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Entries in Marvel (4)

Saturday
Dec152018

Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse Is It The Best Film This Year?

About a month ago after seeing the final trailer for “Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse” I stated how the animation style could be a game changer for theatrical cgi animation.  After seeing the film I still feel that way but was the movie any good though?

 

STORY: This story was “inspired” by the Spider-Verse storyline from a few years ago.  After an event with this worlds spider-man Miles get’s bitten by a radioactive spider and gains spider-mans powers(as well as a bit of something extra).  Various spider people start dropping be because of an incident with the Kingpin and the super collider.  All of the Spider-People have to stop Kingpins mysterious plan for the super collider before they as well as their individual universe is wiped out FOREVER!!!!

 

PRO

 

Stan Lee - I didn't cry during his passing because he lived a long fulfilling life but I have to admit I did get misty with his cameo in this film.  Small nit pick they should've just ended that scene after he said his line and not then pan over to the sign. 

 

Miles Morales - I believe this is the best iteration of Miles I've seen yet.  Even better that his early years written by Brian Michael Bendis.  A couple things that the film did was differntiate him from Peter Parkers character.  He isn't as socially awkward(we see he has friends from his previous school)but he still has insecruities kids(heck adults)have.  Also while it's brief they do play up the fact that he is part Puerto Rican. He always has been in the comics but it always seemed to be lip service.  So I'm glad we got what we got.  

 

Visuals - Character models, Character Designs & animation.  Pop Art stylings. I went more into this last month so I'll be brief here.  This is the most creative use of cgi I've seen in years.  While it maybe asking too much I just hope that animation studios will stretch their muscles and try to be more creative instead of all the cgi films that come out yearly looking the same.  Also I like how pop art was mixed into the textures of the film.  I don't think I've ever seen that before.

 

Miles Purpose - The filmmakers set up a valid believable reason why an inexperienced Miles has to be the one to save the day versus the more experienced heroes.  Hopefully more filmmakers will take note of this.

 

Story - Not bad.  Like previous in the series this was a coming of age story.  

 

Opening Credits - That has to be the most inventive and colorful opening credits I've seen in awhile.

 

Music - Most of the soundtrack and score isn’t generic and very distinct.  The music worked in the film.

 

Voice - It’s good.

 

The Year of Spider-Man - A relaunch of his comic series(ugh hopefully it'll get better).  A PS4 well received game and now this movie.  It's really nice that after many years we are FINALLY getting an ADULT Peter Parker in mass popular culture.  Despite what people think Peter's been out of high school sine the 1960's!

 

CON

 

Visuals - There is a constant blurriness in the backgrounds and sides of the film.  There is an critic that pointed this out recently and while I think he may have gone a little bit over board I do mostly agree with him that there are times that the film came across as unfinished.  It didn't drag me out too much and I still was able to enjoy the film.

 

Characters - While the acting and writing is good some of the characters don’t get enough time for us to care about them(ex. Uncle Arron and SPYDR).

 

Music - While it works some of the songs may be too specific for it's time for rewatchability in coming years.  However just for now it works in context of the film.

 

Kingpin - I understand the Kingpin's motivation but I don't think enough time was focused on it.

 

Recognition - One thing that disappointed me was during the end credits I didn't see(unless I missed it)the list of the prominent creators over the years for these characters.  The previous superhero films did that(I think even VENOM did that but I can't remember much about that film).  If their not in the film then that's just wrong.  It's a slap in the face to all the hard work these men and women did and it should be recognized.

 

Randomness - Just some thoughts that went thru my mind while watching the film.

 

Aunt May - There was an assumption by fans that Aunt May would be the Madame Web character.  She is in a way but not really.  Her character and home was used a hub for all of the characters

 

Voice Acting - All of the actors were fine.  Nick Cage between Mandy, Teen Titans must be having the time of his life this year.  That said some characters can be seen as glorified cameos due to the lack of dialog.  Was it really smart to hire a celebrity voice for a couple of minutes screen time when you could hire a professional voice actor who could at least do as well and do multiple characters as well?  After all 2 days from now who will remember what celebrity was in this film?

 

The Character of Dr. Liz reminds me of celebrity chef Carla Hall.  Was she the inspiration for the design of the character?

 

I didn't know the Scorpion was Hispanic.

 

If you look at the names on the phone list their comic book creators related to these characters.  Ex. Dan Slott, Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli.

 

While the after credits scene seems pointless but funny it may have a greater importance for the future(see what I did there?).  That scene can set up a film for that character also imagine if in their film they meet previous animated Spider-Men like the 1990's version, Spider-Man and His Amazing friends, Spectacular Spider-Man and so on.

 

Jack Johns plays a Peter Parker in the film but not the only one.  Chris Pine plays one briefly(per the credits).

 

At the end of the film does Miles still have that comedy mallet?

 

In the future Miles be thinking in comic book thought boxes?

 

Will Miles also continue seeing visions of what the spider was doing before it bit him?

 

Recommend:  Yes.  

 

Despite some small blemishes this is a really good movie that introduces the general audience to a more recent character or a few(Peter Porker has been around since the 1980’s).  Hopefully people will be drawn to him and them and want to see more of them and pick up the source material containing them.  Okay, okay that’s asking too much.  How about this, maybe this will get people interested enough in the character that this film is profitable and to have another film where he solo’s without the help of the other Spider/People?  

 

So is this the best Spider-Man film ever?  Well that’s tough to say.  Usually nostalgia googles play a part a lot of times and other times the newest is seen as an improvement over what’s come before(See Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man Homecoming).  With some distance we’ll probably know more.  Okay but is this the best animated and/or film this year?  Well I haven’t seen as many films this year than last year but I would say that this is my favorite film of the year…if I hadn’t seen another film about 2 days before this.  That film is called Maquia When The Promise Flower Blooms and it was released earlier this year.

 

When The Promise Flower Blooms is a fantasy film that follows Maquia who hales from a race of immortals who stop aging once they become teenagers.  One day their attacked and she's separate from her people she finds a baby that is being clutched by his dead mother and the rest of the film follows their relationship as he grows older but she stays the same age.  We also see how they react to the world happening around them.

 

Both Spider-Verse and Flowers have great lead characters in Miles(Spider-Man) and Maquia And Ariel(Flowers).  The best parts of both films are the relationships between parent and child.  I'll admit some of my most emotional experiences in film this year was Miles interacting with his dad during the 3rd act and Maquia And Ariel in the climax of "Flowers".

 

Each film also are amazing to look at.  I would give "Flowers" an edge here because while some of the cgi was noticeable it was as bad as the blurriness in "Spider-Verse".

 

I think overall all Flowers is a better overall film but Spider-Verse is still very good.  I can't believe that my 2 favorite films so far this year just as last year are such different animated film.  Last year it was "Your Name." and "A Silent Voice".  I'm just so happy that there animated films of such high quality that are also so varied.  I just wish the general public would be more open and try more than just the average Hollywood animated film.

 

Oh, well...

Tuesday
May012018

Best Marvel Villains(Sony, Fox & Marvel Studios)

1.  Thanos(Avengers: Infinity War)

2.  Helmut Zemo(Captain America: Civil War)

3.  Erik Killmonger(Black Panther)

4.  The Red Skull(Captain America: The First Avenger)

5.  Adrian Toomes The Vulture(Spider-Man: Homecoming)

6.  Loki(The Avengers)

Tuesday
Apr242018

VENOM OFFICIAL TRAILER IMMEDIATE THOUGHTS

VENOM OFFICIAL TRAILER THOUGHTS

 

Well, this is better.  The difference between this and the teaser trailer is huge.  I felt the the teaser trailer seemed unfinished a and was basically just a couple characters running around and the studio saying: “Eh, the sfx would be added in later” and I was right.  I do wonder why SONY decided to release this trailer now?  Were they confident with the footage they have now?  Or are they trying to bandwagon on any good will “AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR” will have this week(also since Spidey will play a part in that film even though in the Venom universe(ugh)I don’t believe Spider-Man exists).  

 

Well let’s look at some pro’s & con’s of the trailer.  

 

PRO:  

 

We get a better idea of the story.  Reporter Eddie Brock is investigating the nefarious dealings of the “LIGHT” company.  They have symboite’s and want to use them to help spearhead human evolution(I don’t think they know what evolution means).  They try to prevent Eddie reporting on this and he get’s one of the symboite’s inside of him wackiness ensues.

 

The Look of Venom.  I’m okay with the look for 2 reasons.  

 

1. I liked the look of Venom in Spider-Man 3.  So this film resembling that one isn’t a problem for me.  

2. While it does look unfinished the film comes out in about 5 months so I’m sure the effects of the suit will continued to be worked on.

 

Using aspects of the comic.  Well really only one thing.  The Light company.  They play a big part in Venom’s and the symboite’s history.  Adding them in as the main villain is a good idea if you’re not going to add in any other part of Spider-Man’s universe.

 

The feel of the trailer…at first. For about the first 45 seconds this looked and felt like a horror film.  That would actually work because when Venom first appeared in comics his appearance was shrouded in darkness and there was a horror movie feel to his presence.

 

CON:

 

After about 45 seconds this looks like a generic action film.  Segueing from the horror feel of the 1st half of the trailer to the action of the 2nd half felt haphazard.  It looks like this becomes a chase film.  Which I like and which sounds good however if the film-makers utilize all of Venom’s powers then that means he can camouflage and even turn invisible.  That makes chasing him difficult and usually a pointless endeavor.

 

The design & creation.  The lack of the white spider on his body(which granted could come later)and that ridiculous tongue.  I’ve never liked it in the comics.  It always came off as too silly to me.  Most people probably won’t remember this but that flapping tongue was there in his first appearance in the comics or the first time he battled Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man #300.  The rumors about Peter Parker existing in this films universe have been all over the place.  Sometimes we’re told he isn’t in the film other times we’re told he makes a cameo.  Either way Peter won’t play a role in Venom’s origin.  Which will make major parts of of Venom’s identity questionable.  Here’s what I mean.  Venom’s powers are based off of Peter’s(spider-sense, wall crawling, agility, etc.)  The symboite and the race that it comes from in the comics replicates whatever abilities it’s host has.  So without a spider-man how will the film explain why Venom has the powers that he has?  Will all the symboites(because it looks like there are going to be at least a couple more in the film)have the same powers?  Will the other symboite’s spin off from Venom just as Carnage did in the comics?

 

Story and sequel potential.  The story doesn’t look that interesting.  Also where can it go if Venom is the only meta-human in on the planet?  No one will be able to take him down.  Will Venom’s villains in possible sequels be other symboite’s?  Like Carnage, Hybrid or Anti-Venom?  Sony is trying to make other films with Spider-Man characters but have them exist in their own universe.  This stymies their growth as a franchise.  If they never run into Spider-Man or even each other they lose a bit of their uniqueness.  A big part of what makes these characters great is how they affect Peter Parker and his larger universe.  With the way Sony is working with these Spider Man “spin-offs” is the equivalent of making a Lex Luthor film and having Superman never existing in it.  Or better yet it’s like having a “JOKER” tv show but Batman doesn’t exist…oh wait that’s “GOTHAM”.

 

Despite my initial and current feelings on this property I will still give it a chance.  After all the director Ruben Fleischer did direct “Zombieland”(well he also directed “Gangster Squad”).  The writers wrote “Beautiful Girls” and “High Fidelity”  but they also they did “Kangaroo Jack”, “Fifty Shades of Grey” & “Gangster Squad”.

 

Uh-oh.

 

MUSIC USED:

“RUN”

“BLOCKBUSTER”

Sunday
Feb182018

Black Panther 2018 Movie Review (Script)

 

Before I begin I saw the 3D version of the film and right before the movie started the lady in the movie screen said after the film to return all the 3D glasses.  The entire audience bust out laughing.  Maybe this is why this theater only has 3 stars.  Or maybe it’s because people dumped their popcorn bags into the eyeglass drop off.

 

The film takes place I believe 3 days after the conclusion Captain America Civil War and T’challa has to still deal with the death of his father, becoming king and and threat to him and is country due to the sins of his father. 

 

Positives 

 

The World building.  about the first 10 -15 minutes focus just on Wakanda.  Through out the film see the different technology, fashion and landscapes of the country.  Also I believe they created a language just for the film.  

 

The acting.  Normally I can point to at least one weak performance in a film(ex. the boy in “PROUD MARY”) I can’t here.  Every one was good.  I was a bit worried if what happened in comics would happen in the film to Nakia fortunately no and there isn’t any hint of that happening either.  Martin Freeman as Everett Ross was good.  He had the unintentional comedy, misplaced bravado that he has in the comics.  However the film version is more competent.    

 

Humor.  The humor came from the characters personalities and their interactions with one another.  It didn’t feel force or improved.  Humor can be used to release just enough tension in the scene but you still feel the impact from that scene.  I think this film did that better than “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” & “Thor Ragnarok”

 

T’challa’s character arc.  In C.A. Civil War he had to work thru his hate and revenge.  In this film he had to continue to work thru the loss of his father and decide on his and his countries legacy.  Everyone around him including “Kill-Monger” have differing ideas on what Wakanda should be and stand for.  Many of them are valid but T’challa had to figure that what worked in the past most likely won’t work in the future.  They all have to adapt to how the world is but not lose their past as well.   

 

Wakanda’s character arc.  Spoiler a bit of a one anyway(or not) but the country goes from being secretive to coming out and reveal itself and stop being selfish with it’s riches and help the world at large non-violently.

 

The Villains.  I’d rank Kill-monger just below Zemo.  They have similarities.  Both did what they did for personal reasons.  I go with Zemo more because he wanted a more intimate revenge.  He wanted to hurt the few he saw responsible and that’s it.  Kill-monger wanted to make everyone in the world (especially Wakanda) to feel is pain.  Even those that didn’t have anything to do with it.

 

The opening narration animation and end credits.  This isn’t going to sound like much but at the start of the film how they used the constant moving cgi images to give the the audience a brief rundown about Wakanda and The Black Panther.  This reminded me of Wonder Women with Queen Hippolyta narrated to Diana and storybook style images were used.  This is a great way of doing exposition in a quick and efficient way that will keep the audience engrossed. 

 

The end credits looked good.  I’m glad on at least some films that images are incorporated into the credits.  Just bland white on black is boring.  Wait, that didn’t sound right!

 

The Music.  Well this is both a pro and a con.  The African score is amazing and fits the film.  The problem is that it has another score in it that sounded very generic.  Why didn’t the filmmakers do what “COCO” did last year and just have the entire film be one (the African) score.  Now it did seem during the 3rd act that the generic score fused with the African one and sounded great.  The film needed more of that. 

 

Negatives

 

3D.  The 3D was mostly pointless.  Occasionally it added some depth but nah.  There were also times that the images looked a bit foggy.  I thought maybe it was because of the type glasses I have but I didn’t have this issue when I went to see Valerian last year.  So yeah, you can skip the 3D showing.

 

CGI in parts looked fake.  When KillMonger in the Jaguar suit fought T’challa it felt too cgi-ey.  There were times that the characters seemed to lack weight and were floating in instances.  Also a particular animal is armored for battle and in an action scene and the armor looked “unfinished”.  Up close the animal did look real though.

Personal one.  Once again a villain is related to the hero in some way.  It made sense in this movie than in others but I still wish it didn’t happen.  Okay Another con or pet peeve.  Once again at least one major villain in the film is killed.  It’s tough to build a rouges gallery if you keep killing them off.  I suppose this puts the kibosh on any future film with “THE MASTERS OF EVIL” led by Zemo I guess.

 

 

Where can they go next?

 

With the world built what or where can they go.  I suppose one of the tribes could try to invade and the movie could be about that.  However I have an idea for a antagonist that would be interesting and be on the same level of Black Panther/Wakanda.  Also this would be a good way to introduce this anti-hero.  Who is it?  MARVEL’s 1st mutant.  

 

Namor.

 

Namor and Atlantis have had a very contentious relationship with Black Panther and Wakanda over the years.   Based on what Joe Q said a couple of years ago Marvel now has the rights back for Namor so it could happen.  I do wonder if this did happen, would it happen after the DISNEY/FOX deal?  Since you would want to have the Fantastic Four in existence in the same world if Namor exists their as well.

 

Another logical villain would be “Kraven the Hunter” but getting him from Sony would be too much effort(unless rumors about them about to sell off their movie division is true…hmmm…).  Maybe a version of the “American Panther” could work.  Hunter the White Wolf could work too but in the comics the character is T’challa’s adoptive brother.  Oh boy now I’m starting to get really obscure.  Let me just end it there.

 

RECOMMEND:  YES

 

This was a really good film.  Is it being overhyped?  Yes, of course but then every major film is over hyped these days.  Still I think this will be a good film to see multiple times but not because of the action but because of the character and world building.  I love the look of this world and how it works.  I want see more of it.  I want a video game of it.  Geez this is how “GHOST IN THE SHELL” & “VALERIAN” should’ve been like last year.

 

I’ve waited 25 years for this film(1992 or 1993 Wesley Snipes was discussing on making it).  I just so glad that the film came out.  Is as well crafted, fun and as fully realized as it is.  

 

Music Used:

“Shetland”

“Sanskrit” 

“Daydream”