I’m going to take a step away from the serious and mad world for a moment and engage in my love of pop culture goodness. I’m gonna talk all nerdy to ya, so buckle up.
MOVIES I’VE WATCHED
Lots of cool stuff has come out in the first half of 2016, some good…
Some, not so much…
I want to talk about three movies in particular though that really surprised me – X-Men: Apocalypse, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, and Suicide Squad.
The new X-Men movie timeline is the only thing Fox has managed to do right with their licensed movie properties. They finally started getting it right with X-Men: First Class and they’ve only improved with each movie.
To me, X-Men: Apocalypse felt like one of those classic Claremont storylines from the 80’s writ large. We finally have an X-Men movie where Wolverine isn’t the center character and we find the same compelling team that I remember from the comic. They’re young, confused, powerful, and ready to sacrifice themselves for a world that fears and hates them. If you’re a fan of the comic from back in the 80’s, then I think this X-Men team is perfect and the story was a brilliant amalgamation/retelling of some classic storylines.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
I really didn’t want to like this movie, but I watched it anyway and I found myself pleasantly surprised. My two favorite things about this movie, Stephen Amell and the feeling that someone who actually watched the cartoon as a kid had a hand in writing the script, made this one a guilty pleasure for me. It’s not an overly intelligent movie by any means, but it is fun and you can watch it with kids if they’re around.
Last, but certainly not least, we have DC’s Suicide Squad. After the disappointing acceptance of Batman v. Superman, DC was looking to make a big comeback with Suicide Squad, and while it was a good movie, I think they went the wrong way with this one.
THIS was the movie Zack Snyder should have been directing in the first place, R-rated and dark as fuck. Instead, they let him turn Superman into a big emo punching bag with severe daddy issues. Ugh. Choke me.
Anyway, I really did like this movie. I thought it was fun. I did have some problems with it too.
- I like Will Smith, but there was way too much background between this hardened hitman and his daughter. Yes, it did help develop the character, but all that time spent on Will Smith’s Deadshot took away from some other interesting characters. I mean, how much of Jared Leto’s brilliant turn as the Joker did they cut out for mediocre drama because Will needed more face time?
- Why didn’t they use a more down to earth character as the main villain? For example, why not reboot and update a classic character, like the Riddler, and turn him into a badass that only the Suicide Squad can take down? That would have been way more interesting than them taking on someone who could have taken them out with little effort. El Diablo was the most powerful member of the team and he died before the final showdown.
- The Flash cameo, while it did capture the spirit of the character, let me down. That costume is horrendous. It’s just bad. They should have just borrowed one from the TV show. It’s terribad.
Overall though, Suicide Squad gave me more hope for the DCEU. Once Geoff Johns gets deep into the stories in development, I think we’ll see them starting to turn the tables on Marvel in the long term.
In the battle of the Big Two, I would say DC is kicking Marvel to the curb at the moment. The Rebirth event over at DC has just been producing phenomenal storyline after phenomenal storyline. They’ve got the characters down and they’re building the DC brand anew. I pick up pretty much anything they’re putting out lately.
The Flash, in particular, is my current favorite. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll definitely dig the Flash comics. While neither is a direct translation of the other, they both have the same feel of Barry Allen absolutely loving being a superhero.
On the flip side, you have Civil War II going on at Marvel, and it makes as much sense as anything else you’ve read by them in the past few years. It’s clearly a marketing ploy with little vested interest in story. I’ve been a Marvel Zombie for most of my life, but ever since the movies have taken center stage, the comics have gone to shit. It’s the first time in my life I’ve decided NOT to make mine Marvel.
Game of Thrones ended with a massive WTF moment, as it usually does. The story is getting ready to wind up and it’s accelerating in exciting ways. I don’t care if the next two seasons will be shorter. I want to know how the Game plays out!
It’s almost October, and you know what that means!
I’m not even gonna talk about the fact that we’re about to get Flashpoint or that all four shows will have a massive crossover this year. I don’t want your brains to melt.
Needless to say, it is a wonderful time to be a geek.