DC Comics has long been an afterthought when it comes to comic books in pop culture. With the exception of staple characters like Batman and Superman, DC superheroes have been known to take a backseat to the more popular characters of Marvel Comics. While Marvel has seemingly cornered the market on superhero movies, DC has found a way to sneak their lesser known characters into homes with a series of compelling television dramas. Shows like Arrow and the Flash, have garnered massive critical acclaim and huge fan bases due to their solid writing and overall accessibility. Both of these television shows have turned characters that few people actually cared about into weekly water cooler conversation, and they may have even surpassed the popularity of some of DC’s most recent cinematic releases. It is pretty clear that DC has struck gold with these television shows, but it seems like they don’t exactly want to go “all in” on their television productions. The company has already planned to make an expanded movie realm that will include some of the same characters as the tv shows, however the realms will be completely separate. While the DC movies are already well into production, I think it is a terrible idea to cast new characters to play a role that is already being shown on the tv screen. I understand that the company made these tv shows to spark an interest in their future cinematic plans, but I feel the separation of the two entities will just cause confusion and alienate fans of the television shows from the cinematic universe DC is trying to create.
Fantastic Four is the most recent superhero movie released, and due to reviews from my friends, I stayed far away from watching this movie. My curiosity and desire to watch any recent superhero film finally got the best of me, and I decided to watch the “terrible movie” that my friends warned me about. I have stated before in this blog that I generally like to watch movies without reading a review, since I don’t want to watch with a tainted impression. I decided to watch this movie months after its release and unfortunately I have heard nothing but bad things about it, so my expectations were very low. My honest impression of Fantastic Four, is that it is a good movie, not great, but definitely better than what I expected. When I say this movie is good, I mean it does what an action movie should, it has great effects and a couple of decent fight scenes, nothing that is award worthy. The issue with this movie is its pace, it is an extremely short movie that tries to do too much in a short time, and ends up leaving far too many unanswered questions. The characters are not correctly developed, and the major villain is not even introduced as such until there is 20 minutes left in the film. I have read that the director wanted a much longer film, and that he was upset about the cuts the producers made. Now that I have seen the film, I fully understand the director’s displeasure with the finished product. This movie had a lot of potential, and based on what I saw, it really just needed more time to explain itself in order to be a great movie. I am not sure if this movie was a product of low expectations, but I believe this movie could have been much better than it was if they took the directors advice and made it a bit longer and more developed. For what the movie was, I think it was fine, it is a very short action movie that quickly pushes viewers through a hallway without answering questions. I am the type of viewer who likes to understand the story behind a movie in order to enjoy it, but I was still satisfied enough with this film due to my understanding that the director did not mean for it to be so rushed. Fantastic Four is not the greatest superhero movie but it is not the worst, if you are looking for a quick, mindless, action film to watch, it is definitely worth at least a rental.
Ant-Man was a fantastic film, it had a great balance of comedy and action, and the casting was perfect. As you have seen from my past reviews, I am a big time action movie fan, and Marvel hit this one out of the park when it comes to action. The idea of casting Paul Rudd as a super hero seemed a bit sketchy to me, but after seeing the advanced amount of humor in the film, I am glad they chose him. The character of Ant-Man is an extremely sarcastic and intelligent individual, who seemed to be thrown into a much larger world than he would have ever expected. The film is small within the scope of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it leaves a large impression. The writing in the film was extremely clever, it played more like a comedy than a dramatic action film. Even with the deep drama going on in the narrative, there was never a moment when this film took itself too seriously. In a way it was like this movie made light of the whole dramatic world Marvel spent over 10 years creating, and I gladly accept this infusion of levity. If I can categorize this movie in the scope of the othe films in the MCU, I would call it the anti-Thor. The Thor movies always came off to me as dry with a bit of laughs thrown in, while Ant-Man takes a more comedic stance on drama. I would recommend this film to any comic book lover, but oddly enough, I would recommend it more to a comedy fan. The laughs were steady and warranted, and the actors made me feel like they would really exist in the world of the film. This movie is a low risk film for Marvel, they probably have no plans to make a sequel for this film, but after watching I would gladly pay to see Ant-Man return in his own solo film. I really enjoyed this film, and I can’t wait to see how they fit this wacky cast of characters into the future Marvel films.
In recent years online streaming services have become a home to the art of “binge watching.” Binge watching involves viewing an entire season of a television show in one sitting. Streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, have found a way to take advantage of this method of watching programs by creating original content and releasing it in blocks of several episodes. The newest program available for viewing online is Marvel’s Daredevil, it is a show based on a comic about a blind superhero who uses his day job as a lawyer in order to get closer to his targets. I have seen the first four episodes, and I am very happy with the writing and acting of the show. I love superhero based dramas, and my favorite superhero movie is The Punisher (2004), the protagonist of The Punisher incidentally happens to be a major antagonist in the Daredevil series, so that piqued my interest in this show a bit more. Marvel’s Daredevil is similar to the punisher in that the hero is a human, who happens to have extraordinary skills, both of these programs involve somewhat realistic people in outlandish situations, figuring out how to escape these situations with human strength or skill, they give a sense of realism to the world of superheroes. Daredevil is an extremely gritty show, with a plenty of violence so I would not recommend it to a child, but for an adult who either loves the comic, or is aware of Daredevil, this show is a must watch. This show does justice to a comic book character that was nearly thrown away after a terrible cinematic release years ago. The Daredevil film of 2003 should be completely disregarded when viewing this version of Daredevil. It seems as though the writers have figured out how to correctly portray one of the more complicated comic book characters, and I am eager to see what they decide to do next with the series.