Sunday, July 15, 2018

Movie Review: I Feel Pretty





We here @brothascomics took one for the team this week.  Truth be told, I have never understood America's ( white) fascination with Amy Schumur. I mean, she is not really funny, but for some reason, she is an icon of younger, white women who view her as some cross between feminist icon and comedy genius.

Her movies have been hit or miss at the box office and her latest offering is more of the same.  Schumur stars as Renee, a website designer living in New York City struggling to be at peace with herself and find love in the Big City.  She feels she is too big and, like most people, joins a gym to knock off those excess pounds to feel better about herself.

Unfortunately, at the gym one day, she falls and hits her head on the ground and wakes up with this unbelievable view of herself as a fit and pretty girl in New York.  Yet, she is the only person who can see herself this way and her new found confidence gets her a job at a top New York Fashion company, but alienates her old friends who don't see her the way she sees herself.

There is a B-plot love interest story, but really the movie is about Renee's journey to feel comfortable with who she is as a person.  The movie borrows from Big( the Tom Hanks movie) and has a few laughs here and there, but overall, it falls flat in both the comedy and the drama.

Granted, I am not the target audience here for this movie and come in to it with my own personal bias against Schumur.  I am sure a young woman would view this movie quite differently than me and I fully understand that.

I give it a thumbs down for me, tho

The Producer

The X-Men Movie Franchise at 18




Its hard to believe that Fox actually got the jump on the super hero team genre over Disney/Marvel but 18 years ago this week, Fox released X-men into theaters a full 8 years before Marvel/Disney released Iron-Man to officially kick off the MCU and get us to an Avengers movie.

18 years ago, the internet was a thing, but not the thing that is is now.  Facts and leaks about the movie were nowhere to be found and I, like many other X-fans, went into the movie not knowing what to expect.  There was so concern about the Matrix-esque costumes and the casting of unknown, Australian actor Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but for the most part, fans lined up ready to finally see our favorite mutants on the big screen.

I know now its kinda trendy to dismiss the original X-Men movie.  The special EFX are not that special, the fight scenes are kinda bullocks, the Storm line to toad about being struck by lighting, and of course Halle Berry's attempt at an African accent for only half the movie.



All that said, the movie was good for its time and laid the groundwork for a promising franchise.  When X-2 came out 3 years later, Director Bryan Singer had more money and a better grasp of what made the X-Men special.  The fight scenes are better, the African accent is gone, and the movie has one of the greatest openings of any comic book movie with the introduction of Nightcrawler.  William Stryker plays a great villain and the ending with the Phoenix effect had all fan boys and fan girls ready for the Phoenix Saga.



And then it happened, Singer leaves the franchise to make Superman Returns and Brett Rattner is brought onto to direct X-Men 3 and the rest is history.  The movie is a disaster with critics and most importantly fans who had been so hyped to finally see a Phoenix story but to have it bogged down with The Cure storyline, The Morlocks, and quick disappearing acts by fan favorites Cyclops and Professor Xavier.  The franchise craters at this point; although no one knew it at the time.

Its 2006- 2 years before Marvel gets into the super hero game and Fox is at a crossroads.  Do they move ahead with another X-movie or spin off their most popular character- Wolverine into a movie.  They choose the latter, but make a fatal flaw in choosing a director not familiar with characters and decide to tell the Wolverine: Origins story, but don't really stick to the story.  Logan( James) and Sabertooth are brothers, Will. I AM, The Deadpool.... just a series of  missteps that makes the movie at times, unwatchable. Origins craters the franchise and it would be five years before another X-movie gets made.



In 2011, 3 years after Iron-Man and the Incredible Hulk and the same year as Iron Man 2 and Thor, X-Men First class premiers in June, 2011.  The franchise opted for a soft-reboot- foregoing the previous, Wolverine focused X-movies, and focusing on the founder of the X-Men, Charles Xavier and his best friend/enemy, Magneto,  A new class of mutants and a fresh start leads to a renewed interest in the X-Men and Fox has a new lease on life as the super hero genre of movies is red hot.

RIP Darwin


The X-movies are able to bring back director Bryan Singer for the follow up to First Class: Days of Future Past.  There was much trepidation by X-Men comic fans because the last adaption of a classic X-story flopped tremendously in X3.  But somehow, Singer and company were able to bring Wolverine back and bridge the original movies with the First Class universe and it worked.  The Wolverine sequel in 2013; although not great, is not as awful as Origins and mutants are back to being popular again. Its 2014 and Fox is actively competing with Disney/Marvel in the super hero movie business!



But like X3 before it, the third movie in this trilogy of movies, is historically bad.  X-Men: Apocalypse is pretty horrific.  Bad villain, poor acting, Magneto a Horseman of Apocalypse, Angel dies in a plane crash( he can fly, ya'll), lightskinded Storm, way too much Mystique, and a rush into a Phoenix story that was not earned.  The movie is a critical failure and a fanboy and fangirl failure. 



Fox pivots slightly before rushing into the next X-Men movie and score mega hits with Deadpool and Logan as they look to expand their mutant roster outside of Wolverine and the X-Men. Maybe this was the plan all along or maybe this plan was forced with the retirement of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

But what does the future hold for out mighty Mutants? Fox has branched out into tv with two successful shows with Legion and The Gifted.  A New Mutants movie has been filmed but word on the streets is that it may not be very good.  There has been talks of an X-Force movie, but if you saw Deadpool 2, that may not happen at all. The Gambit movie is long delayed(thank God).  And of course, there is the rumored 2-part Phoenix/Dark Phoenix saga.  The movie has been dogged by re-shoots and has been delayed until 2019.  Word on the street is that it may be a mess of a movie and with the Disney/Fox merger weeks from becoming official, this may be the last we see of this group of X-Men.


So 18 years has been a wild ride.  Many highs and quite a few lows, but overall, there are some solid X-Movies made by Fox.  They definitely could have been better, but for the most part, they have attempted to give fan service to long time X-Men comic books fans. That being said, I trust Marvel/Disney more than Fox at this point and cant wait until their version of the X-Men.

The Producer



Saturday, July 14, 2018

We Watched it For You: Death of Superman 2018






Stop me if you heard this one before.... there is a story by DC about the Death of Superman!  Whether in the comic book, on Justice League Unlimited, in a full feature animated movie, in Batman V Superman, and now in The Death of Superman( 2018), DC goes back to the well to tell us the story of Superman dying at the hands of Doomsday.  I mean, this is not even a spoiler alert at this point.


This 2018 version has Clark/Superman as a member of the Justice League and  in a secret relationship with Lois Lane.  This is the full on hope version of Superman- the people look up to him and love him and expect to be there for them whenever things go wrong.

At the same time, he is troubled by his burgeoning relationship with Lois which is on the down low- which Clark loves because of his secret identity.  But Lois is looking for more and wanting more and a visit from Ma and Pa Kent she feels is a perfect time to get to know Clark better.

Meanwhile. something has come from the sky and landed itself on Earth.  Everyone is curious as to what fell from the sky- including Lex Luthor who sends out an expedition to the ocean to discover the mystery.  Of course its Doomsday and they offer no real explanation as to why Doomsday fell to Earth but for the most part I guess that does not matter.

Doomsday, like all other versions of this story, makes his way through everyone until we get our final boss battle with Superman.  The Justice League play a support role in this and you get some solid, classic animation battles, but we all came for the match up between Superman and Doomsday!

We all know how this ends though. so I am not really spoiling anything.  How they get to that point is a bit different than the previous animation version, but the conclusion is just the same.  More than anything, stay for the four post credit scenes which seem to be setting up a sequel that will more closely mirror the comic book version of the Death of Superman.

Overall, a solid addition from DC Animation; although not markedly better than the Superman: Doomsday movie.  They truly have a much better grasp of their characters in animation than they do in live action- especially Superman.  I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up!!

The Producer

The Marvel Hacks Season 6 Annual





The Marvel Hacks are back for the conclusion of Season 6 with an annual issue closing out our summer run.  In Blerd Notes we review Ant-Man and the Wasp and talk about Billy Dee Williams coming back to Star Wars.  Plus, we say RIP to Steve Ditko and discuss the lies Kevin Feige has told about the plans Marvel has for X-Men and Fantastic Four.

In Comics we review Batman 50, Spider-Man #1 and Captain America #1.  Plus Immortal hulk gives us CreepShow Vibes, and The X-Books are spinning their wheels until they get a refresh.

Come check us out and listen.  Rate, review, and subscribe to our podcast.

Marvel Hacks Season 3 Annual

Monday, July 9, 2018

Is it Worth a Redbox: Tomb Raider 2018





Real talk... video game adaptations to movies are bad.  Often times they are horrendous but that does not stop Hollywood from continuing to try.  This new attempt at Tomb Raider has no connection to the early 2000 movies starring Angelina Jolie and that's probably a good thing.  Those two movies are not very good- with the 2nd one being just gawd awful.

Coming off her Oscar win for The Danish Girl and her outstanding performances in Ex Machina and the Man from U.N.C.L.E, Alicia Vikander was tapped to play Laura Croft.  This sent fanboy twitter into a fury as she "looks" nothing like Angelina Jolie who appeared she came off the cover of the Tomb Raider video game in the 2000's.



Fan boy twitter always wants to keep women as one note, sex objects who fulfill all their masturbatory fantasies and Vikander's casting and take on the roll did not meet their limited expectations and they began to trash the movie long before its release.

So how is the actual movie... It's ok for a video game movie. Vikander stars as Lara Croft and this take of the characters has her as the grieving the death of her father who has gone missing seven years ago searching an island off of Japan for an ancient artifact.  When news comes that maybe her missing dad is not dead, she sets off following his tracks to find him.  In that journey, she crashes on the island, meets our villain played by Walter Scroggins.  Scroggins and his team are also on the island searching for the same artifact.

The story winds into the tombs as they search for the missing treasure.  The movie goes off the rails a bit into a weird version of Goonies and The Mummy as it winds to its conclusion.  The action and set pieces are fine enough; although the special FX are a bit cheesy.

The biggest issue here is that this movie- starring a  great actress did not do well- not only because its not a great movie, but also because toxic fan boys have such a limited view of women in film and each time a movie like this under performs, it gives studios ammunition  to prevent future films starring women.

So is it worth a Redbox? Ima say no, but if you are struggling to find something to rent, you could find a much worse movie in the Box!

The Producer

Trailers Before Antman and The Wasp







Just got out of Ant-Man and the Wasp and the movie is good fun and a much needed break from the downer ending of Infinity War.  But before the movie got started, we got a few trailers and we'll break them down for you right here. First up...


Mission Impossible: Fallout





They have really been pushing this movie.  Possibly because of all the real life stunts and injuries Tom Cruise suffered. Perhaps its because Henry Cavill's beard was better than Justice League or maybe because this is Tom Cruise's only viable movie option since he became a grade A weirdo.
Regardless. the movie look great.  Cruise has owned this role like Downey did Tony Stark and both should milk every dollar possible.  I am much more interested in the relationship between Angela Bassett and Cavill than anything Ethan Hunt does.  Will definitely see this one when it comes out!!




The Spy Who Dumped Me




When this came on, I really thought it was a promo for Bad Moms 3.  I used to enjoy Mila Kunis but that infatuation wore off probably around the Book of Eli. This movie looks like silly fun- which we all could use more of and I am a big supporter of female led anything.  But it also looks like a paint by numbers, fish out of water movie and after seeing the trailer, I think Melissa Mccarthy made this movie a few years ago called Spy so Ima pass on this one and catch it on Redbox of the Firestick




A-X-L



I had to LOL at the title of this movie and the premise is just as laughable.  Its the story of a lost AI dog found by a teenager with the government and its creators hunting it down.  Its ET and the first Transformers movie all rolled into a mash up no one asked for.  It even has the cute/sexy brunette playing opposite of the lead.  This is a movie not made for people my age so its a big fat no for me unless my kids force me to take them to see it!


The House with a Clock in its Walls



I had no idea what this movie was about until  my 11 year old daughter told me it was based on a book.  When I first saw Jack Black I thought it was the Goosebumps sequel we were promised. But alas, it was not.  I am all for books being turned into movies; although each year the adaptations seem to get younger and I get older.  I will see this movie even though me and Jack Black are not movie friends.  My daughter will force me to see it and I cannot say no to her. I do love Cate Blanchett tho so all is not lost!




The Meg



I put this out to my closest group of friends and Ima say it to you, too.  If you see this movie IN the movie theater- meaning you paid real ass money for tickets, popcorn, candy, soda, etc... we cannot be friends anymore.  Look, movies like Sharknado have a place and that place is on tv and watching it in your house for free.  To go out and pay money for this- that's just damn irresponsible.  It looks dumb and I'm sure it is dumb.  The hardest of all passes!



The Nutcracker and the Four Realms



Damn my daughter is going to get me again. I have sat through ballets of the Nutcracker and through the Barbie version with my daughter.  This idea of expanding the story out kinda makes me a little uneasy and they are going with the Black guy being the hand servant of the star which is a tired ass movie trope. But yay... Kiera Knighley?  I don't know.  I will be forced to see it because  I cannot say no to my daughter in this situation so sign me up and take my money!


Dumbo



I don't mess with Tim Burton- mostly because, as Brother Beavis has said, he cannot do anything but make a Tim Burton movie.  Disney live action remakes have been solid, but Dumbo is kinda racist as f@ck with them damn crows so its not on my list of Disney movies to watch.  I am curious as to how they handle that issue- especially since the director has a touchy history of casting Black folks as caricatures in his movies.  It's a hard no from me!!

Was hoping for the Captain Marvel trailer but it never happened.  Let me know what movies you are looking forward to seeing in the comments section!

The Producer

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Comic Con Revolution: West Palm Beach





The good folks at Comic Con Revolution were kind enough to grant Brothascomics media credentials for their first con in West Palm Beach, Florida this year. The kids and I packed into the mini van and headed about one hour south on the Florida Turnpike to attend Comic Con Revolution! in Orlando for the first time. The mission of brothascomics is to bring you convention coverage for people who have not attended cons before or who have trepidation about doing so.  In the past, conventions have not been the most friendly to people of color.  We aim to help ease those fears by reviewing the con experience and by encouraging people to attend!!

The Badge Process

This is one of the most critical ..... of the comic con convention experience.  It seems like its not a big deal but its a huge deal.  This is the first impression after people get into the convention center and if this process delays people getting in, its a bad first impression.  At Revolution the process was fairly easy. With Media access, we picked up out badges in a different area, but I still needed to pick up badges for my kids.  The lines were not excessively long and volunteers were around to assist customers who looked to be lost.  As we say with all our con reviews tho... if its possible, pick up your badge early so you can avoid the lines.



Con Size

Revolution is a one day comic con experience.  Unlike other cons that go for the entire weekend( sometimes even four days), this is a one day event that still had guests and panels. but just on the Saturday.  The event space in the convention center was spacious enough with room for all the vendors and guests.  The panels were held in conference rooms outside of the main hall and were spaced out enough for you to plan out your whole day.



The Guest List

For a first year con, Revolution had a great mix of pop culture and comic book artists.  I was able to meet and interview Archie artist Joe Eisma, cover artist Greg Land, and artist Vanessa Del Ray.  In addition, I was able to interview Ming Chen of the AMC's Comic Book Men.  All were very nice and really seemed to enjoy talking to their fans.  Often tines, some creators don't engage with the public but many of the guests were very out going in meeting fans.















Cosplay

We always look to spotlight cosplayers- especially cosplayers of color as we admire their dedication to their characters ans craft.  Well done folks!







Overall, a great experience!  Cannot wait for next year. I hope the con expands into two or three days, expands its guest list, and grows more and more each year!  Great work by the folks at West Palm Beach Comic Con Revolution!!

The Producer