RED BAND CLIP WARNING (NSFW)
Deadpool was a wildly successful surprise in 2016 because it gleefully embraced the character and gave comic book fans and movie fans in general a hysterically inventive impish bag of just plain wrong. Deadpool’s hyper violence and super embrace of its R-Rating isn’t an indication that all super hero films need to be R-Rated, but Deadpool is an R-Rated character and one that Ryan Reynolds gets to a disturbing degree. After seeing the character maligned in the regrettable X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds made it a personal crusade to get an unplugged Deadpool onscreen and was rewarded with huge box office and a Golden Globe nomination.
Deadpool doesn’t work because it’s hyper violent and contains possibly the most amazingly inventive bag of swearing I’ve ever beheld (and I-no joke-used to live on the docks). It works because THAT is who Deadpool is, and Reynolds manages to still make the sociopathic fourth-wall-breaking mutant relatable, sympathetic, and somehow endearing despite the mayhem he leaves in his wake. Picking a favorite example of that is tough, but I love the contrast between Colossus, occupying the opposite end of the moral spectrum in the X-Universe, and Wade. Watching Deadpool literally pulverize himself while trying to beat up Colossus may be the hardest I laughed in a film that consistently entertains start to finish. Deadpool 2 has a tough act to follow.
In its third weekend of release, Avengers: Infinity War leaped to #5 all-time at the global box office, passing the original Avengers film to become the highest grossing super hero movie in history. In the US, the film passed The Dark Knight to climb to #8 on the domestic charts. With Deadpool 2 this week and Solo: A Star Wars Story coming the following week, we’ll have to see what kind of staying power the super hero epic has, but it’s already left an indelible mark on the box office. While I don’t quite want to get into an all-out spoilers discussion (I hate to ruin the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, and if you haven’t, GO! See it in the theater in the biggest format you can!), for those of us who have seen it, you may have wondered exactly how much screen time the massive cast got per character. (Potential spoiler warning)
Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War Characters – Screen Time Breakdown
After clearing his name, Luke Cage has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.
Mike Colter returns as the titular Luke Cage, with Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, Theo Rossi as Shades and Finn Jones as Danny Rand aka Iron Fist. Newcomers to the series so far include Mustafa Shakir (The Deuce, The Night Of) as John McIver, a natural leader, brimming with charisma, whose mission is focused on Harlem and vengeance; and Gabrielle Dennis (Insecure, Rosewood) as Tilda Johnson, a brilliant, holistic doctor with a complicated history in Harlem where, as much as she tries to stay far from trouble, it seems to always find her.
The second season is executive produced by series showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker (Ray Donovan), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.
Marvel’s Luke Cage returns June 22.
One person MIA in Avengers: Infinity War was Ant-Man. Something the film’s cast addressed this week.
The answer to the path Scott Lang’s been on since we last saw him in 2015’s Ant-Man will presumably be answered in July’s issue #20 of the MCU: Ant-Man and the Wasp. The new film will also introduce the Wasp (one of the founding Avengers in the comics) to the MCU. The villain will be the Ghost, which is an extremely cool choice for a great character that has never gotten mainstream attention. The film will also add Michelle Pfieffer to the cast as the original Wasp and Laurance Fishburne as Dr. Bill Foster, the original Giant-Man. After the intensity of Infinity War, we could use an infusion of fun, and the trailer looks like they’ve clearly been taking the time to think up all the possibilities inherent in Ant-Man’s size-altering powers. Ant-Man and the Wasp will open July 6, 2018.
One of the primary reasons that James Mangold’s Logan works so well as a send-off to Hugh Jackman’s 17 years playing Wolverine is that it does the opposite of nearly every superhero movie convention expected. The end result earned critical and commercial acclaim and an Oscar nomination for adapted screenplay (a Wolverine movie got an Oscar nomination for screenplay; thought I’d say that again). More than a superhero film, Logan has more in common with the Western where an old gunslinger goes out on a final quest (more Unforgiven than X-Men).
In fact, my favorite cut of the film is Logan Noir: the black & white version of the film included as bonus feature on the Blu Ray. Denuded of a lot of the effect of the blood, the film feels more in tune with an old warrior’s final journey. But Mangold does give the fans, at the end of the film, one final berserker charge from Wolverine as he races to save his daughter and the last mutant children from the Reavers. Even that scene though, if you put him on a horse and swapped his claws for six-shooters, would be straight out of a Western. Kudos to Jackman for 17 years as the world’s favorite mutant, and to James Mangold for figuring out a way to give us a Wolverine that was off his leash, yet more true to the character’s roots than in any other film he’s been in.