Archive | May, 2012

PCP Episode 076: Hellboy

17 May

This week we’re talking Hellboy. Why? Because we can! We recount the publishing history of Mike Mignola’s magnum opus and bastion of Dark Horse comics. Well, we mostly talk the comic and the subsequent Guillermo del Toro films, but we got sidetracked as usual. How so? Check the tags and listen in to find out!

PCP Overdose: Spare Parts

15 May

In lieu of a proper Weekly Dose, we’ve pulled out this gem that we’ve been saving for a rainy day. What’s it about? Well, basically we take time stroll down memory lane and recount our most infamous injuries. Apparently, some of us are pretty damaged. This one is a shorty, but a goodie.

PCP Episode 075: Special Ed. S.A.M.

10 May

After all the Avengers talk over the past few weeks, we decided to flip the script this time. By all intents and purposes, this should be another edition of the PCP Overdose that you folks seem to like. Only this time, it’s bonus-sized! What to expect? Well, the usual comedy styling of our rambles persists. We start out of the gate with jokes here. You figure out why soon enough. Check it!

PCP’s Weekly Dose: The Avengers

7 May

SPOILER WARNINGS ABOUND! This was originally intended to be our obligatory review of The Avengers. No shock, we’ve been setting up for the film for years weeks. Anyway, after posting a couple of written reviews and the waxings of a particularly zealous PCP member, we decided to turn this into more of an Avengers synopsis with commentary dressing on the side. We must be clear: DO NOT LISTEN IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE AVENGERS. We go into excruciating detail and could effectively act as the citation for the Wikipedia page’s synopsis.

Marcus Reviews The Avengers

6 May

Synopsis:

(As if this even really needs a synopsis lol)

Marvel Studios presents Marvel’s The Avengers-the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

What I Liked:

Joss Whedon deserves a medal because not only did he make this work but he made this work WELL. His direction was inspired, the pacing was seamless (you barely feel the 2 and a half hours) and the script was top notch. Everything that works about this movie in some way comes back to Joss Whedon showing that he is more than capable of handling big budget Hollywood films with pizazz, wit and relative ease.

I don’t say this often when watching comic book films but watching The Avengers actually felt like I was reading an Avengers hardcover graphic novel. Everything from the set pieces to the one liners/comedic beats felt like it was straight out of a comic book. You can tell a true comic book fan made this movie.

Touching back on the script, Joss Whedon really did a great job of not only perfectly balancing funnier, more lighthearted moments (which were all GENUINELY funny I might add) with intense ones but also truly captured the spirit of every character. There was never a moment in this movie where one of them acted out of character and because of that it all just blended together marvelously (pun intended).

Speaking of characters, every actor/actress in this movie perfectly embodied their counterparts. If you weren’t convinced after watching their solo movies you will be after seeing this. Every last one of them were spot on and really made me that much more excited to see them in future releases. Mark Ruffalo especially stole the show as he not only showed that he’s the best Bruce Banner to date but also reminded any of us who might’ve forgot just how completely BAD ASS The Hulk really is (there’s a moment between him and Loki that you’d have to be a zombie not to laugh/cheer at).

The Avengers serves as the first comic book movie focusing on a group that I’ve ever seen that legitimately feels like it’s a team effort. In a movie with so many massive egos often times in the same scene together it could’ve been so easy to make certain characters seem more important than the others and yet Whedon manages to focus on the team as a whole and let them shine together. Sure they all have their individual moments of awesome but it never feels like they’re trying to one up each other, instead every move seems to fit together in a cohesive plan to protect the Earth.

Did I say that the action set pieces were impressive? Because they truly are a sight to behold. By the first fight sequence it truly does grab you and never truly lets go so by the time you get to the final act of the movie you’re already on the edge of your seat.

Thank the good lord for Scarlett Johansson looking beyond scrumptious in her Black Widow outfit. DAT ASS!

What I Didn’t Like:

The fact that it wasn’t 3 hours because I GLADLY would’ve watched more

Overall:

The Avengers serves as a shining example of what a fully realized superhero film looks like. Joss Whedon crafted this film as if he was trying to make a statement to everyone who’s ever doubted his ability to handle a big budget film and with help of a very dedicated cast of A list actors I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot more Whedon in the future. The dialogue is as intelligent as it is genuinely hilarious, the action set pieces are deliciously bombastic and the characterization is very well done. Simply put The Avengers is everything that we needed it to be and after over 5 years of build up it feels DAMN good to say that it lives up to every last bit of the hype. The Avengers 2 can’t come soon enough in my eyes. Thank you Joss Whedon, Thank you.

P.S. Stay after all the way through the credits for two little treats that will both excite and greatly amuse you.

Rating: A+

Avery Reviews The Avengers

4 May

If you would have told me 4 years ago there would be an Avengers movie before DC got their shit together to put out a Justice League movie i would have called you crazy. But coming out of the theater the only fault i found with the movie is how good it made me feel watching it and the general displeasure of having to leave the theater at its end credits.

Synopsis

The plot of this movie is simple and quite honeslty every fan of the characters has known what the story was going to be from watching the trailers. The Avengers come together to combat a horde of alien space monsters tasked by the mad god Loki with conquering earth. To elaborate anymore would ruin the experience because quite honestly the trailers don’t do the movie justice or spoil its better moments like i had assumed they would.

What I Like

Quite honestly i loved every facet of this movie and this isn’t as a marvel fan giddy to watch Captain America, Thor and Iron Man sit in the same room. This is as a guy who tried to not get overwhelmed in the fanboy awesomeness of the movie and judge it as an actual film. Its beyond fantastic and while its not an Oscar film it is the high bar for Super Hero movies.

Now some would claim that the Dark Knight is that high bar…but on closer examination Nolan’s Batman franchise has been less about superheroes saving the day and more about crime and darkness. He’s trimmed so much of the fat for his film that their only vaguely a film about a super hero fighting crime and more about a conflicted mask vigilante battling the cesspool of darkness that is Gotham. On the other parallel the Avengers is a comic book film and one that screams superheroes at the top of its lungs while being both serious, heartwarming and funny all at the same time. While i could sing the praises of this movie on its own the the cast of this movie is fantastic and the best i’ve seen in a super hero film not directed by Mister Nolan.

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye was the unknown factor for me with this movie. The early trailers gave him no dialogue and all he did was brandish a bow in the brief clips he was present for. He had a tiny cameo in Thor that amounted to him doing nothing and giving you little about the character outside of being a shield agent who would rather use a bow then a gun. What we get in the movie however is Shields most accomplished agent next to the Widow who is so formidabble a threat that at no moment was a fearing for his safety in the massive alien slug fest. While i wish they would have explained both his codename and his love of arrows i quickly shut up and marveled at his archery skills while not true form were amazingly cool feats to watch. Playing Clint Barton as a cold sniper with a little dry humor, he’s not the Hawkeye i grew up reading in the comics Renner has owned the role like the other members of the Avengers principal cast.

Scarlett Johanssen as Black Widow is a similar unknown factor for me going into this movie. While she’s had screen time in the trailers and a relatively large role in the second iron man movie my she always felt like window dressing to avoid the backlash of having the Avengers as one giant sausage fest. I remember giggling at the big Avengers round up shot where the male members strut their stuff and she loads her tiny gun looking completely out of place next to a super soldier, a god of thunder and a weapon of mass destruction.  Then i realized that Joss Whedon was directing and what we got was probably the fiercest and loveable portrayals of the character i have ever seen. Widow essentially existed as the heart of the team while not letting anyone forget that she was a master class assassin. She more then pulled her weight in the big action scenes and played a pivotal role in ending the threat of Loki’s army

Mark Ruffallo as the Incredible Hulk was another point of confusion when preparing for this movie.  Though i love Ruffalo in all of his work, the role had been perfected with Edward Norton and while i had learned to accept Mark as the character of Bruce Banner i didn’t know whether i would love him. I just want to make this clear that Ruffalo’s portrayal of both Banner and his green Goliath counterpart are the best portrayals of the characters i have seen on the big screen and watching the Hulk smash aliens is one of the high points of the final act.

Hemsworth, Downey and Evans have already cemented their roles as the Mighty Thor, Invincible Iron Man and the Legendary Captain America so there not much to say about their portrayals then saying they brought the best part of their characters from their own starring roles into this ensemble cast and worked well together never outshining any other character with their starpower. I mean all of the press and marketing was highlighting Iron Man but contrary to his statements the Iron Avenger does play well with others. His new Armor and the way its deployed are a treat for Iron Man fans and one stop closer to breaking the suspension of disbelief on my favorite armor the Extremis. Evans return as Captain Rogers completely washed away the bad taste of my second viewing of Captain America displaying the super soldier that i wished i saw in his debut. While not the star, Evans quickly commands the spotlight when he shows up as Captain America and the fanboy in me squeeled when the Avengers look to him for leadership even the ever mouthy Tony Stark. Hemsworth continues his commanding role of Thor playing both somber and fish out of water well and bringing the emotion of a man who just wants to have his brother back despite his faults well. Watching the three of these characters slowly develop the power trio that would anchor the Avengers was a treat to behold and i’m still baffled at how well Whedon pulled it off.

Clark Gregg, Sam Jackson and the Lovely Colby Smulders all play their roles beautifully and even Jackson who i never thought commanded the screen as Fury gave an amazing performance. I think not screaming helped and anchored by Hill and Couslon shield agents who know what their doing was a great move on Marvel’s part. Hiddleston’s return as the God of Lies was a treat to see as he treated every person on screen with him with vile contempt and a gleeful whimsy that played up the insanity of his newest incarnation. This take on Loki is fascinating and eager for the Next Thor film to pick up this interesting bit of characterization and take it running.

If there is any star of this movie its Joss Whedown who after this and his role with the development of Cabin in the Woods is now a big name in not only nerd culture but big summer block busters. The pacing of this movie is fantastic to the point where honestly i didn’t feel the time slip buy and when the beautiful credits rolled i did a double take at my watch hoping there was more. The special effects for this movie are perfect and at now point did a cringe when the Hulk and Iron Man were on screen. The script is also suprisingly funny punctuating the break necked pace of the movie with moments of sheer levity and whimsical joy such as a comical moment between the Hulk and Thor that eases the tension of a massive battle with a giant serpent. the balance of comedy and serious acting is another strength of the script as some of the best moments of the movie are the characters just talking and exploring eachothers characters whether it be Cap and Iron Man arguing about heroics or Tony and Banner geeking out about technology. The Avengers feel like real living and breathing heroes not a one note characters only on screen to smash aliens.

What i didn’t like

I’m sure someone with a stick up their but will point out this movies faults but as far as i can tell it was a perfect summer movie, a perfect comic book movie and a perfect superhero movie

Overall

Personally i’m not interested in any of the big summer comic book blockbusters that are coming our way, and if i have to see one this season i’m glade i saw the Avengers. I feared that i had seen most of the movie due to the dozens of trailers and sneak previews but it hides some amazing surprises of plot and character that i honestly didn’t see coming including “spoiler” a poignant reality call for our heroes during a moment of crisis. Its a movie so good i’ve already pre-ordered the blu ray and plan to see again as soon as possible just to enjoy it again. I saw the movie in 3D and despite my dislike and discomfort with the medium it was actually pretty enjoyable taking nothing away from the story and making some of the later fight scenes especially everyone shot of Hawkeye even more dynamic.

Also for all the serious Marvel Fans who the Mid Credits stinger is one of the most infuriatingly awesome bits of comic book teasing for the movies sequel that literally had me in a fit of joy and rage. I cannot wait for the sequel to this movie and if they can keep the momentum that this brings Marvel Studios has officially eclipsed Warner Brothers as the prime supplier of comic book films joy

PCP Episode 074: The Avengers

3 May

Assemble! We’ve been prepping for weeks and the movie is days–nay–hours away! If you need a comprehensive breakdown on the history of The Avengers, you’ve come to the right place. We talk about all of the non A-list characters that comprise of the team and recall all of its major historical incarnations. Every team, every member, every event is fair game in the comic’s canon. We closeout with the good stuff as we speculate on the movie and tease the nerd war that this upcoming summer will bring.

PCP Episode 073: Sonic the Hedgehog

1 May

What? Y’all didn’t know Sonic was an Avenger? I mean, everybody else is! No, we have to play a little catch-up and quench our gamer thirst by talking about Sega’s 90s embodiment of a mascot: Sonic. You know what to expect and we’ve even enlisted the help of Carrol from HR and PCP fan Ousmane to join us again. We’ve got jokes galore as we discuss all those characters that aren’t Sonic in the franchise and we reminisce about titles from the original to Sonic Generations. We also talk the future of the franchise. Grab a chilli dog and enjoy.