Yes, I can make this list work. I can come up with 17 reasons that the year 2017 is going to be a good one that are all geek-related. Can you? Is there anything on this list you didn’t think of? Anything I didn’t have room for?
We are just a couple of weeks away from the premier of Captain America: Civil War, so I thought it would be fun to make a few predictions about what will happen in the film. I’ve done this in the past with other films, and one time, my crazy theory was even right. We’ll see how I do this time around. Let’s get to it.
I think our kids live in an amazing time as far as how they watch and what they have available to watch. Streaming has changed the world of content consumption, mostly for the better. I was thinking about this as my daughters were sitting down to watch yet another episode, in a row, of Doc McStuffins (Ugh…I guess I’m just not the intended audience). They can watch this show any time they want, thanks to services like Hulu and Netflix and Amazon Prime. It’s amazing. But, you know what they are missing out on? Saturday morning cartoons. Was there anything better than waking up on Saturday, knowing there was no school and then sitting down and watching something totally epic? I submit that here was nothing better than that. That got me thinking about some of my favorite cartoons from growing up, so I put together a list. This list. This is not a ranking, so they will not be numbered (trust me, there’s 10), and it is by no means a comprehensive list. In other words, your favorite may not be on here. Share with us what your favorite was, if that’s the case. Mostly, this list was just for fun. I am not saying these were the best. These were simply 10 cartoons I have fond memories of, hopefully you do too.
This is Part 1 of the three-part Road to Civil War series.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, ANT-MAN, AND CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR INCLUDED BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I would have been perfectly happy if Marvel hadn’t announced anything and we had no idea who was on who’s side until next May. But now that we have the names, it’s only fair to speculate. I don’t know much about the comics so this is entirely based on the movies, the discussions of other online fans, and what we know so far.
Team Iron Man
Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes is Tony Stark’s best friend and sidekick. I did ask a fan website what else would motivate him to take Tony’s side in this controversy. The response was that Rhodey works for the U.S. government, so he will support whatever the government decides. This didn’t make sense to me, but then I remembered the scene in Iron Man 2 where Rhodey took the stolen armor to the Air Force Base. If that doesn’t speak volumes about Rhodey’s priorities, little else will.
I have never liked Spider-Man, but when they announced that Marvel had bought the rights from Sony to include him in Civil War and reboot him within the existing universe, I decided to deal with it. In the comics, Spider-Man plays an important part in the Civil War story. The film version, however, will differ since we are seeing Peter Parker at the outset of his career. Tom Holland was cast as the teenage webslinger based on how he performed with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, so Parker’s relationship with the heads of these two factions, specifically with Iron Man, might be crucial. There was also a mock news interview with Scott Lang released as a promo for Ant-Man, and someone on Tumblr mentioned that in the crawl on the bottom of the screen said Tony Stark had established a scholarship for inner-city students. Peter Parker probably looks to Stark as a patron. Given Tony’s relationship with Harley in Iron Man 3, Tony Stark looking for a protege makes sense.
Vision used to be JARVIS, but I have to scratch my head because Age of Ultron did little to establish how much of JARVIS is left inside of the android. As Vision, however, he might have good personal reasons for siding with Iron Man. Vision states in Age of Ultron, “I am on the side of life.” Perhaps Captain America is doing something he finds morally reprehensible.
In the comics, Vision is in a relationship with the Scarlet Witch, but since they are on different sides I wonder if that relationship is ever going to occur, if it hasn’t already.
Natasha Romanoff making Team Iron Man was certainly a shock. The fandom is disappointed because after everything that she and Steve went through together in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they seemed to have earned their mutual trust. I for one would have expected her to at least fight on the same team as Hawkeye. We may have to wait and see what Natasha’s motivations are more than for the other characters.
Team Captain America
Scarlet Witch was not involved in Civil War in the comics, and her presence alone indicates that the film is going to be very different, Wanda Maximoff was my new favorite character in Age of Ultron, so I am really happy that she is on Steve’s side. It’s not surprising, though, because if you remember in Age of Ultron she and Pietro volunteered for Hydra’s experiments in the first place because of their grudge against Tony Stark. A part of me says that Wanda hasn’t gotten over that. And the twins, if you remember, were close to Clint Barton, it’s no surprise that Wanda is sticking with him.
Sam Wilson, of course, is extremely loyal to Steve Rogers. Considering his role in Ant-Man, Sam will be the one recruiting Scott Lang and he may be the one pulling other people to Cap’s side. He might even be considered a co-leader of the team. I am interested to see how he will interact with Hawkeye/Clint Barton. They both have superhero names based on birds of prey and so naturally the fandom thinks they belong together. In-between all of the other shenanigans there is a chance we might get to see the “bird bros” bonding onscreen.
If you haven’t seen Ant-Man yet, go see it! Those of you who have, you know he’ll be called in to do Steve the ultimate favor. Scott Lang is a huge Avengers fan to start with. But what’s interesting is that in Ant-Man, Hank Pym mentioned to Scott that he could never trust Howard Stark with his technology and he doesn’t want Tony anywhere near it either. That impression probably stuck with Scott. I think Scott Lang will be Steve’s new go-to man for equipment, since he is burning bridges with Tony, and heaven knows Steve and his teammates are going to need some tech to compete with Stark.
This was the surprise for Cap’s team. I mean, he is a really loyal friend to Natasha so I am surprised and disappointed they weren’t on the same side, but that’s what’s going to raise the stakes, right? At the end of Age of Ultron, Clint went back to his family at least for a little while, so I wonder what might get him to go back into the field. The registration act from the comics storyline is not going to work out, but in Age of Ultron the other Avengers except Natasha did not know about his family, so he still had at least some degree of privacy. Something may be threatening his family and he is siding with Steve in order to protect them.
The Winter Soldier
All signs indicate that Bucky will be getting at least some of his memory and personality back, but his external circumstances will remain less than ideal. Other people aren’t going to care that he’s no longer Hydra’s brainwashed assassin, and in fact if you saw the Ant-Man post-credit scene you KNOW that he’s vulnerable for it. The more I hear, the more I think that the resolution of the Winter Soldier’s storyline will be the pin on which everyone hinges. Steve might take his stance based on how people respond to Bucky, and Steve may or may not trust certain people based on who agrees with him.
The Double Agent
When the team lineups were announced, it was also rumored that one of the superheroes was going to be a double agent. Everyone thinks (and wants) it to be Natasha, but I think we need to give the other character a look. To be brutally honest, Bucky fighting at Steve’s side is almost too good to be true. Spider Man is a new character and his motivations are unknown, but if he’s a young teenager who looks up to Tony Stark I doubt he would do anything that gutsy. Scott Lang/Ant-Man might become disillusioned with his superhero idols after watching them fight each other. Maybe Tony does something that Vision disagrees with, but once Vision makes a decision I doubt he would go back on it: he is too much pure goodness.
I would say that Team Iron Man has the advantage as far as technology, but for powers I think they might be even. As for the characters I like I think Captain America’s team took the vast majority of the cool people. However, much remains to be seen about what the actual conflict is and what will really motivate these characters we know and love to take sides.
The year was 2008, and there wasn’t much good going on in the world of Marvel movies. Spider-Man 3 had soured the franchise, the Fantastic Four movies were definitely not fantastic, and Hulk was lousy at best. It seemed that Marvel was doomed to have lackluster movies produced by third parties.
Then came Iron Man.
Everything felt right with this movie. The costume was spot-on, Robert Downey Jr.’s performance was spectacular, and the post-credits scene revealed that a larger, connected universe was on its way. Marvel was a David in the world of movie producing, and it showed that it could compete with all the Goliaths in the industry.
Even with some of their most popular characters, such as Spider-Man and the X-Men, in the hands of other companies, Marvel began building an incredible, connected universe in the movies that followed Iron Man. There could be little that was more exciting than the idea of seeing individual heroes coming together and Phase One culminated in The Avengers. Marvel continued strong during Phase Two, with Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy being huge hits. While not every movie has been a shining example of greatness and fantastic storytelling, all of them have been financially successful. Even the movie that people seem to complain about most, Thor: The Dark World, did financially well at a little over 200 million.
Marvel has bulked up and is no longer a heroic David, but rather a hulking Goliath, (pun intended), and I think people are getting tired of it.
When Age of Ultron came out, I read dozens of articles that pointed out every flaw and shortcoming. It seemed like everyone was wanting to bring Marvel down from their now legendary status. This only increased when Ant-Man was getting close to release. With the Edgar Wright problems and Ant-Man considered a B-list hero people were anticipating an Evel Knievel style crash and burn. But Ant-Man did well both financially and critically, and Age of Ultron was still well received even with all the nitpicking people have done.
At some point Marvel will have a flop, since no franchise or company can have success infinitely. But until that flop happens people are going to be looking and waiting for it. Watching a Goliath win again and again gets tiring, and so many people hope to see it fail. And maybe a single fail would be beneficial, since right now people are so anxious to find flaws that they’ll tear apart good movies and magnify any flaws disproportionately. Despite the financial and overall critical success of Age of Ultron, there have been a huge number of complaints about things ranging from stereotypical storylines to nitpicking whether or not Black Widow’s portrayal is anti-feminist.
I recognize that Marvel’s movies aren’t perfect. There are a number of different ways that the movies can be improved, but that’s true for almost any movie out there. The difference is that with Marvel being so incredibly successful with their movies, people love to cry out “See! They’re not so great! Look at all of their flaws!” All because people hate to see a Goliath go so long without losing at least once.
I don’t know when Marvel will finally have a failure. Their lineup for the next few years seems pretty strong, so I can’t pick anything out in particular as the next target. But I honestly think that a flop can only help them, because instead of saying “look at the strained relationship between Banner and Black Widow”, we can finally say “that movie may have had some rough spots, but at least it wasn’t another Howard the Duck.”
Hey everybody, I got a really good comment the other day from a reader that was just full of questions, and I thought it would be fun to answer the questions here in a blog post. Hopefully she won’t mind. I am sure if she has questions, other folks out there may have questions as well. Her comment was on my crazy Spider-Man theory post from a little while back. Before we get to her comment, I just want to remind everyone that the post was simply a really crazy theory, and most of the rumors are now panning out to be not true. This was written a month ago, and since that time, it has been clear that Marvel is committed to bringing Peter Parker back to the big screen and they seem to have little interest in Miles Morales appearing in the role. That’s ok, as long as they can make this one stick this time. I just want to answer some of the questions in her comment because I want to show the dots I was connecting in my theory, and why my theory made sense even though it probably is never going to happen.
The comment came in just yesterday, March 28, from a reader named Maryam. I am going to paste her exact comment in this post, and then address her questions. Maryam says:
OMG! This post totally put it into perspective, though I’m not sure Garfield is done. I think they might pull an Avengers on us for the new Captain America movie (when Tony came down from the portal and our poor selves thinking he was dead) or they might do the same thing they did in Captain America Winter Soldier when Nick Fury supposedly “died” to save his cover. [Or maybe by some miracle spidey recovers from the shot. I doubt he would die from a bullet because in all the other spider- man films he dodged bullets with ease. I really don’t think cap would let him die anyway, he’s been shot before and survived… Garfield is an amazing spider-man, so I doubt they’d get rid of him in a movie that isn’t even a spider-man movie… Though I did hear the death of spider-man rumor, I don’t think it will happen, plus tony stark is supposedly in the new captain america, how could spider-man die with those two on his side? Plus how would they incorporate a new spidey without getting rid of the whole previous cast who have contributed so much to the success of the films? And what are the chances of another spider-man just waltzing in another movie if he hasn’t come to help the original sometime in the previous movies… I mean shouldn’t he have been included in the other spider-man movies helping out Peter? Anyway, I hope this comment has been somewhat useful, even though it is really long…
First of all, Maryam, thank you for the comment, I love seeing reader feedback, and the length just shows that you were putting a lot of thought into the comment. I am going to try to address each part of your comment and see if I can answer each of your questions. You first mention that you’re not sure Garfield is done. Unfortunately for all the Andrew Garfield fans out there, he is through being Spider-Man. Sony and Marvel are moving forward with casting a brand new Spider-man and the Spidey we will see in the MCU will be a rebooted Spider-Man. I understand that many folks out there think Garfield was an “Amazing Spider-Man” ( I like what you did there, even if you didn’t mean to do it), but Sony wants to move away from ASM 2, which was a disappointment in a lot of ways.
The rumored death of Peter Parker was going to be a real death, in order to open the door for Mile Morales to step in as Spider-Man. This follows a similar path as the Ultimate Comics version of Spider-Man, although not exactly. In the Ultimate Comics, Peter Parker dies as Spider-Man in a heroic effort to basically save everyone. Part of what ultimately brings him down is a bullet he takes trying to save Captain America. In my theory, I thought it might be cool to combine this with the Civil War storyline, and Pete could take a bullet for Cap, and this leads to his death. Of course in my theory, Toby Maguire would be playing a seasoned Spider-Man. It looks like recent rumors are pointing to a much younger Spider-Man. This still could follow the Ultimate storyline since Peter’s death occurs just after his 16th birthday, so we could still see a Miles Morales Spider-Man in the near future. I doubt it, but this just shows that the young age doesn’t rule out the possibility. I know Spider-Man has dodged bullets in other films, but in this case, he wouldn’t be dodging a bullet as much as protecting someone else.
As far as Iron Man being in the next Captain America movie, it’s true, but don’t think of it as a team up. It is following the Civil War storyline, that, in the comics, put Captain America and Iron Man on opposite sides of a debate over the Super Human Registration Act. That is similar to what is going to happen in the movies, so although they will both be in the movie, they won’t be on the same side, and if Spidey is helping Cap, he won’t be on Iron Man’s side, so the two of them will not be working to protect Spider-Man.
As far as replacing the whole previous cast, that is going to happen as this next Spider-Man, whatever story it ends up following, will be another re-boot. A whole new Peter Parker, a whole new MJ or Gwen, a whole new Aunt May, a whole new everybody. It will be all the characters we know from the previous two versions of Spider-Man, but they will be a completely new cast. That is going to happen regardless of what happens to Peter Parker. The next Spider-Man movie will not be Amazing Spider-Man 3. Maybe The Spectacular Spider-Man?
Having another character just waltz in and take up the Spider-Man Mantle is not unheard of. Miles Morales has done it in the Ultimate Universe. Ben Reilly did it for a while in the mainstream universe. This also happens with other comic book characters all the time. I know usually these characters have a past of helping the main character out, and that’s a fair point, but in the ultimate storyline, Peter Parker and Miles Morales didn’t know each other. Miles takes up the title of Spider-Man in honor of the fallen, dead Spider-Man. It could work It’s not unheard of.
I hope those answers helped to clarify your questions, Maryam. If any of you have any questions about a post, please feel free to ask in the comments section, and I will always try to reply.
Who doesn’t love a major blockbuster franchise? I think everyone does, especially the studios who make said films, and consequently make lots of money. These films have a tendency to be a huge part of our lives. We literally spend years waiting for the next one to come out, and then when it does come out we pick it apart with our friends and begin waiting for the next one. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t anticipating a new film. Granted, sometimes I was waiting for films that probably weren’t really coming out. That was before our magical information age, so I was relying on friends, who had no more information than I did.
In any case, I have taken it upon myself to seek out the 10 greatest geeky film franchises, and then to rank them from 10 to 1. Why? Because, obviously, I love starting arguments. You won’t agree with my list. That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion, however incorrect it might be. Just joshing’ you. A list like this is absolutely subjective, so your list would definitely be different from mine, and that’s ok.
You’ll notice that the Marvel movies did not make my list. I love these films, for the most part, but I felt like a whole “Cinematic Universe” was too broad. Since I am the one making the list, I felt comfortable making the rules, like that one. I also did not include two franchises that were the same, like the 1990’s Batman and Nolan’s Dark Knight, or Star Trek and the new Star Trek. I picked one or the other.
This list is supposed to be anything ground breaking. Mostly it was just for fun, and to hopefully start a conversation or two. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments. We love hearing from you.
10. The Spider-Man Trilogy
This trilogy seemed like the first big Superhero hit of the century. This thing was just massive when the first one came out. It was well done, as it brought Spider-Man to the big screen for the first time. It’s interesting because this was before Marvel Studios was really a thing, so they were more invested in this one. Go back and watch these films. They feel like the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, more than the recent Amazing series. Tobey Maguire was great as Peter Parker and was decent as Spider-Man. The suit was spot on. Everything was pretty good. It was a shame that it was rebooted so quickly after the third film was released.
By far, in my opinion, the best film of the trilogy was number 2. The story seemed to flow the best, and Doc Ock was fantastic. I think it worked because there was one, count ’em, one villain in the film. That just seems to work the best. It built on to what we saw in the first film, and had the classic moment where Pete decides to hang up the suit for good. As well as the classic moment where he saves the train and the people of New York finally really embrace him as a hero. Start to finish, this installment was the most watchable.
Number 3 is the infamous franchise killer. If this installment had just been any good at all, Tobey Maguire may be getting ready for his close up in Avengers instead of a new Spider-Man being cast. Start to finish, this film was just not good. Part of the problem? It was the opposite of what we saw in 2- it had too many villains. For some reason there always seems to be a desire with a superhero franchise to begin character cramming. It never turns out well. Ever.
9. Back to the Future
There were few movies that were as cool as Back to the Future when I was a kid. I loved these films. Each of them was one of my favorites growing up. I always dreamed of someday having a DeLorean of my own. It has yet to happen, but I am holding out hope. I loved watching the adventures of Marty and Doc, and I always get sad when number 3 comes to an end and it’s all over. Despite all the 80s references, it is still timeless in a lot of ways. My kids watched the first one a couple of weeks ago and really liked it quite a bit.
The best of the series was the original. It had the tightest story (notice I said tightest, not necessarily tight), and the fewest gimmicks. It seems like the second and third movie thrived on the gimmicks and the same jokes from the first one, just replayed in different times. The first one was just so original, it is hard to top. It is the main reason why the franchise has endured as long as it has.
Number 3. It was just too cheesy. Don’t get me wrong, number 3 is still a lot of fun, and out of nostalgia, I still love watching it, but it is just not the same quality of the first film.
Where does the X-Men movie franchise end? is it 2 separate franchises, or just one? With Days of Future Past, it became one franchise. I grew up in the 90s watching the old X-Men cartoons, and I was in love with them just as much as any other kid alive at the time. It was just amazing when this franchise was launched, and seeing Hugh Jackman step into the Wolverine role for the first time was just incredible. He was born to play the part. As was Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier. I remember thinking he would be a perfect Xavier if they ever got around to making an X-Men film. I was right.
My personal favorite was X-2. I always liked the story of how Wolverine becomes Wolverine. I have also liked the Nightcrawler character. I’m sure is has nothing to do with the fact that he is German. The second movie was a lot of fun from start to finish. Although, First Class is a close second for me. It was also very solid and enjoyable.
Easy. Last Stand. I am can’t tell you how happy I am that Days of Future Past basically retconned that Last Stand never happened. It should have never happened. I wish it hadn’t. Unfortunately, I do remember paying good money to see it in the theater.
7. Harry Potter
One of the best modern book series became one of the best geeky movie franchises. There is a definite shift in these films as they transition from Chamber of Secrets to Prisoner of Azkaban, just like the books did. The young actors were not very good at first. They got by mostly on just being “cute,” but they grew into their roles and each one was pretty good toward the end. The movies may not have followed the books perfectly, but I think they did a great job capturing the feeling of the books, which is really almost the best one can hope for.
For me, I have to say, I really dig any of the movies from Order of the Phoenix onward. They are paced well, and pretty action packed. That’s saying something, because I did not enjoy the Order of the Phoenix book. It was one of my least favorites.
The Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for our British friends). The kids were just learning how to be actors and just developing their chemistry together. Plus, it was like a Disney version of Harry Potter. It was way family centric and almost kid focused. It started getting better with Prisoner of Azkaban.
Superman: The Motion Picture was pretty amazing for its time. I understand it doesn’t compare to what we see today as far as special effects, but it’s not bad either. Plus, Christopher Reeves will always be Superman in my mind. I admit that this is probably higher up on the list for me simply because I grew up watching these movies constantly. I’ll admit right here that Superman has always been my favorite, and I know I am opening it up for all the Batman and anti-Superman folks to send me hate mail or stop following my blog, but I’m proud of my love for Big Blue.
For me, none of the films in this series touches Superman II. That was always my favorite. I think the main reason why is because Superman actually had a real challenge on his hands with 3 other beings just as powerful to fight against. Then to top it all off, he had just given up his powers to be with Lois. Yes, the costumes definitely date the movie, but 30 years from now, some other blogger, or whatever they will be doing then, will be writing about how the costumes in Man of Steel date that movie.
Superman III. Out of all the stinkers on this list, this one is the one that I will say go ahead and just skip it. There is no reason to watch it, unless you have a couple of hours you simply don’t want.
5. Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones was the reason I wanted to study History as I got older. I know, he was an archaeologist, but in High School, History was as close as I could get to Archaeology. Then I found out that archaeologists don’t have adventures like Indiana Jones, plus, in History class, I learned about how the Nazis were not really around anymore, so it kind of lost some of its magic. Not completely, though. Indiana did really teach me that there was value in the past and that it was worth studying. I credit him for my love of History. Plus, Harrison Ford was pretty much the coolest guy in the late 70s and through the 80s and early 90s. Who am I kidding, after walking away from that plane crash last week, he’s still the coolest guy around. Indy was so iconic, with his fedora and his leather satchel and jacket, and the whip. He was awesome. I loved this trilogy growing up, and I even have fond memories of seeing Last Crusade in the theater and thinking it was awesome. What a way to end the series. Let’s all pretend that’s how this paragraph can end.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is tough to beat. While Last Crusade will always have a special place in my heart because I remember seeing it in the theater and it started in Utah, Raiders is the superior movie. It is a classic in every sense of the word. This movie, along with Star Wars launched Harrison Ford from being a relative unknown to being a super star.
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Pretty easy choice, if you ask me. Maybe I need to go back and revisit the film, but it is just so hard. I left the theater thinking, “Why?!” Last Crusade was so perfect, this one just did not need to happen.
4. The Dark Knight Trilogy
In an attempt to stem the thousands of comments I was sure to receive about how Batman is better than Superman, I have ranked Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy above the Superman series. It would be hard to rank it below. This was a very solid trilogy, and what I love most about it is that it was a trilogy. Nolan is not coming back to do another Batman film. He told his story, and now he has moved on. This trilogy really showed what Superhero movies could be. It’s no coincidence that this series is the highest ranking superhero franchise on my list.
Could there be any other choice? The Dark Knight is one of the most perfect films from start to finish. It was a masterpiece, from the storytelling to Heath Ledger’s Joker, it is hard to find a lot of fault with this movie. It has to be the best of the 3.
The Dark Knight Rises. It just didn’t flow as well as The Dark Knight, and Bane was a poor substitute for Joker, but for obvious reasons Joker did not return in this film. It wasn’t a horrible movie, so maybe calling it a stinker is unfair, but I had to pick one film to be a stinker from the trilogy.
3. Star Trek
10 movies puts this franchise at the top of our list as far as number of installments. It is a testament to the endearing qualities of Star Trek that have allowed the franchise to last as long as it has and still be relevant. I selected the original, prime universe, franchise, and not the new rebooted universe franchise because of how long it lasted. I have always thought of Star Trek as the best of the best as far as Science Fiction goes, at least on TV and on film. Trek was such a big part of my growing up. I used to go through my house and pretend that there were sliding doors in every doorway, like my house was a starship. I would even do sound effects as I went from room to room. I mean I eventually grew out of it…when i got married and I was too embarrassed to let my wife know that I did that kind of weird stuff. Ok, fine, I do it when she is not at how and the kids are in bed. It’s really not that weird.
When you have so many films, it is hard to choose which one is the best. I have always been partial to First Contact because Picard is so awesome in it, but I think for the Best, I have to go with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This is the movie that saved the franchise after the first Star Trek Movie was less than good. It is also the movie that set the pace of every even-numbered Star Trek being good, while each odd-numbered was typically not as good. Go ahead, look ’em up if you don’t believe me. It pretty much works out that way.
When you have this many movies, chances are there are a couple of stinkers in the bunch, but the stinkiest of the stinkers has to be Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. So much bad heaped into one movie. They almost had to make VI just to save the franchise and get it back on track. They couldn’t with this dung pile.
2. Star Wars
Let the arguments begin. How is this not number 1? I hear you, but I think it is indisputable that this belongs in the top 2 with my number 1, and the 2 franchises could be interchangeable, at least in my mind. So how did Star Wars end up at number 2? The stinker was just a little more stinker than number 1’s stinky. Star Wars has so many fond memories for me, but what I love is that the series remains pretty timeless. I know the prequels get a bad wrap, especially by people my age and older, but for my kids, the prequel are just part of the story, good or bad, it is the way it is. This and X-Men were the only franchises I had on this list that we know for sure are still going on. I will be eager to see how Episode VII turns out, even if it is a Christmas release. However, good news today as it was announced that Episode VIII will be end of May in 2017. That just feels right.
This comes down to A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. For me personally, it is Empire Strikes Back. There was just always something great about this movie for me. The characters seemed more developed, more comfortable in their roles, and more complex. The story was also really good and flowed well. I love watching Empire Strikes Back, and the big reveal scene never gets old, even when I know it’s coming. I am right there with Luke shouting NO! Literally. I mean my wife usually has to calm me down and remind it’s only a movie.
A lot of people will say it Phantom Menace. I disagree. For me it is Attack of the Clones. I think part of the problem is the name. I could never get past the name. It just sounds stupid. I think the other part, and this is the bigger part for sure, was Hayden Christensen. Attack of the clones was painful for me from start to finish. This is the movie that is responsible for Star Wars at 2 instead of 1. This movie and Jar-Jar.
1. The Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit
First of all, congratulations on making it to the end of what has ended up being a very long post. Congratulations, and thank you for reading and sticking with it. Yes, The Lord of the Rings is my number one. When you think about it, it has a lot in common with Star Wars. Both had very solid original trilogies, followed up with prequel trilogies that were not as good. In my mind, the Hobbit trilogy, although obviously not needing to be a trilogy, is better than the Star Wars Prequels. Hence, it takes the number 1 spot. These movies are huge time commitment (much like this post), but they are always worth it. I can’t think of a time when I have been bored while watching these films, at least the original trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. The scene when Sam picks up Frodo and carries him up the mountain, it just hits me in the feels every time. So much so, that I won’t include the video here.
It is hard to say which of the Lord of the Rings movies is the best, and really they were all shot at the same time, and are all one continuous story, so the whole trilogy is the best, and should always be consumed in one sitting. Always.
The Desolation of Smaug. Just shouldn’t have happened. The Hobbit was too long by about one whole installment, maybe two. But definitely this one. And whoever heard of a romance between an elf maiden and a dwarf? No one, not even Tolkien.
Well, there’s my list. What did you think? Which ones do you agree with? And disagree? Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you, and love talking about this stuff, so let me know. In any case, there’s a pretty good list of movies for you to watch, if, you know, you’re bored or anything like that.
Well, it has been a few days since I wrote anything about Spider-Man, so that means there’s a whole bunch of new crazy rumors out there in the internet. Chances are, most of them are not true, but some of them keep repeating, and where there’s smoke, there tends to be fire, most of the time. And, upon examining a few of the rumors out there, something started to formulate in my mind. A theory. It’s crazy at best, bold for sure, but somehow, it makes sense, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came true. Before I get to my theory, let me first run through the rumors, and then I can show you how it all adds together.
Danny Elfman will be a musical contributor to Avengers: Age of UltronThis isn’t all rumor. This 100 per cent true. According to the new movie poster released yesterday, Danny Elfman is accredited as a musical contributor of some sort. Brian Tyler is still doing the main score, so Elfman is providing some kind of additional music. Comicbook.com points out that he may just be responsible for the remix of “No Strings” that played in the trailer. I don’t know about that. I doubt that will even be in the movie, if I had to guess. It was put together for the sole purpose of shocking everyone into paying attention to the trailer, and it worked. I doubt that warrants a movie credit. The same site also reminds us that Danny Elfman has done other superhero music before, including the original score for Sony’s first Spider-Man movie. Granted, The ASM series is fresher in all our minds, but the music isn’t. It was forgettable at best. Not Elfman’s classic film music, though. Interesting.
Sony wants to go back to high school with Spider-Man
According to an article from Variety, Sony wants to go much younger with their new Spider-Man films. They want to explore life as Spider-Man in high school. Granted, the last two film franchises started in high school, but it didn’t last long. By the sequels, Peter Parker was out of high school and moved on to other things. Sony is reportedly planning on keeping the movies in high school for a while, which will be interesting. Like what we see currently in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series on Disney XD. This means they need to find a much younger looking actor for the Spider-Man role. It would also be interesting to see how this would play out in the Civil War story. I think we can safely assume that the movie will not be following the comic book storyline. That being said, in the Civil War story, Peter Parker is not in high school. He is older, he is seasoned, he has been around for a while. Having him be in high school will obviously be different, and it raises some questions about how he will be interacting with the other heroes involved in the film, since, you know, he’ll be busy at school and not really running with the Tony Starks of the world. I think an established Spider-Man might work better in the story, but again, it might just be how I am relating it to the established story line. This rumor seems to be pretty solid. I would not be surprised if the next Spider-Man franchise revolves around a much younger protagonist.
Sony and Marvel are looking to cast either an African-American or Latino lead
According to Design and Trend, movie insider Jeff Sneider is almost completely certain that Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man will not be white. On a recent “Meet the Movie Press” podcast episode, Sneider is quoted as saying: “Spider-Man is going to be most likely black. But there is a chance he could also be Latino. 95 per cent sure not white.” This means, of course one of 2 things. Either Miles Morales is our Spider-Man in the MCU, or our MCU’s Peter Parker will not be white. Either way, it could be a very interesting move for Marvel. Miles would be hard, because his origin rests so much on Peter coming first. Peter being Latino or African-American is going to cause all sorts of controversy. I personally don’t have a problem with it, but Peter Parker has always been white. I covered this earlier, and I believe it could work, but I’m not sure they want to take the risk that it won’t work. Marvel has swooped in to save Spidey- they don’t want to do anything to mess that rescue up.
Spider-Man will die in Civil War
Out of the 4 rumors I am sharing in this post, this just feels the most not true, at least on the surface. It comes from the same source as the previous rumor about the race of Spider-Man, namely Jeff Sneider. The movie insider tweeted out on Monday that Peter Parker was going to die in Captain America: Civil War and that Miles Morales will be taking up the mantle going forward- meaning that Sony’s next solo movie will feature Morales, and not Parker. I feel like this, combined with the rumor about who will be playing Spider-Man, both coming from the same source could only mean one of two things. Either Sneider is really just messing with us by throwing out these rumors, or, he really has an inside track and the two rumors are connected. For my theory coming up here in a second, I am going with the inside track idea. We are going to assume this guy knows what he’s talking about.
Ok, hang on, because this is going to be a ride. You may have already put it all together from the rumors, because I have the smartest readers in the world. Just for fun, let me run through it. Danny Elfman is not contributing anything new to the soundtrack for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Instead, they will be using his original Spider-Man theme and we fanboys will be getting our Spider-Man appearance earlier than we thought. On certain levels, this makes sense. The whole thing is super hot right now, and if they threw in a post credits scene, just to because they can, it would cause quite a stir. It would be a huge deal. Using Elfman’s music makes sense, because it is already composed and ready to use. It also makes sense because I think the Sam Raimi films felt more like the MCU than the ASM films. Either way, the first part of my theory is that we will see at least a post credits appearance of Spider-Man in Avengers.
The second part of my theory is that we will be seeing a familiar face once Spidey removes his mask. I don’t know if we will see him sans mask in Avengers or Civil War, but when we do, it will not be a new actor. I think Sony is looking for a new Spider-Man actor, and we will get to that, but when we first see him, it will either be Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield. My gut says that Garfield is done. I think it will be Tobey since they will be using his music. I also believe they will retroactively tie in the Sam Raimi movies with the MCU (that’s a stretch, but not really if the rest is true). In other words, the first Spider-Man we see will not be new, but he will be experienced and well-loved by the people. That will be important for his role in Civil war. This might seem strange, because why would they have never mentioned him before if he was out being a superhero and stuff? Easy, Spider-Man has always been pretty local to New York. He doesn’t do a lot of world saving, mostly he just saves the city, so he wouldn’t be on the big Avengers style stage. I think it could work.
Peter Parker will die in Civil War and true to form, it will be taking a bullet to save Cap. That will be a nod to the comics. He is not bullet proof, so it works. It may just be the thing to bring the two sides back together enough to prepare for the Infinity War. His death will leave its mark and will be an inspiration the whole MCU because of how he dies. It will also be an inspiration for young Miles Morales, who will be bitten by a genetically altered spider and get spider powers of his own as a result. We won’t see this until 2017 with the new solo Spider-man movie.
All the rumors about a younger actor who is not white all point to this happening. The only way it works is to establish that there has been an existing Peter Parker Spider-man in the MCU, then have him die, and then enter Miles. This ends up being a win for everyone. Fans get to see a brand new Spider-Man movie, while Sony still gets their origin story movie, which do better than other superhero movies. Plus, Sony comes to the stage first with a main character superhero who is Black and Latino. Plus, they get the whole high school experience they are looking for.
What do you think? Is it just a crazy theory, or do the clues in the rumors add up? What if this is Marvel’s way of hinting to us what they are planning? What if it is just a crazy theory, and none of it comes to fruition? Well, then nice thing about writing for your own website is that you can’t get fired when you get it way wrong. Tell me what you think. Could we see all of this happen, or parts or none of it? Let me know in the comments.
Since the big announcement came down a few weeks ago, the internet has been swirling with excitement and speculation. One thing that has been on everyone’s minds has been who will be playing Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We know so far that Andrew Garfield is out, and that’s about it. One question that keeps coming up is whether Marvel should cast an African-American for the role of Spider-Man. The way I figure it, there are two things really pushing this. One is that Donald Glover joked about being the first black Spider-man back in 2011. Of course, at that time, Andrew Garfield was cast for the role. Now that he’s out, this has all come up again, many fans of Glover’s would like to see it happen. The other big thing pushing all of this is the cult following that Miles Morales has in the comics as Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe. I have nothing against Miles Morales being Spider-Man in the Ultimate Comics, or if they wanted to put him in a movie. But they won’t. It will be Peter Parker, because that is what everyone knows, that’s what everyone expects. Miles is not as well-known as Spider- Man, so I think it would be a big gamble to go with him. It doesn’t mean that Miles Morales movie wouldn’t be as good, or even better than a new round of Peter Parker movies, it just wouldn’t be as profitable. Hollywood doesn’t make movies just to tell good stories. They make movies to make money. Peter Parker sells, Miles is unproven and untested. That’s what it comes down to.
That being said, why can’t Peter Parker be African-American? What about Peter Parker is tied to his race? I understand, in the comics, he has always been white, but what about him would be dramatically altered if he were African-American or Asian or Hispanic? What would change about the character? That is a gamble I think I wouldn’t mind Marvel taking. They have already said that their Spider-Man would be Peter Parker, but could Pete be black? Fox is taking that chance with the Human Torch in the upcoming Fantastic Four film, and I think it will work fine. Let’s talk a look at what makes Peter Parker/Spider-Man who he is.
High School Student
Granted, Pete’s not in High School anymore in the comics, but this is the direction Disney/Marvel wants to go, and it is an area where Spidey works well- balancing his school work and his home life and his love life with saving the world. Peter Parker in High School works well, and having him be a young kid in the movies will be fun to see as he interacts with fully grown superheroes like Cap and Iron Man. Here’s an interesting fact, African-American kids, like white kids, go to high school. This particular part of the character would work whether he is black or white. In fact, it is working in the ultimate Comics version.
Peter Parker was always kind of a brainiac. That’s always been a part of who he is. He enjoys science and all of that stuff. I mean, he was the one who developed his webbing and how to shoot the webbing from his wrists. There is a long history of him even being able to hold his own with Tony Stark and Reed Richards. This is another aspect of his character that is definitely not tied to race. Anyone can be smart, anyone can be into science. You don’t have to be any kind of race or gender or anything like that. He would be just as believable as a young African-American kid who is into science as he would be as a white kid.
Strong Family Ties
Peter is always concerned about his Aunt Mae. He wants her to safe, he wants to protect her. He wants to help her by doing stuff around the house or whatever. He recognizes how much work she does to take care of him. He also has always had a strong tie to his deceased uncle, Ben Parker. We know that what happens to Ben is what really propels him into being Spider-Man. None of that would have to change if they cast a Black Peter Parker. These kinds of ties to family and emotions and what not are not exclusive to any one race.
Sarcastic Sense of Humor
One of my favorite attributes of Spider-Man is that he is always cracking wise as he is fighting the super villains. He is witty and funny and it just makes for a more entertaining read. This was something I thought Andrew Garfield portrayed better than anyone. His Spider-Man was almost irreverent with some of his humor, but it worked, and I liked it. Again, this is something that works regardless of race or skin color. Your sense of humor is not tied to your race. It’s just not. I have seen funny people of all races, and I have seen really not at all funny people of all races. Race simply does not matter here.
Spidey has one of the biggest hearts of any superhero out there. He really is just out there to help out the little guy. He goes out, day after day and puts his life on the line to protect people and to help people. I mean every superhero does that in the comics, but with Spidey, somehow it’s something more. He really does simply because he wants to help and he feels like with his powers he can help. How does this make him white or Black or anything? It doesn’t. Big hearted, generous people come from all races and all walks of life. Race is not a factor here either.
From New York
You want to know something that defines Spider-Man? He is from New York. If you were to write a movie and have him come from Chicago or Boston or L.A., that would be ridiculous. Who cares what race he is, as long as he still comes from New York. The city is as much a character in the Spider-Man mythos as the Lizard, or Green Goblin, or Mary Jane. New York is absolutely central to the character. The good news here is that New York is also one of the most diverse places in the world, so anyone could come from New York.
The real reason Peter Parker is white in all the movies is simply because he always has been white. The only reason he always has been is because he was created in 1963, when all the major characters in mainstream media were white. That’s not the case anymore. It doesn’t represent who we are anymore. If Peter Parker/Spider-Man were to be created from scratch today, who’s to say he wouldn’t be a nerdy, African-American kid instead to a nerdy white kid? Chances are, he could be, and would that really change much about his story? The fact that the idea of Spidey being black in the next movie is even a big deal at all tells us that we need to have it happen. I don’t care who they cast as long as he can act well. That should be the only real requirement. This isn’t changing his race just to do it. We are talking about a fictional character who is not tied to any one race. Changing the race of a character just to change it would be making Thor Black. Thor is from Asgard, he is supposed to look Scandinavian. That’s Blue eyes, blonde hair. It would be wrong to change that for him. Spidey, though, is from New York. There is no cookie cutter New Yorker. This is saying, race is simply not a factor here, let’s find our best Spider-Man and put him on the screen. Race doesn’t matter here, so I am fine with whatever.
Yesterday, Marvel announced that they had reached a deal with Sony that would bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of course the internet went crazy for it. This is big, big news. This goes beyond a supposed email chain or rumors about some “Spidey Summit,” this is official from Marvel. It’s really happening, and that’s really cool. I know that it’s only really been recently that Spider-Man had been part of the Avengers in the comics, but I still want to see it happen. Plus, whether he is a permanent member or not, just having him around in the universe will feel good. He is where he belongs. Now ultimately, Sony gets all the distribution rights and the final creative say on the Spider-Man movies, but let’s hope they’re smart about it and let Marvel do all the heavy lifting, while they reap all the benefits. Now that he’s home, there are 3 things I would like to see happen with the character in the MCU.
1. No Origin Movie
Raise your hand if you don’t know the origin story of how Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man? I would imagine that no one is raising their hand right now. In the last 15 years we have seen the origin of Spider-Man twice on the big screen. Two summer blockbuster films have established for us that he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets his powers. We all also know that he doesn’t stop a thief, who he could have, but it wasn’t his problem. Said thief then murders his Uncle Ben. He learns that with great power comes great responsibility. We all know this, and we don’t need to see it in another 2 hour+ film. I am hoping that we won’t see it. According to the deal, Spider-Man will be appearing in a Marvel movie sometime between now and July 28, 2017, when he will be appearing in his first movie. That might indicate that we will be skipping the origin movie and just brushing over his origin story, since he will be in another property’s film.
2. I Want That Movie to be Civil War
According to the deal, Spidey will appear in an upcoming Marvel film before appearing in his own film, which is now set to open on July 28, 2017. Let’s assume that Avengers: Age of Ultron is out because we are so close to the release date of that one, and I don’t think they went to all this trouble to get Spidey to just throw him inputs credits. Let’s assume Ant-Man is out for the same reason, and it would be a weird one to introduce Spidey in. That leaves us with 3 possibilities: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Of those 3, I would say that Civil War makes the most sense. Spider-Man has had crossovers with Doctor Strange before, so I guess it is possible, but that movie will for sure be an origin movie for Doctor Strange, so it would seem cumbersome and awkward to also introduce another new major character. Spider is a down to Earth guy, he doesn’t spend a lot of time in outer space, so a crossover with GOTG just doesn’t seem likely either. He did, however, play a major role in the Civil War storyline in the comics. In fact, when they announced Civil War as the title of the next Captain America film, I wondered how they could do it without Peter Parker. In fact, I didn’t think they could, so I theorized at that time that Spidey would be in the film. I think they were close to this deal when they announced the film and this was the plan all along.
3. It Needs to Be a New Spider-Man
I think this is a done deal. It will not be Andrew Garfield ad Peter Parker. Everything in the announcement from Marvel refers to it as a “new” Spider-Man. I think that it’s necessary for it to be someone new. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and as Spider-Man, especially with Emma Stone. The two together had great chemistry onscreen. I just feel like, after Amazing Spider-Man 2, the franchise felt broken, beyond repair. I think a reboot of some sort was inevitable. I think this is a great point to bring in a new Spider-Man, letting everyone know that what happened before is not part of the MCU, and this is a new Spidey. I think it only makes sense. I have seen people start guessing at who it will be, and frankly, as long as it’s not Ben Afleck, then I am fine. What I would really like to see is a no-name actor that they kind of discover for this role, or who has had minor roles. That would just seem to fit the Spider-Man character.
Whatever happens with Spidey in the MCU, I think we can all agree that this is a good day, and a big day for Marvel and for Spider-Man. I can’t wait to see what will happen with the character and where they go next with the character and the whole universe. It is a good day to be a geek.