Category Archives: Marvel

Root Beer Film Festival: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Here are the last four movies I have watched in a theatre: Man of Steel, The Avengers, Django Unchained, and Iron Man 2. All four I watched alone with strangers, and this morning was no different when I entered a darkened theatre at 10:25 with my overpriced popcorn and Mug root beer for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

“Days of Future Past” is one of the quintessential X-Men stories created by a classic X-Men creator line-up of Chris Claremont, John Byrne, and Terry Austin. The two issue story involves Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat traveling back in time to stop Mystique from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly, and starting a war between mutants and humans. The movie shifts this story around a bit to feature the more popular Wolverine, but the basics are the same.

I am a big fan of X-Men: First Class and was somewhat disappointed that director Matthew Vaughn would not be returning to Days of Future Past, but thankfully Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy did return as Magneto and Xavier.

I would love to write a ton of words about Days of Future Past. I liked it, but thought it had some flaws. To same time here are my five favorite things (in no particular order) in Days of Future Past because lists are easier:

I guess you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because I was really expecting to hate Quicksilver based on his costume alone. And then I noticed the Pink Floyd shirt, and then I saw a really fun performance by Evan Peters, and Quicksilver quickly (pun intended?) grew on me. Sadly, he didn’t have enough screen time, but that time was the comic relief and filled with a couple of neat little easter eggs for comic fans. The bar has been set kind of high for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver when he appears next summer in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Hugh Jackman
Did you know they originally cast Dougray Scott as Wolverine for X-Men? Dougray. Scott. Jackman has portrayed the Canadian mutant in seven movies now, and I can’t really picture anyone else playing him. He may be too tall, Australian, and possibly too handsome, but he has been pretty great in all seven appearances (which can’t be said about the movies themselves). He even makes that stupid haircut work somehow. Could Dougray Scott have done that?

I’m not going to spoil anything, but I liked this subplot that they obviously did not have time to venture into. It was about five minutes of the movie. Thankfully the producers created a neat website to fill us in on some of the details.

Post-Credits Scene

I have been watching the credits of movies for years. Even before the current trend started I was sitting (usually alone) watching the names of every gaffer and design producer scroll by. Two movies are the cause of this: Hot Shots! and Wayne’s World. Both had post-credits scenes, and I figured I never wanted to miss one of those again. Anyway, a lot has been made of the post-credit scene involving Apocalypse because no one knows who he is…well he’s Apocalypse and it appears he has four friends on horseback.

Michael Fassbender
Can we get a Magneto solo movie? I just want to watch two hours of Fassbender bending metal, being cool, reconnecting with other mutants (maybe a son or daughter?) and kicking anti-mutant ass. Is this too much to ask?

Days of Future Past was good not great. I have a lot of questions, but I also am happy that it sort of rebooted everything after X-Men: Last Stand. The franchise is going to continue moving 10 years into the future with X-Men: Apocalypse which will take place in the 1980’s and be released in 2016.

Root Beer Bulletin – I thought the “letters” section needed a name.

What’s your rating scale? Is it how many root beers you would give a movie? Are you rating the root beer too? – Kat from Whitmore Lake
Hey! A real not made up question everyone! I don’t think I have a ratings scale. I’m a terrible reviewer. It’s either good or bad or meh. I have problems expressing what it is I like or dislike about things, so I’m terrible at parties. Maybe I’ll list the movies in order of enjoyment when I’m done. I’ll do that with the root beer too.

What are you wearing right now? And what are you doing? – Murray from Richmond
Thanks for the question Murray. I am wearing a Captain America t-shirt and shorts. I am watching the French Open because I enjoy watching tennis. Also, I am answering your question.

Movies watched: 3 (Moonrise Kingdom, Bronson, X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Root Beers consumed: 3 (Stewart’s, Brownie, Mug)

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Root Beer Film Festival

My wife will be camping this weekend, and my son will be with my parents. Which means I will have the house to myself for about 36 hours. So what will I be doing with this 36 hours of glorious freedom? Will I be throwing a party that will eventually involve the police saying something like, “Aren’t you a little too old for this?” No. I will be watching a ton of movies, and drinking a ton of root beer.

I fully planned on having some people over at least one night, but for the past week I’ve been fighting pink eye. This has led to a fever, a sore throat, gunky icky eyes, and even now while I recover I sound like I could fill-in as host of your favorite local NPR jazz show. I have come to face the fact that I am an adult with a job, a family, and bills…so many bills. Which means that instead of being stupid and not recovering I will sit on the couch, watch movies and drink root beer.

Here are the movies I hope to watch this weekend:

The Hit (1984)
Starring: Terence Stamp, John Hurt and Tim Roth
Director: Stephen Frears

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Quirkiness
Director: Wes Anderson

The Wrestler (2008)
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood
Director: Darren Aronofsky

Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
Starring: Michael Argarano and Jemaine Clement
Director: Jared Hess

A Band Called Death (2012)
Starring: Death (band), Detroit
Directors: Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett

Bronson (2008)
Starring: Tom Hardy, Matt King and James Lance
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

The Monkey Hu$tle (1976)
Starring: Yaphet Kotto, Rudy Ray Moore and Rosalind Cash
Director: Arthur Marks

Stander (2003)
Starring: Thomas Jane, Dexter Fletcher and David O’Hara
Director: Bronwen Hughes

The Stuff (1985)
Starring: Michael Moriarty, Paul Sorvino and Danny Aiello
Director: Larry Cohen

Louie Bluie (1984)
Starring: Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong
Director: Terry Zwigoff

The Death of Andy Kaufman
Starring: Andy Kaufman
Director: Christopher Maloney

The Steel Helmet (1951)
Starring: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton and Steve Brodie
Director: Samuel Fuller

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender
Director: Bryan Singer

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, and Samuel L. Jackson
Directors: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

I’ll be posting updates and “reviews” here. You can also follow me @Klumpp13

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Needs Firepower

marvels-agents-of-shieldMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now five episodes old, and the jury is still out on whether the show will last past its first season. ABC was confident enough to order 22 episodes, but ratings have dipped from about 12 million viewers for the pilot episode to just over seven million for last week’s episode, “Girl in the Flower Dress.” Honestly, the first five episodes have left a bit to be desired, but it does not mean that we should give up on Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his group of agents (plus one mysterious hacker).

There are numerous reasons that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not working from production values to unlikable characters, but the reason that five million people decided to stop watching this show is simple…star power. The average fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was expecting to see Iron Man or Captain America to occasionally show up on board the team’s headquarters/Firefly-esque plane “The Bus.” The likelihood of that actually happening is quite slim, and outside of the cameos from Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) I would be surprised if any of the big guns from the MCU appear on the small screen.

Of course, this does not mean we should have a Marvel show completely devoid of superheroes and supervillains because this show is supposed to take place in a world with both walking around. There are literally thousands of Marvel characters that could appear on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. without ruining the character on a lesser-known actor or even for the films. Here are five characters, both good and bad, who could help this show broaden its appeal:

Background: Dugan (Neil McDonough) appeared in Captain America:The First Avenger and the recent short Agent Carter. With the rumors of a possible show based on the exploits of Agent Carter, Dugan could be a possible bridge to the next show produced by Marvel Television.

Episode Idea: Dugan has been appearing alongside Nick Fury in the comic books first as a member of The Howling Commandos, and then an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the past 50 years, and like his eye-patch wearing counterpart has not aged much over those five decades. In the MCU, it would seem that an older Dugan would have to appear on S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe as an experienced consultant to the organization.

Background: Taskmaster has teetered the thin line between good guy and bad guy since he was introduced as an enemy of The Avengers in 1980. In recent years he has trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and has assembled alongside his former foes in battle.

Episode Idea: Introducing Taskmaster as an enemy with ties to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s training program, maybe he trained Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), might add a bit of intrigue to the supposedly shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D.

Background: If an Asgardian is not going to make an appearance how about an Olympian? Hercules was introduced in the mid-1960’s, and has been a fixture within the Marvel Universe since.

Episode Idea: In an episode reminiscent of goofy The X-Files episodes like, “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” the team stumbles upon a man calling himself Hercules. Is he truly a god, or is he crazy? Find out this Tuesday at 8pm.

Damage-Control-Vol.-1-1-1989-1DAMAGE CONTROL
Background: Ever wonder who cleans up after the destruction caused during a super battle? Damage Control is the best in the business, and has cleaned up after superheroes since 1989.

Episode Idea: While Damage Control is attempting to clean up a super battle, a “gifted” stands in their way. Agent Coulson and his team are sent to help Damage Control finish the clean-up, and find the new supervillain.

Background: Destroyer aka Keen Marlow has been appearing in comics since 1941, and is another recipient of the “super soldier serum” given to Steve Rogers. He has fought alongside Captain America and has been a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Episode Idea: When “The Calvary” does not have enough firepower to extract the team from a bad situation, Agent May decides it is time to call in Destroyer.

Will any of these appearances actually happen? Probably not…unless Joss Whedon decides to stumble upon this blog, or Skye decides to hack my computer. Until then I’ll keep hoping that the show stops creating characters, and starts using characters already available in the Marvel Universe.

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