Lucien’s Review: Logan

It’s nice to see that Twentieth Century Fox has the balls and creative integrity to do what Disney’s Marvel isn’t capable of doing – taking risks.  And hot shit are those risks paying off!  This is not only the Wolverine film that all of us have been hoping for since the very beginning of seeing this character, but also the superhero film that so many of us have been waiting for.  And as I said, it was Twentieth Century Fox who brought it to us.  The studio didn’t seem to believe this film nor the one whose sequel was teased in the beginning would even find a fanbase, but find it they did.  Perhaps the fat cat suits in Hollywood can actually realize that making a superhero film that isn’t for kids can be profitable.  Perhaps we can get to see some of our favorite dark superheroes brought to light.  Netflix is doing a pretty good job working with this.  Their Punisher is pretty badass.  This is a fantastic movie.  Let’s talk about it.

Anyone in my audience who actually wants to see this film already has.  I realize that since my reviews are always late, I am going to start trying to find an angle to talk about which everyone else hasn’t.  So no plot recap.  It’s an adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline, where we get to meet an equally-badass character – X-23.  A tragic tale of the death of two of the greatest mutants to ever live, along with the introduction that hopefully isn’t wasted.

The glue that holds this movie together is the performances.  Hugh Jackman definitely steals the show as an aging Logan.  His powers are starting to fail him, and his age has finally caught up with him.  A lost soldier, he’s not looking for a spot to live.  He’s looking for a place to die.  But over the course of the film he comes to realize that he has one last chance to truly feel what it’s like to be alive.  A lot of comparisons have been made between this film and the incredible game The Last of Us, and I can kind of see that.  Jackman makes a pretty good Joel of the film, equally as gruff and equally tired of being alive.  And just like Joel, he meets a companion who makes him want to live again.  Only difference is how it all ends, and the level of dark implications for both characters.  Logan gets his redemption in the end.  Joel does not, but that is part of why the narrative works.

Next up with have Patrick Stewart.  Part of me likes the dark implications with this character.  There is some backstory to what happened to him that you never fully understand.  He’s done something horrible, and just like Logan, his powers are failing him.  Two of the last mutants on Earth, both of them are equally lost.  As his mind is slowly faltering, he goes from a mutant who doesn’t care about anything, to getting to enjoy one last adventure with the only friend he has left.  Stewart plays the old man with nowhere left to go very well.  You believe the chemistry between him and Logan.  He simultaneously hates and depends on his angry companion, and the juxtaposition does not escape his notice.

Of course, the character everyone is talking about is X-23.  This girl brought the character to life incredibly well.  This could so easily have been botched, as so many child actors just suck, but this girl brought her a-game to the table and it shows.  Just like Joel and Ellie in the game that everyone says this story is ripping off, the bond that grows between these two is believable.  They do take moments to address the reality that both of them are becoming killers and there is no going back.

Something else I want to talk about is the language in this movie.  As I said, I am loving the fact that we have comic movies with the balls to go this far, but part of me can’t help but early on was just so forced.  Some of the times that they would be laying down the word fuck liberally just felt so middle school.  I like hearing Professor X swear, but don’t make me think that it was put in there just because.  Fuck is a great word, but use it when you mean it.

Another thing is the carnage.  Everyone who reviewed this movie said that it was grotesque and violent, hard-R, I was told.  It’s violent, but don’t be fooled.  This isn’t Robocop levels of grotesque.  It has blood and gore, but still plays it safe.  That being said, while they may not always embrace how vicious it can be, the kills still felt visceral.  When you have Logan tearing people apart, you actually feel like that would hurt.  This film knew that it could take risks but only to a point.  I mean, if it really stuck to how disgusting Logan’s murder sprees would be, people would call it gore porn.  The creators of the film wisely chose to make emphasis on the killing to make it feel personal.  And when you watch X-23 on top of a gut tearing him open, you can tell that that would be scary as fuck to witness.

All things considered, this was a ballsy, very intense superhero film.  The most I have seen since The Dark Knight.  It took risks that no film of its genre would dare doing, and I am so desperately hoping it won’t be the last.  Disney’s Marvel will never have the guts.  Not unless they pawn it off on some lesser Disney studio so if it sucks they can give the blame there.  That’s what they did with Princess Mononoke.  See, Disney owned the rights to Studio Ghibli films, but Miyazaki outright refused to make any cuts to the violence in his magnum opus.  The film was a huge hit in Japan and Disney wanted a piece of that pie.  So rather than fight with Miyazaki when he sent a katana to the head of Disney at the time with a note attached saying “no cuts,” they pawned it off to a studio that they owned but was far away enough from Disney to be able to distribute it without them looking bad.  A clever tactic.  And it worked.  I am hoping that some film creators come to them after Infinity War, when the MCU will be toning down and sputtering away, and wants to look at some of the more violent superheros in the library and give them a fair shake.  Take a note form how big a success this movie and Deadpool have been, Disney.  You can do this.  The reward will come in ten-fold.  Not to mention, both of the movies that have taken this approach have made the most of having a smaller budget.  The limited resources not only meant that they had to be more clever in making them, but also that they could much more easily recoup their budget.  Deadpool and Logan have been massive financial successes.  Hint-hint!

This was a phenomenal movie.  It’s sad to see Logan go, but the X-Men brand has gotten kind of stale anyway.  But please, for the love of Groj, do NOT let the next film with X-23 be some watered-down version of this character!  She’s a violent killing machine.  Respect that.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Captain America: Civil War

Captain America Civil WarI recently got to see the film Batman v Superman.  I never did a review.  Why?  Because that film is TERRIBLE.  It’s one of the bafflingly-bad movies I have seen in a very long time.  I mean, how is it they were able to fuck that up?  How could they possibly fuck up a concept that an animated film did perfectly (The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2)?  It was a film that was so bad that I was genuinely impressed.  Zack Snyder had to try and make a movie that incomprehensibly terrible.  My favorite bit was the training montage.  How a scene that ridiculous was expected to be taken seriously is beyond me.  How did Armoured Skeptic put it?

I’m gonna drag this tire, ’cause I’m Batman!  I’m gonna hit this tire with a hammer, ’cause I’m Batman!

My score for that movie would likely have been a 4 or 5.  However, in comes along this movie.  A movie that so many people have been stoked for, and not only did it deliver, but it did so in a way that only a movie done by these two directors could have.  I am in love with this movie, and now I mean to talk about it.

The plot goes that after a botched mission where Cap and the rest of the Avengers end up blowing up a good deal of innocent people, the UN decides that they have let them go about their business without oversight for long enough.  A piece of legislation is drafted that splits the Avengers in two.  This wouldn’t be so bad, except things go from bad to worse when there is an attack on the signing ceremony.  Implicated in the attack is the Captain’s old friend, Bucky.  As the plot thickens, friends are pitted against friends, and a newcomer with a Jones for vengeance is out for Bucky’s blood.  Who’s right?  Well, just like the last film these two directed, the answers aren’t especially clear.

I did a review where I talked about how much I loved Winter Soldier.  Not only did it take some hard looks at the concept of a superhero, but it also had a very bittersweet tone where you don’t know if the good guys truly won or not by the end.  I loved that.  I’m getting SO tired of these by-the-numbers superhero films.  There are a fuck-ton of them, and each is more uninspired than the last.  But the other thing I loved about that movie was the action.  Not only was it slick.  Not only was it well-choreographed, but it was so visceral!  It felt like there were people actually getting hurt.  These two are back, and it is every bit as perfect as I could have asked for.  To date, this is my favorite superhero film.  It has everything I have wanted and more.

What things truly stood out?  I could talk about how good all the elements of this film were, but the reality is that that would get a bit redundant.  I will say that this is the best film for the kind of film it can be.  So while it may seem cheap, I can’t give this film a perfect score.  It is still a superhero movie, and that comes with all the hangups that this genre has.  With that being said, certain things about this movie were just awesome.

First is Black Panther.  When I first saw this character, I was entranced.  This guy is nine kinds of cool!  The fight sequences with him were just amazing.  This guy and how badass he is genuinely stole a lot of the show, for me.  What’s more, he is an interesting character.  They make him a very unique guy, with his need for revenge and his pain being at the forefront.  Hell, even when he isn’t in costume, this dude is eight kinds of cool.  But here’s something I want to talk about, and this won’t be particularly well-received – how is this guy going to star in his own movie?  I mean, what is there for him to overcome?  He’s a badass warrior and a king of a nation.  It’s kind of hard to see where his character can go from there.  I will give his upcoming film (or did they cancel that?  I could have swore I heard something about that.  Let me know in the Comments) a fair shake, but I am a little skeptical of where his character can go from the top of the mountain.

Next up is the ultimate fight between the various heroes.  I cannot tell you how nice it is to have a superhero film where the climax isn’t just a fight against waves of nameless thugs.  Now it’s a battle of ideals, with both sides having good points and being unable to come together.  However, the big showdown is nine kinds of cool.  I am so glad that we had the Russo brothers directing this.  Only they could have made it so that every part of the fight look like it was part of a larger tapestry of battle.  The pacing of that battle was perfect.  It kept building and building, then comes crashing down in a perfect wave of tension-busting.  It’s a genuinely emotional scene, where you have Tony Stark getting genuinely angry and looking hurt.

One thing I have to say is that the way each character is addressed and their motivations looked at is so nice.  For a cast this large, this film could have glossed over a lot and felt half-done.  But they didn’t.  This is a LONG superhero movie, and all the better.  It gives us time to really get to know everybody and why they believe the way they do.  It makes choosing whose side you’re on that much harder.  Both sides have legit points.

But the thing I love most is how the film comes together.  Just like the last film, it’s bittersweet.  There is the final battle, which I won’t spoil for the people who haven’t seen it.  Let’s just say that I did NOT see that coming, and it blew me away.  Not only was the emotional energy peaked, but it kept building and building, to the point that when it all comes crashing down, you feel like you are coming down with it.

All in all, as I said, this is the best superhero film I have seen, to date.  I have wanted a movie like this for so long.  After all the boredom of superhero films, this year is really shining.  I honestly can’t wait to see what’s next.  For those who haven’t seen it, do.  I guarantee you, it is worth every minute.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: I’m Getting Tired of Superhero Movies

Did you know that there are currently 36 superhero projects in the works?  Not even kidding, 36.  That’s fucking crazy.  And I am going to put this out there – I’m getting tired of it.  After Avengers, the novelty of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is starting to wear off.  I think the problem is that these films are being made too often.  I barely get a chance to appreciate something being unique and interesting before something else comes along.  What’s more, the formula is getting old.  There are only so many times that I can watch the hero save the day and not be bored by it.  Sure, it’s supposed to be about what gets you there, but the problem is that I am tired of it.  I don’t get other people aren’t too.

Let me put this in context.  Some of you might be wondering how I have this opinion, given how I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy.  In hindsight, I was a little overly-nice to that film.  I was just too captivated by the cool soundtrack and the comedic take on the superhero genre.  But the reality is that take that away, and that film is as by-the-numbers as it gets.  How has this formula not gotten stale with people?

Then there was Deadpool.  A film that was completely non-serious, gruesome, funny, and filled with self-aware riffing on its own genre.  That is one of my favorite superhero films, to date, and will likely stay there for a long time.  Was it predictable?  Sure, but the thing that made it stand apart is the fact that it took its own premise to the absolute extreme.  20th Century Fox was certain that film was going to bomb, but they ordered a sequel almost immediately because this film was such a smash success.  It broke all kinds of records, and I am glad to hear they got the same director for the sequel.  Given how much fun Ryan Reynolds had with the role, I am hoping that he is just as much in love with the next film.  It will have Cable in it, so I can only see good things ahead.

A couple years back, I did a review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  That is also one of my favorite superhero films.  Not only was the action slick as fuck (I could watch the first fight scene between Cap and the titular villain over and over.  It is awesome), but it took on some much darker themes.  Things like how the Cap was dealing with being out of time.  How he was very much alone in this world, and kept busy with SHIELD so he didn’t have to think about it.  He acknowledged that outside of military service, he has no place in the world.  What’s more, even though the hero wins in the end, it’s a bittersweet ending.  Cap still is very much alone, since his friend saved his life, only to abandon him.  I loved that!  You can’t believe how stoked I am to see the latest film Civil War.  Just like the last film, this isn’t so much a superhero film as a political film with superheroes.  Now we get to see sides who have gotten along so well fighting it out.  New characters are being introduced.  Add some amazing fight scenes, I can’t wait to see what’s coming.

All I want is some superhero films to buck the trend.  Give me a movie that brings something new.  How’s about, instead of releasing a ton of yearly films, we release a film or two every couple years.  Let’s take the time to really make quality movies.  Disney is too much of a cookie-cutter company to have the balls that 20th Century Fox did.  They took a huge risk with Deadpool, and it showed in the film’s meager budget.  I love that joke that Reynolds made in the film where he acknowledged that there were only two X-Men, commenting that it’s almost like the film had no budget or something.  Fucking classic.  Disney will never have those kinds of guts.

I lament the death of some of the more violent superhero films.  There will never be another Punisher film like the one in 2005 starring Thomas Jane.  I love that he was in a fan-film sequel to that movie that was done by the same person who directed the criminally-underrated film Dredd.  Check it out (link here).  Oh, there’s another film which will never have a sequel, and that kills me.  Dredd was awesome.  Then there was the original Blade.  Just the original.  The sequels were garbage.  Or The Crow.  The original there too.  Did you know they are doing a remake of that?  Yeah, because let’s spit on Brandon Lee’s memory.  Fucking pricks in Hollywood.

The reality is that Disney buying Marvel was cool for a while.  Now it’s gotten boring, and all because they have to be family-friendly.  How I wish that we could get a Deadpool caliber film with other comic book characters.  Like Wolverine!  Or Gambit!  Specifically Gambit.  I heard that a film about him was cancelled.  Much shame.  That could have been as equally-violent and awesome.  Or maybe a film based around Spider-Man’s nemesis, Venom.  A Venom movie, where we get to see him as a violent anti-hero who does good things for all the wrong reasons.

Let me know what you all think in the comments.  Am I just being pretentious, or are you all as tired of how predictable these films are too?

Until next time, a quote,

“America is the first culture in jeopardy of amusing itself to death.”  – John Piper

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Doctor Strange – World Premiere Trailer

I find myself at an interesting crossroad when it comes to comic book films.  I have gotten more than a little tired of them.  There are too damn many, and they are becoming too predictable.  It’s a strange sort of thing.  Deadpool restored some of my faith.  At the very least it was a breath of fresh air.  This summer has Captain America: Civil War and Suicide Squad.  Both of which I am very excited for.  The latter especially, since Batman v Superman was a boring pile of shit, and I want to see a good DC film.  Still, we may have some home.  So when I saw that this trailer was being released, my first thought was – okay, movie, let’s see what you’ve got.  Here is the trailer.  Let’s take a look at it.

Um, yeah.  This is a trailer.  It’s a trailer that looks…I honestly don’t know.  I don’t know what to think of this trailer.  We get to see that Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange.  I already knew that.  Not gonna lie, that fact kind of excited me, since I do like him as an actor.  Not a fanboy, but he’s been good in enough films that I am willing to be behind him as this character.  There’s also Tilda Swinton as some unknown teacher character.  That’s pretty cool.  She looks kinda badass bald.  Just putting that out there.  We also have that black guy who was the villain in Serenity.  I am assuming that he’s the villain here.

But the big question is – what do we know about this film?  You see some images of Strange being a surgeon.  That’s cool.  Then it shows a brief split-second of him in a hospital with his arms all messed up.  Is the implication that he can’t be a surgeon anymore because of his injuries?  That would make some sense.  But what’s the motivation in this film?  What’s the plot?  What’s the drive?  We know almost nothing about this film, and this trailer did little to alleviate that.  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that sometimes, less is more.  I hate how all modern trailers seem to want to drown people in exposition and tell us everything about the plot.  But this trailer has told me very little.  We get some special effects shots.  Those are…pretty standard, actually.  It’s nothing special.  We have some neat locations.  That could be interesting.

Honestly, a superhero film that is about self-discovery could be kind of cool.  It would be a nice change of pace from the superhero films that are all about stopping bad guys and shit.  Like a personal story.  That does intrigue.  A little.  Like how the bulk of the original Spider-Man film was about Peter getting his powers and learning about them.  I miss this kinds of films.  All the films we’ve gotten lately are sequels.  This could be very refreshing.

The real thing that gets my attention is the release date – it’s November.  They are just starting to hype this film now.  This is weird, to me.  November is not a very big film date.  It’s kind of a nowhere date.  When Deadpool was released in February, people all had the same thought – this is a movie that studios don’t intend to do well.  It isn’t being released in the big-budget blockbuster months, because the studio doesn’t feel that they would bring in the return and would rather market movies that do have some guarantee of a big showing.  Is that what’s happening here?  Does Marvel think that this movie is going to fail?  What’s the story behind this?  Not to mention that this ad came out on Jimmy Kimmel.  Why do I get this sneaking suspicion that Marvel and Disney are not putting a lot of faith in this film?

Still, since I know almost nothing about this film, I can go into it with a somewhat neutral perspective.  If nothing else, I’m sure that Cumberbatch is going to do the best he can with the role.  Hopefully they got a good director and it’s a good movie.  The release date may be a little concerning, but we won’t know what will happen until it comes out.  If it is a film that is about the discovery of one’s superpowers and whatnot, then this could be a superhero film going back to form.  That gives me a touch bit of hope.

Initial Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONU: How to Make Spider-Man Movies (Going Forward)

It seems that Disney’s Marvel has finally gotten the rights to the Spider-Man character.  I can already tell that this means that they will be making their own films based on this character.  But there is something that’s been rattling around my head for a while – how do they do this?  We’ve seen the origin story for this character.  Twice.  It’s beyond old-hat by now.  We know it, and it’s not that interesting.  So what should they do with a new series of films about this character?  I think I’ve got a solution.  Follow me on this.

First – don’t make another reboot of this film series.  I don’t mean to continue the continuity they already have.  That got bad pretty quick.  Make a new version of this character, but instead of rehashing what we already know, let’s just not talk about that.  Instead, I think that they should take a cue from one of the greatest things ever made – Batman: The Animated Series.  That show was almost perfect.  In every way, it was fantastic.  But you’ll notice something about the series – they don’t start at the beginning of the character.  Why?  Simple – we already know his origin story.  We know where Batman came from and how he got where he is.  Instead, they started not too far into his being a hero.  That’s brilliant!  The history of the character is shown in flash-backs and dialogue between characters.  So they are able to do what should be done – focus on the growth of the character as a hero.

This is what they should do with future Spider-Man films.  We should just keep going with the character.  Have films where we get to know him as a hero.  It also opens up us being able to know him as a character.  By making films that are set outside of the dumb continuity of this character, we can side-step a lot of the boredom associated with that story.  All the time can be spent getting to know Parker, his personal struggles, and even our villains.  Let’s take some time to get to know who these villains are and why they do what they do.  Give some real time for development.  It will make the fact that these are superhero films that much less boring.

I’m getting tired of the typical superhero formula.  It’s so often the same.  You have a hero coming in, fighting the bad guy and saving the day.  My favorite superhero films are ones that buck this trend, in some way or another.  Like how the new Captain America film has the heroes fighting each other.  That’s awesome!  In fact, just as a side-note, let’s get Daredevil from Netflix’s series in some of the new Spider-Man stuff.  Like maybe have those two fighting.  It’s an awesome character and an awesome series, and both of them are in New York anyway.  So let’s get them some screen time together!  The potential for this character and these films is all over the place.

Oh, while we’re at it – can we PLEASE get a film that has Black Cat in it?  The romance between those two was one of my favorite things about the REALLY poorly-animated cartoon Spider-Man series in the 90’s.  We have a chance for a clean slate with this character.  Let’s not fuck it up.  I like that the new Spider-Man is a lot younger.  This gives us plenty of chances to make him grow over time.  Let’s do this!

Who agrees with me?  Let me know down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“You know, if you’re gonna steal cars, don’t dress like a car thief.”  – Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Deadpool

DeadpoolWhat’s this?  A movie review that isn’t weeks or maybe even months out after the film comes out?  Well, it’s like this – I learned a secret about a movie theater almost just down the road from where I live.  The secret?  They have $5 movie tickets on Tuesdays!  How cool is that!  So, since I am having a great day and felt like $5 was worth it, and since this is an R-rated film, I knew there wouldn’t be hordes of annoying children.  So I decided to brave the crowds and go see this movie. Was it worth the slight crowd?  Yes, and yes!  I haven’t enjoyed a superhero movie this much since Winter SoldierGuardians of the Galaxy wishes it could be as cool as this movie.  I got a formula to keep to, so let’s talk about this awesome experience.

Don’t know why I bother going over the plot, but here goes.  Wade Wilson is strangely humorous guy already (in the comics it was the torture and Weapon X that gave him is quirky attitude) who finds out that he’s got himself some cancer.  He gets mixed up with a mutant project that is the same one that Wolverine was in (they make some great jabs at that, by the way), and everything goes to shit.  Now he’s on a mission to get his life back, with as many dead bodies as it takes to get there.  This isn’t your typical superhero movie.  Suck on that, upset soccer moms!  God am I glad that I get to give the finger to that group of people.  Glad this movie did too.

So much to talk about!  For starters, the first thing to keep in mind is that if you are going into this movie thinking that this is supposed to be a story you take seriously, you clearly don’t understand or haven’t seen ANY of the marketing for this film.  This movie is meant to be a slap in the face the seriousness, and comic book film conventions.  I am in love with this movie.  The humor in this movie was the key aspect.  And it was fresh as fuck!  If this film does get a sequel, can we PLEASE keep the writers from this one?  If not, there is a risk it will suck.  Good joke writing is more of an art than a science, and this film had it in spades.

The humor in this film was all over the place.  There was dialogue, visual, and even some subtle stuff that I noticed and I could tell no one else in the theater did.  This film was fearless about how far to take it.  They were even able to take some shots at how limited the budget for this movie was.  That’s hilarious!  It was a balls-out blast for everyone involved.  There is no doubt in my mind that Ryan Reynolds was enjoying every minute of making this.  This man was on his game in a way I haven’t seen before.  He was even willing to take shots at himself and his past roles, such as Green Lantern.  This entire movie hinged on his performance, and it was worth it.  But the side characters were also a lot of fun.  The brief moments we got to know Deadpool’s blind, black roomie were fantastic.  The only X-Men that this movie could afford were pretty damn cool as well.  The kid was the best, but having Colossus be all superhero and shit was pretty fun as well.  Especially since Deadpool was having none of his hero lectures.

I also loved the action.  Sure, it was over the top, but you now what, it was still well-done.  Adrenaline to the max, and able to use the visual humor elements to its advantage.  The final battle between Francis and Pool was awesome.  Slick, fast, and ugly.  I haven’t seen a fight in a superhero movie since Winter Soldier where I actually believed that the people involved were getting hurt.  It’s kind of impressive that they were able to make Deadpool’s pain apparent, even with his entire face hidden.  The presence of Reynolds in this role was so fantastic.

What about the Fourth Wall breaks?  Anyone who knows the Deadpool comics understands that the biggest draw of this character was the fact that he makes the walls almost indistinguishable.  This movie does the merc’s style proud.  The moments they take to fuck with the audience is just so perfect.  Almost every time, it had me cracking up.  The theater losing it was a sign that this movie did its job.  I’ve never actually seen a comedy in theaters before, so this was kind of refreshing.  A whole theater packed with people, in stitches sometimes.  God, I love this movie.

Remember what I said about soccer moms not bringing their kids to this?  Yeah, keep that in mind.  The language in this film is foul as all get-out.  The violence is graphic and over-the-top.  Hell, it doesn’t know where the top is.  There’s insane sex that involves the naked people.  I know, the horror.

What didn’t I like?  This is nit-pick in the extreme, and don’t think for a second that this damages my opinion of the film.  First, it is a little weird that there doesn’t seem to be a real transition in Pool’s character from before he gets the Weapon X treatment and after.  In the comics, it was the treatment and being turned into a weapon that rips his mind in two.  In this film, he always is a slick trash-talker.  As I said, it’s a nit-pick, but it’s strange all the same.  Next up is the fact that there was one of the Deadpool raps being REALLY bad.  Like, to the point that I was totally taken out of what was happening acknowledging how bad it is.  Last point, they didn’t pick up on the sheer level of debauchery of this character.  Deadpool is probably the most sexually-unrestrained characters in all of Marvel.  He’ll hit on almost anyone, and doesn’t have a single fuck to give.  I would have liked to see more of that, but given all the risks this film was already taking, maybe I should just be amazed I got what I did.

But all of that stuff is just nit-picks, and believe me, it doesn’t amount to much.  At least not to me.  This movie was awesome.  This is the kind of superhero movie I have MISSED!  None of this family-friendly shit.  None of the soccer-mom’s kids pandering.  A movie that allows itself to breathe.  The level of creativity here can only get better.  If there is a sequel, and it involves Cable, then I am even more excited.  Maybe a few more X-Men can make a cameo.  Hey Wolverine, want to get in on the fun?  Or at least make some jobs at Origins?  You know you want to.  This was a breath of fresh air in a genre that has gotten more than a little stale.  I guess we’ll see where this goes.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Is Everything Men Do Wrong to You? (A response to Jonathan McIntosh)

Finally, some SJW news that isn’t them taking a steaming dump on video games.  This is new.  Well, unless I perused sites like The Mary Sue, which I don’t.  I have only so much patience before I lose my mind and rage-quit.  However, the film industry is at their same level of “standards” that video games are.  Meaning that they think that movies are filled with sexism, racism, and misogyny.  Because – men.  Men are everything’s that wrong with society.  Just ask Jonathan McIntosh.  He’s been hating on men for all his life.  He’s an entitle trust fund baby who wants everyone to know just how awful men are.  You disgusting pieces of shit.  Unless you’re gay.  Then you’re fine.  Or black.  Or any ethnicity but white.  But those white men are just so EVIL!  Never mind that he’s a white trust fund baby.  SJW types don’t self-aware much.  In any case, our dear #FullMcIntosh decided to express how upset he is with the new Captain America film, which had a trailer released recently.  It looks awesome.  But not according to McIntosh, who thinks that it is just the world.  Here’s a link to what he wrote.  Let’s talk about it.

The trailer for Captain America: Civil War premiered this week and geeks all over the internet exploded with excitement. This is the 13th movie in the Marvel cinematic universe and there are at least 10 more on the way. Superheroes have gone mainstream in a big way. Comic book stories are no longer the exclusive domain of geek subcultures.

This is true.  And it’s a good thing.  It’s good that nerd fandoms have more of a place in mainstream culture.  It can lead to new ideas and new forms of expression.  Granted, not all of them are appreciated.  Like the new Star Trek movies.  I think I’m the only person I know who actually likes those.  What can I say, it’s popcorn entertainment with fun characters.  I like character-driven stories in general, so yeah.  But nerd culture has become much more mainstream, and thus we get films like this, made by the same guys who made Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was fucking awesome.  So you know that this will be good too.  Stoked.

Part of that success lies in the appeal of an old-fashioned tale of good versus evil. The scenes of conflict and destruction in these films are viscerally exciting and certainly get the adrenaline pumping.

Some of them are, but this one isn’t.  Most comic book films are about good fighting evil, but the thing that makes this plot so engaging and the reason why so many people were stoked for this movie is the fact that here it’s very morally gray where the line is.  You have sides being drawn, and both sides have good points.  At least in the comic.  This film has a smaller cast, but I hope they don’t shy away from the ethical ambiguity of the situation.  I’m pretty sure they won’t, given that it’s the guys who made the last film, but we won’t know until we see it.

But there is something else at work here, something that has drawn self-described geeks and nerds to comic books for nearly a century, and that is an idealisation of the aggressive hyper-masculine superhero archetype.

Wow.  What a lot of words to say absolutely nothing.  I hate this terminology.  It means nothing.  “idealization of the aggressive hyper-masculine superhero archetype.”  That means nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It’s a smokescreen for what McIntosh’s actual problem is – men.  Men exist, and in this movie, men do stuff.  Violent stuff.  He doesn’t like men doing the violent stuff.  He also don’t like male superheroes.  We’ll get into that soon.  Let’s continue.

A staple of the superhero genre is the tendency to concoct these elaborate scenarios where “good guys” end up having to fight each other for some reason. This is often framed as a way to resolve their interpersonal issues before they can go beat up the “bad guys” and save the world. The ultimate macho pissing contest. Who’s the toughest tough guy of them all?

Um, no, you daft fuck.  Did you not watch the trailer?  This whole film frames the conflict as born out of two sides unable to see eye-to-eye.  Stark has been awakened to the fact that their conflicts are doing real damage to the world.  It’s getting really out of hand.  Rogers, on the other hand, wants to protect his friend.  And that desire to protect the only connection he has left to his past is tearing their camaraderie apart.  This one act of kindness sets off a powderkeg that has been building since the previous Avengers film.  This isn’t a macho pissing contest.  It’s a melancholy tale of two sides who should be together, fighting each other because of the fact that they can’t reconcile.  It’s what makes that line at the end where Rogers says that he has to protect Bucky because he’s his friend, and then Stark replying, “so was I” so intense.  Rogers knows that he is fighting a friend, and that isn’t easy for him.  For someone who rails on the fact that the plots of these films tend to be very stereotypical good vs. evil, you certainly are going out of your way not to acknowledge that this is a little more complicated than a “macho pissing contest.”

How do superheroes make friends? By punching each other. How do you resolve conflicts, big and small? By punching each other. Whose plan will be followed? How is trust built among teammates? Face-punching can accomplish all this and more.

What?!  Do you even watch these movies?  Stark and Rogers made friends when Stark came in to save him during the fight with Loki.  Sure, things with Thor got off to a rough start, but they did find time to bond.  I mean, did you watch the scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron when they are all just chilling?  The whole bunch of them are sitting and shooting the shit, then trying to life Thor’s hammer and giving each other shit for it.  It’s a sign that they are more than just people who do “face-punching.”  Do you just look for whatever bullshit excuse you can to dismiss something?  Does context mean anything to you?  Oh, right, you’re associated with Feminist Frequency.  Of course it doesn’t.

Hypermasculinity manifests everywhere in our culture and can be seen reflected in politics, international conflict, municipal policing, domestic violence and interpersonal relationships. All you have to do is look at global leaders who routinely pound their chests while advocating for the use of deadly force as a solution to complex social problems, as if they aren’t talking about delicate matters of international diplomacy but rather boasting about taking down a super villain like Ultron.

Yeah, we’ve had the likes of George Bush and the current French Prime Minister, who were eager for war.  But that was after both their nations were attacked.  I don’t think that what they did was right, but I get why it happened.  Tons of people dead, a nation in mourning, looking to hurt those who hurt us.  The problem is that they wanted to go in with a sledgehammer, when they should have gone in with a scalpel.  But does all the history where diplomacy has happened mean nothing to you?  Like, here’s an example – the Cuban Missile Crisis.  That could easily have led to World War III, if this “hypermasculinity” that you talk about had been the go-to method.  But it wasn’t.  Thank Groj that we had JFK in office.  I like that bit in Family Guy where Stewie and Brian end up in a universe where it was Nixon in office, and he fucked it up.  Or there was the Iranian Hostage Crisis.  Or the annexation of Crimea.  Do you just pull this shit out of your ass?  Are you able to give a SINGLE example to back up your claims?  I gave more examples than you, for your position!  What a fucking idiot.

Given the current state of the world, we could certainly do with a hell of a lot more heroes who solve complex problems with innovation and ingenuity rather than by punching each other in the face. Perhaps it’s time to move on from these tired masculinised concepts.

Or maybe, just maybe, people want good entertainment.  Hey Jonny Boy, here’s something you didn’t know.  I’m about to get into some context.  I know that scares you.  There is a huge network of people who smuggle things into North Korea.  It’s dangerous, but can make you a ton of money.  You know what one of the biggest things to smuggle is – western movies.  Specifically western action movies.  Part of a movement that is resisting a dictatorial regime involves the very films you deride.  So excuse me if I can’t take your bullshit seriously.

Jonathan McIntosh has this view of the world that is as juvenile as it is full of shit.  He thinks that masculinity and men are the cause of all the world’s problems.  I don’t suppose he ever read history, and looked at people like Queen Elizabeth I, or Margaret Thatcher.  People who had huge body counts to their name.  But I’m sure his defense would be – they were just trying to be masculine!  There have been studies done which show that women in positions of authority act very similar to how men do.  Because the truth is – the more things change, the more they stay the same.  It’s not as simple as – man EVIL!  Just like the new Captain America movie, there are shades of grey.  But McIntosh wouldn’t know that.  He’s too busy hating on everything, just because it has men doing man-stuff.  What an idiot.

Until next time, a quote,

“If you can’t accept limitations, we’re no better than the bad guys.”  -Tony Stark, Captain America: Civil War

Peace out,

Maverick