In this week's "Postal Apocalypse," I explain why a Yoda-centric Star Wars movie is a terrible idea, why rebooting '80s properties is a terrible idea, and why making a new Batman TV show is a good idea, but one that will never, ever happen. As always, email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, on with your letters!
I was wondering why there haven't been any live-action Batman TV series since the campy ‘60s Adam West Batman. There have been two versions of Superman (Lois & Clark and Smallville) which I assume require more special effects than a Batman show would. There is [Green] Arrow who is essentially Batman, but not the same. There was even that show "The Cape" which was a Batman rip-off and not nearly as interesting. With the success of the recent grittier Nolan Batman films, and our love for police procedurals, couldn't there be a 60-minute time slot there for a Batman TV show?
There could, but there won't. Batman is too big for TV. By which I mean that Batman is one of Warner Bros.' biggest, most lucrative, most reliable movie franchises, and they are absolutely terrified at the idea of somehow screwing up the potential revenue of the Batman movies by making a Batman TV series — either by diluting the public's desire for Bat-entertainment, confusing the public (two people playing Batmen? My mind cannot comprehend such a thing!), or somehow diminishing Batman's appeal (by the TV series sucking, which, since it would likely end up being a show on The CW, is a very real possibility).
I know what you're going to say — Lois and Clark aired only six years after Superman IV, and Smallville was airing when Superman Returns hit theaters. But the truth is that the Superman movie franchise is not nearly as big as the Batman movies. WB felt okay taking those risks for Superman. The worst Superman movie, Superman IV, made $15 million; Batman and Robin still made $105. Which is why it took WB nearly 30 years to get around to relaunching Superman in theaters, but it only took them eight for Batman.
In reality, the public would like all the Batman it can get. I sincerely doubt anyone would cry foul if two different people played two different versions of Batman on TV and in the movies, and there would especially be no problem if the TV show was a Smallville-esque, Batman: Year One TV series and the movies featured an older, most standard, in-his-prime Batman. What can I say? Hollywood is dumb.
So I recently read about this massive, 3,000+ user battle in EVE Online. Since you can convert real-world cash into in-game currency (and vice versa), it's possible to put a real-world, cash money value to the losses sustained on both sides. From what I read, the estimated value in real world money of the losses was around $24,000 USD.
My question is this: Can you conceive of how anyone could be so motivated to play a game that they can even risk (not actually, just risk) losing that much in resources? I'd be terrified.
If 3,000 people spent $24,000, that's about $8 each. If I spent that much on a game character that could potentially be killed, I'd probably be too nervous to really enjoy the game. That's essentially gambling with your money, which I can't do either. When I look at a poker table, all I see is the money I stand to lose, never the money I could potentially win — and I've never particularly had enough money that I felt comfortable risking in the first place.
That's my personal opinion; to everyone who enjoys that sort of thing, more power to you. Better $80 upgrading your EVE Online character than a crippling heroin addiction.
I was re-watching "Escape From New York" for 87th time and something took on a whole new light. When [Snake Plissken] goes to rescue the president the first time Snake gets shot in the knee with an arrow, and he never bitched about it.
That's how you do it you Skyrim pussies.
Snake Plissken a bigger badass than some random Skyrim guard? Hell, I could have told you that. Although in the guard's defense, he didn't star in Escape from L.A., so it kind of evens out.
In related news, I literally just got Skyrim last night — a side benefit of my Xbox 360 dying last week and needing to buy a new one — so I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone was talking about a year and four months ago.
I'm Ambivalent About the ‘80s
My friends and I were drinking one fight and trying to figure what ‘80s cartoons hadn't gotten a revival yet. This somehow turned into an argument over what might have a chance of getting popular again – like a cartoon, and toys and things. I said Inhumanoids (the toys with the holograms), Chris said Silverhawks, and Ian said Centurions, which I barely remember but he swears were cool. Can you settle the fight for us?
I can! You're all wrong.
Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. All those cartoons, if rebooted for modern audiences, would fail terribly. Man, the new He-Man and ThunderCats both tanked; do you really think any of those three stand a chance where these two failed? Especially if Bandai made the toys. They're terrible.
The problem with all these ‘80s relaunches is that they're based on too heavily on nostalgia… which kids today, their primary audience, don't have in the slightest. So while these relaunches may be awesome for nerds like me, kids watched the new He-Man cartoon and said "What is this bullshit?" Kids today are not only smarter than kids in the ‘80s were, but they have more discerning taste. Oh, they might like some bad cartoons, but they still won't watch anything with Berbils in it.
That said: Centurions had the coolest toys — guys with snap-on weapons and armor and action features that could be rearranged however you wanted — that I think might do sell all right nowadays, but the cartoon was terrible even in the ‘80s. In fact, the toys would have to scrap the characters entirely. The Inhumanoids toys would be ignored by kids today, but I could potentially see a new cartoon, basically only because the word "Inhumanoids" still sounds pretty cool, and could technically be used for a Beyblade/Skylanders-type franchise (again, everything else about the original series would need to be scrapped). And last and certainly least is Silverhawks, which was a shitty copy of ThunderCats to begin with. Imagine the coolest version of a Silverhawk you possibly can. No kid today would even look twice at it. I guarantee it.
That Is Why They Fail
Dear Mr. Postman,
I'm a Star Wars fan, but I realized yesterday with the rumor one of the new Star Wars movie was going to be about Yoda is that I don't want a Yoda movie. Does this make me a bad fan?
Not at all, you just have Yoda fatigue. Same thing as Boba Fett fatigue. It's a problem many creators create, but that George Lucas is very susceptible to; he learns audiences find such-and-such cool, so he keeps bringing them back until they've lost all their appeal.
The other problem is that in the original trilogy Yoda was wise and mysterious, and we could only imagine his power. But in the prequels, he was just as big a doofus as all the other Jedi, and his power was being a green bouncy ball that could hold a lightsaber. Honestly, a little bit of Yoda goes a looong way.
I wouldn't worry about it, though, because I don't think it's true. First of all, half the sites on the internet are claiming they know what Disney is doing, And while AICN certainly gets its scoops, but they're hardly batting 1.000% rumor-wise. Honestly, I think the waters are so muddied at this point we can't trust any Star Wars news until Disney genuinely announces it.
Belle of the Ball
I think an American Gladiator style caged powerball would be a terrific method of transportation though the undead infested wastelands of the future. It's human powered so no fuel to worry about (other than preservative laced snack cakes). Also It's shape is ideal for withstanding persistent dispersed pressure ( the zombie hoards number one move ). You throw in some sort of poking wand (I'm thinking a buck knife duct-taped to the end of a hockey stick) to clear biter congestion. As a post apocalyptic Snoop might say; You'll be lookin' fly, wavin' to undead honeys from your ride, cruisin' for supplies, joy ridin' through the plains of Megiddo.
People have discussed the human hamster ball as a practical mobile protection device in the zombie wasteland, but I wouldn't want one. It would be far too easy to roll into a large group of zombies, who would surround your ball and prevent you from rolling anywhere. Sure, you'd be safe in there, but you'd be stuck and surrounded until you eventually had go out to find some food. It's not like the zombies are going to get bored waiting from their meal to come out of its crunchy shell.
And speaking of eating, you're going to have to leave the ball to get food… a lot. So you're going to be vulnerable some of the time anyways. The ball can hardly protect you 24 hours a day, is what I'm saying.
And don't forget about using the bathroom. While it might be easy to position the ball's opening so you can use it like a toilet seat, if you are even slightly off target, you're going to be rolling around in a ball of your own filth. I think the zombie apocalypse would be traumatic enough without smelling poop constantly.
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