Greetings, all! I want to tell you that the mailbag is full to bursting with your letters each week, and your humble fake post-apocalyptic mailman is extremely grateful. But you know what this means? Mail Thunderdome.
Or, less confusingly, it means I'm answering less letters overall each week, so I'm really having to pick the best questions each week. Your letters are fighting each other in Mail Thunderdome, and only the best make it here. What constitutes best? Well, great questions, hilarious questions, and unique questions (seriously, I don't think I've answered a Game of Thrones letter in over a month).
Just stuff to keep in mind when you next write the Postman. Now, on with the shenanigans.
Is it me or does having Captain America 3 open the same weekend as Batman V Superman seem like a huge mistake on Marvel/Disney's part?
Don't get me wrong, for which is the better movie, the smart money is on Cap 3. But imagine a future scenario where a father of two manages to ditch his kids and finally drag his wife to a superhero movie, he's got one shot at this and he's already seen Captain America appear on the big screen 4 times (not counting the Thor 2 cameo). He knows in his head which is the smarter choice, but there's one movie that has Batman fighting freaking Superman in it!
Batman V Superman will have a HUGE opening, regardless of how good the movie is. They could put Jar Jar Banks in that thing and it wouldn't make a difference! (not opening weekend anyway). D.C. will win the weekend and strut around like they're Tony Danza. They'll be all like "See that internet Fanboys! The people have spoken and they want Superman him to have kung fu grip and a cellophane power S!"
And all that awesome that Marvel has built up gets tarnished. Like Evander Holyfield getting K.O.'d on his way to the ring because of untied laces.
Rob's Korrection Korner: As many of you have pointed out in the comments your friendly neighborhood postman completely forgot that Marvel scheduled an "unnamed" movie for that date first. Which makes Warner Bros. the assholes in this situation and negates much of what I said originally. That said, I'm still 99% certainly Warner Bros. will blink first and move Batman Vs. Superman, and I think Marvel thinks so too.
Because as I said before, WB/DC is not one for taking risks, despite this bit of posturing. And because they can't afford to split the superhero movie-loving audience with Captain America 3, nor the box office. They need their superhero franchise to work and make a shit-ton of money, and that means having an unchallenged weekend. Even if Warner Bros. believe 3/4s of audiences would choose to see Batman Vs. Superman instead of Cap 3, that's still risking tens of millions of dollars, and I don't think WB can afford that, not while they're still trying find new mega-franchises to sustain them. Meanwhile, Marvel's been so thoroughly successful at this point, they probably can take a hit, and they may want to, if only to swing their dicks around.
Also, I'd like to point out that I love you calling it "Batman V. Superman," like it's a legal battle where Batman is suing his fellow Justice Leaguer. I'm trying to think of why he would do that, but the idea is still completely delightful to me.
Dear Postman, You use to work for an anime magazine once right? Can you tell me why anime dvds are so freaking expensive?
Very easily. First it's because unlike, say, a DVD set of the first season Community, where all you need to do is pay NBC, you're having to pay two companies when you buy an anime DVD — the Japanese studio and the American licensor. NBC can just put Community out on DVD, while someone like Funimation has to license an anime from Japan by paying the studio a good deal of money; in order to make that money back along with their productions costs and still make a profit, they have to charge more. This is why anime season sets cost around $40 instead of $15.
There's also the matter that when American TV shows come to home video, they've already been monetized — they've aired on TV and they've run with commercials. The DVD/Blu-ray sales are essentially extra money for American studios, which is why they can be so cheap. Admittedly, anime shows in Japan also have commercials, but anime is expensive to make, and American licensing is often an integral part of a show breaking even. It also doesn't help that Japanese studios got very used to making mad bank during the U.S. anime craze of the early '00s; back then, they could charge up to $100,000 per episode for a big title. Although the market has drastically changed, Japan is still charging American anime companies as much as they can get away with, and of course those costs are passed along to you.
Again, I would like to remind you in the '90s anime companies were charging $40 for a VHS tape with two episodes on it, and nowadays you can get complete seasons of new shows for about the same price. You kids don't know how good you have it (also get off my lawn).
Saw your post about Last Airbender - so a quick question - How successful would the movie adaptation have been if M.N. Shyamalan hadn't ruined it?
My daughter (9YO now) and I loved the series, and were excited about the movie (although with trepidation by me with 'lamadingdong doing it...). I watched her enthusiasm slowly drain through out the movie, and afterwards she commented (without prompting) "Why did they ruin the story?"
I don't know that The Last Airbender would have been a blockbuster success with another director. Sure, it wouldn't have been an insane travesty, but you're still talking about a movie adaptation of Nickelodeon fantasy cartoon. While the original series got crazy ratings — for Nickelodeon — a lot of what made the show so special was that we had so much time to spend with some wonderful characters, and any movie adaptation would have to cut out so much of that there's no way a movie would have been as good as the cartoon.
Remember, the film cost $150 million to make, but only took in $40 million over its opening weekend. Fans were certainly already upset about some of the changes Shyamalan had made, but I still think most of them went to see the movie, hoping against hope that the movie version of their beloved Airbender wouldn't be a steaming pile of shit. So even if the movie had been great, I think that's pretty much the box office it was going to get. Sure, if the movie had been good it would have made more money overall, but I still don't think it would have made enough for Paramount to make a sequel. I don't know if that's comforting or not, but there you go.
Bad Bad Clancy Brown
Honestly, it seems to me that Ron Perlman was born to voice Thanos or Darkseid for Avengers 3 or Justice League, respectively. Who else do you feel has the vocal cords to portray either of these characters?
I think we're going to get some crazy digitally altered booming rasp for Thanos as opposed to a straight up voice actor like Ron Perlman, because Thanos is crazy as shit. Darkseid has gravitas, and you need a deep, booming voice to project that. Personally, I'd pick Clancy Brown over Perlman as Darkseid for that reason — he just sounds so powerful. Michael Dorn would also be a good fit, methinks.
Pixar It Didn't Happen
Worried Buzz Lightyear Fan:
Dear Mr. Postman,
In the post-Apocalypse, do mailmen like you still deliver food packages? Or is that like wearing a big sign saying ROB ME NOW?
Anyhow, my real question concerns what's coming out of Pixar Studios nowadays. Ever since "Brave," which had its moments but wasn't really a classic compared to the first two "Toy Story" films or "Up," Pixar's feature films have been sequels of one sort or another. Yeah, maybe it might be fun to do a sequel to "The Incredibles" and maybe "Finding Nemo." But come on, does the world really need another "Cars" movie? My question is, do all these Pixar sequels indicate the studio has lost its originality, or that the accountants now run things at Pixar?
I'm 100% certain Pixar still has a ton of great movies in them, and originality out the wazoo, but it's also a Disney company, and Disney likes to make money. Sequels are essentially money in the bank, so of course Disney wants the studio to concentrate on things it knows will make profits. I'm willing to bet the creative minds at Pixar are even more upset about this than you are, though.
As for your first question, I do accept any and all food deliveries people want to send via mail. Then I eat them myself the minute I'm out of sight of your village, because to hell with that. Sending food to people in the goddamn post-apocalypse. Get your priorities straight, dickweeds.
Knowing Is Maybe One-Tenth The Battle
You may have answered some variation of this question before, but I'm still curious.
Most zombie movies operate under the premise that the world the characters live in have never heard of zombies before. That's one of main reasons that people are caught so off guard. They don't know what they're dealing with. "Grandma?! You're alive I thought you were. . . Oh God, my brains!" You know, that kind of thing.
But we live in a world with a veritable glut of zombies in our media, all of our media. So how do you think we'd do against zombies, knowing what we know. Unless that's caused you're particular apocalypse. Which I doubt since you've said in the past that you'd be the first on the menu should that come to pass. Though, it is possible that you get much craftier in the future. In that case, good on you.
I don't think it would help us too much, to be honest. I mean, even if you know what a zombie is and how to deal with them it doesn't mean you expect them to pop out at any time. People will still be surprised by the dead coming back to life and panic accordingly.
More importantly, it's not like people who don't know to call them zombies are waiting around letting the undead bite them. If your undead grandmother is trying to eat your flesh, you're trying to prevent her from eating your flesh, whether or not you realize she's a zombie. Instantly knowing that a headshot will destroy them is definitely useful, but it's not like everyone in The Walking Dead is always totally fine because they have this knowledge. The zombies can come out of nowhere and often overrun people with sheer numbers.
Also consider this: Sure, a shit-ton of people love zombie entertainment, but that's still, what — a quarter of the population at best? There will still be plenty of people who don't know what the hell is happening and die in the initial confusion of the dead rising from their graves. For instance, does your grandmother know zombies can be put down with a headshot? Obviously not, because she's a zombie already and trying to eat you.
Do you have questions about anything scifi, fantasy, superhero, or nerd-related? Email firstname.lastname@example.org! No question too difficult, no question too dumb! Obviously!