Movies+Beer: SHAZAM!

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shazam

Bit late getting this uploaded; I’m joined by Brian, Andrea and New Guy to discuss the other Captain Marvel movie to come out this year…

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Movies + Beer: HELLBOY 2019

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MOVIES + BEERhellboy 2019

James is joined by Brian and Andrea at Sean O’ Casey’s, and discuss the new Hellboy reboot…among other things…

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Movie Review: SNOWPIERCER

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snowpiercerThe Weinstein Company
2013
R

“Eternal order is prescribed by the sacred engine: all things flow from the sacred engine, all things in their place, all passengers in their section, all water flowing. all heat rising, pays homage to the sacred engine, in its own particular preordained position. So it is. Now, as in the beginning, I belong to the front. You belong to the tail. When the foot seeks the place of the head, the sacred line is crossed. Know your place. Keep your place. Be a shoe.”

After a failed global warming experiment, a post-apocalyptic Ice Age has killed off nearly all life on the planet. All that remains of humanity are the lucky few survivors that boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, powered by a sacred perpetual motion engine. A class system has evolved aboard the train, fiercely dividing its population–but a revolution is brewing. The lower-class passengers in the tail section stage an uprising moving car by car up toward the front of the train, where the train’s creator and absolute authority resides in splendor. But unexpected circumstances lie in wait for humanity’s tenacious survivors…

So, here we have the first English language movie by famed Korean director Bong Joon-ho, the guy who brought us the cult classic The Host back in 2006. Well, it’s mostly in English. 80%, if Wikipedia is to be believed. Regardless, this movie received so much buzz and won so many awards, that sooner or later I had to check it out just to see what the buzz was about. I’m not normally one to go see a movie because of its popularity; most of the time, it’s the exact opposite. Being skeptical of things that are highly acclaimed by the masses has served me well.

And now, here we are, five years after Snowpercer’s release. And what did I think of Snowpiercer?

It’s overrated.

Judging by the responses my assessment on Facebook got, you’re either condemning me as a heretic (sorry, Virginia), or smugly crossing your arms over your chest and nodding in agreement. More than likely, the former. This movie has appeared on many a Best Science Fiction Movies lists since its release, after all.

Mind you, I’m not saying that Snowpiercer is a bad movie. Nor am I saying that I hate it. It’s gorgeously shot, has some great action scenes as well as some effective tension (no doubt due to the limited spaces being set on a train lending to a claustrophobic atmosphere), and the character development is really good. I’m not certain, but I believe that Snowpiercer makes a little over a baker’s dozen worth of movies Chris Evans has been in that was based on a comic book.

No, the reason why I consider Snowpiercer to be overrated is that, essentially, this is Battleship Potemkin on a train. And no, I’m not saying Snowpiercer is secretly socialist/communist propaganda. It’s based on a French comic (Le Transperceneige) that was first published in 1982. And I don’t care really about the political leanings of any artist; I care about whether or not it’s a good, well-crafted story. And, when you get down to it, Snowpiercer is a good, well-crafted story. Only, I don’t consider it as innovative as everyone seems to think it is. Especially in this day and age with the explosion of hyper Social Justice Warriors making life interesting for everyone. But, I digress.

Do I recommend watching Snowpiercer? Yes. For all the reasons I stated above, and then some. Watch it and decide for yourself what kind of movie this is for you. For me, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t go ga-ga over it, either.

Movie Review: The INCREDIBLE HULK

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incredible hulkUniversal Pictures
2008
PG-13

“I’ve had missions go wrong, and seen good people go down all because someone didn’t tell them what they were walking into. I moved on because that’s the job, and that’s what we do. But this…this is a whole new level of weird, and I don’t think I want to step away from it.”

The second film in the big Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it wasn’t exactly the big blockbuster that Iron Man turned out to be. Mind you, this was the second attempt to bring the Jade Giant to the big screen, five years after Ang Lee’s version with Eric Bana, Nick Nolte and giant mutated poodles. Among other things. And while this kind-of sequel to that Hulk movie got much more right with the characters and the story on this go-round, it still wasn’t the SMASH! we were expecting. See what I did, there?

Pointless bit of personal backstory: The night I went to watch The Incredible Hulk, it was part of the bachelor party I threw as Best Man for my friends. We had just spent a couple of hours at the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings, so almost all of us were nicely buzzed going into the movie. Except for me, I was the designated driver. So, maybe we enjoyed the movie more than we would normally. That doesn’t factor in my enjoyment due to complete sobriety. But, anyway, enough stalling.

Scientist Bruce Banner scours the planet for an antidote to the unbridled force of rage within him: the Hulk. But when the military masterminds who dream of exploiting his powers force him back to civilization, he finds himself coming face to face with a new, deadly foe.

I can see why a lot of people didn’t enjoy The Incredible Hulk. Technically, this was a reboot that worked also as a sequel, but was its own movie…stay with me, here. I liked the way they did a bit of a retro-summary of 2003’s The Hulk with the opening montage segment. The story itself was compelling, and for the most part kept my attention. It was maybe a bit early to wheel in The Abomination at this point in the game, and that’s probably what dragged the last third of the movie down. Liv Tyler seemed to play Banner’s love interest Betty Ross sans any kind of emotion. And while I kind of prefered Sam Eliott in the role of General Thunderbolt Ross from The Hulk, William Hurt does a rather good job in the role himself. Three times, so far.

Overall, yeah, I enjoyed The Incredible Hulk for what it is: a fun comic book action movies. Norton did a doable job as Bruce Banner, but I really am a Mark Ruffalo fan when it comes to live action portrayal of Dr. Bruce Banner. The Incredible Hulk isn’t a bad movie, and I would give it some repeat watchings if the opportunity arises, I’m just in no hurry to put it in my collection just yet.

Uncle NecRo Watches: VENOM

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UNCLE NECRO WATCHES
venom movie banner

I finally found time to take in the Venom movie, the one that stars Tom Hardy and definitely not that kid from That 70s Show. How does it hold up? I’m joined by my long-suffering movie watchin’ buddy Brian from the Will Code For Beer podcast, so listen in as we discuss not only the movie, but the several other bunny trails we wander down at Sean O’Casye’s…

necrosarx@gmail.com
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Movie Review: ANT MAN AND THE WASP

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ant man and the waspMarvel / Disney
2018
PG-13

“You can do it. You can do anything. You’re the world’s greatest grandma.”

The third Marvel-based movie for this year (I’m counting Deadpool 2, even though it wasn’t a Disney-generated Marvel movie), and this one is a sequel to 2015’s Ant Man.

While I surprisingly enjoyed the first Ant Man, it still was what you would call a stand-alone, almost filler type of movie that Marvel put out. And while the response was positive, and the inclusion of the character in Captain America: Civil War was supremely satisfying, the sequel wasn’t exactly something I was counting down the days to go watch. Still, I was looking forward to watching this with the Exalted Geeks. We did so on the Sunday after it opened, instead of the Saturday, which is our normal modus operandi for doing these; the reason being is that everyone was at the Shakespeare On The Green in Omaha that Saturday, so we just shifted to Sunday. Anyway…

After a flashback involving the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, getting lost into the Quantum Realm while taking down a nuclear missile, we come across the former second Ant Man, Scott Lang, having some bonding time with his daughter at his place of residence. He’s been on house arrest since the events in Captain America: Civil War, and is nearing the end of his sentence indoors. Then one afternoon, he has a dream where he was Janet van Dyne playing hide-and-seek with her daughter, and so he leaves a message on Hank Pym’s phone, which leads to Scott getting kidnapped by Pym and Hope van Dyne to help triangulate the location of Janet so they can mount a rescue mission. Only, there’s the issue of Scott’s house arrest and the possibility of him spending 20 more years in the slammer if he’s caught, as well as both a black market tech dealer and this phase-shifting thief that goes by Ghost that’s making things a bit more complicated with the rescue mission.

Ant Man And The Wasp was a very enjoyable movie, with the standard breathtaking action bits, some mind-blowing sequences in the Quantum Realm, and just the right amount of comedy mixed in at the right places. The scenes between Scott Lang and his daughter was touching and quite believable, with Scott trying to explain why doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when it seems his loved ones always get punished as well. The inclusion of Laurence Fishburne was fantastic, as he could fill the part of someone who would conceivably go toe-to-toe against the likes of Hank Pym. Of course, the best scene in the entire movie goes to the interrogation of Luis, a favorite of mine since the first Ant Man movie. Every scene he’s in is gold. Pure gold. He needs to be in the upcoming Avengers movie next May, if he wasn’t one of the casualties of Thanos’ elimination of half of the universe’s population, that is.

Overall, Ant Man And The Wasp was a highly enjoyable comic book action flick. It doesn’t add to the overall grand arc that Marvel has been building for the past ten years, but it’s a nice brick in the wall. Recommended for a matinée, at least.

Movie Review: DEADPOOL 2

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deadpool 220th Century Fox
2018
R

“You remind me of my wife.”
“I’m sorry.”
“I said you remind me…”
“No, I’m sorry that you said that while making heavy eye contact and applying lip balm.”

Whelp, I’m gonna call it. 2018 is the year for Marvel flicks. Whether the Disney movies, or the ones that are still owned by other studios, Marvel has been knocking ’em out of the park, there. Of course, one of the more highly anticipated Marvel movies this year was the sequel to 2016’s Deadpool, the surprise hit R-rated superhero movie that pretty much broke the mold when it came to the genre.

To say Deadpool 2 had a lot to live up to would be an hilarious understatement. The possibility for a sophomore slump was pretty strong. While the teaser trailers and online promos promised more of the same (and then some), and the plot utilizing not only X-Men fan-favorite Cable, but X-Force as well to up the ante, I was still a bit cautious when I finally sat myself down in my theater seat with the rest of the exalted geeks. The memory of the awesomeness of the first Deadpool movie alone was fueling my anticipation. Will Deadpool 2 be just as awesome? Or will it pratfall harder than the Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Probably not, but weirder disappointments have happened.

Suffice to say, Deadpool 2 did not disappoint. Was it as good as, or better than, the first Deadpool? We’ll get to that. But first, the Obligatory Rundown (there may be spoilers, so keep that in mind while I write from the hip, here):

We begin with Deadpool blowing himself up. We then are treated to a flashback to explain why he decided to off himself at the beginning of his own movie (hint: It involves the sudden death of a loved one that even the movie’s opening credits couldn’t believe just happened). But, since he’s Deadpool and has a crazy insane healing factor, his bits and pieces are…rescued? by Colossus, and he’s pieced back together in the X-Men Mansion. Colossus convinces Deadpool to finally join up with the X-Men, and is taken with him and Negasonic Teenage Wowthisisthelongestsuperheronameever to an incident involving a young mutant with fireball powers outside of another mutant hospital being run by a “doctor” who tortures young mutants to “cure” them. After deciding that the PG-13 route wasn’t for him, Deadpool manages to get himself and the young firestarter thrown into what is called the “icebox”, where some of the most dangerous mutants are imprisoned, their powers nullified by a special collar. This means that Deadpool’s healing factor is no longer a thing, and his cancer is coming back full force. But, due to a sudden surprise infiltration by a time-traveling super soldier named Cable, Deadpool gets his collar off and escapes, leaving the younger boy in there being hunted by Cable. Convicted to protect the boy, Deadpool forms a team of his own — X-Force — and during the transport of all the Icebox prisoners to a new location, most of the team is massacred by accident, save for the spunky young Domino, who stops Cable from killing the boy, but ends up releasing the Juggernaut in the process. The boy and Juggernaut head out to deal some pain to the guy who tortured him, which leads to Deadpool teaming up with Cable to try and talk him out of it without killing the boy. Things go boom. I’m just going to leave it there.

I’ll just come out and say it: Deadpool 2 was awesome. Though one could argue that the story beats in Deadpool 2 would be the anti-Logan from a couple of years ago, what with the protecting a child from a killer threat with some robotic implants, that still doesn’t distract from the fact that this movie maintains the quality of hilarity and action of the first one, gleefully subverting tropes, deftly dealing with the drama and seriousness with brazenly juvenile style. The movie starts off with a literal bang, and keeps that tone and pace up throughout, not so much breaking the fourth wall as demolishing it completely, with the jokes and action equally rapid-fire. The interaction between him and Cable is fantastic, and I kind of wish there was more between them. Domino was an interesting character herself; I’m not familiar with the source character, as I’m not what you would call an X-Men fan in that media. Of course, the best part of the movie is the mid-credit scene that you need to stay for. It’s the best one of all the Marvel movie mid-credit scenes going. Trust me, this will make you beyond giddy.

So, what I’m trying to say is, Deadpool 2 is awesome. I already said that once (see: Previous Paragraph), but it’s worth repeating as many times as possible. If you liked the first Deadpool, you’re gonna like Deadpool 2. That’s all. Go catch it while it’s in the theaters.

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