SPORTS!

Hey there blog followers!

First, thanks for reading my comic book turbonerd articles. They’ve been going over really well and lots of people have been stopping by to read them. Thanks!

Second, if you like the NHL, and you should, I have 14 articles I’ve been writing for the last couple of weeks that are going to start going live on Friday. I’ll be previewing the NHL over at www.talkingbaws.com.

I’ll be covering the playoff picture, who makes good trades and signings, who is bad at trades and signings and who looks pretty and all sorts of other hockey stuff!

Stay tuned and rock on.

How losing X-Men and Spider Man was best for Marvel and comic book movies

So I was doing some brain thinking about Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos and Avengers 3 and stuff. Then I came back to more brain thinking about “Ah man, Spiderman and Wolverine gotta be in the Avengers man! I want Marvel to get those movie rights back so bad!”

Then I went all wait a second. Would we really even have Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, a shitty TV show, upcoming Netflix series’, the Avengers and Guardians if Marvel still had the rights to Spiderman and Xmen (Their 2 biggest franchises, especially pre-2008)? Or even Fantastic Four? And I came up with, “No”.

If they had those big franchises, they could have easily ridden things out with those. Would they have gotten to the Avengers universe, more or less, as we know it regardless? Probably, but it more likely would have been on the back burner and they would have trickled out more in the way that we’re now getting into Dr Strange and Ant Man and Guardians now.

Why would Marvel have to go so far to secondary/tertiary franchises if they had their big guns? They probably would not have. Heck, Iron Man was a total B class hero before 2008. Now he’s a super hero superstar in pop culture. Unimaginable less than 10 years ago.

We probably would have gotten an Avengers movie in a way that we’re getting basically getting a “Meet the Justice League!” movie in Supes V Batsy: The Saturation Broke on my Camera. Could you imagine that, especially compared to what we’ve gotten instead? Ew.

Not having those big franchises forced Marvel Studios to make good movies. It sounds weird to say, but considering they only make comic book movies, if they screw up then they just poisoned their well. They can’t afford that. Incredible Hulk wasn’t that good, got backburnered indefinitely. Thor: The Dark World underperformed a bit (650 mil and 65% on Rotten Tomatoes), and 3 apparently was pushed back 1 year to a 2017 as a result. Iron Man has done so well they may do a 4th film. Cap 2 may have “only” made $700 million but it got 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, and now its a priority.

avengers

Now I’d love for Marvel Studios to have Spiderman, X-Men and Fantastic Four all together in one universe. I want to see the Hulk crash through an Oscorp facility, or Banner, Stark and Richards all be smart science guys, or Carnage and Deadpool just staring at each other while they do stuff in New York.

But, we won’t get that. Instead, we’ll get expertly done Dr. Strange and Ant-Man movies and hopefully Black Panther, Nova and Ms. Marvel are just around the corner. And that’s even better.

Marvel’s excellent work has forced Fox into making good movies again with the X-men. It’s forced them to bust their nuts to make good on the upcoming Fantastic Four, which is still TBD.

Sony… well… the less we talk about Sony and Spider Man, the better.

It makes me wonder if DC lost its rights to Batman or Superman for a bit, if they would have taken doing Green Lantern more seriously. Maybe they give a honest try to Aquaman and turn him not into a joke. Maybe we’d already have a live action Flash film, Shazam, and Martian Manhunter. Maybe they make good on doing a serious take on Wonder Woman (I have a script if they want it). Maybe they link their TV and Movie universes, even casually to help add to their universes scale and completeness.

But yeah, this was neat to think/write about.

Ranking the Modern Marvel Movies, 7-1

Into the best of the best. And quite honestly these movies are more or less interchangeable at the top.

7. X-men: Days of Future Past

Plot holes, shmot holes. It was so great as a turbonerd to see the entire cast, except Nightcrawler, all together. It also replaces all the poo taste left in your mouth from X3 and Origins: Wolverine. Hitting the rest button in such a way is really risky, but they did it in a very satisfying and interesting way while still leaving the door open for both sets of X-casts. I love timeline stories. Enjoyed how it made Wolverine less of THE super hero and more of a dude and put a lot of focus on the rest of the cast. The great layering of social commentary that is so important to Xmen was handled well and the scale/scope was really given its due.

6. Guardians of the Galaxy

One of the best parts of this movie is that it is very accessible. It as easy to understand  for comic nerds and regular mutants alike. Its going to be silly, its going to be convenient, but its going to be fun. The music is perfect. Everyone in the movie does a good job at doing their own thing and hitting their notes. Arguably the best performance comes from Michael Rooker as Yondu. It’s your standard McGuffin plot where the baddy wants it and the good guys are all “No, stop! Bad!” but it’s done in such a hammy and campy yet excellent way of adjusting the standard underdog story formula. Lee Pace nails Ronan the Accuser. In a movie so hammy and campy, the way he plays it straight and simple is an excellent contrast. The camera work and visual design is well done and original, while still holding some familiarity in style for Star Wars and Star Trek nerds. The movie feels up your feels, and it sets up the Marvel space universe so that Nova and Ms Marvel can get their due. Standing ovation for Marvel Studios.

5. X2

For one whole year we had the gold standard for comic book movies. Now, we just have the benchmark for every Xmen film for eternity to aspire towards. I don’t think I can pick anything out in this movie that wasn’t excellent. Nightcrawler’s implementation was perfect. Still might be Hugh Jackman’s best Wolverine performance to date. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart could not have possibly done any better in their roles. And Brian Singer was able to nail the subtext/social commentary while balancing it with the action and avoiding some annoying and preachy movie with special effects. The expanded cast of mutants was great to see and even though many had only a scene or two, it was worth it and not at all cluttered. What a joy to watch.

4. Iron Man

This and Batman Begins are the holy grail of super hero origin stories. Just nailed it. One of the best parts is that the relationship with the villain is established early in the movie versus “meeting” them halfway through. This film launched Marvel into the universe they are in now and has launched Tony Stark as a character much the same way that Jack Sparrow became as big/bigger than the films. There is excellent chemistry between characters and they trade witticisms like real people versus comedy characters. Iron Man is as perfectly cast as any movie on this list. Robert Downey Jr nails the rockstar flippancy of Tony Stark, as well as the character arc from playboy to responsible playboy. Lastly, Iron Man is basically the only Avengers era movie where the hero kills and it isn’t cheap. That is an accomplishment in super hero fiction.  Jeff Bridges was an excellent cigar munching fatcat. The ending serves as an excellent contrast of motives. Best of all? They got the suit right. Nothing could have saved this if the suit was wrong. A++

3. Spider Man 2

Stop smashing your keyboard that this is not #1. From here up, its literally a case of 1a, 1b ad 1c. This stole the mantle from X2 as the gold standard and took almost a decade to topple/be met. It has every element from the comics that makes Spider Man so great. The angst, variety of emotions, goofiness, melodrama, romance, and intensity and has it all spun (like a web!) together expertly. Every scene is a perfect compliment to every other scene and fully reached and surpassed the potential that anyone could have forseen for the super hero “genre” of movies. The only thing, and this is minor, is that Kirsten Dunst still just isn’t up to par with the rest of the movie but she still holds her own well. Toby McGuire perfectly captured Peter Parker in this movie in a way I’m unconvinced Andrew Garfield ever will. I haven’t even touched on Doc Oc yet, which was masterfully done. The train scene, pictured, is my favourite scene from any Spider Man movie. The perfect Spider Man movie.

2. The Avengers

The fact that this movie didn’t crash and burn is unbelievable. Just think about the task at hand here, then realize that they pulled it off and the only crap scenes in the entire movie are when awkward dialogue about “red in my ledger” is brought up. The rest? Flawless, especially the smaller character dynamics that only someone familiar with the cartoons/comics would recognize. Such as the various bromances, who has animosity with who, character pairings, etc. It hits so well on so many little things. Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk steals the show and satiates a lot of the hunger for a solo Hulk film. I never understood a lot of the hype behind Joss Whedon but with this film I got it. The little things are done as well as the big things and the character interaction all seems so natural. Its long, but it never feels as long as it really is and everything in the movie, and other bits from other films, come around in a nice full circle here to make a completely satisfying and exhilarating experience.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

One of the things that is so impressive about this movie is how different it feels compared to The Avengers, Thor: TDW and Iron Man 3. There is a lot more plot and considering how heavy it is into espionage and thriller, versus CGI action movie, it had to be that way. You’ve got double and triple crosses, Nazi’s, a boatload of assassins and politics. You’re also taking a guy who’s only powers are incredible fitness, a shield and punching dudes really really hard and taking him so far and away from the ground-level hero that you’d expect the execution to fall apart. Except it doesn’t. The action is a great blend of CGI action (Falcon) and dude-punch-dude (Cap/Widow). Evans delivers Captain America so well, and the rest of the cast supports him and the movie in their unique way. Lastly, it established Cap as a moral compass globally and not just as America man fighting for America and the American Way for all of America’s interests of protecting and promoting America.

Marvel movies 29-19

Marvel movies 18-8

Summer Movie Reviews: Now with 100% More Dick Messages

- Guardians of the Galaxy 4/5

I really do love Marvel Studios. They are just really good and being good at making good movies. One of the best executed things too is that if you were unaware of this as a Marvel property, you wouldn’t know – save for like 2 itsy bitsy Avengers/Thor: The Dark World hints. Its very accessible. It as easy to understand  for comic nerds and regular mutants alike.

Its going to be silly, its going to be convenient, but its going to be fun. The music is perfect.

I like being able to go into a comic book movie and not really know how its going to go. I’ve read enough/seen enough cartoons to know a lot of the story in things like Cap and Spiderman.

Everyone in the movie does a good job at doing their own thing. I struggle with isolating anyone as a standout performer and not by anyone’s fault, but because everyone hits their notes.

  • Pratt is basically Han Solo mixed with the gopher from Caddyshack.
  • Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista both do well as 2 different species of green sorta psychos. Saldana is just so freaking gorgeous and does the femme fatale thing very well, while Batista as Drax committed such a huge face turn the WWE should take notes.
  • Whoever wrote Groot deserves equal praise to whoever animated him.
  • The “weak” link for me was Bradley Cooper as Rocket Racoon. Not because he was bad, but I had heard so much hype before hand that I was expecting a show stealing performance.

The plot actually quite standard at this point which is almost disappointing, but necessary*, and it’s executed well. Baddy wants the McGuffin because he’s evil and wants to kaboom everything for his evil boner. An underdog story in a different style of underdog story.

As far as Marvel villains, Ronan falls much much closer to the Loki of end good, versus the lame end with Malekith. He plays it straight and it works real well in this setting.

There is a lot of feels too. Be prepared to have your feels felt up.

Lets sum it up this way: This movie has made me pre-hyped for the Avengers 3: Thanos’ Glove Boner/ Avengers+Guardians team up. And we won’t be seeing that until 2018. Give me Nova.

*SPOILERS- Highlight to see* Marvel is setting up for Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, which needs 6 Infinity stones to give him literally all the power ever. Tesseract (Avengers) and Ether (Thor: The Dark World) are two of the “stones” or powers the stone represents. Its theorized that Extremis (Iron Man 3) is another. Putting that together with the purple one in this movie and we’re at 4 of 6. 

Other reviews:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2/5
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 5/5

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction 2/5

A Million Ways to Die in the West 0/5
Godzilla 5/5
X-Men: Days of Future Past  4/5
The Amazing Spiderman 2 1/5
Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It 4/5
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 5/5
The Raid 3/5
Need for Speed 3/5
300: Rise of an Empire 3/5

To Come

- Hercules July 25
– 
Batman: Assault on Arkham (DVD) August 12
– The Expendables 3 August 15
- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For August 22

Ranking the Modern Marvel Movies, 6-1

Into the best of the best. And quite honestly these movies are more or less interchangeable at the top.

6. X-men: Days of Future Past

Plot holes, shmot holes. It was so great as a turbonerd to see the entire cast, except Nightcrawler, all together. It also replaces all the poo taste left in your mouth from X3 and Origins: Wolverine. Hitting the rest button in such a way is really risky, but they did it in a very satisfying and interesting way while still leaving the door open for both sets of X-casts. I love timeline stories. Enjoyed how it made Wolverine less of THE super hero and more of a dude and put a lot of focus on the rest of the cast. The great layering of social commentary that is so important to Xmen was handled well and the scale/scope was really given its due.

5. X2

For one whole year we had the gold standard for comic book movies. Now, we just have the benchmark for every Xmen film for eternity to aspire towards. I don’t think I can pick anything out in this movie that wasn’t excellent. Nightcrawler’s implementation was perfect. Still might be Hugh Jackman’s best Wolverine performance to date. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart could not have possibly done any better in their roles. And Brian Singer was able to nail the subtext/social commentary while balancing it with the action and avoiding some annoying and preachy movie with special effects. The expanded cast of mutants was great to see and even though many had only a scene or two, it was worth it and not at all cluttered. What a joy to watch.

4. Iron Man

This and Batman Begins are the holy grail of super hero origin stories. Just nailed it. One of the best parts is that the relationship with the villain is established early in the movie versus “meeting” them halfway through. This film launched Marvel into the universe they are in now and has launched Tony Stark as a character much the same way that Jack Sparrow became as big/bigger than the films. There is excellent chemistry between characters and they trade witticisms like real people versus comedy characters. Iron Man is as perfectly cast as any movie on this list. Robert Downey Jr nails the rockstar flippancy of Tony Stark, as well as the character arc from playboy to responsible playboy. Lastly, Iron Man is basically the only Avengers era movie where the hero kills and it isn’t cheap. That is an accomplishment in super hero fiction.  Jeff Bridges was an excellent cigar munching fatcat. The ending serves as an excellent contrast of motives. Best of all? They got the suit right. Nothing could have saved this if the suit was wrong. A++

3. Spider Man 2

Stop smashing your keyboard that this is not #1. From here up, its literally a case of 1a, 1b ad 1c. This stole the mantle from X2 as the gold standard and took almost a decade to topple/be met. It has every element from the comics that makes Spider Man so great. The angst, variety of emotions, goofiness, melodrama, romance, and intensity and has it all spun (like a web!) together expertly. Every scene is a perfect compliment to every other scene and fully reached and surpassed the potential that anyone could have forseen for the super hero “genre” of movies. The only thing, and this is minor, is that Kirsten Dunst still just isn’t up to par with the rest of the movie but she still holds her own well. Toby McGuire perfectly captured Peter Parker in this movie in a way I’m unconvinced Andrew Garfield ever will. I haven’t even touched on Doc Oc yet, which was masterfully done. The train scene, pictured, is my favourite scene from any Spider Man movie. The perfect Spider Man movie.

2. The Avengers

The fact that this movie didn’t crash and burn is unbelievable. Just think about the task at hand here, then realize that they pulled it off and the only crap scenes in the entire movie are when awkward dialogue about “red in my ledger” is brought up. The rest? Flawless, especially the smaller character dynamics that only someone familiar with the cartoons/comics would recognize. Such as the various bromances, who has animosity with who, character pairings, etc. It hits so well on so many little things. Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk steals the show and satiates a lot of the hunger for a solo Hulk film. I never understood a lot of the hype behind Joss Whedon but with this film I got it. The little things are done as well as the big things and the character interaction all seems so natural. Its long, but it never feels as long as it really is and everything in the movie, and other bits from other films, come around in a nice full circle here to make a completely satisfying and exhilarating experience.

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

One of the things that is so impressive about this movie is how different it feels compared to The Avengers, Thor: TDW and Iron Man 3. There is a lot more plot and considering how heavy it is into espionage and thriller, versus CGI action movie, it had to be that way. You’ve got double and triple crosses, Nazi’s, a boatload of assassins and politics. You’re also taking a guy who’s only powers are incredible fitness, a shield and punching dudes really really hard and taking him so far and away from the ground-level hero that you’d expect the execution to fall apart. Except it doesn’t. The action is a great blend of CGI action (Falcon) and dude-punch-dude (Cap/Widow). Evans delivers Captain America so well, and the rest of the cast supports him and the movie in their unique way. Lastly, it established Cap as a moral compass globally and not just as America man fighting for America and the American Way for all of America’s interests of protecting and promoting America.

Marvel movies 28-18

Marvel movies 17-7