The MCU Ranked, and Slightly Updated

Dave messaged me last week wanting to know if I’d be ready for an Endgame podcast by Sunday. I won’t. Given the hype, anticipation, and number of people that I know who’ve already bought tickets I can only imagine how crowded every single showing will be for opening weekend. My love of The Avengers will not win out over my hatred of seeing movies in a sold out theater. Anything over half full gives me anxiety these days. I’ll see it sometime next week when I’m off early on a weekday, and can get in while most everyone else is still at work. During these messages Dave also mentioned that he was doing an MCU ranker for the site this week, and asked me to do one too. As luck would have it I did the one below last year for the old site. Obviously he hasn’t memorized every single article I’ve ever written. What a jerk. And then he ended up not even doing the ranker he set out to do. Anyway, besides cleaning up the formatting I left everything pretty much as it was when I first wrote it. I could go back and start over-thinking things, but why? I did add Ant-Man and the Wasp, but you’ll notice that Captain Marvel isn’t here. The lame answer is that I just haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet. My life has been busy and complicated so far this year, and I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I also don’t understand having two Marvel movies in theaters at the same time. I’d have been a lot happier to see this one at home a few times before going to see Endgame. So I’ll probably see Endgame twice before I see Captain Marvel, but I will see it. Continue reading “The MCU Ranked, and Slightly Updated”

Independence Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe

I’m going to try to do something a little different today.

Before we get any further – comment below with the MCU movie that you think stands alone most successfully. There are plenty of answers with all kinds of justification; I’m just curious to see what you think.

With Avengers: Endgame imminent, my plan had been to rewatch the preceding MCU movies and write a fresh piece ranking them. Thanks to work and other stuff I only made it to Thor: The Dark World before I had to sit down to put this post together.

Hopefully we’ll get to Age of Ultron and Infinity War again before we see Endgame, but I’m not gonna hold my breath. It’s okay. I know these movies fairly well by now; or at least, I hope I do. Today’s post relies on my familiarity. Continue reading “Independence Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe”

Movie Review – 10 Thoughts About Pet Sematary (2019)

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR PARAMOUNT PICTURES’ NEW FILM PET SEMATARY

Stephen King is pretty hot stuff right now.

Or at least, adaptations of his work are hot stuff.

Heck, even re-adaptations of his work generate a lot of buzz, as was the case with this new Pet Sematary.

I think that it’s generally agreed upon by Stephen King fans that Pet Sematary is his darkest, most unsettling novel. I read it when I was too young to read it and no matter how effective any on-screen portrayal of Zelda is, it will never equal the horror of King’s written words. Nor will any actor ever be able to sufficiently capture the torture that Louis Creed feels, if only because we’ll never experience the character’s thoughts the same way in a film.

1989 saw the release of the first film adaptation of Pet Sematary. It was a blockbuster. Back then I loved it and so did pretty much everybody else. I think we all sort of knew that the acting wasn’t great, but something about it seemed very mature and cool – it was a kind of darkness that we weren’t seeing too often. I also seem to remember it being everywhere. Paramount might have put a little extra push into the marketing, possibly because we were entering into the Summer of the Bat, a phenomenon that would conquer movie theaters and public consciousness for basically the rest of the year.

I was disappointed a few years ago when I realized that the 1989 Pet Sematary isn’t very good. It’s fine by 80s-era mid-grade horror standards and is even a standout among King adaptations, but the acting is bad almost across the board and the direction is clunky.

This made me excited for a new adaptation made to today’s standards.

People often parrot the terms “Is this necessary?” and “Who asked for this?” as an empty-headed way of dismissing remakes, prequels, sequels, and basically anything that they think they can get internet credibility out of criticizing. These are simple-minded, myopic queries that require more thought to answer than to pose (as is the intent), but in the case of 2019’s Pet Sematary the easy answers are “Yes” and “People who love that book and recognize the failure of the 1989 movie”.

Did directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer and their cast and crew succeed in delivering a worthy horror experience or will we be waiting thirty more years for a satisfying adaptation of the Creed family tragedy? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 10 Thoughts About Pet Sematary (2019)”

Movie Review – 7 Thoughts About Shazam!

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ NEW FILM SHAZAM!

Plenty has been said about Warner Bros.’ DC movies over the past six years since Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel kicked off a planned connected universe of films. I’m not going to rehash any of it here other than to say most of the movies were not done the way I would have done them, but that I have enjoyed all of them to one degree or another.

Shazam! is part of a new initiative to release movies that aren’t quite so grim and miserable and visually oppressive. As a matter of fact, the trailers for Shazam! made it look like a straight-up comedy. After the swashbuckling action of Aquaman it looked like WB was really trying to do different things with their beloved and potentially lucrative DC Comics characters.

The superhero now known as Shazam was called Captain Marvel for years. I don’t know the whole story behind this, but I’m sure you can Google it. I spent most of my life thinking he was called Shazam. Given that, you can probably guess that he isn’t really one of my guys.

Regardless of my level of familiarity with Captain Shazamvel, I do have a tendency to get excited about superhero movies. And because of what’s been going on with the DC movies I have a particular interest in seeing just what the heck they’re doing at any given time. Switching gears and producing what seemed to be a superhero version of Big was a bold move, and possibly a brilliant one.

Last Thursday night I took the family to the local Regal RPX – which, by the way, is now my favorite format for seeing movies – to see this newest entry into the DC Extended Universe. Was it what we expected and will it carry on the successful trend set by Aquaman? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 7 Thoughts About Shazam!”

Repost: Movie Review – STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN In Hunt to Kill

Originally posted on the old Needless Things in August of 2011

I want to tell you about this amazing movie I watched Monday morning. But I’m going to have to resort to spoilers to do it justice, so don’t read this if you don’t want the magic of STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN in Hunt To Kill ruined for you. Just go to Comcast’s OnDemand service and watch it right now. Continue reading “Repost: Movie Review – STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN In Hunt to Kill”

Movie Review – 16 Thoughts About Captain Marvel

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR DISNEY’S NEW FILM CAPTAIN MARVEL

SPECIAL ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER – I went in to this movie purely as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Aside from what I’ve absorbed as a regular comic book reader over the years, this Captain Marvel, the Kree, Skrulls, and… the other major alien species… aren’t my area of expertise.

Captain Marvel is kind of a big deal.

Not only is its hero, Carol Danvers, being positioned as a major part of the future of the multi-billion dollar MCU franchise, the film itself is serving as something of a bridge between the finality of Avengers: Infinity War and the impending rebirth that the upcoming Endgame represents.

Additionally, it has the cultural weight of being the MCU’s first female-led film. There is a lot of baggage that goes along with this. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, but all of it is irrelevant to whether or not this is a good movie. Hopefully most of you know me well enough by now to know that that’s all I care about. I won’t be getting into any of the issues that simple-minded morons might have with Brie Larson or with shitbag websites that use exploitative headlines to generate pageviews with no regard for facts or nuance.

So with all of that being said, was Captain Marvel a good movie? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 16 Thoughts About Captain Marvel”

Movie Review – 14 Thoughts About The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ NEW FILM THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

My whole family loved The LEGO Movie.

It looked amazing, the story was fantastic, and all of those pop culture icons crossing over with each other was mind-blowing. We’ve watched it several times, we bought the sets, and we played the video game. That movie wildly exceeded our expectations, but it wasn’t just because it was better than it had any right to be, it was because it’s a legitimately great movie.

That was five years ago.

My son is eleven now and, like many formerly favorite toy lines (RIP Imaginext), LEGO isn’t on his radar like it used to be. He was still excited about the movie and the tie-in video game, but our level of immersion into the worlds of LEGO just isn’t what it was in 2014. As a result I haven’t really been as excited about this sequel. Watching your children grow up is wonderful but also brutal, and each passing day brings more reminders that things will never be the way they were.

In short, everything is not awesome.

Another factor in my lack of excitement for The LEGO Movie 2 is that sequels to family films tend to not be very good. The decline in quality is typically pretty severe, even more so than other types of films. On top of that I didn’t particularly love The LEGO  Batman Movie and I thought The LEGO Ninjago Movie was absolutely terrible.

I still had hope for this sequel – after all, the writers of the original movie were back where they belonged – but I can’t say I was genuinely excited beyond the fact that I knew we were going to see it as a family. And family events are always something I look forward to.

Did Phil Lord and Christopher Miller bring it once again? Was it even possible for this sequel to live up to the excellent standard set by the original? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 14 Thoughts About The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”