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Deadpool is an R rated film about the Marvel Comics character from their X-men line of comics. The basic plot is a pretty standard revenge story, but the selling point is it’s over the top style and humor. Right from the opening credits (mocking the standard casting of hot chic, British villain, etc) it’s subversive, witty, and openly mocks the superhero genre. Immediately it provides a gag referring to the Ryan Reynolds failed Green Lantern film, as well as the poorly received version of Deadpool from the also dis-liked Wolverine: Origins film (They actually show an action figure of that version of the character). There’s even jokes about actor Ryan Reynolds himself, as well as a few name drops to Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld.

This film does take place in the same universe as the other X-men films (The Days of Future Past apparently retconned the timeline apparently (and thankfully) erasing Wolverine Origins). However there are little to no references to those films. Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead appear offering assistance to Deadpool, which leads to more hilarious moments, like when Deadpool breaks his hands punching Colossus.

Again the basic plot is nothing special, but the story is broken up between flashbacks to keep it from feeling redundant. Deadpool blatantly breaks the fourth wall talking directly to the audience explaining the flashbacks, joking about Wolverine, referencing other films, and commenting that the films budget could only afford two other X-men. There’s a few gags I’ve never seen before on film. In the beginning Deadpool gets shot right in his rectum. He also gets his hand cut off, and we later see him with a baby hand as it slowly regenerates, this gag of course is accompanied by a masturbation joke. It probably has one of the best Stan Lee cameos as well.

With it’s subversive nature, 4th wall breaking and general mockery of the superhero genre, Deadpool was quite a chance for a Marvel movie, but it works. It’s easily one of the best of the X-men series, and one of the best Marvel movies in general.

By the way, there is a post credit scene, but naturally it totally mocks the concept of post credit scenes. It’s purely for laughs, and also reminds people to have good theater etiquette when leaving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is my new webcomic Righteous Hands. Art by James Emmett.

 

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I’ve decided to take the wordpress blogging 101 course to jumpstart my blogging. I’ve been at this for a while but I feel like I haven’t been making much headway as of late. This will be a hello world blog.

I’ve always written as a hobby, and have enjoyed comics and movies all my life. On this blog I do a lot of movie reviews, along with the odd essay on movies and or entertainment. I’ve kept a timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on here but have to update that. One thing I’ve always liked is crossovers, things like Batman meets Predator, things like that. I’ve done some blogging about comic book crossovers that I’ve read. I also have some of my creative writing on here. I have the short story Frankenstein: The Last Man on here, along with excerpts from other things I’ve self published.

Well that’s me for now. Enjoy.

 

Now that Creed, the Rocky spinoff, has hit $100 million at the box office, I’m sure it will get a sequel or two. I’d be happy to see more Creed movies, and it got me thinking about what else they could spin off out of the Rocky franchise. Here are some of my ideas.

1. Ivan Drago.

My favorite idea for a Rocky spinoff is a feature film about Ivan Drago. I’ve always wondered what happened to him after Rocky beat him. The Soviet government propped him up as their hero, so what did they do after the fight? Did Drago get sent off to prison in Siberia as punishment for losing? Did his wife leave him? What happened to him after the Soviet Union collapsed? Did he ever have any health effects from the Soviets juicing him up? Does he ever box again? There’s a real intriguing story to be told here, and with the international box office growing more important to Hollywood, I think a Drago film could work. Years ago there was a Rocky Legends video game where you could actually play a Drago story mode that told some of his story before the events of Rocky IV, and I heard there’s some Rocky book that says he kept boxing after Rocky IV. These secondary sources usually don’t count once new movies come out (See the Star Wars expanded universe). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. A Drago movie with flashbacks of his younger days and showing his life after Rocky would be very intriguing.

2. Clubber Lang

Rocky III and Rocky IV are almost the same movie if you think about it. I don’t think a Clubber Lang movie would be as interesting as a Drago movie, but they could both be like stories of redemption. The thing is in my mind I don’t imagine Clubber boxing anymore after Rocky III. So I don’t think a movie would work. Maybe a TV movie, where he falls on hard times, maybe goes to jail, (The same Rocky video game I mentioned before has a Lang story mode that opens with him in jail). Maybe we could have some boxing/fighting scenes in jail, then he finds god and seeks redemption. In Rocky III he harasses Adrian. Maybe this story ends with him apologizing to Rocky and Adrian, and with him praying with Adrian at her bedside as she’s dying of cancer (With possibly Mr. T himself playing an older Lang). That’s a TV movie I’d watch.

3. Tommy Gunn

Rocky V is everyone’s least favorite Rocky movie, this is true even for Stallone himself. The subsequent two Rocky films do just about nothing to acknowledge it even existed. Hence I don’t imagine Tommy “The Machine” Gunn will ever be on film again. However a comic book or even a novel could tell the Tyson-esque story of him and his corrupt promoter in the 1990s world of boxing (Maybe he fights Drago, or hell even Lang).

4. Mickey

For years I’ve said I always wanted to see a movie about a young Mickey, Rocky’s manager. The thing is this story absolutely has to be tragic and horrible. Mickey wasn’t famous or well known to the general public before he managed Rocky. He was a bitter broken down old man. He must have had a little success I guess if he ran a gym, but still. Given the nature of movies I don’t imagine them going this route, but given how beautifully violent and dark Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones shows were, I think a Mickey Netflix show is the way to go.

The Netflix show could be set in the 1930’s during the depression, in all it’s sad and brutal glory. We could see that fight where his opponent put a nail in the thumb of his boxing glove and Mickey gets holes poked in his cheeks. He could have some girl but she dies tragically (Evidently he never had children). You can’t have anything work out for this guy. If the show was successful  it could eventually bring him up to how he opened his gym. Maybe he manages some other guy but the guy doesn’t listen to him and he never succeeds, or maybe he ditches Mickey and has success. I’m a little leary  of this last part, but we could even see why he never bothers with a young Rocky Balboa when he first comes to his gym in the early 70s.

This leads me to my least favorite pick for a Rocky spinoff, but the one I think would be the most likely to happen.

5. A young Rocky Balboa TV show.

Rocky’s story begins with his Cinderella shot to fight Apollo Creed. There’s little to nothing of his story to tell before that. If they really wanted to they could tell the story of how he first met Pauli and Adrian. They could also show how Mickey dismissed him, but I think that story would better be told in a Mickey Netflix show. In my opinion this is too close to the events of the first film to have any real meaning, but given it’s the lead character of the franchise I can see them trying this someday.

Well, here’s to a Drago movie and a Mickey Netflix show.

What do you think? What would you like to see?

 

 

 

 

 

Creed is a perhaps unexpected spin-off of the Rocky Series, which concluded with 2006’s Rocky Balboa. Creed is the story of Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s opponent from the first two Rocky movies. In this film Adonis seeks out an old Rocky Balboa to be his boxing manager as he wishes to rise out of his father’s shadow.

Adonis Creed is the opposite or Rocky, growing up wealthy with a white collar job, but secretly going to Mexico to win boxing matches. Early in the film he quits his job after getting a promotion and plans to train full time. His father’s gym in California won’t train him, because the owner thinks he doesn’t need to fight. He then gets an apartment in Philadelphia, and seeks out Rocky Balboa to train him. While he’s preparing to further his career there’s also an angle of him not wanting to use his father’s name and instead make it on his own.

The scene where he meets Rocky takes place in Rocky’s restaurant that we saw in the last movie Rocky Balboa. Some of the dialogue is a little stiff, but it references a lot of the earlier movies. In Rocky 4 Apollo dies in the ring, and Rocky, who was in his corner, always felt guilty for not throwing the towel in/stopping the fight. Rocky also reveals who won the private match between him and Apollo at the end of Rocky III.

Meanwhile we’re introduced to some other boxers, after which a graphic comes up telling us the name, record, etc of each fighter. This gets a little distracting but there’s a story of the currently light heavyweight champion about to go to jail and wants one last fight. Creed gets offered this fight which leads to the climax of the film. The fight is in the champs hometown of Liverpool England, adding an international feel to the movie, and putting Rocky and Creed in a situation where they are booed.

Bianca, a local singer who lives below  Creed becomes a love interest. Their relationship goes through some angles that keep it from being run of the mill romance. Interestingly enough, she has a disability. It’s not often you see major characters with disabilities on film, and her disability actually thematically ties into a theme with Creed about doing what you love as long as you can. Bianca is a character I’d look forward to seeing more of in future installments, and is a more developed character than Rocky’s Adrian.

Creed accomplishes one of the main things it needs to which is establish it’s own identity and not be just another Rocky movie. It opens with a flashback, something Rocky movies don’t usually do, not counting the recap of the previous film’s fight of course. It has it’s own musical score, it’s own training theme, however Creed’s cinematic equivalent of running up the museum steps is underwhelming. However, that same scene does establish how the city has connected to Creed, ala the way the kids ran up the steps with Balboa in Rocky II.

The traditional Rocky music is sparingly used, but it is used at the end and I felt this took me out of the fight a bit. The fight is filmed in the traditional show the first two rounds, followed by montage, then show the last round. The cinematography is across between the HBO style of the last movie and the more cinematic methods of previous films. The fights are exciting but certain scenes looked a little strange. Both in the fight and during training Rocky offers more technical advice which further differentiates Creed from previous installments.

I won’t spoil the ending, but while it ends in way not exactly expected, I felt they should have gone another route. In my opinion, I think Adonis should have got hurt real bad in the fight, and then have Rocky throw in the towel, so he can redeem himself from Rocky IV (This also could have broke the 2 round/montage/last round formula). They almost go there, but Adonis quickly talks him out of it which I found myself not buying. At this point I was pretty much routing for the other guy to win.

While Creed successfully sets up the franchise to be continued, I didn’t like the ending. That aside I still look forward to future installments of Creed.

 

Jessica Jones is the second Netflix series based on a Marvel Comics property, and to date is the most daring, dark, away from the norm story that has been told in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jessica Jones is essentially a story of a woman out to stop her rapist. The main villain, Kilgrave A.K.A. Purple Man (Though he’s never called that in the show) has the power to control people’s minds/force people to do whatever he says. He does not use this power to take over the world, he simply uses it to acquire wealth and to rape women.

Jessica Jones herself isn’t even really a superhero, in the sense that she doesn’t have a superhero identity (Later it is revealed she briefly considered it in her past). It’s not even revealed that she has powers right away,  but she has super strength, can jump really high, and is somewhat invulnerable.

The main story is that in the recent past Kilgrave had Jessica under control, but she broke away from him and escaped. Now Kilgrave is looking to get her back.

Jones is a private eye, and she seeks to find her tormentor and kill him, but events unfold that cause her to want to bring him through the Justice system. She is a hard drinking anti-social mess of a woman, driven solely by her quest to stop Kilgrave.

Kilgrave is the most truly evil Marvel villain we’ve seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a real life evil that is truly disturbing. The classic style of a Marvel super villain is that there’s a part of them that is sympathetic, villains like Magneto and Dr. Doom reach a point where you can understand and almost agree with them. Kilgrave is a departure from this traditional Marvel formula. Though it briefly appears to approach this toward the end, there is nothing sympathetic about Kilgrave, at his core he is a vile person.

The stakes are the most personal of any story so far in the MCU. Jessica is not trying to save the universe, the world, or even the city. The stakes are for Jessica to stop her rapist from hurting her and others, it is a statement of a woman whose rapist does not have power over her.

While Daredevil was beautifully violent, it was still essentially a basic super hero story. We saw the origin and development of the superhero Daredevil fighting against the Kingpin. Jessica Jones is an almost complete departure from the standard superhero story. While I’m biased because I love the Kingpin, I wouldn’t argue with anyone who said Jones is the superior show.

At this point the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be divided up into 3 sections, the films, the ABC television shows, and the two Netflix shows (I’d love to see them do a video game division). So far Netflix is clearly the superior division of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.