Dork Torque’s Rage-Quit-Radio: Episode 5!

The fifth and newest episode of Rage-Quit-Radio is now up and running! Listen as Terence “Literally” Gavin, Dan “10-step” Gallagher and I discuss … well … we can’t really remember, but we recorded it. Enjoy!


The New Batman Franchise: Where it Could Go

As most of you know, The Dark Knight Rises is more than likely going to be the last of the Nolan Bat-films. A sad truth, but one that was bound to happen eventually. DC also has a new Superman movie in the works, and is talking about redoing the Green Lantern flop in order to get a cache of hero films in the works for a Justice League film in an attempt to ape the monetary rewards that accompanied The Avengers box office numbers. With that in mind, they will need another look at Batman, because Nolan’s vision of the caped-crusader will not fit in the overpowered world of superheros.

So, the question is, “What will the new Batman be like?” If Warner Brothers is smart they will keep Nolan on as a producer, as they are doing in the Zach Snyder Superman vehicle that is currently shooting. Regardless, they are going to want a feel and a tone that can mesh with the other heroes of the different titles. The Justice League film can’t be made without first having a successful new Batman series. The character is just too popular and too much of a balance against Superman’s “my hero has every power” mindset that is necessary for the Justice League to be appealing. So, what kind of Bruce Wayne are we going to get?

More than likely, it will be a dark, brooding, narcissistic lead with sharp features that will be a cartoonish embellishment of the Bale version; much like the one that can be seen in the Justice League animated feature. He will be brash, arrogant, and will seemingly have all of the answers. Alfred will also get a more prominent role, and will be featured as much more of a sarcastic side-kick to Mr. Wayne. Imagine Guy Ritchie’s verison of Sherlock Holmes, but with Batman and Alfred instead. I’m not saying Alfred will go out in the field with Batman, but if you look at the similarities between the characters in the different forms of literature, and how well the Sherlock Holmes’ films did, I think the move is inevitable.

So how about villains? Who will Batman fight in his first match-up in Gotham? It more than likely won’t be the Joker. Heath Ledger’s amazing performance will still be too fresh in everyone’s mind to be revamped so quickly. Plus, this is probably going to be a young actor playing a young Batman, so the movie will need to focus on a villain that is able to show off the physical prowess of the Dark Knight. Bane is out because of his upcoming role in the swan-song of Nolan’s versions, and Scarecrow was done as well; so who is left in Batman’s rogue gallery that can do the job?

Killer Croc. Bear with me. Look at The Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve stated before that having a genesis film to a franchise is going to be what sets the tone for the movies that follow it. The reason we get a genetically and physically altered villain is because the rest of the series is going to want to incorporate villains that are also like that; taking a queue from the Ultimate Spider-Man universe to make their bad guys more viscerally terrifying. If you enter in a freak like Killer Croc you then establish the fact that this series is going to be filled with villains that are also equally as fantastic and based slightly more on fantasy than realism. This tone is a must-have if they are going to fit Batman into a movie with heroes like Superman and the Green Lantern.

Now, like the Lizard in the new Spider-Man, Killer Croc is going to have to be worked into another villain in order to leave the film open to an obvious sequel (which movies apparently love doing these days; hello Prometheus). So who have we not seen that could tie in with this former circus freak turned criminal? My guess would have to be the Penguin. Oswald Cobblepot. The ugly side of a coin whose other face is Bruce Wayne. The want to get back at a city that should have rightfully been his under his parent’s company instead belongs to the Wayne Corporation. Penguin will resent Bruce Wayne for his looks, charm, girls, money, and success. What better way to help bring that competition down than to have it attacked by someone he may have known when he was abandoned by his parents (if they choose to go that origin route), or someone that he can sympathize with, or pretend to sympathize with, to get some muscle on his side.

After Batman defeats Croc, he’ll realize that it won’t take just his martial arts skills in order to defeat his opponent. This will humble the brash and headstrong version of Batman we are given in this film, much as the death of Vesper Lynd brought down the first-year version of 007 in Casino Royale. We’ll probably also get a cameo from someone affiliated with one of the other superheroes we’ve seen beforehand, just to let people know that we are in the same universe, and that the Justice League movie is being crafted via these films.

As always, I could be wrong.

Zombies: Brains Needed

There is zero question that the zombie genre has seen a huge spike in subject material over the past three years. Although there has always been a strong cult following since the Romero films, and a constant debate over the fast vs. slow zombie scenario, it hasn’t been until recently that everyone is seemingly creating their own hypothetical survival groups and escape plans. Regardless of the fact that all of these plans are dependent on the individual somehow not being one of the 90% of the populace that becomes infected, one thing remains unquestionable; zombies are now mainstream.

This isn’t any kind of revelation or breaking news story. Shows like The Walking Dead have brought the shambling mess of rotting flesh and cerebral dietary preferences into the limelight, but, like the vampire trend, it is starting to play itself out. As a zombie fan myself, I look at how pop-culture is marketing this nightmare outcome as a form of entertainment, and where its missteps are in video games, film, and television.

First, let’s examine the good. In video games, the best of the zombie franchise has been the Left 4 Dead series. Specifically, the first one. The elements of this game include (but are not limited to) hordes of mindless undead, specialty zombies to create a dynamic gameplay, a simplistic but effective assortment of weapons, amazing lighting and art design, minimalistic narrative, and perhaps the best co-op design I’ve ever seen in a video game. However, the relationship that the game forces you to create with everyone is what makes this game the best zombie shooter of our time. Let me explain.

You cannot survive in Left 4 Dead by yourself. I cannot emphasize what a gigantic gameplay feature this for the zombie genre. Even the single player is molded around this idea that you have to watch out for your teammates, and they will watch out for you. When the world goes to hell, dependency on others is perhaps the greatest design feature a developer can insert into their intellectual property. Yes, there are some successful titles that don’t lean on this idea; such as Dead Rising, but there will never be a moment in the Dead Rising games that will create that feeling of terror and panic when a Tank-type zombie smashes through the front door of a house you’re setting up in, or when a Smoker-type lynches one of your teammates from an overhanging balcony as you’re trying to push forward.

The main objective seems like it is always to get to the end of the map; to find that safe room to restock your ammo and health, but that objective can change at a moment’s notice. Any second, one of your team can be taken out of the scenario or pinned down, and in that instant your main objective has now become “save my friend.” These high periods of intensity are paced extremely well with the moments of relaxation, either in the safe-rooms themselves, or in a rising elevator, or even in a small house as you listen to possible help on an old radio. Games like Dark Souls and Alan Wake also use this type of pacing well; which makes for a very engrossing, and emotional (the bounce between fear and relief especially) experience. It’s smart, it’s clever, and it shows a degree of love and care for the genre in general.

Then we have shows like The Walking Dead. When the show first aired on TV I was excited. Finally, one of my favorite scenarios would finally be getting a series, hopefully in the same dark and surprising narrative of shows like The Shield (which famously killed off what was thought to be a major character in the first episode), Dexter (which played with the viewpoint of hero/villain and the viewers empathy), and The Wire (which played with motive and the things required just to get by depending on your scenario). Despite the success of the graphic novels that preceded it, the show became lacking in many areas. Producers of the show became excited to hear the viewers response over the first shot of that legless zombie that Rick goes back to put out of its misery. The show then began to market itself to that fact and began to focus on the gross-out factor, and not the human element. Any attempt to show the human element came in the form of generic nostalgic dialogue about the world before zombies, and Rick’s almost daily gun threats to Norman Reedus about not killing the living. Boring.

The problem here is that the characters became stale, predictable, and uninteresting. When the zombies finally swarmed on their camp there appeared to be about 20 other survivors that we had never seen before that were now specifically used as zombie/plot food. Unlike Game of Thrones; whose characters could be killed off at a moment’s notice (an element that creates a real sense of suspense), there are certain characters in this show you are pretty safe in assuming won’t die. That element of vulnerability brought upon by the aforementioned Left 4 Dead is gone, and so is the real terror of this horrendous apocalyptic outcome.

As far as film goes, the best of the zombie franchise has to (now) be 28 Days Later. Before you begin hoisting your flag for slow vs. fast, or that the zombies aren’t really zombies argument, just take a moment to examine what the film tried to do. Danny Boyle and Alex Garland tried to take the magic out of the undead rising. They tried to create a feeling of terror that was present after such films as Jaws, in that something like zombies could actually happen. Scenes like the one in the church; a supposed safe-zone which had become a nest of runners, and where Naomi Harris kills her partner in survival without hesitation; created the discussed vulnerability that made the film gripping and terrifying. The scary aspects were that the humanity was gone, and the search for it was really what the film was about.

So what is it that zombies need? Brains, obviously. The genre needs a well thought out and cared for look at this metaphoric and blood-soaked genre. Recently, it was announced that Damon Lindelof is going to rewrite some of the areas of the working World War Z scenes that were apparently lacking. Despite my issues with Lost, if there is one thing the show did extremely well was create deep and thought provoking human issues. And, although the plight of the undead might seem to be in the blood and guts approach, isn’t it really about the loss of our human condition and how fragile it is? It’s about caring for the things that have become valuable to you, but also being aware that you might have to drop them at a moment’s notice. It’s the balance between fight or flight.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Where This Series is Going


Before I get into anything about this movie I want to make my opinion clear; and that is that the Spider-Man franchise needed this reboot. A lot of people think that this is either too early, or not necessary for the titular wall-crawler, but after the events of Spider-Man 3, the canon with Sam Raimi’s vision was neutered and incapable of spawning again. Much of that had to do with studio interference and the depiction of Venom. Regardless, this was the logical next step (especially with Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and the direction the production teams are taking the characters).

For starters, I think Amazing Spider-Man is going to have a tough time at the box office seeing as how it is coming out 2 weeks before The Dark Knight Rises. Many might think that this isn’t going to be a big deal, but if you remember back to The Dark Knight’s release back in 2008 there was another comic-book adaptation that was crippled by it’s proximity to Batman, and that was Hellboy II: The Golden Army. Say what you will about the story, but this actually wasn’t a terrible film. The story was clever and the special effects were well integrated into their environments, as was the set design. Had this film been released at a more distant release date then it probably would have been better received. I think Amazing Spider-Man will suffer the same fate, but probably not on the same scale since Spider-Man is a much more popular figure than Hellboy.

We all know who the main antagonist in this film is going to be by now, and that is The Lizard (aka Dr. Connors). If you aren’t familiar with his origin, Dr. Connors is a professor at Peter’s university who attempts to use a lizard’s ability to grow their tails back to create a method to regrow his own arm. In the film version it appears that he is going to be a genetic scientist for Oscorp. Keep the fact that they are making him a genetic specialist for a private corporation in mind.

In the trailer we are also given a shadowy introduction to another, unnamed character that is an authority figure to Connors, who references Peter’s parents. This Spidey universe is giving a large focus on to what happened to Peter’s parents, which was mostly ignored for the majority of Spider-Man’s comic book history until The Untold Tales of Spider-Man revealed they were agents of SHIELD. We’ve already seen the major role SHIELD has been playing in the new Marvel universe, and I think it would be foolish to think that Disney won’t integrate Spider-Man into the same canon that the Avengers just banked over a billion dollars on.

We also know that Peter’s investigation of his parents leads him to Oscorp. This is pretty telling in that it will probably be revealed that his parents didn’t actually work for this shady corporation, and were actually SHIELD spies sent in to investigate certain on-goings with Norman Osborn and his scientific practices. Specifically, with one doctor in mind, and it’s not Connors. This specific doctor is the shady figure with the evil-voice from the trailers. And that is Dr. Miles Warren, also known as The Jackal.

“Why the Jackal?” you ask. Well, for starters, the Jackal was the one who was deeply involved in the genetic issues from the original Spider-Man comics, going so far as trying to clone a murdered Gwen Stacy. I don’t think this will be the path that The Amazing Spider-Man will take with it, nor do I think he will look like that realistic looking scientist pictured above (I sincerely hope the movies will never touch the Spider-Clone story lines), but Gwen Stacy is in this film, and that adds another precedent to my conclusion. I also don’t believe that this shadowy figure is Norman Osborn either, for the sole purpose that Disney probably has big plans for this franchise. It’s the same reason we weren’t properly introduced to The Emperor in the first(fourth) Star Wars film; the badguy pulling all the strings gets a more interesting reveal and reputation if it comes later.

Also, I think it was an active choice to have the Lizard as the first villain because of one simple grounding addition; and that is the process of physical transformation. I’m not speaking in a metaphoric sense (although I suppose that could be argued as well), but in the literal sense. Show of hands as to who remembers Willem Dafoe’s character design from Spider-Man 1? Okay, keep your hand up if you thought that was the coolest looking primary antagonists from a super-hero film ever. No one?

Me neither. Having a Spider-Man series without the Green Goblin is like having a Batman series without the Joker. It can’t be done. So how does a creative team make a convincing Green Goblin without resorting to a Power Rangers-esque combat suit? Simple, make mutation and transformation on a genetic and physical level a major part of the universe from the get-go.

So, in conclusion, Peter’s parents will be revealed to be undercover SHIELD agents who were ordered to infiltrate and report on Oscorp’s projects before they disappeared. Dr. Conners will be a pseudo scientific mentor to Peter since he will probably have some guilt over what happened with them, but he also keeps his ties to the main bad scientist that is Dr. Miles Warren, who will later become the Jackal. The Lizard’s physical transformation will be important so they can create a possible Ultimate Spider-Man version of the Green Goblin, and Gwen Stacy will probably die at the end of whatever movie the Green Goblin is introduced in.

As always, I could be wrong.

An Open Letter to Damon Lindelof, From Dork Torque

Dear Mr. Lindelof, Last weekend I was able to sit through and view Prometheus; your latest distributed work via the big screen at my local theater. Needless to say, I enjoyed myself immensely, and having been a huge fan of the original Alien series, I created an article that I believe gave an appreciative look at your work.

Over the course of the next few days I had a series of debates and discussions with others who are like-minded in my sci-fi and nerd culture ways, and I had a blast throwing around attributed theories based off of previous incarnations of the cinematic franchise you were just recently in charge of revamping with Mr. Scott. Me and my cohorts examined the Judea-Christian themes that permeated through the projector, the scientific backbone that held the realism and grounded the movie in science fiction, and the complexity of the characters and how each person played an important role often found in Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.”

In fact, I couldn’t remember having such a good time throwing around hypotheses since, not surprisingly, another body of work that you were scribing just a few years ago.

That’s where I began to get worried. Don’t get me wrong, the journey I had watching LOST was incredible, if not one of the greatest moments of my dork-ish culture life. Every week I would sit and try to dissect and examine whatever subtle hints you and the other writers would throw our way, just to play the intellectual chess-match of trying to guess what would happen before it actually happened. I was so determined to unravel the mysteries that were being added to and cultured every week that I even started keeping a notebook. This would eventually be my downfall, as I’m sure you have heard the critical and fan-based backlashes that were the viewer-fallout from the series finale.

To be clear, this is not being written to try and criticize you for your work on that series. Not by a long shot. You and the other writers did something that very few series can claim, and that is keep my attention for six years. You are VERY good at weaving mystery into a narrative. However, I felt that where the work was needed was in the closure.

Recently I watched an interview you did with the folks over at, and listening to you explain your experience with the season finale actually took away a lot of the resentment I had for the finale. It was your creative brain-child, and you had every right to end it as you saw fit. To that purpose, I often tell people who are just getting into the show to skip the sixth season and allow themselves to come up with their own ending. As you said, with something that expansive it is pretty much impossible to appease all of your masses, and you did what you started off wanting to do.

Being a novice scribe myself, I only have the experience of a short-film, my editing career, and this humble website to my credentials, and have never had the pressure and responsibilities of a TV studio leaning over my shoulder the entire time. With Prometheus you have something different. Yes, those issues are still present, but you also have the luxury of working with one of the best science fiction directors of our time. Not only that, but he is actually taking a great deal of care in his movie, obviously having a lot of love for the franchise that he created in 1979.

Here is my humble request, based off of what I have outlined before.

Please don’t be as ambiguous with how the events of Prometheus tie in with the rest of the franchise, as you were with the season finale of LOST.

Here was my concern with the next chapter in the series, even after I watched your interview on You said that you weren’t out to explain all of the mysteries of the island, even though ABC was seemingly beating their viewers over the head with the promise that you would. As stated, you created a mythology in LOST that was never explained. Without a doubt, this had to be (a fan’s guess) 70% of why everyone was watching. We wanted to see how that statue got there, what the smoke was (and not just some dude who got sucked into a river after he died), how did that lighthouse work, why was smoke effected by the sound waves, and what was the island. The end product seemed to be less concerned with solving the mysteries of the island (which I would also like to point out was the major goal of the characters on the show as well), and more concerned with the fact that these people seemingly wanted to create an afterlife with each other because they were all important to one another.

This had nothing to do with the goal of the show. Ever. Not to mention that there were some key people missing from the beginning and middle of the series in this wondrous afterlife that they created for themselves. This left me a bit confused, and curious as to why we would be guided in one direction, but then dropped off somewhere completely different. Like I said, I’m not mad (anymore), but I am concerned.

As I stated, the journey to the end of LOST was amazing; one of the best of my life, but here is where you have something different with the Alien-verse. I’m sure you’re aware, you have a unique opportunity to expand on one of the greatest science fiction series in history. This is a history that doesn’t have a lot of stand-out, cinematic data-points in it’s existence. LOST didn’t have an end point already created for it, or anywhere for the information to bridge itself into a congruent story. It was being built as you walked across it. This time you have the other side of the gap in your sight. Ambiguity will not work in a story such as this. The entire goal of this restart, of what could have been a standalone piece of intellectual property, is to find answers; much as the goal of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 was.

It’s that balance you spoke of. That balance between the cut-to-black ending of the Sopranos and the Architect scene from The Matrix trilogy. But, this time, I think you have to reset your boundaries. It should be the balance between your own creation, LOST, and the Architect scene from The Matrix trilogy. Your talent is unquestionable, but like the humans that were seemingly spawned from the genetic soup the suicidal engineer created with his death, your abilities must evolve. Whatever was learned from the end of LOST must be applied to this film franchise. As a fellow writer (and I really am using that word liberally by even suggesting you and I are in the same spectrum), I realize that in order to write anything well you have to build upon what you’ve already done. More than likely, you’re already aware of everything I’ve pointed out, and to that regard I’m sorry if it seems as if I’m beating a dead horse.

The primary reason I’ve ever written this is because of one simple reason: I’m a fan.

I’m a fan of both what Scott started with the Alien movies, and with what you did with the LOST series. When I heard that you two were going to be working together on Prometheus I couldn’t think of two science fiction minds that could work better together on a project. However, that issue about closure still kept popping into my head. Again, you are the writer, you are in charge, and if you did whatever the fans wanted every time then what would be the point in creating something of your own? By all means, disregard this as a fan who thinks his opinion matters more than it probably should, but at least know that it is still coming from a fan, and not a hater.

Eric A Davidson, Editor-in-Chief of Dork Torque

Prometheus: The Breakdown

If you haven’t seen the movie don’t read this (unless you really don’t care about spoilers): From the get go I want to point out something that a lot of people might overlook after seeing this film. I think Ridley Scott/the production team made one of the smartest decisions in their promotions of any movie all year, and that is to not directly promote this movie as an Alien prequel. For those of you who’ve seen the film, you know that we don’t get our first real view of a xenomorph until the very end, and even then it isn’t the familiar design that we’ve come to know and fear since the 1980’s.

Had they gone with the blunt instrument of a xenomorph promotion the audience would have been left wondering “When is the Alien going to appear? Is this the Alien? What is that? That’s not the Alien(s) alien,” which would have made the movie drag a bit to some. Thankfully, this was not the case.

Before I get into my own theory on what happened/will happen with this series, I will need to clarify the path from organic-black-goo to xenomorph, and why this is important for the rest of the Alien franchise. I want to make it clear that this is an analysis without regard to the Aliens Vs. Predator series. I will add that at the end of the page. Back to the DNA. At the beginning of the film we are shown one of the proto-human’s killing/sacrificing themselves with this weaponized colony of micro-ogranisms. We see that this stuff pretty much just tears you apart from the inside, all the way down to the genetic level. Keep in mind that this proto-human, that we will refer to as “Adam,” is shown being left on what we assume is Earth, but it isn’t directly stated. From this point we are lead to believe that part of Adam’s DNA survived, therefore helping to create the genetic soup that spurred the human race into existence. Or so we’re meant to believe.

So, after our heroes discover the storage room with the giant face and the vases full of the organic-black-goo, it seeps into the ground and interacts with those little grub worms. It then changes the grub worms into larger versions of themselves, with strikingly rape-like facehugger characteristics. The strength of that tail was something we definitely remember from the Aliens movies, except it went inside the person like a snake instead of on their face like we’ve previously seen. I’ll get to that in a bit.

We then see Dr. Charlie Holloway being purposely infected by the android “David,” as Charlie teases David a bit about not being human. These talks are placed very well through out the film, and Fassbender does an incredible job of showing the reserved remorse and pain that accompanies his own self identification as something less than human. This is also the same feeling we get as the humans talk about their connective wants with the proto-humans; a well done comparison and emotive writing method done by Lindelof. After Charlie is infected (but a substantially smaller amount of black goo than Adam)he has sex with Elizabeth Shaw, which is how the organism is transmitted to her. This part is important, because unlike the other infections we’ve seen this one happens in the womb through natural reproductive methods, as opposed to being forcibly inserted into someone’s abdominal cavity.

With that specific point in mind, I would like to point your attention to the offspring that was created when Elizabeth performed a Cesarian operation on herself. It looked like an octopus. That is the simplest way I could describe it; there really wasn’t anything human about it’s characteristics other than the fact it had…arms maybe? When it reached its “adult” form at the end of the film it was essentially a super facehugger. The characteristics we knew from the previous facehuggers were there, just super-sized. And once it had passed it’s genetic material into the proto-human it died. This literal spawn from the black goos sexual transference is special because it came from her womb. It was a pure form of the reproductive cycle, which is why I think it was so grossly different from any of the more familiar forms of spawn that we’ve seen in the previous films. Also, anything that was incubated inside of a human came out as a xenomorph, regardless of the sex of the host, and not as a facehugger. Facehuggers are specifically reproductions of the xeno-Queen.

So what does this mean? It means that the snake-huggers that we saw in the dirt were the result of the grub worms mating after coming into contact with the black-goo. It means that anything created through sexual reproduction, as opposed to just a forcible insertion, is going to create a sort of super-vector, something that is larger than its host, but bred with the specific purpose of transmitting genetic material. The forced “pregnancies” are there to create the drones or soldier xenos. The traditional facehuggers are created through a type of asexual reproduction from the alien Queen, which is why they contain the similar attributes to the other vectors in this movie, but lack the size that would come from a male and female coitus session. The proto-xenomorph (or drone) is created from that forced pregnancy into the proto-human male, giving us a familiar, yet different creature from the original Aliens films. Because of its familiarity I believe this means that any of the previous aliens we’ve seen from the 1980’s onwards are a direct result of interbreeding of this virus with humans, specifically. The aliens are not an individual species that exist in the form we know them in as a stand alone construction. They are the direct result of a this forced pregnancy with humans from Earth.

You might then wonder how that aliens from the first Alien film came from the Engineer that was discovered by Ripley and her crew. That answer is simple, it wasn’t an Engineer. One big piece of information we got in this movie was that what we assumed was the face of this Engineer race was actually an exo-skeleton of some kind for protection; effectively hiding the face of whoever equips it. This leads me to believe that the Engineer we saw in the original Alien movie was either Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (after whatever misadventure she gets herself in the sequel to Prometheus), and that it was a forced insertion into her abdominal cavity, as opposed to the result of a passionate night of PHd level sexing.

Now for the bigger question, as to why the Engineers deemed it necessary to kill off the human race 2000 years ago, I think this answer was given to us in Prometheus. As I explained earlier, the movie is riddled with allegories to abandonment and the fear of a mutative creation. Dr. Shaw tries to kill the aborted creature that was created through her own genetic alteration inside her womb. When she felt threatened by it, either by it’s look or the fact that is started freaking out right in front of her face, her survival instincts took over and she tried to kill this unfamiliar creature that somehow came from her genetic code. I think this is the same notion that the proto-humans shared while observing us humans on Earth. For thousands of years they would watch as we lived off of the planet and managed to scrape a living off of the land. As our race began to evolve into more social creatures (but also more destructive) I believe that the Engineers saw a gross mutation of themselves that was irrational, immoral, and dangerous. With that in mind they wanted to abort this mutant strain of themselves, while still retaining the resources that they went to the planet for in the first place. Remember that opening shot with (what we assume) is a forming terrain on our planet? That could have been from a team sent to the planet to terraform it, essentially creating all life on the planet for their own purposes. As to what happened to make them leave, that will hopefully be answered in the next film.

As always, I could be wrong about all of this, and Ridley Scott and Lindelof could decide to take it in a different direction entirely. What I will say, is that Scott did a wonderful job of creating a film that he really cared about. He didn’t pull a Lucas and just bank the success of his story on the already established franchise of his series. Instead, he put a lot of thought and effort into crafting a meaningful story that has implications that stretch for lightyears.

Oh yeah, and as for the Aliens Vs. Predator theory, perhaps the proto-humans and the predators were historic enemies in space, and when the Predators found out there was a planet of “off” proto-humans they would send their men there to hunt them as a form of combat training for their conflicts with the protos. Then, maybe, they discovered that they produce a good training method by mixing them with xenomorphs, or perhaps the protos even created the black goo as a weapon to fight the Predators, who would seem like a much more imposing threat than a planet that is barely able to get into space without dying.

Also, Charlize Theron’s character was an android who was really into keeping up appearances, that “David” was speaking to while suiting up, in order to fit in better. If you remember the original Alien, Ripley was uncomfortable working with an android because of “defects.” I think these defects that she was speaking about were characteristics like ambition, greed, and curiosity, that weren’t originally programmed into the cyber organisms, but were developed and eventually labeled defects as opposed to self created. Again, just a thought.

Halo 4’s Live Action Trailer — “meh”

Boring. Apparently this year E3 is just going to be really sub par. This is what I’m guessing happens when shareholders start dictating release material instead of gamers. This trailer’s production value is fantastic, but it doesn’t really tell any story or have anything worthwhile being shown. All in all this is a big ‘meh,’ hopefully you’ll enjoy it more than I did.

The Last of Us — E3 Gamplay Reveal

Just from a game mechanics standpoint this looks amazing. Watch how fluidly the interactions are with the environment as well as the NPCs. I really hope that this scene isn’t too scripted with gameplay programming and that this is actually how the game will play. “Wow,” was my first thought upon seeing this, I think you’ll have a similar reaction. Enjoy; I certainly did.

The Dark Knight Rises: What No One is Talking About

There are a few issues I wish to address that I don’t feel have been discussed in the recent articles and write-ups for The Dark Knight Rises coming out in theaters this July. This will, by no means, be a negative article. I might be the person who is excited the most for the final chapter in Nolan’s amazing trilogy of the caped crusader. Because of that, I become invested, and because of my investment, I have decided to address a couple things that I’ve noticed through the trailers and the IMDb cast list. [Warning: Possible Spoilers if I’m right]

Right from the get go, I want to point out that there appear to be multiple fist fights that will occur in the movie between Bane and Batman. There also seems to be a point where Bane has the opportunity to kill Bruce Wayne, but he refuses on the grounds that Bruce’s punishment must “be more severe.” From the trailers we are given two major fights. One is in the streets of the city in front of what I’m guessing is a municipal building of some kind, and the other looks to be underground (Empire Online confirms that Bane will be hiding out in the many underground tunnels beneath Gotham). Keep the two-fight idea in mind.

Anyone who is familiar with the Batman canons knows that Bane is the man who broke the bat. He snapped Bruce’s back over his knee in one of the most iconic covers to a comic story ever for the Knightfall series.

This is not something Nolan would overlook just to create a cool looking bad-guy for the film. After watching The Dark Knight, it was made very apparent that Nolan and his brother(who wrote the film) have a strong understanding and do a fair amount of research into the villains that they will feature in his on-screen rogues’ gallery. For example, Heath Ledger’s Joker was someone who’s main goal was to show Batman that when people are pushed far enough that they will all end up like the Joker himself. They will accept anarchy and that the established order is a farce and a mask; a mask that Batman chooses to wear and use as a symbol to fight injustice. In the end, Batman proved he was actually incorruptible and chose not to let the Joker die (a luxury he didn’t afford to Ra’s Al Ghul). This mindset and interpretation of the Joker is one that was made famous by The Killing Joke.

In this graphic novel the Joker tries to push Commissioner Gordon over the edge by shooting his daughter, Barbara, in front of him. The joker then proceeds to take pictures of her after he rips her clothes off as a final straw to break the law bringer’s back. This plan ultimately fails, but Barbara (aka Batgirl) is crippled for life and becomes Oracle; a human wikipedia for Gotham. Granted, this is not what happened in The Dark Knight, but that motive was carried over brilliantly.

Using this idea of pulling from the comic series for inspiration, I also noticed a similarity to another graphic novel from the Batman universe that will play a major role in this upcoming film. It is no secret that The Dark Knight Rises is going to be taking place 8 years after the last movie ended. Gotham is at peace, and Batman has retired. Only now, a younger, more dangerous foe appears to force the Dark Knight out of retirement and get back into the fight. That setup will be familiar with most die-hard Bat-fans as the plot to The Dark Knight Returns; Frank Miller’s infamous (and in my opinion greatest) Batman novel to date. When Batman comes out of retirement to combat this leader of the Mutant Gang he is beaten. Badly.

Batman comments later that he tried to fight a “young-man’s fight,” that he tried to use his brute strength instead of his skills to win a battle that his body couldn’t keep up with anymore. Now look at the trailers that we’ve been seeing for Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. Bruce is sporting a cane to help him walk, from what I’m guessing is an injury from when he fell with Harvey Dent at the end of The Dark Knight. It is my belief that Batman will lose his first fight against Bane fairly easily. Batman will then realize that he cannot keep up with Bane’s younger, more intense version of combat, and a new approach must be taken. That fight in front of the municipal building will be round one, with the underground fight being round two.

There is also another key element from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns that I believe will be taken into the plot line for The Dark Knight Rises. At the end of Miller’s novel Bruce Wayne fakes his own death (after Alfred dies) and begins to train the remaining members of the Mutant Gang to become Bat-men of a sorts. He destroys the Wayne manor and turns his former bat-cave into a training facility. We know that this will be the final chapter in Nolan’s Batman legacy, but, despite much speculation, I don’t think Nolan is going to kill Batman at the end. The main reason behind this is because Nolan isn’t that obvious. In one of the latest trailers Selina Kyle (the lovely Anne Hathaway) says that Batman doesn’t owe the city of Gotham anything more, that he’s given them enough. He replies that he hasn’t given them everything, not yet. It doesn’t take an English major to realize that this hints at Batman dying for the city he loves so much. So does the line Alfred says to Bruce about not wanting to bury any more members of the Wayne family. The problem is Nolan isn’t that obvious to give away a big twist ending away in the trailer of a movie (I REALLY hope I’m not wrong about this). So instead, I think that “Batman” will die, and Bruce will live on to train a new group of Bat-men. Here’s another reason why, and where he will get these Bat-men from to train.

Look at the cast list for The Dark Knight Rises over at IMDb. One thing that should quickly jump out is the re-casting of Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul, as well as a Young Ra’s and a Young Talia Al Ghul. Most of us remember the fate of Ra’s from Batman: Begins; where Batman left him to die on a speeding railcar to crash into Wayne Tower. This could possibly allude to the fact that he didn’t die. Perhaps Ra’s lived, and in his defeat he came to some sort of self realization about his methods. Or, perhaps, Ra’s is the one pulling the strings behind Bane. Another theory of mine is that Bane is a former member of the League of Shadows, as Batman himself was. Those familiar with Ra’s will note that he has always wanted Batman to marry his daughter, Talia, and become the new head of the League of Shadows. Nolan is usually pretty careful what he shows in his trailers, so no mention of Ra’s or Talia has been shown as of yet. However, I think that Batman might find that the only way to combat Bane is to finally take up Ra’s’ offer and use the trained and disciplined ninjas of the League to defeat Bane and his mercenary army. A lot of this is purely speculation, but I wouldn’t put it past Nolan and his brother to swing this element from The Dark Knight Returns into The Dark Knight Rises.

This would also be a decent wrap up to the series, as it wouldn’t give the happy ending of Batman just resuming his duties in the city even after he’s retired. The Dark Knight made the case that he couldn’t want to be Batman forever, and I don’t believe this version of Bruce wants to be the caped crusader into his sixties. Marion Coltillard is also playing a character in the film called “Miranda Tate.” The trailers show her to be a romantic interest of Bruce’s, but I believe that this is a cover for her true identity as Talia Al Ghul.

Or maybe I’m just dead wrong. Maybe the scenes with Ra’s will just show some of the other training that Bruce did with the League that will help him defeat Bane. Maybe Talia is just there to take vengeance for her father’s death at Batman’s hands, and her romantic interest in Bruce is merely there to keep him distracted as he tries to combat Bane in the attempt to finally bring down Gotham on the second attempt. Either way, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this swan song of my favorite hero of all time.