A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned From Black Panther

1) Yep, the universal constant is daddy issues.
2) Team MCU can create a well-rounded sympathetic villain not named Loki.
3) Not only is Wakanda awesome, everyone in Wakanda is totally kick-ass.
4) Princess Shuri is far and away the best Disney princess.
5) Apparently Agent Ross was the only non-Avenger paying attention to Black Panther during “Civil War.”
6) Keeping ancient traditions isn’t a bad thing, but maybe it’s not good to have a traditional physical fight actually determine rulership.
7) I like all the protagonists so much I actually can’t decide which one I like best, and that is quite the compliment.
8) Vibranium is practically magic.
9) Team MCU can still create a mostly self-contained solo movie, which I appreciate.
10) Team MCU can also create a mostly serious movie, which I also appreciate.

Other thoughts – this is one of the best movies, if not the best movie, in the MCU catalogue. It’s primarily a political and family drama with some kick-ass action sequences. There’s not a lot of levity and certainly no quips or zingers, but that would have not worked in this movie. I hope the MCU has some more of these in waiting.

A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned from Spider-man: Homecoming

1) Tony Stark is the most irresponsible person in the entire MCU and is self-aware enough to know if his comrades found out he recruited an underage teen and gave him a weaponized murder-suit, they would kick his smug armored ass so hard Howard Stark would feel it.
2) Peter Parker is terrible at hiding his secret identity.
3) Adrian Toomes is more threatening without the Vulture suit than with the Vulture suit.
4) The Vulture actually can use the Z-axis to his advantage in a fight.
5) Happy Hogan is terrible at security.
6) Tony Stark isn’t much better at security.
7) Spider-man needs a lot more practice at this.
8) For all the flak critics gave Sam Raimi for a “campy” Spider-man, a Spider-man movie works much better as mostly comedy/action and some drama than a humorless action drama.
9) Other British MCU actors should take accent lessons from Tom Holland.
10) With great power may come great responsibility, but it still doesn’t grant great social skills.

Continue reading A Movie Entry – 10 Things I Learned from Spider-man: Homecoming

Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part 1 –

The Main Attraction:
1) Character – As an origin story, this success of this movie is entirely dependent  on how engaged the audience is with Diana and therefore Diana’s story. Shockingly this seemingly common sense bit of storytelling is lost on many contemporary film makers / studios (who then wonder why their big budget tent-pole blockbuster failed harder than the 2017 Cleveland Browns).

Continue reading Storytelling Successes – Wonder Woman (Part 2 of 2)

A Movie/Comic Book Entry – Suicide Squad

Or, “The DC Movie Machine 4”
Or, “A Good Description of WB/DC Right Now”

Continue reading A Movie/Comic Book Entry – Suicide Squad

A Movie/Comic Book Entry – The DC Movie Machine 3

or, “Um, that’s not it…”

I, like many comic book fans, have clamored for a Wonder Woman movie.   But WB/DC was being hesitant about it for stupid reasons.  To be fair,  Marvel Studios has stupidly balked at making a female-led superhero movie as  well, which is why I will never get my Black Widow spy thriller.

Note to Marvel Studios and WB/DC – if you think a female-led action-type  movie will tank at the box office, I suggest you take a look at a little series called The Hunger Games.  It’s kind of obscure, I know, with taking the top spot its opening weekends, but I think it shows the potential of female-led action type movies…

Well, it seems WB/DC has listened to the fans and a Wonder Woman movie  is indeed on the roster.

Continue reading A Movie/Comic Book Entry – The DC Movie Machine 3

A Movie Entry – Thoughts on Story Reinterpretation

I had the good fortune to see Big Hero 6 and I recommend you see it if you haven’t.  Now, although this isn’t well advertised, the movie is actually based off of a Marvel Comics series of the same name (most people will figure that one out if they notice the Stan Lee cameo or stay until the credits roll).  So this got me thinking about reinterpretations, which is a step farther than adaptation.  I have some strong feelings about adaptation and how far that can be taken until the character/story are no longer the same.  Reinterpretation is trying to place the story/characters into a different setting.  The movie Clueless is an adaptation of the novel Emma but it’s also a reinterpretation since it places the lead character in modern L.A. and gives her a sassy best friend and a couple of subplots that weren’t in the book.  And it absolutely works.  So here are my not-quite-organized thoughts based on three recent movies (there may be spoilers, but I’ll try not to).

Continue reading A Movie Entry – Thoughts on Story Reinterpretation

A Media Entry – Good Faith Adaptation

or, “Not muh Supes!”

Few things irritate me more than reading/watching criticism of an adapted story and then seeing people casually dismiss the criticism by saying, “You’re just mad it’s not your version of X.”  It’s as though they do not think that criticism of the faithfulness of the adaptation is valid.  I would argue that this is in fact the key metric of the success of an adaptation.  To me, if the adaptation isn’t faithful to the original (although how one defines that may be variable), then what was the point of an adaptation in the first place?  Why not just create original characters for the story to be told?

Continue reading A Media Entry – Good Faith Adaptation