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Entries in superhero (4)


AQUAMAN Movie Review


Origin Story?  Yes…kinda.  It starts off giving us the early years of Arthur his dad and mom but then about after 10mins we’re into the modern day.  A few times through the film they do show flashbacks but that’s it.  So don’t worry about this entire film being an origin film.


Enjoyable?  Definitely.  


If you liked Jason Momoa’s character from Justice League but wondered if he could lead a film.  Yup.  His Arthur is a relatable character that understands his weakness and at times displays some great intelligence.  James Wan several times very creatively segued between scenes.  I hope more directors take note.  Everyone one acted well.  The cgi for the money scene is well worth going to see it in 3D(I didn’t see it in 3D but I can tell this film was made with 3D in mind).


Any Surprises?  A Couple.


1.  The villain isn’t killed by the end of the film and another might be redeemed in future films.  

2.  One of the villains(Black Manta) has a very valid reason for hating and wanting to kill Arthur.

3.  I was expecting another sacrifice to happen at the end of the film.

4.  I kept thinking “Okay when is Willem DeFoe going to backstab everyone.” Didn’t happen.

5.  I enjoyed Arthur’s and Mera’s relationship.  Especially considering after reading the comics and no what is in front of them.


Any annoyances?  A couple.  


1. A few jump scares(it makes since since director James Wan has a history in horror)  


2. While for the most part the cgi is great there are a few times it just failed.  But it’s when it fails that’s the most baffling.  It’s not during fight scenes or when we see Atlantis.  It’s when someone is standing on a cliff or people standing on a boat.  Those scenes look like really bad stage sets. 


3. During the getting to know you or falling in love scene the music playing sounded like the lovable whimsical theme that always plays in modern Hallmark romance movies.


4. I think the continuity is a bit messed up after seeing Justice League last year.  Based on this film this is Arthur and Mera’s first meeting but in Justice League they seem to know each other(They even reference Justice League with in their first meeting in this film).


Any easter eggs?  Yes!


I won’t go into spoilers but if you know your comic book covers then that VERY LAST SCENE(before the credits)has Jason Momoa do one of Aquaman’s iconic poses.


Any Negatives?  Not really.  


I’m sure people are going to say that this film follows a formula but so what.  All films follow a formula.  The key is did the filmmakers execute it well and I think Aquaman did.  After seeing “Man of Steel”, “Wonder Woman” and now “Aquaman” I believe Warner Bros(or Warner Media) biggest mistake was releasing Justice League last year.  They should have release all of single films of the Justice League members first and then the team film(hmm I need to write or make a video on that in the future…).  Because it’s evident in these 3 films that time and care was used in making them.  As well as trusting the vision of the director and working with them.  


Hopefully Warner Media has learned it’s lesson.  I can’t wait for the Billy Batson/Captain Marvel Movie now(and no, I’m NEVER CALLING HIM SHAZAM!  To me that will always be the wizards name!!!).





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.  




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.




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”.








Thar B Spoilers TV Review: "The Greatest American Heroine"



March is Women’s History Month and I wanted to review an interesting film or tv series that focused on well, women.   What to tackle though?  “Mahogany”, “Bratz”,  the aborted “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Animated Series”, “Vampire Academy”, “The Stepford Wives” remake(oh you’re day is coming just you wait movie…mumble grumble grumble)?  Well, while watching an episode of MOVIE NIGHTS(hosted by Alison Pregler)she reviewed an episode of “The Greatest American Hero” and my nostalgia alarm went off.  I remember watching this show as a kid(before I went to bed halfway through any episode!)and after a quick google search I found a heading of “GREATEST AMERICAN HEROINE”?  Okay internet, now I’m intrigued.




One day while driving thru the desert high school teacher Ralph Hinkley runs into a bunch of aliens.  As you do(because of course!).  They give him a special super-suit with various powers.  Also in the desert was special agent Bill Maxwell.  The aliens want them to use the suit for good.  They’re even so nice that they give Ralph a how to book on using the suit.  Which he promptly loses(well it is a comedy)twice.  Along the way they run into obligatory love interest Pam Davidson and wackiness and shenanigans ensue.  



This episode was used as a proposed (backdoor) pilot(sort of) for a spin-off series that never happened.  It’s been years since I’ve seen the series and I’m only focusing on this episode so I might overlook any continuity issues this episode has to the rest of the series.  Just like FOX does with the X-Men films(LOGAN included!).  If that irritates you well just keep in mind that “I don’t care”.


The episode begins with a white haired Bill Maxwell re-caping the events from the series:  How he met Ralph Hinkley, the aliens and so on.  Then he says one day the unthinkable happened…Ralph’s secret identity was revealed to the public.  BALDERDASH!!!  He never had a secret identity!  He didn’t wear glasses like Clark Kent or a mask like the Flash.  I had this problem when I watched the show as a kid.  How exactly is he a secret superhero when he doesn’t hide his identity(face)?  Well, anyway about 30 seconds after his non unmasking, the world’s worst Ronald Reagan impersonator(president) arrives and thanks him.  I’m not sure how he knew he was there and got to that exact spot so quickly though.  


Ralph quickly becomes a celebrity and the fame all goes to his head.  The aliens eventually find out and aren’t happy.  They saw him on the Dick Cavett show and “force”(fire) Ralph to give up the suit but he has to first find someone else to take up the role.  I did find it interesting that the aliens said everyone in the world (except Ralph, Pam and Bill) would forget everything once the suit is on someone else.  Where was this deus ex machina earlier in the series?!  We then get a montage of Bill and Ralph trying to find a new suit wearer(no, we never see Ralph explaining the situation to him)with the song “Greatest Love Of All” playing.  No, I don’t know why.  Is this going to be a thing where this episode will have songs with the word “greatest” in them?  I say that they both try to find someone but it’s really only Bill.  Ralph just stalks this really nice lady with a fluffy mullet named Holly around town.  It starts to get a bit creepy.


Ralph then asks her(Holly Hathaway) a very important question “How do you look in red?”.  Sorry that’s still creepy.  Later on Pam & Ralph meet Bill and break the news to him.  The new suit wearer is a woman.  WHA?  Bill doesn’t take it well.(21:08)  A GOIL?!  THAT’S MADNESS!!!  “You Picked a skirt!”  Ah, that Bill, so progressive and forward thinking.  Well, Holly arrives and I think we know one reason why Ralph picked Holly.  I mean c’mon he was stalking her for a reason.  After a bittersweet goodbye(26:00) we have a Bill and Holly go through a training montage and I gotta admit I’m starting to fall in love with both Holly and the idea of this spin off.  Holly has such an upbeat fun personality and she feels that having these powers and the thought of helping people is both exciting and the best thing in the world.  Holly reminds me of MARVEL Comics “Gwen Poole”.  Gwen is a comic book fan from the real world that suddenly travels to the Marvel Universe and she just geeks out at everything.  It’s fun to see how Gwen interacts with other Marvel superhero’s and villains.  I get that same feeling with Holly and I’ve only seen her for a few minutes so far.  Great job show!


Awhile later Holly calls Bill over because she came up with there first mission.  To go save the whales in Newfoundland.  Wait did the writers get the idea of the plot from STAR TREK IV?(WAITAMINUTE this did come out the same year as THE VOYAGE HOME!*)  Bill tries to talk some sense into her but it’s pretty obvious who’s in charge here.(35:35) After a quick stock footage clip Bill & Holly try to go undercover at a seedy bar to find out what happened.  Holly isn’t very good at it(well the pilot only has 10 mins left so we do have to pick up the pace!).  

She blows their cover but she has a plan Holly:“I’m the only woman here, Bill”.  Hmm…this episode is in danger of going from PG to R in a heartbeat!  Oh, no she just want’s to arm wrestle in order to get the info.  It doesn’t go the way she expected and the men at the bar wind up stripping her clothes off anyway.  Yet we still have the PG rating.  Bill get’s the crap beaten out of him and Holly slaps some guys around.  They end up bumbling their way to victory.  So it’s basically like every episode of the show?


The episode(series) ends with Bill eavesdropping on Holly as she tells her foster child the secret.  Bill’s heart grows a bit(like the grinch) after hearing the earnests coming from Holly.  Hey!  Here’s to another long run with the new gang!  Oh, wait… 





So was this good.  Yes.  Quality wise it was just above a normal episode of the show.  I liked the new character Holly(at least I think she’s new).  She gave off a bit of different energy than Ralph when he first got the suit.  The dynamic she had with Bill in this episode was funny.  They had good chemistry.  Bill is hardnosed, cranky and a stickler to the rules and Holly is upbeat, straightforward and goes more on emotion than analytical planning. On paper a character like Holly could get grating real fast.  A Good natured, tree hugging, seaweed drinking kindergarten teacher?  Bleh!  However the actress Mary Stuart Allen gave Holly a fun vibe that offset Bill’s curmudgeonly ways.  That said It would’ve been nice to see more ways being outed effected Ralph though.  All we got was him and Pam driving in a car talking to his agent on the phone.  I see that as a bit of a nit pick since this episode was more about Bill and Holly than Ralph.  Also adding in another scene or two would’ve effected the pace of the episode. 


A quick side note.  So once again someone uses the suit in front of a bunch of people and nothing happens?  Holly could’ve at least put on a wig before entering the bar.


I’m disappointed this never went to series.  There was great potential in this pilot.  




Only 40 episodes of “The Greatest American Hero” were ever aired.  The last four weren’t but are on the dvd collection of the series.  What about the 45th episode?  That’s a bit complicated.  Three years after the series ended it was decided to make a spinoff.  A pilot was made but not picked up.  It also was never aired.  Then sometime later that pilot was re-cut so now the pilot for “THE GREATEST AMERICAN HEROINE” is now the series finale to the “GREATEST AMERICAN HERO”(got that *clip).  After all of this and then years of nothing happening you would expect that the “Greatest American Hero” property would just fade away right?  Well, not when you have comic conventions and content sharing sites like Youtube.  In the years since it’s cancellation the property has had a minor revival with a comic book series and mentions on retrospective shows like the “VH1 I Love The 80’s” series.  Also I’ve seen re-runs on HD over the air channels(I believe it was called “HEROE’S”)as well.


Online there was even a Greatest American Heroine fan made web series.  I guess something clicked because with all of this exposure in February 2018 it was announced that the series is coming back.  Only this time as “The Greatest American Heroine”.  I admit, I’m a bit intrigued.  There’s just so many questions I have for this.  Will this a comedy/drama just as the previous series or will it be only a drama?  That’s a mistake they made with the 2000’s “Knightrider” and “Bionic Woman” series.  They were too serious and weren’t any fun.  They both missed the point of the original series(s).  What network will this appear on?  Will this be on a streaming service?  This probably wouldn’t work on network tv.  It could work on basic cable or streaming(but since I don’t have any streaming services I don’t care about that).  Will any of the characters or living actors from original series appear in this series?


Well we’re going to find out soon.  The Reboot is set to come out later this year.



* Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home came out in November 1986 so unless the pilot was made in December this is most likely just a coincidence*

* Mary Ellen Stuart played Holly Hathaway



Greatest American Hero Theme

Action Hero

If I Had A Chicken



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. 




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. 




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 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.




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: