionary director Guillermo del Toro is ready to move on the long-awaited HELLBOY 3. He posted on Twitter, posing the question: “Informal poll (let’s see how many votes we get in 24 hours) Hellboy III” and gave responders the choice between a simple “yes” and a “Hell yes!” He then promised that, if the responses reached “100K” he would have “a serious sit down w Mignola et Perlman!” Did he get enough votes? Probably—but it hardly matters.

Guillermo del Toro wouldn’t be flippant about something like this. He is far too professional. The fact that’s he mentioned it at all means he has already had that meeting with Ron Perlman and character creator Mike Mignola, and that HELLBOY 3 is at least in pre-production. This is cause for celebration for all us fans both of the films and of the comics, who’ve waited patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) all these years to see Hellboy back on the big screen again. Both Del Toro and Ron Perlman have gone on record in the past confirming that the HELLBOY cinematic story was always intended to be a trilogy. It was just a matter of getting all the ducks in the proper row. Now those ducks seem to be lining up.

Make it happen, Guillermo! Hell, yes!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. Okay, not quite a year yet, but it’s getting darn close. DEADPOOL hit theaters last Valentine’s Day weekend—and stole all our hearts in the process. It also proved two things that were far from certain, or even suspected: One, it showed that an R-rated comic book movie could rake in the mega bucks (and made it possible for us to have the upcoming Wolverine picture, LOGAN, delivered to us with the same rating, critics and One Million Morons be damned!). It also proved that Ryan Reynolds actually CAN act. Who would have ever suspected? Not only was he good in the role, he was SO good in it that now I couldn’t possibly imagine anyone else ever playing the part, and I daresay neither can anyone else. He IS Deadpool. And I didn’t even expect to like the movie when I bought my ticket!

DEADPOOL 2 is in the works. They’re bringing back Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Cable is gonna be in it, though no actor has been cast as of yet. (Cable’s supposed to be kinda old, so how about Schwarzenegger? His career needs a boost, and it would offer Deadpool lots of opportunities to make “I’ll be back!” jokes.) We don’t know a lot about the script, and we won’t unless some details or footage gets leaked online, like it did with the first Deadpool picture. The Russians were probably the ones who leaked it, after hacking some Hollywood exec’s computer, although we don’t know why they did it, unless they just wanted to see Colossus onscreen that badly. Thanks, Pootin!

I started to title this article “How NOT to Make Money in Hollywood” but it was a little too long, I thought. Basically, as we have established previously, Hollywood execs (which really ought to be considered a separate species from Homo sapiens) are really, really stupid. (Maybe that isn’t fair of me. It could be that there are some fairly intelligent Hollywood execs, but Hollywood execs are to be judged on a different scale than regular humans. A really smart Hollywood exec would only be an average dullard on the human scale. It’s like the whole Fahrenheit and Celsius thing. They don’t line up properly.)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR was the biggest movie of 2016. Comic movies are major box office. A thinking person would understand that the characters and the quality of the storylines are big factors. Not a Hollywood exec! “Hey, a comic book movie made a lotta money,” they figure, “so ANY comic book movie is gonna make a lotta money.” That explains the decision to create a shared cinematic universe based on Rob Liefeld’s characters from Image—which constitute the lowest point of the comics industry. They are literally the bottom of the barrel. They are the underside of the barrel. Even fanboys who go and see every comic book movie they make will avoid this flotsam. The first of the Liefeld flicks will likely be the LAST of them and the end of the shared universe, but by then some studio will have lost gazillions by betting on a broken-down, flea-bitten old nag that some exec told them was a thoroughbred.

I don’t like to watch trailers on the Internet. I prefer to wait, to see them on the big screen before a movie, the way it used to be. Sure, you have to wait for them, and it’s a gamble. You never know when and where that trailer you’re looking for will show up. (And why do they call them “trailers” when they come BEFORE the feature film?) But there’s a magic when one of them flickers to life in the darkened theater. You don’t get that watching something online. This past weekend, when I went to see PASSENGERS (an excellent flick, by the way), I finally got to see the trailer for the next Spider-Man film. From what I saw, it seems Marvel has gotten the formula right. Spidey is wisecracking, uncertain, awkward, brave, and in every other respect what the character is supposed to be, what he was like in the early days of his superheroism, when he was new to his powers and trying to find his way. He looks like Stan Lee’s Spider-Man. I predict this will be the most comic-accurate Spider-Man we’ve seen yet.

I also got to see the trailer for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2, and it looks to be as much fun as the first installment. Rocket trying to instruct baby Groot on the proper operation of a bomb had me laughing raucously in my seat, as did Drax ragging on Starlord over Mantis’ outing of him and his secret love for Gamora. I’m looking forward to May and July, respectively.

I was six years old when I developed my first crush. Linda Carter as Wonder Woman. It would still be some seven years or so before I would hit puberty, but even at such a tender age, when I knew nothing at all about girls (or girls’ bodies), I knew there was something about her that I liked. That I liked a LOT. Four decades later Ms. Carter is still a beautiful and classy woman. I really dig Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, don’t get me wrong. But Linda Carter will always be the definitive Wonder Woman for me. And, oh, that smile…

Shifting gears, I make no bones out of my contempt for PC culture. These losers sit around wringing their hands over such nonsense as their perceived racism in Disney cartoons or the new Tarzan movie, yet pay no heed to the REAL racial problems that confront us as a society every day. Sure, people can care about things both mundane and magnitudinal, but these losers typically DON’T. I think it’s because they know they’re powerless to effect any real change in the world, so they want to pick apart pop culture to make themselves feel important and enlightened. They are beyond worthless, and I wish we could ship them all to Hyperborea. They argue that Wonder Woman just CAN’T be a feminist icon, because—Gasp! (Cue hand-wringing)—she wears a skimpy outfit(!). Ms. Carter recently shot them down, and did so with style. If only these brainless jerk-offs would STAY down, but they’re too stupid to learn from any such public excoriation. A bunch of turkeys, staring up at the rain with their mouths open, drowning themselves. Pathetic.