I think we can all agree that THE WINTER SOLDIER is one of the very best films Marvel has released so far. There was some pressure on the Russo brothers then to outdo themselves with CIVIL WAR, but let me tell you… they rose to the occasion. A word of warning: I feel the film has been out long enough for me to take a full spoilers approach with this review – don’t read if you haven’t seen it yet.
Yes, this is the third Captain America movie, but I think we all know that we’re dealing with a little more than that here. We’ve known that ever since Robert Downey Jr. signed on to join the cast and it became clear what the premise of CIVIL WAR was going to be: Cap and Iron Man, going head to head, each with their own team of superheroes at their back. Although he is undisputably still the lead, this is not just the continuing story of Steve Rogers, but of all of the Avengers, save for a couple of notable exceptions. It’s a 2,5 hour epic that almost feels bigger than anything Marvel has ever done, even though in other ways this is actually a much more intimate story than we’re used to seeing from them.
Warning: this review is long, and full of spoilers.
About a year and a half ago I was browsing through the comments on a random movie website, when suddenly I found myself in the middle of a heated debate. If there was ever going to be another Punisher reboot, who should be cast as the lead? It was a question that appealed to me, as The Punisher might very well be my favorite comic book character of all time, plus I enjoyed all three movies released between 1989 and 2008. So I threw myself into the debate and made sure my suggestion was heard loud and clear. If they do another Punisher, I said, I know of only one actor who’d be the perfect choice to play him. Then I changed my mind and said no, scratch that, David Hasselhoff would be too sexy and distracting, let’s give it to Frank Grillo instead. Or Jon Bernthal, maybe? He was pretty cool in that show with the zombies. He’d probably do a decent job.
And you know what, motherfuckers? I was right!
I’ll be honest, the first season of DAREDEVIL didn’t do much for me. I liked Charlie Cox (who would’ve thought the dorky British guy from STARDUST would be so effective as an American tough guy superhero?) and I enjoyed the gritty tone of the thing. The violence was hard-hitting and made the show feel much more dangerous and edgy than the big family-friendly blockbusters we’d been used to seeing from Marvel. Occasionally they would even throw in a well done action scene, like that single take hallway fight from the second episode. It made you sit up and take notice. Holy shit, we all said to ourselves. This might turn out to be something really special.
Everyone’s favorite character from X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE finally gets his own stand-alone film. They did retcon a lot of stuff though; except for a few cute references they ignore pretty much everything that happened in the first film. Must be a blow for all the ORIGINS fans out there…
By now it’s clear that DEADPOOL, the superhero movie Ryan Reynolds has been dying to make for 11 years and which has now finally been released to the public, is a resounding success. While the marketing campaign was a joy and the online buzz seemed to be mostly positive, I don’t think anyone was expecting it to make this much money. After all, this is not the type of big, safe blockbuster that today’s audiences expect their superheroes to appear in. Instead, DEADPOOL is a weird little film, made on a fraction of the budget and proudly wearing its R rating on its sleeve. We get blood, naughty words, men getting ass-fucked with a strap-on – basically all the things you and I love to see in our entertainment, but that movie studios generally consider to be bad for box office.
Here it is: my long-awaited return. From here on out you can expect a lot more dedication to this blog than I’ve been able to manage so far. The future is bright, so put on your comfiest pair of pajamas, pour yourself a glass of semi-decent scotch and dig into my review of Marvel’s latest entry in the MCU.
So, the Edgar Wright thing. You probably heard this before but this guy directed HOT FUZZ and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, and he was gonna direct ANT-MAN as well. People were pretty excited about it. Wright developed the project on and off for about 8 years, put together a script and cast, then walked away six weeks before the cameras finally started rolling. The reason? Creative differences, which frankly didn’t surprise me. It’s a miracle that his partnership with Marvel lasted as long as it did. The idea of Wright making the movie he wanted to make while still fitting in perfectly with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe always did sound unlikely. Marvel runs a tight ship, either you fit in or you fuck off, and Wright was never the type of director who’d roll with that kind of philosophy. Maybe if he’d been part of Phase One, when things were still being set up, he would’ve had more freedom. Marvel might have asked him to add a post-credits reference to one of the other films, but that would’ve been it. Now though, it’s Phase Three, there’s a thousand movies out there already that need their dick sucked and their asshole cleaned before you can even start thinking about doing the story you thought you were hired to do. I don’t know why it took Wright so long to understand this, but eventually he got the picture and he left the project, abandoning his cast, who, unlike him, couldn’t get out of their contracts.
Poor Paul Rudd. For all he knew, he would now be forced to star in a movie directed by Brett Ratner, or some other last minute replacement hack that Marvel managed to lure to the studio with the promise of free cocaine and cheeseburgers. For a while there, ANT-MAN was looking like a guaranteed failure. No way Marvel would be able to fix this shit in time for release. And yet… that is exactly what they ended up doing.