SIONL: Thanos in Infinity War

I’m about to go into MAJOR spoilers for Infinity War, so if you haven’t seen it, turn back now.  Just stop reading and go watch the film.  It’s been a few weeks.  Why haven’t you seen it already?

The best thing about this film is Thanos.  It really isn’t even an Avengers film.  It’s a Thanos film.  This whole movie is getting the audience to understand why Thanos is doing what he’s doing, and the character as a whole.  Josh Brolin is so amazing as this character.  It’s resounding clear that he had nothing but fun in this role.  He’s twisted, evil, but guided by clear motivations.  You see the things that got him there and why he feels that destroying half of all life in the galaxy is a good thing.

Even when Gamora takes him to task for what he does, like how he lined up half of all the people of her home planet at random and killed all of them, he is able to justify his actions to her.  He says outright that her family was starving to death, asking if that’s how she wanted to live.  He points out that the planet is now a thriving world where no one is starving, all because he killed half of their entire population.

It ties into real-world issues.  Overpopulation is something humanity is dealing with today, in the real world.  There are too damn many people, and we do need to have the population start moving in the opposite direction.  Our resources are finite, and for every baby that people have, the pollution just gets worse.  We need to stop procreating if we are going to survive as a species.

But back to the film, I love how right off the bat they set up what a complete badass this character is.  Me and my coworker were wondering what a fight between Thanos and the Hulk would be like.  And the film heads off that fan expectation pretty handily, by having their fight be right out of the gate.  Then it upsets your expectations by having Thanos beat his ass like a little bitch!  We’ve seen the Hulk as this character who will fuck you up if you make him mad.  He will fuck up your day.  He beat Loki’s ass like a little bitch, and he’s a God.  Meanwhile, Thanos fucks him up pretty handily right at the beginning.  To the point that Hulk won’t face him again later on.  He’s afraid of the Titan.  As he should be.

This character is always engaging.  The scene that really stole the film, in my eyes, and made me love this guy as a character, was the scene where he meets Gamora as a young child and adopts her.  She is a scared little kid looking for her mom.  Thanos sees her and asks here why she’s scared, and she says she wants to find her mom.  He then offers to help her, and walks her away from the people of her town being lined up.  Then, he takes out a little knife and shows it to her.  While more and more people are being lined up, he has a tender moment with her showing her this little toy to play with, and inviting her to do so.  As the massacre of her people begins, she turns to look, but Thanos gently turns her head away and keeps pointing to the toy he gave her.  That scene made me feel a lot of really complicated shit.  It was hardcore stuff.  It sets up a genuinely tender side to this man, but all in the bounds of his twisted sense of morality.  That’s awesome!  It makes this character not just some cardboard villain who is evil because they are.  He has depth to him.

It also makes Gamora a more interesting character too.  I haven’t been a huge fan of her, outside of Zoe Saldana’s performance.  She’s been kind of boring.  But then you see her being pushed to her brink with this man who has been a father to her.  When she believes she killed him with the same knife he gave her, and her tears that show that as evil and twisted as this man was, she did at least partially see him as a father to her.  A cruel, twisted father who used his children in cruel and calculating ways.  She was his favorite, though, and you could see where that came from.

Then we get to the second scene that really made me like this character, when he sacrifices her to get the Soul Stone.  It genuinely brings Thanos to tears.  We realize that as twisted and genocidal as he is, he isn’t devoid of empathy.  He does genuinely care for this child, and to kill her does cause him legitimate pain.  But he truly believes, with all of his heart, that his path is the right one, and he has to do what he has to do.  When he is telling Doctor Strange about his back-story and the fate of Titan, you see it.  So he is willing to push himself to whatever point he feels he must in order to achieve his goal.  He will do whatever he needs, at the cost of his own soul, to finish his quest.  It’s a hardcore moment that makes you feel some heavy feels.

What I love most about this character is that there is a constant juxtaposition in everything he does to a sense of purpose and morality that he has, to the barbarous, genocidal actions that he takes.  It’s so beautifully twisted.  Like when Scarlet Witch kills Vision, and Thanos actually talks to her.  He has a human moment with her after she has had to kill the man she loves, telling her he understands.  And while Wanda doesn’t realize it, he actually does understand.  He had to kill someone he truly does love for his own twisted ambition.

Wanda isn’t the only character he has a genuine heart-to-heart conversation with.  After fucking up Hulk and his crew, Thanos talks to Thor as well.  He tells him the ugliness of the universe and advises him to accept it.  There is the scene where he has his showdown with Tony Stark and I genuinely do like it.  He knows who Tony is, and respects him.  When Stark is throwing everything he has at him and still failing, after finally beating him down, Thanos tells him that he hopes humanity remembers him fondly and that he will not destroy them outright.  In his own twisted way, he respects Stark and him trying to hard to defeat him.

Then, in the end, he gets to Earth, fucks up all the Avengers without a second thought.  He even has Rodgers desperately trying to hold him back, and he looks down at him with a kind of gentleness.  Like he understands why he is fighting, but is trapped by circumstances of fate.  It’s a great dichotomy.  Genuinely fantastic.

Finally, we see him coming out of a ramshackle hovel on some nameless planet.  His arm is completely fucked up because he destroyed half of all sentient life in the universe, but he is smiling.  It’s not a twisted evil smile.  It’s a quiet, peaceful smile.  Like he did what he needed to do and can rest peacefully now.  It’s like if we had the massacre scene from Berserk, but afterwards we have Griffith just looking peaceful on some scenic villa.  There again, that juxtaposition.

Thanos is an amazing villain.  I love him in this film.  It makes how boring he has been up ’til now redeemed.  He isn’t just the best villain in the MCU, bar-none.  He is one of the best villains of all time.  I personally like him more than I do the Joker in The Dark Knight.  In that film, it always seemed like the Joker was just trying to prove a point.  Here, Thanos has nothing to prove.  He explains his sense of justice to people with the hope that they will understand, but if they don’t, oh well.  Their problem, not his.  He bears no malice towards those who do battle with him openly and earnestly.  Warriors who fight to the bitter end.  Unlike Loki, who tries to be cunning and manipulative, which pisses him off as he sees the man as a pathetic little schemer and kills him quickly and brutally.

Hopefully you see him the same way.  Let me know if you don’t.  I love a good discussion.

Until next time, a quote,

“You’re not the only one burdened by knowledge.” – Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War

Peace out,

Maverick

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Lucien’s Review: Avengers: Infinity War

The MCU was lightning in a bottle for Disney.  It was a perfect vision of Kevin Feige that was seen to fruition through dedication and some missteps.  Not every film is great.  Hell, not all of them are good.  In fact, some suck.  But they don’t suck so hard that they ruin what the franchise has been shooting for.  Since the Internet exists, you are able to ignore the missteps and keep track of the good ones.  After this saga is over, I will be compiling my list of favorite films in the MCU.  Why then?  Because after having seen this film, I genuinely believe the only place they can go after this is someplace stupid.  There will never be another height that can be reached beyond this.  This is as high as the franchise will ever go.  And let me tell you, that is high praise indeed.

This film is the culmination of everything that the MCU has been shooting for.  When I heard about a series of films in a shared universe, this is what I figured it would all build up to.  And let me tell you, it panned out so perfectly.  I was so afraid that this film was going to suck, but so much love and dedication was put in to making everything about this film work.  This is the best film in the MCU to date, and the stakes for the final film couldn’t possibly be higher.  We have a lot to talk about, so let’s get down to it.

I don’t really wanna talk about the plot, because the Internet already knows that.  What I want to talk about are the performances.  As I said, this is a culmination of everything that the films have been building up to.  That means that every performance is symbolic of everything that has been building up.  What does that mean?  It means that like Civil War, it has to have every character staying in character with who they have been up to now.

And since there is convergence, we get to see those personalities playing off one-another.  So we get to see Tony Stark, an ego that is utterly massive, playing off Doctor Strange, who is also such an ego.  Their banter is just amazing.  What’s more, the parental bond between Stark and Spider-Man is just fantastic.  It leads to a truly heart-wrenching moment toward the end once plot stuff happens.  It is the most emotional climax of the entire franchise thus far.

Who are my favorite performances?  I will list them now – First, Tony Stark.  This guy is just the best.  His ego has really toned down since the beginning.  This isn’t the totally egotistical asshole from the first Iron Man film.  He’s had time to learn, and when the moment he has been fearing for all this time finally arrives, you can see that fear all over his face.  Next up is Parker.  Having fallen in love with this character even more after Homecoming, seeing him now in the thick of such a massive dilemma is pretty great.

Then we have Doctor Strange.  I actually really liked his film, and think he’s an interesting character.  He accepts that there are things more powerful than he can understand, and now he is working to make himself a better man.  Benedict Cumberbatch has such presence with this character.

I also really loved Rocket.  I am also going to be making a list of my top 10 MCU characters, and to be honest, he’s going to be very, very high on that list.  It’s really great that they paired him up with Thor throughout the bulk of the film.  I have always hated Thor as a character.  He’s boring.  He’s arrogant, but not in the fun snarky way like Stark.  But in this film we see him very, very emotional.  The film opens with him being utterly destroyed emotionally by Thanos kicking his ass and destroying his people’s only hope for survival.

Which brings me to my favorite performance of the entire film – Thanos.  One thing that people can rightly accuse the MCU of is having really boring villains.  That’s a totally fair statement, given how I can barely remember the names of some of these people.  We’ve had film after film leading up to this guy coming into play, and Groj-dammit is his performance the thing that steals the show!  This guy is a really complicated villain.  He has motivations that are not always easy to understand.  He appears cold and insane, but then you see other sides of him.  Sides that are almost sympathetic.  You actually feel for this guy when you realize that, as horrible a person as he is, there is some part of him that does have emotional attachments and is able to rationalize what he’s doing.  What’s more, despite his violence and genocide, he is engaging.  The film takes several scenes to just have him talking to people, and getting to know his back-story.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Every character thinks they got him figured out, but they really don’t.

That leads me to the best part of this whole movie – it’s darkness.  You have the DCEU trying (and failing, horribly.  It’s dead to me) to be dark and gritty, but Marvel is kicking their ass even at that.  They can’t even get the dark and gritty shit down right.  This film has a giant purple monster as a villain and they make him more human and malevolent than any of DCEU’s boring-ass villains who are supposed to be “realistic” could ever hope to be.  Ironic, I think that the purple-haired monster is more of a human villain than the ones in ANY of DC’s live-action films.  Go fucking figure.  Not including Chris Nolan’s movies, of course.

What is the biggest drawback?  For me, it’s the fact that Disney films have a bad habit of human that is when you have some character doing something, and then you have the “awkward…” moment.  I was told the previous Thor film was dripping in it.  The Last Jedi was too, and it sucked the film down.  That’s not to say that all the comedy in this film was bad.  Some of it was pretty on point.  But Disney could stand to do less of the “character does something weird/silly and everyone is awkward” humor.  You didn’t need it in Guardians 2, and you don’t need it all the time here.  Don’t get me wrong, totally glad you have humorous moments.  It makes the really ugly moments hit that much harder.  Though I can’t possibly see how the next film can have anything happy when this film ends on such an ugly note that it will blow your fucking mind.

I’ve already heard so many of the people who defend The Last Jedi saying that this film subverting expectations and people loving it is bullshit because they did that in that film and everybody hated it.  Here’s the thing – subverting expectation is easy to do, but it has to feel like it has meaning to the story you are trying to tell.  In this film it does.  Every time they do it, it feels like it has a point.  In that OTHER movie it doesn’t.  It feels like them trying to make some political point, or having some SJW-approved element to shove in there.  Subversion doesn’t make a great work, if it’s not used well.  In this film, it was used perfectly.

Another thing that got my attention, and this is a bit of a spoiler, is that since the film ends with Thanos winning and the Avengers being mostly killed of, it made me think about something.  See, as adults we realize that they aren’t going to be dead forever.  We know that the Infinity Gauntlet will be used to bring them back.  But how many 9 year olds are sitting the theater bawling watching Spider-Man turn to ash?  Or Groot die, again.  That’s some pretty dark shit.

Overall, this is one of the greatest, if not the greatest superhero film I have ever seen.  It shows what a masterful work the MCU was, and since Kevin Feige is leaving after the sequel to this, I am going to tune out then.  There is nowhere this franchise can go but down.  I loved this movie, and I think all of you should see it if you haven’t already.  It shows that even the MCU can be a mature, grim place.

Final Verdict
9 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Incredibles 2 and the Death of Pixar

I’ve repeatedly said that Disney is pure evil and they destroy everything that I love.  They turned one of my favorite films into a fucking Kinect game.  That’s how bad they are.  They take good ideas or properties and turn them into shit.  Most recently with Star WarsThe Last Jedi was a dumpster fire, and if what I am hearing about the latest film in the franchise, it went through three directors, had multiple rewrites, and the guy who plays the titular character not only looks NOTHING like him (he’s a fucking pretty boy.  Nothing even remotely roguish at all), but can’t act his way out of a paper bag.  They had to hire an acting coach for him after shooting the bulk of his scenes.  So yeah, that will be a dumpster fire too.  I mean, they barely show this guy in the trailer for his own film.  If that isn’t a sign that this movie is dead on arrival, I don’t know what is.

Now we come to The Incredibles 2.  I really liked the first one.  It’s not my favorite Pixar film, but it’s up there.  A film about a family of superheroes, mixing some fantastic action, great scoring (the score for that film is phenomenal), and both superhero and human elements to make a great story.  It balanced out every character to give them an arc and show them grow.  It’s great stuff.  Then the trailer for the sequel dropped.

This film looks terrible.  So, we go from a story about a family of superheroes, to the mom being off doing stuff, while the dad is being a stay-at-home dad with superbaby.  Wow.  That’s so boring that writing it I felt myself lose energy.  Who thought this was a good idea?  I mean, all the creative potential that a sequel of this film could be.  Like, it’s been many years since the first one.  Why not age the characters up a little?  Have them dealing with the reemergence of superheroes in society and them being kind of swept up in things?  Or maybe have them still having to be in the shadows and yet still doing good, now accepting their desire to be heroes, yet still being trapped behind a screen of anonymity.  All the cool ideas are there, but what is the final product?  Stay at home dad and superbaby!  Oh boy!

It hurts me inside to think of how Pixar has died.  It really has.  While the death of 2D animation breaks my fucking heart (it is an art form that has died and will likely never come back in the way it once was with the old Disney magic), I did grow up with this company.  I remember seeing Toy Story and thinking it was crazy cool.  My favorite of their films, Ratatouille, is a charming story.  The Incredibles combines so many good elements.  This studio once was believed to be setting the new standard in kids movies story-telling.

Then Brave happened.  With that movie I felt something.  There was a shift in the films that they were putting out, and the content immediately starting getting progressively worse.  You’d have films that stand out in the crowd, but the bulk were either really mediocre or outright bad.  Plus, a lot of their staff was now under Disney directly making some of the biggest bargain-bin garbage ever put to film.  Films that were made only to help the influx of capital for the fiscal quarters they were made.

When I heard that they were doing a sequel to The Incredibles, my heart leapt.  Finally, a return to form!  Get some of the classy style that was modeled first in 2D drawings and then put to digital models.  Great voice acting, great score.  All the potential was there!  Then the trailer drops and I realize that I’m seeing yet-another bargain-bin movie that everyone will forget about just as fast as they did Monster’s University or Cars 2 (or the original Cars for that matter).  This kills me inside.

Disney is like the film version of EA.  They take IPs and studios with good ideas and then run them into the ground.  Does it not blow your mind the way it does mine that there are over twice as many mediocre/bad films in the Star Wars franchise as there are good ones?  Over six!  That’s insane!  Marvel has been kept from joining these ranks simply because Kevin Feige is at the helm.  Once he leaves, they’re next.  It took a man with vision and a passion for the source material to keep this genre from becoming bargain-bin shit too, and there are people who make the argument that the brand is getting old.  I think I have avoided this thought process simply because I only watch the films in there that I think look good. Pixar is gonna be their version of Visceral Games, one of these days.  It hurts me inside.

Until next time, a quote,

“Turians think they know a thing about a scorched-earth response.  Fuck ’em!” – Jack, Mass Effect 2

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: Venom – Official Teaser Trailer

This sucked!  This is the worst trailer I have ever seen, in the history of trailers that are meant to get people’s hype up.  What the fuck was this?!  I have never seen a trailer so bereft of essential material to what they are trying to market in the history of movie trailers.  This trailer could be for anything and I don’t think that anyone would see the difference.  This could be for any retarded action movie and people would not be able to tell the difference.  I hate this trailer, and it is making my expectations for a film that I am GENUINELY hoping is awesome fall to the fucking floor.  Can Sony PLEASE sign over the rights to everything in the Spider-Man film to Disney already?!  They can’t fuck it up worse than they have.  I could go on and on about it, but let’s show the trailer so you can see what I mean.

Do you see what I’m talking about?!  What did we learn in this trailer?  That Tom Hardy’s accent is odd?  I know that Hardy is an amazing actor.  I’ve loved him in everything I have seen him in.  Even in movies that I think are horribly flawed, like the last Star Trek film that he starred in as a young Picard, his role was still fantastic.  So what is up with his accent?  You know what, never mind.  Hugh Laurie’s accent wasn’t great either but I still loved House.

Where is the titular character?!  I get that this is an origin story, but only showing a brief little tidbit of a symbiote is not going to get me excited for this film.  They are talking about fucking Carnage being here.  They are saying it is going to be a violent R-rated film.  Why are they not leading with that?!  Let’s see some of the violence!  I get that it’s smart to keep the full reveal of the character for the film itself.  Too many films play their hand too early.  I do want to be surprised.  But you can still do that and have a trailer that doesn’t cheat everyone of at least a glimpse of what they are supposed to get excited about.

Let’s see some of Carnage’s violence?  He rips and tears people to pieces.  Let’s see some dismembered bodies!  Let’s see some of the twisted death in his wake.  That’s a neat idea!  Have a flash where we get to see him, or how about the titular fucking character?  Maybe have Tom Hardy finding the symbiote?  Why not that?  There are so many better things they could have done, and not one of them was done in this fucking trailer!

What blows my mind is how many positive votes it has.  Did we watch the same trailer?!  I don’t think so, because all I saw was meaningless voiceover that could be for anything, shots that could be for anything, without a single semblance of rhyme or reason.  This was actually worse than the Solo trailer.  By the way, that looks like shit too.  The pretty boy they got for the role looks NOTHING like the character.  That film will suck.  But back to this movie, this trailer was shit and it has set the bar incredibly low for a movie that I want to see and genuinely hope is good.

Fuck…

Initial Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Black Panther and SJW Racism (Against Black People)

Something I have always and will always believe is that the people who say that they are the ones who are leading the charge against a cause are typically undermining it to one extent or another.  As an example, more and more male feminists are being outed as sexual predators.  Turns out, unless you are a Ryan Wiley little bitch, a lot of these guys are just using it to troll for pussy.  Who would of thought?  Then there are the religious groups against pedophilia, which there are some truly amazing stories of pedophiles within their ranks.

One thing that routinely comes up in what I see is how SJWs are some of the most bigoted groups of all, but not against white people.  It’s against other people.  One of my favorite forms of racism/sexism that they propagate is the racism/sexism of lowered expectations.  “We need to lower our standards for intelligence or academic achievement because X group can’t measure up!”  These people say that society is too hard for X group, and so it needs to change because they are either too stupid or too weak to be able to handle it.  That sort of thing always blows my mind.

The Black Panther film is coming out next month, and I have seen all kinds of ridiculous things being said by the regressive left about this film.  My favorite is that it’s the first black superhero film.  Whoever did that article deleted it pretty fast when the Internet sleuths were up their ass within seconds.  Much like the person who wrote the article about how the captain in Star Trek: Discovery is the first black captain was rightly vilified.  Or there are the people who wrote articles about how the fictional nation of Wakanda is how Africa would look if it wasn’t for the white man.  A statement so ludicrous that it makes me chuckle a little.  Then there was this little nugget of bullshit that made me stop for a second.

This whole diatribe is racist.  It really is.  Against black people.  Why?  Because these people apparently believe that being able to identify with a black person is something that someone has to learn.  You can’t just be born with empathy (or “cinematic empathy,” as this retarded writer put it) and be able to identify with a person because of our shared human experience.  It’s something you have to be taught.  Unbelievable.  Does that mean that this person had to be taught not to hate black people?  It’s what they believe “white nerds” have to be, so clearly it means that they weren’t born with empathy towards other races.

I also hate how it’s “white nerds” who are so fucking racist.  If there is ANY group of people who is open to other races and other cultures, it is nerds.  There is real data to back this up.  Since nerd culture is now millennial culture, it has been shown that this latest generation is the most open and accepting culture that has ever been.  And the larger part of that are nerds.  The media likes to characterize nerds as the kids who are on voice chat in CoD calling people racial epithets or attacking women because they are playing video games.  Meanwhile, there are pictures from Cons and nerd events showing people of all stripes,  There was a great juxtaposition of a social justice event filled with white people, while a fighting game tournament had people of every ethnic group you can think of representing.

Nerd culture has always been the dog that the powerful can kick around.  As much as I would like to count myself among them, I’m a pathetic hipster who doesn’t stream on Netflix (I do DVDs because a lot of what I want to watch doesn’t stream.  Not gonna wait for the off-chance for it to come to their streaming service one day when I want to watch it now) and works in a cubicle getting yelled at on the phone all day.  Nerds are easy to make fun of.  They’re typically socially awkward, they engage in hobbies that as much as nerd culture has become part of the mainstream, the really devoted practitioners of it are still treated like shit.

With all the vitriol being thrown around about white people being so awful, is it any wonder nerd culture is so done with this?  You have people like a Samoan man I work with who was with me in hoping that this film doesn’t go the “white man is evil” route.  He made a joke about him not being white and still thinking that because he wants a good comic book film, not a sermon with a man in a superhero outfit.

Do these people just not think that I’ve ever seen a black person in a film and been able to empathize with them?  I saw the original Blade and empathized just fine with the cruel nature of Blade’s existence, and the tragedy when his mentor and friend dies, and the reality that he is stuck in a war he will likely never win.  I identified with Solomon Vandy in Blood Diamond trying to do the right thing and being led along by a man only in it for himself.  I identified with Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani in Kingdom of Heaven, who couldn’t kill Balian because he had shown him kindness when he could have kept him as a slave or murdered him outright.  Not a black character, but you see my point.  Only watch the Director’s Cut of that film.  It’s amazing.  Oh, and one last superhero reference, I could identify with Spawn’s plight in the HBO animated series of the character, who is both a black character and voiced by the implacable Keith David.

This idea that us nerds are just these virulent racists who go around hating black people and who have never seen a black character and empathized with them is a ridiculous stereotype that is rooted NOWHERE in fact.  Not one goddamn place.  It’s a belief by people who subscribe to a mindset with all the fervent passion of a fucking religion.  That’s what SJWs have – a religion.  The Church of the Regressive Left.

Until next time, a quote,

“I had to remind myself to breathe.” – Lewis Black

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s First Take: The New Mutants Official Trailer

Twentieth Century Fox has really shown that they are willing to take insane risks with their properties.  First it was with Deadpool, then it was with Logan.  The first was a very light-hearted and violent film that never went too hard-R.  The second was a grisly and very grim film that went insanely hard-R and didn’t shy back from the violence.  I really like that.  This new film has decided to take another strange turn, into an avenue that I honestly never saw a Marvel film taking before now, and I am so desperately hoping it is financially successful, so other films can learn from this example.  Now they are going straight-up horror.  I find this fascinating.  There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get into it.

We begin by seeing shots of a dark establishment.  There are lots of gravestones with code numbers that are very reminiscent of the ones the kids had in Logan.  We have “We Don’t Need No Education” playing in the background.  Is the idea that this place is a school?  An odd choice, but I’ll go with it.  There is a woman grilling a small child, asking if she has ever noticed strange things happening.  Then the question comes up – have you ever heard of mutants?

This leads me into wondering where in the timeline this film takes place.  Part of me figures that it takes place in the same universe and timeline as Logan.  It fits.  After all, how else would you explain the fact that no one seems to know what a mutant is?  Society has forgotten about them.  They’ve been dead for a generation and now we have new mutants coming along.  Lots of cool implications there.

It cuts to the doctor talking to a new kid about the fact that baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than adults because they can have more deadly bites.  Interesting.  A metaphor for the fact that children are more dangerous than adults?  Neat thought process there.  Get to meet a couple more mutants, including a blonde girl.  The doctor says that these children are dangerous, which leads to one of the kids hearing noises come from a washing machine.  The kid gets closer, until a hand slams onto the door and flames come out.  Okay.  Lots of questions.  Why was that kid in there?  Why are flames coming out?  This is weird.

Then it gets to the montage of stuff, and this is where it got my attention.  The aforementioned doctor is all cut up.  Okay.  One of the mutant kids has blood on her finger and then faces start meshing through the walls.  Interesting.  A kid describes this place as not a hospital, but a haunted house.  That line is kind of dumb, but at least it informs the idea that this place is painted as a place of healing, even though it’s much more likely that it’s some kind of Weapon X type facility.  There’s someone in a weird mask.  Horror movie trope #1,000,000.

We see more and more chaos surrounding these mutants.  What interests me is the idea that if it’s the kids themselves or something outside them.  So maybe this film takes place before any of the mutants from other films are discovered?  Like, these are some of the originals and now we’re seeing the chaos they are able to cause because no one knows how to stop it?  Lots of interesting questions here.

Here’s the thing – a comic book themed horror film is a fantastic idea.  That’s what Ghost Rider should have been.  I genuinely believe this idea could work.  The thing is that this trailer doesn’t tell us much.  Especially if the film wants to go hard-R.  Please tell me it does!  You know what this film needs – a Red Band trailer.  We need to know if it’s going as twisted and dark as its predecessors have.  Please tell me does.  Please let this be a film that takes all the balls 20th Century Fox has gotten with their darker superhero films and runs with it.

But my worry is that because this film doesn’t have the name recognition that Deadpool or Logan did that people will ignore it.  They’re releasing this in April.  What a random time.  I for one mean to see it.  I need to know.  Hopefully all of you do too.  Let’s not let a potentially interesting idea languish on the vine.

Initial Verdict
Intriguing

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

What a weird year for Marvel films.  Everyone says that they’re getting tired of all the Marvel films, because they’re so predictable and stale.  Part of me thinks that someone at Marvel heard that, and has been eager to change things up.  And wouldn’t you know it, but this year has delivered two very good films that may not have shaken the formula to its core, but at the very least have made things different enough to have people enjoying them more.  Nowhere was that more apparent than with the sequel to one of the funniest films in the MCU, Guardians of the Galaxy.  A film that not only had some surprisingly good character development, but a villain who actually caught me off guard.  Sure, the formula is there, but at least this film plays with it, and it actually feels like it is expanding on the lore of these characters, rather than just retreading old ground.  Let’s talk about it.

The plot goes that sometime after the events of the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy are now for hire heroes that do nice things for pay.  Not a bad racket.  However, after Rocket decides to fuck things up for them because he can’t stop himself, Quill’s father comes back into the picture.  Backstories are explained, and characters’ true motivations are revealed.  A villain who actually has a motivation that isn’t just copy-paste comes up and now another battle is on to save the galaxy.  Like I said, it still has that formula, but it does it oh so well.

I’ve complained to no end how films are now basically just becoming endless CG bugs me, and I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t the case here.  This film is ALL about the CG.  It’s fucking everywhere.  That being said, it was still pretty.  I think the director knew that everyone would be noticing the constant CG so he took a very interesting tactic – use brilliant colors as a way to offset people’s disdain for it.  That’s pretty clever!  The same thing was used to good effect in Doctor Strange, though this film also had color used for comedic effect at times.  Constant, vivid colors was all over this movie, and I’m genuinely glad it was because otherwise I would have been rolling my eyes a lot over how fake so much looked.

Which is one one of my flaws.  It’s pretty clear that while Baby Groot was cute as fuck, he was never in the shot and everyone who pretended to interact with him wasn’t really interacting with him.  That was painfully obvious.  Plus, yeah, some of the sets were so blatantly just people in a room with green-screen absolutely everywhere.  I’m honestly glad I am not one of these people who watches making-of videos of movies, because I bet watching people just being in green rooms acting is both depressing and funny.

The film also brings back it’s truly fantastic soundtrack.  I love the musical choices in these film.  How each track is used also perfect goes with every scene that it goes into.  The opening is the most known and parodied, but there is a ton of places that each track is used well.  This director knows his stuff oh so well.

Speaking of, the comedy in this film is so on point.  It’s kind of nice to see a film where all the heroes are pretty much anti-heroes pretending to not be.  These people are such assholes!  I love it!  Every single character in this film is kind of a douche, but the chemistry between all of them is just fantastic.  My favorite is still Rocket.  This guy is such a dick.  He is the biggest anti-hero of them all, but the way he plays with that just makes him so lovable.  Maybe it’s that inner asshole in me who can’t get enough of it.  Hell, even Drax is funnier in this film.  His complete lack of a filter is just too perfect.  Plus, he said one of the most cathartic lines to me on a personal level.

“When you’re ugly, people love you for who you are. When you’re beautiful, you don’t know who to trust.”

For someone who struggles with body image issues due to balding that isn’t especially pretty, this strikes such a chord to me.  My self-loathing is a constant struggle.

Overall, this isn’t a perfect movie.  Yeah, the formula is still there.  But it still feels like a breath of fresh air.  I’m glad I got to see this on Netflix.  A good Spider-Man film and now a good sequel to a flawed original that takes it to the next level.  With the MCU looking to wrap up now that Infinity War is coming, I genuinely think I’ll be able to look back fondly on it.  Marvel caught lightning in a bottle, which DC is now pathetically trying to imitate.  What a shame.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick