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Civil War

Posted on May 13th, 2016

Dave!As a huge, huge, massively huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, you would think that I'd have seen Captain America: Civil War on opening day. And heaven only knows I wanted to so as to avoid spoilers that plague the internet... but work got in the way. Today I had to run an errand for work, and decided to see the film on the way back home.

And it. Was. Spectacular...

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

I'm putting my full comment in an extended entry so people who haven't seen it yet can do so... but, suffice to say, it's absolutely everything you want in a comic book movie. Go see it immediately.

For everybody else? Continue at your own risk...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

War!

Posted on March 12th, 2016

Dave!My brain.

My brain is melting.


   

Marvel continues to blow past my expectations with each new film.

Cannot wait for this.

   

Bullet Sunday 366

Posted on February 2nd, 2014

Dave!Put down that foam finger, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bowl! Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for their massive Super Bowl win. I'm especially happy for long-time Seahawks fans who have kept the faith for so very long and have now had their devotion rewarded...

Seahawks Victorious!
Pete Carroll, 9/11 Truther and Seahawks Coach, celebrates! Photo by Charlie Riedel at the Associated Press

I'm less excited for all the fair-weather Hawks fans who are all too happy to shit all over Seattle when they're losing... but will still be celebrating "their" victory tonight.

   
• Twelfth! Personally, I think the whole "Twelfth Man" thing is annoying as shit, but there's no denying that it's become bigger than the team they're dedicated to supporting. This was made abundantly clear when a Boeing jet was taken out to draw a big "12" across Washington State...

Boeing Twelfth Man Plane Ride

It's the ultimate Etch-A-Sketch!

Though, I have to say that this huge display of fandom pales in comparison to this guy...

He's probably the only person happier about the Seahawks' victory than the actual Seahawks.

   
• Kitteh! Everybody knows about The Puppy Bowl... but did you know there's a KITTEN BOWL?!? I just finished watching the big game, featuring Meowshawn Lynch...

Kitteh Bowl at the Kitten Bowl!

Adorable. You can get more info at The Hallmark Channel.

   
• Cap! Holy cats does Captain America: Winter Soldier look frickin' amazing...

Thrilled to see The Falcon debut at last... would be even more thrilled if a black super-hero would get their own film. Hello? Black Panther? Luke Cage? Brother Voodoo!? And while I'm equally thrilled to see Black Widow making an appearance (which makes total sense because of The Winter Soldier)... where is her frickin' movie? Even if the film is a dud, at least we're finally getting to see S.H.I.E.L.D. at the high-tech kick-ass organization it is (as opposed to the embarrassment we've been getting from the lame-ass television show).

   
• Mine! I'm probably going to catch some crap for posting this... BUT IT'S JUST SO TRUE!

I've lost count of the number of times I've asked "Do you want something?" and am told "No!"... only to have my date/girlfriend EAT MY FOOD! Seriously, you said you didn't want any... SO KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF MY FRIES! Not that I can actually say that, but I want all the fries!

   
• LEGO! Okay... okay... I know I won't shut up over The LEGO Movie's impending release, but how can you blame me? The latest trailer is beyond awesome...

And...

Could Chris Pratt BE any more perfect for the role?

This may very well be the greatest movie ever made. I cannot wait to see it.

   
Annnnd... chocolate pudding time!

   

Avengers!

Posted on May 4th, 2012

Dave!HOLY CRAP WHAT A FRICKIN' AWESOME MOVIE!!

I don't want to spoil it for anybody, so I'm not going to give away anything. Except to say that The Avengers is a comic book lover's dream that even people who don't care for comic books will enjoy.

Which is not to say it's perfect. There are definitely some moments where it dragged a bit. But, unlike the crappy trio of original X-Men films which wimped out in every way possible, The Avengers attempted to show the brutal reality of what it would be like when a super-hero team come to life. And it totally worked...

The Avengers Movie Poster

Writer/Director Joss Whedon just eclipsed every other comic book super-hero film ever made. And I loved, loved, loved it.

With one small exception.

Which I can't talk about without RUINING THE FILM FOR ANYBODY WHO HASN'T SEEN IT.

So absolutely DO NOT read the extended entry until you've seen the movie. Seriously, you just can't go any further if you haven't seen the film. Even if that's going to be on DVD two years from now. Which it shouldn't be, because this movie is screaming to be seen on the big screen.

But before we get to that, time to update my whole "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard as follows...

The Avengers... A+
Batman Begins... A
Batman Dark Knight... A+
Blade... B
Blade 2... B
Blade Trinity... B-
Captain America... A+
Catwoman... F
Daredevil... B-
Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+
Elektra... D
Fantastic Four... C
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D
Ghost Rider... C
Green Hornet... D
Green Lantern... C+
Hellboy... A
Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A
Hulk... C-
Incredible Hulk... B
The Incredibles... A+
Iron Man... A+
Iron Man 2... A
Jonah Hex... F
Kick-Ass... B+
Punisher... C+
Punisher War Zone... C
Spider-Man... B+
Spider-Man 2... A
Spider-Man 3... D-
Superman Returns... C+
Thor... B+
Watchmen... B
X-Men... C
X-Men 2: United... D
X-Men 3: Last Stand... F-
X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D
X-Men: First Class... B
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Cap!

Posted on August 18th, 2011

Dave!Before we do this, GO GET FREE MATT & KIM!! Yes! FREE! And not a bad track!

Last night after my complete mental breakdown over losing David's Pizza, home of my favorite pizza on earth, I decided to drink a lot of alcohol and go see Captain America. While neither eased my pain completely, I was a lot better off at the end of the day.

I'm going to review Captain America: The First Avenger now, because I'm a total comic book geek like that but, if that's not something you care to read about, I'll just sum it up thusly: This film is pretty close to flawless. Not just for a comic book movie, but for ANY movie. Even if you're not into the whole super-hero thing, it would be worth your time to watch. I love, love, loved it...

Captain America Poster

Before we get into the movie itself, a little background on me and Captain America.

Growing up, I was a total DC Comics fan (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.)... and not much of a Marvel Comics fan (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, etc.). That being said, Cap was the first Marvel comic that I got into. It all started with Captain America and Falcon #211-213 by comics giant Jack Kirby. The stories were originally published in 1977, but I got ahold of them as a poly-bagged set the early 1980's (I'm guessing they were re-prints?). These issues were a great read, having plenty of action and featuring the quintessential Cap villains The Red Skull and Arnim Zola. Unfortunately, my new-found infatuation with the Captain America universe was short-lived, because the current issues of the title were a drastic step down from the Kirby reprints I had just read. After that I pretty much ignored Captain America unless he was in other Marvel titles, like The Avengers.

Captain America #212

All that changed in 2004 when Ed Brubaker came onboard for a Captain America relaunch. Since then I've been a fan of the character, snapping up most of the graphic novel collections as they are released. Far from being an exercise in one-dimensional blind patriotism, Burbaker's treatment of the character was a fascinating exploration that actually had some depth to it. Even though he eventually ended up killing Steve Rogers, then bringing him back (of course), the book remains an excellent read.

Which is why I was terrified over the Captain America film despite the awesome set photos that were released. There was just too much to lose.

Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about. The First Avenger is near-flawless, and works on so many levels. As a straight-up action movie, it's a good time. As a war-movie, it's an immediate classic. As a super-hero film, it's faithful to the source material. Like Iron Man and Thor before it, the character just works on film. Beautifully.

It all starts as the USA has entered World War II and weakling Steve Rogers wants to join the fight. Unfortunately, a multitude of chronic illnesses makes him unfit for duty. Never one to be discouraged, Steve keeps trying until he has the good fortune to be noticed by Dr. Abraham Erskine. The good doctor is secretly working with the US Army to develop a new "super soldier" serum, and Steve Rogers has the qualities of heroism, bravery, and kindness he's looking for. The experiment is a complete success, and Captain America is eventually born... becoming the "Sentinel of Liberty" for the American war effort. Lots of cool action sequences ensue.

The Good Great

• Casting. I'm not the biggest Chris Evans fan, but there is no denying that he is Captain America on-screen. Unlike his previous role as The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films, Evans actually has to project something more than cocky aloofness here. He has to be a living, breathing icon, and he nails it. The early scenes where special effects have turned Evans' perfect physique into wimpy Steve Rogers is where he really shines as an actor, and his every scene is exceedingly good. Other roles are equally well-cast, most notably the incredible Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine, Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Phillips, and an absolutely amazing Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull.

• Story. Usually origin stories are notoriously superficial and boring on the screen, but director Joe Johnston and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely somehow managed to make Captain America work perfectly. The set-up is just right, telling the viewer everything they need to know about the world they'll be visiting. The progressive origin of Cap is both logical and entertaining. The action is full-on excitement without becoming comical. It's everything you want in a comic book movie... or any adventure movie, really.

• Costumes. Captain America's garish outfit would be a really easy thing to screw-up on the big screen. That didn't happen. The evolution of his costume is handled incredibly well, with everything making perfect sense. The period-specific costumes for all the other actors were equally amazing, and really made you feel you were back in time. Somebody should win an Oscar here.

• Rewards. There were clever moments with some of the characters which hinted to their futures (as shown in the comic books). They were clever enough to reward comic fans, but subtle enough not to confuse newbies. My favorite? Arnim Zola's intro. Genius.

• Effects. The tough thing about having futuristic energy weapons showing up in the 1940's is that it just doesn't work logistically. But the integration was so deftly handled and so logically explained that it just didn't matter. And, again, mad props to the people responsible for turning Chris Evans into wimpy Steve Rogers at the beginning of the film...

Real Chris Evans VS. Wimpy Chris Evans
I know special effects are good now-a-days, but this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

The Not-So-Great

• Set-Up. I love the way that the Marvel Universe films are all fitting together (ultimately culminating with The Avengers movie next Summer)... but Captain America goes overboard. Having Tony (Iron Man) Stark's dad be the leading scientist of the war effort? Cool. Having the Cosmic Cube come from Thor's dad's treasure room? Great. But having the so much of the plot being a set-up for future films? Dangerous. Especially at the very end of the film, which seems a little tacked-on and artificial. In the future, let the movies stand on their own... if they're well-made and faithful to the source material, they'll still fit into the Marvel film universe and get people excited to see more.

• Bullets. Near the beginning of the film, a Hydra Nazi is being chased by Steve soon-to-be-Captain-America Rogers. Along the way he fires like a bajillion bullets from his gun... without re-loading. Man, how I hate that.

   
So overall? Fantastic and faithful film with a lot of action, honesty, and heart.

And this updates my whole "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard as follows...

Batman Begins... A
Batman Dark Knight... A+
Blade... B
Blade 2... B
Blade Trinity... B-
Captain America... A+
Catwoman... F
Daredevil... B-
Daredevil (Director's Cut)... B+
Elektra... D
Fantastic Four... C
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer... D
Ghost Rider... C
Green Hornet... D
Green Lantern... C+
Hellboy... A
Hellboy 2: Golden Army... A
Hulk... C-
Incredible Hulk... B
The Incredibles... A+
Iron Man... A+
Iron Man 2... A
Jonah Hex... F
Kick-Ass... B+
Punisher... C+
Punisher War Zone... C
Spider-Man... B+
Spider-Man 2... A
Spider-Man 3... D-
Superman Returns... C+
Thor... B+
Watchmen... B
X-Men... C
X-Men 2: United... D
X-Men 3: Last Stand... F-
X-Men Origins: Wolverine... D
X-Men: First Class... B

   

Bullet Sunday 225

Posted on March 27th, 2011

Dave!Back to reality for a super-hero-fashion episode of Bullet Sunday! But, before we get there, I need to remind everybody that the best podcast on the internet you're probably not listening to is now on iTunes! Cannot recommend it highly enough: Hey! That's My Hummus on iTunes. And for baseball talk, don't forget Just Talking to the Cornfield on iTunes.

   
• Wonder Woman! I've had very strong reservations over the whole David E. Kelley Wonder Woman television pilot from the very beginning. From everything I've read, it seems as though he's dead-set on putting his personal stamp on the material, which means we're not going to get Wonder Woman... it's going to be Ally McBeal in bad latex. The first episode's villain is perfume company CEO Veronica Cale (WTF?) which is being played by the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley (who arrived in L.A. a while back to film her scenes)...

Liz Hurley arrives in L.A. for Wonder Woman shoot
©2011 Michael Wright/WENN (from AceShowbiz)

Since Elizabeth Hurley is in it, I'm pretty much obligated to watch the show now. Which is a shame, because the official Wonder Woman costume photo looks like crap...

Shitty New Wonder Woman Costume

In all seriousness, I've been to comic book conventions where the fan costumes looked better than this cheap-n-glossy joke. She looks like a badly-dressed dominatrix or something. Such a horrible departure from the classic Wonder Woman uniform that was worn so perfectly by Linda Carter in the original TV show...

Linda Carter as Wonder Woman.

Call it cheesy if you want, but THAT'S what Wonder Woman is supposed to look like. COSTUME GRADE: F

   
• Spider-Man! And speaking of truly terrible costumes... I loved the first two Spider-Man movies. The third one was awful story-wise, but had really good action sequences. Still, I was hoping for another Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire installment because I liked the "feel" they gave the character. Alas, it was not to be. So now we've moved on to something new which could be good or could be bad. And if the costume is what we have to go on, this is going to be as bad as it gets...

New Spider-Man Movie Costume

Even if he didn't have an inexplicably black crotch, this would be a horrible interpretation of an iconic costume. COSTUME GRADE: D

   
• Captain America! The modern-day Captain America comics have never interested me very much. Sure there are good stories that pop up from time to time but, overall, it's a one-note concept to me. But I have to say, everything I've seen for the upcoming Cap film looks flawless. First of all, they set the movie in World War II, which is faithful to the character's origin. Second of all, it seems as if director Joe Johnston is going out of his way to make it a fun and entertaining film to watch...

Chris Evans as Captain America

Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull

Captain America Film Still

What's so killer about Cap's costume is how you can see they're clearly building up to his modern-day outfit by starting with a WWII era interpretation. He was designed to be a symbol for the guys in the trenches, and its coming across perfectly. And just look at the Red Skull! Cannot wait for this movie. COSTUME GRADE: A

   
• Thor! Other than Walter Simonson's brilliant run on the character in the 1980's, I've never been a big fan of Thor. He just never seems to work in the context of the super-hero genre very well. But this film has Kenneth Branagh directing, and the trailers look to be pretty epic in scope, so we'll see...

Thor Costume

I am the first to admit that translating Thor's costume to the big screen is no easy task... but this looks all cheesy and plastic to me. I'm guessing it's supposed to be metal (maybe it is!), but I'm still not impressed and think it would have looked better with a brushed metal? This is probably going to appear much better on-screen when lit properly, so it's hard for me to be too critical. It is, after all, pretty faithful in "feel" to the original. COSTUME GRADE: C+

   
• Green Lantern! This is the hardest movie of all to figure out. I think my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds was flawless casting for Hal Jordan, but the movie is looking like a George Lucas CGI party instead of a film of any substance. The special-effects generated costume in the preview trailer looked so bad that I couldn't fathom how the movie could possibly work...

Ryan Reynolds in Bad Green Lantern Costume

But then I saw this shot of Mark Strong as Sinestro and thought "maybe"...

Sinestro Movie Costume

Green Lantern was one of the first comic books I ever read, and so I continue to hope that everything comes together. Out of all the super-hero projects underway, it has the most potential for greatness... or disaster.

Ryan Reynolds and the Ring

It's pretty hard to get a feel for how the costume works from still images. On Hal Jordan, all the crazy lines look just plain stupid. On Sinestro, they look awesome. I'm guessing that when they're in-motion they'll be all glowing and stuff, which will probably look cool. Or corny. I have no idea. I do think it would have been better to not go with 100% CGI though, which seems like a recipe for disaster. COSTUME GRADE: Wait and C

   
• X-Men! I should probably get this out of the way... I loathed all of the X-Men films. They were SO BORING. The X-Men were never really given any battles. Sure there were some silly little scrapes here and there, but they didn't have any scope. Everything in the movie seemed so much smaller than life. And while the costumes weren't anything to write home about, I thought they were okay. Sadly, the costumes weren't the problem. And so now we're re-booting the franchise with a prequel...

X-Men First Class Photo

X-Men First Class Photo

From what I can tell, the costumes here are pretty good. They are a faithful (albeit upgraded) interpretation of the "original" X-Men costumes, which was no easy task. All we can do is wait and see if the movie has the scope and story to make any use of them. COSTUME GRADE: B

   
That's a lot of super-heroes. And it doesn't even account for the new Superman movie reboot, the third Iron Man film, the third Batman film, The Hulk reboot, The Avengers, and whatever else that's coming up. I hope that people don't get burnt out on comic book movies.

   

Captain!

Posted on October 28th, 2010

Dave!Comic book super-hero movies are a mixed bag. For every great film (like Superman, Iron Man, Dark Knight, and Spider-Man 2), there's a crapfest unleashed (like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Elektra, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man 3 and any of the boring X-Men films).

But the latest round of Christopher Nolan Batman flicks and Jon Favreau Iron Man flicks are leading the charge in a new era of comic book super-hero awesomeness. Filmmakers are getting serious about making good films that are true to the source material because they realize there's a reason the originals are such enduring characters.

And there's every indication that even more great stuff is coming down the pipe.

I'm fairly certain that Thor is in capable hands with director Kenneth Branagh and acting talent like Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman onboard. I loved the comic during the Walt Simonson era, so hopefully Thor won't disappoint. Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern sounds almost too good to be true. The upcoming Batman film, The Dark Night Rises, is certain to be awesome. And I'm sure Iron Man 3 will be fantastic. I'm not so sure about the Spider-Man reboot, but surely it can't suck more than Spider-Man 3.

But it's Captain America that I'm holding my breath over. He's easily one of my favorite Marvel heroes, and I've followed his exploits for decades. The movie is set during World War II, (before Cap was frozen in an iceberg and awoke in modern times), which is true to his origin. Chris Evans seemed like perfect casting, and leaked concept art for the contemporary costume looked promising...

Captain America Suit

   
And today Entertainment Weekly unveiled the World War II period costume on its cover...

Captain America Cover

Yep, that's Captain America alright.

This means there's only one of the "big guns" left who has yet to get their major motion picture...

Wonder Woman

I'll be really disappointed if Wonder Woman gets screwed out of a movie because she's a girl. Her origin and mythology are amongst the most interesting of any comic book super-hero, and she deserves a shot.

   

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