Looking back on the Zack Snyder era in the DCEU

Sonny Bunch, writing for the Washington Post:

And while “Justice League” was certainly bad — a product that reeked of overbearing corporate meddling; a movie that reportedly cost upward of $300 million to make and yet somehow looked cheap and shoddy — I’m still sad that it (reportedly) marks the end of Zack Snyder’s efforts with the DC Extended Universe. He brought a unity of vision, both ideological and aesthetic, to Warner Bros.’ effort at countering Disney’s MCU.

Unfortunately, I don’t think many people, aside from the writer of this article, will miss much from most of the films Snyder has been involved with at DC.

Snyder’s “unity of vision” felt rushed, and took heroes with decades of history, that people have grown up with, and placed them into uncomfortable, depressing situations. Their actions on screen didn’t connect at all with the characters fans remembered from the comics or cartoons, all for seemingly no reason other than to contrast Marvel’s much more bright, fun, and enjoyable films.

I’m excited to see what’s next from DC, and I personally won’t be sad to see this era come to an end.

Options for MacOS Twitter users following official app shutdown

Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge:

The official Twitter app for Mac is as good as dead. Twitter no longer offers the app for download, and it will no longer be supported in March.

So, what’s a Twitter user on a Mac to do?

I have a solid alternative for Twitter users on MacOS, or any platform for that matter: consider leaving Twitter forever.

Swamp Thing Winter Special gets a second printing

Rich Johnston, writing for Bleeding Cool:

This week’s Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 has already sold out at DC Comics through Diamond Comic Distributors.

And now, a new, second printing of this Prestige Format Special is on the way, reprinting the stories by the teams of writer Tom King and artist Jason Fabok and the late writer Len Wein and artist Kelley Jones.

Given the higher price ($7.99 USD), I decided to wishlist the Swamp Thing Winter Special until a sale rolled around. However, it’s hard not to want to read it now given the great reception the book has gotten.

I guarantee it’s only a matter of time before I cave and just buy it at full price. I’d love to say that would be out of character but

On comparing hardware sales numbers by Google and Apple

Ron Amadeo, writing for Ars Technica:

The IDC says Google shipped only 3.9 million Pixel phones in 2017. That’s good, in that it is double the previous year’s shipments. On the other hand, the IDC says Apple shipped 215.8 million iPhones in 2017, which works out to 4.15 million a week. So Apple ships more phones in a week than Google does in a year.

It’s certainly worth noting that while Apple has been making the iPhone and its various successors for the better part of ten years, Google has really only been serious about moving handsets for roughly a year and a half.

This comparison is ridiculous.

An update on Dialog (#02)

I just wanted to give a brief look at some of the progress made on Dialog, a Micro.blog application currently in development for Android. If you’re unfamiliar with the project, please see some of my previous updates.

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That Venom-less trailer

Chaim Gartenberg, writing for The Verge

Seriously, there’s not even a quick tease or jump-scare or over-the-shoulder shot or anything! Take out the title card, and this could quite literally be a trailer for almost any action movie on the planet.

Not exactly the best first impression for a movie that’s so important for Sony and is already on shaky ground with fans.

Some thoughts on The Cloverfield Paradox

Alissa Wilkinson, writing for Vox:

Netflix apparently bought The Cloverfield Paradox film from Paramount within the last couple weeks, and that was not just a gutsy move but probably a good one for Netflix, for Paramount, and for the movie itself.

That’s because a movie like The Cloverfield Paradox frankly was not going to find an opening in the 2018 theatrical release calendar in which it could do well. The movie would likely have earned only middling reviews from most critics (which would contribute to a lackluster Rotten Tomatoes score, a measure by which many moviegoers make their ticket-buying decisions), and it would have to fight its way through the sea of other sequels and franchises to get to the top of the heap. Without much to distinguish it from other science fiction movies except its somewhat minor connection to the Cloverfield movies, it probably would not have performed well at the box office.

I actually really enjoyed the Cloverfield Paradox but agree that this was likely the best way to get it in front of people. With the reach that Netflix has, and the fact that viewers have been pretty accepting to critically pummeled films as of late, something with the quality of Paradox should be very well received.

In terms of the movie itself, it’s clear that there were a number of changes to make it fit into the greater Cloverfield universe but it still worked well in my opinion. I’m a sucker for time/dimension travel movies and I’ve loved the first two films in the franchise so this was a gift that kept on giving.

Is it the perfect movie? Not by a long shot but it’s a more than capable sci-fi flick that digs just deep enough into the Cloverfield lore without giving away too much.

🎥

OnePlus update removes controversial Clipboard app

Ben Schoon, writing for 9to5Google:

One notable change in this update is the removal of the “Clipboard” app which has been making headlines recently. It was reportedly discovered that code within the app was sending user data off to China. Despite OnePlus stating that this wasn’t the case, they decided to completely ditch the app in this update.

Yeah, nothing fishy about that.

Following Metal, Scott Snyder is taking over Justice League

Joshua Yehl, writing for IGN:

Following the events of Metal, which ends on March 14 with Issue #6, there will be a four-issue weekly miniseries that kicks off on May 9 called Justice League: No Justice co-written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson with art by Francis Manapul.

Upon concluding, ‘No Justice’ will set the stage for a family of Justice League comics starting in June, with the flagship title being written by Snyder and the others by Tynion, Williamson, and more.

This is a big deal. It feels like forever since JL was treated like a top-tier title at DC and Snyder will undoubtedly bring that back to the book. While it looks like Manapul will only be joining Synder for the “No Justice” mini-series, I’d love to see him stay on long-term.

Comparing the Pixel experience to other Android devices

Via Android Police:

I don’t think there’s $900 of value in it. It hasn’t spoiled me for other brands, as I find the Android experience now quite similar regardless of what you’re using, timely security updates aside. But I do enjoy using it and I don’t regret buying it. There are some nice features here as well as a few omissions, but all of it has been overshadowed by the contradicting narrative between Google’s rosy marketing and the many issues we’ve seen with it.

Articles like this just confuse me. None of this experience reflects regular users. Most people don’t chew through two or three phones in a matter of a couple years nor with they compare the fingerprint reader to the OnePlus 5t. The power users that mostly read AP likely already have a Pixel 2 or don’t care for it anyway. I don’t really understand what the point of this piece was.

I will never use a non-stock device, and I’ve run into snags with all the replacement launchers I’ve used, usually with the home screen repainting empty until I hit the home button and trigger the launcher. It might sound weird but it’s those little details that matter for me. I also need the updates as soon as they’re available and I can’t get anywhere near that on a non-Google device.

For me, the Pixel delivers the best Android experience.

The Essential PH-1 still lacks a decent camera app

Via 9to5Google:

The biggest problem everyone had with the Essential Phone at launch was its dual-camera. While the camera hardware was good, the software turned the shots it produced into digital dumpster fires. It was terrible, but it’s gotten much better. Part of that is thanks to Essential’s own work improving the camera app, but most of it is thanks to third-party developers.

Having just used an Essential phone up until a month or so ago, I have a slightly different take on the progress it’s made. Sure, the PH-1 come a long way since launch, but as the article only briefly mentions, to really get the most of the camera which, for me, is becoming the most essential part of every phone, you have to install a modded version of the Google Camera app, which isn’t even available on the Play Store.

This version, built for non-Pixel phones like the PH-1, still doesn’t deliver anywhere near the quality a device like this should in my opinion. In my experience with both the modified Google Camera and stock Camera app, I had horrendous amounts of lag while taking pictures and, on more than one occasion, the apps would just crash altogether. That said, even when it works, the quality seems to vary substantially from shot to shot, even in the same conditions.

The Essential PH-1 isn’t a bad phone. The hardware is gorgeous and most of the software continues to improve at a steady pace. It’ll check all the boxes for a lot of people but don’t let this article fool you: if a camera is at all important to you, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

After ten years of Spider-Man, Dan Slott is writing Iron Man

Via Vulture:

I am going from the flagship character of the Marvel Comics of my youth to the gem of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The linchpin. I am going to Iron Man.

[…]

There will be a very unique cast in this book of characters: Iron Man characters you love and Marvel characters that you haven’t seen folded into the Iron Man cast.

Slott has had an incredible run on Amazing Spider-Man, both with some ups and some downs. He stepped in when the series was at it’s most fragile and was able to really make a go of it and deliver some classic Spidey stories along the way.

Best of luck to him on Iron Man, I hope he brings as fresh a take to the character as he did with Peter Parker back in 2008.

Now we’ll just have to see who takes over writing duties on Amazing Spider-Man…

Facebook says they’re finally cleaning up Messenger

Via 9to5Mac:

“Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart. A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t. While we raced to build these new features, the app became too cluttered. Expect to see us invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year.”

Thank god. Over the past couple years, between the ads, Messenger Day, bots, etc, the Messenger app has become a bloated mess.

Tom King’s Sanctuary explores the effects of PTSD on superheroes

Via IGN:

Every DC comic is full of violence. It’s fun and exciting and I love reading about that, but do we talk about the consequences of that, both on the characters and the readers, and they [DC Comics] asked me to think about that and do something with it. And we are. We’ve created something, it’s called Sanctuary. We’re creating something where it’s sort of like a crisis center for superheroes.

It’s almost shocking that, to the best of my knowledge, we haven’t had a book like this before. I’m actually more excited for this than I am for a number of other books from DC this year.

Tom King has been on a great run since his work on Vision a at Marvel, I can’t wait to see what he does with Sanctuary.

Thoughts on Marvel forcing movie characters into the comics

Via IGN:

The problem Marvel has sometimes run into in recent years is working the more inspired elements of the MCU into their comics in a logical, elegant way. It’s one thing to have the X-Men go through a black leather phase in the aftermath of their first movie or give Spider-Man organic webshooters to mirror the Sam Raimi films. But too often, Marvel seems intent on bending over backwards to arbitrarily make its comics more like the movies. Nick Fury is often seen as the most glaring example. Marvel went out of its way with 2011’s Battle Scars to both introduce a new, Samuel L. Jackson-inspired version of Fury and have him replace the established version of Fury. And to what end?

I’ve typically had a number of issues with Marvel’s approach to this. First, as the article from IGN mentions, we often don’t see much of a payoff to having these characters sync up in the books and on screen. I can almost guarantee this isn’t getting more people to read the books, especially since the stories that bring them into comics usually aren’t particularly interesting or well-crafted.

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