1. EDITORIAL: Why DC Comics’s big move into television is so misguided:

    I watched “Smallville” for about five years, and I saw all 10 seasons and owned all the DVDs. Sure it had its creative struggles, and the CGI effects still took a while to catch up, but above all, it was a different time.
    There were far fewer superhero films at the initial premiere of this series in the Fall 2001 TV season. Superman hadn’t been seen on the big screen since “Superman IV: The Quest For Peace,” and hadn’t been seen in a live action television project since “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
    It could hold its own. The only other DC television project attempted was the 2002 flop “Birds of Prey,” also held back by its modest television budget. “Smallville” worked, and the WB (but mostly the CW) milked it the best it could. And who can forget the failed “Aquaman” (2006) and “Wonder Woman” (2011) pilots?
    Fast forward to today—“Smallville” ended on a semi-satisfactory note. “Arrow” was the first successful spin-off series (most people don’t consider “Human Target,” a highly underrated 2 season DC show, a genuine comic book series). “Arrow” has now managed 3 seasons.
    Marvel had mild success with 2001-2004’s “Mutant X” and Spike’s “Blade: The Series” (also highly underrated and sadly cut short) in 2006, but they had huge success with their films slate.
    But everything changed when, in 2013, Marvel Studios tied their Marvel Cinematic Universe (read: “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”) to “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” When that happened, television was now held to the same cinematic standards as its MCU’s predecessors. The events that occurred in the films had an impact on the storylines of the television series. Characters in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” could/would later be seen in the MCU, maybe even played by the same characters (Agent Coulson is the most obvious example). Nothing is considered expendable, and Marvel has proven themselves in meeting the challenge of such an undertaking.
    Joining this ambitious storytelling slate on the small screen is “Agent Carter,” “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” and “The Defenders,” all playing by the same rules. The part that is most exciting for fans is that nothing that occurs in these series is expendable. We won’t watch the new “Daredevil” series and think “yeah that’s great, but I wish I could get a movie! I don’t care to watch this small screen actor. I doubt it’ll look any good on a small budget.” They picked big screen actors for the parts, so they can hold their own in the hypothetical future when Daredevil may stumble across Iron Man or (gods be praised) Black Widow on the big screen. In fact, it allows you to grow a genuine attachment to each series for those reasons alone. The potential, whether it’s marketing, storytelling, or fanboy geeking, is limitless.
    Now let’s return to DC Comics. Right now, before any new shows air in the Fall 2014 season, they just have “Arrow.” Since Green Arrow only took a supporting role in “Smallville,” it didn’t take much to move above and beyond that to deliver on the character’s name.
    However, DC Comics saw what Marvel is doing, and think they can imitate. And, as always, it’s a very hollow imitation.
    “Gotham” is the big one people can genuinely look forward to. As it is a prequel, people are not concerned about continuity, but rather are intrigued by the possibilities of this loose interpretation. Everyone knows Gotham City. Everyone knows Commissioner Gordon, Batman, Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, Poison Ivy. They don’t take this quite so seriously as to “where is it going to go?” They know where it will go. That’s why just tagging along for the ride is all that’s required of it.
    However, on the other hand, we also have “The Flash,” “Constantine,” “iZombie,” “Supergirl,” “Teen Titans,” “Preacher,” “Lucifer” and others either ready to premiere this season or in very active, headline grabbing development (my, how aggressive).
    But the world needs re-introduced to all of these. And if their success leads to feature films, they’re not held to using the same actors or even characters to try and wedge it into their “barely there” DCMU (DC Movie Universe…yeah, they call theirs a Universe too, when it’s just “Man of Steel” that qualifies for that label currently, until 2016).
    This “Flash” series looks hammed up and B-level (special effects wise, how can they top “X-Men: Days of Future Past’s” 48fps Quicksilver?). “Constantine” looks cool, but unless Guillermo Del Toro commits to using the lead actor Matt Ryan in his “Justice League Dark” film, it will be second tier nonetheless (especially if they go R-Rated for film). “Supergirl” and “Teen Titans” have the same problems—they’re expendable if the characters’ futures are on the big screen…which is basically what the DCMU is trying to do by exponentially expanding their movie slate recently through to 2020. The DCMU will go on and ignore most things in their television projects (the showrunners like to call this “creative freedom”).
    So why then should we bother to get attached to anything going on in these series when a better actor will take on the role on the big screen in just a couple years? (Seriously, how long do you think it will take Warner Bros. to pump a “Flash” film out of their corporate machine? 2017? 2018?) Or watch the exact same origin, villain, and romance storylines rehashed even better in a few years? Or even for some of the format’s problems to get fixed (think Constantine’s smoking, or the Flash’s limited small screen effects)? They make themselves almost instantaneously irrelevant and are causing themselves convolution from the get-go (executive: “okay, so this series ties into the DCMU, but this one doesn’t? You’re starting to confuse even me.”). And let’s not forget that as Marvel announces Charlie Cox, Adrian Pasdar, Kyle MacLachlan, Adrianne Palicki, James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Scott Glenn for their small screen slate, DC has been announcing…*flies buzzing, crickets chirping* and yet they still announce them as some one-episode guest one-shot supervillain cameo nonetheless, as if it were news that these characters would appear in a small capacity in a forgettable role in an expendable television show. Trust me, I see one or two of these announcements from DC on Twitter per week. I roll my eyes. One such announcement: “Amanda Pays will reprise her “Flash” role as Dr. Tina McGee from the 1990s “Flash” television series!” I’m like “okay, so does that mean they just like her for the role, or are they trying to imply multi-generational superheroes like Nite Owl and Nite Owl II, or Silk Spectre and Silk Spectre II (nothing that smart, I’m sure)?” I feel nothing, I care very little. In the larger scheme of things, even the idea/premise isn’t very entertaining. It doesn’t grab itself as a marketing opportunity, or seem like there’s a larger scheme at work.
    Yet when James D’Arcy was recently announced to be playing Edwin Jarvis in “Agent Carter,” my eyes lit up with wonder at the potential and possibilities: “Jarvis! The basis of Tony Stark’s digital butler! In the post-WWII MCU! How will D’Arcy portray that? What does he do to prove himself worthy as the basis of Tony’s (and presumably Howard Stark’s) robotic Jarvis? What does he contribute to the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D.? And how will this tie into “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” in May?”
    Marvel Studios solved all of this with their first official series a year ago. DC Comics, you’re just now starting to bury yourself under yesterday’s creative troubles. And it’s already too late to fix it.

     

  2. Marvel Movies:

    I started keeping this list years ago, and it has a lot of nostalgia for me. I figured I would go ahead and share it here. Notice the exponential growth of production on Marvel films ever since “Iron Man” was a hit back in ‘08.

    Also, I’ve only listed 1997+ because the production value was noticeably increased with “Blade,” then “X-Men,” then the rest was history. Before then, there was Roger Corman’s 1994 “The Fantastic Four,” or “Howard the Duck,” or those “Captain America” movies, or that skull-less Punisher movie with Dolph Lundgren. They get obscure. They aren’t enjoyable (though I personally enjoyed that 1988 Punisher).

    1. Men in Black (1997) (not included in Marvel Universe, though property owned by Marvel Comics)
    2. Blade (1998)
    3. X-Men (2000)
    4. Blade II (2002)
    5. Spider-Man (2002)
    6. Men in Black II (2002) (not in Marvel Univ.)
    7. Daredevil (2003)
    8. X2: X-Men United (2003)
    9. Hulk (2003)
    10. The Punisher (2004)
    11. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    12. Blade Trinity (2004)
    13. Elektra (2005)
    14. Fantastic 4 (2005)
    15. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
    16. Ghost Rider (2007)
    17. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
    18. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
    19. Iron Man (2008)
    20. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
    21. The Punisher: War Zone (2008)
    22. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
    23. Kick-Ass (2010) (not a part of Marvel Universe; original comic produced by Marvel imprint)
    24. Iron Man 2 (2010)
    25. Thor (2011)
    26. X-Men: First Class (2011)
    27. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    28. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)
    29. The Avengers (2012)
    30. Men in Black 3 (2012) (not in Marvel Univ.)
    31. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
    32. Iron Man 3 (2013)
    33. The Wolverine (2013)
    34. Kick-Ass 2 (2013) (not in Marvel Univ.)
    35. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    36. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
    37. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
    38. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
    39. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    40. Big Hero 6 (2014)
    41. The Fantastic Four reboot (2015)
    42. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
    43. Ant-Man (2015)
    44. Untitled Marvel Studios movie (2016)
    45. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (2016)
    46. Untitled Marvel Studios movie (2016)
    47. Untitled Marvel Studios movie (2017)
    48. The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (2018)

    Jesus there’s 48 of them…I’m upgrading to Blu-Ray 3D now for the 2011+ films. Otherwise, I’ve collected most of these. I also collect the director’s cuts…there are five separately packaged director’s cuts.

    Also realize: this is just the beginning.

     

  3. Movies I watched, March 2013 (Part III):

    A couple of days late, so what.

    I’ve been on vacation.

    I finished “American Horror Story: Asylum,” which was an improvement on the first season. Also, been working on “Walking Dead,” but after a while I got jaded on it. Gotta jump back into that soon.

    1. Blade Runner" 7.25/10 [Eh. I had the same issue with "Scarface": broody neon lights, steam, and grunge don’t instantly make a classic. And just because you display a little Phillip K. Dick sci-fi philosophy doesn’t mean your movie is automatically profound. Really, people expected more out of Ridley Scott for "Prometheus" because of this movie? “Prometheus” had more in it than this movie, for sure. It was also more damn fun.]
    2. Take Shelter" 7.5/10 [Yeah, I can dig. Michael Shannon did a terrific job. Jessica Chastain? Perfection de ultimita, as per usual. The film really holds on the unfantastical in order to build its story. As long as you’re seeking a well-performed family drama with potential mental illness as a main subject, this will do just fine.]
    3. Bridget Jones’s Diary" 7/10 [Eh. It’s pretty much what I expected it to be, this being the first official time I’ve ever seen this movie. Zellweger is lovable, Grant is a tool, and Firth is a nice guy. For happy ending’s sake, she ends up with the nice guy. …and? Well, along the way she builds up her character from nothing. And it’s occasionally funny or frank, relationship-wise.]
    4. The Queen" 7.75/10 [Helen Mirren did fantastic, sure. But this film got a lot of unnecessary Oscar buzz resulting from that, including a Best Picture nom (personally, I’d have given the Oscar to Kate Winslet that year for "Little Children," but I’m partial to that gem). Ultimately, Michael Sheen is the standout as Tony Blair, but Helen must upstage him so her authority clearly stands high. She generally succeeds, and it’s a wonderfully British sight.]
    5. **”Gambit (2012)" 5.75/10 [As much as I love Alan Rickman, and as much as I like Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth, and as much as I like the Coen Brothers (wrote the screenplay here), this is mediocre work. Maybe a little more focus on definitive, original characters could’ve saved the day. But it was still cheeky fun.]
    6. The Expendables 2" 7.25/10 [If I didn’t like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger so much, then this might’ve ditched a good .5 point. Still, there is some cool action scenes here. BTW Chuck Norris here is a disappointment, even compared to his same-gen counterparts. This film was more fun than the first, so it’s an improvement, though the story is still a little messy.]
    7. Dredd" 7.75/10 [If it weren’t for that last damn voiceover monologue, this would’ve probably gotten an 8. Just a little too dumbed-down for my tastes. I got the concept the first time around. Anyways, this is a lot more fun, interesting, and exciting than you’d expect. Just see it to believe it. I want more "DREDD!"]
    8. Land of the Lost (2009)" 7.5/10 [Loved it. Critically, a 7.5, but I really enjoyed it. It’s a perfect stoner movie for one, and it’s like a hidden Will Ferrell/Danny McBride gem, and sure it’s silly, but it’s charming, clever, and updated.]
    9. Zero Dark Thirty" 8/10 [Yes, I watched it, get off my back, geez. Only reason I bothered to watch this one was because of Jessica Chastain. Because I can watch her for 157 minutes. But an Osama Bin Laden movie? Let’s just say I paused this movie sporadically and 157 mins turned into 350 mins. It was interesting, especially if you don’t know the entire story from the media. Chastain could’ve won the Oscar, but she’ll earn hers soon at this rate. Overall, this film is definitely solid.]
    10. The Passion of the Christ" 7.75/10 (Re-Review) [I haven’t seen this movie since it was in theaters, back in 2004. 8 years later, does it hold up? Surprisingly, yes. More so surprisingly because I’m not even Christian. If you don’t think about it in religious terms, but just listen and focus on the human story, then it’s a beautifully told, emotional tribute to humanity’s greatest potential.]
    11. Catwoman" 4.75/10 (Re-Review) [This isn’t a total turkey. By that, I mean it’s no "Garbage Pail Kids Movie," or "Star Wars Holiday Special," or "Fantastic Four (1994)." It’s got enough in the screenplay and in the characterization (and Berry’s performance), as well as its own mythology, and just enough action beats. The problem is that the bare-minimum is never enough when releasing yourself as a summer superhero tentpole. I’m surprised this didn’t affect the box office release of “Batman Begins” just a year later, in fact. The direction may be off. Sharon Stone and a cosmetics cover-up plot (as well as an accompanying amnesia subplot) may have been completely wrong/insulting to feminists everywhere. But it is also a nice stoner piece. This film is a genuine anomaly, one “Elektra (2005)” doesn’t even compare to, and contemplating these questions alone makes it worth it at least just once.]
    12. Batman & Robin" 4/10 [Yeah, it’s pretty awful. I love watching Uma Thurman get hot ‘n steamy. I love watching Schwarzenegger say shitty one-liners maniacally. Clooney may have been a decent Bruce Wayne, but he was no Batman. Alicia Silverstone looks good in the Batgirl suit, but she’s a horrible actress and could never seem as smart as Barbara Gordon, just like Denise Richards could never convince me she were a nuclear physicist ("The World is Not Enough"). Robin is a self-absorbed, whiny tool, all semblance of respect and "coolness" he had in "Batman Forever" has fled with those nipples on his suit. The plot is "meh," even Alfred’s potential death doesn’t shake any sense into this movie. At least a half hour of fuckin’ around is put on display here, with silly bells and whistles that don’t make a sound. This movie could’ve been a swift, kid-focused 90 minute runtime. Oh well.]
    13. Frankenstein Conquers The World" 7/10 [My buddy Barron started recommending monster movies to me for research for my new horror screenplay. This was his first choice. Frankenstein is played to perfection, while twisting his mythology upside down to enter him into the kaiju genre. A fun throwback.]
    14. Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke" 7.25/10 [I gotta admit, I hadn’t laughed this hard while toking since "Super Troopers," or "Office Space." They’re absolutely right about this film. However, is it a classic? Nah. Tommy Chong is one of my idols, and Cheech is like a ’70s Aziz Ansari. It’s a fun buddy comedy, kind of loses its narrative focus, then gets right back on track for a great finale.]
    15. Syriana" 7/10 [Why did Clooney win for this one? Because he got fat? Either way, the “Traffic” approach to the oil industry is still a movie about the oil industry. Its realism is an attempt to convince people, yet we assumed this all happened. This is why we didn’t like Bush. Duh. They wring what intrigue, suspense, and tension they can, and they have a emotional story (a kid dies), almost as if it were written to be a persuasive essay.]
    16. The Star Wars Holiday Special" 2/10 [OH YES I DID. The infamous "Star Wars" TV special, 1978, came across my desk last week, and I had to watch it with Barron, so I waited as long as I could before playing it. Keep in mind, this special never aired twice, and was never officially released from Lucasfilm on either VHS, DVD, or Blu-Ray. It is a rarity to find. So when I finally watched it…well…it was pretty much as awful as they say it is. It’s a genuine nostalgic joy to see Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, all in ‘78, play their roles once more. Yet despite how pleasing a proposition that sounds, it is not enough to even balance itself against the visual and auditory assault that takes place in that 1.5 hrs. The plot is a point A to point B structure, of everyone trying to come together for Wookie Life Day, with only the Imperials standing in their way. And also the distraction of some terribly disjointed variety acts from ’70s celebrities. The worst part are the Wookies: Lumpy, Itchy, and Malla, who are like annoying WALL-Es here, not saying a single word, but making high-pitched Wookie noises for sometimes ten minutes straight, doing nothing more than nonsensical, mundane Wookie chores around the house that in no way drive the plot forward. The sole highlights are the first images of Kashyyk, the first appearance of Boba Fett (as well as his first confrontation with the gang), a Bea Arthur cantina gag, and just seeing everyone together again. A few pleasant geek surprises in a Bantha Poodoo haystack.]
    17. The Wolf Man (1941)" 7/10 [Sometimes it is hard to separate your perception of what a movie will be, and then what it ends up being. Like, it took me a while to get used to what the first "Ghost Rider" movie is, instead of what I wanted it to be. But then I had to get used to the fact that it was a steamy pile of shit. “The Wolf Man” had some misperceptions I had placed on it over time, thinking it more Gothic, or even more dipped in folklore and legend. In fact, it was quite modern at the time. Also, it’s forgivable because of its runtime that the creature only shows up twice after taking Talbot under its curse.]
    18. The A-Team (2010)" 7.5/10 (Re-Review) [There has to be a whole series of films that weren’t overtly exceptional, so they were ignored amidst competing films that were exceptional. “Land of the Lost (2009),” for example, is entertaining in its own right, but failed to produce a franchise, much less its own box office glory. “The A-Team” came out in a summer alongside “Toy Story 3,” “Iron Man 2” and “Inception.” The A-Team was competing to start its own franchise too (clearly, with its big-name cast and its big-ass budget), but got snuffed out. “The Karate Kid” took the money instead in a famous ’80s remake box office face-off, but still hasn’t produced a sequel itself. I think “The A-Team” was the more promising of the two. First off, the cast was perfectly handpicked (though I debate about Liam Neeson for Hannibal, most others wouldn’t). Second, it was riotous fun, even if it gets a little less plausible than preferred. Third, they put more thought into the screenplay than you’d expect. Give this one a second chance.]
    19. Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1998)" 4/10 [It’s hard to take seriously. But at least it wasn’t as drawn-out, noisy, or in-your-face as some other recently rated turkeys. And David Hasselhoff wasn’t a bad consideration (at the time) for Fury. It was a straight forward, comic-booky time, featuring some pre-Marvel Studios mythology, like LMDs or the Helicarrier, all on a nice, low budget.]
     
  4. Marvel: Phase Two preview provided directly from Marvel Studios on the new “The Avengers” Phase One Box Set.

     
     

  5. Movies I watched, February 2013:

    Is it the end of February already? Hmm. I planned to have my screenplay finished by now…wonder where that February Resolution ran off to?

    1. Panic Room" 6.25/10 [As a David Fincher (and Kristen Stewart) fan, I was bound to watch this movie some day. It’s not as great as I hoped, but does offer some fun suspense.]
    2. Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare" 6.5/10 [Just like "Friday the 13th," when it came to close out a chapter, the finality brought to the events makes for a better film. The mythology in this series fleshed out nicely to the end.]
    3. The Forgotten" 5.5/10 [Also another film I always intended to watch. Meh. The payoff isn’t really worth it.]
    4. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare" 6/10 (Re-Review) [Sure, the meta writing is kind of fun, but a new excuse for more of the same creepiness doesn’t praise Wes Craven’s return.]
    5. Freddy vs. Jason" 7/10 (Re-Review) [It was an improved, perfectly meshed combination of both franchises. A critic would ask for more, but for fans it has enough to satisfy. Well done.]
    6. Friday the 13th (2009)” 7/10 (Re-Review) [When Jason ran, it was terrifying. This is pretty much how I would’ve done a reboot: more of everything Jason and his series represents.]
    7. The Reaping" 7/10 [Ends up better than reviews said. The story (and Hilary Swank lookin’ sexy as a blonde) is solid. It’s intriguing. It has solid faith-based arguments as well.]
    8. Thir13teen Ghosts" 5.5/10 [The ghosts aren’t effective because they are simply made-up people. They put very little effort into it.]
    9. Shutter" 4.5/10 [Barely memorable. Apparently spirit photography is better served in small doses…in many other horror films of similar persuasion/focus.]
    10. Lords of Dogtown" 7.5/10 (Re-Review) [This movie surprises me a little each time I watch it. Heath Ledger is genius. Each lead subconsciously nails their parts. Fun.]
    11. Sinister" 6.5/10 [Some of the "snuff" imagery isn’t pleasant (a plus for the genre), but the overall tension and scares don’t ramp up to a satisfyingly tense ending. The ending is well-written, but somewhat deflated by then.]
    12. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" 9.75/10 (Re-Review) [Near perfect film. I got Kaufman fever after this movie; I need to look into some of his other works soon ("Synecdoche, New York," here I come). Either way, Jim and Kate are great, and the story takes you places you never thought you’d go. How sweet of a film it is!]
    13. The Descent" 8/10 [Either ending, this movie is fun. It’s simple, not that that hard to figure out, yet eloquently executed to build the suspense proper.]
    14. The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia" 5.5/10 [Had to watch it just for that title alone, right? It should’ve just been called "Ghosts of Georgia," because it has no story ties to the prior installment of this "American Horror Story" film series wannabe. It has a notably rich ghost story backbone, but cannot convey nor uphold its feature film aspirations. It’s simply average.]
    15. Hitchcock" 6.75/10 [I should love this movie, and in a way I do, but it cannot achieve what "My Week With Marilyn" did because of its more fleshed out characters, and what they presented to the story. Ironically, they didn’t have the balls to dig deeper into the gossip and scandal of Hitchcock’s life. Only Hitchcock could be ballsy enough to make a proper film on his properly twisty-turny life…for now, it would seem.]
    16. The Descent: Part II" 7/10 [It’s a little straight-to-DVD feeling, but it tries its hardest to maintain the quality of the original. It mostly succeeds, with some twists and shocks in store.]
    17. It’s Complicated" 6/10 [I call these "Romantic Dramedies," and I don’t quite enjoy them. They try to equal-handedly convey both the harsh realities of human relationships, and they try to be mirthful enough about those proceedings to be still entertaining without dipping into black comedy, which would be a more appropriate avenue for effectively telling such a story. Either way, the cast and crew all do OK, but it’s all just lukewarm.]
    18. Deja Vu" 8/10 [It’s really good. I was impressed, but I’m a geek for time travel stories. It’s one of the best Tony Scott film prior to "Unstoppable."]
    19. Seeking A Friend For The End of The World" 8.5/10 [One of my new favorites. Surprising in its bitter sweet real world approach.]
    20. Pulse" 3/10 [Boring. That cool CGI sequence at the end isn’t worth the admission price though. You see it on the poster.]
    21. Creepshow" 6/10 [This is the classic horror anthology film, mostly due to the talent behind the scenes, but overall it doesn’t hold up today.]
    22. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2" 3.5/10 [It’s a clever ploy to continue on the name…it was one of the first horror franchises to approach its sequels by film-within-a-film structure ("Last Exorcism: Part II" and "Human Centipede II" both followed this). The twist ending was quite entertaining. Nonetheless, the low-budget production values are off-putting, and its Z-rate cast isn’t worth a shrug. Still, its premise is surprisingly intriguing.]
    23. The Uninvited" 5.75/10 [The twist was fun! Only a handful of films have attempted that protagonist-focused twist. Bravo. The rest of the film, however, is thin, but not persay slow-going. Also, all the women in this film are pretty damn hot.]
    24. Creepshow 2" 5.25/10 [The mysterious blob story catches me like a "Twilight Zone" episode, and hooks you in with its intrigue "mystery box" technique. The other two are C-grade King imitations.]
    25. **”Beautiful Creatures" 5.75/10 [I love the lead actress. I love Emmy Rossum going badass sexy. I like Jeremy Irons being dry and snarky, and fighting his inner darkness. I like some of the mythology. Viola Davis is also worth noting. However, the rest of the film? Not so much. Nice ending though.]
    26. **”Silver Linings Playbook" 9.25/10 [Fuck yeah. Awesome movie. I think it coulda/woulda/shoulda won Best Picture. The cast all give Oscar-worthy performances. The story is unpredictable and impressive, and walks a fine-line between too bitter and too light.]
    27. **”A Good Day To Die Hard" 6/10 [Not as bad as the critics are saying. McClane is as McClane as ever. Jai Courtney holds his own as the newly cast son. The twist I did not see coming. I just don’t agree with the way some of the action was staged (that first car chase is a doozy), and the story seemed to be missing a scene or two prior to the climax of the film. Still, worthwhile for “Die Hard” fans.]
    28. The Exorcism of Emily Rose" 8/10 (Re-Review) [Smarter than I remembered, and has a wonderfully devoted performance by Jennifer Carpenter. All the best horror films have performances that are all-in to sell the premise; without Carpenter, this film wouldn’t have succeeded. Also, that final verdict from the jury: tearjerker for real.]
    29. **”Identity Thief" 5.5/10 [Seth Gordon had better be careful not to fall into mediocrity too quickly after the success of "Horrible Bosses." He needs better scripts than this, a derivative of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" and "Due Date."]
    30. **”Life of Pi" 8.25/10 [The ending drags out a bit, and thus loses some of its momentum built up in its beautifully imaginative, moving execution. Still, beautiful moral to the story in this fable.]
    31. Man-Thing" 3/10 [Easily the worst Marvel film I have ever seen. And I’ve seen "Howard the Duck." It isn’t until the very end, when you get to see Man-Thing in all his horror film glory, that something remotely cool happens onscreen. That’s the scene this entire film was built around.]
    32. Hope Springs" 6/10 [Just like "It’s Complicated," this Romantic Dramedy just isn’t my cup of tea. Tommy Lee Jones creates an incredibly believable character, but Meryl Streep is a tad over the top and gooey.]
    33. Argo" 8/10 [Ah yes, the Best Picture winner. Over "Life of Pi," and over "Silver Linings Playbook." Hmm…I think this is this year’s "Crash." Meaning to say it’s a solid piece of work, but better than all the others? Guess that’s for you to decide.]
     
  6. Art for ‘The Avengers’ Blu-ray DVD sleeves by Matthew Ferguson [x]

    (Source: lmnpnch, via nerdpride)

     

  7. Movies I watched, start of May, 2012:

    1. Everything Must Go" 8/10 [It’s the story of a man who missed every opportunity to turn his life around…but still manages to after a mid-life crisis. Ferrell’s dramatic performance earns solid marks. Sure its structure is slightly flawed, but in the end, the story was effective, heartfelt, and felt it came from a genuine place.]
    2. One For The Money" 3.5/10 [It’s bad. Like, bad bad. The trailer was more entertaining. My ex-stepmom reads this book series, and I have all kinds of hots for Katherine Heigl’s sexy booty. So I was like, ok, sure, I’ll watch this movie. And then it was hardly watchable. Formula is a killer of even the most unique of premises.]
    3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)" 10/10 [People may disagree and argue, but I believe this is one of the most compelling, character-driven, complex thrillers in a long time, without (ever) a fear of the darkness that inhabits Lisbeth’s psyche.]
    4. Private Resort" 5.5/10 [After "A Nightmare on Elm Street," Johnny Depp pursued a film career prior to his "21 Jump Street" hit. This is one of those films, a lighthearted, silly, and inconsequential teen sex resort comedy. It’s the recurring characters and Johnny (as well as Hector Elizondo) that makes this a (just-) above average venture.]
    5. **”Marvel’s The Avengers" 8.5/10 [For personal preference sake, I wouldn’t have minded more complexity…though I’m certain that’s in Marvel Studios’s future after this. What matters is that it’s not only more satisfying than "Iron Man," but funnier, more action packed, and did I mention the characterizations are all flawless? Check it out now.]
    6. Love Is All There Is" 5/10 [Caught this on the TV. Angelina Jolie at the youngest I’ve seen her in years. "Romeo and Juliet" caricaturized in the Bronx. It’s a silly time, though somehow still maintaining that whimsical Shakespearean tone.]
     
  8. Le Cap

     
  9. "ASSEMBLE THE ULTIMATE PROTECTION," brought to you by Norton.

    Wondering just how ambitious “The Avengers” really is? Let’s recap over the past five years, and how well-shaped this huge blockbuster was from the floor up.

    [“I still believe in heroes.” -Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.]

     
     
  10. In my opinion, one of the best shots I’ve seen yet. This shot hooked me…and convinced me that Cap’s uniform may not be so out-of-place after all.

    (Source: fuckyeah-avengers, via fyeahsuperheroes)