Monthly Archives: December 2016
The first time I had ever heard of Assassin’s Creed was during Christmas vacation several years back. I had taken my three grandsons to the Mutter Museum in Center City Philadelphia. Granny was trying to impart some knowledge into her grandsons, but they had other ideas. While we visited the many display cases that held a multitude of medical and biological oddities, I constantly found myself alone and the boys missing. Where the heck were they?
The other visitors in the museum that day would constantly point towards one of the hallways and smirk whenever they heard me calling out for the boys. It took several round-ups before I figured out that they were playing their own version of Assassin’s Creed. So, what exactly is Assassin’s Creed and did the game successfully transfer to film? Read the rest of this entry
Back from the dead, and back from Hell in the last episode, Ghost Rider and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are ready for the real enemy, the matter manipulating Elias Morrow. All agents are on board, including the big guns – Quake, Yo-Yo, and even Aida. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Laws of Inferno Dynamics.”
This is in no way a definitive best of list, since I didn’t see nearly as many films as so many others did in 2016. Instead, I’m running down (in no specific order) the five films that made an impact on me as I watched them. The ones that left me thinking about them when the final credits rolled. I have no doubt many will disagree with at least one of the films on my list…so let’s kick off with it, shall we?
1) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The Ultimate Cut – the haters gonna hate hate hate, and there was certainly so much to take issue with when Zack Snyder’s finished cut of the first big screen meeting between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel was released back in March. An incoherent script was the biggest problem, though many had issues with the dark tone of the film as well. While the lalter was a decision that will forever be up for debate, the former is corrected ten-fold with the Ultimate Cut, a three hour version of Batman v Superman that fleshes out character motivations, introduced new characters and gives Henry Cavill so much more to do. Snyder delivers epic filmmaking with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s my superhero film of the year.
2) Captain America: Civil War – the Russo Brothers directed this third Captain America film that is in so many ways vastly superior to last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. They manage multiple characters and gleefully introduces Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not to mention Chadwick Bosman’s Black Panther). While the ending feels somewhat anticlimactic to me, this is still dramatic filmmaking that manages to tell a contained story while still pushing the MCU to its next big event (in this case, the upcoming Infinity War film).
3) La La Land – you can read my review from last week over here, but I don’t mind repeating myself by telling you what a beautiful film this is. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are brilliant as young lovers in this outstanding musical that feels contemporary while still pulling on nostalgic heartstrings as well. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.
4) Hell or High Water – I walked out of this film last summer knowing I’d seen one of my favourites of the year. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are outstanding as brothers determined to pull off a heist and screw over the banks that that had played hard and fast with the 99%. Jeff Bridges is the small town cop who is chasing after them. What I thought going in was a Western wound up being a crime film set in the West, and that’s a very different thing. Here’s hoping Hell or High Water and its leads aren’t forgotten at Oscar time.
5) Blood Father – amazingly, I watched this Mel Gibson film on December 30th, allowing it to make my list just in time. In Blood Father, Gibson plays an ex-con on parole who is forced back to his old ways when his missing daughter calls for help. Gibson is fantastic in the role, a reminder of what a chameleon-like actor he is. This is a sensible crime film filled with believable characters and some heavy scenes of violence. It’s by far my favourite action movie of 2016.
This is it, the finale of Civil War II for better or worse. The war of the superheroes over an Inhuman who can supposedly predict the future and how that knowledge should be used is finally at an end. Will the combat between Iron Man and Captain Marvel end in death? Will there be rift in the Avengers forever? Will we get a story as well as an anticlimactic event? The answers are here, with my review of Civil War II #8, after the jump.
There are no new big releases this weekend at theatres, which is always a rarity, so it will be interesting to see how the final showdown of 2016 holdovers shapes out. Here are our predictions:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been performing well, and should be able to hold on to the top spot for a third weekend. Look for it to bring in $58 million over the three-day weekend.
Sing has been a hit for Illumination, and should hold steady in second place with $40 million.
Passengers will continue to underperform, and will likely bring in $15 million to land in third place.
The James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him? will hit fourth place with $11 million.
Finally, the floundering Assassin’s Creed will close things out in fifth place with $9 million.
So, to recap, here are our predictions:
1) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $58 million
2) Sing – $40 million
3) Passengers – $15 million
4) Why Him? – $11 million
5) Assassin’s Creed – $9 million
Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns out! Happy New Years!
Today brings the release of what has to be considered one of the most anticlimactic event series in years, as Marvel’s Civil War II comes to its conclusion.
Civil War II #8
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: David Marquez
There’s no question that Civil War II has had a lot to live up. The first series, crafted by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, is a classic piece of sequential storytelling, and its repercussions were felt for the decade that followed it. Anything that would follow would certainly have to deliver something memorable and groundbreaking. Read the rest of this entry
What makes an Avenger? It has nothing to do really with the heroes themselves, but it has to do with perception. You can say I’m an old man or a traditionalist or just stubborn, but when I think Avengers, I have some very specific heroes in mind, and lately, I’m not getting them in any of the comics out there at the moment calling themselves Avengers.
You could say I’m resistant to change. You could throw the Silver Age example of Cap’s Kooky Quartet at me, and say that I accepted that change without bitching, but that’s not quite true. Captain America and that trio of ex-villains still had to prove themselves in combat against Doctor Doom, Kang, Attuma, and the Masters of Evil, before anyone really believed they were the Avengers.
Here’s the bottom line. When Ultron and an army of Ultroids are incinerating your neighborhood and threatening the human race with extinction, do you want to see the Falcon with Captain America’s shield, a woman dressed like Thor, and Spider-Man, who for years the Daily Bugle has told us was a menace – or do you want Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man? What’s your confidence level?
Meet me after the jump, and we’ll see how the newest heroes to call themselves Avengers, and Champions, are working out, are they worthy?
We have been bereft of new Doctor Who for an entire year (“The Power of the Daleks” doesn’t count), since the last Christmas special, “The Husbands of River Song,” a madcap and bittersweet conclusion to the River Song saga. To trump that adventure, showrunner Steven Moffat pulls a new rabbit from his hat – Doctor Who does superheroes. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “The Return of Doctor Mysterio.”
This Christmas Day was a little bit different for me. It was the first as an officially separated dad. Last year, while my former Queen and I had already decided to part ways (amicably, by the way – she’s a good lady and we get along great), we were still living in the same house with our little princess, and while we spent the afternoon apart, we still had the morning and evening together. This year, the three of us did morning presents together and then I went on my way, as the two gals had church and the Queen’s family to visit with.
How would I keep busy? This year it seemed important to have a place to be, for at least a few hours, anyway. Last year, in the separate time, I went to visit former BBP writer P-dawg and his family, where we partook in the traditional Jewish Christmas meal – Chinese food. With my buddy off and away, this time out my hangout partner wound up being my mom. The two of us decided to take in a movie, the biggest buzz film of awards season – La La Land.