Tag Archives: Marvel

“Deadpool” is fun and clever enough, and that’s good enough for me

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20th Century Fox

“Deadpool” is the biggest movie in America right now, and it’s not even a fair fight.

It now holds the record for highest opening for an R-rated movie of all time. Oh, “Deadpool” is rated R? “Deadpool” is a superhero movie? You don’t say. “Deadpool” is one of the most hyped movies of the year that happened to come out during February, where movies tend to go to die.

Hey, it turns out this one isn’t so bad. But, is it great?

For the past few days a lot of people have asked me if they should see “Deadpool.” When answering the daunting question of “how was it?” my answer has been, “it’s fun enough.” “Deadpool” does just enough to be a good movie. It tries really hard, and I appreciate that. As somebody who tries really hard but doesn’t always get the best results, I respect and appreciate effort. Hell, give “Deadpool” the Superhero Movie Participation Ribbon it deserves!

One thing you can’t call “Deadpool” is empty. There is a surprising amount to unpack here. There is bad, and there is good.

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Nostalgia Awakens: Star Wars, Jurassic World

In this week’s episode, Tom Hanks Expert Ryan Little joins me to talk about the trailers for The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, amongst many other things. Plus, we try and figure out who should write and perform the next James Bond theme song.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. You can download all older episodes there as well. Keep it reel.

Ten Movie Themed College Courses That Should Exist


Scandinavian Studies 101 (Left) and American History From WWII-Present (Right). Image via Hollywood Reporter

Earlier today, news got out that a new course is being taught at University of Baltimore which centers around Marvel movies. It was hailed as the first of its kind, unless you count the Marvel class taught by my friend (Professor of Comics on the podcast) at Syracuse last year. I get it, once Upstate New York gets a show as good as The Wire made about it, then people will remember it exists.

As somebody who mainly occupied the communications and liberal arts buildings, I have taken some odd college courses. I once took a philosophy class where two people argued whether or not a cat had a tail or not for 45 minutes. For some reason, I never dropped it.

Besides that, I typically liked the classes that some might consider “BS.” I liked to learn about history and even write an essay. One of the best classes I took in college was about horror movies. Now, I’m a horror convert.

Making a class about blockbusters might seem odd, but Marvel has such a big impact on modern movies that it’s about time we got past the spandex and Stan Lee cameos and tried to figure it all out. This inspired me. I decided to think about some other film-related courses I would like colleges to adopt.

So without further adieu, here are some movie themed college courses that should exist:

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Top 10: Movies Based On Comic Books



The comic book movie is alive and well, and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

For a bit of time, I tried to resist it. Maybe I just wasn’t used to living in a world where it was cool to like comics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As long as knowing the score to the Giant game isn’t a necessary element of small talk, I can get used to this new world order.

It makes sense why Hollywood would want to adapt graphic novels and comic books onto the big screen. After all, comic books are kind of like storyboards but with a lot more onomatopoeias. Today’s breed of comic book movies go well beyond superheroes. There’s anti-heroes, talking trees, and even Canadians.

Comic book movies have become a genre of their own, albeit one that encompasses many other sub-genres. With Guardians of the Galaxy out this week, shattering box office records and bridging the divide between fan boys and critics, it is as good a time as ever to celebrate comics. I have dabbled in reading comics, but my knowledge of them comes more from film. Here are the rules in order to be qualified for this list:

1. Must be adapted from either a comic book or graphic novel.

2. Either it is the best possible representation of a comic book on the screen, or it does something completely unprecedented with the format.

3. It is just plain f***ing awesome.

4. It does not star Ben Affleck. Sorry, buddy.

Read my complete list below:

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Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy


Guardians of the Galaxy marks the first time in a long time in which I was actively rooting for the arrival of another Marvel feature. That might have just been from the odd sight of a raccoon and a tree interacting with one another. Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest film to come out of the Marvel Universe, and it almost feels like they hit the restart button with this one, and got nearly perfect results.

I had an inkling, which turned out to be very wrong, that Guardians of the Galaxy might completely reinvent both superhero and action movies. I was wrong. Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t reinvent any genre, and it doesn’t even try to do so. Guardians of the Galaxy is a product of Marvel, yet it also bears director James Gunn’s incredibly original voice. James Gunn worked the system: he made a fun summer blockbuster that also happens to be an auteur piece.

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The Reel Deal Podcast

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Episode 9: In this week’s episode, Mike Rogers joins Ian and Cassie to review X-Men Days of Future Past. Plus, we talk about what Edgar Wright’s departure from Ant-Man means for writers everywhere, and then we play the True Detective game.

Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past


Professor X, or rejected member of Creedence Clearwater Revival? Image via Total Film

“Must be some kind of…hot tub time machine.”

Most prequels are not necessary, because a lot of stories are a lot better if you know a lot less about the characters and the world. As Patton Oswalt said, “I don’t want to know where the stuff I love comes from. I want to love the stuff that I love.”

Enter X-Men: Days of Future Past, a cross between a sequel and a prequel that justifies its existence by being the most consistently entertaining blockbuster released so far this summer. It succeeds in bringing back the feel of the original X-Men movies while expanding the universe greatly. I have always been a big fan of X-Men, partly because its built-in allegory works so well. It is one of the darkest of all superhero stories yet as a movie franchise, it does not try too hard to be gritty.

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Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2


“And that’s why you always leave a note!” Image via Digital Spy

Oh Spider-Man, why do you always play with my emotions like this?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a movie that didn’t need to exist, given that a perfect Spider-Man sequel already exists. Yet, here it is. While it is here, it might as well be loud, proud, and filled with search engine product placement.

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Five Most Anticipated Summer Movies


Round up the usual suspects! Image via Paste Magazine

Just like March, summer goes in like a lion (whatever giant franchise offering Disney has to offer in June) and out like a very wimpy lamb (whatever Paranormal Activity spin-off is lated for release in the last week of August).

It would be unfair to immediately dismiss this summer’s entire lineup just because it doesn’t contain many original ideas. For now, originality is dead in Hollywood. That is a well researched fact, just like the how dogs are better than cats and Jaden Smith is terrible at grammar. Instead of rejecting it, it is better for a cinephile’s psyche to find the silver linings.

While there will still be plenty of sequels, prequels, remakes, and adaptations this summer, some of the worst qualities of modern Hollywood are starting to go the way of the dinosaurs and M. Night Shyamalan. For instance, this summer will give us a few major blockbusters that don’t hit the three hour mark, as well as a worldview that is more fun than gritty. Gritty is for Oscar season. Summer is for fun. Smart fun, if that is in anyway possible.

Here are the five movies coming out in the summer of 2014 that I look forward to the most:

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Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier


A man and a woman as partners? In a movie? Do you think there’ll be sexual tension between them? Image via Business Insider

The differences between Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the latest Captain America installment, shows how much the Marvel Universe has changed and expanded in just three years.

The Winter Solider happens to combine both the worlds of Captain America and The Avengers: half of it is a promotion for a bunch of Marvel stories that I have little interest in, and the other half is a Captain America movie. Leave it to Disney to replace traditional product placement with promotion of their own products.

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