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My Dreams are Coming True – Batman and Superman, Together At Last

Okay. Wow. It has been a very, very long time.

VERY long. Inexcusably long.

I’m sorry, muchachos. (‘Muchacho’ is my favourite word. My second favourite is ‘shenanigans’.)

It isn’t as though I haven’t had things to write about. I’ve had things to write about. I mean, there’s been a lot to write about, especially in the movie world. I mean, Iron Man 3 came out. I haven’t seen it. I’m not even that interested in it, truth be told. I don’t know why, I’m not feelin’ it.

Aside from that, we’ve had The Great Gatsby, which was inexplicably hyped up. I really, really do not understand why this was such a big deal. At all.  (What is this movie even about? Am I the only one who thinks that it just looks extraordinarily dull? Really? I am? Okay. I’ll go sit in this corner then.).

More importantly, there was Monster’s University. Watch at least 1:22 to 1:26 of that video for a little, heart-warming chuckle. That was my favourite scene in the whole movie, which I unashamedly took my younger siblings to see, and was WAY more excited about than they were.

There was Pacific Rim. Oh my God, there was Pacific Rim. That is a worthy topic of another post. Do yourself a favour, and GO SEE IT IN CINEMA.

But the movie that has me absolutely the most excited now ever, ever, ever (this year, let’s not be hasty. Also, FUCK grammar) was Man of Steel.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I have issues with Comic Book Superman. Big ones. I hate the guy. I hate his powers. I hate his story. I hate his personality, I hate so, so much about Superman because it is all just a giant cop-out.

(*Hides from all the Superman fans who angrily accuse me of not knowing what I’m talking about. And it’s true. I don’t know. I haven’t read that much Superman, I’ve only really encountered him in tandem with Batman.*)

BUT Man of Steel changed everything. Snyder and David Goyer took Superman and made it work for me. He stopped being a melting pot of superabilities, and everything was well explained. I was more than happy with what Man of Steel did with every aspect, except for one. I won’t go too far into it, because we haven’t crossed the spoiler threshold (which is a year. After a year, you can say anything about anything, because if people haven’t seen it by then, it is their fault.

OOH. Side note: Until three weeks ago, I hadn’t seen ANY Game of Thrones, at all. Then I watched all of it in the space of a week.

This is how I know my friends are saints: NONE of them spoiled it for me. NONE of them.)

HOWEVER, for me, more important than Man of Steel is what Man of Steel means for other things (READ: the only thing I truly care about; a Justice League movie).

Screenrant goes a little into what this may mean for MoS2 and Justice League. And that is super exciting. Because I don’t know if you guys know much about me, but all I really want in my whole life is a FUCKING GOOD Justice League movie. Some people want world peace, some want renewable energy, some want an end to poverty.

I WANT A MOTHERFUCKING JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE.

So, I’ve seen Man of Steel, obviously. And it was great.

But then, this, at this year’s Comic Con. This happened. This.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m05YaiPnRHU

I’m not even renaming that.

FUCKING WATCH IT.

I have seen this clip so many times, and every single time, I bounce up and down in my seat and shake my arms like I am having a seizure.

Coming straight off the back of the Snyder treatment of Supes, THE PROSPECT OF A SNYDER BATMAN MAKES ME SO EXCITED.

But… nothing is easy. Nothing.

There are a LOT of issues that will need to be addressed. Issues like…

HOW!?

HOW will Batman be involved?

How are they going to integrate Batman into Superman’s world?

I can think of one possible way, hinted at by this nifty little Easter egg. There’s no spoiler in that, by the way. Just a quick visual of a satellite that has a Wayne enterprises logo. A WAYNE ENTERPRISES LOGO. You know what that means? Wayne Enterprises EXISTS in this world!

I’m about to tell you something that, if you’re reading this, you probably already know. Superheroes tend to create millions, if not billions, if not trillions, of dollars in property damage every time they fight. Man of Steel is no different in that regard. Metropolis pretty much gets flattened.

You know who probably doesn’t have enough money to fix that up? The Government.

You know who does have the moolah to fuckin’ help the Metropolis peeps out? Wayne Enterprises.

This, at least, gives Bruce Wayne a reason to be in Metropolis. And considering that Wayne is supposed to be brilliant, and has access to seemingly infinite resources, he should be able to do what Lois Lane did. That is, figure out who Superman is. And what his weakness is…

But that (well, a few sentences back) raises a really important question…

WHICH FREAKIN’ BATMAN!?

When I was talking about a Justice League movie all those months ago, I was pretty adamant that I wanted a Christian Bale Batman. But I’ve been thinking about it more and more since then, and I am going to have to backtrack. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it kind of messes up the continuity to have the Batman Nolanverse pre-existing MoS. Secondly, the Bale Batman’s presence in MoS2 undoes the whole point of The Dark Knight Rises. He’s passed on the mantle now. Fin. Finito. The end. Lastly, Batman and Superman are supposed to be about the same age.

WOAH.

WAIT.

I AM LITERALLY JUST HAVING THIS EPIPHANY AS I TYPE, YOU ARE WITNESSING THIS LIVE (sort of).

WHAT IF, and this is ignoring every objection I have previously raised purely for the sake that I just want to put this idea out there, WHAT IF WE SEE BATMAN TAKE ON A MENTORING ROLE FOR THE YOUNG KAL-EL!?

In MoS, Superman barely just comes into his own. The beauty of the movie is that it is a learning and growing experience for Kal, and as the audience, we learn and grow with him. He isn’t really a superhero until right until the very end. SO how cool would it be to see an older Batman showing Kal the ropes, teaching him the ways to get shit done, and how to keep identities separated (even though Bats isn’t really the resident expert on this).

*Sigh*

That would be cool.

But, I am going to kill my darling. Because of the three reasons above that a Bale Batman wouldn’t work.

So, in my eyes, there are two options. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character from TDKR, Robin John Blake, or a brand new Bats. Which is the same as saying that there is really only one option; a brand new Bats.

For a more nicely written version of what I just went through (the non-ranting parts), coupled with a  list of possible actors, look here.

For those who didn’t want to read the same thing twice, or are lazy, or couldn’t get the link to work, suggested actors for Batman are;

–          Ryan Gosling (NO).

–          Taylor Kitsch (NO).

–          Alexander Skasgard (HELL NO).

–          Jared Padalecki (NO).

–          James Franco (GOD NO).

–          Armie Hammer (Hmmm. I can see it).

–          James Badge Dale (NO).

–          Tom Hardy (OH GODS NO, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, CRAVEONLINE, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?).

–          Richard Madden (YES. I WANT IT. I KNOW THAT HE IS YOUNG AND ALLLLLLLL THAT JAZZ, I KNOW. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME, I CAN SEE IT. BUT YES. I WANT).

–          Joseph Gordon-Levitt (not as a brand new Batman. No.).

Richard Madden is Robb Stark in the much acclaimed Game of Thrones series. And I can kind of, somehow, see him as Bruce Wayne. He looks about the same age as Clark Kent/Kal El, which is what I want.

Because what I want the most from the Superman-Batman relationship is the comic book friendship that they have, despite my rant about the possibility of a mentorship earlier on in this post.

BUT, I don’t want it to be easy…

BACK TO THE ‘HOW’…

 

If you didn’t watch that video I posted the URL to above, shame on you.

No, really, shame.

Feel bad.

Watch it now.

Whether you did or didn’t, I need to write something down, because it is very important;

“I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat, I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”

For those of you who don’t recognise that, that piece that was read out by the very awesome Henry Lennix, is from The Dark Knight Returns, which is a really interesting, if somewhat clumsy, read. Essentially, what happens in The Dark Knight Returns, Superman is commissioned by the U.S. Government to take Batman, who had previously retired then come OUT of retirement, back into retirement. It was dark, it was gritty, it had a female Robin, Carrie Kelly, and yeah. Worth the read.

But the RELEVANT aspect of The Dark Knight Returns, particularly the part quoted at Comic Con, is that it pits Supes and Bats against each other.

AGAINST EACH OTHER.

Possible plot? I hope so.

I’m not here to solve all the problems of the Batman-Superman movie, but I will put them out there.

Questions I’m going to want answers to;

  • What’s Batman’s deal? Where did this Batman come from?
  • Who is the Batman? (Please, please, please, Bruce Wayne. Don’t give me this Robin shit).
  • Who is the villain?
  • How do Batman and Superman interact?
  • WHAT DOES THIS MOVIE MEAN FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE?

Quick update on Justice League. Apparently, David Goyer, who gave us Man of Steel, will be writing it, according to /Film. This excites me.

Oh, you know what else may be cool?

There have been rumours of Wonder Woman appearing in Man of Steel. So, what about a Trinity movie? Hmmmm?

But any which way, Batman and Superman. Together at last. Like peanut butter finally returning to the tender embrace of strawberry jam. Like tomato sauce splashing in ecstasy along the length of a hot dog. Like the spiralling cascade of orange juice onto vodka.

It feels like, finally, the world may be coming good.

 Image

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Movies I Want To See

At this point in your life, I’m sure you know what a movie is. A series of moving pictures (now with sound attached!) meant to present characters and tell a story (and I’m sure you could argue that a lot of current “movies” neglect this). Ringing a bell? Yeah? SWEET. So far, so good.

 

[If you didn’t know about movies, but you’re on the internet, you’re either an evolution into a higher state of humanity, or there is something severely wrong with you (probably your memory. Get that checked out), so either;

Congratulations!

Or…

Commiserations, buddy. There are probably treatment options. Good luck, amigo!]

 

One of my common complaints is that there is a startling lack of originality in the movies that are getting pumped into our cinemas. There’s a flurry of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, adaptions, etc., parading past is like an army of clones that are just wearing wigs.

The worst part is that we still throw money at them. In their defence, many of these movies range on the Movie Greatness Scale somewhere between Decent and FUCKING AWESOME. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I loved The Avengers, for example.

But you know what my favourite “big” movie that’s come out in the last few months has been? Wreck-It Ralph. It was such an original, enjoyable film. It was great for the little kids (I went and saw it with my 6- and 7-year old brothers, and they LOVED IT), but there were so many giant cheesy winks for us older kids watching the movie, too. Basically, what I’m saying is this… “Original” movies might be a risk, but they often pay off.

So my problem isn’t necessarily with what Hollywood is doing, it’s with what it could be doing.

 

(Just a quick sidenote: when I say “Hollywood”, I’m actually using it as a collective noun for everyone involved in the movies I could see in the cinema, be those producers, directors, actors, writers, extras, janitors who clean movie sets, etc. I use “Hollywood” to describe this group of people in the same was you call a group of cows “a herd”, a group of lions “a pride”, or a group of small children a “shut the fuck up and sit down”.)

We’re getting decent/good/great/amazing movies. That’s okay. But there are some things I want to see. Some movies that I can’t believe haven’t been made already. These are…

 

A decent half-animated adult movie.

Don’t tell me “But Molly, we’ve got anime…”

No.

Nothing against anime, but I mean more American-style animation, a la Disney. I want a Disney-esque movie for adults.

The closest I’ve seen is Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which was brilliant, funny and one of my all-time favourite movies. If I was a boy, my first erection probably would have been over Jessica Rabbit. I’ve heard rumour of a Brad Pitt movie called Cool World that is a darker, grittier take on a half-animated, half-not movie. I’ve also heard that it sucks.

Why do I want one of these sorts of movies?

Because there is so much potential for awesome. Imagine seeing the characters you grew up with, having also grown up. I have this mental image of a man walking into a seedy club, and there’s a gorgeous blonde pole-dancing. You see her back, and she has a tramp stamp of three cards tattooed across the small of her back. She swings around, and it’s Alice, from Alice in Wonderand. (Click on that link. Seriously. Reowrrrr.)

I promise I’m not a hardcore Rule 34 fetish-ist, I just think little scenes like that would be awesome.

Imagine if our childhoods came with us. I don’t want a Michael Bay-esque childhood rapin’. I just want to see the Disney princesses in their (not so) happily ever afters, I want to see the villains in jails slogging it out and the hierarchy they’d form, I want to see the personalities of the innocent characters I loved as a kid grown up, and possibly jaded, like me.

 

The most generic romcom ever, with the least expected actors possible.

Generic romcom formula;

Boy and girl meet.

There is some reason boy and girl cannot be together.

Reason overcome, “despite all appearances” boy and girl end up together.

Cases in point; Knocked Up, Pretty Woman, etc.

As of late, there have been a couple of “friends with benefits” movies, like, uh… Friends With Benefits. And No Strings Attached. There are probably more. I don’t care. (Except for the possibility of a naked Natalie Portman. SIDENOTE: Imagine Natalie Portman in the Princess Leia slave outfit. Does this make me perverted? I feel like you guys are going to report me to some sort of watch list after this post. I promise I’m not actually this depraved. I just have an active imagination.)

So, let’s take that super predictable story.

Two friends become “friends with benefits”, shit happens, then they fall in love.

Only, imagine it with Gary Busey and Dawn French.

Are you picturing this?

Are you laughing?

You should be. You should be gasping for air. Go and watch this, but imagine it with Gary Busey and Dawn French. Do it. Do it now. Even if you’re at work.

Are you dying of laughter?

THAT is why I want to see that movie. It will be the funniest thing ever produced.

 

Roald Dahl biopic.

Roald Dahl is my favourite author.

Roald Dahl had an amazing life.

Make that happen.

 

A movie where vampires are the bad guys again.

I think the world has forgotten what vampires are.

They’re monsters. NO, they cannot survive off animal blood. NO, they do not just sparkle in the sun. NO, they are not attractive, they are not seductive, humans cannot be happy with them, because humans ARE FOOD.

GOD DAMN IT, PEOPLE, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY CALL IT WHEN YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO KILL YOU?

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME.

Stop it.

The earliest known emasculation of the vampire myth (to me) is Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles. I love the books, they’re so elegantly written… but Rice took her teeth to the vampire’s testicles (for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, in some places, young male livestock are castrated by humans… the humans use their mouths. You’re welcome.).

Then came Twilight. (That isn’t the movie, by the way. Watch it. Then you’ll understand why I will always laugh when people talk about sea food.)

One of the most terrifying movies I’ve ever seen is ‘Salem’s Lot, based on a Stephen King movie.

Vampires are the bad guys.

Do that again. Because vampires are terrifying bad guys. They’re fast, they’re strong, they’re smart… You KNOW when they catch you that you’re dead. They make excellent bad guys, because they are INHERENTLY opposed to humanity.

Seriously, if you sparkle in the sun you are not a vampire, you’re a man who burst out of the closet through a cloud of super glue and glitter and you have a fucked up blood fetish and a steroid habit.

 

Justice League.

Duh.

 

The ultimate horror movie.

I’m one of those people who enjoy scaring myself stupid with horror movies (a few days after, I laugh at my jumpiness… but the night after I watch The Grudge, I freak out. This was even worse for Grave Encounters).

But what stops being movies like this, and The Ring, being ultimately, lastingly scary is that you realise they’re situational horrors. For Grudge, you have to go to that house. For The Ring, you have to watch the video (what would have happened if they had just left the room? Or turned the video off? Or just never answered their phones?). For Grave Encounters, you have to go to the ACTUAL MENTAL ASYLUM THAT HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE TELL YOU NOT TO GO. If you, after knowing that people genuinely think that place is haunted and that PEOPLE HAVE DIED THERE, still go to that place, well… I’m not saying you deserve to die, but maybe the gene pool does need a little cleaning.

To make something really scary, I think the supernatural aspect has to be emphasised. Movies like Paranormal Activity, while not fail-safely pants-shittingly terrifying, understand that tension and suspense really build up the horror aspects. They also seem to understand that NOT showing the monster made it scarier. In Grudge 2, you see a lot more of the demons/ghosts/spirits/whatever the fuck they are… And they lose their horror because of that. You see their flaws. You start to see possible ways out. That shouldn’t be an option.

Ingredients to the ultimate horror movie;

–          Take out the situational aspect. Make it happen to anyone, any time, any place.

–          DO NOT SHOW the monster all the motherfucking time.

–          Make “safe” things not-safe. I hide under my blankets when I’m scared… The Grudge messed with that. Something like the light needs to be shown to not be a failsafe guard… Take the things we think we can protect ourselves with and make them scary.

Give me a movie that means I will never want to sleep alone again. 

The Meaning of Life; or, Why 42.

I’m studying Psychology at university. I figure I should probably start with that so you know why this is something of a strange topic for me to be talking about. I absolutely adore psychology. What I don’t adore is the way my program/degree is structured at my university, as it means that I have to take a certain amount of electives from other [non-science (read: unimportant to me)] areas. The reasons and process are full of university-specific jargon and all that relative bullshit, but none of that really matters.

What matters is this – the elective I chose to do this semester is a philosophy subject, Truth and Belief.

I love it and hate it. That seems bizarrely apt.

And, funnily enough, I love it and hate it for the same reason; it requires such a different mindset from psychology that it is difficult to wrap my head around.

But it is also ridiculously interesting.

The topic for the coming week, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, is The Meaning of Life.

Philosophers don’t seem to have any satisfactory answer to this question (as per freaking usual. I’m not kidding. Philosophy has more open ends than a… than a… open-end convention. Don’t judge me, I dropped my Analogy move so I could learn Philosophise. My skill set apparently operates on Pokémon logic).

But one person did give a definitive answer to the fundamental question “What is the meaning of life?”

Douglas Adams.

And it’s 42.

(“But, Molly –“

Shut up, don’t ruin this for me. I know that the question is technically “What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?” and that isn’t even the question that this is the answer to, but just wait, you impatient people.)

Apparently, the only living person to know why 42 is Stephen Fry, one of the celebrities I adore the most in this entire world.

Until now. I know why 42 is the meaning of life.

However, a few caveats are necessary;

–           Firstly, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question. That question, as dictated by Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, is not known, and cannot be known in the same existence as the Answer. If this happens, the Universe is wiped out and takes life and everything with it and replacing it with something more bizarre and/or stupider (which may have already happened. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read the books!). As such, I’m claiming to know (but see the next point!) why 42 is the meaning of life, NOT the Ultimate Question.

–          The way I know it is sufficient, in a philosophical sense, for me. It answers my questions. It might not be enough for you, and if it isn’t, feel free to let me know. Yes, this is something of a cop out, but I’m a philosopher-in-training, and from my understanding so far, philosophy is full of these. Come at me. I’ll take you all on from my armchair. With my brain, motherfuckers.

–          I’m not saying I know why Adams chose 42. I’m saying why, when you ask “What is the meaning of life?”, 42 is the answer.

–          We need to talk about “meaning” and “of life” first. You need to understand what I mean by the question before you understand why 42 is the answer.

So, what is a meaning?

“Meaning”, funnily enough, is one of the hardest phrases to explain and/or define.

I understand something’s meaning to be what it intends to convey, its purpose or point.  Pretty straight-forward so far. I think, intuitively, we all have an idea of what a meaning is. Meanings are fairly objective.

The problem is that what it means to have a meaning is entirely generated subjectively. What it means that something has a meaning depends entirely on how you view it.

I wish I had an amusing anecdote or analogy to convey this a little more clearly, but I can’t really think of anything (dammit, Pokémon, you ruined my life).

Essentially, what I am trying to get across here, is that you, personally, decide what the meaning of something is to you. It just so happens that most of the time, everyone else will agree!

(Which makes language a fuck-tonne easier than it would be if everyone always meant something different!)

Maybe some things have concrete meanings (which is what words tend to try and do). Maybe some things you feel intuitively. But the meaning of something is tied up in how it is represented, thus language. So, technically speaking, you can talk about the meaning of something by talking about how it is represented.

What is a life?

Oh, fuck.

You have stumbled into a mine-field of philosophy here. It is seriously like a war zone up in here. If you’ve ever done any philosophy, or even if you just have a passing interest in it, you’re aware of what a clusterfuck this question is. Look out for the philosophical crossfire.

If you’re reading this without any background in philosophical knowledge, good for you! Don’t go there, don’t do it, man. Your life is simpler without knowing (conversely, though, that’s exactly why I was lying earlier, and would actually actively encourage you to look at some philosophy).

But basically in philosophy, “What is a life?” is a question that can be further broken down into hundreds and hundreds of sub-topics that all somehow manage to ignore their origin.

What has a life?

What does it mean to have a life? (Different to “What is the meaning of life?”)

How do we know we have a life?

Do you have to be a person to have a life?

–          What is a person?

–          How do you know you are one?

And none of those have definitive answers, because philosophy is about the questions.

As a woman of science, I like answers. Answers are definitive, you can mount them up for everyone to look at, and they’ll all go “Yep, that’s an answer, all right”. But, increasingly, I’m discovering that I’m also a question person. The questions are more interesting, I’m finding.

But I’ve digressed, slightly, and if you want an answer to “What is a life?”, which we need in order for me to fully explain the meaning of it, I’m going to go with the simplest common denominator.

A life is the thing that you are experiencing right now, and it encompasses all aspects of that experience. Easy.

What would give our lives a meaning?

First of all, let me ask you a question.

Do lives need meanings? Is there any inherent value in having a meaning?

One of the assigned readings for my class next week is Chapter 4, ‘Life’s Meaning’ of Stephen Hetherington’s Reality? Knowledge? Philosophy! (which I recommend as a jumping-off point for those interested in epistemology  and/or metaphysics). Although it covers a lot of interesting ground about what would constitute a meaning (we’ll come back to this later) and what implications this has for our lives, I have a problem with the way Hetherington presents this discussion.

It’s philosophy – it is inherently subjective. So that isn’t my issue. He can (in fact, he must) have his own opinion. Not a problem.

My problem is that as a well-balanced philosopher, you’re supposed to be able to accept and acknowledge all logical possibilities, and deal with this in defence of your position.

But Hetherington appears unable to accept that, perhaps, life has no meaning. This is a logical possibility, and he touches on it, but he seems unwilling to permit this to be the case. Why should life inherently have a meaning?

Does life need a meaning?

Does it matter to our lives if there is no meaning?

Do you need a meaning to live a good life?

Personally, I think the answer to each of those questions is “No”. A cat can have a good life, but you wouldn’t necessarily say it is a life with a meaning.

Anywho, that was just a small detour. That seems to happen a lot in this area.

Back to topic.

So, if there is a meaning, what makes it up?

Hetherington, and another of my readings from Peter Singer, provides us with a few possibilities;

–          Pleasure – enjoying whatever it is that you’re doing in your life.

–          Money – a human construct, meaning that the things that can be put in our lives that give it meaning, can come from us.

–          Companionship – just not being alone.

–          Free will (a whole other battle-field in philosophy).

–          Achievement.

–          Complexity.

–          Enjoying what we do (different to pleasure, because this can be a conscious choice).

–          Working towards an external purpose.

–          Hope.

But pleasure is only transient. When something makes us happy, it does not necessarily keep us happy. Meaning should be more stable than that.

Money isn’t universal – so do the lives of some cultures have more meaning than the lives of other cultures?

Companionship is an interesting thing, because it isn’t quite clear how this could contribute meaning. If you have a meeting of many lives without meaning in one place, does this somehow give them meaning? We also have the questions of whether or not you can actually know another person, or whether we are ever truly not alone.

Free will is contentious, but I take it to mean having the choice of what to do. I am not sure why this would give meaning, but I can see how this would allow us to generate meaning.

Achievement has some of the same problems as pleasure – it is transient for the most part. All comes from dust, and must return to dust.

Complexity just adds levels, not inherently adding meaning.

Enjoying what we do is basically Pleasure + Free Will (even though I said this was different to Pleasure earlier, which I now take back, because past me is an idiot, but present me is too proud and lazy to go back and delete what I said), so you get the problems of both mixed in there like the floating Freddo heads in Freddo ice-cream cakes.

Working towards an external purpose is the position favoured by Singer. But what if you’re selfish? Incapable? Disabled, or otherwise debilitated? What if there is something that stops you from working towards an external purpose, such as your own circumstances? Does your life therefore lack meaning? Are you just a modern Sisyphus?

I suppose all this sounds bleak, but I do not necessarily think that this is so. There is no inherent, logical reason that I can see that states you need a meaning in your life for your life to be good, or happy. So whether or not there are things that make up a meaning, and whether or not there is a meaning, has no direct standing on why and how you live your life.

But the purpose of this post is the question “What is the meaning of life?” and why the answer is “42”.

Here’s where I piss you all off. Because remember when I said you can look at the meaning of something by looking at what represents it?

To look at the “meaning of life”, we can look purely at what symbolically represents these notions, i.e. the two clauses “meaning” and “of life”, and how these two things interact or combine (not necessarily in the strict mathematical sense of a “combination”).

Meaning is the word that represents, well, meaning. A word is a macro-unit, made of sub-units that are the foundational building blocks of the word, and therefore what it represents. “meaning” has 7 sub units.

“of life” has 6.

To look at the interaction of what the macro-units represent when you condense them down to their pure sub-units, you can do this;

7 x 6.

Which is?

[*Proceeds to hide from the angry philosophers and Douglas Adams fans that are clearly now baying for my blood, slowly sharpening my own pitchfork, ready for the Final Showdown*]

The Justice League Problems, and how to solve them, Part 2.

To my (admittedly limited) knowledge, there has been no significant change in the status of the impending Justice League movie, which means that the problems I presented in The Justice League Problems, and how to solve them are still relevant. In that sparklingly fantastic article, I posited 5 major questions surrounding a potential Justice League. These;

  1. How many movies should there be?
  2. How will you avoid comparisons to The Avengers?
  3. Who should actually be in the Justice League, and who will play them?
  4. Which “foundation” movies should be included in the continuity?
  5. Who will be the villain, and what will their motivation be?

I answered the first three in Part 1, and I figure I may as well just jump right into the next two! I know that you have been continually refreshing my homepage, waiting for this new piece. Right? Right, guys?

(Just as a quick reminder; my pitched Justice League was Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern.)

4. WHICH “FOUNDATION” MOVIES SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE CONTINUITY?

Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel and my proposed Man of Steel 2.

Why these ones? I will explain, just give me time.

First, I’d like to explain why we should be including foundation movies at all, because I feel that this is an important issue to flesh out. There are a few reasons that the concept of “foundation” movies is an issue. And only one of them is “Because The Avengers did it”.

The major reason is that these are all big characters… They have long, complex histories, and although most people probably do have a basic enough knowledge to just watch them kick arse and enjoy it, that won’t be enough for a lot of the hard-core fans going in to see the movies. It’s pretty much the fanboys (and fangirls) that throw their money at box offices when adaption movies are released, so a degree of pandering to this population wouldn’t go too far astray.

For Justice League to really do its source material justice (hehe. Unintentional pun), it needs to be a rich tapestry of DC mythology. I can see no way that a single movie can incorporate it all on its own and still have enough action elements to interest the non-comic-book-base moviegoers or the younger people going to see the movie (or, y’know, anyone).

I don’t believe that it would be practical not to include foundation movies for Justice League, because there is just too damn much to fit into the movie otherwise! This is a movie that also has to explain the formation of the League, the villain, and why a team of insanely super-powered beings can’t just work it out alone anyways.

“Okay, sweet, Molly,” you will say, “I get why we need foundation movies. But why those ones? Why couldn’t we reboot the Batman movies? Why do we need Man of Steel? Why…”

Woah, woah, woah, cowboy! One at a time.

“Why can’t there be a reboot of the Batman movies?”

I hadn’t actually considered this matter until somebody commented on the first part of this piece, bringing it to my attention, and suggesting that it might be viable. I had always just assumed that the Nolan Batman movies would be included. Partially for their sheer awesome, but mostly just because I’m hoping like hell that Nolan will be on crew for Justice League, and it just seems rude to look at his Batman trilogy, pat him on the head and then just dismiss them, rebooting a character that (and people might hate me for this) didn’t look particularly good on the silver screen until Nolan came along.

The big evidence for rebooting Batman has to do with temporal continuity. Namely, the question; if The Dark Knight Rises is set 8 years after The Dark Knight, which was released in 2008 and probably set in about that time, where the fuck are the aliens!?

“What aliens!? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WOMAN!?”

Man of Steel is being released this year (2013). It looks like it is also set this year. So, if The Dark Knight Rises is set 8 years after 2008, i.e. 2016, how come everyone is just so chill about the existence of aliens that Superman entails? Why wasn’t Superman called in to deal with the Bane issue when everyone thought Batman was dead or MIA?

(Sidenote: how fucking cool would THAT movie have been?)

So, yes. Including the Nolan movies causes that problem. But, I actually don’t think it is a huge deal. Yes, the devil is in the details. But I think most The Dark Knight Rises viewers felt as though it was a 2012-set movie (I did. Maybe I stand alone here, but I sure as shit hope not, if only for this post’s sake), which pushes The Dark Knight backwards in time, and there is no reason that I can think of right now that this isn’t a plausible way of explaining the time-related issues.

So yeah, I guess starting Batman over in Justice League would solve those temporal continuity issues, but it also presents another whole set of problems. What is this Batman’s game? What’s his story? Which villains has he faced? What has his life been like?

For a character like Batman, the answers to these sorts of questions really inform the way in which the Batman will act in Justice League. And he is a damn big player, so these can’t really be discounted as minor problems.

For a damn good writer, I suppose rebooting Batman wouldn’t really be a big problem.  I just think that you’re causing unnecessary problems by replacing a popular Batman franchise so soon and in such an underdeveloped way.

(But for the love of all things good and pure, get rid of the damn Batman voice, Bale! FUCK.)

“Why include Man of Steel?”

In a lot of ways, Man of Steel is something of a trial run for DC. How willing are audiences to accept an alien story, done in what looks like a gritty way? How will the actors be received in their roles? Will people like a Superman movie in this day and age?

I’m not a huge Superman fan. I’m sure at some point I will write a post about why that is. But I really, really, really fucking want a good Superman movie! Mostly, just to prove that it can be done. Man of Steel is looking like it will be that movie. Not the movie the world needs, but the one that it deserves right now (please excuse the bastardisation of that quote, I needed to. I can’t go too long talking about Superman without referencing Batman in some way).

The main reason, though, for including Man of Steel is because of my proposed idea for Man of Steel 2, which is basically my cop-out way of trying to de-clutter Justice League.

Now, what was that last question?

“Why not include Green Lantern?”

HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

*Breathes deeply*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….. HAHAH… haaaaa…

Oh, shit, wait… You… You were serious? You’re seriously asking me that?

By now, it should be obvious that I have nothing but disdain for the clusterfuck of misappropriated bullshittery that was Martin Campbell’s 2008 Green Lantern. Maybe you like it, and, you know what? Good for you. I, personally, thought it was ridiculous.

I want it nowhere near my Justice League. I want my Justice League to be good. Sorry Mister Campbell and Mister Reynolds.

But seriously, stay the fuck away from Justice League.

 

5. WHO WILL BE THE VILLAIN, AND WHAT WILL THEIR MOTIVATION BE?

Any of you up-to-date on the Justice League rumours are probably wondering why the Hell this is even one of my questions. This is one of the only questions that actually seems to have an answer.

Who do the rumours say is going to be the villain?

Darkseid.

Quick rundown about who that is, just in case you don’t really know. Darkseid is a God-like being (and by God-like being, I mean a literal motherfucking God) from the planet Apokolips. His characteristic ability is something called an Omega Beam, which to my understanding, is a pulse of energy fired from his eyes that can be used to flat out destroy substantial amounts of everything. He has Superman-like speed and strength, Batman-like levels of intelligence, and can fly, possess other creatures, and shape-shift. His mind is an important weapon, as he is both a strategist, and has telekinesis/telepathy. Oh, and he’s immortal. ‘Cause he’s a motherfucking God.

Does this God business sound familiar?

(PUN ALERT: It might be a bit of a Thor point with some people. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Hilarity.)

There have been comparisons drawn between Darkseid and Thanos, the hinted villain of Avengers 2. To this I say; DARKSEID CAME FIRST IN THE COMIC BOOKS. FUCK YOU, MARVEL, AND FUCK YOUR FANBOYS, TOO.

*Deep breath*

I explained earlier that I don’t believe that comparisons between Justice League and The Avengers/The Avengers 2 would be particularly impacting, nor would they matter. But this is the point that contends that – just how similar can they be before people cry “Shenanigans!”? (Which I totally recommend doing, by the way. Right now. Cry “Shenanigans”, you won’t regret it.)

My answer?

Not very. Because people are dicks. They will nit-pick the everloving shit out of every tiny detail in the movies. In fact, there is a good chance that I will be one of the people who does that.

It is important to note that Thanos is based on Darkseid, as I… uh… mentioned earlier. So yes, there are going to be similarities between the characteristics of the two. But I believe that The Avengers 2 and Justice League will take such different directions with the two characters that this probably won’t even matter.

So, why Darkseid?

I’m thinking that if the confirmed villain really is Darkseid, there are a lot of good reasons that this is the case. Firstly, he justifies the use of the Justice League. Alone, they wouldn’t be able to take a villain like this guy out, so there is a reason for them to actually work together (without all this death-of-a-comrade bonding bullshit). Secondly, he’s interesting. Thirdly, I don’t think it would be overly difficult to work his presence into the real world.

Stick with me through this.

Yes, he’s a God. And that might cause some issues with some people. But you know who else are technically considered Gods in their source material? Thor and Loki, and their presence went over fairly well. Yes, they skipped around the issue by saying that “they’re basically Gods”, but we all know the game. It was an American film. You can’t tell the entire American populace that there are more Gods. I’m thinking that would mildly annoy some people, and they would write mildly annoyed emails.

But Darkseid has endless tactical ability, you could reveal him piece by piece over the course of the movie. You don’t even need to know straight up what is being dealt with here. I’m not suggesting that you do a The Avengers-like set up at the start, then a big reveal halfway through the credits, while throughout the movie another character does the fighting, I’m saying lay out Darkseid piece by piece. Drop hints. Have stuff going on; hell, you could have Amazo, the super-powerful android, generating the action and plot for a while. If you don’t want to worry about having to explain that, throw in the Female Furies, essentially a strike force made up of women and badassery.

But don’t do a sneaky big reveal. Let us know what the Justice League are dealing with, do it over the course of the movie to build tension, but leave us with a cliffhanger. I already mentioned that I want two movies; make us want to see the second one.

“Hey, Molly, why would Darkseid want to bother Earth now? If he’s this super-intelligent being, surely he already knew we were here, so what could taking over/destroying/conquering Earth achieve?”

Oh! Hey, I forgot you guys were still here, you’d been pretty quiet for a while.

I guess, basically, what you’re asking is, ‘What is Darkseid’s motivation?’, right?

“Yep.”

If I was less imaginative, I would tell you that he’s chosen now because he’s only just realised that Earth exists. But for a character as intelligent as Darkseid, from a planet that is so technologically advanced, like Apokolips, that doesn’t seem plausible. And you guys already mentioned this in your question. Given what we know about Darkseid, it seems pretty safe to assume that he knows Earth exists, and has a pretty rough idea of what we’ve been up to lately.

So saying that he didn’t know until now doesn’t cut it.

(But if you were going to go down that route, which we’ve just established isn’t viable, by the way, you could argue that maybe something like Superman doin’ his thang somehow attracted Darkseid’s attention, and then the events of Justice League follow that.)

Personally, I think a better reason to explain why Darkseid is messing with Earth now is that until this point, he couldn’t. Not for technological reasons, but maybe because his attention was caught up somewhere else. Somewhere a little closer to home

I mean he’s just finished wrapping up a civil war. Or war with a closer planet. Maybe Darkseid has just rose to power (or seized power), or only just transformed from his original state Axus, into the God that will prove a worthy adversary of the Justice League.

So why would he want Earth?

You know what you can never have enough of? Resources.

Earth isn’t exactly deficient in useful resources. We’ve got metals, wood, water, people…

All of them could have some use, especially if your planet has just emerged out of a war. War chews up a lot of resources that need to be refilled in order to keep your civilisation running. Is this a cliché explanation? I don’t really think so. Sure, there are cliché elements, but as a whole I think it could work as one possible explanation for why Darkseid is bothering Earth.

Another possible reason is for shits and giggles.

“You’ve introduced a lot of new material, there, Molly…”

I know what you’re getting at. It is a lot to explain, isn’t it?

But that is why I think you should the de-clutter Justice League hero origins that you can, and have two movies.

Imagine Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and the Flash teaming up in an epic final battle against five Female Furies in Justice League. Imagine the possible climax of Justice League 2 where the Justice League, backed by the military, take on an army of Apokolips’ soldiers. Or zombified humans.

This is Justice League we’re talking about here. You have to go big, or go home.

 

Yes, there are problems.

Did I solve them definitively? No.

But I like to think that I showed that they aren’t un-answerable, and that making Justice League is not impractical.

 

So get on it, DC and Warner Bros. It’s rude to make a lady wait.

The Justice League Problems, and how to solve them.

So, last year, this little movie was released that you may, or may not, have heard of… It was called The Avengers. It made a gross intake of $1, 511, 757, 910 (according to both IMDB and Box Office Mojo). Some of you may recognise that as a veritable fuck-tonne of money. On a budget of $220, 000, 000. And although there were some minor problems with the movie, it was all-up enjoyable, fun and holy shit, guys, that is a lot of fucking money.

In my opinion, it was brilliantly cast, and nothing we have ever seen before has compared to the intricacy with which this movie was set up by the foundational movies, e.g. Thor. It was a well-executed sweep of the movie-goers’-money stakes by Marvel and Disney, and the best part is, the majority of the audience probably felt as though it was totally worth it. I know I did.

Now, I realise that not everyone who went and saw the movie knows a hell of a lot about comic books. Some people probably just went “Hey! Robert Downey, Jr. is being funny in a costume that could kick your arse again, but this time, ScarJo’s butt is there too! IN A SKINSUIT! A LOT!”. But, a majority of the audience probably had at least some basic awareness that The Avengers is a league of heroes (Earth’s mightiest!) brought to us originally by Marvel Comics.

You know who else has a league of heroes? DC comics.

I’m not even going to try and disguise the fact that I am a DC girl. DC speaks to me. I’m not saying that it is better, in any way. I’m just saying that if I had to save only one comic book company from some sort of apocalypse that is only targeting comic book companies, because everyone knows that is how you do a proper apocalypse, then the company I would save would be DC. You know DC, even if you might think you don’t. DC is the owner of Batman and Superman.

You know what else Batman and Superman have in common? Aside from personality issues, unlucky love lives and startling good looks? They’re both in the Justice League!

There has been a lot of talk regarding a Justice League movie following Warner Bros.’ announcement, perhaps coming off the back of the insane success of The Avengers. There’s an IMDB page, a discussion on the Empire website, and collections of rumours in places like Screenrant and Cosmic Book News. The basic run down is that it appears that yes, Nolan is somehow involved, and that Will Beall wrote the original script, but this may have been scrapped, according to an article to be found on Screenrant, again. Aside from that, rumours abound like drunken fairies, and we don’t really know a hell of a lot for sure. But I’ve read a fair amount on people’s opinions, though.

The all-up consensus is that there are a lot of problems (ignoring the obvious one of “Who the fuck is going to write it?!). The five main ones that I can see are these;

  1. How many movies should there be?
  2. How will you avoid comparisons to The Avengers?
  3. Who should actually be in the Justice League, and who will play them?
  4. Which “foundation” movies should be included in the continuity?
  5. Who will be the villain, and what will their motivation be?

So, even though I am dangerously underqualified to give any decent answers to any of those questions, I am going to give it a whirl. Because I live life on the edge, motherfucker.

(Note: Feel free to comment on/contact me with any glaring, obvious mistakes. They probably exist.)

 

1.    HOW MANY MOVIES SHOULD THERE BE?

Two.

Why I am I so sure? I don’t know. I just feel that one movie doesn’t give enough time to build up a big villain worthy of the combined powers and talents of a Justice League, in any of its incarnations.

So there should be two movies, just like The Avengers.

 

2.    HOW WILL YOU AVOID COMPARISONS TO THE AVENGERS?

Ohhhhh, I see what I did there. Very nice.

The simple answer to this one is that you can’t. These are two movies about leagues of heroes that have to band together to save the world. The comparisons are going to happen. And the hard-core DC and Marvel fans can argue about which one is better amongst themselves all they like, but the majority of non-comic-book-reading moviegoers aren’t going to care. They’re just seeing movies that have awesome characters in them, characters they think are damn cool (because they fucking ARE) and ones they identify with, but not necessarily ones they are heavily invested in.

And that doesn’t matter.

The Avengers had the advantage of being written, released and well-received first. So no matter what Justice League does, comparisons are going to be made to it. I’m not an expert on the history of comic books by any means, but I’m pretty sure that if you traced back The Avengers and Justice League, you would find a lot of matching storylines, some that The Avengers did first, some that the Justice League did first.

It doesn’t really matter that they might sound the same when you explain them to your grandparents (“There’s this group of superheroes, and they have to team up to save the world!”), because the approach will probably be different. The Avengers was a Disney film. It was light-hearted at times, it was fun. I doubt that Justice League will have the same tone for reasons that I will discuss a bit more in depth later.

So although the comparisons will exist, it doesn’t matter, because the two films will be different. (I hope)

 

3.    WHO SHOULD ACTUALLY BE IN THE JUSTICE LEAGUE, AND WHO WILL PLAY THEM?

This is one of the big, big, BIG questions a lot of people seem to wondering about. Who will the Justice League in Justice League actually be?

Well, the original Justice League line-up appeared in 1960, and consisted of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern. Oh, and Aquaman. Everyone forgets Aquaman.

That’s why, perhaps controversially (but probably not), I would propose that we don’t include Aquaman in a movie adaption of the Justice League. The main reason I suggest this is that although The Avengers had a fun family feel to the most of it (it was a Disney movie, after all), many fans, such as myself, would expect a darker, grittier atmosphere to Justice League. And moreover, realistic. Man of Steel isn’t out yet, so obviously I haven’t seen it. And I don’t quite know how they’re going to play it. But judging by the movie trailer, it is looking pretty gritty and as realistic as a movie about Superman is going to get. We also have pretty substantial amounts of rumours that have a ringing of truth about them that Christopher Nolan will be involved in Justice League, perhaps in a producing role. But if he has any say at all, I’m thinking that the world will be quite Nolanesque (read: dark, gritty and realistic) in the same way his reboot of the Batman franchise was.

Following this, I’m finding it really hard to figure out a way to fit Aquaman into that kind of universe. Maybe there was a deep-sea diver under the (SPOILER. But if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight Rises already, you aren’t fit to be reading this) bomb Batman dropped at the end of TDKR. And BAM! MOVIE SCIENCE! Aquaman was born.

I fucking hope not.

I just can’t see it. I can’t see Aquaman in a Nolan DC universe. And a Nolan DC universe is really the only one I’m willing to accept at the moment. This is the same problem I have with Martian Manhunter, who is essentially the Doctor Manhattan of the Justice League, and gets called the “heart and soul” of the League a LOT by my DC Encyclopaedia. This dude can do almost everything.

Oh yeah, he’s also from Mars. In Martian Manhunter’s story, there are beings on Mars, guys. Some of you may be aware of the adorable little rover named Curiosity that’s wandering about Mars right about now. It hasn’t found any trace of aliens yet. And yeah, aliens might be trolling it. And yeah, J’onn hid on Earth for ages before he officially joined the Justice League and came out of the closet as an alien. But those are comic book storylines, not Nolan-style movie ones.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them. But the amount of explanation needed and the implications for the continuity are just too great to fit into a movie that is already going to be packed full of stuff.

“But Molly!” you may say, “Superman is an alien! Man of Steel is doing the alien thing!”

Firstly, why the hell do you talk just like me? And secondly, yeah, MoS is doing it, but they’re doing it over the course of an entire damn movie about one hero.

Would you accept a write-off explanation about the origin story of one of the most powerful beings in the Justice League? I don’t think the rabid fanboys would. I don’t think I would.

Funnily enough, you’ve got similar problems with Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern. I can solve the Wonder Woman problem in a way that movie-making people probably won’t like. Make a Man of Steel 2 before you make Justice League, and introduce her there.

“Why can’t you do that with Martian Manhunter, Molly?!”

Fuck you, that’s why.

No, but seriously. Wonder Woman is a terrestrial hero. It doesn’t require a huge suspension of disbelief to incorporate her into a movie. Sure there are problems, like where the hell is Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons?

Bermuda. Fucking. Triangle. Suck it, bitches.

Wonder Woman and Superman seem to fit together better as characters. I’m not here to work out MoS2. I’m worrying about Justice League. Someone else get on that. Do I think Wonder Woman deserves her own movie? Yes, I do. But I don’t know a hell of a lot about her, so I have no idea what would be put in it. Martian Manhunter is an alien, and Superman is an alien. It seems like it would be contrite and overloaded to me to put them in the same movie, especially when there are so many questions to answer about Martian Manhunter. Which is why, unfortunately, I would recommend not including him.

“If your problem with Martian Manhunter is that he’s from Mars, why don’t you have a problem with Green Lantern?”

Man, you guys are pernickety. But you do have a good point. Why don’t I have a problem with Green Lantern as a member of Justice League? Because he is human too. And although the 2008 Martin Campbell movie didn’t do a particularly good job of showing it, I think that you could incorporate a Green Lantern storyline without much stress. Hal Jordan gets a power ring, he learns to use it. It can be his character arc over a Justice League movie. Does he deserve his own good movie? Sure does. But it is too soon to reboot Green Lantern as a separate franchise and I don’t wanna wait too long for a Justice League movie, because the internet killed my attention span.

And the Flash? He’s human, too. The original Flash, Barry Allen (there have been three, I think) was transformed into the hero that you know and love (maybe not love, but probably know) when a bolt of lightning hit the chemicals he was carrying (I think). Easy. Takes five minutes, maximum, to show that. Does he need any character development? I don’t know. I looked all that up in my DC Comics Encyclopaedia. Think of him as the Hawkeye of the Justice League (not helping my comparison case, am I?). I know I am.

So my silver screen Justice League is this; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern.

Batman and Superman we don’t have to worry about. They have origin movies. Who should play them? For Batman, I think it has to be Christian Bale. Don’t you dare tell me that he isn’t Batman any more, due to the end of TDKR. He is still Batman.

Who should play Superman? Henry Cavill. He looks like he’s going to do a pretty sweet job.

Wonder Woman? No freaking idea. If she was ten years younger, I would back the Australian model Megan Gale. That woman is gorgeous. It’s my understanding that she was pipped to play Wonder Woman at some point in the past, anyway. I WANT TO SEE HER IN THE WONDER WOMAN COSTUME. Actually, even now, I believe that she could probably pull it off.

If not her, then who? How about Olivia Wilde? She has the sort of defined face I expect of an Amazon, and with black hair I can see a sort-of similarity. I guess for Wonder Woman, I mostly have a list of people I do not want to see anywhere near the role. If any of these people start being talked about to play the Amazon, I will construct a flamethrower and storm Warner Bros. The women I DO NOT WANT to play Wonder Woman are Kristen Stewart, Megan Fox, or Jessica Alba. No. No. Oh, Gods, please, no. This is just my opinion, but they can’t act. Please, please, please, Justice League makers, hear my prayers.

Flash? Fucked if I know. I cannot think of a single big-ish actor that I believe would truly fit the character of the Flash right now. Perhaps there are smaller people that are right for the role, but I don’t know about them (but I’d like to!).

Green Lantern? Not Ryan Reynolds. If for no other reason than I want absolutely no link to the previous Green Lantern. I don’t have any really strongly formed suggestions for this one, so I’m open to ideas. James Franco, maybe? I don’t know. He seems like he could do a pretty good job. Or Michael Fassbender. Hmmm.

I suppose the thing about the Justice League, this one in particular, is that it is quite male-heavy. That’s partially because of how the original comic books were written. Wait, no, it is entirely because of it. Maybe in a sequel they could introduce more females. Like Black Canary (played by Abby Cornish because reowr).

Wow. Well. This turned out to be longer than I expected (that’s what she said). If you read all this, thank you for sticking with it! I’ll answer the other questions in a Part 2 that I’ll publish whenever I can. Feel free to comment, or if you want to have a proper discussion, check the “About” tab on details for how to do that.

 

(Part 2 is now available here.)