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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here's the first Age of Ultron pic:

Would we respect him more if Downy Jr. didn't troll us? I sure as hell wouldn't. It's nice to see some faces of the more unsung founders of the Iron Man cum Marvel saga. That's Jeremy Latcham, by the way.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Who preformed this c-section?" no no no no no NO NO NO DON'T... awwwww.

Hannibal has been on spectacular form all season long. The story has zigged when I thought it would zag and it's contrived returns to normalcy seem poetic instead of tactless. I thought they burned through their A material last week with Dr. Chilton and it looks like they're going to take a break from the serial story for a time.

But that means we get some new killers to focus on, and the nesting doll this week kept me from finishing my lunch. I guess it's dinner now. Anywho, if you're not watching hannibal you're missing out on the best thing on tv right now.

Fargo's pretty good, Thrones is holding steady, and I'm waiting on Orphan Black for a while. But I sincerely doubt they can top what Hannibal's got cooking right now. I mean, I was yelling "don't go in there" to a veterinarian cutting open a horse! Where the hell else are you going to see something like that?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Winter Soldier Review: Coup De Grâce.

I wish I could be contrarian about this. I wish my voice could stand out from the chorus. I also wish I had gotten this done a week and a half ago, but here it is. The Winter Soldier was fantastic. It was both a solid political thriller and super hero action set piece, as well as a damn decent character drama.

This should be the point where Marvel slips up. Where their shtick wears thin, their well of stories runs dry and the shadow of an absent Downy Jr. looms large. None of these are the case for Cap 2, though most were for Thor's second go around. I was scared about TWS precisely because Thor 2 was just so stunningly predictable.

Apparently, they had to go back and add more Loki to the mix. Seeing as he barely took up a 6th (far and away the best 6th) of the film, can you imagine how much more earth we would have had to take? I'm getting off topic, but The Dark World had me really frightened, guys. It wasn't "bad" in a "you couldn't pay me to see it again" kind of way. It was just disappointingly boiler plate. It even walked back it's solitary piece of character growth in the last second, seemingly just to salt my wound one more time.

Cap 2 made up for all of that and then some. I'd almost be fine with all marvel movies from here on out being tangentially related to Captain Rogers. Chis Evans isn't simply that good (he is), the plot isn't simply one of the strongest so far (it is), and the action sequences don't simply build on each other and become more impactful as they go (they do).

All of those things coupled with such breezy editing and a direction so confidant I'm convinced cocaine was involved, we have one the best super hero films ever. The fact it all seems to build to something greater is exciting instead of disappointing. I didn't throw my popcorn at the screen and hiss at the strings of obvious cliffhangers. I was more than satisfied at that point and I understood they had to leave me wanting more. And brother? I want MOAR.

Dude, what are you doing with 70 bookmarks? That's embarrassing.
We last left Steve in the hands of Shield, (a clandestine government agency laser focused on protecting the world from supers and aliens, can you believe I typed that with a straight face? ) after the events of the New York invasion and his struggle fitting in to society after 50 years on ice. He's more than happy to run errands for Director Fury, just as long as he can keep his nose to the grindstone and not get too close with anyone he doesn't already know.

 But something begins to stick in his craw about shield, Scarlet Johansson is constantly trying to set him up both romantically and professionally. It seems he hasn't been privy to all the parameters of his operations and has been responsible for padding Shield's bottom line at the expense of civil liberty.

This whole sequence here is just... I don't even... it's so great. It's beyond the expressive power of the English language.

Cap's not too happy about that, but Fury demands that he stow it, his pay grade isn't high enough for him to explain himself. But as one of the tensest and most balls out amazing car chases I've ever seen will soon prove... neither is Fury's. What comes next is hard to explain without spoilers, so I won't. The movie's called the "winter soldier" so what about him? That's a good question, and let me answer it by saying you'll forget about him, mostly. Right up until he pops out of nowhere and grabs the narrative by the throat. Sebastain Stan dosn't have a whole lot to do with what could be easily misconstrued as just anouther cybernetic ninja assasin (I know, I know, another one?) but he makes it work. In fact, I wouldn't call the "final battle" a battle at all. It's the most emotionally complex finale of any Marvel film to date.

Man, I haven't even name checked Robert Redford yet, and he's fantastic. Same goes for Anthony Mackie who turned in one hell of an interview for TWS. Seriously, I was laughing so hard my cheeks hurt. If he doesn't do audio commentary I'm straight up not buying the dvd:

Will Smith should be absolutely terrified.

I'd just end up recapping the whole film if I got into those guys. Everyone has room to breathe here and nearly everyone arcs in a meaningful way. Except for Dani Pudi's cubical drone. But he has less than a minute of screen time so, I guess sacrifices must be made. It's so much fun and I'm in the process of nagging my friends into seeing it again. It's the most entertaining treatise on civil liberty you will ever see. You wouldn't expect a American multimillion dollar film to attack drone ware fare so explicitly and so viciously. But it does so with wit and finesse to spare.

Add that to an end credits sequence that's a monochrome homage to 70's paranoia thriller posters and The Winter Soldier has exhausted all the buttons I have left to be pushed. I haven't had this good of a time at the movies since The Lego Movie. But I haven't had this good a time at a super hero flick since The Avengers. That should be enough to get most of you out to see it, though most of the world already has. For a film that should smack of stone faced propaganda, that's incredible. But than again, so is The Winter Solider.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

It's been a whole damn year since I started this thing, and I can't believe I actually stuck with it. While I eventually fell into an every other day post slump, I never let the Crackpot go. Even though I really wanted to.

And you know what? I'm proud of this, I'm glad I'm still writing here, and I have serious plans to keep at it.

So thank you all for reading, it means more than you know.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blogspot ate my homework.

So... I was gonna publish my Winter solider review today then do something special for my anniversary tomorrow. But fug it. I'm pissed I managed to piss away 800 words after slacking off for 4 days already. I'll do better next year, I promise.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Borderlands 2: The Pre-sequal, Handsome Jack Rising.

   I know I promised you guys a winter soldier review, and I know I promised you guys a goty article on Bioshock Infinite... I'm actually pretty torn up about that. I never sounded convincing enough, it read too much like a true believer instead of objective criticism. I wasn't going to change anyone's mind with it, and it felt like a failure in that regard.

But uh... I don't care about that right now, because there's Borderlands news and it is both surprising and positive. The so called "pre-sequal" is set in between the events of Borderlands 1 and 2 on the infamous Hyperion moon base. We'll see Jack at a better time in his life. A less self absorbed/megalomaniac part of his character arc. If that was all the lore updates they had for me, I'd be more than satisfied. But this is gearbox. This is their flagship and they haven't let this world down yet.

Because Wilhelm (Jack's right hand) and Athena (ex-atlus assassin who hasn't been seen since waaaaaay back in the first game) are playable characters. Even if the game is a cash grab, they've proven to me several times over that no one has more fun with cash grabs than these guys... in terms of Borderlands.

I'm aware of the shady BS surrounding Colonial Marines. How they shoved that piece of garbage out the door and probably siphoned funds from SEGA to fund Borderlands 2 in the bargain. But again, this is Borderlands. The most intentionally funny RPG series ever. One that never seems to get the creative respect it deserves. While this may be out sourced to an Australian dev team, Anthony Birch is still at the creative helm, and he's done a spectacular job so far. Even if it gets absolutely toxic reviews, I'll still pick it up on a steam sale.

I mean come on... Jack's back!

Thanks Polygon!

Look at that shiny MALIWAN something-or-other... god I want it.

Sunday, April 6, 2014