Spared or Spoiled Movie Reviews: Logan

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I did not like this movie. I thought it was a child’s idea of what an adult movie would look like. Violence and cursing. “Please daddy can I stay up and watch Logan with you? I won’t get bad dreams honest. No? Why not? Why should I listen to you anyway? You’re not my real father.”

Go to bed. Because I said so and I’M AN ADULT!!!*

“It’s bedtime. Let’s find another nice family to kill.”

(Off topic* For the last several months, whenever I stop myself from doing something stupid or childish, I yell out, “I’m an adult.” in a fake stage voice out of pride and silliness. Which is admittedly stupid and/or childish but it has become my new mantra and the theme of this review for some reason)

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Directed by James Mangold

Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold & Michael Green

Starring Hugh JackmanPatrick StewartRichard E. GrantBoyd HolbrookStephen Merchant & Dafne Keen

I’ll put up my review now. The last post was me being happy with the theme of the movie Logan and what it means for comic book movies. I did not hate the movie as much as you might think. But I did not like it as much as most of you did. I thought the violence was unnecessarily um… violent. I’ve always believed that when it comes to Wolverine the idea of him doing those brutal things to people is sufficiently gruesome enough and not every kill has to be shown in gory HD detail. I thought the writing was sloppy. The plot was non-existent. The performances were good if only the actors were playing other characters. The only thing recognizable about those characters on the screen was the way they looked. I liked the theme though. I really did. Lone Wolf and Cub meets Mad Max meets Tuesdays with Morrie. That’s the reason I can say I didn’t hate the movie. The execution just left a hell of a lot to be desired. And obviously I’m going to spoil the shit out of it. And rant, and rant, and rant.

Verdict: SPOILED

“Are we really going to do this again? The first time was brutal enough.” “Honestly father. I thought at the very least you would see the irony in a Logan review being unnecessarily brutal… father?” “What are you like 60?”

SPOILER ALERT

The 25 Worse Things About The Movie Logan by Mel Rook

I started listing things and just kept going so there’s much more than 25 and they’re in no particular order because honestly I got bored.

To the list…

1) Wolverine’s adamantium does not corrode: I waited for them to say that he had some kind of radioactive substance in his body or that he was being poisoned because his fucking skeleton would not be leaking into his blood stream and affecting his healing. Not even acid would do that.

(Can we get someone in here who’s actually read the source material)

2) Wolverine is not a werewolf: Adamantium bullet? For fuck sake. Maybe it would go through his metal skull and then again maybe it wouldn’t. But Wolverine is not the fucking metal around his bones. Why would shooting him in the head kill him? Wolverine is not a zombie either. He heals after much worse injuries.

(Read the books)

“These are just props. No one actually fucking read them.”

Speaking of adamantium.

3) They put adamantium in the little girl’s body? Well then that means she can never grow any taller. It’s not an organic material. They encased her bones in a metal cage. She’s a human bonsai tree. What the fuck idiots?

(She’ll never be an adult… not like me. I’m an adult!!!)

Let’s move on to the unnecessarily violent action sequences.

4) The bad guys are like cannon fodder: They run right into the line of fire again and again. To the last man. They look like bad ass mercenaries but act like lambs being lead to the killing floor.

And what’s with all the gore? vicious kills of guys who can’t move. Vicious brutal kills by a little girl. It’s way over-the-top. In Deadpool it was necessary and comical. Here it’s just a way of screaming. “I’m a comic book movie for grown-ups!”

But let’s talk about the victims… the endless stream of so called bad guys.

5) Five guys show up for a fight and Wolverine kills twenty guys: Hub-cap thieves or industrial corn farmers or bad-ass mercenaries with cybernetic implants, more people die in the fights than actually show up for the fights. Just count them. I know continuity is an adult film-making concept but come on guys. At one point Bizzarro Wolverine is killing ranchers off camera but you can hear him and there’s like fifteen death screams for like eight rednecks. It’s dumb. The movie is dumb!!!

(I’m an adult!!!)

“The guy behind me knows I’m going to kill him right? Well then what the hell is his motivation?”

The little girl, Laura was made in a lab and yet…

6) She’s incredibly wise for someone so young: She doesn’t speak for half the movie and won’t shut up for the second half. I guess she had to speed learn English or something. She’s a kid. They learn things fast… like driving a car for instance.

7) She knows how to drive a car: For someone who has never left the lab, she parks the truck perfectly her first time behind the wheel.

(We’re all real proud of you Laura)

But how did she get Wolverine’s dense, metal bone having, passed out, grown man’s body into the stolen truck anyway? Never mind… it’s movie magic!!!

9) Shane, the classic western is on TV in the hotel room in the movie that we’re watching. And there is more emotion on the screen than at any time in the actual movie: Shane is not playing in the theater. Logan is not Shane. Logan will never be Shane. Logan… apologize to Shane.

“I can lift a man ten-times my size because… I’m a little adult!!”

10) What’s the bad guy’s motivation? Were they supposed to take Laura back alive? So that they could kill her later? Were they supposed to leave Charles alive. The “weapon of mass destruction” he had become. Were they supposed to keep Wolverine alive? What are the bad guys even doing?

“What’s my motivation? Am I a bad guy in this scene? Does the blade go through the back of my head from underneath the chin or the eye socket or is this yet another beheading? Wait… what’s my motivation again?”

(Grow Up)

Oh yeah let’s talk about this degenerative brain disease that causes people for miles around to have seizures when Charles has one. Then again let’s not it’s just dumb. Take your damn pills Charles.

(He can do as he pleases. He’s an adult!!!)

11) The young mutant clones are all so well-adjusted: Are we sure the corporation was treating them badly? They seem well-educated and healthy for lab experiments that they wanted to become super weapons. They should not have let them watch all those old westerns and read all those comic books.

And yeah…

12) Why are there X-Men comics in the movie? At no time in the X-Men timeline in any of the movies or comics are they accepted as heroes or even anti-heroes. We’re supposed to buy that they’ve been wiped off the face of the Earth. All of them including their children… their entire bloodline, but still the kiddies love to read about them in the comic books.

(I need to calm down before I have a seizure of my own)

“Professor. tell me how Magneto’s helmet works again.” “It works like a Faraday cage.” “Sure but in order to cover his head in all six directions wouldn’t he have to…” “It’s just a comic book you jackass.”

13) Logan is not in some dystopian future even though the film-makers forget and try to make it look like it is. I think they had Mad Max on the brain while filming. It’s the future, sure. You can tell by the tech. The self driving trucks and whatnot. But everything else is business as usual. Kids going to prom. People going to Vegas. Horses on the highway. Just because the last mutants are hiding out in some abandoned factory across the border doesn’t mean the world isn’t still spinning… just spinning without X-Men.

14) If they wanted to do the Old Man Logan story then they should have done that story. A darker, further in the future, story where super-villains divided the world up. They lame-assed it here. They lame-assed it real good.

15) What the fuck’s up with Callaban. I’m guessing the half werewolf, half zombie, Wolverine from Logan needed a vampire servant or some shit. Was Stephen Merchant supposed to be comic relief? because… not funny.

16) So is that tank that they keep Charles in supposed to act like a Faraday cage? Is it to protect others or to protect him. Because it doesn’t work for others. His seizure thing goes right through the tank. And if it’s supposed to hide him, well then they’re doing it wrong. The main mercenary bad guy cannon fodder guy actually says, “Keeping him in the tank. That was smart.”

(PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!!!!!)

“Well it’s obvious someone didn’t think this through.” “Don’t look at me. I’m the not at all funny comic relief. What do I know?” “You know enough to stay out of the sun.”

17) Hi I’m a nurse working for a secret corporation in the future but when I enter their top-secret facility they don’t take away my cell phone because… well because of plot. If you’re watching this then I must be dead… or I showed it to you because it’s evidence of the corporation’s wrong doing or you’re watching it on YouTube. I don’t know. If you’re watching this you must have pressed play. I was recording this when they broke in but I was still able to hide it and leave you note. And also they killed me but didn’t search the room. Whatever… my boyfriend worked there.

Let’s go back to the science behind this adamantium bullet for a second.

18) Did they mean adamantium tipped? That’s what they meant right? Still shouldn’t be able to kill Wolverine but you guys do see the error in your logic don’t you? Indestructible metal and all.

19) The coordinates are in the comic book. The coordinates are in the comic book. Just let that sink in for a second. Precise Longitude and Latitude? Because Stan Lee was thinking ahead and because of… you know plot?

(Excelsior!!!)

“He’s being so cruel.”

So did those kids build that house when they got to the coordinates that are from a fucking comic book or was the house already there? Asking for a friend.

20) The dialogue is crappy, people. The best line in the movie is a quote from another film. And she doesn’t even quote the burial scene in it. She watches Shane’s monologue to the kid and she watches the burial scene as well, so that when she quotes the final monologue during a burial scene it makes sense to us. It doesn’t. It’s fucking stupid.

(Hell I can still hear that kid yelling, “Come back, Shane! Mother wants you!” and it brings a tear to my eye today. They should be ashamed of themselves. That’s film-making. That’s real emotion. How dare they even compare Logan to that)

21) Is she a clone of Wolverine or is she his kid?

“He is NOT the father.” (Thank you Maury).

“Daddy!!!” (Use your words, Laura.) “AAAAARRRRGH!!!”

So they’re kids when it’s convenient. Weapons when it’s necessary. She’s a sweet kid when it’s cute. She’s a trained killer when it’s necessary. Because of plot, is that right?

Back to the seizures one last time… Because of their healing ability the two mutants are not as affected by Charles Xavier’s powerful seizures. Because of healing and… plot. Or is it their metal skulls?

(Tell me!!!)

22) Take your fucking medicine, Charles: “But I’m so sad about killing people, Logan that I can’t take my medicine that stops me from killing people.”

“Logan?” “Yes, Charles.” “When we’re on this boat you’re saving money to buy, how will I get my medication?” “Don’t ask me stupid questions, old man.” “But if we’re just getting on a boat to die then why does it have to be so expensive?” “You always were a pain in the ass, Professor.”

I almost forgot the dumbest part.

23) Let’s stay in this lovely family’s home. It’s not like we’re being chased by killer mercenaries. It’s not like the old man in the wheel chair (let’s take him upstairs by the way) is an out of control weapon of mass destruction or anything. And the feral kid isn’t a ticking time bomb of rage. And Wolverine himself isn’t fucking suicidal. Let’s repay their kindness by getting them all killed. That makes total sense.

Best part of the movie is when the father decides to shoot the real Wolverine knowing that he wasn’t the guy who killed his family directly… Indirectly, though… hell fucking yeah. He killed those nice people. “We almost killed an entire hotel full of tourists in Vegas. Let’s have a sleep over in the country!”

(I’m an adult!!! And I wrote me a comic book movie!!!)

Here’s something else stupid.

24) We’re going to buy a boat: Yeah because a guy with heavy metal bones and an old man who can’t use his legs are a great idea on the open water.

(OH MY GOD!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK!!!!)

If they’re not going out on that boat so that Logan can “Fredo Corleone” the Professor then I don’t know what the fuck’s going on.

“Pay attention Laura. You may have to drive me somewhere… without knowing where you’re going, knowing how to drive, being able to reach the pedals or how to read. And you’re going to have to steal a truck. Are you watching me? You need to watch me.”

Did no one read the script before making this movie???? No one??

Was there not an adult somewhere who could point out how dumb these things were?

What a great idea it was to do an adult comic book movie. Too bad they couldn’t find an adult to make it. Am I being too harsh?

And finally…

25) They tried to pattern Logan after the American western but totally missed the point. Wolverine is not a gunslinger. Wolverine is a fucking samurai. There’s a reason why I think the second Wolverine movie is the best one of the three, because it’s the only one that gets him right.

Wolverine.

Honor. Solitude. Bad-ass.

Not.

Whiny. Little. Bitch.

Okay I’m done.

– Mel

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LOGAN: The Death of the Comic Book Movie (The Birth of the Comic Book Genre)

This is not a review, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants of Gods, X-Men, Destiny, Time, Love, Storm, Rogue, Beauty… Comic Books.

Logan: The Death of a the Comic Book Movie (The Birth of the Comic Book Genre)

…Or this is just me rambling on about movies and comic books as usual.

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Directed by James Mangold

Written by Scott Frank, James Mangold & Michael Green

Starring Hugh JackmanPatrick StewartRichard E. GrantBoyd HolbrookStephen Merchant & Dafne Keen

“I get the feeling this review is gonna hurt, kid. The kind of pain that doesn’t heal. You know what I mean?” “Of course I do. I’m extraordinarily wise for a lab experiment… oh yeah and I can drive.”

Make no mistake, people. Logan is not a good film. It’s not a good superhero film or a good western. Even as it tries to compare its own shit writing to the classic western Shane (SACRILEGE!!!), it is not a good movie, period. But what it is, what Logan turns out to be, is the latest in a welcome trend. A regular movie that just happens to star a comic book superhero. Not a superhero movie. Not a comic book movie. There are comic books in the movie. Wolverine waves them around from time to time, if that helps to put the character in context. But that’s about it. And it does not.

“You see, in this reality they made us into comic book superheroes for their kids but still hunted us down like dogs… because that makes total sense.”

Wolverine, everyone’s favorite X-Man, has had three solo movies. The first and the third have been complete bullshit. The second, however, is one of my favorite comic book movies of all-time. The second Wolverine is an homage to his stand alone title. It is a perfect replica. The pacing. The cinematography. This is The Wolverine. This is the comic that I collected from issue ONE. I say this all the time and I will say it here again. “If you do not respect the source material do not take on the job of bringing it to the screen.” But I was about to tell you what this awful movie Logan means for the industry.

“Awful? Well that’s just harsh. Play that Johnny Cash song again. I think I’m gonna cry.””

The first sci-fi genre was a straight space adventure. Trip To The Moon. The second was The vampire Film. Nosferatu. Since those two, we’ve had tons of space adventures and tons of takes on the vampire. These are tried and true genres that once every decade somebody tries to reinvent and breathe new life into. But also there are other types of movies that aren’t as flexible. They come and go from era to era. They disappear and have resurgences. Like the western or the gladiator movie. These are just types of movies not genres. (in this context anyway. Because words can be tricky)

“I will kill you all with my Star Wars Prequel Yoda-like, physics defying, aerial acrobatics because I am a cartoon character in a serious movie!!! ARRRGH!!!”

In the past, the superhero movie was a type. (type vs genre) It was a costumed adventure. Fight the bad guy. Save the girl. Save the world. Period. End of story. There were a few comedy bits thrown in but mostly it was the superhero’s tale. But these types of movies are coming to an end. Their time has passed. Logan is not a comic book movie. It just happens to star a character from a comic book. And that is awesome. (Even while the movie Logan is not that awesome).

“Say my movie is bad one more time. I dare you… Bub.” *snikt

Logan is not a western either, by the way. I read that somewhere. I disagree whole-heartedly. It thinks it’s a western, but it’s not. If anything it’s a post-apocalyptic survival story like Mad Max: Fury Road. But instead of a global apocalypse, Logan is about the mutant apocalypse. The chase to hunt down the last mutants. At the start of this movie all but three mutants are dead. Professor X, Callaban and Wolverine. By the end of this movie… no spoilers but everywhere you look people are saying this is the last Wolverine movie. This is the last Wolverine movie. So you figure it out. And don’t talk to me about the kids. They were made in a lab (*see note). So not a natural mutation. Logan, the end of the Wolverine franchise, is some dark stuff.

*note: Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton was added in a lab but his mutation, his healing factor (Deadpool has the same thing but that too is from a lab) and Wolverine’s heightened senses (smell mostly) are a natural mutation. Of course the movie Logan all but ignores his sense of smell. It’s almost like the writers never read the comic books… but anyway. What was I saying? Oh yes.

“Wolverine, would you please tell Mel to stay on topic.” “He doesn’t listen to me, Professor.”

The comic book superhero is officially a film genre and not a type of movie now. And I know I’m not using the right words but bear with me. Because the word genre can fit for both of these categories of things and it gets confusing. The way I’m differentiating here is in the ways they can be presented. Some film types are the same no matter what. Different plot. Different characters. But you know the beats. Romantic Comedy. You get the gist. International Spy Thriller. You know what you’re going to get. Gladiator films changed from Roman to Martial Arts but they generally stayed the same. The Comic Book Movie was just like that not too long ago. Dark or Light. Marvel or DC. Nolan’s Batman, Donner’s Superman, Whedon’s Avengers and Raimi’s Spiderman are all the same fucking films. Like the western. It was a box. You could throw whatever superhero you wanted into it and the beats would always be generally the same. I’m not saying they are all the same quality because they are not. And there’s nothing wrong with opening up a box, knowing what you’re going to get and still being pleasantly surprised. It’s hard to like movies unless you’re okay with that.

“Wait… Are you the vampire, Callaban? And does that make me the Zombie? I don’t get it.”

But then you have the full on classic genre that’s not beholding to any style. Vampires. Are probably the best example. There are no rules. You can have a space opera with vampires. You can have a rom com with vampires or a western. Most recently Zombies have become the go to for putting them wherever the fuck you want. If you made a section of vampire movies it would make no sense. There would actually be more types of movies than you could shake a stick at under the vampire genre. Comic book superheroes are now officially crossing into that zone. And I’m psyched. The R rated comic book film with no crime to fight, no world to save… fuck yeah.

“Did somebody call for a super-villain? That isn’t really super or necessarily a villain. Just a misguided corporate stooge who blindly follows orders. Did somebody call for a misguided corporate stooge who blindly follows orders?”

And again I’m talking Sherlock Holmes in space type shit. Not just some detective. I’m talking about recognizable comic book superheroes in all kinds of movie boxes. Not just some generic superhero they made up that’s supposed to remind us of stuff from the comics, but the name-brand heroes from the comics. It’s time for a Batman movie where he never puts on the cape. Just a detective story or a revenge tale. One of my favorite aspects of The Hulk movie (still my favorite comic book adaptation) is the romance between Liv Tyler and Ed Norton. And that’s what the Hulk was for me when I was a kid, a romance. Stop trying to make him into a superhero. He’s not a superhero. He’s a monster in love. Spider-man as a teen drama would be nice. Sure he’s still the spider-man but that’s not the movie. The movie is about a kid trying to finish high school. Stop it with the super-villains. Enough already. We get it.

“Logan, do you remember that Star Trek episode where Captain Picard has a full life and grows old in a simulated tribute to an alien species?” “No I didn’t watch that nerd crap.” “I wish that was what this was. Because this movie is depressing as fuck.”

So anyway, what Logan represents to me is the death of the comic book movie. We saw the beginnings in Winter Soldier… that’s more of a spy thriller than comic book. And Deadpool… an R rated fourth wall comedy, a parody of itself. The comic book movie as movie type, is burning itself out. There will still be tons made, because you know how it takes Hollywood a couple of decades before they get the point, but we’re already getting tired of them. Bring on the comic book heroes in regular movies. These are great classic characters. They don’t have to fight The Riddler every week. That’s just their job. It doesn’t have to also be the movie plot.

“Here Lies The Superhero Movie Genre… I mean Movie Type… May It Rest In Peace… I mean Pieces. – Hugh Jackman.”

So Logan, this mediocre, unbelievably corny and poorly written take on The Wolverine, really wasn’t that great of a movie from where I was sitting (seat L10 right behind the wheelchair section because, you know, leg room ftw). Even though Hugh Jackman is great as Wolverine, here he reminded me of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back to play the Terminator one last time… nostalgic. And to tell the truth, I didn’t see Wolverine in Logan at all. I saw the actor who plays Wolverine and a character with claws who references the comic books like that’s enough. That’s not enough.

“Daddy?” “Yes Laura… wait. Did you just call me daddy? Damn, maybe Mel is right. This is some corny ass shit.” “I have to go to the bathroom.” “Hold it. We’re almost there.” “AARRRRGH!!” “Really? Again with the screaming?”

But what I also saw, in the theater, and on the screen, is what it means for comic book movies going forward… a whole new set of rules. The possibilities are endless. Creativity run amok. And that shit was better than the movie. That shit was beautiful.

– Mel

The Comic Book Movie is dead.

Long Live the Comic Book Genre.

Spared or Spoiled Reviews: Fantastic Four

The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.

Fantastic Four (20th Century Fox)

Fantastic Four Poster

Directed by Josh Trank

Written by Jeremy SlaterSimon Kinberg & Josh Trank  Based on Fantastic Four by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Starring  Miles TellerMichael B. JordanKate MaraJamie BellToby KebbellReg E. Cathey & Tim Blake Nelson

Fantastic Four (2015) reminds me of like when a foreign studio makes a knock-off version of an American title. There is nothing that is Fantastic Four about this movie except maybe the character’s names and their powers (and even then barely). They could have called it the Fabulous Four. I mean they would have gotten sued but it would have been more accurate. If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that one of my major pet peeves is when a comic book movie doesn’t respect the source material. This is a gigantic example of that. This might take awhile.

Verdict: SPOILED

Fantastic FourSPOILER ALERT

Firstly, in their desire to make them younger, they made them too young. I found myself asking, “Shouldn’t they be supervised? or “Are there no adults?” and finally, “No seriously. Franklin Storm is going to send both his children to another dimension? Could he be the worst parent ever?” Reed Richards is building particle transporters in his garage when he’s like ten years old because you have to start him that early to justify Miles Teller playing the part. It is way too much of a stretch (pun intended).

Fantastic-Four-Dr.-Franklin-Storm

Secondly, they send them with Victor von Doom (his real name. And no. No one thought that with a name like that he would eventually become a super villain). And in doing so rewrite the character and his powers and his generally everything about him. I don’t know why they keep getting Doom wrong. But every time they do the FF they get Doom all wrong. Doom is awesome and he looks awesome. Keep the comic book look. No one ever wants to keep the comic book look. That ain’t Doctor Doom.

Doctor Doom

Thirdly, well this one I kind of like. They change the justification for the group each getting different powers. The comic makes it about their personalities but the Fantastic Four movie makes it more about how they are affected by the planet in the dimension that they go to. It’s actually interesting. Nothing else about the movie is. The planet keeps them alive by giving them the powers they get. Ben is pelted with falling rocks so they make his skin solid rocks. Johnny is on fire. Reed’s is interesting because he is trying to save Victor but can’t reach him and the planet gives him the stretching powers. Sue is hit with an energy blast of light and it gives her a force field and the ability to manipulate light. But of course this is my interpretation of the visuals. They don’t explain a god damn thing.

Reed and Ben in the fourth dimension

Here’s the main problem. The Fantastic Four origin story should be enough. But it’s never enough. There has to be some villain thrown in and it crowds the story. The origin story in itself is a great story. But they speed through it. The group learning to control their powers is a good story. But here they skip over it with the words ONE YEAR LATER flashed on the screen. And because of this there is no character development or character arcs. It’s a team. You can’t give them the same amount of screen time as a solo hero. So it’s hard to identify with them or even root for them unless you’re the kind of viewer who automatically roots for whoever they say is the hero. I didn’t care about them.

Sue Storm

And Lastly, even though I knew this was going to be a bad movie. And I knew they would try to squeeze a lot of story into a short amount of time. Fantastic Four (2015) is still boring. I did not expect it to be as boring as it turns out to be. But Fantastic Four is a boring ass movie on top of all the other things wrong with it.

– Mel

But wait there’s more…

The Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four is the story of a family. You can make the Human Torch or Johnny Storm the adopted brother of Sue Storm (I have no problem with him being black) but if you fail to make them a family or to show any chemistry between the characters then it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t mean anything.

Reed Richards

You can make Reed Richards younger but not this young. However you can still cast Miles Teller just age him. The character of Reed Richards is prematurely graying. And Ben Grimm is more than just some classmate of Reed’s who he decides to invite into space (another reason why they needed an adult by the way). Useless character.

Reed and Ben

Why does every origin of the Fantastic Four have to include some iteration of Doctor Doom? They have other enemies. It would be like the Joker being the villain in every Batman movie. But if you’re not even going to make the character be Doctor Doom from the comic then don’t use his damn name.

The Thing

Reed and Sue is a love story. Ben Grimm is a tragedy. And The Human Torch is just the torch except that he’s family. He’s Sue’s brother. People knock the previous Fantastic Four movies but at least they got the characters right. You can’t change everything. You can’t change their very essence as well as their ages and their origins and their relationships.

That’s not The Fantastic Four.

Now I’m done.

My Top Ten Favorite Things about Guardians of the Galaxy

Just got back from Guardians of the Galaxy. It is the quintessential summer blockbuster crowd-pleaser did-you-see-what-just-happened major event film. And so quotable. Infinitely quotable. So good, I’m going again.

To the list…

Guardians of the Galaxy (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Guardians

Directed by James Gunn

Written by James Gunn & Nicole Perlman

Starring Chris PrattZoe SaldanaDave BautistaVin DieselBradley CooperLee PaceMichael RookerKaren GillanDjimon HounsouJohn C. ReillyGlenn Close & Benicio del Toro

My Top Ten Favorite Things about Guardians of the Galaxy:

10. It is funny. It is funny, from (almost) the beginning until the end. It is, at its heart, a comedy. A very funny movie.

9. The First Scene. The first scene is the second most heart wrenching scene in Marvel movies. (the first one being Magneto separated from him mother at that concentration camp in one of the X-men films). After that, however, it is a hysterically funny movie. It was the perfect way to start a comedy… by pulling the audience’s heart out through their chest.

8. Rocket. Rocket Raccoon makes this movie great. He’s just a little wise-cracking badass who likes to blow shit up… and that’s just awesome.

Rocket

7. The Movie is Very Funny. It is, in fact, the second funniest movie I’ve seen all year. (after The Lego Movie) Guardians of the Galaxy made my sides hurt.

Drax

6. Nova Core. I collected Nova comics growing up. (from the first issue) So it was fun seeing them in action.

5. Groot. Groot is beautiful. Groot is a gorgeous creature. I knew NOTHING about Guardians going into the theater. Groot is amazing. I love Groot. Groot is my boy.

I am Groot

4. Casting. The entire cast is fantastic. (especially Chris Pratt. Who knew that guy was a star?) Lee Pace as the baddie and Karen Gillan (who freaking disappears into her role) as his sidekick are exceptional. And Michael Rooker… Michael Rooker is outstanding.

Nebula

3. Badassness. There is a lot of bad-ass-ness in Guardians of the Galaxy. So many of the characters are just basically badasses. It boasts an abundance of badass.

2. The Music. Not just the music but what the music represents… to the movie and to the characters. It is the best use of music in a movie soundtrack that I have seen in a long time. Star Lord’s Walkman is one of the film’s main characters.

Walkman

and the number one thing…

1. The Movie is Very Fucking Funny. That’s right. I said it before and I’m saying it again. Funny action. Funny fights. Funny dialogue. Funny characters. Funny situations. There are so many jokes in this movie that you miss a few while you’re laughing. I think what I’m trying to say is Guardians of the Galaxy is hilariously funny.

So, I liked it. And I’m not a big James Gunn fan. I think the dude is over-rated. But this is his best and I hope they give him the Howard movie (oh right… spoiler alert). Because that is right up his alley.

The CollectorI’m adding Guardians of the Galaxy to my collection.

– Mel

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (a spoiler-free review)

The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Directed by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely  Based on Captain America
by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby

Starring Chris EvansScarlett JohanssonSebastian StanAnthony MackieCobie SmuldersFrank GrilloEmily VanCampHayley AtwellRobert Redford & Samuel L. Jackson

I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier on opening night. I didn’t spring for the bells or the whistles. No IMAX. No 3D. No in-seat massage with happy ending. I just watched the flat, boring movie projected on a large, silver screen in the dark with hundreds of like-minded comic book movie fans and movie buffs.

And we loved it. We all fucking loved it.

Cap and Fury

The second Captain America movie is not your run-of-the-mill superhero flick (That’s right, there’s a mill now). It is an espionage thriller. It’s more Jason Bourne than Clark Kent. It’s a movie about surveillance and spying and sleeper agents… and it is awesome.

Black Widow

This time around Captain America starts out alone, being hunted by S.H.I.E.L.D., and not knowing who to trust… but my favorite of Cap’s powers has always been his leadership ability and in no time at all he attracts a kick-ass squad of heroes to lead into battle.

Cap

Chris Evans is fantastic as Captain America while Scarlett Johansson is amazing as Black Widow. And the juxtaposition of her zero morals and Cap’s legendary morality make these two the ultimate pairing. The movie also introduces Captain America’s longtime sidekick, Falcon. (Finally a hero that doesn’t have to be made black to make up for the decades there were no minority characters in mainstream comics… that’s right. I said it. Nick Fury is black now. Deal with it. The Human Torch is black now. Deal with it).

Falcon

If I had one complaint about The Winter Soldier, it would be the extreme close-ups used during some of the fight sequences. A lot of directors do this, supposedly, to reflect the blur & chaos of a fist fight but really it’s done to hide crappy fight choreography.

The Arm of Hydra

However, what I loved the most about The Winter Soldier was how it ties together all the Marvel tie-ins; The Marvel One Shots, The S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, The first movie, The Avengers movie… everything is represented and then dropped on its head.

Widow and Cap

And the Easter Eggs and the references that are just thrown out in this movie made the first night audience scream with every recognizable name or phrase. And of course the epilogues. The first epilogue was so good, it made me have to change my pants. But just like in the recent Thor movie, they put the one that goes with the film at the end of the credits and the one that introduces the next film right after the titles. It still feels backwards but I understand that it’s more important that everyone see the next movie teaser epilogue.

Baltroc The Leaper

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fantastic movie. A lot of fun but not too cartoony. A lot of politics but not too preachy. A lot of action but not too frantic. Just a well-made action movie with a great cast including the wonderful Cobie Smulders (HIMYM) and the beautiful Emily VanCamp (Revenge). I hope this directing team does the next Hulk. I think they could do an amazing job keeping that franchise going strong and grounded as well.

See it on the big screen.

and I’ll see you guys at the movies,

– Mel