This week in Heroes and Villains our selection of new Marvel Comics includes new beginnings and continuations. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on Avengers #5, Monsters Unleashed #4, The Unstoppable Wasp #3, America #1, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude #1… beware, spoilers ahead…
Just so we don’t go cold turkey with our Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD addiction, ABC has provided us with a new digital-only series for the winter break – Slingshot. Not only do we get a spotlight on Yo-Yo (Slingshot is actually her character’s name in the comics, and she’s quickly become one of my favorite characters on the show), but we also get a bit of fill-in on what happened during the time between seasons three and four. Meet me after the jump, for my thoughts on Slingshot, the digital series.
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.
The television crossover event of the season, Heroes v Aliens, concludes here in this week’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. To catch up on the Dominion’s attack on the Earth, you can click here for the first night with Supergirl, here for the second night with The Flash, and here for the offbeat third part coinciding with the 100th episode of Arrow. After probing the minds of five of our heroes, the Dominators have constructed a weapon to use on us. As their mothership approaches the Earth for their final assault, can the united heroes of our world save us? Find out after the jump in my review of the concluding chapter of “Invasion!”
War Machine is dead. She-Hulk is barely alive after a coma. The Hulk is dead, killed by Hawkeye. And now Spider-Man might kill Captain America? Is this really what we want in a comic book? Are readers that bloodthirsty that we’ve entered the era where Rollerball and Death Race are almost real? Surely it can’t be that bad, or as Civil War II #6 rolls out the week before one of the most insane US Presidential elections in history, is it? Or perhaps there is a more sinister reason behind all this. Meet me after the jump for my admittedly dark pre-Halloween pre-election thoughts on Civil War II #6…
With Ghost Rider and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the same side, will they be able to find the Darkhold before it’s too late, or does fate have other threats in store for them at Eli Morrow’s prison? Things get tense in jail and the new Director makes a startling announcement on live television, all this and more, after the jump, in my thoughts on “Lockup.”
Can vengeance be contained? After a few clashes with Quake, the Ghost Rider comes flaming face to face with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. What is his secret, and what about the ghosts of the Momentum Lab? Worse than that, how are the Watchdogs getting info on the Inhumans? Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire!”
In the third episode in a row introducing new Avengers, this one brings the Black Panther into the Marvel Animated Universe and the world of Avengers Assemble. But can even the combined forces of the Black Panther and the Avengers stop the menace of Ulysses Klaue? Find out in my review of “Panther’s Rage,” after the jump.