My Life in Spider-Man Movies

The brilliant new podcast Pods & Ends – “the junk drawer of pop culture” – asked me to write a piece for them about Spider-Man movies.  Hot dog!  I excitedly agreed and I think you should excitedly read this.  In the post, I reflect nostaligically on everything from this Spidey movie whose name I cannot find no matter how hard I try from the ’80s up to and including the MIND-BLOWINGLY AMAZING Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  I was honored to write for this great show and would love you to check it out.

You can listen to Pods & Ends here and you should also follow them on Twitter @pne_pod because they are way awesome people. Continue reading

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Well, I’ll Say It…Venom Was A Pleasant Surprise

I wasn’t planning on writing tonight.  But I saw Venom and, after being pretty open about how awkward I thought the movie would be in presenting a Spider-Man-less Venom, I felt I had to write something.  Why?  Because I was wrong.  I thought this film was going to be a rushed, convoluted mess and it wasn’t.  Now, it didn’t redefine the genre like Wonder Woman nor did it fully embrace the idea of the antihero in the way Deadpool did.  But it was an enjoyable night at the movies and with it currently sitting at a 29% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I wanted to take a few moments to write a short, spoiler-free reflection on why Venom was better than I thought it’d be. Continue reading

Can the MCU Become Too Interconnected?

Okay, I know this seems ridiculous.  How can I be worried about this?  How can I even introduce it as a topic of conversation??  The interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was historic.  When The Avengers came out in 2012 we’d never seen anything like it before.  Iron Man!  Black Widow!  Thor!  Hawkeye!  Captain America!  The Hulk!  Nick Fury!  Maria Hill!  Erik Selvig!  Pepper Pots!  Loki!  They were all together telling the same story which flowed out of their solo films.  It’s funny to think how we’ve come to take this for granted over the last eight years.  But Marvel Studios changed the game forever with the MCU.  It’s why Warner Bros. and DC have been rushing their interconnected DCEU.  It’s why Sony won’t let go of their painfully dumb idea for a Spidey villains universe of movies.  It’s why Universal wants a Monster Universe even if it keeps fumbling.  Heck, as Jeff told me, there’s even talk of a Dwayne the Rock Johnson Universe.  But…can it become too much? Continue reading

Growing Up with the MCU: Further Reflections on Avengers: Infinity War

When David and I saw Avengers: Infinity War for the first time opening night, a lot of thoughts ran through my mind.  I wrote about many of them that weekend.  While I grant it was an ambitious event and it certainly stayed true to how a large comic book crossover works in comic books, I wasn’t impressed with how it worked as a film.  I said then and still believe now it’s one of the weakest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far.  My initial/lasting disappointments aside, I was struck by something I saw in the theatre as the climax of the film was unfolding.  I noticed an inherent power in the film, even if it was a power unable to affect me.

As should be obvious, THIS WILL BE FILLED WITH ALL SORTS OF SPOILERS SO DON’T READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR YET.  OKAY?!? Continue reading

A Mouthful Of Wade Wilson: Lots To Say About Deadpool 2!

With the arrival of Ryan Reynolds second outing as the Merc with a Mouth in theatres this weekend, everyone obviously has Deadpool on the brain (and what a weird, wild, wonderful experience that is).  As I’m no exception, I figured it’s time to talk about Deadpool 2!  I mean, why not, right?  What really makes Deadpool 2 so exceptional is how it gives us everything we love about Wade Wilson while taking the story in a brand-new direction.  It also adds all sorts of new characters, characters who will surely have a lasting impact on Mr. Pool’s future.  While I’ll discuss character outlines and sketch out the plot in general below, NO MAJOR SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.  Coolio?  Coolio. Continue reading

MCU Phase Four? Bring on Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight!!

As we get closer and closer to Phase Four, there’s more and more speculation about what the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will look like. I spend a lot (but not like an unhealthy amount) of time thinking about it.  Heck, I wrote a post about it a month or so ago.  Kevin Feige has said Phase Four will be, “completely different from anything that’s come before—intentionally.” Then, a few weeks ago, Marvel revealed they have six untitled film projects coming out for 2021 and 2022.  It would appear I have more to say as I dream about my perfect choices to fill those slots.  This time I’m talking about a Captain Marvel/Alpha Flight film (or films!) set in space. Continue reading

Will the MCU and Marvel Television Just Break-Up Already?

“There are two dates at the end of every relationship, the day you should have broken up and the day you actually do.”  This brilliant wisdom was offered by a lifelong friend of mine back when we were in college and Lauren was absolutely right.  Everyone has known couples that should have broken up but, for whatever reason, are still ambling along…making life rough for each other and super awkward for everyone who knows them.  There is no couple I can think of more in need of accepting reality, admitting their relationship is broken beyond repair and just moving on than the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Television. Continue reading