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Before I get into this article, let me preface it by saying I love watching Disney movies. That includes the ones they themselves make but also ones made by Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, etc. That being said, they have their issues.

The new Han Solo film has become yet another example of Disney and its subsidiaries being unable to work with a director. In this case, multiple directors. As most probably know by now, the original directors of the upcoming Han Solo film have been fired and replaced by Ron Howard. This new director is a great one and I’m sure his character-focused repertoire of film-making is a great fit for the film. That being said, it’s yet another situation where Disney just seemingly couldn’t handle a filmmaker’s individuality and creative approach.

When I look at most movie series, I can easily rank the films in order of quality and preference. However, Disney films are something that I and many others are struggling to do so with. That’s because each film Disney puts out is basically the same movie with a different skin. That isn’t to say their movies are bad, in fact I enjoy seeing each and every one of them. However, where individuality and creativity are concerned, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between them besides on the surface.

This is because Disney and its subsidiaries (Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios for example) churn out films like the world is going to end soon. As such, they have this factory-made lack of authenticity to them that, while still good, can rarely be great nor horrible. Due to this approach, Disney struggles with allowing the talented filmmakers that they hire to express themselves and, rather, seem to be looking for yes men.

Han Solo is only the most recent example of this. Sticking to Star Wars, Rogue One had to have extensive reshoots because Lucasfilm and Disney weren’t happy with Gareth Edwards’ original approach. While the original gritty war movie approach that Edwards wanted kind of stayed, the end result was a strange mess. Rogue One was still enjoyable and had great scenes but it ended up having a disorienting and choppy beginning with random moments added in as nothing more than fan service.

Going back to The Force Awakens, Michael Arndt, the writer for Toy Story 3, was originally involved and then ended up leaving, supposedly, for other commitments. His original ideas had a greater focus on the children of the original trilogy’s cast and actually gave Luke Skywalker something to do. Despite how good Episode VII became, it had the potential to be great with Arndt’s ideas involved.

Moving away from Star Wars, Disney has this issue with Marvel movies as well. Edgar Wright was originally supposed to direct Ant-Man but after years of it being delayed and some creative differences, he was replaced with Peyton Reed. Ant-Man turned out just like Rogue One and The Force Awakens: enjoyable but felt copy-pasted, filled to the brim with fan service, and was largely forgettable.

Finally, we have Joss Whedon. Renowned for his work on TV shows like Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Disney and Marvel made a great call having him direct The Avengers. However, he has gone on record to say that he didn’t really want to direct a movie about Loki, but rather Ultron. When the second film came around, he finally got to work on his dream project but in every single interview about the project he came across as tired, bitter, and defeated. Age of Ultron, just like Ant-Man, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One after it, suffered the same issues. He then dropped from the director’s chair for Infinity War and moved to DC and Warner Bros. Now he’s working for Marvel’s biggest rival helping finish Justice League in Zack Snyder’s absence and directing Batgirl.

I’m sure all of Disney’s upcoming movies, Han Solo included, will be just fine. However, unless they start allowing themselves to take risks and do something different, people are going to start getting sick of their movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is vast and wide but when Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, and Iron Man all have the same basic plot it’s time to branch out. As for Lucasfilm, the shock and awe of having a new Star Wars film every year has already worn off on most filmgoers. They’re never going to have the same hype Episode VII did unless they differentiate from the other films in the series.

What do you think? Comment your thoughts down below.

I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Geek Culture

In the TV show Fallout, would the “rule of thumb” really work?

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Walton Goggins’ character, who plays someone in the first episode of the new TV series Fallout on Amazon, mentions a “rule of thumb” when it comes to nuclear explosions.

According to the character known as “The Ghoul,” he learned in military school that if you raise your thumb and extend your arm toward the blast, you can tell if you are going to live or die. According to the rule, some Americans will be safe from the radioactive fallout if the mushroom cloud is smaller than their thumb. If the mushroom cloud is bigger than their thumb, they won’t be as lucky.

Many other survivors will probably ask you why you’re giving a mushroom cloud the big thumbs up. Is it worth it?

The idea has been looked into a bit thanks to the Fallout video game series, which caught the attention of physicists in their first year at the University of Leicester. They had heard a false rumor that the show’s mascot, Vault Boy, was giving a happy thumbs up to show support for the thumb rule. They wanted to find out if the rule was true.

The team looked at smaller blasts that would fit with the setting of the show and chose a 15-kiloton blast, which is the same size as the blast that happened when the US dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima. The first thing the team did was figure out how far away you would have to be from the mushroom cloud for your thumb to cover the blast. They came up with a number that was about 12.6 kilometers (7.8 miles).

“Assuming the detonation occurred on the ground, the radius for avoiding all burns is 4.67 km [2.9 miles] away from the blast center, and the radius for radiation sickness symptoms is 1.56 km [0.97 miles],” the team said in their paper. “This would mean that you would be safe from the initial blast effects of radiation and burns.”

Even though you just saw a nuclear explosion nearby, that doesn’t mean you are safe. And that’s before you worry about nuclear winter. The radiation coming at you from the wind should be your main concern.

“Assuming an average wind speed of 24 km/h, the fallout would reach you within approximately half an hour if you were to be standing directly upwind.”

Getting caught in this wind will give you enough rads to make you sick. One more rule, though: run like hell. This might help you lower your dose.

“This investigation showed that if a 15-kiloton nuclear bomb was to detonate and your thumb extended at an arm’s length just covered the blast, you could survive most negative radiation effects by running laterally in the direction of the wind for a minimum of 1.65 km [1 mile] in half an hour, given that you are standing directly upwind from the blast,” the team said.

But this only works for a blast much smaller than the weapons the world has now. And even for smaller blasts, the rule probably won’t help because of the radiation that is released into the air and the fact that the wind can change quickly. Ruth McBurney, who is the executive director of the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors in Frankfort, Kentucky, told Inverse that “shelter is the best thing to do if you think you might be in a place where fallout might be present or coming.”

More plans call for temporarily taking refuge in whatever is available, and then moving to better nearby shelters about 30 minutes after the blast. There are, of course, official rules about what to do during a blast. In short, you should stay inside and away from windows, wash your hands, and wait for more instructions. Please don’t condition your hair while you’re doing that.

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Gaming

Sony is reportedly engaged in discussions to form a partnership for a potential bid on Paramount

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There hasn’t been much buzz lately about any new acquisitions in the world of video game intellectual property. According to a recent report, Sony is currently engaged in discussions with a well-funded partner to potentially acquire the renowned film studio Paramount, along with all the exciting possibilities that come with such a merger.

As reported in the New York Times (thanks, ResetEra), Sony Picture Entertainment is reportedly in discussions with Apollo Global Management, an investment firm, as per two sources familiar with the matter. In the past, Apollo had made an offer to acquire Paramount for a minimum of $26 billion, but their bid was ultimately turned down.

The terms of the joint bid are currently under discussion, and there is a chance that the two parties may decide against making a formal offer. Unnamed sources have revealed that Paramount is currently in exclusive discussions with Skydance, preventing any official offer from being made at this time. Investor opposition to the recent deal that Skydance brought seems to have been significant.

The potential impact of such an acquisition is immense. First and foremost, it would introduce adaptations of Sonic and Halo into the expanding media empire of the PlayStation platform holder. Following the announcement, Paramount’s stock experienced a significant 11% surge in after-hours trading.

What are your thoughts on the news? Is there a possibility of Sony acquiring Paramount? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Geek Culture

Fallout Season 2 has been confirmed as the show continues to captivate audiences, making it one of Amazon’s most-watched series

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Amazon has just made the exciting announcement that a second season of the highly acclaimed Fallout TV adaptation is in the works. Fans can look forward to another thrilling installment of the series, which will be exclusively available on the Amazon Prime streaming service. Confirmation has arrived regarding the second batch of episodes for the series, following the acquisition of $25 million in Californian tax credits.

In just four days after its release, Fallout has already captivated audiences, quickly becoming one of Amazon Prime’s most-watched TV shows of all time. It has garnered immense popularity, rivaling even the acclaimed season of The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power.

The Fallout TV show has caused a massive surge in sales for the newer games, resulting in a staggering 7,500% increase in purchases of Fallout 4 in Europe. Fallout 76, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas were also among the top 10 best-selling games across the continent last week. Next week, the highly anticipated PS5 version of Fallout 4 will be released, offering players an enhanced visual experience with new graphical modes. Additionally, players can look forward to exciting new content from the Creation Club.

Considering the potential for character development and narrative arcs, it would be intriguing to see where season two takes Lucy, Maximus, and The Ghoul. Without revealing any spoilers, it’s exciting to speculate on the possible directions their stories could go. We would greatly appreciate your feedback in the comments section.

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