Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel. Show all posts

Monday, August 2, 2021

Doc Watch: Chris Claremont's X-Men (2018)




Watched:  08/02/2021
Format:  YouTube
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's
Director:  Patrick Meaney

Chris Claremont didn't invent the X-Men, but he did turn them from a middling Marvel team book that could have/ should have disappeared into a sprawling mythology with beloved characters that became a multimedia franchise (that Disney is probably losing a lot of sleep over how to properly exploit).  Chris Claremont didn't introduce me to comics, but he did write comics that hit me like lightning, over and over again, and made me a devoted comics reader - a habit that has lasted 35+ years.

While everyone is still young and healthy, a documentary crew put together what is really a remarkable doc explaining what Claremont's X-Men was, why it was so unique in the world of comics, and what eventually broke it.  Including interviews from people who broke it, still totally unaware of what they did 25 years after the fact, still high on their own supply.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

PODCAST: "Black Widow" (2021) - An Avengers Countdown Episode w. Jamie and Ryan




Watched:  07/09/2021
Format:  Disney+ Premier Access
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Cate Shortland



Hey! We watched the latest installment in the ever-expanding Marvel media monolith! And we had so much to say, we came back and added a few more minutes to the end. Join us as we rush in to talk about our favorite Avenger from behind the iron curtain! It's a family affair as we meet the folks Natasha grew up with, and go home again to meet the world's worst sorority.




Music:
Natasha's Lullaby - Lorne Balfe, Black Widow OST
American Pie - Don McLean


Marvel Movie Discussion




Thursday, June 10, 2021

X-Watch: The New Mutants (2020)




Watched:  06/09/2021
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director:  Josh Boone

So, way, way back when in the long ago of the mid-80's, I picked up either my first New Mutants comic, or one of my first New Mutants comics, during the "Mutant Massacre" storyline that wove between the X-Titles and a few other comics.  Seeing a bunch of high school kids who were sneaking out and getting involved in the cataclysmic events of the storyline - and absolutely shook by what they saw - absolutely registered with me.  

I was a bit of a New Mutants fan for a few years, but (a) always knew I'd missed the truly weird beginning of the comic series of the actual students at Xavier's Academy, and (b) I became irritated enough with where the comic went post-Claremont that, at some point I wrote my first letter I intended to send in.  However, rather than send in something that was just a list of grievances, I decided "maybe I can just stop reading the comic instead", and did.  I was long gone by that final, Liefeld-fueled phase.

But I genuinely liked those characters, so I didn't want to give up on them when I did.  The New Mutants in the 80's were written as high school kids going through a very weird path to adulthood, but still very much teens.  They didn't have things sorted out, they behaved often like teenagers with petty outbursts, and generally had their own soap opera going on from month to month as they sorted through psychic powers, the death of a friend, and living in the shadow of the X-Men.  But, yeah, they dated, had a rival school they clashed with, and had complicated relationships with their families.

I've since read a collection of the issues that comprised The Demon Bear Saga from which the movie borrows, and it's some pretty good stuff.  Recommended.  

I'm not sure what to make of the movie of The New Mutants (2020).  

Friday, March 26, 2021

Comic Watch: X2 - X-Men United (2003)




Watched:  06/25/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  Bryan Singer

Until Logan came out a few years back, I'd argue X2: X-Men United (2003) was the *best* X-Men movie, which may be a sign of how quickly I felt the franchise devolved, but it does wonders to build on the original, expand the world, mine the premise for narrative gold, and set us up for both continuing X-Men films and potential Wolverine spin-offs.  

Jamie was asking me if the movie was based on stuff from the comics, and while I could definitively say it was, I also don't know exactly when and who wrote them.  I didn't get to Uncanny X-Men until around issue 170, with the kind of third incarnation of the X-Men, but - and here's my argument to the Big 2 why you just go ahead and keep on your Chris Claremonts as long as you can - all of the stuff from those stories 50-100 issues prior still had impact in what I was reading years after the fact.  The writer knew and remembered the important stuff, and it was woven into the character's lives and informed how they behaved and thought about things. *

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Comics Watch: X-Men (2000)




Watched:  03/20/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2000's
Director:  (ahem) Bryan Singer

Arguably *the* game changer for the entire comic book movie and TV genre - from goofy b-movies with occasional hits to the world we're in today with Justice Leagues, WandaVisions and  whatnot everywhere you look, X-Men (2000) arrived on the scene to an excited fanbase who saw a trailer that kinda/ sorta looked like an X-Men comics and seemed to treat the concept of X-Men with some faint degree of dignity.  

Now, many will argue that Blade was the kickstarter, and they're right!  But the thing about Blade was that it operated way more like a horror movie/ action adventure and less like a superhero flick - and there were maybe a couple thousand people walking around in 1998 who knew anything about Blade.  To this day, I have no idea if Blade has any real relation to the comics (and don't care.  Blade kicks ass.).  

From the late 1970's to the late 1990's, X-Men was a powerhouse franchise all its own, even within the Marvel line of comics.  It was more or less like the Game of Thrones of comics - even if you didn't read it, you knew about it, and the gravity well of the comic was massive.  In the mid-90's, I guess it was outperforming literally every other thing Marvel comics put out, so they rebooted their entire universe for about - I dunno - 6 months? minus X-Men.  Because X-Men was too big, baby!

Monday, March 8, 2021

PODCAST: "WandaVision" (2021) - Marvel Television w/ Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  03/05/2021
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2020's
Director: Various
Creator:  Jac Schaeffer



Jamie and Ryan talk the first of the Marvel DIsney+ programs - a nine episode story that turns the spotlight on everyone's favorite Sakovian and her robot buddy. It's been a social media hot topic for months, so we're going to put it into re-runs and get nostalgic for two terrific Avengers.
A Newlywed Couple - Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, WandaVision OST
Agatha All Along - Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, WandaVision OST

Playlist - Avengers/ Marvel:

Friday, November 6, 2020

PODCAST: "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017) Avengers Countdown #16 w/ Jamie and Ryan


 
Watched:  10/01/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2010's
Director:  John Watts




It's round three for film adaptations of Spider-Man, and this time they made Aunt May a stone cold fox. After Disney and Sony sorted out their differences, Spidey finally became part of the MCU and - despite not following origin movie rules - manages to turn in a fun movie with a weirdly sympathetic super-villain (it's BATMAN).





Music: 
Very bad cover of Spider-Man theme - Jamie and Ryan
Spider-Man Theme - The Ramones


Avengers Playlist:

Thursday, July 16, 2020

PODCAST: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" - Avengers Countdown 15 w/ Jamie and Ryan!


Watched:  07/09/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Third or Fourth
Decade:  2010's
Director:  James Gunn

For more ways to listen

It's Family Issues in Spaaaaaace! Join Jamie and Ryan as we consider the second installment in the unlikeliest of the Marvel movie sub-franchises! After a ragtag bunch of misfits comes together, what's next? And what makes this series different from other Marvel films? It's all here! Check it out!




Music:
Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass
Father and Son - Cat Stevens



Playlist:


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Spidey Watch: Spider-Man - Into the Spider-Verse (2018)



Watched:  06/23/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  No idea
Decade:  2010's
Directors:  Peter RamseyBob PersichettiRodney Rothman

I feel like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) found its audience on home video that it didn't quite find at the theater, which makes me wonder how the coming sequel will do.  I will say - I am delighted that the movie is finding the bigger audience it deserves and I'm still disappointed in Sony for failing to push the movie harder when it was coming out.  Especially because - as much as I like the movie, it's just something to see on the big screen.  I feel like a lot of people I've talked to who watched it on their screens aren't quite getting it because they aren't able to "see" the movie the same way and see how every frame and every detail is next level work. 

Maybe when theaters re-open and there's nothing new to show, Sony can re-release S:ItSV.  If they do, go see it on the biggest screen you can find.

At some point in the past year I mentioned wanting to show this movie to my dad, and he was just sort of confused (it happens.  He was not expecting a Spidey rec.).  But, man, this movie does such a phenomenal job of catching what it is to be in those early years of high school where you're figuring things out, and your parents are looking in from the outside as you come into yourself and find your people.

One of these days. 

Anyway - in these days of challenge and change, I'm glad Jamie thought to put it on.  Anyone can wear the mask.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lockdown Birthday Watch: Avengers Endgame (2019)


Watched:  03/26/2020
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  fourth.  fifth?  I don't know.
Decade:  2010's

For Jamie's birthday she wanted to watch Avengers: Endgame (2019), one of her favorite recent movies - even if spring of 2019 now seems like it occurred several decades ago.

In a time when we're in lockdown, watching a movie about a group of people reeling in the face of loss, disaster, tragedy and personal failure that impacted a universe is a hell of a thing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

PODCAST! "Doctor Strange" (2016) - Avengers Chronological Countdown #14 w/ Jamie & Ryan


Watched:  03/22/2020
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Second
Decade:  2010's

Jamie and Ryan delve into the multiverse of madness that is the 2016 Marvel entry, "Doctor Strange". It's no one's favorite Avengers film, but it's got some interesting stuff and absolutely pushes us forward toward what would become Infinity War. It's a hero who may be a bit of a jerk, but he's got some neat special FX.



Music:
Doctor Strange Main Theme - Michael Giacchino, Doctor Strange OST

Avengers Chronological Countdown


Monday, January 27, 2020

PODCAST: "Captain America: Civil War" (2016) - Avengers Chronological Countdown 13 w/ Jamie and Ryan



Watched:  01/04/2019
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  2010's

We get to the dark middle chapter of the Avengers Chronological Countdown as Cap and Tony cannot agree on some paperwork, Bucky says a farewell to arms, a "Cats" understudy becomes a hero and Aunt May is suddenly way more interesting. It's "Captain America: Civil War"! and Jamie and Ryan are going to talk about it!



Music:
Captain America: Civil War, Main Theme - Henry Jackman, Captain America: Civil War OST

Complete Chronological Countdown:





Saturday, August 31, 2019

Our Bro In-Law, The Dug, Has Appeared on a PodCast talking "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Joseph Scrimshaw is a comedian and writer who focuses on geek-culture topics.  Ask the man about Star Wars.  I dare you.

He also has a podcast called "Obsessed" where he interviews folks about their personal, well, obsessions.  His latest episode features someone near and dear to us here at The Signal Watch, Jamie's brother, Doug. 

Late last year Doug saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  And then he saw it again. And then again.  And then again, and so forth. 

I love Scrimshaw's format, and I'll likely be borrowing some of his ideas as he roll forward at The Signal Watch, and Doug is as Doug in this podcast as a Doug can Doug (this is a feature, not a bug).

Art19
Stitcher:
  

Into the Spider-Verse on Apple PodCasts (starring DOUG)

Google Play PodCast

Thursday, July 11, 2019

PODCAST: Spider-Man - Far From Home (2019) - a quick Marvel movie chat with Jamie and Ryan



Watched:  07/08/2019
Format:  Alamo Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  First
Decade:  2010's

Jamie and Ryan just saw ol' web-head's European tour, and rather than being all Mysterio about their reaction, we grabbed a microphone to shatter any illusions that we wouldn't cover this latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Join our first totally unedited reaction podcast!



Music:
Spider-Man (1967 cartoon theme song) - Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris

Marvel Movies Playlist

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Marvel Re-Re-Watch: Captain Marvel (2019)


Watched:  06/28/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  2010's

You'd think I'd have less to say on a third viewing of the movie, but I was genuinely surprised how much more I liked this film on a third viewing.  In many ways, I now think the ad campaign for Captain Marvel and my prior knowledge of the character really got in the way of seeing a lot of what the movie does in bringing us along on Carol's journey - frankly, showing the destruction of the Kree ships in the trailer was crazy and shouldn't have happened.

And while I liked and appreciated the messages the movie makes regarding Carol coming into her own and pushing out the voices of those who would contain and control her - this time I also got a much better feel for the step-by-step journey to Carol's always intact sense of justice and the slow transformation to trusting herself as she learns what sort of people/ aliens she should be trusting.

I've made comment before that it's super-fun to have a Superman-level hero in the Marvel movies, it's also a joy to have someone who reflects the core of what's made Superman stand out since the inception of the character: someone with the moral centering to do the right thing who has the power to act on it without compromise or fear for their own skin, and who will not use that power for self-gain.

Anyway - fun to rewatch the movie again (and, I am sure, again and again in the future).

Friday, June 21, 2019

PODCAST! "Ant-Man" (2015) - Jamie and Ryan's Avengers Countdown


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Watched:  06/14/2019
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  4th
Decade:  2010's

Jamie and Ryan get small with a hero of dynamic proportions. It's "Ant-Man" (2015), Marvel's post "Avengers: Ultron" tone reset. Part heist, part retro-sci-fi, part superhero - it's the Gen-X superhero with a whole lot of supporting cast and the best van in superherodom.




Music
Plain Song - The Cure, Disintegration


Avengers Chronological Countdown Playlist


Monday, June 10, 2019

No, Hollywood, That is Not Why We Didn't See the New X-Men (or Godzilla)

oh, no.  I couldn't possibly.  No, thank you.



The Hollywood Reporter posted an article today explaining why X-Men: Dark Phoenix underperformed at the box office.  It's an article that explains how the execs at Fox were wrong about what went wrong with X-Men: Apocalypse and how they mis-course corrected with Dark Phoenix.*

I'll argue, the article is no more correct about what went wrong (re: why people didn't show up) than the condescending treatment it gives the execs trying to sort things out in the days after the poor performance of Apocalypse.

Friday, June 7, 2019

PODCAST: "Avengers - Age of Ultron" (2015) - ACC no. 11 w/ Jamie and Ryan


Watched:  05/24/2019
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Third?  Fourth?
Decade:  2010's


Jamie slogs through a movie she does not care for and about which Ryan is ambivalent. It's the second outing for Earth's Mightiest Heroes as we come face to face with an AI that's kind of a self-replicating Mean Girl. Join us as we puzzle through Avengers: Age of Ultron, the one you haven't seen in a while and that you only sorta remember.
 

The "Avengers Chronological Countdown" Playlist

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Marvel Repeat Watch: Avengers - Endgame (2019), Take 3

I'm ready for this buddy picture

Watched:  06/05/2019
Format:  Alamo - Slaughter Lane
Viewing:  Third
Decade:  2010's

Well...  I dunno what to tell you people.  We wanted to make sure we saw this again in the theater, and, indeed, we did.

Of course this time I noticed some new things, enjoyed some new stuff, appreciated what I'd seen before and generally had a good time of it watching the movie again.

The movie still flies by, and I'm still a bit drained by the time it ends.  I have a few corrections I need to make where I made some mistakes on the PodCast, so... you know, eventually we'll get to that.

oh, Pepper.  I can't quit you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Way TL;DR - Tracking Superheroes from Source-of-Shame to $2 Billion Dollars in 2 Weeks



The kids today will never *quite* appreciate what Marvel pulled off, starting with Iron Man and continuing on with this week's mega-release of Avengers: Endgame.  But, more than that, they'll never really understand what it was like to go from an era where you'd stay home on a Friday night to see a TV movie of the week starring David Hasslehoff as Nick Fury.  Truly, any crumb of a glimpse of a live-action version of the comics you enjoyed was like a signal beamed from weirdo space and invading the lowest-common-denominator normalcy of broadcast TV.  Any cinematic appearance of anything even superhero adjacent was a reason to trek to the movies (a habit I am just now breaking, pretty unsuccessfully).

These days every basic jerk out there tries to claim nerd status for just *liking* something other than sports and *admitting* they have something they enjoy (heads up!  you cannot be a wine-nerd.  You can be a vintner, wine enthusiast, sommelier or lush.  Pick one.  But a "wine nerd" is not a thing.).   But in an era before Bryan Singer turned the X-Men into a box office smash, and the internet gave us hidey-holes into which we all disappeared and Watchmen made the 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923 list...   comics were for children.  Or for nerds, losers, the mentally slow, the emotionally damaged, perverts and delinquents.

Movies might come out based on graphic novels or comics, and sometimes that source was acknowledged - but I grew up in the 1980's, and my comics habit made the adults around me visibly nervous.*  Parents, teachers, etc... knew to be disapproving and angry about musical selections (thanks, Tipper!), but comics?  What were we even doing?