Monday, July 17, 2017
So this is Marvel Studios first shot at a stand alone film with arguably their most beloved hero. What worked with Holland's portrayal of the character in Civil War still works here. The movie is flawed, but fun. Where the other actors fell flat Holland excels, but he still has a script to adhere to and it's the writing where things get a little iffy. The twist with Keaton's Vulture and how he was mixed into his life on a few levels was clever even with it's deviation from the source material. However the biggest flaw was the lack of Spider sense. Spidey senses tingling is almost a part of the pop culture surrounding this character so why is it not a part of the character? Would this have really messed up the twist with Keaton before the third act ? No.
What did they get right? I thought Keaton did a good job as the Vulture. I liked the easter eggs they dropped for the Sinister Six and making it obvious Scorpion is going to be at least one of the villains in the next movie. I still want to see Black Cat on screen and they could have laid the ground work for that without making her seem like a Cat-woman rip off which she is but some how it's still ok with me , must be the boobs. But I digress. I had heard going into this it was more of a comedy than a action movie. This is not true it was a good balance. I think one of the things I was most greatful for was that it was not another origin story. There was still that Greatest American Hero moment with the hi tech suit which, I know Spider-man has now in the comics thanks to Parker Industries , but he did not have it back then.
Sure some of the casting was flawed. An Indian Flash Thompson was a stretch, how many Indians do you know with the last name of Thompson? But it was the fact he was on the debate team and not the football team that really fumbled. They missed a great chance to throw in some anti-bullying social justice bull shit here which I would have still rolled my eyes at , but it would be in proper context and was part of Parker's mythology. Tomei as Aunt May still worked. So that was a casting oddity I was fine with so I am flexible to certain extent. I was also fine with the alien tech from the first Avengers being used to make things like the Shockers gauntlets. So it did not seem forced. What did seem forced was Parker's relationship with Stark. Aside from that I think it's on the tier under Dr. Strange, Captain America and Iron-Man, so maybe number five in the Marvel movies...are we counting Logan in that ? Oh yeah I would review it but it's been out so long I'll just say I liked it and put it in the top five Marvel movies
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Wonder Woman has been out for three weekends. By now most of you who would click on an article like this have probably seen it.I waited to review it after I had a week to think about it. It's easy to get swept up in the hype and have it's momentum to blur objective thinking. I saw on Facebook some one making their views about the movie known and saying not o say anything negative about it. This is dangerous because it means you can't hear other peoples views as it threatens how you feel about your own. I get it Wonder -Woman was the movie you had been waiting for. Lets face it if Wonder- Woman had flopped it would have seal to coffin on the sub-genre of female fronted super-hero films .But Wonder Woman is not a scared cow. To say Wonder Woman is one of the best D/C movies is not really saying much. It's true it is better than Super-man vs Bat-man, Cat-Woman,Green Lantern and Bat-man Forever. Those movies are all also awful. super hero movies in a long time is just untrue- It's not better than Dr. Strange or Civil War.
The first Captain America movie is a good one to compare this to, It has a retro feel. It even has the displaced born in the wrong time element. Here is the push and pull of the origin story. I am so sick of them and then it was un-needed as we were already introduced to her in Batman vs Super-man. There might have been a better way to take us to Paradise Island and give us a little background into how she is being defined here. It could have been told in five mins over a campfire when they are in Germany. The movie's strengths are when it played to her connection to Humanity. Much like Captain America she was a person from another time trying to find her way back into the world of man. The humor was well balanced. Gal Gadot captured Diana's personality, though is still a little scrawny to be an Amazon, Her picking up a tank just seemed laughable with those arms. The suspension of disbelief laid solely on her acting. The action sequences up until the climax which turned into a huge cgi throw down. It was like the producers called up asked how much of the budget was left and then told them to throw that into effects . This is a problem with many comic book movies. I think Dr.Strange, the first Cap and Iron-man not as much. So Wonder-woman only suffered where many others do. But if they wanted to make this stand out they could have chosen differently. I think that's why the Netflix shows like Daredevil do more with less.
So while Wonder-woman rose to the occasion, especially on a box -office level and with the re-shoots of Justice League taking place cements her as the center-piece of the D/C verse til another solo Bat-man movie comes out, what does it mean for other female super-heroes? We know Joss Whedon is doing a Bat-girl movie, but Capt Marvel could be the next big flop on the heels of a bigger flop in Black Panther, whose trailer looks like the Jungle Book meets Fast and Furious. It could mean D/C movies on the up swing, until they get to Cyborg, which will get pushed back as other properties with more potential bump it out of the way. I'll agree Wonder-woman was the best D/C film that's not Bat-man Begins or the Original Super-men, but trails behind others. If you are afraid to take off the blinders and see the reality of that then you deserve the Cyborg movie.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
So I just had to press publish on this to get it out of the way so I could move forward. First off lets address the elephant in the room which is ...why is a comic book fan of over 35 year no longer passionate about his favorite line of comics. This is the back lash Marvel is feeling not just from me , but much like I predicted their effort to make comics more diverse is going down the drain and the books just aren't selling . So in getting caught up here I am going to reviews. where we are at coming out of the spring and throw in my thoughts with the current books and then try to force myself to care more at get back on track with more current reviews. Well going into the spring, Marvel begins to improve a little but not after they really shit the bed getting there. The In-humans vs X-men series was total shit with a few peanuts in between.The Clone Conspiracy fizzle out bring Parker into the hunt for Osborne as the end game and this looks to give Amazing Spider-man some promise going forward.
The 4th issue of U.S Avengers is entertaining over the top and silly, not sure about Ross not being the Hulk. But at this point we gotta take what we can get. The Mighty Thor turned out to be another waste of time and the Destroyer vs Gladiator fight which could have been the best part of the issue was all off panel. Showing a little more promise was the issue of Totally Awesome Hulk , Which forced too many guest stars to pile/ I like Silk well enough, but what is the purpose of her being there? The 7th issue of Invincible Iron-man has Ri Ri getting her butt beat by Nitro who is a b-list villain. If they are smart they will keep her in the Champions and admit there is no reason for her to have her own book. While I was glad to see the Leader in the second issue of Monsters Unleashed, the overall story left something to be desired. I am a fan of Ilsa Bloodstone, but it did not feel like the best use of her character.
The 12th issue of Black Panther was terrible and if they pattern the movie after the comic it will be a snooze fest. Captain America is not doing very well either so this Secret Empire arch they are building towards looks to be equally disappointing. It's some of the off shot titles that are the most fun like the 2nd issue of Elektra that pits her against Arcade. It holds the magic you wanted from comic from the 80's and 90's. The 20th issue of this current Daredevil run, finds the art at least returning to it' glory days and the book staying very street level , almost too much so for my personal tastes. The first issue of Luke Cage is better than I thought it was going to be. The problem with him is his limited rogues gallery.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The fact that it takes an act of sheer willpower for me to power through and write about comics, after having a blog devoted to them speaks volumes to the sad state of things. Marvel Should be ashamed of themselves. It's not just me that feels this way. I went into a local comic book store and talked to the owner . He told me things are rough for Marvel and fans are not pleased. He said it's a great time to be a D/C fan because you watch Arrow on TV and then go open a comic book and those characters are generally the ones you loved from the show. People go to a Marvel movie and then pick up a comic book and are confused. This diversity trend is hurting things just like I predicted.
Are things getting better this year? well with half the heroes replaced by impostors it can't get worse. U.S Avengers is another take on the New Avengers it follows the former Sun-spot and gets mired down slightly by a time line hopping Danielle Cage, the art is great and it has the Red Hulk in it so I am hopeful s he seems more like Hulk than Cho. The two big events on the front end of the year to follow up the underwhelming Civil War 2 that seemed just a vehicle to kill off more of the old favorites are the In-humans vs X-men and this Monsters Unleashed. Of the two Monsters Unleashed might be another vehicle to promote their new teen characters , but is also has more of a classic Marvel feel. I like the fact Ilsa Bloodstone is in this, of the newer characters she is one of my favorites .It is more like a D/C story line as it's just a bunch of random fighting. The In-humans vs X-men might also be a bunch of fighting, but it doesn't pack the punch it feels like it should.
The Clone Conspiracy is not terrible, but I am not sure if it is really making anything any better in the long run. Avengers comic books are mired down in another Kang thing, Glad Hercules is back in the mix, but the stories are disjointed. Thor's Unworthy book is decent. The Mighty with Jane Foster another story that feels forced. Solicits for Sam Wilson's book shows him back in the Falcon costume, it just won'r sell as many books if the title was Falcon. Black Panther is so terrible there is no way that movie can't be a disaster. Guardians of the Galaxy are being spread thin in solo books, and the main one which finds them on Earth is not what it once was. Scarlet Witch is a mess and Dr. Strange which has been the strongest title is heading in that direction. It's also hard to care about anyone on a street level as Daredevil had potential that is now kind giving us stories we have read before, and I am finding it hard to care about the Punisher. We won't even start on how bad Iron-man is .
For me to almost not want to even bother reading comic books is a problem I have been reading them for over thirty years, Marvel you should be ashamed of your self.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
With everything that has been going on with my life, I have still been reading comics, have done little else than compile the reviews here and never finish it so this is a helter skelter compilation of issues that came out in December and have been sitting here for a month, I am going to make another post where I sum up the year maybe even do a top ten comic books of 2016, but until then lets catch up with what Marvel did last month.
The 8th issue of Black Panther finds it going back into a contrived Game of Thrones like family drama and losing all of the fun a super-hero comic should have. Contrived story lines abound in the explanation of Gwen's jump into this world in Amazing Spider-man as now the tangled web grows bringing Kaine into the mix. The 15th issue of the Sam Wilson book veers from his story to focus on Demolition man's wrestling. Not bad but not great either. The 13th issue of Old Man Logan turned into a bizarre anime like thing. I'm fine with Black Cat coming on board for the 12th issue of Hell-cat, but what is up with Jubilee? The book would benefit from better art and less of a Squirrel Girl attitude.The 16th issue of Extraordinary X-men wraps up the silly Inferno like story line so they can go head on with the In-humans, it all felt a little contrived. The same could be said for Black Widow which finds the book floundering by it's 8th issue. The first issue of this new volume of Ghost Rider doesn't owe too much to the Agents of SHIELD version of the character allowing Robbie to be who is is. With the addition of Cho Hulk and X-23, I think it was too cluttered as those guys don't show a connection to Ghost Rider. The second issue of the Great Lakes Avengers was well drawn and not a thoughtfully plotted out.
All New Wolverine's 14th issue is predictable but keeps the story moving in the new Enemy of the State arc that finds Laura at odd with Shield. The 14th issue of Dr. Strange brings in Satanna, who attempts to force fed strange into the role of her celebrity hell, I like the way she is drawn in this and want to see more of her in the Marvel U. The second issue of Jessica Jones does a great job of blending the feel of the show with what a Marvel comic books should have and much of this is due to the inclusion of Spot from Spider-man's rogues gallery. Not of fan of the break up with Luke Cage. The second issue of the Infamous Iron-man only just begins the show down with Ben Grimm that is teased on the cover. It's ok, nothing to really get too excited about. Mosaic's second issue was better, but I am not sure he can hold his own book, he belongs in the In-humans.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
After what happened at the polls this week, the Riri Iron-man books, feels like a discarded foot note in Marvel's social justice warrior agenda. I can't see Disney wanting to be considered subversive, so no more M.O.D.O.K Trump jokes. What is eluded to here is the fact Tony Stark might have been killed off in Civil War 2. So Marvel is really spitting in the faces of it's fans by taking away a third character we know and love. Three from the cinematic universe, if they continue to commit marketing suicide. This week it was obvious we are tired of being politically correct, so give us back the original characters living and dead.
All- new X-men brings back the Inferno arc and seems like it is setting the ground for their next Monsters on the Loose cross over, though we know some of that is coming from the Cho-Hulk series. Amazing Spider -Man's Renew Your Vows feels good as a story until you consider where this is going to fit into to continuity. Speaking of outside continuity that go back and tell a classic Avengers story on the 1.1 Avengers book. Why not just make this line-up the new team and kick the imposters out? This eliminates the margin for error more ret-conning can cause. As for ret-conning gone wrong, the seventh issue of Captain America, finds this hail Hydra story line muddying the waters even further. The 13th issue of Daredevil is a waste of time as Murdock is barely in the book which focuses more on his side kick we could not give a shit about and the serial killer chasing him in the sewer.
Ret-conning continues with the second issue of the Clone Conspiracy. The Jackal brings back everyone who has died on Spider-man's watch with what he implies to be the best intentions and they do handle the two Gwen Stacey's as well as one could deal with that without killing them off, which is what is best. This does raise the question of if this will create more problems than it solves. The Uncanny X-men was a slight improvement, but the Uncanny Avengers was much better as they square off against the Hulk who is resurrected by the Hand. The team sees that they are out classed. Though Rogue goes into the fight thinking she can hand with any version of the Hulk. This version can't talk but doesn't seem to be totally mindless as it has enough memory to fight out of instinct. Not sure Cable is going to help much.
Friday, November 4, 2016
My wife will tell you how I have been talking about this movie for the past three years. Dr. Strange stands along side the Hulk and Thor as my favorite Marvel characters. Until Spider-man was announced I was pretty adamant that this was going to be one of the last great Marvel films. Once you see this movie you will begin to question just how great were those other Marvel films. I still feel pretty strongly about the first Captain America and Iron-man, but I would say Dr. Strange is better than those. Perhaps it is because of the freedom the movie has to throw the suspension of disbelief out the window. Magick is not explained away as science like it is in the Thor movies.
My only slight concern with this is magick is not given limits or shown as taxing them in any way once it is mastered. In the original comics this was how it was presented, and there are some Greatest American Hero moments with the Cloak of Levitation. I suppose we also see what happens when you use the dark dimension to supplement your powers. The cast didn't have any weakness either from Strange to Mordo the cast could do no Wong. I do think Wong's role should shift once Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme. I did not catch what they said in the London Sanctum to the character defending it if he was Jericho Drumm or not...Brother Voodoo. I think at wink toward's Clea would have been nice and if I was making a fan boy wish list one of the Acolytes could have been Damien Hellstorm.
Yes, Rachel McAdams is the same character as Rosario Dawson in the Net Flix shows. So that is awkward. See I did not complain about Tilda Swinton's Ancient one cause she is great so take that social justice Ghost Busters.
The effects were the best of any Marvel movie to date, though it looks like they are stepping it up on the trailer to the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer so the bar is high. Were there elements that bring to mind the Matrix and Inception. Yes, but it was not a deal breaker for me, Swinton could have almost asked him to pick the red pill or the blue pill at one point. The action was well paced. The fight scenes were martial arts based, but creative enough though a common theme was lets keep running as we fight. The fight in the astral plane was pretty awesome and one of the movie's high points along with the showdown with the big bad who if you do not know is in the movie I will not utter his name here, but could have used a little more flame on his head, but closer to the comics than Galactus was in Fantastic Four, or Dr. Doom if we are talking about the last movie. No major issues, laughed more than I thought I would it was endearing and you can go into this movie knowing less about the character than you did for Ant-man. Would see it again in theaters if I was bored. I saw it in 3d, which was expensive, but effective.