Sunday, April 14, 2019

Required Viewing Prior to Avengers Endgame

With less than 2 weeks left before the release of the hotly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, let's take a look at a couple of films in the series that must be watched in order to get more out of the 22nd film in the series.  Let's face it, most people don't have time to watch 21 films in order to get the most out of Endgame.  I've whittled it down to 4 movies that should get you caught up and give you enough introduction to each of the characters so you won't be too lost.  Obviously, if you have more time, watch more of the movies.  The more you watch, the more you'll get out of what promises to be one of the biggest movies of all time.  But, if you can only squeeze in a couple, make it these.

Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

Endgame is going to focus on the core original Avengers.  This 2012 crossover is the first time the team assembled.  It does a great job of introducing us to the personalities and relationships between the team.  While it focuses mostly on Iron Man and Captain America, the rest of the team gets their time to shine.  Marvel's the Avengers also features the strongest villain from phase one of the franchise, Loki.  There's also the post credits scene that introduces Thanos to the world.  A lot of the ideas that will be paid off in Endgame are rooted firmly in this flick.  

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

While this is considered the weakest of the team movies, it's within this one that the team really starts showing the cracks.  Age of Ultron introduces us to Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Vision.  Two of the three of them play big parts in the team's future.  Thor finds out about the Infinity Stones and gives a brief synopsis of what they are to the team.  You also have Tony Stark's Witch inspired vision of the future that influences his decisions throughout the rest of the series.  While Ultron isn't the strongest villain in the series, he's still a compelling antagonist that isn't necessarily wrong with his motivations.  I think this movie is actually much better than it's given credit for.  

Captain America:  Civil War (2016)

Civil War is a must watch prior to Endgame.  This one shows the team splitting into two and explains why things are the way they are in Infinity War and beyond.  The premise behind this one involves registration of the super heroes following the aftermath of major battles that the Avengers were a part of.  Half of the team decides to sign while the other half doesn't want to have their hands tied by red tape.  While this informs the initial split, it's the revelations during the third act that turn this deeply personal.  Civil War introduces us to both Black Panther and Spider-Man.  This one is also directed by the Russo Brothers who also helmed Infinity War and EndgameCaptain America: Civil War is an action packed superhero film that is also incredibly emotional.  This one's a must watch.  

Avengers Infinity War (2018)

This one is a no-brainer.  If you're going to see Endgame, you've gotta know what got the team in the position they're in.  How did they lose.  What happened to everyone?  Who doesn't feel good?  Infinity War is a non stop flick that is an absolute necessity.  The ending of this one is just soooo good.  Even if you've seen it, you need to rewatch it just to get back into the headspace of the characters and the universe.  Infinity War is the cap on the set up.  Endgame is the payoff.  You can't truly enjoy one without the other.  

So, what do you think?  Do you agree or disagree with these picks?  Sound off in the usual place.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Avengers Endgame Predictions

Well, there's only a couple of weeks left until the most anticipated movie of all time is released.  Avengers Endgame is the culmination of 22 movies and 11 years.  We've been promised that it'll be a game changer.  With how Infinity War went down, we've got to believe it.  There's also the fact that a lot of the original actor's contracts are up.  

So, what's gonna happen?  I want to use this as a chance to give out some predictions based on what little information we've been given so far.  It'll be fun to look back at this article after release and see how much I got wrong.  Also, if you've got any predictions, leave them in the comments!  

1.  The Dusted Heroes Return.  Let's start with an easy one.  We pretty much know this is going to happen because Spider-Man: Far From Home is to be released shortly after.  We also know Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Black Panther 2 and Dr. Strange 2 are in the works.  This one's a definite.  

2.  Thanos Wins Again.  I think there's going to be at least 2 showdowns with Thanos.  There will be an early fight where the Avengers get defeated again.  I base this on the early release clip of the team talking in Avengers AQ and Captain Marvel arrogantly states that they didn't win because they didn't have her.  After seeing Captain Marvel, we know she's ridiculously powerful.  However, I think she's going to underestimate the power of the gauntlet and it's going to lead to the team's 2nd defeat and also my next prediction.  

3.  Captain America Dies.  During the team's second rematch with Thanos, I believe that Captain America will die.  Whether he stays that way once they have the power of time travel remains to be seen.  I do think that there will be time travel and that Thor will get his Mjolnir back.  During the battle with Thanos, Captain America will prove his worthiness and he'll lift the hammer in battle against his cosmic foe.  While it may help to save the team, he'll be a major casualty.  

4.  Time Travel Via The Quantum Realm.  This one is pretty much another no brainer.  We know there will be some time travel shenanigans here.  Ant-Man will play a major part since he's the main connection to the Quantum Realm in the MCU.  The team will revisit the Battle of New York from the first Avengers movie in order to capture two infinity stones before Thanos has the chance.  We know from leaked set photos that there are scenes from the Battle of New York in the movie.  However, we don't know if they're flashbacks or the result of time travel.  My vote goes to Time Travel!

5.  Thanos is defeated by Ant-Man going up his butt and expanding.  Because it's gotta happen, you know?

And that's it.  It'll be interesting to see what happens.  Personally, I cannot wait until April 25th.  I'm so pumped up to get emotionally wrecked during this one!  Once the movie comes out, I'll give my spoiler free review.  We'll also revisit these predictions to see which ones were accurate.  I know I nailed number 5!

Don't forget to leave your predictions in the comments.  It'll be fun to see who nails what!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019 every one!  I want to take a second to thank everyone who has been a part of our little community over the last year.  In 2018, I managed to pick up 1,194 subscribers to the YouTube channel!  That is incredible.  It's also why I've neglected this web site.  I've spent almost every night doing live streams and building the community over there.  It's been working.  Slowly, but surely.  I can't thank you guys enough for all the growth over there.  I plan on 2019 being another big year over on the channel.  

I also launched my Patreon after having people ask me to.  I was thrilled when a few people jumped on board almost immediately.  That is incredible.  It means so much that these guys are willing to support my dumb ideas.  I hope they like their little perks.  And yes, I still owe a video to a couple of people.  It's coming!  

Now, as for 2019, my plan is to continue doing the things we've been doing.  I have plans to start a couple of new video series'.  I plan to keep on collecting POPs and just having a good time.  At least, that's the goal.  It's nice to have an outlet from my frustrating personal life.  So, yeah, thanks for that.  

So, thank you for making 2018 a success despite the fact that it shouldn't have been!  It's been appreciated.  I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions.  However, this year, I've made a small personal one.  My goal is simple.  To watch more movies.  That's right, I don't watch a whole hell of a lot of new movies.  I don't know why.  I like watching movies.  I enjoy watching movies.  I just can't get the motivation to do it.  So in 2019, my goal is to watch at least 52 new movies this year.  And yes, I'll be keeping a list!

Hope you didn't let 2018 kick you down.  If it did, beat that bitch into submission in 2019!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Scream: The Video Game Coming (Not So) Soon

Do you like scary movies? Are you also a fan of video games? Then you’re probably aware of Friday the 13th: The Game, but did you know that there is game based on Scream in the works? That’s right 90’s biggest teen slayer, Ghost Face, will be getting his own multi player game. Game developers are working in collaboration with Dimension Films, Miramax Films, Fun World, and MTV to create a gaming experience that includes Scream 1 through 4 and the 3 seasons of Scream: The TV Series.

The game will have two ways to play. The Franchise lets players reenact events from the movies and the TV series. Progressing through levels is dependent upon how true to the movie/show canons your actions are. If you don’t stick to the script you create a paradox. I’m assuming that means that you repeat a scene over and over again “Groundhog Day” style until you get it right. Maybe it creates an alternate timeline you must fix in order to move on. While I’m not 100% sure, I’m definitely 100% excited to find out!

The second play mode is Killers vs. Victims. As it suggests, players can choose to either be a killer or a victim. Killers can customize their looks with different options for masks, clothes, weapons, and equipment. Victims have the ability to pick clothes, skills, and abilities as well. It’s supposed to be very similar to Friday the 13th: The Game, but I am very interested to see the differences. Will there still be drawers to loot or escape vehicle parts to find? More importantly are there going to be emotes? There’s never a more appropriate time to show off those sweet dance moves than when a killer is on the loose and has you in their sights!

According to @ScreamVideoGame on Twitter there will be a demo released in February 2020 with a full release scheduled for December 20, 2021 (IMDB also lists a 2021 release). The full release coincides with the 25th anniversary of the original Scream’s release. It will be available on PC, XBOX ONE, and PS4.

For Friday the 13th: The Game fans, like myself, Scream: The Game is definitely something to look forward to. With the recent legal issues that have prevented the developers from adding new content to Friday the 13th: The Game there are concerns and worries that the game may die out. I’ll keep playing until there isn’t a game to play anymore, but with the upcoming Scream game I’m optimistic. I know it’s a little too early to tell, but it feels like there is some definite potential there. If Friday the 13th: The Game does, unfortunately, end there is a similar hunter vs. hunted multiplayer game coming. If it lasts we’ll have a different franchise to play in.  Could be a win/win for horror game fans. 

Are you as excited as I am? Are you doubtful after what happened with F13? Let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What You Need to See Before Watching Avengers: Infinity War!

(Click here for my non-spoiler review of Avengers: Infinity War.)

So, are you one of the 6 people that haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War yet?  Well, this article is for you!  While it's possible to go into Marvel's newest ensemble flick without having seen any of the previous movies, it's not recommended.  In fact, this film works best if you've seen them all and you're invested in the characters.  If you don't have time to check them all out, here's a recommended viewing list.  These will give you enough of a footing in the mythology and characters of the universe.  

The Avengers (2012)

While phase one gives an introduction to all of the main characters, you're able to skip ahead to the first meetup between the heroes.  2012's The Avengers brought the main team together for the first time on the big screen.  It lets you learn who everyone is and gives you a good footing on the world.  If you're in a time crunch, The Avengers is the best place to start.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy opens up the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe which will ultimately play a huge part in the Infinity War saga.  Think of the Guardians as the intergalactic Avengers.  This one is like funny Star Wars.  It's a nice space opera that somehow manages to make you care about a talking raccoon and a giant tree.  This was definitely a surprise in phase two of the MCU!

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron brings the band back together to face another world ending terror.  This time, the villain is the Tony Stark creation Ultron, a sentient robot that wants to save the planet by eliminating the biggest threat to it, humanity.  Age of Ultron introduces the new characters Scarlet Witch and Vision and finally sees one of the core Avengers learn about the infinity stones.  

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War follows up with the fallout following Age of Ultron.  The Avengers are split down the middle with half opposing superhero registration with the other half in favor of it.  Civil War pits Tony Stark and his team against Captain America's anti registration forces.  With the stakes getting bigger with each movie, Civil War scales it up but also tones it down to make it a more emotional story.  The MCU introduction to Spider-Man happens in this one while also introducing King T'challa, aka, The Black Panther!  

Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange is the one "if you can, you should, but you don't have to" on the list.  It would be helpful if you do see it, but you don't necessarily have to.  It opens the door to magic in the MCU and introduces you to the arrogant Dr. Stephen Strange, who plays a major role in Infinity War.  The final act of this one is amazing and truly shows the ingenuity of these heroes and what they're willing to go through to save everything.  Doctor Strange is the only true solo flick on the list.  

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor: Ragnarok leads directly into the events of the Avengers: Infinity War.  It reconnects the Hulk with Thor while developing both of the them into multi dimensional characters.  It's also quite possibly the funniest film in the franchise.  Despite world ending stakes, it manages to stay light while keeping it's intensity.  Thor: Ragnarok turns Thor from one of the worst Avengers to possibly everyone's favorite.  There's a nice balance of cosmic and Earthly goodness which plays heavily into Infinity War.  This one is just flat out good times.  If you'd like to see my review of it, here you go!  

So there you go, instead of sitting through 18 films before checking out Infinity War, this list of 6 will give you enough knowledge of the franchise to keep you in the loop.  Now, I'd recommend you going back and watching from the beginning to fully enjoy Infinity War.  They throw you in right from the start and if you know nothing, you'll be completely lost.  It's the biggest strength and weakness of Avengers: Infinity War!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Non Spoiler Review

It's been 10 years in the making. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been building to Avengers: Infinity War since 2008 when Robert Downey Jr. first suited up in the Iron Man armor. Since then, countless other heroes and villains have been introduced across 18 films. Marvel Studios has managed to do what other companies are trying unsuccessfully to emulate; creating a shared Cinematic Universe.

With Infinity War, the entire Marvel Universe collides in the ultimate battle. Intergalactic baddie, Thanos, is seeking the infinity stones in an effort to balance the universe. The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and other heroes must assemble to try to prevent the death of half of the universe.This is a film that is hard to talk about without getting into spoiler territory so we're going to be intentionally vague.

This movie lives up to the hype. There's a reason why it's the biggest film opening in history. Having earned their wings on Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War,  the Russo Brothers have upped the ante and created something that is both a culmination of a decade's worth of films and something that stands on it's own.  And yes, it does stand on it's own.

It doesn't require you to have seen the previous movies, though that certainly helps.  In fact, it's highly recommended to see at least a few of the more notable ones before checking out Infinity War.  The film manages to incorporate dozens of heroes and still somehow manages to give them all their time to shine.  Some of the characters are much more fleshed out here than even in their solo films.  

The action never stops.  From the opening scene, this film feels like the third act to any single movie.  It's basically a series of third acts but somehow still seems to be a cohesive film.  I'm not exactly sure how the Russo Brothers pulled it off.  It's a testament to the power of the MCU and all of the character building they've done in the previous decade.  What makes the MCU work so well is that it utilizes the formula of the comic books that they're based off of.  It's episodic stories that can stand alone while at the same time working in a much bigger context.  The crafting and world building that Marvel has achieved is nothing short of incredible.  That's why they can do a big crossover film that has no internal build up and make it work.  It's because we know these characters.  We know this world.   For a 10 year old kid in 2008 that's a fan of this series, they've spent half of their lives with these characters.  They're invested.  

And Infinity War delivers.  It's filled with the action and humor that we've come to expect from the MCU.  Since no time was needed to develop the heroes, this film flips it and spends the majority of it's run time building up the villain, and boy does Thanos deliver.  He's a force of nature that just shows up and wrecks shop.  What makes him work is that while he's not necessarily sympathetic, he has his reasons and believes he's doing the right thing.  It's what made Kilmonger so fascinating in Black Panther.  Thanos just amps it to the next level.  

The ending packs an emotional gut punch that for the first time in my cinematic viewing experience, left the audience completely silent when the credits rolled.  It was a very odd feeling and one I certainly didn't expect.  

Now, regarding the ending.  One complaint that I've seen a lot of about this movie is that it feels like a part one.  We know that Avengers 4 is coming next year.  We know it'll change what we perceive about this one.  We know which other movies have been announced on the Marvel slate.  We know about contract lengths.  We know about comic book source material.  All of that is irrelevant to the film at hand.  If you see this without any knowledge of any of those things, this film would serve as a satisfying, if not depressing, conclusion to the story arc.  We're judging the events of the film, and especially the ending, based on what we think is coming in the future.  That's not fair.  That's not the film's fault.  Avengers: Infinity War is an impressive and spectacular culmination of ten years of careful planning and masterful execution.  

Not only is Avengers: Infinity War the best MCU movie, it's the greatest comic book movie ever made.  It captures the magic and wonder of the source material and brings it to life in a way that's both faithful to the spirit of the characters and something new and exciting.  

So what did you think of Avengers: Infinity War?  Do you agree with me?  Do you think I'm insane?  Let me know in the comments.  Remember, this is the NON SPOILER review though, so please be mindful.  We'll have a spoiler talk in another article.  And speaking of...

(This is only one of 3 articles regarding Infinity War that will be coming to the site in the next few days.  I'll also be doing a recommended viewing guide for the unseasoned movie going public.  In addition, there will be an Avengers 4 prediction so I can see just how wrong I can be!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

#vlog 01: The Alice Cooper Show

Time for something completely new for the channel. It's a VLOG! That's right, just what we needed. I wanted to do this to document my son's first ROCK show experience. We took the trip to Greenville, SC to see one of my all time favorite artists, Alice Cooper. I didn't get to see Alice until I was 17 years old. Dominique got him at 8! It was a blast to share this experience with him. What better show for a first than the theatrical awesomeness of Alice Cooper?If you want to see more of these Vlogs, make sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought!