Posts Tagged ‘Deadpool’

Media Update 2/18/2016

February 18, 2016


Deadpool

I went into this movie with so much hype I was nervous that it wasn’t going to hold up. I like Ryan Reynolds a lot because he’s a funny and charismatic guy who seems to put everything he has into each role he gets. He has now been in five comic book movies and until now none of them were really considered a hit. Two of them were flops. Now, you may remember me defending X-Men Origins: Wolverine on this blog and I stand by that but I agree that it could have been much better. This was much, much better. This was maybe 300% better. Do yourself a favor and watch some of the promotional material for the movie such as the cancer PSAs or the Australia Day promo. Get yourself in the mood for a raunchy, silly movie. Don’t get me wrong, the movie also has a lot of heart too but it primarily made me laugh from beginning to end. See this movie. (But be warned it’s a hard, hard R movie)


Battleship

Wow. So I have to assign some blame here for this one before I begin. While sitting and waiting for Deadpool to start I mentioned I had not seen this movie. Afterward, my friend Liz suggested I watch it on FX that evening. So I did and you can tell already what I thought of it. However, the movie was not without merit. It was a very pretty movie as the effects were all professionally done and the cgi was very believable. The story was alright but it felt like it wandered a little. The movie is a love letter to the US navy but alot of the navy men and women came off as emotionless or just plain assholes. It reminded me, yet again, why I never went into any sort of armed service. The two main characters were unlikeable at best and the main main character should not have been in the movie past the frist fifteen minutes. The movie was way too long and I would have cut at least 45 minutes by eliminating characters and plotlines. Stay away from this movie unless you’re drunk among snarky friends.


Colony

So there seems to be a lot of Science Fiction shows that started up recently. As I’ve stated I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction because it gets a little bogged down in talking about technology. I prefer science fantasy but I will give science fiction a fair shot if it looks interesting enough. Colony is about a world after aliens have successfully invaded and dominated the Earth. They killed a lot of people and divided the city we see so that any resistance cannot communicate and merge into a larger faction. The main character is a former FBI agent (or something equivalent) who is pressganged into working for the human representatives of the aliens. While he is working for the transitional government and trying to subvert it from the inside, his wife is working for the resistance. It’s kind of a sci-fi spy thriller but the emphasis is on the thriller part. It’s a pretty good show and, while I won’t be watching every week, I’m interested to see where it goes.

Links of the Week:
Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance
The Misfits – Where Eagles Dare
Fall Out Boy – Alone Together
Deadpool Australia Day
Neil Degrasse Tyson – Diss Track

Weekly Updates:
– I am going to Magfest tomorrow
– I am watching a lot of Lucha Underground
– I’m watching the Indiana Jones Mythbusters episode right now
– I ran into somebody deprived of TV during their childhood
– The above person did not know Family Feud
– Not much else to talk about today

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Top 11 Video Games

August 1, 2015

This list illustrates my preference for games driven by both story and fairly simple game design which are very enjoyable to play. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like games like Super Mario World, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Ratchet and Clank and Katamari Damacy and any number of other games. However, I do have a serious bias toward console games as a controller is so much easier to handle and I never had a serious PC to run games. So take that into account.  This is a follow up to a discussion on why I like video games at all inspired by the Game Grumps.


11 Deadpool (X-Box 360)

Ok, this one is cheating a little bit. There is source material outside of the game in the form of a long-running comic book character from all the way back in the nineties. However, I contend that you can play this game and enjoy it without ever reading a comic book. The gameplay is mostly hack and slash but the story and voice work makes the game really surreal and fun. Deadpool is a character who is very meta and tends to nuke the fourth wall from orbit. The game ends up feeling like something from the Marx brothers mixed with a parody of video games in general. Coupled with that, the character spouts a million funny one-liners. The gameplay is fun enough but the comedy kept me going.

10 Red Dead Redemption (X-Box 360)

I’m a big fan of westerns. My personal favorites are The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Two Mules for Sister Sarah and the True Grit remake. Every bit of this game feels like walking through a really good western movie and that’s exactly how it’s designed. However, you also get a lot of the feel of the scenes they cut out from the movies. Sure, you participate in gunfights, pitched battles and you even get to engage in bounty hunting. However, you also fight and skin animals and ride your horse across empty plains. The game is really beautiful and I find it so easy to get sucked right into the world. The game has a morality system so you can play the game differently every time.

9 Final Fantasy IX (Playstation)

I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game that I absoulutely hated and most of them I’ve at least enjoyed. However, if we’re going for enjoyable gameplay and story, I’m actually going with number nine. The game is a very long Japanese RPG that uses a lot of cool fantasy archetypes but, at the time, shook things up a bit. The female protagonist isn’t just a damsel in distress, the male protagonist is a thief and some of the heroes just don’t get along with each other at all. There’s a lot of story about what it means to be a hero and doing what’s right. There’s also a pretty heavy message about questioning reality and what makes a person a person. It gets fairly philosophical and heavy at some points but it’s a really beautiful game.

8 Psychonauts (X-Box 360)

This game absolutely blew me away when I first played it. I have fond memories of summer camp. The idea of kids attending psychic summer camp amused me. Above all the game is really funny but below that humorous exterior is a really creepy, offbeat story. There are a ton of really neat characters including a whole host of fully developed extras. The concept behind the game is that you enter people’s mindscapes to sort out their psychological issues. Very rarely do you actually fight anybody or anything in the real world. So a lot of the time it feels like there’s a sunny world where very evil things are happening just out of sight. As mentioned before in this blog, I love the juxtaposition of happy and scary so this was right up my alley.

7 South Park: The Stick of Truth (X-Box 360)

I don’t really think you need to have watched South Park to enjoy this game. However, it makes it infinitely more fun if you’ve seen most of the series. If you’re not ready for a ride that is super obscene and incredibly inappropriate then just skip this one. Just skip it. However, if you have a good sense of humor and you were ever a fan of the show then I suggest you pick this one up. The gameplay is simple and based on a lot of turn-based RPGs. There’s a lot of character customization that further immerse you in what feels like playing in a three-part South Park episode. Because of decisions, side quests and easter eggs I’ve played this one over and over and enjoyed it every time. It’s not very long but a very fun (and raunchy) ride.

6 Brutal Legend (X-Box 360)

I must have mentioned that I love heavy metal music. In fact, I love a lot of different genres of metal. I even love BabyMetal but that’s another thing entirely. The fact of the matter is that DoubleFine (the makers of Psychonauts) teamed up with Tenacious D and they made a video game celebrating the Metal. The game is full to the gills with heavy metal music, album cover imagery and even has the voice talents of Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Ozzy Ozbourne, Lita Ford, Rob Halford and Lemmy Kilmister. The game is funny most of the time but actually hits some deep felt moments. The game is full of epic atmosphere and, as the great story unfolds, the gameplay evolves. You also get to cast spells with a guitar which is something I had often imagined in my high school and college days.

5 Dark Cloud 2 (Playstation 2)

I bought Dark Cloud 2 on a whim, mostly because I enjoyed Dark Cloud which I bought heavily discounted. I was expecting more of the same and boy was I in for a surprise. The basic gameplay is the same but with heavily updated graphics. However, the story received a huge boost as in Dark Cloud 2, the stakes feel 200% higher and it includes time travel. More than that, the time travel actually makes some sense. In the game, you play as young inventor Max and also as Monica, warrior princess from the future. Your job is to rebuild the present in order to make sure that the future happens as it should (so it can help you in the present). There’s magic, sci-fi and plenty of fun characters to interact with. The game play is simple but not really ground breaking but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun as hell.

4 Borderlands 2 (X-Box 360)

I never really liked first person shooters as I was growing up. Most of them were on the computer and I never had a good system to play them on. I also was forbidden from playing first person shooters by my mother. I really don’t blame her. The media had drummed up a lot scary stuff and being a parent is really hard. I was never really good at them anyway. For some reason, the Borderlands series instantly clicked with me. I tried Borderlands 2 because I found out it was written by Anthony Burch of Hey Ash Whacha Playin’. It’s clear through playing the game that Anthony understands a lot about comedy when it comes to video games. The game is surprising at times, beautiful to look at, funny and above all the characters feel pretty real. Everytime I play it I find some new detail I never noticed before. It’s a non-stop adventure that is endearing and just challenging enough to keep you from pulling your hair out.

3 Kingdom Hearts (Playstation 2)

Disney animated movies are great and they have been adapted so many times into video games but I can’t think of a single one that was worth playing. They all felt too half-assed and most of the ones I played were way too hard. I’m looking at you Lion King and Alladin. They also had to adhere to a set script because that’s what was expected of them. Kingdom Hearts combines fun Disney storytelling with some creative parts from the Final Fantasy series. It actually forms a new animal that’s equal parts new and equal parts nostalgic. The gameplay is fun and it’s really great to run around with Goofy and Donald to save the Disneyverse. It’s very hard to describe how good this game (and its sequel) is without giving too much away. This was the first game I can remember having a very real emotional release when I finished it. After this game, and its sequel, I teared up and felt so good and bad at the same time.

2 Portal 2 (X-Box 360)

I never played the original Portal but I was definitely well aware of all of the memes. I’ve since played the game and it’s a cute little game using the Source engine. I actually played the sequel first and I absolutely loved it. From the first five minutes I knew that the game would be exactly up my alley. The game immediately immerses you in a complete environment with amazing detail and really fun gameplay. As the game progresses, you’re introduced to extremely rounded characters who only become more interesting as you go. It’s not just the constant voiceovers that unfold a really cool story but also the environment your character is walking through. My only gripe is that I wanted for their to be more game, more story to follow. There’s so much quotable dialogue and moments that actually packed an emotional punch. If they ever make a Portal 3 (doubtful) I will be in line to buy a copy.

1 Arkham Origins (X-Box 360)

I love Batman. It’s been a pretty key fixture in my pop culture life since I was 7 years old. I’ve greedily gobbled up every piece of Batman whatever whenever I have a chance. My problem was that games based on comic books mostly sucked. When I played Arkham Asylum, for the first time I felt like I was Batman. I didn’t just beat up criminals, I did detective work, I climbed and swung and faced down the rogues gallery. When I played the sequel, Arkham City, I felt even more like I had been dropped in a comic book. When Origins dropped I was expecting good things but it exceeded expectations. Just like all of the Arkham series games, the characters have gravity and the storyline is told in such a way that you don’t have to be familiar with the Batman mythos to understand. However, it’s also a Batman fanboy’s dream as it an adaptation that strikes new ground while also scratching so many nostalgic issues. If you take anything away from this post, play all three of these games. Eventually, I will play the final game in the series, Arkham Knight.

In Defense of X-Men Origins: Wolverine

July 31, 2014

The first 20 minutes or so of this movie are pure gold.  I don’t even have to defend that part but I will trumpet them because I love low-hanging fruit.  Besides, at the beginning is usually the best place to start.  We begin with the origin story of young James Howlett and Victor Creed.  We learn that Victor and James are brothers which is an interesting twist on what we have seen in the comic books.  It definitely sets up complication within their later adversarial relationship.

Anyway, the first scene is followed by a great title sequence where we see James and Victor fighting in several wars through history in the United States Army (and earlier incarnations of it).  I liked the idea of the two of them being warriors because they’re the best at what they do and what they do is fighting.  It clearly and quickly paints a picture of the two of them as a brothers and teammates.  With no dialogue and brilliant facial expressions and editing, we get the entire big picture between these two characters.

This is followed by meeting Team X, a team pretty much comprised of characters ripped from the comic books.

They threw in Fred Dukes but he really works especially the way that Kevin Durand plays him in a more military setting.  He comes off as a meat and potatoes kind of guy who lacks fear due to having indestructible skin.  When he reappears he is fat, hard to move, hard to hurt and operates on a more mercenary mentality.

Zero is played by Daniel Henney and does a great job.  Not much to say here as he is a loyal government soldier who seems emotionless at first but it turns out their are subtle touches here and there that betray him as an actual human being.

Will.i.am plays John Wraith which I didn’t even realize until I looked it up just now.  He does a good job for somebody who probably has fifteen lines in the whole movie.  He especially does a good job considering that rappers are notoriously bad actors.

Dominic Monaghan plays Chris Bradley and is actually really a fun character.  He’s a little sad and a little mischievous and he comes off great in the movie.  Unfortunately he is so under utilized that he either needed a bigger part or needed to be taken out.  I love his first scene in the carnival.  It’s one of the highlights of the movie.

Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson is very much how I imagine a proto-Deadpool on film.  He constantly ran his mouth in an amusing fashion and believably kicked ass.   My problems come later when he gets his mouth sewn shut and gains everybody’s superpower.  I’m all for throwing out an original idea and taking a left turn from the comics sometimes.  What they did was take a character who has “talkative wise-ass” as a main trait and then turned him into a cold and unfeeling character.  They definitely would have done better to put the wackier Deadpool onscreen and just trick him into being the bad guy somehow.  I’m looking forward to them giving this a second chance in the rumored Ryan Reynolds Deadpool movie.

Danny Huston’s William Stryker is a great take on the character.  Obviously Brian Cox was too old to play a young William Stryker.  Huston plays Stryker with ambition while Cox plays him with smoldering hatred.  Both are valid and the events of this movie show a lot of how the character makes that change.

Liev Shreiber is awesome as Sabertooth.  He really captures the dangerous arrogance that I always saw in the character.  He is really fun to watch in the role, especially in confrontations with Wolverine.  It’s unfortunate that they cast Tyler Mane as Sabertooth in X-Men.  He had the basic look of the comic book version but either did not have the acting chops or simply was not written as knowing Wolverine from before.  I love pro-wrestlers but he should never have been cast in the role.  Shreiber brings more fun and more depth to the character.

Lynn Collins is good as Kayla and I loved the back and forth between her and Wolvie.  This is pretty much straight out of the comics and they couldn’t have done better with her.  It did not hurt that Hugh Jackman seemed to bring out the best in her portrayal.

Which brings us to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.  He was excellent but he is always excellent as Wolverine.  There is a reason they keep building the X-Franchise around the guy.  I don’t care that he’s too tall or whatever because he is entertaining.  He’s funny, believable as an action star and has the acting chops to pull off drama.  Period.

There’s a lot of little cameos and supporting roles in the movie.  None of them are awful.  They could have trimmed it down a little because we don’t get to spend much time with people who look interesting.  That goes for the main cast as well (minus Wolvie and Sabertooth).  They could have taken a breath now and then or just cut the cast down a bit to give each more screen time.  I’m especially talking about Gambit because he’s a real fan-favorite and there was a lot there to like but it was very brief especially considering he only shows up at the end of the second act and the end of the third.

Now that this is entirely too long, I will talk about what I don’t like.  Weapon XI is interesting but not as interesting as following the comic more closely.  Deadpool sells a lot of comics and they should have trusted that.  The plot meanders a lot in the third act.  I’m especially troubled about the movie being unclear about which side Victor is on constantly.  We lose a lot of momentum in the third act which makes me want to get up and grab something to eat.  And lastly they kill too many characters that could have been fun to use later.  The good news?  They have hand waved a lot of this movie’s plot away already so we can conceivably see some characters again.

I still give this movie a higher grade than most reviewers gave it.  It’s still fun and still has a decent story to tell.


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