Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

Media Update 3/23/2017

March 23, 2017


Iron Fist

Everybody seems to say this show sucks but that is the problem with saying something sucks, somebody out there might actually like it. Marvel has created a lot of good television shows, especially through Netflix. My favorite has been Jessica Jones but Luke Cage and Daredevil have both been great as well. The plan was always to make a quintet of shows and this is the fourth. Iron Fist is Danny Rand, a young wealthy man who the world thought was dead but was instead training in another dimension. When he returns, he is naive about the world and unsure of where he fits in anymore. It is an interesting show as it shows an unshakably honest and forthright character trying to deal with a very dishonest world. Like Daredevil, we get a lot of cool martial arts fight scenes. Some of the coolest fight scenes star the awesome Colleen Wing who is a great character from the comics. In the comics, she often teams up with Misty Knight who was on Luke Cage. I am only a few episodes deep into the season but the show is really coming together. I really like it so far. It makes it a little insulting when other people say “it sucks”. I definitely recommend it. Do not let other people decide what you will and will not like. Check things out for yourself.


Justice League Dark

This was originally supposed to be a project helmed by the excellent Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately, that project did not work out because I would have loved to see it. Setting that aside, the animated films that DC Comics and Warner Brothers have been putting out have been really good. The only downside is we get the Superman who is a huge dick but he has maybe two scenes so it’s fine. The show centers on some of the more mystical characters in the DC Universe (a lot of whom came from other companies originally). The central character in the movie is John Constantine who has never really been a hero but often cannot stand by and let the world end. He is joined by Batman, Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan and Swamp Thing. It is always great to see Batman out of his element, trying to gain his footing but never losing his cool. We get so much of Batman as an unstoppable hero that him being a fish out of water is always interesting. Zatanna featured heavily which makes sense as she is potentially one of the most powerful magicians on Earth. I loved the depiction of Constantine and Swamp Thing’s eternal feud and Felix Faust being a total magic bro. This made me miss the Constantine television show. I definitely recommend it.


Legion

I am a few episodes in and I am not sure what to think about this show yet. I am pretty sure I like it although there was some rough going for a while. This show seemed to be a lot of special effects and weirdness without much substance but it has settled down a little. If you got superpowers, would you recognize them as such? Would you just think that you were just going insane?  This is where David Haller (unknown son of Professor Xavier) is at. He has spent a long time self-destructing and also hanging out in a mental hospital, thinking he is absolutely nuts. He hears voices and sees things that are not there. However, a lot of those things he sees and hears are the thoughts of the people around him. Also, he can set fires and move objects with his mind. That and so many other powers. One of my favorite parts of the show so far is his weird friendship with Lenny. Lenny is played by Aubrey Plaza who I admire for her work in Parks and Rec and her awkward interviews on television. She plays a role originally written for a middle-aged man so she is wonderfully weird. I look forward to how this one will play out but I have not been fully hooked yet. I recommend it but be warned that it is really weird.

Music of the Week:
Levarslaysdragons – Game Over

Cirith Ungol – King Of The Dead

Cher Lloyd – Want U Back

DAZZLE VISION – Final Attack

Steely Dan – Any Major Dude Will Tell You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Comic Book Heroes Without Costumes
– I finished Season 3 of Blue Bloods
– I started watching Lucha Underground from the first episode
– I am getting close to finishing off Haven
– I continued watching Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I started watching a few MST3K episodes I missed
– I kept watching The Crown

Media Update 12/29/2016

December 29, 2016


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I love the Harry Potter films a lot and I was glad that they finished that story and contained it by itself. That book series (and movie series) created a whole big magical world but only stayed in a small part of it. We mostly only saw the magical world of London which is a small fraction of our planet. After the books were written, we got a little information on how magical schooling is done in America but not much. Of all ways the Harry Potter world could be continued in film, I did not expect them to do a period film about the author of one of Harry’s textbooks. We follow a British wizard as he journeys through New York City in the thirties. This movie felt a lot more grounded than most of the Potter films. It is full of a similar sense of wonder but the world is different. There is no Voldemort and all the familiar characters who are alive are an ocean away. It is a fresh new story in a new world with similar rules. We also finally get to see a movie whose hero is not a fricking Gryffindor and is instead a Hufflepuff. It is interesting to see the Wizarding world in times past because it seems that it once was closer to the human world. Instead of robes, we see the wizards actually wearing real clothes which makes way more sense. This is a story about every life being precious, even when there is a constant threat of terrorism or war. It is an important message right now and always. I definitely recommend this movie and I look forward to the next movie in the series.


Doctor Strange

I never really read any Doctor Strange comics but I was definitely aware of the character. When I saw him, he was often assembling a makeshift team of heroes to battle some threat to the Marvel Universe. He was the resident magical expert in Marvel and he faced down unimaginable threats without batting an eye. I was excited when this movie was announced because I wanted to really get to know the character outside of a team-up story. I knew a bit of his origin story and it is a tale that confirms that sometimes good things can rise from tragedy. Every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has been great especially when working with a character who the average person on the street would say ‘who?’. They do a great job at making their properties into iconic characters who also feel real. The first choice they made in this film that showed they were on the right track was casting Benedict Cumberbatch. Over and over he has proven to be a great actor. Playing Stephen Strange requires a certain amount of confidence and arrogance that Cumberbatch is used to portraying. He can look pathetic and he can look powerful. The casting of Tilda Swinton is a little regrettable but not a mistake as she is great in her role. On top of that, we have the always excellent Chiwetel Ejiofor who I first encountered in Serenity and knew he would continue to be awesome. I also really liked Benedict Wong who plays the practical and serious Wong who I know was Strange’s assistant in the comics. I definitely recommend this and I am overjoyed that Marvel keeps churning out awesome movies.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I first heard about this series when I saw the book in my mother’s car where it had been left by her granddaughter (technically my niece). I had heard that the book was good and from what I heard, Tim Burton was probably a good choice for adapting it. Burton failed at adapting Alice in Wonderland but magic in the modern world is something he has experience with. Burton is kind of hit or miss for me but I respect him a lot as a filmmaker. This movie was so refreshing as Tim Burton movies go. Burton purposely did not use a lot of the digital effects and plastered-on make up that have become a crutch for him in more recent years. He also did not use Danny Elfman as a composer. I love Elfman but the two definitely needed a break from each other. The source material is obviously good because the movie follows an interesting mystery without a lot of the pointless quirkiness. It feels like Tim Burton became stuck creatively at some point and this movie may be a sign that those juices are flowing correctly again. This movie definitely has charm and the characters are so likable and interesting. Eva Green is very commanding and Samuel L. Jackson is great as the conniving villain. Asa Butterfield is the audience’s proxy as the everyman who is curious about this new world. There is an underlying creepiness and otherworldliness that is fun for a Halloween enthusiast like me. The world building is a little shaky but I was willing to trust in it and it has paid off so far. I am interested to see if this series continues. I recommend this definitely.

Music of the Week:
BabyMetal w/ X Japan – Akatsuki

Beastwars – Damn The Sky

DMX – How’s It Goin’ Down

Panic! At The Disco – LA Devotee

Los – Hustle Hard

Weekly Update:
– It’s my birthday!
– This week’s theme is “Magic is Just Out of Sight”
– I really did not watch much this week
– I watched a little bit of The Office
– A smidgen of Arrested Development
– I watched a cute film called Dear Santa starring Amy Acker
– I also watched a weird movie called Georgia Rule
– The holidays were so busy and they are not even done yet

Media Update 12/24/2015

December 24, 2015


Snatch

I honestly thought I had seen this movie before. For some reason I remember my friend Arthur really pushing this as a great movie. I wasn’t very familiar with Guy Ritchie back then. I hadn’t seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and I thought of Ritchie as Madonna’s boyfriend. As discussed before, I didn’t really appreciate foreign film very much and I didn’t cotton to being told what to watch and enjoy. Time and time again I’ve learned that my stubbornness keeps me from enjoying good movies and television (although sometimes I’m right, damn it). The movie is really good. Jason Statham is too often used as a kung fu mook but here he’s a pretty funny and believable actor. The movie is full of great performances by Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Farina, Rade Serbedzija and a lot of others. Brad Pitt is especially funny as Mickey and it’s refreshing to see a minority represented that I’m encouraged to laugh with rather than at. It’s a great low budget movie so check it out.

 


Ant-Man

I put off this movie for far too long. I am in love with the Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe as I have repeatedly stated in this blog and nothing they have put out has disappointed. The timing fell into a bad place and I couldn’t get anybody interested in going to the theater with me. I felt bad that I had lost my chance to see it in theaters but I resolved to wait and see it on DVD. I owned it on DVD for over a week before I sat down to watch it. Again, I shouldn’t have waited. Ant-Man is not a character I’ve really followed too much in the comics outside of crossovers but interestingly I’ve followed Scott Lang the most who Paul Rudd plays. Speaking of Paul Rudd, I was worried but he was great as a beginner superhero. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily backed him up brilliantly along with a great cast. The movie still held some of the flavor of the earlier Edgar Wright version and was a great mix of comedy and action and real drama. The tone was something between Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man 2. It was a great movie and I can’t wait to see the sequel or maybe even a crossover in the future.

 


White Christmas

I really felt that I needed to watch something to help pick up my Christmas spirits so that I’m not so Grinchy this week. The holidays are always stressful because you deal with things you look forward to intensely while also dreading other things. If you look at earlier posts from this blog, you’ll notice I love old musicals. I had never seen White Christmas and neither had my mother so we decided to sit down and check it out because it’s a classic and I like Bing Crosby. Even after all of the similar movies I’ve watched, I still didn’t expect the depth of the story. The movie deals with World War II, what happens to veterans after retirement, stubborn love, show business and generosity vs. self-interest. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye have great chemistry together and are very funny. Rosemary Clooney is a great singer but I was surprised by her great chemistry with Bing Crosby and her great performances with Vera Ellen. Dean Jagger practically steals the movie a lot of the time as an old retired army general. The movie is great and is on Netflix so if you have time this week check it out.

Links of the Week

Henry Rollins – The Night Before Christmas
Speed Painting of Santa by Roy Paschal (my Uncle!)
SNL Digital Shorts – Best Friends
Tupperware Remix Party – Christmas Special
Brian Wecht – Voted Most Likely to Cure Aids

Updates of the Week:
– Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
– Check out Tuesday’s Star Wars review
– The Steve Harvey incident was a good lesson that design matters
– The Slammy Awards are fixed
– There are a lot of bad holiday movies out there
– Gotta see Krampus

Media Update 11/26/2015

November 26, 2015


AKA Jessica Jones

I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic/Television universe and the direction Disney is taking all of their properties. There are a few outliers at Fox and Columbia Pictures but those characters are mostly fine where they are. As part of the Netflix Initiative (separate from the celebrated “Phases”) there was supposed to be at least five shows. Daredevil, AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would each get an order of episodes. Daredevil was successful and already received a second season. The four shows would be followed by Marve’s The Defenders mini-series where all four heroes will team up. AKA Jessica Jones really got me even more excited for what’s to come. I’m not too far in but it’s really, really good. It’s hard to do the imperfect hero. This show takes an alcoholic, anti-social and pessimistic character and makes her inspiring. Krysten Ritter (an actress I already adored) is really believable and doesn’t falter a single step in her acting. In fact, everyone is spot on. The only warning I have is that the show is very, very dark which seems par for the course for Marvel’s Netflix projects. I’m so excited to watch the rest of this and see the future projects.

 


Puella Magi Madoka Magica

I’m pretty sure I’ve stated how much I love magical girl stuff on this blog. If not, I really do love that stuff a lot. I have a lot of memories of ditching Dragonball Z and being really excited to watch Sailor Moon everyday instead. I moved on to Card Captor Sakura later as I was pretty sold on the concept. It even works for magical boys too like Ronin Warriors and Saint Seiya. So I instantly put Madoka on my Netflix list as soon as it was available. I didn’t check it out until this week and I was pleasantly surprised. Forgive me as there is no other way to put it but this show is really fucked up. I don’t remember the last time I watched the first episode of the show and yelled “What the fuck!?” at my television with a big smile on my face. The show follows magical girls (aka transforming pre-teen superheroes) who battle witches. However, this show takes a hard look at the realities of using such young soldiers in a dangerous battle against evil. The stakes are high and death is their final reward. It’s pretty chilling and a refreshing look at the genre. I also like that the witches are portrayed by mixed media in the form of fabric arts and western-looking animation. The heroes are portrayed in clean anime style and it makes the situation even more weird and terrifying. I want to watch the second half of this series to see what happens to these girls. I have a bad feeling though.

 


Lilo and Stitch

I really needed something more light-hearted after the above picks so I decided to finally watch Lilo and Stitch. Missing Disney movies when they come out can be a pain in the butt as Disney has a tendency to lock them in a vault. I have legitimately become enamored of Hawaiian and Island culture ever since reading about it as described by Dwayne Johnson. From what I can tell online, the movie is a fair look at modern day rural Hawaii. The movie is very touching and sweet and funny. I’m no longer sorry I missed this one because that means I got to watch this now and not then. Much of the humor, at least for me, came from the older sister who I’m sure I wouldn’t gave identified with when this originally came out. She’s trying her best to manage an unruly little sister and the new addition of a space alien posing as a dog. Lilo and her sister Nani are some of the most accurate portrayals of modern human beings that I’ve ever seen. The alien stuff is merely fun background to three lonely and hopeless characters finding their place in a family unit. Also, the Disney record of making me at least tear up is intact.

Kaizo Trap

Day One

Pigeon Music Party!

Sweet Potato vs. Yam

Trains, Planes and Automobiles – Car Rental

Updates

– I’m really excited for Felicia and Jonah and MST3K
– I still wish that Mike and Kevin were involved
– I got my first Pro-Wrestling Crate and it’s awesome
– I have a few more Disney movies to check out
– Loaded this post on Monday because of holidays
– Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 11 TV Shows On Right Now 2014

September 24, 2014

Since I did this list two years ago, eighty percent of the shows I loved ended or were canceled or moved to Yahoo.  Thankfully television is a non-stop fountain of good (and bad) shows.  So here’s another Top 11 list excluding Pro-Wrestling.  (See Why I Love Pro-Wrestling for that)

1. Gravity Falls

Released by Disney, this cartoon is endearing and really funny.  The characters are so well rounded as well as intelligently written.  The jokes come fast and furious and the writers have a knack for hitting you with a quick tag after something sad or endearing happened that catches you off guard.  Speaking of endearing or sad, it’s not always the happiest show.  Sure, we’re not talking deep agony but characters get angsty, frustrated and angry at one another.  On top of that, there’s a complex X-Files like mystery arc going on in the show and often a mystery or paranormal happening of the week.

2. Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail

I have watched a lot of stand up shows since discovering them in the early nineties.  They usually consist of one comedian doing a long set or several comedians doing short sets, edited for television.  Most of the lesser known comedians stand in front of a backdrop  with their name on it.  This show is not that.  I am a huge fan of both Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani separately from their podcasts and stand up routines.  They have put on a weekly comedy show in the Meltdown Theater in the back of Meltdown Comics for years.  Just recently they got a deal with Comedy Central to film it.  Short clips of the stand up acts are intercut with the comics hanging backstage and shooting the bull.  It’s really, really entertaining.

3. Rick and Morty

This show is absolutely insane.  It should be, it comes from the mind of Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (Accomplished Voice Actor) who are long time friends.  I think I’ve mentioned how big of a Dan Harmon fan I am but I hadn’t really experienced much of Justin Roiland.  Justin Roiland plays the two leads, a boy and his mad scientist grandfather, and is an amazing voice actor.  He usually does high squeaky voices for his roles but in this he does a ten year old boy and mimics and embellishes Dan Harmon’s speech pattern to portray Rick Sanchez, mad scientist.  I can’t push this show enough.  It’s kind of an unexpected hit.

4. Once Upon a Time

I am a huge fan of fairy tales, myths and legends.  More than that, I’m actually a huge Disney animated films nerd.  So what happens when you take myths, legends, fairy tales, Disney and real life and throw it in a blender?  A show I binge watched the hell out of.  The novelty that sucks you in is getting to see your favorite characters in a different light (Bisexual Mulan, anyone?).   What kept me around was the great acting and compelling stories.  The story is that all of these legendary characters have been thrust into the real world and merged with mundane people.  The way the show operates is that each episode is divided between the present and a series of flashbacks.   The present scenes forward the central plot and the flashbacks help to flesh out the characters’ history.

5. Arrow

This show surprised the hell out of me.  When I heard that there was going to be a Green Arrow origin show, I thought that it would be like Smallville.  Smallville was often good but just as often it was “good enough”.  Smallville also often felt soap opera-ish and succumbed to the CW formula more often that not.  Arrow feels different.  It feels a lot more like the great work that’s being done by Marvel Studios and also the great work at DC Animated.  The show has been through so many twists and turns that I honestly do not know where it is going next.

6. Adventure Time
It feels like this cartoon has become a national obsession.  I know that it became an obsession of mine for a little while when I found out about the Marceline/Ice King storyline.  Tears nearly fell people.  The show is funny, weird, sad and exciting all at once or sometimes just in various combinations of the four.  It certainly does not hurt to have John DiMaggio voice one of the major characters of the show.  I have rarely seen a cartoon of this magnitude maintain such a consistent mythos that it can draw from.  Even so it’s very accessible for the first timer and there are several jumping on points.

7. Doctor Who.

The show that literally keeps reinventing itself to stay fresh.  I held off on writing this because I had not started watching the new series but now I am four episodes in.  It remains brilliant and an entirely different dynamic from the Matt Smith era and the David Tennant era or any era before it.  Peter Capaldi brings a lot of gravity and dry, dry humor to the character that it’s such a pleasant surprise when we’re hit with a bit of silliness now and then.   A lot of people claim that one Doctor is better than the other but I can’t decide.  It’s always shaky going from one Doctor the next but once you get a few episodes in you should be sold.

8. The Blacklist

James Spader is a very loveable asshole on this show.  Even though it is increasingly hard to tell who is a good guy and who is a bad guy, The Blacklist is an amazing show.  It has an ensemble cast but the show would have been nothing without James Spader.  I thought that this show would be just another procedural, just this time with the CIA instead of law enforcement officials.  On the surface, the Reddington character is very much like Richard Castle or Patrick Jane.  A maverick outside who eventually becomes accepted by the authorities because of how good they are at solving crimes.  Not so here.  After an entire season we are no closer to discovering if the central character is a good guy or a bad guy.  I really like that.

9. Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
I am huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as created by Disney and Marvel Comics (although Disney only became involved a few movies into the process).  Since this show is connected to that universe, I wanted to devour it before it even hit the plate.  I was a huge fan of Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson from the MCU and he remains a huge selling point for the show.  The ensemble is strong but really keeps me coming back are the subtle and not-so-subtle connections to a greater universe.  To have Glenn Talbot or Maria Hill or Victoria Hand or any number of minor characters from the comics show up fleshes out a universe that is already getting pretty meaty.  This show has steadily gotten better as it has progressed and I suspect that will continue to happen.

10. Perception

This is your usual procedural like the ones I alluded to above where an outsider consults with law enforcement and helps them do a better job.  In this show, Dr. Daniel Pierce is a neuroscientist and an unmedicated schizophrenic.  Since we follow the character of Dr. Pierce, we are never quite sure what is real and what is brain chemistry.  The show’s strength relies mainly on Eric McCormack (aka the only person stomachable from Will and Grace) who puts in really strong performances.  He is assisted by a great ensemble cast.  Rachael Leigh Cook kicks major butt as a tough but loyal FBI agent named Kate Moretti who is also a major highlight of the show.

11. Grimm

Once again, I love fairy tales and myths and this show comes at them from a different angle than Once Upon a Time or most shows that I have seen.  This show posits that the creatures from the tales were always there among us but were able to hide their true natures from humanity and blend in.  The Big Bad Wolf is a clock repairman down the street and the three little pigs are arson inspectors downtown.   Through the main character, a human who can see the true natures of these creatures, we see glimpses into a completely foreign society buried within our own.

Some that didn’t make the list:  
Community – because it left Television and is now an internet show .
Game of Thrones – because you root for somebody and then they die.
True Detective – because the season ended and I’m wary of how Season 2 will go.
Sherlock – I think of the series as mini-movies not television episodes. Excellent series, though.
The Daily Show and The Colbert Report – It was hard leaving them off but they’re great.
Other shows – I either don’t like them or have not seen them yet.


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