Category: review

Marvel Movie Rankings

When Marvel’s Blade reached the big screen my world changed. Below are my rankings of all Marvel movies since 1998. I’ve rated on rewatchability, characters, plot, and special effects. I generally ignore how closely it follows a comic plot as long as it maintains the same spirit.

 

 A  2017  Logan
 2016  Captain America: Civil War
 2016  Deadpool
 2014  Guardians of the Galaxy
 2014  Captain America: The Winter Soldier
 2012  The Avengers
 1998  Blade
B  2017  Thor: Ragnarok
 2016  Doctor Strange
 2000  X-Men
 2015  Ant-Man
 2017  Spider-Man: Homecoming
 2008  Iron Man
 2017  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
 2002  Spider-Man
 2014  X-Men: Days of Future Past
 2011  X-Men: First Class
 2002  Blade II
 2012  The Amazing Spider-Man
 2008  The Incredible Hulk
 2003  X2
 2015  Avengers: Age of Ultron
 2004  Blade: Trinity
 2010  Iron Man 2
 2003  Daredevil
C  2013  The Wolverine
 2004  Spider-Man 2
 2011  Thor
 2014  The Amazing Spider-Man 2
 2011  Captain America: The First Avenger
 2016  X-Men: Apocalypse
 2006  X-Men: The Last Stand
 2007  Ghost Rider
D  2009  X-Men Origins: Wolverine
 2013  Iron Man 3
 2005  Fantastic Four
 2003  Hulk
 2013  Thor: The Dark World
 2004  The Punisher
F  2011  Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
 2007  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
 2008  Punisher: War Zone
 2007  Spider-Man 3
 2005  Elektra

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Gen13 – A Sexy Saturday Morning

Image Comics came out of the blue, a company created by names such as Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee who unlike other major publishers, allowed the artists to retain rights to their properties. In 1993, Gen13 became one of those titles and seven years later, it would be released as an animated movie. Much like the tone of the comic, the animation remained geared toward young adult, but like with many superhero titles of the 90’s, it featured narrow waists, large biceps, and breasts. While looking lie it’d be perfect for Saturday morning cartoons like its WildC.A.T.’s counterpart, it would have given my parents a slack jaw as we watched.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the movie’s plot is somewhat of a mess. Trying to condense seven years worth of story into an hour and a half is tedious at best. The story follows Caitlin Fairchild who is given a scholarship to attend a National Security Council school. School is a loose term. They train like soldiers. They study like Harvard medical students. Their social interactions are awkward. Caitlin meets Grunge, a surfer dude with horrible voice acting and Roxie, a shy mischief who is constantly looking for her next cigarette. There are shower scenes, near naked scenes, hell, even wearing clothes it looks as if breasts may tear through the fabric causing an animated nip slip.

When Caitlin discovers her parents were part of a secret organization, she finds herself the sleeping victim of a gene therapy in an attempt to make her “go gene active.” It’s only later when confronted by a fight or flight response, she grows and finds herself with superhuman strength. Her breasts literally tear themselves from her suit. Apparently the breasts earlier were foreshadowing. From here, the plot runs wild as we discover a man seeking to be their mentor and giving information bout Caitlin’s parents that seems oddly placed and useless to the plot. She frees herself and flees the facility only to turn around and run back in a final show down. We see Grunge use his material-synching abilities shortly thereafter but it’s Roxie who seems to have the “aha” moment despite being a throw away character.

At an hour and twenty minutes, it feels like the last thirty minutes are a story trying to wrap itself up. It doesn’t feel rushed, it feels like a hot mess on the television. If the dialogue wasn’t terrible, the motives are, and even the fights themselves seem out of nowhere. I wanted to like this film, a slice of my childhood, and maybe it would have worked when I was sixteen, but as an adult, it lacked coherence. Unfortunately, not even sexual innuendo could save this superhero animated film adaptation.


Things Better than BvS – DC Fan Films

K&K Productions wins the fan film award. I thought this was a cheeky (yes, I said cheeky) way to pay homage to the superheroes we all love and adore. The special FX are pretty spot on and hold up to the CW standard of superheroes. My only gripe, how long was he walking? He got through three hours of tv on a leisurely stroll? The soundtrack however, quickly makes up for any short comings!

The only fault in this Wonder Woman fan film is that I saw it after seeing an amazing performance by Gal Gadot. With that being said, I’m impressed with the level of special FX done by Rainfall Films and the stunning embodiment of Princess Diana. In just a few short minutes it tells a heroic tale, features her abilities, and presents the duality of the Amazon caught between Themyscira and the world of man. Amazing work on all fronts!


Brilliance by Marcus Sakey Twists the Superhero Genre

Marcus Sakey is known for his drama and thrillers, and it is shown in Brilliance, but this time, his hero has a gift that sets him apart from humanity. But can Nick Cooper use this ability to stop the greatest threat to America, or will he become the next victim?

The book has all the tell-tale signs of a superhero novel. A group of people born with unique gifts, a company that contains them, and a civil uprising threatening to tear apart the country. However, unlike the uncanny and awesome powers of the X-Men, Sakey’s characters have simpler gifts, but none-the-less amazing. Cooper has the ability to recognize and analyze patterns and micro expressions on a person’s face. Later we’re introduced to a woman who has the ability to “shift” through space, a gift allowing her to be where no-one is looking. We read about “brilliants” with the ability for strategy, reading code, and even altering video. The gifts are subtle, but they definitely give the 1% an advantage in life.

Cooper works for the Department of Analysis and Response, a part of the government given the responsibility of observing and if necessary intervening with Brilliants. An explosion at the stock exchange forces Cooper into an extreme situation where he thrusts himself into deep cover, taking the role of a villain in order to apprehend a terrorist. The story  unfolds as Cooper dodges pursuit from the DAR and finds himself in league with a man who he believed to be the top domestic terrorist. He questions what it means to be human, to be a “twist” (a derogatory name for a Brilliant) and what is the purpose of his gifts. It leads to one difficult decision after another and ultimately, he has to ask himself, “What is right?”

Sakey does a great job of incorporating the gifts of Brilliants in a manner that flows with the story. They don’t wake up with these new-found gifts, they’ve had their entire life for them to develop. Sakey also gives us social, educational, and political context for what the world would look like with these “powered” people. The shining moment is when Cooper visits an academy for Brilliants, and sees how they’re dehumanized, learn to detach from their “human” lives, and taught to be tools for humans. As Cooper has a child exhibiting gifts, he finds it appalling that his daughter will have to become one of these students. While far from doom and gloom, Sakey’s penchant for coloring the negative aspects of the human condition is highlighted here and we see the worst mankind has to offer. Despite their abilities beyond the average human, Sakey holds the view that the vast majority would oppress the minority. In a charged political climate, it’s almost too close to home at times. But at the base of the story, it is still a police officer styled thriller. There is an edge of intrigue, a bit of mystery, and as we reach the climax, he’s done an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing what would happen next.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Luke Daniels. Daniel’s brought the character of Cooper to life. The mannerisms, the speech pattern (patterns are a big part of the book) and his execution of the intensity of thought made for solid listening gold. I look forward to seeing how he continues to deliver the character in the two sequels.

Special Note: I also just found that Legendary Pictures has bought the rights to Brilliance and there is a chance we’ll be seeing it on the screen at some point. I wouldn’t hold out seeing as they bought it in 2013 and there hasn’t been so much as a peep. But we can hope right?

Available on Amazon | Available on Audible

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X-Men Fan Films Determined to Keep Hollywood on its Toes

I’ve been recharging my creative battery by consuming an uncanny amount of superhero pop culture. I went on a hunt for extreme geekery and what I found was a plethora of fan made films. People with as much love for the X-Men as myself have taken it upon themselves to bring the source material to life. Of the dozens I watched, these are the two most impressive.

CHRONICLES OF HOPE

The folks over at K&K Productions upped the bar quickly with their interpretation of the events post Messiah War. The petulant child and her cybernetic father-figure are on the lamb, dodging the time traveling traitor of the X-Men, Bishop. It’s not enough for a gun battle between Hope, Cable and the Purifiers, the amazing special FX of Nightcrawler rival that of X2. I hope they continue the series. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for more.


RAIN

Ororo Munroe is often considered a fan favorite. Being the secondary leader of the X-Men for years and later besting Scott Summers without her powers, she has proved that women have earned their spot in the limelight. But what could be better than a fan film featuring Storm, a Goddess of Nature? A punked out version of Storm who abandoned formality and gave into to her darker side. Where the big budget is lacking (and the fight scene a bit rough), the story is tight and the effects perpetuate one goal, to prove Storm is the badass of the X-Men.


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