Episode 12 – Twisted Dark Reign Theatre

In our most jam-packed episode yet, four writers from Toyfare Magazine’s Twisted Toyfare Theatre series stop by to chat about the creative process, and GI Joe. Justin Aclin, Rob Bricken, TJ Dietsch, and Jon Guitierez all join in on the fun. Also, it’s our obligatory Dark Reign tie-in episode, as a special guest stops by to take over third chair duties in the name of H.A.M.M.E.R.

The Rundown:

17 thoughts on “Episode 12 – Twisted Dark Reign Theatre”

  1. The biggest problem with the GI Joe movie was it’s complete disregard for the original impetus for the franchise: to sell as many action figures as possible.

    Every Joe was unique, and had some crazy uniform/helmet/backpack/etc Sci-Fi didn’t look like Lowlight, didn’t look like Lifeline, or Recondo, or Outback, or Heavy Duty, and they had three different versions of Gung-Ho! (original, Marine dress uniform, and the revamped 200 line) that’s before repaints.

    So what do they do in the movie? Stick the main characters into identity-robbing robot suits! THEY LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME! Why would I bother buying two of the same robot suited guys?

    As to the ridiculousness of the plot, I agree with Chris, that craziness really made the cartoon work. No-fatality lasers, weather control, time travel, and nightclubs that launched into space were and are awesome.

  2. I’m not sure if I love or hate this episode of Ajax for providing a perfect example of fanboy entitlement with that “rant” about “the right” of nerds to “freak the fuck out” when a tv show or movie does not fulfill its “responsibility” to be good.

    It’s infuriating when nerds treat movies like recruitment tools or if they make their enjoyment of a movie contingent on how popular they perceive it to be. Movies are not ambassadors. And when it comes to whining and moaning and freaking out, nerds do that no matter what. Being obsessive, nitpicky, and off-putting isn’t their “right,” it’s what makes nerds, nerds!

    Even though I didn’t see GI Joe or the Transformer movies (and have no emotional attachment to those franchises), I like the jokes and complaints made about them in this episode of Ajax. They sound like they were frustrating and disappointing movies. But then to lament how these proud toy franchises have been set back years from Dark-Knight-levels of critical adoration and box-office performance, to be angry specifically because these films aren’t making your nerd obsession the darling of mainstream culture–goddamnit,it’s stupid, it’s wrong, and it makes me wanna rate this a one star on iTunes.

    But then there was Norman Osborn as the third chair! 6 stars out of 5.

  3. Um Whoa, in fact LE WHOA.

    Why on God’s Green Earth do nerds have less right to complain about bad movies than fans of Shakespeare? If Hollywood makes a complete hash out of Romeo and Juliet and completely disregards the Bard’s prose, critics will rightfully savage Hollywood for doing so.

    So why should nerds have less opportunity to do so?

    Granted that complaining over ridiculous continuity stuff is silly and pointless, but Brian S’s argument seems to be that we should just be happy that Hollywood is taking a beloved franchise and spending money to make a movie and gratefully accept the result no matter how god-awfully SHITTY the result is.

    Look if you are going to adapt a toy or a game or a comic and spend 100 million dollars to do so, you should at least make some sort of attempt at actually making a good film rather than a film that looks like you hired 100 monkeys to make a script by throwing poo at a wall and using the fece-stained results as your storyboard.

    Just saying…

  4. Mike,
    I’m not saying that nerds shouldn’t have critical standards for movies. I’m not saying that nerds shouldn’t be allowed to be disappointed about or make fun of terrible films. I’m not even concerned whether or not nerds complain about continuity between new movies and old source material.

    Breckin’s rant about the rights of nerds and the responsibilities of movies basically boils down to “nerds have the right to complain if they don’t get what they want in a movie, because not only did they want it, but they wanted it for a long time because movies take a long time to be made.” Wanting is not an accomplishment, even if you want something for a long time, nor should you expect to get what you want simply because you wanted it. This rant is encouraging feelings of entitlement and impatience and nerds do not need the encouragement.

    Also, I fail to see why a bad movie version of a decades-old franchise is worth freaking out over, because there’s never been and never will be a movie bad enough that it retroactively wipes away whatever it was that made the nerd interested in that franchise (like, that Clooney Batman film didn’t change the fact that Batman cartoons are awesome). It just seems you’re freaking out not because the story was bad, but because you won’t want to add this movie to The Collection when it comes out on DVD (or will feel bad about adding it when you do). It’s greedy. Why do nerds have to have the movie version? (Well I suppose it’s for that mainstream approval of the movie, which means approval of the entire franchise and the nerd personally, but I bitched about that already).

    Oh, and thank you Mike for bringing up budgets. That was what the stereotypical nerd complaint about movies was missing.

  5. Norman was pretty great, wasn’t he?

    I’d comment on the GI Joe movie, but I haven’t seen it. Soooo. Yeah, maybe I’ll check it out this weekend.

  6. my point of view on this nerd movie issue… Sure, a bad movie doesn’t erase the good that came before. However, it doesnt give us anything new to love from our favorite franchise. We get excited because when someone says “Transformers” we have a very specific vision in our minds. When that doesnt occur, it’s sad. And more than a little frustrating, because the creators of these films are usually not die-hard fans, and thus dont treat the properties with the love a fan would.

    The Ang Lee Hulk movie, and the new Incredible Hulk are prime examples of both sides of this issue. Ang Lee made a movie that was full of action, but ignored the very heart of what the Hulk is. when Bruce Banner says “when i turn into the Hulk… I kind of like it” it spits in the face of all Hulk fans, because an integral part of Bruce Banner is that if he never turned into the Hulk again, he’d be happy. it is all he wants.
    The new Hulk movie was made by Hulk fans, and thus when asked to describe being the Hulk, Banner says “it’s like I’m drunk. I can see these things happening, but I can’t control it. The rage takes over.”, proving that Banner doesn’t enjoy being Hulk.

    And that’s all we ask, some attention to what made the franchise popular in the first place, not a blatant disregard for the original source. Change is fine, as long as it doesn’t fly in the face of established story. Because that established story is what we fell in love with, and outright contradicting what came before is so jarring, it becomes harder to enjoy. Takes you right out of the action.

  7. I saw GI Joe for the record, and I actually loved it. I don’t have an attachment to the original stuff as much as most people, so that may have to be taken into account. But I thought it was a fun movie full of great, absurd action. I didn’t even mind the backstories.

  8. I’m listening to this in 2017, and the similarities of this Shit’s Norman Osborn to Donald Trump are kinda scary.

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