Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

X-Men: Apocalypse. My Thoughts

leave a comment »

If you’re friends with me or have kept up with the blog for any length of time, you know that I am a huge X-Men fan. So when plans of Apocalypse came into Days of Future Past, I immediately got fanboy excited about the prospect of Apocalypse in ways that I can’t even explain to you clearly (well… maybe… I got up at the end of X3: The Atrocity and started a chorus of “What the Fuck” till the post-credits scene came on…). To begin with, Apocalypse was the first series in the comics that I cut my teeth on. I remember in 1995-6 when I would purchase the individual issues of comics to keep up with what was going on in the world of the mutants that I loved. The animated television show was big at this time, and this was my first foray into the comics themselves. I remember being really confused by the series, but I found myself really intrigued by a world without Charles Xavier and what happened to my favorite mutants as a result of never meeting him. The series would be the first of many that I would read from the X-Men and served as an entrance into the comic world too.

This movie excites me in ways that the others haven’t. For years, I have questioned and wondered if Apocalypse,  En Sabuh Nur, would ever make it to the big screen because they kept focusing on villains that were a little closer to the Earth than this being who is the first mutant shaped by Celestial technology to be one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe (yes… I know there are some really powerful entities out there but he has taken some of them on). So here are some of my thoughts on the upcoming movie: what I’m excited about, what I’m concerned about, and what my hopes are.

Excited About:

  1. Bryan Singer directing again. Singer has always handled the X-Men source material with impeccable finesse, and I’m excited to see him at the helm of this piece. While it does still have the potential to go south, I think that his eye and the aesthetic that he has created in the other movies will not allow this to happen.
  2. Psylocke!!!! OMG. When I heard she was in the movie, I might have let out a slight squee. She has always been one of my favorites from her body-switching and thieving ways to her psionic blade / katana. I’ve always been fascinated by her. Plus, Olivia Munn is great… I feel like she’s going to bring a power to the character that she needs, that has to be for her to be the kickass that she is.
  3. Mutant throw down. I’m excited to see the epic battle. While there is usually one in the films, this one promises to be super awesome if done right. Everybody kicking ass and taking names will be great.
  4. Oscar Issac as Apocalypse. After having seen him act in a few other films, I think that he will bring something to the character that others might not necessarily have done. I was originally hoping for Tom Hardy because I knew him better, but Issac nuances his characters, so here’s hoping that this one will be the same.
  5. All the casting. It seems strong. From the originals to the newer ones, they all look to have some good stuff coming here.

 

Concerns:

  1. Disaster film. It’s been said that it’s going to be a disaster film… I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn into a completely CGI disaster mess. There are too many bad disaster films out there, and this one doesn’t need to fall into this category… sigh.
  2. Mystique-centric film. The trailer seems to want to put her at the center of this film as Wolverine has been in many of the others. This is one of the things that I have hated from the beginning of the franchise. I know that they’re trying to create a more stable center in the film, but the X-Men were about group dynamic. The individuals are important, but they should not overshadow the whole. IMO. Also, I’m not a huge JLaw fan… so there.
  3. Too many characters. Although I said above that I think the casting is good, I am also a little apprehensive about there being so many new characters. Will they get the time to develop that they deserve? Will my favorites get shafted? I’m just a little worried is all.

Hopes:

  1. Mister Sinister. I want him in this movie sooooo badly. I love Mister Sinister. Apart from the silliness of his name, he is the only person who has ever really f*ed up Apocalypse and the X-Men on so many levels. I want him there. It would add yet another character, but he is just so damn good.
  2. That this isn’t the last film… While I know that there is the potential that it will go on, there have been reports that this might be the last of the prequel films, which in turn makes me think of the films in general. I hope that this is untrue because I can’t tell you how excited each of the films makes me, even when I stand at the end and curse at them.
  3. Maybe a Dark Phoenix movie that we can love. The last and the farthest reaching is this one. I would love for them to redo the Phoenix saga on the big screen. Nuff said here.

So here are my thoughts. Please feel free to drop me a line in the comments and tell me what you hope for or think. I’m really excited to see what other X-Men Fanpeople out there think about the upcoming film.

Advertisements

Written by barryr22

March 25, 2016 at 8:05 pm

X-Men: Days of Future Past

leave a comment »

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past Opens tomorrow, and guess who’s excited? I freely admit that I let my nerd flag wave when it comes to the X-Men. They are my favorite. Here, you see the shirt that I will be wearing when I watch it tomorrow night. Look forward to my post on the movie soon. 🙂

Till then.

Written by barryr22

May 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm

X-Men: Days of Future Past

leave a comment »

Sunday, I was having a conversation with friends about the recent collecting of X-Men costumes from DOFP into the Smithsonian. We were contemplating why they would do this even before the movie had been released. The conclusion I came to was that this comic arc is one of the most famous within the X-Men franchise both on film and in the comics, especially. While the decision to put them in this prestigious museum seems a little strange, I think that it makes sense in this way. However, this collecting does not keep me from being a little apprehensive about the upcoming film and wondering what the theater will hold for me as I watch the film Friday.

The Good:

Bryan Singer coming back to direct the film leaves me with hope that he will be kind to the comic book mythos and the dynamic of the team as he aptly showed in X2.

The Days of Future Past story arc also makes me hopeful because it is so compelling that it seems like it would be very difficult to mess up.

The Magnetos and Xaviers are wonderful all the way around. I love Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender. All are extremely talented and bring it when it comes to these characters.

Peter Dinklage gives us the potential for a compelling villain as his acting on Game of Thrones and other movies / television show us. He is great and hopefully will bring something to the character of Trask, instead of being the flat character we have seen in previous movies (yes, Trask has been there but not in a prominent way).

The Apprehensions:

Large casts scare the crap out of me. While Singer has been shown to handle expansive amounts of people before, I walk into any large ensemble movie with a hint of skepticism and preparedness.

Certain cast members have never done anything for me, and they are being brought back into this one… Yes, I’m looking at Storm and Rogue, whom I love mind you, but the performances from Berry and Paquin leave much to be desired. Yeah…

The Wolverine-centric nature that the narrative is seeming to follow. I understand that they have to have a character that can span time as Kitty Pride did in the original (long story about the actual DOFP story arc), but as most of you know, I’ve never been a fan of Wolverine because his character just seems flat to me as far what he is. I find him to be one of the least interesting characters within their world. As such, I always cringe a little when he is the focal character… Although, I do really love Jackman as the character.

My final worry is that this will be a setup movie purely for X-Men: Apocalypse. While I have been wanting them to bring Apocalypse into the franchise for a while (and hopefully Mr. Sinister as well because yeah… *fanboy squee here*), I don’t want them to shortchange this story to build toward the next. If they do, I will be sad.

Overall, I hope that the movie does great because I always want everything that involves these my favorite comic book characters to do well. I am holding out hope that this will capture both the energy of the First Class franchise while calling us back to the powerful storytelling that the original movie series had for us (apart from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Last Stand which we hope were a collective hallucination that never occurred). Here’s hoping. You’ll all have to tell me what you think about it when you see it. I’ll be sure to let you guys know. 🙂

Iron Man 3 Trailer–Geektober is Rewarded with Goodies

leave a comment »

If you’re like me, you follow comic book movies pretty regularly… I watched The Avengers opening night (despite the drunken idiots that keep me from hearing some of the dialogue) and watched it again the next day (due to the aforementioned drunken idiots), and it pumped me up for the next years superhero / comic book movies. Iron Man 3 is included among the ones that will take flight in 2013 (May 3 2013 to be exact on IM3). While I don’t know a lot about the movie as a whole (I’m currently researching what exactly it will be about), I do have great hope that this will not be X-Men 3 The Last Stand (my main hope) due to the changing of directors.
All I do know is that the Iron Man franchise to this point has been great, and with the introduction of one of his greatest villains Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin, I hope that it will be fun and exciting. However, I hope too that it will keep up with the world that Marvel, Jon Favreau, and others have worked to create. Without further ado, the Trailer for Iron Man 3, which promises to be very tense from the looks of it.

The Walking Dead: Post-Mortem Season 2 *Spoilers*

leave a comment »

 

By Uploaded to Commons Xeworlebi, image self taken [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

After watching the season 2 finale of The Walking Dead, I come away with many thoughts about what happened and why I like some of it and why other parts irritate me. Overall, I liked season 2, and the finale made the overarching narratives go out with a bang.

1) Zombie blood bath– I think that this might have been the most impressive and exciting part of the season finale because it was the first time a horde of zombies attacked the humans without the humans invading their territory (the tank episode in Atlanta would be an example of territory disruption on the part of Rick and the others). All the characters are able to show their badassness in how they take on the horde as well with many of the more minor characters finally getting some screen time to show their skills (Hershel standing there blasting walkers made it interesting…).

By sookie (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

2) Shane’s death via Rick– I’ll be honest that I’ve never like the character of Shane. He was a dick and marched to the beat of a different drum that was going to get the others killed, it was just a matter of time. While I don’t know that Rick stabbing him was an entirely convincing way to waste him albeit a satisfying one, I feel like this  broke the character of Rick from the hopeful one of the group and produced a scary individual on the other side… I’m not sure what is going to happen with him, but I know that Shane did have to die… Lori being pissy with Rick after the fact, however, annoyed the hell out of me because she was the one who initiated the whole situation… What did she think would happen?

3) Jenner’s Big Reveal– I’ve been thinking that there was something fishy with the whole Jenner thing at the end of Season 1 and kinda expected something like this to happen. However, I’m not sure of the consequences of telling everyone that they’re infected. Moreover, I don’t think that anyone had the right to attack Rick over his decision not to tell them… Really? Does it matter that they know? Are they all going to “opt out” now? Frankly, I think that for everyone it was an overreaction because nothing changed except for the knowledge that was passed between them, and besides, Rick didn’t know himself until zombie Shane came after him…

4) Can’t they keep Carl in the f*@$ing house or at least watch him– I’m tired of Carl… He’s annoying, and I wouldn’t feel bad if the character happened to get bit by the zombies (maybe they’d get Lori too). However, I’m astonished that no one ever knows where he is in the post-apocalyptic zombie world. We know what happened when Sophia got away from the group (zombiefied). Moreover, they seem to be trying to make him useful in some way in terms of the story, but I’m still not buying that he’s up and about from a gunshot wound that quickly…

 

5) Michonne– While I’m not very knowledgeable about the comic series, the fact that we get a glimpse of a badass character wielding katanas with zombies on chains behind her makes me excited… it seems that someone has gotten it figured out in the zombie apocalypse and maybe she will help the other survivors…

While these are not all my thoughts about the last episode / season, these are some that still are on my mind and that I hope we are going to get some resolution for (the more open-ended thoughts anyway). What I do hope though is that the zombie-rific action and the human drama (not the whiny kind though… *cough* Lori *cough*) will continue to get better as the series continues and, furthermore, that we will get some more insight into the importance of some character choices as the story continues to unfold.

Written by barryr22

March 24, 2012 at 1:19 am

Romero and Post-Romero Zombies as Gothic Antagonists and the Sublime

with one comment

Recently, in my Spectral and Sublime Gothic Literature class, we had a discussion in which the majority of people agreed that the gross-out, bloody zombies of modernity could not render a Gothic tale because they lack the element of the sublime which makes them the enemy that is foreboding yet one that you want to embrace you in some way. While on one hand, I do agree that in the traditional sense of the Gothic, the Romero-type zombie does not make one want to come to it and be converted into the path of the zombie (unlike the vampire which can be a very Gothic because they are unapproachable and sublime all at the same time). However, as I watched a marathon of The Walking Dead, I came to a conclusion that more than just the zombies exist as the supernatural, antagonistic elements of the show itself that does produce a Gothic tale of sorts.

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

To begin to deal with my ideology of the Romero / Post-Romero Zombie Gothic, I think that it is important for me to explain how I see the zombies begin to act as a sublime element within the movies, television shows, and comics in which I feel the Gothic exists rather than the norm of just horror. Whereas the zombies themselves are a representation of horrific / gruesome element of the sublime creature / person within a Gothic novel, they additionally represent the figure of death that comes into play in many Gothic tales. However, this death that they represent is not the beautiful death that one may identify with the Gothic notion of the sublime. Zombies represent a gruesome kind of death or undeath because they are not genuinely alive or undead with all their faculties and personalities about them like a vampire or a ghost, yet (and this is where it gets complicated in my mind) in many zombie movies, novels, etc., there is usually talk of “opting out,” as they call it in The Walking Dead.

While the zombies themselves are not what one would call sublime, this natural death to end human suffering in the zombie filled world takes up this sublimity. The humans themselves by “opting out” or committing suicide, usually from a gunshot to the head, create an air of the sublime in the natural death that does not happen as a result of being bitten or waiting to be bitten (cause let’s fact it… it’s only a matter of time in a zombie filled world). The beauty that natural death represents in this isolated and inhospitable world holds a certain air of that sublime that they want but what they are afraid to get because it is suicide. Moreover, this suicide sublimity also provides a stark contrast to the gruesomeness that is the zombie, walking till either starvation or some outside force takes them down. The need to be truly and definitely dead rises to conflict with the zombies.

Then, the nature of the sublime that exists within the modern zombie movie, television show, novel, etc. becomes a triangulation of sorts from humans to zombies / undeath, from zombie / undeath to natural death, and from natural death to

By Mark Marek Mark Marek Copyright Mark Marek Photography ©2007 URL: Zombie Walk Picture Gallery – Full Coverage with Video on Alberta Stars (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

humans. Thought the zombies themselves do not equate a form of death that can be considered sublime, the full equation of death that they and the natural death paralleling them represent the sublimity of the Gothic. As the concept of gruesome death in the form of the zombies overruns the world in zombie stories, the desire to have a natural death without the possibility of a sub-par undead resurrection plays at the corner of the survivors minds, even before a zombie literally plays with and eats their brains.

Written by barryr22

March 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Avengers Assemble…. on May 4th!!!

leave a comment »

A few days ago, a new trailer for Marvel’s The Avengers came out and got me excited for the summer of 2012. While this summer does not look to be as huge as last summer for Marvel, this movie represents the culmination of several past movie events and the work of several past summers. Needless to say (and I’m saying it again here), I’m excited to finally see what Joss Whedon, Zak Penn, and the actors have created with the movie. However, I have some apprehensions that I hope will be a null and void point when I finally watch the movie.

1) The star power of the cast as a whole is quite scary for a movie of this magnitude. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing. Honestly, to this point, all the characters have functioned and embodied the characters in much the way that I would have hoped that they would. I will even admit that Chris Evans as Capt. wasn’t that bad… and I didn’t have high hopes for him in that film. However, when you put too many big stars together, it sometimes seems that the product they give isn’t necessarily the best thing that has ever been… There are many examples of this in moviedom memory (Be Cool (2005), Shark Tale (2004), and there are many more… you know these) that fail from their inception… I’m hoping that this is not the case with this movie simply because Joss Whedon is at the helm. From his television shows, he has proven that he can work well with ensemble casts. Here’s hoping that he can deal with the egos of the big league.

2) Speaking of people in the film, I’m also concerned about Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner… I don’t know that he can bring the understated nature of the intelligent Banner to life… When I heard that Edward Norton wasn’t coming aboard for this movie, I began to think that it might be better just to eliminate the Hulk altogether (and I know that he is a part of the Avengers… I just don’t know about Ruffalo). Honestly, I just don’t find Ruffalo to be the right actor for the part because he doesn’t look like the Banner type… You can put glasses on some one but this does not indicate intelligence… we’ve seen many examples of this. While I think that Ruffalo will do an alright job as evidenced by his acting cred, I just don’t feel like he will be a good Bruce Banner for me…

3) Storyline to bring them together… While I am excited that it looks like Loki will be the main villain, I am concerned as to how they are going to finally bring them together. They have been doing this all along, but I worry that things will not work together as well as what it should…

Still, even with these apprehensions in mind, I look forward to seeing movie at a midnight showing on May 4th. I will be there (not in costume… I’m a fan boy… but yeah…) and waiting to be bewitched by the characters one more time. Seeing Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Capt. America, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow and all the other characters come to life once again and as a group will be awesome. All these individuals have made great movies on their own, so they should be able to bring some of that charisma as a group.

As Loki says in the trailer, “How desperate are you that you call on such lost creatures to defend you?”

For me, I’m desperate to see how these “creatures” come alive once again.