Category Archives: Comics

Is Joker the Origin Story we need?

Joker might just prove me wrong and that’s a good thing. I was skeptical of a Joker movie at first for a few reasons. But after the final trailer and some early positive reviews, I’m actually very curious about it and hope to watch it when it comes out.  

Set for release in October, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a clown for hire who’s taking care of his mother (Frances Conroy). Joker is a film about the transformation of a downtrodden nobody into the violence prone titular character. It’s less a comic book villain story and more of a psychological thriller centered on a disturbed, misunderstood individual.

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Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home is far from spectacular

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a summer blockbuster that makes sense as a sequel and epilogue to Avengers: Endgame. Far From Home’s affable, good-nature isn’t exactly the Spider-man story that I find most compelling. It will take a 3rd or 4th installment in the franchise to build up and earn darker moments with emotional resonance. However, Far From Home’s light tone is perfectly in line with a teen-aged Peter Parker and what was previously established in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Putting aside what I personally want from a Spider-Man movie, Far From Home delivers a decent teen-comedy with ample comic-book action. Playing it relatively safe, director Jon Watts avoids the mistakes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and moves the franchise a step in the right direction.

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Avengers: Endgame Review – A Powerful but Imperfect Finale

Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory. From the start, Marvel Studios made fans aware that the movies were building towards an epic story as part of their ambitious, shared cinematic universe. Respecting the source material, Marvel Studios adapted a roster of comic book superheroes for a modern audience. As fans became more invested which each new franchise, including superheroes that were not widely popular, Marvel’s momentum continued to grow. With Endgame, not only has the anticipation greatly risen so has the expectation for an emotionally satisfying and meaningful conclusion to the Infinity Stones story line.

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What I Learned from watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero movie that will be referenced by fans and cultural commentators for many years to come. The film takes the popular formula of a coming of age meets superhero origin story but tells it through a fresh, bright-eyed perspective. Miles Morales as a new Spider-Man and Peter Parker (also Spider-Man), team up when their alternate universes collide. The hallmarks of what makes a good Spider-Man movie are in Spider-Verse. There is plenty of web-slinging action presented through visually stunning animation. The story has enough heart and depth to engage viewers of all ages. Overall, the quality of the story, voice-acting and presentation is far above what one might expect from an animated superhero movie.

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Exploring DC Superhero Movies: What Makes a Great Hero?

Why do certain superhero movies personally and emotionally resonate with you? Sometimes the reasons are obvious: a great story, memorable characters, stellar performances, cool special effects and awesome direction.

Maybe you wish you could have the superhero’s powers? Sometimes, it’s harder to put a finger on exactly why a particular superhero captures the imagination while others are forgettable.

Superheroes use their extraordinary abilities to perform heroic deeds. Their struggle to overcome conflict should imbue something meaningful.

There are many different types of heroes. Some don’t fit neatly into a category but the building blocks of a superhero are universal patterns. Here are several qualities you might see in a superhero and what they tell us about the human condition:

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Ranking the Superhero Movies of 2018

Ranking 2018’s superhero movies is a fun way to take a look back at this past year. This list is for live-action superhero movies, so animated films like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Batman Ninja aren’t included. The rankings are simply a personal take on how the superhero movies stacked up. Your own opinions may be very different. Relax and share your own rankings in the comments below.

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Avengers: Infinity War – The good, the big bad and the snuggly


A local radio DJ talked about how much he liked Avengers: Infinity War. He was able to follow what was happening in the film despite not being a big comic book movie fan. I’m a little surprised that someone with a passing interest in superhero films could wrap their head around a fairly complex universe that consists of 18 films prior. I would say a good handful of these films would be prerequisites to fully appreciate what Marvel is accomplishing with Avengers: Infinity War. I’m not sure if the radio DJ was trying to be funny when he asked “how come Wonder Woman is not in this?”

My perspective is from having watched the Marvel Films. Sure, some of them fell short of expectations. That’s not the case with Avengers: Infinity War, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable film. At the same time, I can understand why not everyone is on board with it.

I won’t be repeating what I wrote in Avengers: Infinity War Review. Check it out, it captures my thoughts the same day I watched it. I will expanding on some other points below now that I’ve had a couple of days to process it. Read the rest of this entry

Black Panther Movie Review: “It’s hard for a good man to be king”

Warning: Minor Spoilers below

Everybody’s talking about Black Panther. Marvel Studio’s film centered on T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the superhero Blank Panther and king of the fictional African nation Wakanda, provides many meaningful topics worthy of discussion. Directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) the real world concerns raised in Black Panther is open to different levels of examination and perspectives.

Black Panther begins with a flashback to Oakland in 1992, when T’Challa’s father makes a couple of fateful decisions. In the present day, T’Challa’s father recently died and now T’Challa is to become king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced country due to an all-purpose, virtually indestructible vibranium meteorite landing there ages ago. The use of a cloaking device prevents the outside world from knowing the truth about Wakanda and their decision to remain in relative isolation.

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The Biggest Superhero Movies of 2017, Ranked Worst to Best

Superhero movies continue to dominate. Each of this year’s big six live-action superhero movies are in the top ten at the box office for 2017. DC served up a double volley with the first Wonder Woman film and the team-up Justice League. The best stand-alone Wolverine movie marks the end of Hugh Jackman’s era as Logan. Marvel Studios is still going strong adding Spider-Man: Homecoming into their shared universe. Here’s a personal take on how the biggest superheroes movies of 2017 stacked up. Your opinions may vary from this list, you can share your own rankings in the comments below.

Just a quick note, for a friendly discussion on 2017 Superhero Movies, check out Film Focus podcast hosted by Hypersonic55 Realm of Reviews and Other Stuff. P.S. There will be mild spoilers for Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Wonder Woman. Thanks to Hypersonic55 for inviting me on his podcast.

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Arrow Season 5 Returns with a Vengeance

Arrow Season 5 Review – Full Spoilers Alert

Arrow Season 5 is a return to form. The many strengths and high-points outshine the weaknesses. On the other hand, the major problems with Season 4 overshadowed the good moments. Often what happens is when a season finishes strong it shapes how people feel about the season as a whole. Some people talk about Season 1 as being a good overall season which I mostly agree with. But when looking at other sites, the review scores didn’t pick up until the latter half of Season 1. With Season 5, not only did it stick it’s landing it was consistently solid, more or less, after the first few episodes.

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