Think, Sip, Write: ep 56 – Marvel vs DC
In this episode of #thinksipwrite, my son Tony sits in for Roberta as we talk about all things Marvel and DC. Who is the better comic book universe and why? What are your thoughts and favorite characters?
Review: Deadpool 2
The Merc With A Mouth is back, but did the sequel keep up with expectations? The answer could go either way. If you have knowledge of the other comic book movies out there, or are just a comic fan, then yes yes yes… this was as good if not better than the first. For those who might not be up to speed on all the spandex wearing superhero films, some of the jokes may go over your head… but it would still be a fun and enjoyable movie to see.
There are a few spoilers I’ll mention, so if you just want the rating, then scroll down to the bottom, otherwise… be warned.
Loaded with shocking moments, and cameos by actors and other comic book characters, Deadpool 2 literally had me laughing so hard I was in tears. This time though, it isn’t just Wade Wilson who is the highlight of the film. Cable, Domino, and Colossus equally dominate with their own unique personalities. This works well with Deadpool, and I especially can’t wait for this to come out for home release.
I know a lot of people complained about Juggernaut’s CGI effects, but I barely noticed because I was thrilled to see him portrayed properly, and it’s still way better than some of the other CG I’ve seen in recent films. I do have one complaint however, and this is the common themed problem throughout all of the X-Men films. The continuity.
When does this take place and in which time line? For example… Deadpool’s music box in the beginning directly references the Logan movie. Is this just him breaking the 4th wall (which was done expertly a dozen times or so)? The answer is no… it’s not after Logan, but before. How do I know? Because all of the X-Men are still alive, and it’s very evident that they are. Then we just assume that it is running along side a modern day theme, but then again, the X-Men aren’t portrayed by their older actors, but by the younger ones. hmmm. Oh, and then the time travel thing during the credits adds to the confusion because in the current timeline X-Men origins Wolverine never happens. So, that being the case, does time travel let them go to different pasts?
The continuity thing can be forgiven and overlooked. It doesn’t bother me that much because of Wade and his 4th wall breaching. It sort of makes things better in some ways. The other issue is that they killed of Black Tom Cassidy before he even got to be a threat. That was a huge disappointment for me. Other than that I’ve no complaints.
From here I guess they’d do an X-Force movie over a Deadpool 3 because it would just make more sense. The name “Essex” has been in 3 movies so far, so having the X-Force up against a villain like Mister Sinister would probably end up being the best film in this universe yet.
Deadpool 2 gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me. I loved it and will definitely own it at some point. What were your thoughts? Comment below and let’s discuss.
Knocking out the Rocky / Creed movies: Review
I grew up watching Sly Stallone’s movies, and since my hometown Philadelphia Eagles were underdogs in the SuperBowl this year, I wanted my kids to see some great underdog stories. We watched the whole franchise, so instead of rating individual movies, I’m going to go with the boxers in each, and rate them that way. I’ll give a spoiler warning, but if you haven’t seen these movies shame on you anyway 😛
In the first ROCKY film, Sly’s character had a decent story. Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa struggled to make ends meet. He was relatable in every sense of the term, albeit a bit annoying at times with his incessant ramblings. That just added to the character. He comes off a bit strong, and even uncomfortable in his approach to Adrian. Now I won’t get into Adrian as I’m focusing on the boxers themselves, but she is Rocky’s backbone, and their relationship is fun to watch and build. The build of getting to see him rise up to take on a challenge from the Boxing champion of the world, is a long but enjoyable journey starting with his bout against Spider Rico (who shows up later in the 6th film again).
Apollo Creed is a cocky type of character, but it’s hard to hate him. He has used his fame to give a nobody a chance. Although he wins by split decision, he knows he was underestimate Rocky. This is where ROCKY 2 comes in for the rematch. My problem with the first movie is that Rocky doesn’t guard his head at all. I boxed for a short time, and know that leaving yourself open the way he does in the first film makes for quick matches. This was slightly corrected in the second movie, and the fight is a bit closer to realistic. Apollo, despite being angry at Rocky throughout the film still respects the man.
We will skip ROCKY 3’s opening match with Hulk Hogan’s “Thunderlips,” because although entertaining it’s obviously done with humor, and not to be taken seriously. On to Clubber Lang. Now the movies have gone from boxers for sport to having a real bad guy, and it works. Mr. T is way more intimidating than Apollo was, but having Apollo at Rocky’s side as trainer brings a nice full circle to it all. And yes the beach scene with them training is downright hilariously cheesy, but when you’ve got “Eye of the Tiger” playing you can’t lose. Literally in this case.
ROCKY 4 takes a drastic turn here by killing off the still pompous Apollo Creed. I mean we haven’t recovered from Mickey’s death yet, and another favorite bites the dust. There is purpose though because it fuels the hate for the seemingly unstoppable Ivan Drago. Of all the series, this one was always my favorite because it had my attention as a kid and stayed with me. It’s now my son’s favorite of them all as well.
ROCKY 5 is definitely the low point of the series, but it’s not one you should skip. Tommy “The Machine” Gunn is a turd right from the start, but that’s not what these films are all about. It’s about Rocky’s struggle with returning to a normal life after being told he has brain damage, losing his house, and being betrayed by a kid he takes in as his own. It also shows the heart of fatherhood, and how he doesn’t realize he is failing with his son, by taking in this other youth. In the end it sorts out well for the Balboa family, or so it seems. The street fight with Balboa and Gunn is probably what turned people off the most. It isn’t really a boxing story, despite having that as a root element. Still, it’s fun to watch the beat down.
ROCKY BALBOA was an unexpected return to the series over a decade later, and it makes up for what 5 wasn’t in plot. Rocky’s wife Adrian is dead, his best friend Paulie loses his job, his son Robert Jr does what he can to get out of his father’s shadow, and Rocky deals with a lonely life of pain while managing a restaurant. When I saw this in the theater I was overjoyed at having the character return, but in rewatching it I realize how it doesn’t quite hold up as well as the older ones. Sure, it’s one of the best stories about Rocky’s life, but I’m talking about the fight. Rocky jumping back into the ring at 60 years old is a bit of a stretch. Even the training sequences show that he’s no way near as in peak shape as he used to be. His body just can’t do what it used to. Still, watching him trade blows with Mason “The Line” Dixon was fun enough. The much older boxer was able to prove that age shouldn’t hold you down from what you enjoy, and the younger boxer was able to prove to the world that he could handle an icon and isn’t just fighting nobodies.
Now comes CREED, and just when you think the franchise might get stale, we have a successful reboot that brings the saga to a whole new generation. For one, I hope it keeps going, because Adonis Johnson Creed is a very likeable character in much the same way that Rocky is. I find the fight with “Pretty Ricky” Conlan an entertaining enough bout. Apollo Creed’s son seems to have his father’s footwork and some of Rocky’s power. It’s the best of both worlds making each new match feel unique. I love the throwbacks and references, I hate Pretty Ricky because he’s a punk, and even more so I love that Rocky fights once again (though this time against cancer and not an opponent in the ring). The ending is touching, and brings everything full circle. Rocky is the new Mick, and Adonis “Donnie” is the new Rocky.
Speaking of Mickey “Mick” Goldmill, I could easily see a prequel movie about the rise of Jewish boxers in Philadelphia. I have a great story idea that would be a perfect tie in to the franchise featuring a younger Mick, but be separated enough to be something totally new. Call me, Sly!
This franchise is about heart, never giving up, and dealing with the struggles of life. It can’t get any more real than that. After watching the movies, I took my family down to the Art Museum in Philly to run the steps, pose with the Rocky statue, and see the sights. I didn’t even realize that Rocky’s (Stallone’s) footprints are there. My wife grabbed this shot of the city from the top of the steps with the plaque. It was fun to see countless people doing the same thing that we did, and it’s still over 40 years since the original movie came out.
I’ll do a review of CREED 2 when it comes out in October of this year. If you haven’t heard, Ivan Drago is returning sure to put up an interesting interaction between him and Rocky, while Donnie Creed takes on Drago’s son.
What do you think of this series? Which one is your favorite? Do you want to see it continue for years to come? Chime in with your thoughts below.
Review: X-Men Apocalypse
There’s been a lot of negative talk about this latest installment in Fox’s X-Men movies, but then again there always has. The negativity comes from die hard X-Men fans who are angry that Marvel doesn’t have the rights at the moment. I’m a die hard X-Men fan of old, and while I see the critics’ points, I also look at it from a writing standpoint as well.
Could the movies be better? Absolutely. Should the core characters be closer to their comic book counterparts? Yes… 100%. But I finally feel like while stupid mistakes or downright ignorance of the source material is done on the writer/directors parts, I believe they are listening and trying to make it right.
You see, there are a total of 9 X-Men movies in this continuity now with more in development. The earlier ones left a bad taste in many people’s mouths who are comic fans. The last movie (Days of Future Past) hit a semi-reset button on most of what is wrong with the series. While Apocalypse is not perfect by any means, it certainly is the first movie truly headed in the right direction with the characters.
Here is my spoiler filled review of the movie, so if you just want to know my overall rating, then skip to the bottom paragraph. I will discuss the continuity issues and fan problems, but the positive as well. Feel free to comment.
Professor Charles Xavier: James McAvoy continues to be an excellent choice for the leader of the X-Men, and for the first time we really get to see him do battle with a foe on a mental level. His fight inside Apocalypse’s mind caused a few geekgasms. My only question here is if Apocalypse is the one who causes Xavier to lose his hair, then did Xavier and the X-Men face off against him in the original continuity? If so, then who was the main team of X-Men? Where was Stryker and company in that timeline? It’s a plot hole that needs to be ignored to make the series complete, but I can’t see past it as a fan wanting to know what happened to his hair originally. I did love the full circle with him and Magneto here. Their speech at the end was verbatim the same speech between the two in the first X movie.
Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: Michael Fassbender owns the role again far surpassing what his predecessor did. He felt like Magneto in this movie, and as one of Apocalypse’s horsemen I feel he was utilized well. Here comes my issue. We already know Quicksilver is his son. In this movie he has a daughter, but it is not Scarlet Witch. At the very least, Bryan Singer and company could have done what Marvel did in the Avengers AOU and used her quickly. It would have upset less fans and been a nice way to acknowledge what Marvel did to their quicksilver. In other words, when Magneto’s daughter died, all they had to do was claim that her name was Wanda and make her powers something other than talking to the animals, but more akin to her comic counterpart. It’s stupid I know, but I just did not like that this whole chapter of Magneto’s history was basically thrown away. I do however like that Magneto has been set up to be a hero character as one interpretation of him in the comics had him as leader of the X-Men. With Wolverine departing the movie world soon he’d be a great new focus.
Raven Darkholme / Mystique: Ugh where do I begin? When Rebecca R. played the role I was upset that she had basically no dialogue and was just a henchman of sorts. But Rebecca played the role well in terms of Mystique’s sexuality and her cold hearted killer personality. So WTF is Jennifer Lawrence doing? Her version of the character was barely blue in this movie. She had none of that cold heartedness. And unlike the fact that I liked Magneto’s heroics, I do NOT like her as a hero at all. She has no place with the X-Men unless for some deceptive purpose. I just don’t buy her in the role, and it is ashame to see what the original trilogy’s Mystique has been downsized to. (Not downsized in terms of role, but character)
En Sabah Nur / Apocalypse: Oscar Issac stole the show. Apocalypse was my favorite villain in all of Marvel comics. That being said I took issue and pleasure in seeing him on screen. Issac portrayed easily the best villain in the X-Men series of movies yet. He had purpose and echoed much of what he was about in the source material. I would have liked him to have been a little bit bigger than the other characters, but his intentions overshadowed all of that. His abilities to manipulate and rearrange matter was done well, and his recruitment of the horsemen was not far off from how he did it in the comics. Actually if anything the way that he altered Archangel especially made more sense in the films. My issue comes with his technology. Because of rights issues Fox ignored the fact that his armor and pyramid tech was of alien origin. Well okay, maybe they didn’t ignore it, but failed to mention it. After all they did not say anything about it. The audience is just led to believe he had it whether by his own creation or something else. Also in the comics we never really see how his lazarus chamber worked, so the transference of his soul to a new body was acceptable where I was originally upset about hearing this. My problem is less with Apocalypse and more with his horsemen. None of them seemed dedicated to his cause (as evidenced by their betrayal or abandonment of him). Except Archangel of course. I don’t know how they will top him as a villain because you really got to feel his threat. His look and voice also made me happy and I was not pleased when I’d first started seeing and hearing him in trailers.
Hank McCoy / Beast: While I like Nicholas Holt in the role, and that he finally doesn’t look like CGI garbage like he did in First Class, I absolutely despise the lack of his true form. He’s still taking a serum to make him look normal, and then when he does become Beast again he’s in a flight suit most of the time. Still his character seems close to the comics, but I’d like to hear more obscure quoting of classical literature, as this version of Beast is more of a genius and less of a genius with classic appreciation.
Moira MacTaggart: Other than being happy with her role in this movie I was glad that they set up the introduction of her son. Singer has said that he’d like to make Proteus a villain in a future film, so it was only logical to acknowledge she had a son here. My issue is that her son was also the son of Charles Xavier in the comics, so why not just mention that he had a son with her? or since the father wasn’t in the pictures does that mean that she was indeed pregnant with Xavier’s son the last time we saw her? I guess time will tell, but it was a good way to bring her back into the fold.
Scott Summers / Cyclops: FINALLY! Cyclops isn’t a sissy. In the original trilogy he was overshadowed by Wolverine and portrayed as a crybaby. Here we got the classic leader of the X-Men with his actual 90s comic book costume at the end. I’m overly happy with this version being introduced.
Jean Grey: I feel like we’ve been down this road with Jean, but she was ruined by Last Stand and even her appearance in Wolverine 2. This gives her a fresh start and a younger face to go with it. The chemistry between her and Cyclops is perfect, and there was even that nod to her and Logan’s connection as well. I was surprised that they decided to foreshadow the Dark Phoenix aspect of her character. I’m not sure I care to see the Dark Phoenix saga portrayed on screen as I was never a big fan of it, but after Last Stand I could see why they’d want to leave the possibility open. It also was thrilling to see her final attack on Apocalypse in her Phoenix mode.
Ororo Munroe/ Storm: Haircut? I hated that hair in the comics and I do in the movie, but for the 80s it made sense, but the true focus is that finally we got a true Storm. Halle Berry was awful in the role. I can’t say that enough. But Alexandra Shipp has brought life back to the character from her accent to her origins. I can’t wait to see more of her.
Psylocke: Another character that was ruined in the Last Stand was finally brought front and center in the right way. While her role was not a huge one it was meant to introduce her to audiences in a way that she will be remembered. Olivia Munn is not only gorgeous in the role, but she did a great job, and they left it open for her to be there for Deadpool or any other number of X roles.
Alex Summers/Havok: One issue that the new timeline creates is one of age. Havok in this movie has to be 40 years old, while Cyclops is 20 years younger. It does happen sure, but they fail to address why aging doesn’t seem to affect the mutants on a normal level. All that aside I think his death was chosen wisely as it set up his younger brother’s role as leader and with a purpose. RIP Havok and your terrible 80s mullet.
Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver: Okay so you still have a really bad outfit (semi acceptable by the end of the movie), but every second he spends on screen is pure pleasure. Quicksilver stole the show again.
Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler: I was surprised to see Nightcrawler work so well in this movie. He was as much comic relief as Quicksilver and was a very crucial part to the team. And like Cyclops seeing him in his 90s comic garb brought moments of joy to me.
Colonel William Stryker: I think his role in the movie felt strange. Aside from the fact that in the first Wolverine movie Stryker was older looking he didn’t age much here. For the mutants I can accept that sort of, but he’s a normal human. All that aside I want to know how he got a hold of Logan for the Weapon X program. Mystique had grabbed him in the guise of Stryker at the end of the last movie, so did she just deliver Logan to Stryker’s doorstep and tell him to go all Weapon X with him? There is a flaw here that I’m not sure is worth talking about because it really doesn’t affect anything, but as a viewer it’d be nice to know.
Warren Worthington III / Angel / Archangel: As angel I felt he was more fun to watch, but we didn’t get his wealthy background here, which was a little upsetting. That is one thing that Last Stand got right. Angel’s transformation into Archangel was cool to watch, as it visually stood out as a memorable scene, but it’s as if Singer has a problem with the color blue. Like Mystique and Beast, Archangel never gets his blue skin. At the least I’d have liked them to make him paler, but instead we got some strange tattoo like strands on his face. Also disappointing was the decision to kill him off. He was badass in the fight scenes, and I’d have liked to see him in an X-Force movie at some point. Too bad.
Jubilee: Knowing that this was going to be in the 80s Fox had the perfect opportunity to utilize this character, and while she had a decent amount of small role screen time we never actually saw her use her abilities. Hopefully they correct this in the next one, but the decision was probably made to reduce the amount of overcrowding of characters.
Weapon X: Yes! Yes! Yes! We will be getting an R rated wolverine movie and this was the perfect setup for classic wolverine. For the first time we really got to see him go on a berserker killing spree and all the animalistic rage was let loose. Even the Weapon X head gear proved that some semblance of the comic pages can come to life. Now to hopefully see him in his suit at some point. My question is how much did Jean reveal to him in their brief mental bond. She said she helped him remember, so is this Wolverine knowing who he is or is he still Logan looking for his past? Time will tell.
Caliban: The decision to include him in the movie was wise, and though he didn’t get enough screen time they definitely portrayed him correctly as far as powers go. The question I have is that since he can sense and track other mutants why didn’t Apocalypse take him with them? It seems he was tracking his horsemen recruits, so were they returning to Caliban after each portal jump?
CAMEO ROLES: Stan Lee appeared in the most serious cameo he’s ever done, and with his real life wife too. It’s always a pleasure to see him in these movies even if forced in at times, but he didn’t feel forced here and worked well. Dazzler was on the cover of a record album, but I am still holding out hope for Taylor Swift or someone to make a cameo as her at some point. The Blob kept with his original trilogy storyline in that he was in a fighting circuit. We don’t see much of him other than his defeat, but got the classic Blob spandex and all, so it was a welcome addition and well placed. Pestilence, Famine, War, & Death were introduced in the beginning in ancient Egypt and while not much was shown of them and their abilities it was a more dedicated set of horsemen than Apocalypse got in the 80s. This brings to question why they were so much more dedicated and if Apocalypse was the first mutant, then where did these 4 get their powers? Were they too mutants or did he create them much in the same way that he enhanced the others’ powers? Sentinels appeared in the danger room sequence which makes one wonder how and why Xavier kept some of the mutant hunting robots, but it was still a cool cameo.
That end credits scene: The man from the “Essex Corporation” was collecting samples of blood. Weapon X’s was the vial showed here so we can conclude a few things… 1) Mr. Sinister aka Nathaniel Essex will be a villain in one of the next movies. He is a character known for his genetic tampering. With Logan’s blood this can only lead to one conclusion… Hugh Jackman is said to be retiring from the role after Wolverine 3. I’ve no desire to see them recast this role, but this would be a way to do it… however the best way to do it is to introduce X-23. In the comics she is Wolverine’s clone/daughter. It would still give a wolverine character and not negate all that Hugh has done, since he afterall was the man practically carrying this series.
Where do they go from here?
This is an important question, so here’s some thought. There is still plenty they can do. We know there is going to be a Legion tv series. Deadpool will be teaming with Cable in the sequel of the former. X-Force is in the works, presumably with the team: Deadpool, Cable, Psylocke, X-23 & Gamit? Perhaps that is how Sinister will be brought in as a villain. Of course a Gambit movie is also in the works, which I wonder what can be done here. We still have the Brood, Dark Phoenix saga, & Shiar (Singer has stated he wants to take the X-Men to space). And then there is the Savage land that has been unused, but perhaps can be the base of operations for Sinister. And could (going out on a limb here) the Avengers Infinity War bring a merger of different Earths where we get an Avengers/X-men crossover? Actors on both sides have voiced interest.
Final analysis: X-Men Apocalypse is not perfect by any means, but it does help to bring in some people who’ve been so hateful of this series because they were die hard fans. It has also replaced X-Men 2 as my favorite of the whole franchise (Deadpool being the exception, as nothing will touch that anytime soon at least in the Fox-men universe). With a threat that felt genuine, the introduction of characters true to the source, and a story that kept viewers surprised and on edge, I give the movie 4 out of 5 on my ratings scale. What did you think? Comment below and thanks for reading.
Review: Batman v Superman Dawn Of Justice
Let’s start by saying that the reviews from critics sent me into this movie expecting to be upset at something. I was bothered by a couple of things, but before coming to conclusions on someone else’s word, go see the movie yourself. Many of the complaints out there are flat out wrong and made by people who either weren’t paying attention to what was really going on or just like to cause problems by hating on something; or they just need to complain like so many do.
With that out of the way I will say that the movie could have been better, but by no means did it even come close to being bad. What I thought would bother me actually surprised me in good ways, so let’s get down to my breakdown of what went on per character. Yes, there will be spoilers, so if you want my numerical rating without knowing what will happen, then scroll down to the last paragraph. Here we go:
Batman/Bruce Wayne: Ben Affleck is the best Batman and Bruce Wayne combo I’ve ever seen. Yes, I dare say it is even comparable to Kevin Conroy’s animated character. He embodied everything the character should be from extraordinary fight skills, personality, intimidation, detective work, and gadgets. People complained that they didn’t like him using guns and murdering in cold blood. Those people obviously didn’t watch the movie. He did not once murder anyone. Yes, there were a few guns he’d used while grappling with thugs, but it was in their hands, and it didn’t look like he was shooting to kill. Even the guy he stabbed was still alive and you could see that. There was a dream sequence in the dessert where he was using firearms, but it was also a nightmare of a future (similar to that in the Injustice Gods Among Us video game) where drastic measures had to be taken. The bat armor and suit were perfect visually and integral to the story.
Superman/Clark Kent/Kal El: Henry Cavill picked up the character right where we’d seen him last. You saw his struggles internally and that was important to the whole picture. There were similar complaints with him which blows my mind because he chose the path Superman always chose. He wanted to do the right thing. Even when it came to the hero duel, he was trying to convince Batman to help him. I was shocked at his death, but I’m glad it went down as it did. I will post my thoughts on where that will take us towards the end of the article.
Lois Lane: Amy Adams seemed more like Lois Lane in this one than in Man of Steel. It shows how important she is to the mythology, and my issues with the way Man of Steel was handled with her were rectified.
Lex Luthor:I was probably the most skeptical person going into this. I never liked Jesse Eisenberg as the choice to play the villain, and while many people compared him to Heath Ledger’s Joker I’d say they just didn’t get it. He is completely different than the Joker in every way. No, he is not the Lex we’ve gotten used to since the Superman animated series in the 90s. He is more of a cross between the scientist he originally was in the comics, and what Gene Hackman did in the original movies. I am now in a position of wrong because my skepticism was blown away. Eisenberg did an outstanding job and I am sold on this new/old take on Luthor. Can’t wait to see more of what he will do. My complaint would be that his overall plan (although well thought out) didn’t make total sense. Did he have a backup plan if Doomsday beat Superman? How would Doomsday then be stopped from destroying everything else? It wasn’t explained, and there I see a fault.
Alfred Pennyworth: Like Affleck, I feel Jeremy Irons fully brought Alfred to life. I’m eager to see the universe unfold as the older characters have already dealt with Batman’s rogues (as evidenced by references in the movie).
Anatoli Knyazev/KGBeast: although this was more of a glorified cameo, it was worth noting in the review. He wasn’t exactly like his comic counterpart, but what was there was all that was needed. Anything else would have been overkill.
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman: Is anyone still complaining about this casting because Gal Gadot kicked ass! She was written into the plot well, and utilized as necessary. Without her the whole movie wouldn’t have had the same outcome.
Perry White/ The Kents/The Waynes/Senator Finch/Mercy Graves: Small roles, but integral to the world. I like that Perry was a bit grumpier than he’d been in MOS. It seemed more his part. The killing of Mercy was a shocker for me, but it shows Luthor’s determination to meet his goals regardless of the cost.
Doomsday: His origin may have been altered, but it was only done so slightly. In some parts the CGI looked a bit off, but overall he made the perfect villain. Here is my major issue with the film though. The fight was superb, but the emission of those nuclear type blasts were overkill. Doomsday is powerful enough, but Zack Snyder decided to demolish everything in existence. The mass destruction is understandable, but it was too much this time. Doomsday doesn’t need eyebeams and explosive pulses. I did however really enjoy the character’s evolutions. It could have utilized 1 more just to make him appear exactly like his comic book self, but I might be getting too picky there. Despite my complaints I think he was done well for the most part, and by him killing Superman it made the whole struggle throughout the movie make more sense.
Summary: Both sides of the argument for and against Superman’s god like power were presented evenly. The buildup to Justice League was paced out well. The Easter Eggs galore weren’t unnecessary and thrown in there, because they play into the whole picture. People need to realize that there is over 70 years of material to work with. There have to be creative freedoms in making such a movie. Even with that freedom, I don’t think Snyder strayed too far from source material (The Dark Knight Returns, Injustice GAU, Death of Superman, etc etc.) If anything I’m more eager now to see where it goes. Aquaman and Cyborg look awesome, and I can’t wait to see them. Ezra Miller is a terrible choice for the Flash in my current opinion, but that could change.
Theories on where it could lead: I have many thoughts on where everything is going, and I could be wrong, but from a writing perspective I think this would be wise. We know Wonder Woman’s outing will be a WW1 setting. It’ll be good to have that back story. Cyborg was definitely created with a Mother Box, not to mention the Parademons and Omega sybmbol in Bruce’s dream, along with Lex’s dark predictions inevitably lead to Darkseid being the villain for at least 1 part of Justice League. How? Did you notice at the end the soil rising from Clark’s casket as if some antigravity field occurred? I feel that Darkseid may be using Superman’s body as his earthly host. This would make sense as it is strong enough to withstand the evil being. It would stray from the comics, but would work for the movies, and is a way to ultimately bring back the good Superman for part 2. Who would part 2 involve? Brainiac. If you noticed inside the Kryptonian ship there were not only three circles of light in a formation, but the ship said that it contained knowledge throughout the universe. Brainiac is already on Earth. It just is a matter of time. Flash was in Bruce’s dream as well. The breach of time and dimensions has been addressed in DC’s tv universe. It only makes sense that at some point DC’s answer to Marvel’s Infinity War would be to make a Crisis movie. Crossing over ALL DC properties would blow minds and be a huge way to even the Marvel/DC competition.
In the end there are many ways this could go. Dawn Of Justice could have been better in very few ways, but it also could have been much worse. I give it an 8 out of 10 on my rating scale. What were your thoughts? Theories? Complaints? Comment below so we can discuss.
Day 29: Top 5 for Halloween
For today’s installment of my 31 days of Halloween I made a top 5 list of my personal choices for film, book, etc. These are stories that not only have entertained me, but inspired me to continuously try exceeding what I did and topping each previous book I write. I tried to keep them as Halloween related as possible, and even though some aren’t horror, they fall into the thriller category and have spooky elements. What are your personal choices? Feel free to comment below.
TOP 5 NOVELS: The “Area 51” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Robert Doherty), Dan Brown’s “Robert Langdon” series, Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal Lecter” series, The “Atlantis” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Greg Donegan), Dean Koontz’ “Frankenstein” series (please don’t watch the movie because it’s terrible the books are great though. *Bonus All novels in the FLESH AND LEFTOVERS SAGA by Rick Pipito (had to add them, sorry.) 😛
TOP 5 TV SHOWS: Once Upon a Time, Arrow & The Flash (I put these as one because they crossover and exist in the same universe), 24, Law And Order SVU, Hannibal
TOP 5 GAMES: The “Tomb Raider” series, The “Resident Evil” Series, “Silent Hill”, “HeroQuest” (This is a board game I had growing up, and I just remember how awesome it was. I recently found it in my parents’ attic), The “Doom” series.
TOP 5 SONGS: Dragula by Rob Zombie, Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett, Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr, Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (because everyone needs more cowbell), Mz. Hyde by Halestorm
TOP 5 MOVIES: Ghostbusters 1 & 2, The Goonies, Monster Squad, Van Helsing (Kate Beckinsale, Huge Jack Man, and monsters? I don’t care if its cheesy. It’s awesome), The Brendan Frasier Mummy Movies.
BONUS—-TOP 10 COMIC BOOK Movie List (in numbered order):
1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2) X-Men Days Of Future Past
5) Captain America: The First Avenger
6) Guardians Of The Galaxy
7) Man Of Steel
8) Spiderman 2
9) Thor The Dark World
10) Batman 1989
*This list is current as of 10/29/14 of course. It will most likely change, but it is the order I believe works. I wanted to put both Punisher movies in there as well just for pure fun, but they didn’t make the cut.
Review and discussion: Guardians Of The Galaxy
If you don’t want to be spoiled as to certain plot points, then I recommend skipping to the last paragraph to get my overall spoilerfree review. Otherwise, from here on out the discussion will be about major points in the movie, and I invite those who have seen it to comment below and add to the discussion.
I was always aware of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, but never followed the characters or plots until the relaunch last year, where I picked up trade paperback to catch up and familiarize myself with them. One of the taglines for this movie has been “The Star Wars for the current generation”. I have to agree, but at the same time this movie is something that is very new and hasn’t been done before as a whole. Sure, there are elements rehashed here and there, but if you want something fresh and unique, then stop reading now and go see it if you haven’t. All happiness aside, I do have a few complaints about elements in the movie, so I’ll do a breakdown of the good and not so good (notice I didn’t say bad), and speculate on a few things to come.
The Plot was intelligently written, with plenty of action, humor and suspense. The effects were visually stunning (though I can’t imagine seeing this in 3D.) In regular format this was breathtaking but the fights (especially with Drax involved) were shaky camera at times, and the spinning spacecrafts in the aerial battles were dizzying at times. I’m not saying this was bad, because it made you feel as if you were a part of it, but the problem with this is that for some people it is a turn off. Myself included if I’m trying to follow whats going on screen. In 2D it is great, but I think I’d puke in 3D.
The soundtrack was just plain awesome. I loved all the songs in there (I’m partially biased because I grew up listening to a lot of those), and it worked, also setting up a new similar soundtrack for the next movie. The Easter Eggs and tying into the existing Marvel Comics movie universe were fanboy/girlgasmic. I’ll get into that in my character breakdown, which begins now:
Peter Quill/Starlord: Chris Pratt plays the sarcastic, egotistical Quill very well. He brings the perfect amalgamation of Captain James T Kirk, Indiana Jones & in his own words “Marty McFly” together. The movie shows his evolution from a shy kid to what will become a decent leader. I personally could have done without the over the top cheesy dance sequence in the beginning. After Spiderman 3 I could do nothing but put my head in my hands when I saw this happening at the beginning. Somehow, I didn’t mind it as much during the final faceoff with Ronan.
Gamora: Even with prosthetic facial enhancements and green skin, Zoe Saldana is still appealing to the eye. Aside from her beauty though, she kicked some major ass, just as you would expect from the adopted daughter of Thanos. I even enjoyed the little bit of tension between her and Starlord. I just hope they don’t give into it too much in the future. It’s nice to have that unresolved extra angle in there.
Drax The Destroyer: I’ll admit that when I heard Dave Bautista was going to be Drax, I shivered. I didn’t want to see a wrestler whom I felt had little to no acting ability taking on a character like Drax (who has little to no personality). Yeah, you see my problem there? I was wrong. Bautista nailed the part. I actually wanted him to have more screen time. My only problem with Drax in this movie was some of his lines in the beginning. They seemed a bit too forced but this was a writing issue. I know Drax speaks strangely, but the first few lines he delivered were sub par in dialogue.
Groot: While I held out hope that Vin Diesel would play a big baddie for Marvel at some point, his delivery of “I Am GROOT” was awesome each time it happened. It wasn’t overdone, and Groot’s special effects looked amazing. I am left wondering though if some of his abilities in the movie were indeed in the comics as well. I’m not too familiar with the character other than I knew he could be planted to grow again once destroyed. Speaking of which, the end of the movie, while unnecessary made me smile. I really enjoyed watching baby Groot swinging to the music.
Rocket Raccoon: I wish we’d have had a little more background on Rocket himself, but his presence was welcome for every second. I forgot Bradley Cooper was doing his voice because he seemed like his own little furry personality. A little bit selfish, a little bit of a dick, and just all around rabid feistiness made his part of the team the highlight.
Ronan The Accuser: I remember this villain from many Fantastic Four comics, and knew how menacing and deadly he could be. My problem in this movie wasn’t the portrayal of him. I think Lee Pace did an excellent job. The problem for me is that they are building up Thanos to be a massive badass (which he is), and the guardians plus an entire planet of Nova corps could barely beat Ronan. So then how the hell will the universe be able to battle Thanos at this point? I can’t imagine a movie big enough to do that. With my faith in Marvel I will have to wait and see. His presence proves that the body in Agents of SHIELD tv show was a Kree alien, so now with that cleared up we will have to wait. I loved his look in GOG and the wise use of his hammer and abilities. Even Drax couldn’t stand up to him and that was before Ronan used the infinity stone (gem).
Yondu and Nebula: Both of these characters played by Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan respecitvely added to the whole plot, and I’m glad that they will both be most likely playing a role in the sequel. I really loved the space pirate feel that Yondu gave off, and Nebula’s battle with Gamora was something I could watch over and over just for the tactics alone.
The Nova Corps: While I cannot stand John C Reilly, he surprisingly didn’t irritate the hell out of me in this movie. I thought his presence would have dumbed it down, especially with his delivery in the trailers, but again I was proven wrong. He was used well, and while I didn’t see him as a serious Nova Corps member, he was a welcome addition. There was plenty of setup here with Glenn Close’s Nova Prime and the destruction of most of the city that a path has been paved to have the main Nova (Richard Rider) become a defender of earth in the sequel. Especially with Yondu and Quill’s dad probably wanting to destroy the planet in the sequel.
The Collector: Benicio Del Toro’s role was smaller than I anticipated, but it was more than a glorified cameo. In fact, his entire base of operations was full of cameos including: Slither, Howard The Duck, and Cosmo the Spacedog. Oh yes and one of multiple references to Celestials. I can’t wait til the dvd to pause and see what else is in there. I understand that Adam Warlock’s coccoon (first seen in Thor 2 ending) was now open, leaving his presence open for the future. The infinity stones (gems) were finally explained here. I’ll touch on that in a few minutes.
Thanos: I’m not sold on the whole CGI thing, but Josh Brolin’s delivery and the life he brought to Thanos is downright frightening. The fact that this could end up being the most powerful villain we’ve ever seen on screen is a scary thought, but one I’m anticipating greatly.
That being touched upon, what do we know and where can it go? The infinity Gems. Let’s see. The Tesseract from Captain America and the Avengers movies was the Space Gem (now in the hands of Loki who also has the gauntlet used to contain the gems). We know that now. We also know that Malekith The Dark Elf was using the Aether to change the universe in his image and liking. Hence the Reality Gem (In the hands of the Collector). Ronan used the Power Gem in Guardians of the Galaxy to give him enhanced powers (in the Nova Corps safe). Loki’s Staff in the Avengers had the Mind Gem in it. This was not confirmed by Marvel, however they said that it could be. It only makes sense, AND I can argue this with anyone and prove it if they want to debate it. I’d invite the discussion actually. Anyway, the Mind Gem is in the presence of Baron Von Strucker (we see this at the end of CAptain America 2.) Now with there being six gems in all, that leaves the Soul Gem and the Time Gem.
I think one of these (most likely the soul Gem) will be used in the Doctor Strange movie. It’s been confirmed for 2016 this movie will be an “acid trip” unlike any other movie. Delving into magic and the soul will make this movie completely unique and it only makes sense to tie in this gem with whoever else will be a part of it.
As far as the Time Gem, I don’t want to speculate too much about Avengers Age Of Ultron, but if they do anything similar to the comic storyline of Age of Ultron, then Time Travel could be involved. Did earth somehow get a hold of the Time gem to use? Why do I say this? In the little footage we have seen of this movie, there is a scene where everyone but Tony Stark is dead. That’s what it appears to be. Could he reverse time and change that or maybe Scarlet Witch will alter the probability that this is what happens. Who knows. The Antman movie is supposed to happen around the same time as well, so maybe Hank Pym will have had it in his lab and is studying it. Only TIME will tell. 🙂
There are also 5 unannounced films coming before 2019 by Marvel, and that is in addition to Captain America 3 and Guardians of The Galaxy 2. One of these will obviously be Avengers 3. Another I think would HAVE to be Black Panther. Thor 3 is also in there as most likely. So what about the last 2? I’d like to see a female Ms. Marvel movie in there. All of that should come before the last 2019 movie, which could be called “THE THANOS IMPERATIVE”. It’d be a great long buildup to a part one movie. This could literally be centered around Thanos gathering the gems. It would be a part one and then for 2020 they could bring in part 2 “THE INFINITY WAR”. Now…. the ONLY way that this can happen and even be thinkable as a way to defeat Thanos with his gems is to have everyone in existence team up. No, we don’t need people like Hawkeye or even Captain America. What we need is Thor, Hulk, Adam Warlock and Nova, Ms. Marvel, Doctor Strange, and a few others to go against Thanos. Maybe even Loki who will want the power for himself will join in the attack against the Mad Titan (after all, Thanos will have to steal from him to get what he wants). I even hold out hope that some of the rights to other characters will revert to Marvel, but who knows.
So what do you think? After this long winded review and speculation, I have to give it a rating. Originally I was going to give this movie a point lower, but BECAUSE of it’s originality and the ballsy move that Marvel made taking the chance on such a masterpiece, I’m going to give it 8 out of 10 sCrypt coffins. Please, comment and feel free to discuss your own speculations and feelings toward the movie.
Five reviews in five minutes
I’ve fallen behind in my blogging duties, so I figured I’d play catch up by doing a quick set of reviews, and then get back to working on the other projects at hand. Warning, there will be some spoilers ahead.
Kick Ass 2: While I thoroughly enjoyed the first Kick Ass movie, I was torn with this installment. Half of the movie, in my opinion, was atrocious, while the other half was exactly what the title says “Kick Ass.” I almost lost interest a few times, but then was surprised by a lot of what the first one had going for it. Acting wise, I think the cast was overall decent. I just think at this point that I’d rather see a Hit Girl movie, as she was really the focus of my interest. The character is so messed up and conflicted, but it works well. Don’t get me wrong, the other characters are great, but the whole thing with Kick Ass joining a group of wannabe heroes seemed too far fetched for me. I realize it is a comic book adaptation, but it seemed like they were stretching. I enjoyed the consequences of everyone’s actions. Police chasing down costumed vigilantes made it feel like a real setting, but the end battle with a warehouse of heroes and villains was more a color show of costumes than actually feeling like a realistic battle. It was very anti-climactic. Do I want a sequel? Yes. The end credit scene made me say “Okay, I want to see what’s next with Hit-Girl, Kick Ass, and the Mother-F$&#er. All in all not the worst comic book movie, but certainly not the best. I give it 4 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.
RED 2: A highly underrated film in my mind. RED 2 was an equivelant follow up to its predecessor. It actually gave me interest in picking up the graphic novel for which it’s based. It was campy in spots, but witty campy. John Malkovich had me laughing every time he was on screen, but it wasn’t just his show. The rest of the cast really had great screen chemistry with a good story. Anthony Hopkins stepped into a delusional type of role, which proves that even at his age, he is willing to try something new. I recommend both this and RED 1 for anyone who enjoys a good action movie, that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I give it 6 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins.
JLA Adventures: Trapped In Time: This is a last minute Target exclusive aimed toward younger comic audiences. It brought back some nostalgia of when I was a child, as it felt like an updated version of the old Super-Friends cartoons. (Coincidentally, there are 2 bonus Superfriends episodes with the special features). For the price, it was worth it if you have children. If you are a fan of the normal animated DC movies; however, I recommend skipping it. Here’s why. The story first of all, is a good concept, but there are too many loop holes opened. Granted, this is bound to happen with a time travel element, but the loop holes are so big that a lot of the movie doesn’t make sense. I did like seeing the Legion of Doom battle against the Justice league, as well as the addition of Karate Kid and Dawnstar. Voice acting was subpar, and the movie ended with a cliffhanger that will anger me if I don’t see what happens. This should not happen in a movie I don’t find entirely enjoyable. Maybe I’m being too picky. The good news is that my son (he is about to turn 4 years old) LOVED it. He set up his own Justice League vs Legion of Doom scenario afterwards. Look, the movie was obviously a tribute to the past (pun intended), but unless you are under the age of 12, I don’t think you’ll find it that great (because of the plotholes). I’ll give it 3 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins.
LEGO Marvel Superheroes (videogame): LEGO has continued to pump out video games that contain endless hours of amusement. Getting the rights to use Marvel characters instantly had me thinking…. They did DC, and now Marvel? Maybe we will get a crossover game (because let’s face it, that’s the only way we will see the two rival companies on screen together). Anyway, like LEGO Batman 2 DC Heroes, this game has a very open world environment where you travel to each of your mission points. The story involves SHIELD directing the heroes to stop Loki and Galactus. Even after the main plot, there are other sub stories around the map. I’ll tell you this… If you have never played a LEGO game, then it is worth unlocking EVERYTHING in the game. There are cheats that you can earn by going to Deadpool’s room in the Helicarrier, and while I don’t normally like to cheat in a game, it is the only way to earn money faster, which you need to unlock everything. Oh, so what do you get for 100% completion? Well aside from the over 150 selectable characters, you get Stan Lee himself (yes voiced by him too). He is as entertaining as Deadpool’s commentary, and his powers? well, it is worth you earning him to see just what he can do. The DLC for the game wasn’t worth the purchase in my mind, as I got everything I wanted and more. Now to wait for the sequel. Until then, it gets 10 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins.
Batman Arkham Origins: The Arkham games are probably the BEST comic book related games out there. Origins, while not surpassing the previously released titles, did a good job of keeping the feel. There is more detective work to be done, and Batman is fairly new to crime fighting, so his combat skills need to be utilized in ways to take down a group. Like Batman, this game forces you to think before acting. Running into a room full of guys with machine guns will not help you save the day. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill have been replaced as Batman and the Joker’s respective voices, but their replacements nail it spot on. Voice acting is perfect, the story is outstanding, and the choice of villains is wonderful. My only complaint is that even after defeating 100% of the game, you never actually capture some of the villains. Those that get away are obviously to set up the first game, but it leaves you wondering why Batman isn’t good enough of a detective to stop them. Riddler being my biggest complaint, as his puzzles just ended with not finding him. My other complaint is the use of Electrocutioner’s gloves. To me it felt like I was cheating when I used them, though there were times when they were needed. I have not played the online multiplayer games and honestly I have no desire to, but I did get the Deathstroke and the Bruce Wayne DLC. With the latter, it takes you even further back into the origin of Batman to when Bruce Wayne was training with Master Kirigi in the mountains. This DLC was a welcome addition, albeit extremely difficult. I can only hope the announced Mr. Freeze DLC comes soon. All in all, I give it 7 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins.
So what did you think of any or all of the above? Do you agree? Have anything to add? Disagree? comment below.
Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News
This has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons. Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable. Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.
X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene). The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood. We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains. We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it. Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice. This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it. —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast? Will they kill off Logan? He’s not getting any younger.
X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain. —— They should bring back Angel for this story. It’s only logical. I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin. A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans. Cyclops should be brought back. We never saw a dead body in X-3. He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.
X-Force: All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it. —– Who should be involved? I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel. Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.
Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine. He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP. Either way, it’ll be fun. I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H. I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully. Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.
Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.
The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain. Gwenn Stacey dies. Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer. —- This needs to be done VERY carefully. As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all. If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work. Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense. Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain. There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain. Make it dark and gritty.
Thor 3: It is all but confirmed. The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable. —– thoughts? I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne. Loki teaming with Enchantress and Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.
Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2. We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.
Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants. I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.
Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen. Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen. I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it. In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics. This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long. The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD? Did Magic ressurect him? They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested. I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.
Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group. —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately. Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.
Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3. Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate. — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there. We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.
Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored. Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo). Wonder Woman has been cast. There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——- I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds. I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character. Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne. Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not. In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA. The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all. maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.
Justice League: —– not much is known. Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it. learn A lesson, DC. Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff. Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established. No one wanted to see someone else in the role. Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right. Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.
Arrow: What’s to come? Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow. It’s established. It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe. I can’t stress this enough. Oh, and one other thing. Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister. Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.
There you have it. My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there. Bring me in as a writer or consultant. What do you think? Which movies are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Chime in. The bottom line? I’m a comic book fan. I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed. I want the best of both worlds.
Speculation and Wishful Thinking Part 2: DC Comics Live Action
Yesterday’s article focused on Marvel Comics’ live action adaptations that either are in the works, in development hell, or are rumored. Today, I will do the same for DC comics. There are many great characters in the DC Comics universe. Although I always enjoy what they release, it seems they are afraid to go past Batman and Superman as their mainstays. So what about all of the other movies talked about, and live action series? I will list below what I’d like to see in these incarnations, based on the information that exists and rumors out there. Keep in mind that this is what I WANT… it ISN’T Actually what will happen, unless someone makes it so…
Man Of Steel: Superman will duke it out with General Zod and Faora, we know that. What I’d like to see is this. We know that the military will have a major role in this movie. There are many rumors. They don’t know where superman stands, and this is a problem. What if they create Metallo? Use John Corben as a pawn (btw the goverment being funded by Lex Luthor to do this would be perfect). Metallo is a secondary villain that will help Superman take on the other Kryptonians, but then turn on the Man of Steel for a final showdown between the two. In the process? Superman is wounded, and the government gets a sample of his blood. Hint hint… Lex Luthor funds research into cloning Superman for the next movie. Bizarro will finally get a good on screen appearance.
BATMAN 4: What comes after the Dark Knight Rises? Do Robin Justice as the animated series in the 1990s did. It will be a new cast, and should have new villains. Okay, maybe have the Riddler or Penguin as the main antagonist, but What about the Mad Hatter or Clayface? A Hush storyline would be even more wanted especially with the last decade of fans reading comics. Give them a role at least like the one Cillian Murphy had as the Scarecrow.
Green Lantern 2: Look, the first movie wasnt bad. There were some errors, and relied on a lot of CGI, but all in all, it was a popcorn origin flick. Sinestro has become the villain as alluded to at the end of GL. Have the fear of Parallax residual in Hal Jordan, and since he is incapable of doing much, bring in one of the other Green Lanterns that were human. After all, we have: Kyle Raynor, Jon Stewart, Alan Scott, and Guy Gardner. Not to mention that Carol Ferris should become the Star Sapphire at the end, leading into part 3.
Arrow: Green Arrow will get a series much like Smallville on the WB. He MUST have the goatee. I liked Justin Harley’s portrayal, but have this Oliver Queen a bit more rough and tough. Black Canary is in it and so are Speedy (the female version) and Merlyn. I realize Merlyn will probably be the main antagonist throughout the series, but cameos by outside heroes and villains would do well. I’d love to see the Question pop in there or another secondary character.
Batman vs Superman: I know a World’s Finest Film would be amazing, but really after all this time I just want to see a Justice League movie. If this is the way they pave into a JL film, then fine, otherwise I say keep it on the back burner.
Justice League: Ah, the film that is on again off again. The Justice League movie should be built up to, much like Marvel did with Avengers. Darkseid and apokolips as the antagonist of the story would be amazingly wicked.
Flash: Supposedly this is the next movie on the list after Bats and Supes. To me, Barry Allen is a much more interesting FLash as far as story goes, but Wally West’s personality makes me like him just as much. I’d love to see a Barry Allen Flash movie that maybe has a cameo by Jay Garrick, that a young preFlash Wally West is in. There are plenty of villains ala Captain Cold, Mirror Master and Gorilla Grodd that would be cool on screen. Grodd may not work because it would be seen as a Planet of the Apes rip off, but nonetheless, there is material to work with.
Hawkman: I could see this as a movie on the planet Thandagar. Have a full Hawkman Hawkgirl story there and end it with them on earth. At one time this was in the works and I haven’t heard much about it, but still would love to see happen.
Golden Age Heroes: Clint Eastwood was attached, but I doubt it is happening anymore, as I haven’t heard anything in over a year. A group of elderly superheroes? Why the hell not? I’ll bet it would attract audiences, and you could use the old Justice Society heroes. Spectre, Sandman, Doctor Fate, etc etc… Them coming out of retirement to fight someone who they used to battle, but never ages (Vandal Savage) could be an epic movie.
Wonder Woman: First off, get someone who looks and acts the part. Megan Fox is hot, yes… until she opens her mouth, and then I want to pull my face off. You need a woman with an athletic build, that can act, and who has naturally blue eyes and dark hair. The tv pilot that came out last year failed before it started because they changed everything. I don’t get why this hasn’t happened yet. Most of the movie could take place on Themyscara. Women would see it because Wonder Woman has always been a female icon. Men would see it because who doesn’t want to see a bunch of barely clothed women covered in battle sweat. There can be a whole plot here to make a point about society without getting too political or crossing lines. Ares as the villain comes to mind first.
Smallville Season 11: I know this isn’t live action, but my wife and I watched this show every time it came on, since the beginning of our relationship. They are continuing the saga in comic book form now, and all I ask is that they stay true to what they were doing. The characters were great, and there were a lot of errors. The comic book continuation of this can correct all of that… ahem ahem… Lana Lang being a superkryptonite freak.
I’m sure there are more, but this is what I have heard or seen talk of in the past few years. Please feel free to add to this list or dispute it as well in the comments below. Are there any DC characters or stories you want to see on screen?
Total Speculation and Wishful Thinking for Live action Marvel Movies.
With all of the hype about the upcoming Marvel Movie slate, we have been subjected to lots of news, some confirmations, some allusions, and loads of rumors. I’ve been reading closely all of these, and by using all of the above, I am going to present what I would do at this point (or at least what I am hoping for).
AVENGERS: Loki is somehow controlling the Chitauri. That is the alien race confirmed by Joss Whedon. In Loki’s staff in the trailers, we see a blue gem. There have also been sightings of the infinity guantlet at comic cons around the world. Could it be possible, that by summoning the Chitauri to earth, Loki has somehow alerted Thanos to our presence? This would be a great cameo at the end and leave it open for Avengers 2. Also, with the Chitauri, they could include a nod to Beta Ray Bill. They don’t have to feature him, but perhaps show or say something alluding to him. An extra scene was filmed the other day. Could it be post credits? If so, it has been known that Edgar Wright has had an Antman movie in development for years. Could the Avengers, in post credits, be meeting with an already actor casted Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne? Maybe Antman and The Wasp are developing something called “Ultron”.
THOR 2: Loki is confirmed as a secondary villain. Maybe he is banished after the Avengers, and left in the hands of Enchantress and Executioner. Perhaps the three team up to vow revenge. Thor will have his work cut out for him, especially with his relationship with Jane. He will need help, and if the Avengers movie nods to Beta Ray Bill, he could be brought in to assist in the fray.
Captain America 2: Kevin Feige has been avoiding questions, but never said no to certain things. Flashbacks to WW2 would show how Bucky survived the fall. Baron Zemo could have resussitated him to become the Winter Soldier in modern day. Cap had a sidekick in the comics, and aside from Bucky, the Falcon was in a long series of comics. Captain America and Falcon take on Winter Soldier with Baron Zemo and Hydra. Bucky finally realizes what is going on and ends up back on the side of Cap to help defeat Hydra.
Ironman 3: Ben Kingsley being cast as an unknown villain? Feige believes that the Mandarin is an outdated character, but could it be that they just gave him a makeover? Following loosely, the Extremis storyline, Mandarin (played by Kingsley) develops a tech virus and rings that will be more than a match for Ironman. War Machine returns for a team up, and a great ending to the IM trilogy.
Antman: Remember that hopeful end credits scene in Avengers? Ultron develops into something of a threat. As it tries to take over the earth, Antman and Wasp work hard to defeat the machine they created. Hank even has to change into Giantman at the end to defeat the machine.
Avengers 2: Thanos and the Infinity Gems. Enough said!!
Other Speculations: I know they are separate studios, but really, if DC and Marvel have teamed up in the past, why can’t the studios put aside some differences? Bring in Andrew Garfield and Hugh Jackman as cameos in future Marvel movies. And while we are at it, since they are doing a “Fantastic Four Reborn”, then why not have all in one basket. I realize this would be too much for a two to three hour movie, but cameos are inexpensive and easy to use as cross studio promotions.
Aside from the fact that we need the explanation about Nick Fury’s triple scar on his eye. Wolverine and him in Japan during Wolverine 2 could explain this well. Of course with this movie, we are most likely going to see Logan face off against Silver Samaurai. I think that is all this movie needs. I enjoyed Wolverine 1, but there is no need for all of the other mutants. A cameo by Fury is wanted though.
As I said above, this is just what I’d like to see in these movies. I don’t want to see any redos. Sure, I’m excited for The Amazing Spiderman, but I really am uninterested in seeing duplicate villains. Green Goblin has been done, so please Sony, don’t use him again. There is always Protogoblin, Hobgoblin and Demogoblin as well as Jack O Lantern if you really want a villain like that. Norman Osborne is okay, but don’t have him be goblin. Bring in some more classic villains ala Electro and lead into a sinister six film with a Spidey, Black Cat team up.
X-Men First Class 2 and 3 and X-Men 4: It is time. Magneto and Charles are not quite enemies, and we know even though they have different paths, this is a relationship that was always complicated. Force them to team up against Mr. Sinister, and lead into what would be a time travel epic with part 3. Xmen first class 3 would be clear up some of the loose ends from X-3. Explain the lack of Cyclops’ body in X-men last stand as Cable coming in to save him at the last minute because a dark future is ahead. To fix it, they must travel to the past to take on Apocalypse. Sinister from XFC2 would lead into the Apocalypse saga. Then after they defeat Apocalypse, the future could change. They could then make a fourth Xmen movie entitled “X4ce” (X-force). This would tie up the rest of the loose ends from X-3 and how all of the lost powers didn’t remain gone. It could be a brand new cast with the exception of Angel back as Archangel. Storyline? Days Of Future Past. A sentinel overload.
Deadpool: DO IT! Make it rated R, otherwise it won’t work. Explain the abomination deadpool in the wolverine movie as just a clone or something. Just make it bloody, and him insane crazy… Ryan Reynolds works for this, no matter what anyone says. Get it done already, and do it right. I have no idea who to use as an antagonist, but really we all want to see deadpool for what he is…. Oh, and yes, he must break the 4th wall and interact with the audience as if he is talking to them at times.
Fantastic Four Reborn: Who knows what is happening with this at the moment, but I think the Mole man needs some love. Doctor Doom is one of my favorites, but we’ve seen him. Do something new.
Venom: There is still talk of a Venom movie. Make Carnage the villain and keep it separate from the rest of the Marvel Universe other than a mention of Peter Parker or something along those lines.
Ghost Rider 3: Dan Ketch takes over. Johnny Blaze is made a secondary, and a fresh take on GR can begin.
Daredevil 2: This may be a reboot and may never happen, but I enjoyed the previous incarnation. New cast, Kingpin is back, and another villain under Kingpin’s wing… perhaps the Rose?
Punisher series: There is a series in development for TV. More comic villains. A more realistic take on Hammerhead, and mob villains.
Hulk series: This is also being developed. Not sure what I want from this. I love the Hulk, but I don’t see how they can do this with a TV budget. Please, all I ask is that they get it right and have Mark Ruffalo as Banner again.
Doctor Strange: It’s bound to happen. Just do it now! He has an amazing back story and it would be something fresh for audiences. Obviously it would be an origin story, but there are plenty of elements to pull from for plot.
Black Panther: Again, another good character rumored to be in the works. I don’t know if his story would need to have any supervillains. His origin and who he is could be done in a very realistic setting and in the end have him meeting Steve Rogers for a future Avengers movie.
Powerman: Okay, look… Luke Cage is awesome, BUUUUTTT…. I really think this would be better as a Heroes For Hire Movie… you could have a throwback to classic humor buddy cop movies and Iron Fist and Powerman would be that pairing. THAT I’d love to see.
Those I’ve listed include all the rumors I’ve heard, and my wishes for the path to take…. Do you have something different you’d like to see? If so, comment below… also, are there other movies/series you’d love to see Marvel make? I’ll do this for DC as well in a soon to come post.
Looking back at the first Ghost Rider movie
Since, this past friday marked the theatrical release of its sequel, I decided to rewatch the first movie. First, let’s state the good things. Johnny Blaze was not bad. The dialogue and acting, though not at all the best, was for the most part a good start. Then Nic Cage became Ghost Rider and the script took a dump.
His dialogue became so cheesy and unbelievable that it was cringe worthy. With that being said I still enjoyed it for a popcorn flick, but one that I won’t watch again for a very very long time.
I grew up thinking that Ghost Rider was one of the best comic book characters out there. I loved his story and just saw it as a breath of fresh air. When I heard that they were making a movie and it was staring a supposed comic book loving actor, I thought they could do no wrong. Boy was I mistaken.
Aside from the crappy dialogue, the villains in it looked nothing like their comic book versions. I also did not like the fact that the tires of the motorcycle were melting the ground wherever he drove. Now let’s get on to the characters.
Johnny Blaze – In the comics he had long blonde hair. Nic cage has short receding dark hair. Okay, I can get over that, but the look was already off. Cage’s acting could have been worse, but for the first half of the movie I felt that he did Johnny Blaze justice in portraying the kind of stunt bike guy he is. I especially enjoyed the end when he used a shotgun to defeat the main villain. Blaze in the comics had been known to carry a shotgun that fired hellfire.
Roxanne Simpson – Eva Mendes is gorgeous. She was one of the good things about the movie, but I feel that they just made her out to be so dumb. She is a reporter and she puts up with Johnny Blaze’s crap because she just doesn’t get it. Her dialogue was again, poorly written, but not painful on delivery.
Ghost Rider – The look was good, excellent in fact, and the motorcycle was fantastic. His voice and CGI were off a little and made him look fake in certain scenes. I hang my head low in shame even now as I type this. I will say that the horrible spikes growing from his shoulders and the way the chain was aqcuired was odd, but this is redeemed by the effects of his “Penance Stare”. The way it was done in the movie could not have been displayed any better.
Mephistopheles – Peter Fonda’s acting was as painful as Cage’s. He had these occasional “mmmm” sounds he would do that made me wonder if he was passing gas. In the comics, Mephisto was evil looking. He looked like Satan with red skin and angular hair. If they would have made Fonda’s skin red in color, I’d have been satisfied, but like Johnny Blaze’s hair, I can get past this. I did not like however that when the lightning flashed, it showed his “demon form” briefly. I didn’t feel that was needed at least with Mephisto. He did have however the best character development in the movie for what it was. He still felt evil as well.
The Hidden (Wallow, Gressil, and Abigor) – This group of demons was not something I was familiar with as they were created for the movie. They were perhaps my favorite part of the film. The water, earth and air demons looked badass and were exactly what they were meant to be… supporting roles. Their effects looked good, but I feel as though they were defeated way too easily. It was as if there was no climax with them.
Blackheart – I am mad at this one. Blackheart is the son of Mephisto, and while they did not mention that in the movie, they didn’t need to. He was a rogue general of hell’s army just rebelling against his father. My problem here is that they got some goth looking guy to play the part. Blackheart was a black demon that had long porcupine like spikes coming from his head and body. Even at the end when I expected him to let go of his human form and become what I so wanted to see on the screen, it never happened. The way he was defeated felt too forced as well.
Carter Slade – Sam Elliot is a good actor, though he didn’t have much to work with here. I don’t even know what to call him. They combined two comic book characters into one. Because of this, I will analyze him in that way. First up is the Caretaker. He looked just like the comic counter part with the cowboy appearance and shovel. He also had the same mentor type roll and guardian of the cemetary mission that I knew him for. This Caretaker side of him was dead on all around. Next is Phantom Rider. He was never called this in the movie, but the name Carter Slade in the comics was the alter ego of Phantom Rider, who was the original old west ghost rider. I liked the fact that he was in the movie, but he wasn’t needed like this. The caretaker could have been left the way he was without changing him. In the comics he was more of a ghost looking rider than a flaming skull ghost rider.
To summarize my review I’ll put it this way. I accepted the many flaws this movie had. If I was someone who had no idea what the comic book was like, I think I would have enjoyed it except for the delivery of bad dialogue and anticlimax. As a fan of Ghost Rider in the comics, I am severely disappointed. It did have its moments though that made me satisfied for a brief time. I plan on seeing the sequel this week and will do a review on that as well. In the meantime I give the first Ghost Rider movie a 4 out of 10.