Tag Archives: Comic Book Movie

Deadpool Rated R

Deadpool Rated R For Strong Language, Violence, Sexual Content and Graphic Nudity

It appears Deadpool star, Ryan Reynolds can rest easy as he’s atoned for for the comic book sins he committed in Wolverine Origins and Green Lantern. As it should have,  Fox’s Deadpool has successfully earned an R rating.

If you’ve seen the entertaining trailers released already, it’s clear the movie was heading in that direction already. Especially with a red banded  trailer coming out over Christmas that was full of impalements, f-bombs, ass cheeks (strippers and Deadpool’s) a soccer ball style decapitation, gunplay, and sexual innuendo.

The biggest concern was exactly how much of the violence and naughtiness would make it past the cutting room floor into the final film. And from the looks of it, it appears nearly all of it does. As it should be. Hell, with what we’ve seen so far, it will be very interesting to see what bits and dialogue didn’t make it into the film.

Deadpool is a Marvel comics character introduced in the 90’s who grew into mainstream popularity in the early 2000’s due to the character’s tongue in cheek absurdity.  A mutant mercenary with the ability to heal almost instantly from nearly any wound, Deadpool is so loved because the character is so unhinged. Almost every word that comes out of his mouth is a joke. He has a deep love for all things chimichanga’s. And he constantly breaks the fourth wall, often talking directly to the readers of his comic book in hilarious unexpected ways. In a world full of anti-heros, Deadpool is the most anti of them all.

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And the film’s producers seem to have embraced the character’s nuttiness not only in the film, but in their marketing and promotion efforts as well. For instance, the film’s official Twitter account is still only following Hello Kitty. Promotional photos have shown Deadpool holding a teddy bear hostage. Billboard signs have begun appearing that are absolutely ridiculous and brilliant at the same time. And there was a sexy little fireside photo shoot of Ryan Reynolds on a bearskin rug that had it’s 15 seconds of internet fame when it was released.

Which is all a huge relief considering how the character was so badly butchered when Reynolds played him in the questionable Wolverine: Origins. The movie infamously sewed the Merc with a Mouth’s lips shut at the end and shoved two giant swords up his arms in a boneheaded decision that made fans throw up their hands in disgust. (Another popular X-Men character, Gambit was also butchered in the film and appears to be getting a second chance with a solo film of his own starring Channing Tatum soon.)

Fox’s Deadpool rated R and starring, Ryan Reynolds opens in theaters everywhere February 12th.

 

 

Ant-Man Review

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I’d like to begin this review by saying, perhaps, one of the most clichéd things I can think of: big things come in small packages. Sure, it’s a dopey line, but it certainly describes Marvel’s Ant-Man. We’ve known Ant-Man was on the horizon for perhaps as long as we’ve known of the Iron Man films, and yet now in 2015 the incredible shrinking Ant-Man is finally upon us. I’ll be honest and say that Ant-Man’s productions woes, be it delayed filming windows to multiple directors swapping in and out, had me worrying about the quality of the film. Could something that’s languished so long in development hell and passed through so many hands come out on the other side no worse for wear? The short answer is yes. For the most part Ant-Man succeeds in being funny, heartfelt, action packed and most importantly entertaining.

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As Marvel has done in movies past Ant-Man is a super hero film wrapped in the trappings of another genre. The genre of choice this time is a heist film. We’re introduced to Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a recently released from prison thief, who’s chosen by enigmatic Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his appropriately prickly daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) to steal Pym’s former business partner and protégé’s shrinking suit and formula before it can be used for evil. Sounds pretty par for the course, because it ultimately is. Marvel has never really broken new ground when it comes to its plotting, but it’s never needed to. We’re given familiar story elements with a fresh coat of paint, and what a coat of paint it is. Like Marvel’s previous films this movie is packed with wit. It’s a funny, funny film. At times the humor undercuts the serious elements, or rather the serious elements undercut the humor? It’s difficult to say. We’re told very early on not to take the film and it’s happenings too seriously. Everything is done with a wink and a nudge. That’s both very good for the film as well as a detriment. Whenever the film tries to get weighty and bring us a serious dramatic beat we’re left waiting impatiently for the next one-liner. Still, those moments are few and far between and the film is paced well enough that I was never bored.

Ant-Man has a curious power. The Ant-Man suit, powered by these wacky things called Pym Particles, allows the user to shrink down to the size of an Ant. We’ve never seen anything like this from the likes of a super hero movie and that is such a good thing. The fight scenes are exciting to watch as Ant-Man switches between big and small so effortlessly that you wonder if anyone could stand a chance against such a nimble and difficult to strike target. Spoiler warning: Ant-Man even gets the opportunity to fight an Avenger in this film and the result leaves us with an admiration and respect for what this insect based crime fighter can do. Ultimately Ant-Man is just another way for a character to punch another character, but the way it’s presented is such a breath of fresh air that I can’t wait to see what they do with the character next. If reports are to be believed Ant-Man will be popping up in the next Captain America film, so if you like Scott Lang was much as I do you’ll be very happy.

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Shrinking films give filmmakers and audiences are really exciting and interesting new way to look at the world. What it small and insignificant in ordinary life is rendered with awe when you’re tiny. A shag rug becomes a forest. A toy train becomes a gigantic monolith. The macro photograph used to shown this tiny world is amazing as well. It’s a joy to see what the director, Peyton Reed, does with all this. He seamlessly switches between showing us the tiny world of Ant-Man and the mundane view of the normal sized world for comedic effect. As you’ve no doubt seen in the trailer a fight takes place on a toy train and this is one of the more exciting moments I’ve seen in recent films. It’s funny, exhilarating and had me captivated. At the end of the day this is a Marvel film. We’ve come to expect quality with Marvel and Ant-Man is right in that swing zone. It’s not the best film Marvel has produced, but it’s still a wild ride and should not be missed. See it on the big screen. You won’t regret it!

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

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I’d like to start this review with a question: Can an Avengers film be bad? Marvel Studios has set the bar so high with the last Avengers film and all it’s previous comic book adaptations that it seems impossible to not let people down with round two of this super hero slugfest. Marvel has managed to give us both quantity AND quality with each of it’s films, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron looks to continue this trend. How did it do? Damn good, if you ask me. Read on:

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Joss Whedon, returning to the directors chair from the first Avengers, starts this flick off by giving us exactly what we want. We catch the Avengers mid mission kicking all kinds of ass on the hunt for the remnants of Hydra. From there we head off to Avengers Tower (formerly Stark Tower) where Tony Stark decides the Avengers aren’t enough to keep the world safe. He needs to act now to shield the world from all threats permanently. With the help of Bruce Banner he creates Ultron. Unfortunately Ultron’s peacekeeping protocols work a little too well. He decides the only way to make the world safe is with humanities extinction. You could see how that’d rub the Avengers the wrong way. The rest of the flick is spent watching the team chase down Ultron and save the world from his heinous schemes. That’s not to say, however, that things get predictable or boring as with so many other films with heavy chase elements. Along the way we get exciting action set pieces, witty and clever dialogue, and character moments that allow each Avenger to shine in ways they never did even in their solo films. All that builds up to the introduction of the newest Avenger, The Vision (Paul Bettany) and a final action extravaganza that’s so exciting I found myself nearly jumping out of my seat in a giddy, childlike fit of joy. This film is truly a comic book come to life.

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While this film has action in spades I found myself most content whenever the characters were able to just co-exist in more dialogue, quieter moments. There’s a scene where, while sitting around a table enjoying a few drinks, each member attempts to lift Thor’s hammer. In those moments we get to see the camaraderie between the Avengers without a single punch needing to be thrown. This, along with a small number of scenes like it, allow for each character to have a depth of being that would be missing if this was only a series of big action moments sewn together. Oh and speaking of character Hawkeye is finally a fully fledged character this time around. In the first film Clint Barton was little more than set decoration. In Age of Ultron he is, perhaps, one of the most important members of the team. It’s very refreshing to see a background character imbued with the same three dimensionality as every other member on the team. Now rather than being indifferent to the character I genuinely look forward to his next outing with the team.

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As this is a film review and critique I can’t simply be overly gushing with my praise. This isn’t a perfect film. It’s a very full film. There’s a lot going on, maybe even too much at times. The build up and introduction to Ultron does feel rushed and while James Spader gives an eye popping performance as the mechanical menace I never felt like the character got a full enough character arc. There were hints and moments where you could read into something more from Ultron, but as you’ve got so many things going at the same time somethings gotta fall through the cracks. Same could be said of the Twins, Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). I would have liked to have gotten to know who they were more. Their dialogue and interactions with the other characters in the film were great, and any time they got to show off their powers was exciting, but we didn’t get to really know them. I guess that’s what sequels are for.

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As I said earlier in this review Marvel gives us both quantity and quality and this film fits right in with all the rest of their output. I can’t recommend this film highly enough. The entertainment value in this film is relentless. I had fun start to finish and could have happily sat through the whole thing over again immediately after the credits started rolling. In a film like the Avengers fun is what you want, and fun is most definitely what you’re going to get.