It’s that time of year, the time where we rush out to buy presents for our loved ones for Christmas, or Hanukah, or Kwanzaa, or Festivus. Or whatever you celebrate. To ease the troubles of looking for something special for that nephew you’ve only met two times in the last ten years, but know he likes movies… we have suggestions for you!
Despite Thor, The God of Thunder being one of Marvel’s most iconic characters and virtual co-founder of The Avengers, making him a compelling action hero has been a tough task. Even with some great directors and sleek scripting, “Thor” hasn’t quite been as exciting as Iron Man or Captain America. He’s barely risen to the Hulk who, so far, has only had one movie and a hand full of appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With “Thor: Ragnarok,” Marvel has reached the point where audiences are familiar enough with the character that they can begin to change his identity a bit. In the end, he’s still Thor, the God of Thunder, but he also comes in touch with his god like abilities when he allows himself to embrace humility once and for all.
You can’t get anymore Halloween than teaming up Marvel’s monstrous Hulk alongside the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange. On Halloween Night, demons begin wreaking havoc in New York City, prompting Doctor Strange to do everything he can to slay them and bring them in to his holding cell in his temple. Thankfully he calls upon the Incredible Hulk to help him, and Hulk is more than happy to oblige in stomping some demons. Little does Hulk know that the demons are manifestations of human victims that are being held hostage by the villainous Nightmare who has kept them held in their own dream plains. Strange ventures in to the dream dimension to save Bruce Banner when Nightmare begins using the Hulk to hurt Strange.
The 1978 TV movie “Dr. Strange” is one of the many failed pilots for a potential series based on a Marvel comic. This is yet another of the many seventies pilot movies that didn’t just misunderstand the source material, but didn’t have enough of a budget to realize the concept of its characters. Dr. Strange is a man who battles demons and monsters, and uses his will to use magic. “Dr. Strange” looks like a supernatural version of “Quincy M.E,” following a Dr. Stephen Strange as he focuses his efforts on troubled patients in his hospital while accidentally entering in to the magical arts. The movie even goes so far as setting up the entire series with the beautiful Jessica Walter as the series’ primary antagonist, but the storyline is a big hint at a sequel that would never come. It’s probably a good thing since the pilot movie is ninety minutes and we only get to see Dr. Strange in full garb in the final half hour.
Every fanboy and fangirl on the internet are buzzing about Batman fighting Superman and will soon be bickering about Team Captain America fighting Team Iron Man in “Civil War.” Personally, I love and hate it. I love it because it proves that these characters are still very important and relevant and I hate it because some people are taking the debate too far. Seriously, stop harassing people simply because they share a different opinion. No one deserves to die simply because they really disliked a movie about an alien fighting a man dressed as a bat. I’ve been a Superman fanatic since I was eight, and I’m not about to send Zack Snyder a letter bomb for treating Superman poorly. The mainstream still thinks we’re all angry virgin boys hiding in our parents’ dark basements, and wanking off to “Star Trek” erotica.
Don’t perpetuate the stereotype, please. Remember: It’s all bullshit and it’s bad for you.
“Ant Man” seems like a stand alone superhero effort at first, but it fits comfortably in the pegs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also introduces us to a wonderful superhero who, by all logic, should not have translated in to such a great film. Surely enough, with a script by Edgar Wright (and various others) and an excellent cast (including a welcome Hispanic presence), “Ant Man” is one of the best adaptations of Marvel’s Phase Two in their Cinematic Universe. Like every hero in the Marvel Universe, “Ant-Man” is just an average man thrust in to great circumstances, and he has to earn his stripes as a crime fighter while overcoming his own flaws and insecurities.
With “Age of Ultron,” Marvel and Joss Whedon essentially pave the way for a series of films that will make “The Avengers” the enduring franchise that fans have always wanted. It’s made abundantly clear that not only is the movie series here to stay, but we can expect a roster of rotating superheroes in the future that will create new conflicts and brand new dynamics. While “Age of Ultron” sags in certain places, it’s a superior follow up to “The Avengers” which was much more simplistic and aimed more to establish the crossover. “Age of Ultron” garners higher aspirations, constructing new story lines and setting up foreshadowing for future films. It also greatly raises the stakes for our team of flawed superheroes, all of whom are still learning to work as a unit. Set almost immediately after “Iron Man 3,” and “Winter Soldier,” we meet the Avengers, all of whom are back in combat fighting Hydra and taking on the elusive corporation’s hideout.
There’s always been something about me and underdogs. I love rooting for the underdogs. Even as a kid who loved comic books, while my friends were buying Punisher, Wolverine, and Batman, I was spending my time on Darkhawk, War Machine, Night Thrasher and Superman. The last character is iconic and a household name, sure, but he wasn’t in regular circulation in my circle of friends that collected comic books. It’s been hell being a fan of “Daredevil” for many years without proper justice paid to him. Surely, Frank Miller did an amazing job with him for a few years, but watching other characters get big screen treatments while Daredevil literally got short handed was irritating.