Tag Archives: marvel entertainment

REVIEW | #Logan: “And what I do isn’t very nice”

Seventeen years ago a relative unknown actor by the name of Hugh Jackman took on the pivotal role of Wolverine in first X-Men film. In the years since he has played the character in nine subsequent films.

Hugh Jackman stars as Logan/Wolverine in LOGAN. Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein.

We’ve seen the character of Logan/Wolverine in all stages of his life from his youth in nineteenth century Canada to World War 2 to him saving the future in both the 1970s and 2020s. With a somewhat complete story of Wolverine’s life out there, the next logical step had to include putting a bow on, both, his story and the original X-Men franchise.

I’ll start by emphasizing that this movie is cool. It’s a completely different kind of X-Men movie than we’re used to. Its measured, emotional, and has a level of gravitas brought by the performances of young newcomer Dafne Keen, and of course Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Both reprise their roles one last time to take the audience home.

– New York, NY – 12/8/16 – 20th Century Fox New Year Presentation – Logan
-Pictured: Dave Karger, James Mangold
-Photo by: Patrick Lewis/Starpix
-Loctaion: Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center

The director, James Mangold, delivers a film with strong ties to both the western genre and samurai films. In many ways the character of Wolverine has always had the feel of a masterless samurai (Ronin). In keeping with that, the direction invokes the work of acclaimed samurai film auteur Kenji Misumi.

The film portrays tranquility in the face of the inevitable. Many of the characters are at peace resigning to their fates. The zen-like storytelling of James Mangold accentuates this and the performances put a sharp punctuation it. This movie, though comic based as it may be, is handled artfully and with reverence to the characters.

Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Logan (Hugh Jackman) face off. Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein.

The writing is everything I wanted a Wolverine movie to be. Harking back to the Chanbara (Samurai film) aspects of the film, there’re parts that echo the ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ series of films.

Logan is entrusted to care for a child, which is reminiscent of the film Zatoichi Challenged where the titular character promises to escort a small boy to his father after his mother is stricken with illness and passes. He shares some of these classic tropes while bringing something new to the table. Mortality. Our main characters are aging and vulnerable, yet they are far from feeble. It’s a great balance of character dynamics.

Shishogan Productions

“Man, we don’t have time for this sh*t.” – Wolverine Custom ACBA Image by: Jay De Los Santos

With all these ties to Days of Cinema’s past, it’s no wonder that Logan delivered a poignant end to an entire franchise. Knowing we’re taking one last ride with Logan and Charles Xavier is comforting. Their chemistry has always been a highlight to the X-Men films, but seeing them both as old men trying to carve out a life for themselves in a seemingly indifferent world is absolutely heart warming.

Go see this film. It’ll show you a whole new side of the X-Men franchise. Get tickets online at LoganTickets.com.

Review | Modernized Ant-Man packed with laughs

Courtesy: Marvel Studios

Courtesy: Marvel Studios

LAME.

Why would they do such a weak-sauce character?

I’m not going to see THAT craptastic movie.

All sentiments I’ve heard uttered by my fellow fanboys whom, by the way, hadn’t seen the movie yet. Needless to say, Ant-Man has a bit of an uphill battle with comic fans.

The character of Ant-Man has come with a stigma. Mostly due to the character’s (meaning Hank Pym’s) checkered past. So this property comes with a healthy amount of preconceived notions as to what kind of movie it should be.

I’m very happy to say that Ant-Man shattered those preconceived notions.

While those notions are not mine; I will say that I’ve had many conversations, about the Ant-Man movie, with lots of fanboys over the last year and half. What I noticed was that there were two major and distinct camps; One is the Ant-Man is a sucky hero and I’m not seeing this movie and the other I love Edgar Wright and I’m looking forward to his take on Ant-Man. There are plenty more opinions floating around as well, but the two mentioned are the most common.

With this film, written by Edgar Wright, with assists Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd and Directed by Peyton Reed. They were able to dispel those preconceived notions of this “lame” hero.

The Ant-Man movie reinvents the hero as an espionage specialist of sorts. Able to sneak into enemy territory, gather information, and even steal items when the need arises.

Edgar Wright, Marvel Studios, and all parties involved did a fantastic job modernizing what was, by and large, considered a dated and dopey hero from the 1960s.

They also built an excellent supporting cast. Every single supporting character in the movie says or does something that made the audience laugh. In a lot of cases; before the laughter even faded, another joke was dropped on us. Making the viewers laugh so hard that they miss the next joke is a benchmark of good comedy. Ant-Man did this in spades.

Despite being Marvel Studios fare; Ant-Man is not really an action movie. The combined elements in Ant-Man, I feel, help to categorize it as an adventure film. And a great adventure film it is. It has humor, it has heart, and it definitely has my money. I will definitely be seeing it again, both in the theater and in home video release.

Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Peña, Judy Greer, Bobby Canavale

Director: Peyton Reed

Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Opens: TODAY in 3D, Real D 3D and IMAX 3D

 

(Not really) Related: Florida worker ant research conducted by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign! 

 

Exclusive Behind the Door Tour of Orlando’s Gods and Monsters

Co-founder Todd Fisher took Central Florida Top 5 on an exclusive tour of the first ever Gods & Monsters which opens on June 13th at the growing Artegon Marketplace! This new, revolutionary pop culture retail experience (and soon to be a not-at-all-secret cool geek headquarters) has been generating quite a buzz online with both nerds and n00bs. Unlike a third of our new Top 5 writers, I was unfamiliar with ‘geek culture’ before going in and honestly a little intimidated! Thankfully Todd Fisher, his business partner Anna and Mr. Online Sales Guy were very welcoming, friendly and super excited to show us around the space.

Gods & Monsters Logo

Many may be familiar with the phrase (or even song by Lana Del Rey) ‘Gods and Monsters’ in one way or another, but how did Orlando’s Gods & Monsters come to be? “Anna, my partner, and I have been in the retail genre game for… ever! I helped run ACME Superstore in Longwood for almost fifteen years, and she’s done her part in the local art community running galleries for just as long,” Todd said.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for both. “It was weird, we both got out of our current jobs at the same time an saw the potential for a team up, I was going to apply to the healthcare jobs canada if nothing would have come up. Just like in the comic books, ‘Wondertwin powers activate!’ She saw the potential of what I could bring to the table, and I saw the same. We decided to join forces and try something a little different than what a lot of places are currently bringing to market. A classier version of the current comic book store model.

GnM1

Side of Artegon Marketplace will look dramatically different on June 13th!

It’s a nearly 20,000 square foot space. It’s an enormous amount of space. We were originally looking at something much, much smaller and, frankly, more manageable… maybe 7,000 square foot. This awesome space kind of fell into our lap at a great deal and we couldn’t pass it up. It was too good to not to take the shot. I really think that the way we’re approaching it – with four separate business models under one roof – I think it can work.

Top 5 things to expect from the Gods & Monsters Grand Opening event on June 13th?

  • Live silk arialists
  • Phantasmagoria (created by our own John DiDonna!) will be performing
  • Tons of local cosplayers and a few secret cosplay celebrities
  • John Cerabino will reveal his new costume build (it’s a surprise)
  • Visiting artists including James Hance of Relentlessly Cheerful Art

Being an infrequent or first time visitor to such a place might make one feel like an outsider. Not so with Gods & Monsters. Everyone is welcome! They hope to be a community hub for all, whether you may be a reader, gamer, collector, fanboy or fangirl. “With a place like us and what we’re about is ALL about community,” Todd says. “Especially in the last several years, we’ve seen a huge upswing in the nerd community being more comfortable with itself. With it being such a staple on tv programming and movies, comic books are cool! When I was in elementary school it was decidedly uncool to be into comics and toys and all that stuff.

What happened? What event over time caused such a Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion nerdaissance? “Something happened in the last twenty years or so that really galvanized the nerd community and brought us together. ‘In our numbers we are stronger,’ “ Todd explains. “They say the geek shall inherit the Earth and… here we are. Obviously we see a potential to bring a community together and, hopefully, that translates to prosperity. It’s symbiotic; I think that we can bring them something and they can keep us afloat to keep giving them things. I’m very hopeful!

The plight of the small business owner is not lost on the team at Gods and Monsters. “It’s been nothing but constant frustration,” Todd says with a laugh.“We were set to open back in November but every kind of possible permitting issue or stumbling block – every possible thing that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. Murphy’s Law… what’s that Nietzsche quote? ‘Everything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?’ I am SO POWERFUL right now!

Tour time! If you can’t bear spoilers, DO NOT READ FURTHER. With 20,000 square feet under their ultility belts, they’ve got a ton of space to fill with nerdy goodness. This is a complete guided tour, so if you have fifteen minutes to spare, watch the video below for the turn-by-turn tour of the entire space front to back!

When you enter the front doors, if you turn around and look up you will see a very large mural by Orlando artist Earl Funk featuring Marvel characters; Rocket Raccoon, Spider-Man, Doc Ock, M.O.D.O.C., Storm and more.

Instagram: @EarlFunk

Orlando artist Earl Funk works on a large mural above the front doors

Turning back around, to the right you will see an Arkham Asylum themed register area. Even the experience in checkout will have really cool interactive components, which we won’t spoil for you. (Ok, it’s REALLY cool and Todd describes it in more detail in the video around the six minute mark.)

GnM Retail

Hard work is being put in by the Gods & Monsters team

In the middle of Gods and Monsters lives a vast retail staging area with lit showcases, toy kiosks and more. “We’ll have your toys, your statues, Hot Toys, Sideshow, Kotobukiya… I’m trying to get the stuff that not every place locally carries, to be that destination for the higher end stuff. And, to showcase that stuff with an eye towards respect that I think that product deserves. A lot of this stuff is art. This will give people an opportunity to see it in good lighting, properly displayed and the bonus is you can take that stuff home with you. That could be IN your home.”

Next is the Gotham themed New Comics and Kids section, both of which will take up a good portion of the right side wall. “We’ll have as wide a selection as I can muster of trade paperbacks on these really awesome (themed) pillar displays.”

Toward the back of the store is The Offworld L.O.U.N.G.E, a concession bar inspired by the Ridley Scott film BladeRunner. “At the beginning of the film he (Harrison Ford as Decker) is getting noodles at the White Dragon Noodle Bar, and we’re trying to theme it as closely to that as we can.” Yes, a noodle bar is also planned!

On the back wall will be a DJ booth/AV section for store atmosphere. Also, in this back section of the store will be themed gaming rooms (three sci-fi, three fantasy), a stage setup with projection and table seating for the concession area. A wall will separate this area from the front of the store and will have mood lighting that can be customized to any tournament, event, concert or gathering.

On the back left hand side of Gods and Monsters will live a fantasy themed gaming retail area that will be fully stocked with cards, dice and other gaming accessories. A large apparel section will neighbor this area; just look for the really cool cosmos, space themed mural. “Not a whole lot of places I find put a lot of money or floor space into an apparel section, and I think… people need clothes, specially a fancy tie from the John Henric UK tie collection. I’m a big fan,” Todd says dryly. A big selection of hats, logo tees, socks and maybe even pajamas will go here.

To the left of the apparel section will be two VIP rooms; one fantasy themed (closer to the gaming area), one sci-fi themed (closer to the side entrance). What’s that you say? A second entrance? Yep! “With the addition of a separate, outside entrance we can do our midnight openings, we can stay open late. Once our concession area opens in January or February, we’ll have beer and wine and can do late night events. We’re very excited about that!” (Oh, and you’ll enter the VIP rooms through a full size TARDIS from Doctor Who!)

The Transmetropolitan Gallery will showcase the work of artists in Central Florida and internationally!

The Transmetropolitan Gallery will showcase the work of artists in Central Florida and internationally!

Heading back to the front entrance is a 1,000 foot ‘high end nerd gallery’ called The Transmetropolitan Gallery, which will showcase original artwork, high value toys, comics and memorabilia. Comic and graphic novel readers will recognize two of the co-owners – Warren Ellis, after whom the gallery is named, and Neil Gaiman, author of the Sandman series among many other works.

ProTip: Neil Gaiman’s wife is Amanda Palmer. She gave THIS amazing TED Talk.

Also with this space comes a great opportunity for Central Florida artists to showcase their work. “We will be accepting submissions to put before a jury to vote on which pieces each month go up. Unless it’s a solo show, or celebrity comic artist show, which we’re planning to do several times a year. Not really (any) restrictions on medium types,” says Anna Young, Co-Founder of Gods & Monsters and Curator of the gallery.

Todd rocks

Co-Owner Todd Fisher, “It’s not always about the money… It’s about sharing this.”

We had to leave you with this great thought from Todd. If there’s one unforgettable takeaway from this post, this is definitely it: “Even if you’ve never picked up a comic in your life, we’re going to make sure – if we have to just give it to you – that you’re going to leave with a comic book in your hand. I want every day to be like Free Comic Book Day,” Todd shares. “It’s not always about the money. It’s not always about taking home a paycheck. It’s about sharing this. It’s about opening up (to) people who haven’t been exposed to this or don’t know the joy of opening up a comic book… or just don’t ‘get’ it. I want them to ‘get’ it. Our mission in all of this is to turn people on to comics, toys and to just show off the space and say ‘Look what you’ve been missing! Come! Let me show you this cool thing!‘”

Note to Artists: Submissions may be sent online or through Gods & Monsters’ Facebook page or by emailing anna(at)godmonsters.com with photos and info for the work submitted.

 

Gods & Monsters is located at 5250 International Drive, Suite E8, Orlando, FL 32819 (inside Artegon Marketplace).

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/godmonsters

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GodsMonsters_FL

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/godsandmonstersorlando