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Everything posted by zslane

  1. It's a shame Marvel has been dragging their feet for so long on another Deadpool movie; it could have fit nicely into the vacated Feb 2022 slot.
  2. I haven't seen a really good DC movie since Wonder Woman. The new Batman movie will do very well financially, that much I am sure, but I remain unconvinced that it will turn out to be a good movie on par with Wonder Woman. And by "good" I mean good story, good pacing, consistent tone, characters that make sense and have an arc, etc. The visuals look pretty amazing, but Zack Snyder has demonstrated repeatedly that stunning visuals alone do not make for a good movie.
  3. From what I understand, the (MCU) Eternals were forbidden by the Celestials from interfering in humanity's affairs unless Deviants were involved. Of course, posing as gods during humanity's earliest days strikes me as a flagrant violation of that mandate, but maybe that mandate was handed down centuries after interacting with early humans.
  4. How do we know this (the bolded part)?
  5. This latest What If? episode made little to no sense in many areas. The premise had potential, but the specifics were moronic. There are a great many other possibilities, which I have to believe you are aware of or are capable of imagining. We should never allow notions of propriety or limited taste to constrain what art may be or where it may go.
  6. The younger generation isn't interested in paying for much of anything. Pirated content is the norm for them. How long will the streaming subscription model last if the "younger generation" refuses to pay for it? And since nobody can stand advertising, how does television in any form remain financially viable in the future?
  7. They should. Those are called royalties. The author is being paid a portion of the sales of a physical object (or digital representation in the era of the Kindle). But royalty contracts and copyrights are not the same thing. Copyright is intended to make sure that others can not use a work they didn't create without consent from the creator. It is about control, not (just) money. In any event, once a work goes into the public domain, who is going to pay for it anymore? It won't really be selling anymore so there is no revenue to be excluded from. Of course, an enterprising writer could find ways to continue selling their works even after having passed into the public domain, and they would not need exclusive control over it to do so. But I feel the control over it should (more quickly) pass into the common culture so that it can be transformed and re-utilized in new ways without hindrance, giving it renewed and continued life within that culture.
  8. Why would you want to stop what you write from ever going into the public domain? The normal course of (American) copyright is supposed to be that your work goes into the public domain 70 years after you pass away. That would be, by current laws anyway, the "natural life cycle" of an authored work. Bear in mind that this 70-year window is the result of changes to the law to benefit large entertainment companies like Disney, and certainly isn't in the spirit of the original law (IMO). The length of copyright established by the Founding Fathers was 14 years, plus the ability to renew it one time, for 14 more. The first 14-year interval was extended to 28 years sometime later, but the idea was to prevent large wealthy interests from stealing works from private individuals who had not the means to protect themselves otherwise. It wasn't intended as a means for a creator to succeed at their craft once and then live off it forever.
  9. Current IP laws are rigged to make sure that "ownership" never expires so long as there is a corporate entity that can claim that ownership. As Jhamin points out, this keeps corporate profits elevated but hurts common culture in the long run. As an artist myself, I am thoroughly against the current structure of IP law and would love to see it completely dismantled and rebuilt in such a way that companies can not own original artistic works. They must assign ownership to those employees who did the actual creative work, the way Image Comics arranged things. Companies would then effectively license those creations in order to productize them, but would not have any control over those creations unless granted some measure of control via contract with the artist/employee. Benefitting from creative works that are made into products that make lots of money should be a two-way street, and then after a decade or two, should turn into a highway that the entire culture owns, free and clear.
  10. IP laws have been manipulated and twisted so far away from their original spirit that they are little more than corporate profit enforcers. Unless you have an ironclad contract granting you rights to your creations while employed by a company, expect it to be treated as work for hire and realize that you were never legally entitled to anything but your salary. Is it fair? Of course not, but the law isn't about fairness it is about writing the rules in your favor. And guess who's been writing the rules for intellectual property ownership for the last 50 years?
  11. The only 4E PDF that I have that isn't a crappy scan is for the 4E Hero System Rulesbook. Unfortunately, that's only half of the 4E Champions BBB, and I don't have a PDF of the Champions section alone.
  12. Awards like Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys are won as much on the basis of politics and PR campaigns as they are on merit. This is not surprising since judging such creative endeavors is so subjective, and when there is no clear winner on the basis of merit, voters have to decide on some other basis, which is when the politics and other factors prevail. For instance, an actor who is regarded as "due" an award, having lost many times in the past, will get the nod even if their performance that year wasn't the best by some easily agreed-upon metric. Or maybe the voting body is given a mandate to promote diversity when "in doubt" over any particular category.
  13. It seems more likely to me that The Eternals is setting up a Galactus storyline. Current theories are that it is Galactus who is being awakened by "the Emergence" event that the reverse-blip set in motion (as described by Ajax in the latest trailer). If so, Galactus is being re-imagined as a Celestial whom the other Celestials are returning to Earth to bring forth.
  14. Arbitration is pretty standard for these sorts of things, so Disney isn't doing anything unusual by seeking that route. It isn't some strategy to subvert a judgment against them. To the contrary, it is ScarJo who wants this to play out in public because her management knows that they really don't have a case and that they can only win in the court of public opinion. As for the claim that Disney had no right to release the film as they did, well, Disney will most likely get that swept aside by invoking the force majeure clause. I know it is difficult to accept, but ScarJo is not the poor, mistreated victim that her management and legal team would like everyone to believe. She is merely trying to use this lawsuit as a crowbar to pry open the financials on streaming subscription revenue so that the guilds have a stronger position in upcoming union contract negotiations.
  15. The core argument in her lawsuit is that Disney sabotaged her payout by not releasing it exclusively in theaters. It will be pretty trivial for Disney to show that Black Widow earned more by being released day-and-date with PVOD than Shang Chi did being released only in theaters, especially if you subtract Chinese box office results in order to make the comparison apples-to-apples.
  16. Shang Chi's box office was not much different than Black Widow's (which would have been even higher if it had been shown in China, a situation every studio is struggling with not just Disney). However, Shang Chi missed out on $50-60M in PVOD revenue that Black Widow enjoyed. Johannsen's lawsuit is dead in the water since this shows that going theatrical-only brings in less money than day-and-date release in theaters and PVOD.
  17. Anyone else get the feeling that this Dr. Strange isn't really Dr. Strange at all, but Mysterio posing as Dr. Strange? Assuming that Keaton returns as the Vulture, we'd only be missing one of the Sinister Six: Mysterio. And the most obvious place for him to be hiding is in plain sight.
  18. Which part of her contract is being exploited to keep her from being paid money she has earned? Streaming subscription revenue was never in her contract as a participation source. Her lawyers are going after Disney in the exactly same way they would go after any studio who would do the same thing in Disney's position (which is all of them). That's why they will avoid her (and any other actor who tries the same thing.)
  19. That's mighty generous of Disney. Unfortunately, accepting the money without contention means that Disney can continue to keep their streaming data secret. That's the real target of this lawsuit--apart from whatever power play against Chapek's leadership may be in motion as well. The practice of keeping streaming statistics secret is the primary means by which the studios keep control of streaming revenue. By insisting that back-end deals include participation in subscription revenue, the studios would be forced to open the books on that and "play fair". Though I'm sure they'd manage to invent more creative accounting to compensate.
  20. Change is necessary for good drama. There is no character arc if the character never changes. But comic books are like soap operas where change is designed to happen so slowly as to be imperceptible. And I think there's huge a difference between organic character development and out-of-the-blue revelations that make readers go, "Huh?" Ben Grimm can be revealed as Jewish if it is consistent with his background, consistent with his behavior, consistent with his dialog, and has any point of relevance to the ongoing stories of the Fantastic Four. If it isn't consistent, then it feels like an entirely different person has suddenly inhabited the body. And if there is no narrative relevance, then it is just a meaningless bullet point in the "Backstory" portion of his character sheet. As I said, there's nothing wrong with introducing these character details if they are done well and done for a purpose other than to check off boxes on a corporate diversity agenda.
  21. Subject to the force majeure clause, of course. She was probably offered an eight-figure "make-up" payment early on but her agency recommended she decline it and litigate instead. Regardless of how the lawsuit goes for her, she will be seen as toxic to the rest of Hollywood for some time to come. Don't be surprised if five or six years down the line you start seeing YouTube videos with subject lines like, "Whatever happened to Scarlett Johansson"?
  22. Indeed. But there are deft, skillful ways to do that, and coarse, bumbling ways to do that, and most of the examples you cite fall into the latter category. Yes, it has been done, but not well, and that's not worth celebrating, emulating, or perpetuating.
  23. That would only help her case if the two movies were considered "comparables" by the industry. They are action/adventure movies, yes, but one is a superspy thriller with female leads and the other is an action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds. Moreover, in order for it to help her legal team in forming an argument, there would have to be some way to demonstrate that the two movies were equally "good" and therefore likely to draw equivalent box office returns. That would be impossible to demonstrate, and so I don't think that argument will get very far.
  24. Sure. This does happen and it is obviously a very real thing, but in the grand scheme of our species, not very common. Now imagine how it feels to the people who knew you for 40-50 years. It would seem completely unexpected, out of left field, and hard to fathom. That's exactly how long-time comic book readers feel when hit with the same thing about beloved characters they've known for decades. The difference is that your experience, while very authentic, has never been part of the superhero genre before, and so readers are not prepared for a sudden dose of "sexual identity realism" injected into their comic books. It is supremely jarring, and it feels less like an attempt at verisimilitude and more like a desperate bid to gain enough contemporary social relevance to keep the printing machines running.
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