• Member Since 23rd Dec, 2017
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Jade Dawn

Do unto your readers as you would have authors do unto you.

More Blog Posts627

  • 5 weeks
    Happy Halloween!

    Happy Spook Day, true believers!

    I ended up taking this month as a sort of break month following the release of the last Stallion of Tomorrow chapter, and I'm starting work on the next one. In the meantime, have some art of my pone dressed as another superhero for Nightmare Night.

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    3 comments · 46 views
  • 7 weeks
    Author Shoutout: PonyJosiah13's "Daring Do: Shadows Over Equestria"

    Wanted to give a shoutout to a fellow FIM writer, PonyJosiah13. He's been a friend of mine for a while now, and he's helped me work on Stallion of Tomorrow for a good few chapters now. And I'd be remiss if I didn't take the time to point out his own work.

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    1 comments · 61 views
  • 8 weeks
    Parasprite redesign

    Sketched this up for an OC-tober prompt, thought I'd share it here.

    1 comments · 26 views
  • 9 weeks
    "Evil is boring"

    2 comments · 53 views
  • 10 weeks
    Chapter 15 is now live!

    Stallion of Tomorrow's 15th chapter has been finished and is now up for reading!

    0 comments · 44 views

"Black Adam" Movie Review · 2:06am September 13th

So I finally got around to watching *Black Adam*. And having finally seen it in full, I can now safely say that Dwane Johnson's superhero self-insert, the second DCEU movie to revolve around a magic rock is...

...okay. Not awful, but...just okay.

The biggest problem elephant in the room on a narrative level is its depiction of its titular character. I'll freely admit, I don't have a lot of personal experience with Black Adam stories or Shazam's side of the mythos in general, but even I know comics!Black Adam can be an asshole, anti-hero or villain, which...this one really isn't. Stern, no-nonsense, willing to kill, but I wouldn't even say he's that much of a "Darker and Edgier Superhero", which is sort of a problem when the movie is trying to pitch him as that. Never mind the issue of all the people he kills being unquestionably bad; moral issues of the No-Kill rule of the likes that Superman and Batman have, the "debate" over it feels kind of weak, but I'll get to more of that in a bit. His backstory in the movie was a lot more tragically moving than I thought it'd be (no idea how closely it ties to the comics), and if it were any other hero it actually might've worked for them IMO.

Ishmael/SABBAC is a weak villain, he literally sounds bored in his final demonic form, feels like he's only there for Black Adam to have a villain to fight.

The Justice Society I think were my favorite part of the movie, but Pierce Brosnan's Doctor Fate especially; frankly I wish we'd had a movie about him. He and Hawkman had a good "long time friends" relationship that I liked going on, the old time camraderie between them was solid. Hawkman is kind of the really black-and-white hard no-kill rule character of the movie, stubbornly and stupidly devoted to it (by the movie's moral logic anyway), pitching him as a direct foil to Adam. Atom Smasher and Cyclone were the fun newbies of the team and had a good friendship dynamic, though I think at times they tried a bit too hard to make Smasher "The Funny One" of the team.

The movie's pretty clearly trying to make a commentary on Middle Eastern occupation and influence via Western powers through the presence of both Intergang and the Justice Society's involvement, but the results are mixed. Intergang is just confusing in this movie; they're depicted as a full-fledged occupying military force with oil wells and mines and fancy hover bikes and everything. It's more clear with the Justice Society, who are depicted as being kind of blindly black-and-white in their morality when they come after Black Adam, causing more destruction in their first fight than even he did. The crowd boos when Hawkman saves two Intergang mooks, and cheers in the next when Adam zaps them anyway. The movie makes it no secret that their involvement is not welcome or wanted by the people of Kahndaq, with characters spelling it out verbally to both them and Intergang earlier.

"We have been living under military occupation for 27 years, and never seen you before. You didn't come when Intergang invaded our country, when they stole our resources and killed my husband. But now, we finally have our *own* hero...and you decide to fly down here and "save" us? Thank you, but we're covered. Go and protect 'international stability' someplace else."

"Let me spell it out for you: Teth-Adam can't be Kahndaq's champion because he is not a hero."

"Tell that to all the people he just liberated."

I actually like a good bit of social commentary in my storytelling from time to time, so this angle was interesting...but I think fell flatter than it could've been.

Feel like the pacing was a bit fast in places. There's moments to breathe, for sure, but for a 2 hour movie there were parts where it felt like it was going through its story a bit quickly, though maybe that's just a me thing. There's moments of awkwardly placed humor, like the weird Good Bad and the Ugly homage they do between Adam and some Intergang mooks after he catches a glimpse of it on TV, or Atom Smasher eating a bucket of chicken before Fate takes it away in an otherwise serious confrontation. The absolute funniest part of the movie is when one of the protagonists, a young boy who's a big fan of superheroes, trips and spills his backpack full of superhero comics...which are quite obviously real comic issues, including Batman friggin' Odyssey of all things.

It goes without saying that the "traditional heroics vs. Black Adam's methods" debate doesn't really work for multiple reasons; the surrounding circumstances of the DCEU, the fact that Adam doesn't really do anything seriously questionable by most people's standards by killing obvious villains, etc. etc. There are times where I almost felt the movie was trying to play itself as Superman vs. the Elite from the Elite's POV, but without the callousness and messiness that made it such a big issue in the first place.

In the end, for a movie that billed itself (mostly by way of Dwane's hyping it up) as such a big deal, it's ultimately mediocre. Has some good moments and visuals (I particularly like the power effects for Fate and Cyclone, absolutely gorgeous) and ideas, and I wouldn't consider it an outright awful movie. It's passable at best, but short of what it was promised to be.

...oh, and the Superman cameo that in hindsight was such an insignificant piece of pointless casting return bait that it's not even worth talking about, save for the fact that I can't believe it took them this long to give him the darn hair curl already.


Comments ( 1 )

All of that sounds completely fair to me. :scootangel:

I don't plan to see the movie cause, well, it just seemed like a mess from the start.

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