So, we’re almost at GenCon, tonight is Fantasy Flights In-Flight report for their new stuff. Then GenCon online kicks off on Thursday. While I decided not to take any time off for it, I have decided to play a few con games on Saturday and …
Two bits of news about the Fantastic Four, including one of their movies coming to Disney Plus. Also, Victor Von Doom coming to the MCU? Rumors have it as a strong chance now, how would he work in the MCU? The main topic takes a …
It might be kind of the wrong time to talk about this, we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, however, I think with that, for some, comes more time to delve into more story, including that of the Apocalypse/Post-Apocalyptic in nature. This is one of those genres that can tell a lot of interesting things because you can look at the struggle of man to overcome, the in ability of humanity to stop their own doom, or the breakdown of society and how it could fall apart and rebuild.
This is building off of my articles on where to start in comics and the article on zombies in pop culture. The format is going to continue to be a little bit different every time, mainly because it can be, but I want to talk about some things that have worked well and some that don’t work as well.
I think that we can all think of a lot of apocalyptic or post apocalyptic stories out there. About 5 years ago we had a lot of them being taken on in the Young Adult style with books series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner. Some of these worked better and some were disappointments, at least for myself. Since then, the genre hasn’t really died off, we have Netflix putting out shows like Daybreak and The Rain where things are going horribly wrong or have gone horribly wrong in the world. The genre as a whole has kind of been all over the map though with a lot of goofy stories as well as many very serious takes on the genre as well.
Now, I’m not sure that any particular take is going to be always the right one. Some that take themselves too seriously become overwrought and melodramatic, while others can try and do a humorous take on it that just ends up being hit or miss. And there’s also an element where some authors are trying too hard to be profound on a topic that is going to lend itself to a lot of speculation.
Just to talk about speculation, I feel like there are two that I can kind of compare as to how one does it decently and the other does it poorly. In The Hunger Games, we have this idea of spectacle, and that humans, even when things are going poorly are going to want spectacle and probably even want more and greater spectacle, especially if they are at the top of the food chain. This is something that we can see already in our society where people love things like Survivor, or even before our time with the shows in the Roman Colosseum, so The Hunger Games has a feeling of something that is grounded and truthful to it. Compare that to Divergent. The issue with Divergent, besides that the story just takes a left turn that everyone saw coming is that they split up humanity and society in a way that doesn’t make any sense. At no point in time before has society split itself along those lines in such a way or tested people so that they would be split that way. It feels like an illogical jump for a society to make and one that doesn’t really aid the society in the long run. So even though, I would say, there is some overlap, the speculation and the ability for a post apocalyptic story to have a ring of truth to it makes a big difference.
Now, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about how it’s moved into other mediums. It’s easy to think of books, films and TV shows, but in many ways it’s just as easy to think of video games. The Last of Us is a prime example of a post-apocalyptic game, and the Resident Evil games take place during or after the apocalypse. But probably less known to some, though obviously something I like, is how it’s made it’s way into board games. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Season 2 are basically board games about the apocalypse and the fallout from that. And it gives you an interestingly written story. Even a game like Dead of Winter, which I’ve mentioned in the zombie article, is definitely about survival after the apocalypse. While I don’t have a ton of post-apocalyptic games on my shelf, I have a lot that are about thwarting that great disaster from happening, basically all of the Lovecraft Mythos investigative games from Fantasy Flight fall into that category. In those games, Arkham Horror, Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, Eldritch Horror, Elder Signs, you’re always trying to stop a great old one from coming through, or something along those lines. Even fantasy games like Gloomhaven, Sword & Sorcery, and Aeon’s End: War Eternal, while maybe not as heavily apocalyptic as some, have bits and pieces of that thrown in, especially if you fail the campaign.
Finally, there are RPG’s, and I think when it comes to a medium that is built for the apocalypse, RPG’s are that medium. Even if it hasn’t happened, the fact that you’re going on an adventure to do something, it’s going to be to stop something bad, and generally that’s some form the of the apocalypse for at least part of the world. And if you make it up to level 20, it’s probably for the whole world. In fact, one of the campaign books for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is Princes of the Apocalypse. There’s just something about the story of an malevolent god trying to destroy humanity and the player characters becoming humanities champions that just works well for a story. It’s one of those things where you can joke that it’s a story as old as time, but it works for so many reasons as it gives you that heroes journey and that final thing for them to overcome.
Well, that was kind of rambling, I had a lot that I wanted to talk about what I like from apocalyptic stories and why some of them don’t work as well if they ring a little hollow. Plus, I couldn’t go an article without talking about how it has flowed into the RPG and Board Game mediums. What are some of your favorite apocalyptic stories from whatever medium it might be?
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News was light this week and probably will be for a few weeks with Covid-19 slowing down filming, casting, and basically anything that causes people to get together in a group in this weeks episode of #10MinMarvel. It’s also pushed back films, notably for Disney, …
Last #10MinMarvel of 2019 is out. What am I looking for in 2020? That’s what I’m talking about this week, plus possible characters showing up in Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness. I’m excited for what’s coming out in 2020, but I’m really excited for …
So, as you might have noticed, this is a bit of an opposite of my top things, but what I’m looking forward to and what I hope will be awesome. So, I’m just going to limit myself to five (or so), and to be fair, I’m probably going to see 2-3 in theaters, but what are some 2020 movies that I really want to see.
Black Widow – It’s a Marvel movie, I want to see it. Now, I feel like Black Widow is probably coming out too late and the first trailer looked cool but didn’t tell me any story. But it’s the first movie in Phase 4, and I’m itching for more Marvel. I was wondering after Endgame if I wanted a ton more Marvel movies (the answer was always yes) but now with the time between Black Widow and Spider-Man: Far From Home, I’m so ready.
Eternals – What, the other Marvel movie made my list, who would have thought. I’m looking forward to Eternals even more than I am Black Widow and I have even less of an idea of what sort of story they are going to tell. The cast looks cool and the Neil Gaiman trade that I’ve read was really interesting. I’m wondering if this is going to set-up something more cosmic or earth focused, and will we get a trilogy of Eternals movies? There’s so little that I know, but I know I’m really excited for this movie.
Sonic The Hedgehog – I don’t know why, but I really am interested in this movie. Some of it was because the first trailer the Sonic looked like a trainwreck with teeth, and the new Sonic looks fun. I think this is going to be a dumb silly movie, and knowing that, I think it’s one that I might enjoy. Now, I won’t go see this in theaters, I just don’t have time, but when it comes out, I’m renting it. Jim Carrey looks over the top, and in a movie about a Sonic Hedgehog, that’s perfect. There’s something just really interesting about this movie for me.
Artemis Fowl – This movie was pushed back, it’s a bad sign. But the first book, which I read for the first time this year, was a lot of fun. I like the evil genius kid character. I like the magical world that is set-up as well. It’s not too serious, but it does a good job of also not dumbing down the plot so that it’s just a dumb kids book. With the movie, I don’t have a ton of faith that they won’t have dumbed it down, but if they keep it simply to what’s done in the book, it could be a really cool movie. Maybe if it gets glowing reviews I’d go see it in the theaters, but probably one that I’ll watch when I can rent it.
Bill & Ted Face The Music – Keanu Reeves.
Okay, I’ll give more of a reason than that, I guess. But really it’s because of him and his resurgence in the movie world. I think that the rest of the stories in the Bill & Ted world have been a lot of fun, and this looks like a silly dumb movie, like the originals, and I’m all for that. I’m hoping that they don’t change up the formula that has worked well for them, and beyond that, don’t know or care to know much more about the film. I’ll just enjoy in the fun that it has.
Godzilla vs Kong – Now, this one might have been pushed back into 2021, but the list I’m looking at still has it in 2020. But Godzilla fighting King Kong, may the best monster win, and I’m assuming they are going to team up to take down some other monster. I haven’t seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters yet, but that’s high on my list of movies to watch, and I don’t care if it’s great, and same with this movie, I don’t care if it’s great, I just want to see it. Give me monsters fighting, and I’ll be happy enough.
Dune – I feel like this is either going to be good or a train wreck, I don’t know with the story that happens in the book if it’s going to be possible to make an amazing movie from it. But I’m so curious about it. This is a movie that I might make it to the theaters to see, just because, even with my projector set-up at home, Dune feels like a big enough story that I might want to hear it with the best sound possible.
So, what films are you looking forward to. I skipped over James Bond, just am not as interested in that, and Wonder Woman 1984 is definitely interesting and I love Max Lord as a character, but DC has to prove they can turn out several good movies, and with Birds of Prey looking bad, I doubt I’ll care that much about Wonder Woman 1984.
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Marvel and Disney announced when we’re getting a whole bunch more Marvel movies in 2022 and 2023, there’s some interesting things with that announcement, though, not the titles of the movies.
Plus, Disney+ is out there and I decided the first show that I was going to watch was the 1994 animated Iron Man series. Does the show hold up, is it a good show, is there anything you might be able to get from it for the upcoming Shang-Chi movie? You’ll have to listen to find out.
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Until next time.
I forgot to get this posted yesterday, but we did have a new episode of #10MinMarvel come out. There are two chunks of movie news that were announced. One from Sony and one pertaining to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 5. I speculate a little …