Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Elektra, based on characters from Marvel Comics: a Film Review

Synopsis:

After being killed by Bullseye after an altercation with Daredevil, Elektra Natchios is brought back by Stick, a blind master of Kimagure.  The martial art, which can give practitioners the ability of precognition, is one that few people can master.

Elektra is expelled from the training grounds as her rage and fear take hold.  Instead she uses what skill she had acquired to become an contract killer.  One of the best in the world.

When she is contacted by a mysterious client with an abnormally large sum, things get complicated.  The job?  Spend some time in a rented home where the assassination is to be carried out…and only then will the buyer reveal who the names of the targets are…

Add in the fact that it is hard to not fall in love with the adorable Abby and her father, Mark Miller, and Elektra has a tough choice to make.  Do what she is good at and get the payment…or dig deeper to see what is really going on with this contract?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: based on characters from Marvel Comics

-Length: 97 minutes

-Rating:

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Will Yun Lee, Cary-Hiroyuki Tafawa, Terence Stamp

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This one goes right up there with Green Lantern….its about as bad as I remember.

Sadly, Elektra is a pretty cool character and this movie just doesn’t do it justice.  I hope that they decide to remake this like they did with Daredevil.

I just feel like her character was wasted on this early 2000s film.

The one good thing is that these early superhero films…the good and the bad…were what paved the way for the films we enjoy so much now.

Here’s hoping they redo things.  No offence to Jennifer Garner because she really did everything she could with what she was given.

Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, DC Comics, MARVEL

Women in Comics: A Little Girl Power for you Weekend!

With the weekend release of the Black Widow film (finally…stupid Covid…) I thought we would spend the weekend celebrating women in comics!

Female superheroes have existed since the concept of a person with superhuman powers was created.  In fact, the first most widely recognized female superhero was none other than Wonder Woman.

While there were quite a few other female superheroes that came before Diana’s debut in 1941 with the release of an issue of All-Star Comics, she is by far the most iconic of the early women appearing in comics.  She was beautiful and dressed in a leotard, knee high boots and a golden tiara…and had come to America to fight fascism, the enemy of democracy.

Many saw her as a shining light in the comic book world.  Her ideals were in line with the feminism of the day (and even more so now).  She fought for equality for people, celebrating their differences and defining moments.  She brought hope to people when they may not have had much…for 1941 was the year that the US entered WW2 and the next few years would be grim indeed.

But not everyone was taken with the beautiful brunette and her male counterparts.  Comics were often called a “national disgrace” and Wonder Woman herself has come under much scrutiny for everything from her beliefs to the way she dressed.

Yet this was just the start of women in comics.  From her brash and beautiful origins to the modern films she is in today… this was just the start.

Now we have women all over the comic book world…

From the X-Men and their diverse cast (most notably characters like Jean Grey, Rogue, Kitty Pryde and Jubulee) to Jessica Jones, The Scarlet Witch and Black Widow it is nearly impossible to open a comic book and not see some incredible female character staring back out at you.  Most even have their own series now. 

You can read about Supergirl, Batwoman, The Gotham City Sirens, Harley Quinn, She-Hulk, Vixen, Gwen Stacey (aka Spider-Gwen), the new Iron Man who is now a 16-year-old black girl, Kamala Kahn, Black Canary, The Birds of Prey, Echo…name them and you can find them.

Their stories are being told and we really do need them, from the rebellious to the criminal, the dark to the bright…the original takes.  The celebrations and downfalls.

We have seen some of them throughout the reviews so far this month: Sue Storm, Black Widow, The Wasp, Pepper Potts (who becomes Rescue in the comics), Wanda Maximoff, Gamora and Nebula, Jane Foster (also Thor in the newer comics), Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau….and so many more.

The comics are so much more in depth than what we see on screen.  Their stories are expanded, full of hopes and desires….their drives to make the world a better place in their own ways.  And they are some of the most popular characters in the comic book world.

So this weekend we are going to celebrate women in comics….the good, the bad and even the villains…some turned anti-villain. Because as always, representation matters and seeing ourselves in the pages of a comic is no exception.

The next few days we will be focusing reviews on film, tv and comics that are primarily about female characters in comics.

Starting with the fantastic new Wonder Woman films.  And stay tuned for a review of the new Black Widow film…but if you don’t wants spoilers stay away from it until you have seen the movie!

Resources:

Smithsonian Magazine: The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman

Cbr.com: 10 Female Superheroes Who Were Created Before Wonder Woman

Gamesradar.com: The Best Female Superheroes of All Time

Wikipedia

My own experience as a life long nerd!

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Fant4stic, based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Reed Richards has always dreamed of creating the first teleportation device for biomatter.  Laughed at as a child and still adamant that he will be successful Reed works quietly in his home garage trying to build a prototype.  When he is caught by Ben Grimm at the Grimm family junkyard looking for a piece the pair become fast friends, bonding over the success of a first attempt as sending matter through space.

As the pair grow up they enter the high school science fair.  While literally disqualified from the contest they catch the eye of Professor Franklin Storm who is the director of the Baxter Foundation, a research institute for young prodigies.

Reed is offered a place at the Foundation, where his focus will be on working with Sue Storm and Johnny Storm, Professor Storms children, as well as Victor Von Doom, to complete the “Quantum Gate” that Von Doom had designed before his dismissal from the program.

When they are successful the facility supervisor plans to override Professor Storm and send a group from NASA to venture into the parallel dimension the group has discovered.  After getting drunk, and angry about the fact that they were told they would be travelling through first, Victor, Reed and Johnny decide to make the trip themselves.  Reed drags Ben in and the four travel through the rift into the other dimension remotely.

When the exploration goes badly the group needs Sue’s help to return…but all is not what it seems when only three come back and the entire facility, as well as the machine, are reduced to rubble…

When they awake it is to a myriad of changes…and captivity from the US Military…which isn’t exactly the best situation to be in.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Origin Story

-Creator: based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

-Length: 100 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Rim Blake Nelson

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

It’s not as bad as I remember it being.  But it isn’t great either.

The biggest issue that I have with the changes that were made to the story isn’t the origins of the Fantastic 4 so much as the fact that they are all teenagers/very early 20s (in the case of Victor).

So much of what I remember in the comics of the Fantastic 4 (it has been years since I read them so if I’m wrong, I’m sorry) deals with the fact that they are all adults.

Between the traditional superhero stuff…fighting general bad guys, having nemesis, dealing with cosmic entities that want to eat the earth, etc.… there is a lot of depth to their relationships that doesn’t really translate well to teenagers.

Unlike Spider-man who grows up in the comics and his life changes based on his age such as the relationships as well as his personal life, the Fantastic 4 are grown adults with degrees and are dealing with situations as such.

It’s quite unbelievable that four teenagers, no matter their powers, would get handed the keys to a government facility like Central City.

But maybe I’m just looking at it from the perspective of an adult who knows how teens work, regardless of how smart they are.

Overall, it’s not the worst twist to the comics.  But its not the best.  It’s just…okay.

Rating:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Reed and Sue are only days away from tying the knot!  Their lives a filled with wedding planning, seating charts, floral arrangements….and the occasional call on their group to save the world, or at least parts of it.  Being a superhero can be stressful but add in a wedding and it gets extremely complicated.

Even more so when a series of massive events start popping up across the globe radiating the cosmic energy that was the source of their powers.  They are approached by the US Military to try and trace the cause of these phenomena.  Reed, unbeknownst to Sue, builds a device that will alert him if there are any building entities.

On the day of their wedding, he gets an alert centered right where they are to be getting married.  When a strange silver man appears, Johnny takes off after it, managing to catch up but almost getting killed in the process.  When he awakes his powers are out of hand, even transferring from member to member as he is touched.  In an attempt to solve the problem, get Johnny back to rights, and hopefully save the planet in the meantime, the group focuses on catching the Silver Surfer to find out what his plan is.

It turns out…something much bigger is on the hunt and it will make those “tiny” cosmic anomalies look like child’s play. 

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

-Length:  minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, very mild alcohol use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington, Andre Braugher, Beau Garrett, Doug Jones, Laurence Fishburne

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So, while not as good as the first film this one does hold its own as a sequel. 

There is a great balance of the same things from the first movie but this time instead of fluctuating relationships there is the drama of the Richards/Storm wedding.  It adds a little bit of comic relief almost as you get to see the side of superheroes becoming famous, in almost a tongue and cheek kind of drama.

I also have a different perspective on a lot of what happens in this film due to the fact that I have worked with Doug Jones and have gotten to ask him about his performance as the body of the Silver Surfer.  While the effects of the skin are all computer generated all of the movements that the character does including the times when he is basically parallel to the ground when talking to Sue, were all done practically.  Its honestly why the CGI holds up for the most part so many years later.

So I guess this film holds a special place in my heart because it is a really wonderful example of how to use practical bases for CGI work.  I’ve always been a fan of doing as much in a practical way first and using CGI as the frosting to make something look different or to enhance something.

And this does a good job of that.  Plus, Galactus is kind of cool looking…and a pretty important bad guy in the Fantastic 4 world.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Fantastic 4, based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Dr. Reed Richards is convinced that his theory of the evolution of life on Earth is the correct one.  Having been triggered millions of years ago by clouds of cosmic energy from space he has studied and calculated when the next such phenomena is going to pass by the planet.  With the help of his best friend, Ben Grimm, he goes to a former MIT classmate of his for funding.

Dr. Victor Von Doom, an equally brilliant but incredibly narcissistic scientist, is the CEO of Von Doom Industries.  He agrees to help Dr. Richards out with the tests, including the use of the Von Doom Industries Space Station.  One condition of the use is that Victor brings on his chief of genetics research, the lovely Sue Storm. 

The group is joined by Johnny Storm, Sue’s younger brother and new astronaut studying under Ben Grimm, when they take to the station.  As they get to the station to set up Reed realizes he has made an error in calculations and the storm is approaching much faster than anticipated leaving Ben stranded on a spacewalk while Sue, Reed and Johnny try to save him.

Back on Earth, having barely survived the cosmic energy cloud, the group finds themselves on the other side of some very bizarre effects, each more different from the last.

What will they do with these new abilities?  Will Dr. Richards be able to find a cure?  And what exactly is going on with Dr. Von Doom who claims that the force field he closed to protect himself did just that?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Origin Story

-Creator: based on characters created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee

-Length: 106 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild sex and nudity, mild violence and gore, mild profanity, mild alcohol use and smoking, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Kerry Washington

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I don’t know why I remember this and the second film being a lot worse than they actually are.

I was quite impressed with the movie overall.  It did a great job capturing the feel of the Fantastic 4 team.  There are real world problems intermixed with the science and background of the origins of the Fantastic 4.

While it isn’t’ the most spectacular of films it is a good movie overall.  The effects are pretty solid.  The acting is decent and the writing is done fairly well.  There really aren’t any negatives to the movie…other than the fact that I think the newer MCU and Marvel Studios could do an even better job.

But even if it isn’t fantastic… its really fun to see Chris Evans as the cocky Johnny Storm.  And I do think that Ioan Gruffudd was a great choice for Reed Richards.  Really the casting was pretty perfect…even Jessica Alba which isn’t who I would have thought would be a good choice for Sue Storm.

The little moments and trials were lovely too…like the budding relationship between Ben and Alicia.  As well as the ruined relationship between Reed and Sue.  And of course Johnny and all his general insanity.

If you like the nostalgia of the first superhero films that paved the way for later films in both the MCU and the DCEU then you shouldn’t skip this one.  Others sure but the Fantastic 4 duology is pretty solid.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

UPDATE: LOKI, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW IS CURRENTLY BEING AIRED AND AS SUCH THE REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS AND WILL BE UPDATED AS NEW EPISODES COME OUT.  AS OF THIS FIRST POST THERE ARE 4 EPISODES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO WATCH.

Synopsis:

As the Avengers worked to set the world back to rights they made a tiny error which allowed for Loki to steal the Tesseract as they attempted to retrieve the Infinity Stone.  The TVA, or Time Variance Authority, moved in to take Loki into custody for crimes against the Sacred Timeline.

While they give Loki choice: face being reset (aka erased from existence) or to help their organization capture a bigger threat- another time variant that is wreaking havoc on the TVA agents.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure, Crime Thriller, Time Heist, Procedural Drama

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 4 episodes around 45-60 minutes each

-Rating: PG-13 (for sex and nudity, violence and gore, profanity, use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Marino, Sasha Lane

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I cannot speak highly enough of this show!  It is a roller coaster from start to finish but absolutely stunning.  From the visuals that have been build for the TVA to the costume design of Loki and the other Variants… its just a feast.  The writing is great and the acting is even better….Just trust me and go watch it for yourself.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Episode 1:

This is going to be a really interesting show.

The Sacred Timeline? The Time-Keepers…the TVA.  It’s a lot to take in but it is a really wonderful start to the show.

Plus, who doesn’t love Loki and all of his mischief.

I love the fact that all of the new information about the TVA (since we haven’t seen them to date) is presented in a way that not only makes sense but is also super createive.  I love the little 1950s-esque animated bits we are getting as “educational” films about the TVA.  Such a cool way to get the info to us.

That is a LOT of Infinity Stones.  It’s going to be really interesting to see what exactly is going to happen since Loki knows where they are.  I wonder how everything will play out and if they will end up as a significant part to the show.

Well…that wasn’t what I was expecting.  Loki…having to hunt Loki.

Episode 2:

As if I didn’t already love this show, we are in the midst of one of the biggest renaissance faires in the US…. It’s just so wonderful.

The soundtrack for this show is going to be killer since we are travelling back and forth throughout time.  I hope they keep this up.  You can’t go wrong with a good fight set to Hero.

Oh Loki…. I love the metaphor he ties to use.  Its great…because it’s true.

I hope this all continues.  The two of them in Pompeii with Loki speaking Latin and just making mischief is great.

Time to look up naturally occurring apocalypses across the universe!

So, the Variant Loki can jump.  Fascinating.  It’s always great to see other actors play something like Loki’s character.

A female Loki…and forcing a completer divergence of the Sacred Timeline.  What a set up for the end of Episode 2…. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Episode 3:

Sylvie is going to be a fun character.  She’s just enough Loki and just enough something else that it’s a fun combination.

I LOVE that it’s not just written in a file that Loki is gender-fluid (and likes all the people) but it is actually openly discussed.

And Tom Hiddleston singing the Norse folksong.  It’s beautiful.

So the plot thickens.  All of the workers at the TVA were Variants at one point or another and they DON’T know it?  That’s more than a little messed up…

And they are seemingly trapped.  Things are about to get serious.

Episode 4:

Captured.  I’m really enjoying the bits and pieces that we are getting of everything that is going on at the TVA.  Sylvie escaping at such a young age.  The truths about the TVA.  The little bits of people coming out of the trances they seem to be in.

Now the bad memory prison.  Its nice to see Sif again.

What is going to happen if the members of the TVA realize they have other memories…they had other lives?  They are Variants.  How is that going to change things?

Mmm…. Sylvie has gotten someone to believe.  Let’s see if Loki can get our other friend to believe too.

DAMN we got him.  What are they going to do to take everything down?

WHAT THE HELL?!?!  That was very not cool.  Not cool at all.  Ravanna is not a good person.

Ooh we get to see the Time-Keepers.

And my favorite…the epic battle.

THEY’RE MACHINES?????? 

Then WHO created the TVA?  That’s a great question Loki…

Oh do it… Ravanna is in big trouble.

And I will be watching the next episode on Wednesday when it comes out.  That is not a cool thing to do.  I don’t like cliffhangers like that.

Credit Scene:  So now we get to see what happens when someone is “Pruned” …and what in the multi-verse is all of that?

Episode 5:

Fascinating the whole scenario with the inescapable time void.  I can’t wait to see what the group of Loki’s will come up with.

Sylvie is something else.  I love that she took the chance and pruned herself…and that she has a TimPad.  Its great….

I also love our Loki. 

So, so many Loki.  I hope they get it together and decide to help each other out.

The Judge isn’t going to know what hit her if they end up getting out of this void.

Of course Loki fell in love with the female version of himself….that’s just how it works doesn’t it…. And it is also wonderful that he realized that having friends and not doing things alone is so much more important not to mention successful than doing things alone.

I hate the cliffhangers!  But next episode should reveal all… time to find out who created the TVA and why they are hiding themselves…

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Deadpool 2, based on characters created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Now working as a mercenary over the past two years things seem to be going in the right direction for Wade Wilson.  He’s back together with his fiancée, Vanessa…and they are talking about having kids!  But when he fails to kill a target on their anniversary, that target comes back with a vengeance.

When the dust settles there isn’t much left of the life Wade was building over the last few years.  No Vanessa.  No apartment.  No possessions to speak of save a Skee-Ball token (an anniversary gift) and his incredible healing abilities.

Taken in by the X-men after attempting to end his life, which he discovers is basically impossible due to his new mutation, Wade agrees to join up because he believes Vanessa would have wanted him to do good in the world.

When he and his new team- Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead respond to a standoff with an unstable young mutant, Firefist, at an “orphanage” Wade realizes there is more going on than meets the eye.

After being arrested and sent to the Ice Box Wade is determined to make things right, forming X-Force… but things are always more complicated than they seem.  And Wade is about to find that out firsthand.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Revenge Story

-Creator: based on characters created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld

-Length: 119 minutes

-Rating: R (for severe sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, mild use of alcohol and drug use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

And they knock it out of the park AGAIN!

I can’t really say more than I did for the last movie other than they just kept up all the fantastic parts that make Deadpool…well, Deadpool.

He and the X-Force are snarky and sarcastic.  Volatile and angry. 

And if you like the X-men we get to see some of the crew that aren’t widely used in the other films as well as some of the villains that aren’t seen as often outside of the comics.

Plus, Wade’s relationship with his blind elderly landlady/roommate is just GOLD.

If you love Deadpool you’ll love this film.

And once again… THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR KIDS!!!!!

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Deadpool, based on characters created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Dishonorably discharged and out on the town, one Wade Wilson, meets a beautiful prostitute named Vanessa.  As the pair become romantically involved things lead to a proposal.  When she accepts the couple is insanely happy…that is until Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and leaves Vanessa without a word, hoping to protect her from watching him die.

Not long after Wade is recruited by a strange and mysterious group offering an experimental procedure which should cure his cancer.  He accepts hoping to return to the life he had with Vanessa.  Instead he is injected with a serum designed to awaken the X-gene…which is thought to be the cause of mutations like those seen in the X-men.

Subjected to days of stress and torture to trigger any latent mutation contained in his cells, Wade suffers for days until he is put into a hyberbaric chamber for a weekend…periodically being brought to the verge of asphyxiation throughout the days.  When his captors return they discover that Wade has indeed mutated but with some unwanted side effects.

While he can heal at a superhuman rate (effectively rendering him completely immortal) Wade is covered in burn like scars that can never heal…regardless of how his new mutation works.  After being left for dead in the lab Wade has only a few choices.  Try to live a life with Vanessa now that he is “cured” of his illness.

Or to seek revenge on those who have done him wrong…

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Origin Story, Revenge Story

-Creator: based on characters created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld

-Length: 108 minutes

-Rating: R (for severe sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, mild use of alcohol and drug use, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

This is everything you could ask for in a Deadpool movie and more.  I know I should have included this in the X-men reviews because technically it is the 8th X-men film but come on.

Deadpool is and always will be his own thing in my mind.

If this is just the start of seeing him in the MCU I will take it. 

It is snarky, and violent…funny and just over the top.  It is so perfectly Deadpool from start to finish.  Plus as far as origin stories go its comprehensive and brash but not condescending.  You get everything that you need while still feeling like you are trapped in Deadpool’s head…which is absolutely perfect for a Superhero (anti-hero?) who continually breaks the fourth wall both in the film and in his comics.

Ryan Reynolds certainly redeemed himself with this one after the disaster that was Green Lantern… for that review click there.

Do remember though (and Reynolds has said it himself time and time again) this is NOT a movie for kids… just because its about superheroes doesn’t mean the VERY ADULT content is acceptable for kids.  Deadpool is so very much not a kids character.

So worth the watch if you are okay with gratuitous language, excessive violence and a character that is worth every single bit of all of that.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

LOKI, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOW IS CURRENTLY BEING AIRED AND AS SUCH THE REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS AND WILL BE UPDATED AS NEW EPISODES COME OUT.  AS OF THIS FIRST POST THERE ARE 4 EPISODES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO WATCH.

Synopsis:

As the Avengers worked to set the world back to rights they made a tiny error which allowed for Loki to steal the Tesseract as they attempted to retrieve the Infinity Stone.  The TVA, or Time Variance Authority, moved in to take Loki into custody for crimes against the Sacred Timeline.

While they give Loki choice: face being reset (aka erased from existence) or to help their organization capture a bigger threat- another time variant that is wreaking havoc on the TVA agents.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure, Crime Thriller, Time Heist, Procedural Drama

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 4 episodes around 45-60 minutes each

-Rating: PG-13 (for sex and nudity, violence and gore, profanity, use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wunmi Mosaku, Eugene Cordero, Tara Strong, Owen Wilson, Sophia Di Marino, Sasha Lane

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1:

This is going to be a really interesting show.

The Sacred Timeline? The Time-Keepers…the TVA.  It’s a lot to take in but it is a really wonderful start to the show.

Plus, who doesn’t love Loki and all of his mischief.

I love the fact that all of the new information about the TVA (since we haven’t seen them to date) is presented in a way that not only makes sense but is also super createive.  I love the little 1950s-esque animated bits we are getting as “educational” films about the TVA.  Such a cool way to get the info to us.

That is a LOT of Infinity Stones.  It’s going to be really interesting to see what exactly is going to happen since Loki knows where they are.  I wonder how everything will play out and if they will end up as a significant part to the show.

Well…that wasn’t what I was expecting.  Loki…having to hunt Loki.

Episode 2:

As if I didn’t already love this show, we are in the midst of one of the biggest renaissance faires in the US…. It’s just so wonderful.

The soundtrack for this show is going to be killer since we are travelling back and forth throughout time.  I hope they keep this up.  You can’t go wrong with a good fight set to Hero.

Oh Loki…. I love the metaphor he ties to use.  Its great…because it’s true.

I hope this all continues.  The two of them in Pompeii with Loki speaking Latin and just making mischief is great.

Time to look up naturally occurring apocalypses across the universe!

So, the Variant Loki can jump.  Fascinating.  It’s always great to see other actors play something like Loki’s character.

A female Loki…and forcing a completer divergence of the Sacred Timeline.  What a set up for the end of Episode 2…. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Episode 3:

Sylvie is going to be a fun character.  She’s just enough Loki and just enough something else that it’s a fun combination.

I LOVE that it’s not just written in a file that Loki is gender-fluid (and likes all the people) but it is actually openly discussed.

And Tom Hiddleston singing the Norse folksong.  It’s beautiful.

So the plot thickens.  All of the workers at the TVA were Variants at one point or another and they DON’T know it?  That’s more than a little messed up…

And they are seemingly trapped.  Things are about to get serious.

Episode 4:

Captured.  I’m really enjoying the bits and pieces that we are getting of everything that is going on at the TVA.  Sylvie escaping at such a young age.  The truths about the TVA.  The little bits of people coming out of the trances they seem to be in.

Now the bad memory prison.  Its nice to see Sif again.

What is going to happen if the members of the TVA realize they have other memories…they had other lives?  They are Variants.  How is that going to change things?

Mmm…. Sylvie has gotten someone to believe.  Let’s see if Loki can get our other friend to believe too.

DAMN we got him.  What are they going to do to take everything down?

WHAT THE HELL?!?!  That was very not cool.  Not cool at all.  Ravanna is not a good person.

Ooh we get to see the Time-Keepers.

And my favorite…the epic battle.

THEY’RE MACHINES?????? 

Then WHO created the TVA?  That’s a great question Loki…

Oh do it… Ravanna is in big trouble.

And I will be watching the next episode on Wednesday when it comes out.  That is not a cool thing to do.  I don’t like cliffhangers like that.

Credit Scene:  So now we get to see what happens when someone is “Pruned” …and what in the multi-verse is all of that?

Rating:

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

REPOST: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, created by MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics: a Television Review

Synopsis:

Six months have passed since Steve handed off the Shield to Sam Wilson.  As the world readjusts to the snap back to reality he is forced to team up with Bucky Barns on an adventure that has them chasing a rogue group known as the Flag Smashers across the globe.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Buddy Cop, Spy and Espionage

-Creator: Malcolm Spellman for the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, based on characters from MARVEL Comics

-Length: 2 episodes, 45-60 minutes each

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Main Cast: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Wyatt Russell, Erin Kellyman, Danny Ramirez, Georges St-Pierre, Adepero Oduye, Don Cheadle, Daniel Bruhl, Emily VanCamp

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

Episode 1: New World Order

This is a really fascinating story line.

The idea that a new group has popped up that is something like Anonymous.  It’s the result of the five years between the first snap and everyone coming back.  The chaos of both of those events has caused so many issues in the world from the destruction and the reunification of the world.

I like the idea that Sam really wanted to leave Captain America’s mantel for Steve and that should be that.  Its insane that the government decided to replace Steve with this…guy.  He just doesn’t feel ok to me.  I’m not sure what is up with him.

The costuming for the Flag Smashers did make me a bit uncomfortable.  I understand that the character was created long before what I associate the red handprint on the face with, but it did make me a little irritated that they didn’t decide to modify the symbol.  It could have gone on a breast plate or another article of clothing.  Because what I associate the red handprint on the face with (not in the same place but still) is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.  The red handprint over the mouth is a huge sign to bring awareness to the women who have been kidnapped, murdered, and are often still missing.  I think the costumer could have done a better job adapting the trademark costume for Flag Smasher into something new and different that didn’t detract from this cause. 

If you would like more information on this issue and how to help with the cause, then please visit: https://mmiwusa.org/ or search for “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”

Episode 2: The Star-Spangled Man

I just don’t trust this guy…the guy who is the new Captain America.  There is just something about him that feels wrong. Off somehow.  Its just not okay on a few different levels. But I’m not so sure what has me feeling this way.  I don’t know anything about how the comics play out so I’m just going on what I feel.

YES….we now have White Wolf!  So excited.  I love that Bucky has given up the Winter Soldier name and become White Wolf!  I’m super interested to see where this goes.  I’m also loving that Sam is getting to spread his wings as the Falcon.  Some of his maneuvers are just beautifully done.

The more that we get the new Captain America interacting with Sam and Bucky the less and less I like him!

But seriously the “couples counseling” moment in this episode was CLASSIC.  Just wonderful.

I’m glad we are quickly getting to put faces with the Flag Smashers. I’m really interested in where they are going to go and connect to ULTIMATUM in the comics.

Oh yay…Zemo…

Episode 3: Power Broker

I’m liking the new Captain America less and less.

Oh Bucky.  Breaking people out of jail.  You know Zemo is going to stab all of you in the back.

It is interesting the bits and pieces we are getting of the Flag Smashers.  They are Super Soldiers, but their cause is fairly relatable.  The world united was probably extremely helpful during the Blip.  Much easier to keep track of things in a few places instead of over one hundred individual countries.  Its their methods that aren’t exactly commendable.

Who is the Power Broker?… obviously its not Selby.  Though of course Sarah had to call at exactly the wrong moment.

Woohoo Sharon!  I hope she becomes a main character in this mess.  I love Sharon and her attitude.  She is fantastic. 

That is a LOT of Super Serum.  Or at least enough stuff to make a lot of it.  And 20 vials is still a lot.

Of course, Zemo takes off after killing the doctor.  And assumes his other identity.  It wouldn’t be a show if that didn’t happen.  He’s still on their side (at least for now) but he’s not trustworthy.

And as always Sharon is awesome.  The boys need to get their act together.

I don’t want to like Karli but she’s kind of sad in a lot of ways.  And, never mind.  The explosion kind of changed my view.  They have done a great job with the story telling as well as the ups and downs of the situation and what is going on in the world.

Where is Bucky off to? Little bread crumbs.  Where do they lead?

*squeal* YES!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 4: The Whole World is Watching

So a little flash back to get us to where we are today.  The deprogramming that Bucky went through in Wakanda.

What is Zemo up to?

Karli is really easy to relate to.  I am really enjoying the fact that we have a “villain” who is relatable.  It really shows the depth of human struggle.  That sometimes your heart is right, but your methods aren’t.

Oh boy.  I just keep liking the new Captain America less and less.  He’s harsh and brisk and just doesn’t seem to really know what he is supposed to be doing.  He has no trust in the people around him.  I feel like that is how he was as a soldier too.

Finally, we get Sam and Karli to talk.  I wonder what is actually going to happen in that conversation.  Its all about HOW it is being done.  The cause isn’t the issue.  And its great that the “good guys” recognize it.

Damn, Zemo.  I’m not surprised because he is all about ending the Super Soldiers once and for all.  But I actually like Karli.  Its hard to see her shot at.  And of course, our new shiny Captain America is going to hide one and take it. Ugh.  I knew I didn’t like him.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

I just…blah.  I’m not sure I’d actually be mad if Karli managed to kill John.

I LOVE the Dora Milaja.  They are such incredible women.  And not afraid to fight.  Ayo is awesome.  Taking off Bucky’s arm. And capturing the shield.  They handed John Walker a LOT to think about.

And Zemo is finally gone?  Maybe…

Karli is good.  Calling Sarah to get Sam to take her seriously.  But how much is John going to mess this up for everyone?

Well John took the serum.  That was a bad decision. And now Lemar is dead.  That is going to change everything about John Walker.  He’s no longer fighting the Flag Smashers for the fact that they are terrorists.  He’s now got a personal vendetta.  That is NOT how Captain America does anything.  He does not deserve to wear that uniform.

Episode 5: Truth

Oh, this isn’t going to go well.  Walker is not in a good place.  And Bucky is always ready for a fight.  He’s been looking for a reason to take back that shield.

This is not good.  Whatever that serum is doing to him it is not good.  I can’t believe he pulled off Falcon’s wings and tried to kill both Bucky and Sam by cutting off their heads.  This is atrocious.  I knew I didn’t like him from the start but this is something else.  I know nothing about the storyline this is based on but this is just insane.

I think Sam is realizing he may not have made the best choice in giving up the shield.  I do like that there was a tiny detail that I’m not sure many people caught.  But that entire fight was done with the Captain’s shield held upside down with the star pointing down.  Had the feel of turning the American flag upside down to show the country is in distress.  Very clear message that Walker wasn’t in a good state of mind.

Oh. My. Gods. Val….Val is in the Universe now?!?  This. Is. NOT. Good.

Karli is something else.  I’m not sure how that is all going to play out.  While Walker killed with passion she kills without emotion.  Its interesting how the serum changes you…or enhances your desires and underlying personality.

Hmmm. Sokovia.  What is Zemo up to?  Time for the Dora Milaje to take him.  It is good that he has decided to not kill Bucky.  The Raft is harder to escape at least.

Poor Sam.  There is a lot for him to process.  I hope Isaiah will help.  I’m glad we are getting his story. 

That was a lot to process.  I’m so glad stories like this are coming to the forefront.  We need these stories told.  We need to see these struggles and history confronted.  Because, for as made up as comics are, the stories are rooted in what is actually going on…what has gone on in our history.  Isaiah’s story isn’t unusual.  His confinement. His service.  Everything that happened to him.  Sadly, it isn’t an unheard-of story.

Ooooh.  New wings for Sam. And a montage scene of everyone helping to fix up the family boat.  Bucky and Sarah are kind of adorable…Sam obviously doesn’t think so. Haha.

What is Sharon up to? And why is she talking to Batrok?  Is Sharon the Power Broker?  I’ve had suspicions….but I’m just not sure.  We will see.

Aw.  I love that they are becoming friends.  Its nice to see the two of them get along.  But not as a team.  Its so adorable.  They keep dancing around each other.  Just be friends.

Batrok is now with the Flag Smashers.  Or maybe not.  They are in NYC with a LOT more people on their side.  This isn’t going to be good at all.

Yeah. This is going to be big trouble.

Are those actually wings for Sam? Or is it something else?

After Credits Scene:  What is John making? His own shield?  Are we finally going to get his reveal…not quite?

Episode 6: One World. One People.

So this is the one episode that I watched completely and then am reviewing after.

This story was so important.  So very important.

I can’t speak to the experiences of anyone who is Black (I have a whole article on Racism and the world of Ready Player One here).  But I can say that as part of another community that is marginalized…the LGBT+ and being neurodivergent I can speak to HOW important representation in media is. 

Telling these stories is so essential.  Its so essential for people to hear their voices.  Their stories.

And this show had so many of them to tell. 

That of refugees.

That of marginalized people fighting for their cause.

That of the oppression of Black Americans by so many others from our government to the people around them in everyday life.

The story of forgiveness and redemption.

The reality of the world around us.

I’m absolutely floored by how much went into this show.  So much depth.  So many feelings.  Just completely and utterly beautifully told.

I’m so glad that Sam took up being Captain America (or Captain Falcon).  I love Bucky’s redemption…though I would have been even happier if the final title had said “Captain America and the White Wolf” as Bucky has finally put the Winter Soldier completely away.

What we get next is anyone’s guess.  We are getting Captain America 4! That was announced today.  But we have so many characters introduced in this show.  Between Lady Hydra, U.S. Agent, The Power Broker/a “new” Agent Carter (that was a great combo), new Captain America/Captain Falcon, Bucky/White Wolf….. there is just so much that could happen from here on out. 

And honestly?

I CANNOT WAIT!

Also…Loki better be good after how incredible this and Wandavision were.

Rating:  

Rating: 5 out of 5.