Tag Archives: James Spader

Top 5: MCU Villains (insert evil laughter here)

Tom Hiddleston, Loki, Thor: The Dark World


There’s an old saying amongst people who compulsively read comic books that heroes are only as good as their villains.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe just churned out MCU #12 with Ant-Man (click here for review), and now we’re on a sad break until Netflix’s Jessica Jones in the fall.  If there’s a systemic flaw in the franchise it is that, while the heroes have been cast and developed near-perfectly, the villains have not gotten the same treatment.

Sadly, this is-in part-because a lot of Marvel’s best villains are locked into the X-Men and Fantastic Four lots that are owned by other studios.  The Red Skull was completely mishandled in Cap 1, and I don’t believe for a second he’s dead so hopefully they’ll give him his due the second time around.  In fact, if Tom Hiddleston hadn’t nearly stolen Phase 1 from Iron Man, we’d be talking about this as a real problem.  Hiddleston’s Loki is so good that the temptation is to overuse him because he’s SO GOOD.  Norse gods don’t age though, and Hiddleston will, so the smart move is to spend more time developing antagonists with depth equal to the heroes.  That will probably have to start with Dr. Strange, because in Captain America: Civil War, the heroes are going to be pounding on each other.

1. Wilson Fisk (Daredevil)

I think, and we’ll see if the fall’s Jessica Jones proves me right, that the best villains are going to come out of the Netflix shows.  They have what the movie villains lack: time.  The Kingpin doesn’t appear until the end of the fourth episode of the series, but his presence is there from the pilot.  D’Onofrio didn’t just make him a thug or a refined crime boss or a bully.  He made him a scared little boy trying to mold his world like a child building a train set.  Nuanced, brilliant and explosively dangerous, the Kingpin is the new standard for what a Marvel villain can be.

2. Loki (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers)

I know, I know, you think he should be number one.  He certainly was until April.  He’s been in the most films of every villain (he was cut from Age of Ultron or he’d have been in four) and we’re certainly going to see him again.  Loki is a character, like all the Asgardians, that could have come off corny and dumb, but Hiddleston just ate scenery like a mulcher every time he was onscreen.  The best part about him, though, is he’s NOT pure evil, he does love his brother, he just also wants to rule the world.  He has depth that only D’Onofrio topped and he had more time to develop it.

3. The Winter Soldier (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Oh he’s not much of a talker, but for sheer menace and ability, The Winter Soldier hit Cap and company like a freight train.  I did not like Sebastian Stan in the first Cap film, but I will give him all the props in the world for making TWS a foe that made the Red Skull look like a pussycat (which is actually a problem, but not Stan’s fault).

4. Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

Between Ultron and The Blacklist, I live in a world where I like James Spader.  However did that happen?  Spader did a great job with Ultron.  He’s a child, learning at an exponential rate and if he sounds like Stark….you have to remember he kind of is.  That is the scary thing and that, I think, will lead us to Civil War.

5. Whiplash (Iron Man 2)

I know Iron Man 2 has its detractors, but rewatch it and look how much it sets up for Phase 2.  If you had told me that Whiplash was going to somehow be made cool, I’d have passed you some very tasty pills, but Mickey Rourke managed to put actual menace in him and the scene where he compares his family to the Starks while Tony visits him in prison is one of my favorite in the MCU.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Poster Debuts

Yes it’s just a tidbit to keep us going until May 1st, but it’s a MARVEL tidbit!  Check out the official poster for Age of Ultron below and start making a paper chain to count down its arrival in theaters on May 1, 2015.

Avengers Age of Ultron

New Age of Ultron Photos and Synopsis!!!



Eight new photos in HD and a new official synopsis that confirms, among other things, that Tony Stark will be the one who creates Ultron (it’s Hank Pym – the character Michael Douglas will play in Ant-Man- in the comics).  This all looks fantastic; the second trailer was jaw-dropping.  The only bummer is that Joss Whedon has already confirmed that this will probably be his last Avengers flick.  On the other hand, the top names I’ve heard for Avengers: Infinity War Parts One and Two are the Russo Brothers who didn’t do too shabby a job with last year’s Captain America The Winter Soldier.  Enjoy the Avengery goodness on Super Bowl Hangover Day!  Avengers: Age of Ultron opens wide May 1, 2015. Continue reading New Age of Ultron Photos and Synopsis!!!

Top 5: Freshman Shows of the 2013-2014 TV Season

This TV season has been one of the best in recent memory for new shows.  Usually we’re lucky to get one or two new shows worth following, but this season we’ve gotten way over our quota.  Here are my top 5 new shows since September.

1. True Detectives (HBO)

True Detective, HBO, Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey

2. The Blacklist (NBC)

tv, James Spader

3. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)


4. Brooklyn Ninety-Nine (FOX)

Brooklyn Ninety-Nine, Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg

5. Almost Human (FOX)

JJ Abrams, Almost Human, Karl Urban, Lily Taylor

Joss Whedon Has Added Another Villain to Avengers: Age of Ultron (Minor Spoilers)

This has been floating around the rumor mill for a few weeks, but I wanted something more concrete before I passed it on. Ultron will not be the only villain facing the Avengers in Age of Ultron. Heck, he may not even be the main villain. Today Whedon cast Thomas Kretschmann (King Kong, Wanted) as Baron Von Strucker. Continue reading Joss Whedon Has Added Another Villain to Avengers: Age of Ultron (Minor Spoilers)