Spreaker Widget

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rogue One: An Exploration of Modern Storytelling

A Rogue One review and random thought from Brian.

Sunday night I had the privilege of seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in the theater. Seven friends and I piled into one row in a nearly empty theater at 11PM (one of us had already seen the movie earlier that day) and the experience, for me, was not as exciting as I had hoped. This is by no means a bad movie - in fact, it was really good - but I had a hard time caring.

Let's get this out of the way: I'm not a Star Wars fan. I appreciate it the way that I appreciate The Rolling Stones - I respect what it's done for the medium, but it's not something I have lot of emotional investment in. So take that into consideration as you continue to read (And take note, spoilers ahead. If you do not want the plot of Rogue One spoiled for you, stop reading now).

Rogue One lost me at the very beginning. As the story continued, it lost me more and more. While Rogue One was a good, fun movie, it did not, in my opinion, do anything new.

At the beginning of the film we find a little brunette girl running from an approaching Emperical ship. She enters a farmer's dwelling very reminiscent of Luke's Aunt and Uncle's place on Tattooine. The girls' parents start making preparations while saying ominous things like, "You know what to do" and "They've found us." Seriously, how many movies have we seen open this way? The Commander and his troops, for no apparent reason, park about 500 yards from the house, when they could have landed right next to the house. So while they walk from their ship to the house the family has time to put their "plan" into action. This is where I checked out: I realized that this girl is our protagonist (Jyn Erso) and she's about to be orphaned.

I'm so burned out on the orphan-hero story. How many times have we seen this? How many heroes in modern storytelling can you think of that aren't orphans? Think about it: Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Iron Man, Star Lord, Groot, Hellboy, Littlefoot, Frodo, Harry Potter, Aladdin, Cinderella - the list goes on and on! Come to think of it, Luke, Leia, and Anakin Skywalker were all orphans! It's difficult to think of a modern protagonist who's story does not begin with the loss of their parents, or, being adopted and/or raised by someone who is not their paternal parents! I'm tired of it. For one, as a parent, it depresses me. Second, it just feels lazy at this point. There has to be some other catalyst for urging a character into embarking on the adventure you're trying to formulate. But the biggest reason that it bothers me in the case of Rogue One is because it was completely unnecessary. There was no orphan story needed to make the stakes of this movie higher.

The only goal of this movie was to set up the mission of destroying the Death Star in Episode IV. In my opinion the story of Jyn's father being one of the designers of the Death Star was superfluous. Add on the retcon of explaining that the reason the Death Star had such a major design flaw that was Galen Erso placed that target in the system for the Rebels to capitalize on (a detail added based on the years of speculation as to why the Death Star was so easily destroyed by Luke Skywalker). The details of Jyn's father being used by the Empire to build their super-weapon added a few touching moments, Jyn seeing her father's hologram and hearing him pining for her and their short moments together before Galen's death, but it was integral to the story that needed to be told.

This is by no means a bad movie - not even close - it just didn't grab me the way I expected. I was more excited about Rogue One than I was about Episode VII last year. But I honestly enjoyed The Force Awakens more (although I had a lot of the same issues with that one, being a copy of A New Hope plot-wise). Rogue One was a Star Wars movie almost completely void of Jedi activity or use of the Force, except for the brief moments when Darth Vader appeared. Heck yes, Darth Vader! The last 5 minutes of this film was the most exciting, seeing Vader throwing people around with his mind and whipping his light saber around. But Vader was the only Jedi in the movie - no other Force use or light sabers! I know that was kind of the point, but it felt like something was missing. The entire movie was worth watching just to see Vader on screen doing awesome stuff - something I've wanted since Return Of The Jedi (haven't we all?).

Rogue One was not a disappointment like Suicide Squad was, but they both made similar mistakes. Rogue One could have been Ocean's 11 with Star Wars Rebels, but instead we got the story of an orphaned girl whose father was involved in building the Death Star. The first our and forty-five minutes of this movie just feels jumbled and off-kilt. The first twenty minutes had at least a dozen establishing shots complete with titles to explain what the audience is seeing, but they none of those locations were important later in the story. Why? All of that was completely unnecessary! I didn't need words on the screen to tell me I was looking a prison camp - it looked like a dismal, gloomy prison. The last thirty minutes of the 2 h 14 m run time is what we build up to and, for the most part, it's worth it. Space battles make my head spin because there's so much going on, but it's entertaining. The means by which they obtain the Death Star plans and deliver them to the rebels is heroic, daring, and, ultimately, sacrificial. As expected, everyone involved in the extraction of the Death Star plans dies. This was necessary to make Leia's line in Episode IV regarding the plans hold weight.

I would most definitely recommend that every geek see this movie - even non-geeks. It's a fun film and worth the watch. I was just hoping for a different story than what we received. I still have high hopes for the other upcoming one-shot films in production. Part of me was hoping that Rogue One would be the film that turned me into a committed Star ward fan, but it did not. Let's see if Episode VIII can do the job.

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 12

Ah, yes, Christmas time! I realize I haven't posted the guides for issues 10 and 11, but I figured this one needed to go out to have some timeliness on it. Get to it!

Monday, December 19, 2016

New Geek House Draft!

I've added the Geek House Draft Challenge from issue 12 of our second volume (the Christmas issue). It's on the page up there ↑ on the menu bar. It's labeled as Challenge #3 because I'm so behind on Guides and Drafts that I figured I'd best get the Christmas issue up before Christmas is actually over! That should be up in just a day or so. So in the meantime, go check out the new draft as we take on:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Oh boy! So excited! New Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer!!!! Here's the 'merican version and the international version for ya!

Not near enough Aunt May in these.

And Michael Keaton has officially gone from Batman to Birdman to bird-man.

Monday, December 5, 2016

New podcast! And new Guardians trailer!

Hey! We just put out a new issue of our 'award-winning' podcast adored by 'millions'! Check it out! (I think it's probably already playing if you're reading this...)

Also! New Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer hit this weekend! Wooooooooo! And it's stinking hilarious.

Working on three guides to cover issues 10, 11, and today's. Plus got to add two more drafts to the drafts page. I'm coming along.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 9

Soooo...I'm way behind on these guides. Blame the election. Blame Thanksgiving. Blame Black Friday. Blame me being sick. I dunno. My bad!

Anywho, so if I'm remembering correctly we talked about our favorite albums on this here issue of the podcast. Probably means this will be a video heavy guide today. Enjoy!

!CIGAM...tsrif tuB (Zatanna, yo)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Reading the X-Men: (a little more than) 1 Year Later

I meant to write this on the anniversary of me starting this monumentally nerdy project of mine. I went back to my old blog and pulled up the stuff I've written about it and realized I actually started "Reading the X-Men" on November 11th of last year. Oh, well. So this is an anniversary and some change that I'm writing this on.

The Geek House Draft

We've added a new page to cover our Geek House Drafts. For each Draft, it'll show what the challenge is, the rules, and our individual picks for each one. Go check it out up there on the menu bar thingee!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 8

Welcome back to our (Electionacolypse Week) Geek House Guide! Before we get into it, this being such a historical week and all, here's President Elect Donald Trump squaring off with the Boogeyman at Wrestlemania 23:

No more election crap after the break! Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Super-hero Half-time

The new Geek House Guide will (hopefully) be up tomorrow, just in time for either Electiongeddon or Civil War II, whichever you choose! In the meantime, enjoy the Ohio State University marching band's super-hero inspired half-time show:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 7

Ok, first off, let's see some cute little baby animals acting all adorable and what not:

You may need that before you step into today's Geek House Podcast and Guide. Let's do this: REAL LIFE SCARY HALLOWEEN STORIES!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 6

Hey boys and girls! This week's issue of the Geek House Podcast was about scary movies! So this issue's guide will probably be trailer-heavy. Beware the spooly YouTube embeddings...

But first, Recommendations!

The Girl With All the Gifts:

Ready to be creeped out?
Real life zombie ants
Real life zombie mice

Monday, October 24, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 5

One of the most anticipated episodes of any show ever finally delivered the answer to the question of "Who did Negan kill?"

Which one? Wait. Both?!? You sons of........!!!
Yes, The Walking Dead managed to both get everybody's guess right (Abraham) and then completely pull the emotional rug out from under us with the original comic death of beloved Glenn.

I hope this was the aftermath of the wrap party
With sad hearts, let's get to the guide!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2!!!

Awesome poster and awesome teaser trailer just debuted today! So excited!
Find the hiding Groot

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 4

Sorry we were late with this issue, but work, illness, technical difficulties, and Brian's hit-and-run got in our way. See?!?:
No Brians were hurt in the filming of this accident.
Legit, Brian is not hurt, but the sucka what did it got away like a thief in the night. If he was a terrible wrasslin' gimmick, he'd be the Hit-And-Runner, and he'd suck.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 3

SPOILER WARNING: Nobody dies at the end of this podcast.

Issue 3 is brought to you (unofficially) by SURGE!

How we feel after drinking a can of the sweet stuff.


Due to technical difficulties, work-related trips, illness, and hit-and-run accidents the Geek House Podcast is running late this week! We will return with our latest issue in just a few days. In the meantime enjoy the incredible poster for the upcoming Logan movie and the trailer for Iron Fist, both debuting next March!

Friday, September 30, 2016

And no Fantastic Four!

Luke Cage!

I know it's already debuted on Netflix as of midnight this morning, but for working souls who won't get to see it until this weekend here is the opening credits for Luke Cage!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 2

For our Volume 2, Issue 2 podcast we decided to do the sequel to our insanely critically acclaimed "Guilty Pleasure Movies" back in Volume 1, Issue 11. We present "Guilty Pleasure Movies Part Deux!"

But first, recommendations!

Brian forgot to add Netflix's Stranger Things to his "I know what I did last summer" round-up (that's called foreshadowing) which he says is awesome. Casey has seen 15 minutes that he says is awesome, and hopes to agree about the rest of it being awesome once he gets the chance to see it.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Coming Full Circle

I'm back where I started with Uncanny X-Men #278. The first issue of Uncanny X-Men I ever read. But I'll get back to that.

Last November, around Thanksgiving, I took a task upon myself of a nature that seems ludicrous, mind-numbing, and not at all something a husband, father, full-time employee, and part-time student should waste the ridiculous amount of time to undertake. That's never stopped me from doing something this dumb before!

I think the 'kids' these days call it a 'deep dive'. I call it READING EVERY X-MEN COMIC EVER.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 2, Ish 1

And we're back with the first podcast of our second volume! This week we catch up on our summer and list things we liked and didn't like. Brian thoroughly (and justifiably) rants on Suicide Squad. We run through our Geekstradamus predictions from the end of last volume to see what we got right and wrong. And we finish up with  confusion over Marvel's current slate of comics. Go listen up there in our links to the latest issue, then come right back here for the guide to everything we yapped about! Or do it at the same time! Whatever floats your canoe!

Casey's favorite thing from summer, the WWE Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network:

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Geek House Guide: Vol 1, Ish 1

With each podcast we are going to be posting a visual companion, videos, and links to things we talked about in each issue. So if you listened to the show and found us tedious, pedantic, and insipid then this is where you can find much more exciting and entertaining stuff that we like. Starting from the very first issue of the very first volume WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY back in March 2016, this is the Geek House Guide:

Brian and Casey met in 1996, the year Nintendo 64 debuted, Fresh Prince ended as Independence Day reigned, Hulk Hogan turned evil while Kurt Angle won the Olympic gold medal with a broken friggin' neck, and we stepped into science fiction when Dolly the sheep was cloned:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Marvel" Logo Reveal

A few weeks ago I paid a guy to make us a logo reveal in the style of the Marvel films logo. Check it out!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


We spent a little money and bought geekhousepod.com and geekhousepod.xyz. Tell your friends! Tell your Mom! Dangit, tell everybody!