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Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Marvel Comic Movies of the Summer: X-Men First Class

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So, with the huge success of Thor (I totally loved it…I recommend seeing it if you haven’t), I am beginning to wonder what will happen with the new X-Men movie that will be coming to theaters next month (June 3 to be exact). Honestly, I’m remaining hopeful for the movie because it has two really good actors play Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and others that look equally promising. However, I am also apprehensive about what story arch they may be following in order to produce the movie.

My biggest reason for my apprehensions lies in the world that the filmmakers have created if the other four films are taken into account… Honestly, I’m hoping that this movie marks the reboot of the X-Men movie franchise. If not, I am irritated by the manipulation of character ages that seems to exist within the film. For example, Mystique is way older in the grand scheme of all the comics…and it appears that she would be in the movies…However, my biggest example of this would be Emma Frost. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, she is a teenager; yet, in this movie she is a thirty something year-old who is a full-fledged member of the Hellfire Club…Yeah….I don’t like when things like this happen. Moreover, I am already skeptical about the “First Class” idea because this isn’t the first class (this group includes Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Angel, Iceman, and Beast).

So, yeah, I’m anxiously awaiting the release and keeping up with new trailers and such. My biggest hope is that the movie is over two hours long…to me, this is an indicator of whether or not I should be hyped before I go into the theater (I will regardless….the X-Men is my comic book baby…). If it is over two hours, I can expect something at least because let’s face it a comic that has been around for 40+ years will not be adequately represented in less than two hours….So, I hope that you all are as excited / apprehensive as I am…Here’s hoping for the best. I also hope you enjoy the teaser trailers looking at a few of the mutants in the film.

X-Men: The First Class…A Good Thing or Not?

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As all of my readers out there know, I am a huge X-Men fan. As some of you may know as well, the new movie X-Men: First Class is coming out June 3, and we as the viewing audience just got our true first peek at what the movie is going to be like. Honestly, I am excited about this new edition to the X-Men movies…however, I also have some other questions that surround the movie and the overall placement of it in terms of the others.

Honestly, I guess the biggest question that I have about the movie is this: will it fit into the canon that the Bryan Singer and, sadly, Brett Radner films have created or will it start a new timeline for the X-Men entirely. I know that it is being billed as a prequel; yet, some of the stuff that they appear to be doing does not fit in with the continuity of the movies or of the comic series entirely. First and foremost, Jean Grey is Charles Xavier’s first student. In this film, I have not seen or heard of any reference to Jean, which kinda makes me sad because she is an interesting character. Secondly, if we take the Wolverine Origins movie into the continuity ( I have serious doubts about whether it  should be or not since it is just a mess of characters and action…much like the third movie), characters like Emma Frost and Havok (as juxtaposed to Cyclops who actually appears in the Wolverine movie) are significantly younger within this framework compared to the older Professor X (he arrives at the end of the movie). However, in the new movie, Emma Frost is the more familiar face that we reading the comics are accustomed to while Havok is still a young man. Also, Mystique, who appears in the later movies, is young in this one…yet, we all know that she does not age like normal people or mutants and is as old or older than Wolverine.

 

Finally, I’m curious as to which origin story they are actually using…there are a couple (all of which involve practically the same mutant team). Still, knowing which one they were using would make me feel a little better about what may or may not be the main plot of the movie. So, yeah….I have high hopes for this movie. They have actors that are good actors in all the right parts. They have a director who knows comic movies (Matthew Vaughn from Kick Ass). The story was also conceived by Bryan Singer (someone who knows the X-Men). Does it mark a new beginning for the X-Men franchise? Or is it truly a prequel? I will keep my eyes and ears out for more info on the movie as time goes on.

Year of the Geek: Comic Book Movies of 2011

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I saw somewhere on the internet the other day (maybe it was my homepage…I’m not completely sure which is one of the pitfalls of reading news and such on the internet the majority of the time…but any way) that a lot of people are terming this year the year of the geek due to the excessive number of comic book movies coming out in the theaters this year. Honestly, I am excited about this year…does that mean I am a geek myself. I believe so because I am looking forward to watching several of the movies that will be coming out over the course of the year, and here are the few that I’m most interested in (and alright, I am a Marvel snob to some degree…so forgive me if a lot of the DC or Darkhorse stuff is missing from my assessment).

Thor–Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. This movie is promising to be one of the must see movies of the summer months. Following the storyline of one of the most prominent Marvel characters (which all of them are prominent in their own right), this movie is bringing us all one step closer to the promised Avengers movie that will be in theaters in 2012. What I am most interested in in this movie is how they are going to meld the scientific and the magical worlds that Marvel are known for. I know that in the movie trailer they are saying that science and magic are practically the same thing just us dumb humans using another name for something mystical. Yet, I’m still intrigued to see how far they go with this concept.

X-Men: First Class–As most of you know who read my blog on a regular basis, X-Men are the comic book heroes that are near and dear to my heart, so it probably doesn’t surprise you that I am anxious about this upcoming movie.  It does have a few good things going for it though. First, Matthew Vaughn is directing the movie and overall his other movies (Kick Ass, Stardust, and Layer Cake…all good movies). Then, you have Bryan Singer (the man who co-wrote and directed for the first two good X-Men movies) responsible for the story. Finally, you have several actors that are pretty good in the roles of some of our memorable characters (James McAvoy is Professor X, Kevin Bacon is Sebastian Shaw, and many more). I’m still holding my breath on the this one because we all know the debacle of the third movie. However, I’m trying to remain hopeful that this movie might help redeem the series from X3 and the Wolverine movie. Also, another side note, Wolverine will not be in this one unless it is a small cameo (Hooray! I don’t like him that much anyway).

Green Lantern–Okay, so, this is one of the few (if only) DC comic movie adaptation that appears here. I’m interested in this one because let’s face it Green Lantern is a pretty cool super hero. His powers are limited by the strength of his mind…so, yeah, he seems like he would be any intellectual’s go to super hero. Being played by Ryan Reynolds, I think this movie has potential if it is done right because like any other super hero movie it also has the potential to be sooooooo bad too.

Captain America: The First Avenger–Okay, so, I’m not a huge fan of Capt. However, I’m pretty excited about this movie because its release will be the last piece of the puzzle for the afore-mentioned Avengers movie. Chris Evans will be an okay Capt. (I’m not completely thrilled by his casting choice partially because he has already been a character in the Marvel-verse of movies), but I am really excited to see Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. I think that he is going to be amazing at that. Why? Because he plays evil and off-beat characters well (look at Mr. Smith in the Matrix, V in V for Vendetta, etc)…I’m just excited overall.

So, these are just a sampling of the top things that I”m looking forward to. I’m also excited about Harry Potter and other things of that nature (not excited about Twilight). Looking forward to seeing Paul Bettany in Priest. Yet, I’m also not excited to see some others (like the Green Hornet for instance…I find Seth Rogen insufferable). However, there will be more to come of these other things in following days. Till then, adieu.

X3: The Last Stand

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Today, I was rewatching the third movie in the X-Men Trilogy and had some of the same thoughts that I had originally when watching it. To put it into perspective for you, at the end of the movie on opening night, I stood up when the credits began and said “What the hell!” (There may have been more choice words…I’m not entirely sure), and I ranted like this for a few moments until the surprise tag at the end of the credits came on…I was silent for a little while to watch…then, the ranting began again. Why you might ask was I so distraught? It was and is because the X-Men are my favorite superheroes. I have like them ever since I was a child because they are imperfect and varied. So, why did the movie rub me the wrong way? It’s because of several things.

1) The storyline was rushed and manipulated to suit weird intentions. I didn’t like their take on the Phoenix saga. It was okay, but honestly, they can’t undertake such a huge story arc in one movie. It is a story that stretches across many, many issues and decades of comic books…and they dealt with it in an hour and a half movie…yeah…

 

2) Magneto would have died trying to save Charles Xavier. In the comics, they are good friends even though they do have their different view points of the mutant crisis. Magneto would not have stood idly by while the Phoenix tore him apart. He would have been killed because he tried to save Charles…it’s just one of those things.

3) Halle Berry is not Storm. While several of the people cast were wonderful, she doesn’t act like Storm should act. With the power of the weather at her finger tips, she should not get too angry because storms will happen; however, she is angry and emotional all the time…nothing happens…it’s one of those things that is odd to me.

4) Brett Radner didn’t seem to understand the world like Bryan Singer did. The first two movies were good. They seemed to use the characters well and give the storylines that were appropriate for a movie format. While I know that he didn’t write the script for the movie, I know that his direction played up Halle Berry’s angst and some other equally annoying aspects of the movie…and let’s face it, his movies are really that great…(think Rush Hour 3)..

Some honorable mentions for the good qualities of the movie, I thought that Jean Grey’s costuming choices were nice. I liked that they matched her hair to her costume color…I also appreciate John Powell’s musical score. It is a bright spot in the dimness of the movie. “The Dark Phoenix Tragedy” is one of the best songs in the movie. However, these bright spots are not able to redeem the movie…they just make it suck a little less.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

September 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Weird Reasons that I Like Vampires in Fiction

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So, there are a lot of reasons out there why people like vampires. They’re sexy, powerful, etc. However, I would like to say that I liked vampires before the whole True Blood/Twilight/Vampire Diaries phenomena entered into the picture. Why? Because I like a creature that can span the millenia, blend in, and tell tales about it. It’s interesting for me to read about a character who cannot die by normal body degradation. But here are some of the reasons that I like them that are weird.

1) They practically like superheroes–They bridge two of my loves superheroes/comics and folk lore. I find it fun when a vampire uses their powers for good or evil and becomes a hero or villain of sorts. It also intrigues me  because although superheroes and villains are bound by natural laws vampires are not due to being something other than human.

2) Just like in the first season of True Blood, I would like to be able to have an actual “living” being to ask questions about the past. I am somewhat of a history buff when it comes to certain eras. This would allow me to actually hear and catalog actual events from a survivor of the event which is pretty amazing because some events happened lifetimes ago.  In theory, it would be pretty cool.

3) The idea of something that is not human that exemplifies certain human needs and desires. Any vampire in fiction in the past 150 years has feed off blood and been the monster. However, since Anne Rice, there has been a movement to humanize the creatures. We are allowed to see into their world which is something that Bram Stoker or Sheridan le Fanu didn’t do. We see that they need companionship and feel to sometimes higher degrees the feelings of loneliness because it stretches out before them for all eternity.

4) The fact of how their deaths make me feel. If I’m watching a television show or movie or reading a book, I always feel a little sad when an immortal character dies. Why? They will never be able to make more history or influence anything else. They have been found by the “true death” as True Blood calls it. I guess in some ways it makes me wonder about my own mortality and what I might get accomplished in the brief span of life that I have…whereas that creature may have done nothing but maim and cause carnage for its existence.

X-Men I Could Care Less About

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So, I know that I have told you about some of the people in X-Men that I love and some that people love to hate. However, I am not going to briefly discuss people who I couldn’t give a damn about it Marvel. The thing is that most of them are the people who the average comic book or movie person is going to enjoy. Honestly, I don’t understand the draw of some of them.

Gambit–While he does have an interesting power, I find myself going “Why should I be intrigued by said character?” His attitude and overall quippy demeanor are lost on me. I don’t appreciate him as a character because they are others that have existed longer that are basically the same character mould. Two, he doesn’t further the whole X-Men story arc in a productive way. What comic book arc has he been a part of that he couldn’t have easily been replaced by some other character? The answer: none that come to mind readily. He is a character that was dreamed up in the early 90’s (yes, he came on the scene in the 90’s much like Jubilee and others…another side note, he was in the comics before the animated series debuted). He was a way that Marvel was trying to put fresh faces into the X-Men line up. I think that he was a lack luster revamp of the Wolverine character (shady past, questionable alliances, etc.).

Wolverine–So, I get that people like him. However, I will not be in the droves of fans to say that he’s the best mutant, X-Man, or whatever because I do not like him at all. Sure he has a handy power. Honestly, it’s probably one of the more practical powers to have, rapid cellular regeneration. Yet, most people see his power as being his claws (other than the fact he may or may not have been born with them, depends on the story arc, they are not his primary power). I will admit that I am more intrigued by his back story than Gambit’s. He has lived far longer and has brushed elbows with the likes of Captain America, in the 40’s, and others…still, this doesn’t give him enough intrigue for me. Actually, the coolest version of him is in the Age of Apocalypse story arc…here, he risks his life and loses a hand to save Jean. Yet, in the main storyline, I find him to be a little whiny and sometimes just a completely irrelevant character (more of a plot device of sorts).

So, yeah, I know that a lot of people like said characters However, there are just things about them that I am not interested in. I would much rather have the weird side characters or some of the more rounded characters that grace the pages of X-Men.

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June 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

A Thought

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Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about super heroes, which probably doesn’t shock anyone out there. But I’ve come to a conclusion about my thoughts. I want to write something that is super hero based and see where it takes me. I have always been interested in them. Why shouldn’t I at least pay tribute to this in writing?

Now, I know that I am another fanboy thinking about writing about something that he loves. I am not under any delusion that what I write is going to be amazing. But I think that it will be interesting and will be something for me.

Now to my idea. My thought is about what happens to some of the B-list superheroes after they have become older. What happens to them when the only ones who remember their names are the ones that seem to still try to get to them for past transgressions? I would want to deal centrally around characters that people don’t necessarily know. Now, given, some of them will have to be known because for an off character to exist there has to be some notable around them.

As much as I don’t really like him, I am pondering using Quicksilver from the X-Men/X-Factor as my central character. I would make him older somehow whether this be by natural aging or because he has an unstable molecular structure due to his “superspeed’ tendencies. I would want to develop this idea out, but in my head, I already have a villain and motivations as to why this idea might work.

I will continue to keep toying with this in my mind. There are still a lot of variables to negotiate, but I’m going to try to put something together really soon.

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May 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Captain America vs. The Red Skull

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I’m sure it has come to everyone’s attention at this point that they are producing a Captain America Movie starring Chris Evans as Capt. Well, as you know, I am on the fence about this decision for many, many reasons and have mentioned them before. Therefore, I will not go into them now. However, I think a great casting choice that they’ve made is who is going to play the Red Skull, Capt.’s main villain. Brace yourself…it’s going to be Hugo Weaving.

Honestly, as much as I dislike the Chris Evans casting, I approve of this casting whole heartedly. Why? Because Weaving is an amazing actor. Watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Transformers (he voiced Megatron), and many more to see his acting chops. He is an amazing actor and will bring the character of the Red Skull into glorious reality (as far as movie reality goes…). Weaving has ability to become this character.

The only thing that I really worry about with this casting choice is how will Evans fare against this powerhouse? I mean seriously Weaving is more experienced and brings a large presence to the screen. I mean for God sakes in V for Vendetta he, as V,  overshadowed Natalie Portman’s performance and this was without the use of facial expressions…or even seeing his face for that matter. He is that good. It scares me that he will make the tilt of the movie a little off kilter compared to Evans….However, that being said, I believe that he will make the movie something to watch…rather than it just being a Captain America fan’s wet dream.

In my opinion, Weaving will be the reason to watch the movie, and this fact is sad to say because Capt. should be amazing. He is “The First Avenger” afterall. So, while I still hold my breath to see if Evans performance is any good (I still haven’t completely passed judgment because I have been surprised before), I know that Weaving will be amazing…enough said.

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May 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Practical Superpowers

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If superpowers did exist and we as humans were lucky enough to develop them, it would be interesting to see what would happen. Now, I’m not just talking about the idea that people wouldn’t be able to control them (because let’s face it that has been done to death, we know we couldn’t really handle them, and that’s not the idea behind this post). I’m talking about what I might do if I had super powers and no one else did. I think that I would find a usage for them to enhance my standings while staying out of the Super Hero business. Enter the idea of practicality when it comes to powers. I think it could be ingenious if someone used their powers to benefit themselves and others, just not in the save the world kind of way.

–Super strength–a staple of super hero movies and comics. It seems to be one of the most common powers. For those who might not be familiar with the whole genre, this power would give you increased strength in all things. I think the most practical usage of this would be a moving company. I mean seriously think about it. A person who chose to use their powers in this way would not have to have anyone else to help them with the whole moving procedure…I mean sure you might want to have others for a front, but that would be up to the individual. You could get people moved in record time and get paid normal rates for all the blood, sweat and tears that you didn’t have to put into the job.

–Telepathy–The ability to read the minds of those around us. While this would be an annoying power to have (who wants to be able to read all the people’s minds around us…it’s unseemly), it too has its practical usage. Aside from being a fortune-teller and telling others what they want to hear, this power could be very useful. You are practically a human lie detector. People would pay you to have your input before big business deals and to determine if people were being completely honest with them. The drawback, if someone knows you have this power and doesn’t want their secrets spilled, you might find yourself in dire straights.

–Telekinesis–Probably one of the most versatile powers, it can be used to move or for many other facets of life…the usage of this power is pretty much up to the imagination of the person wielding it…so, if you want to be an acrobat, an explorer, etc. It could be handy in any pursuit…imagine if Indiana Jones had this or anyone you might think about.

–Weather manipulation–The ability to control the weather…in all of the comic book realm, I can only think of one person who has this power, and she is calm and composed all the time. Why? Because if she gets angry, sad, etc., she causes change in the weather…it’s a blessing and a curse of sorts. If I were going to think of a logical, non-super use of this power, it would have to be something like event planning. Think about it. How many people would be willing to pay thousands of dollars to not have it rain on their wedding day or to have snow for Christmas. Enter the weather goddess/god to suit their needs. The biggest downside I would see to this whole “create your own weather for any occasion” business would be that it would get the scrutiny of the government fairly quickly…which is a downer because they wouldn’t leave you alone….they would want to use you.

Sometimes, when my friends and I sit around discussing superpowers, we get into these kinds of discussions. I think it’s interesting to think of them with this sort of spin because really who wants to think about being a hero or a villain all the time. Why can’t we think of just normal people living normal lives with the aid of extraordinary powers?

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April 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

My Favorite X-Men Villains

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If you’re familiar with my blog or with me on any level, it’s probably evident to you that I am a huge fan of X-Men comics, movies (well..some of the movies), etc. While I am a fan because of the heroic characters, would a comic book or super heroes be any good if they didn’t have villains? The answer is no because they are what makes the stories. If they weren’t there to be the foil of the hero, we would have a pretty boring story. They are what causes the conflict…and in a narrative, conflict is everything.

1) Omega Red–for some people, this may be a lesser known villain. However, he is the stuff of nightmares in my opinion. Made by the Soviet Government to be unstoppable, Omega Red is a serial killer turned super soldier. He is excessively durable and can tolerate radiation that would kill normal humans. This fact is partially caused by his carbinadium tentacles. With them, he is able to absorb life-force and sustain his immune system (as a result of the carbinadium, he is poisoned). He mainly appears in conjunction with Wolverine’s story arc because the Weapon X program entrapped him in ice years ago. Why do I like him? Simply because he freaks me out. He is almost unstoppable…when the X-Men have had to take him on, the best they can normally do is imprison him (which if held against the Captain America story, means he could live indefinitely in his frozen state).

http://marvel.wikia.com/Arkady_Gregorivich_(Earth-616)

2) Apocalypse–Probably one of the most know über villains in the Marvel-verse, Apocalypse, also known as En Sabah Nur, is the first true mutant to ever walk the Earth…and continues to do so 5000 years after his birth in Egypt. Being nearly indestructible, immortal, and almost omnipotent, he is a handful to deal with in the realm of X-Men. Why? Because he has his hand in most everything that goes on in the world. He is capable of passing the ages through the usage of his Lazarus Chamber which keeps him eternally youthful.  He is probably the most consistent villain of X-Men because he is eternal and his brand of evil does not change. If you combine this with his name meaning the end of the world and the fact that he has worshippers all over the world (hence more chambers) and horsemen who are at his call, he is probably one of the scariest mutants in Marvel.

http://marvel.wikia.com/En_Sabah_Nur_(Earth-616)

3) Mr. Sinister–Corny name aside, Mr. Sinister is the worst of the worst in the X-Man Universe. Once know as the Victorian Geneticist Nathaniel Essex, he is probably the most conniving and manipulative of the villains in the Marvel-verse. He is a very pragmatic and knows exactly what he wants. While Apocalypse is a genius, Sinister’s genius was worthy enough to be recognized by the might Apocalypse. With this genius in some continuities, he has (Spoiler Alert!) even killed the mighty En Sabah Nur. He was a contemporary of Darwin and saw that rapid mutation was possible. He also wanted to see how far this mutating could be taken…which led to some unorthodox experimentation. Why do I think he is the best villain of the X-Men? It is because he is pure evil…he pokes things just to see how they poke back and to understand how to “improve” his natural selection…he is not held down by morality….and thereby, has no scruples to keep him from truly being evil.

http://marvel.wikia.com/Nathaniel_Essex_(Earth-616)

Evil is a constant in the realm of super heroes, and every time it rears its ugly head, they knock it back down. These three villains are the cause of much turmoil within the pages of X-Men…Are there any in the X-Universe that you think are better? If so, who?

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April 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm