Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Ant-Man and The Wasp

nullI saw a review headline earlier today proclaiming Ant-Man and The Wasp “the perfect summer movie.” I could easily name 20 perfect movies released during the summer going back to Jaws, released the summer before I was, but the phrase “a perfect summer” movie almost invariably refers to movies that aren’t very good.

Ant-Man and The Wasp isn’t Not Good. It is, as my pal and editor and occasional (today!) Pop Culture Happy Hour panel-mate Glen Weldon observed in his review, fine.

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Vibranium v Unobtanium: A Slate Investigation

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Most of Black Panther is set in the imaginary African nation of Wakanda, a technological utopia whose monarchs have for centuries observed a strict policy of isolationism, keeping would-be colonizers at bay by hiding their nation’s wealth and scientific advancement from the outside world. We’re told in the movie’s very first minute that Wakanda’s prosperity derives from its abundance of Vibranium, and that this bounty was delivered via meteorite long before humans walked the Earth.

And for a resource they’re trying to keep secret, the Wakandans sure talk about it a lot.

Even more than the characters in Avatar (Remember Avatar? Nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for my boy James Cameron? Still the highest-grossing movie in the history of movies?) speak the much-derided name of that movie’s extraterrestrial miracle metal, Unobtanium.

A lot more.

For this Slate piece, I did the transcription. And the math.

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Ragna-roll With It: Thor: Ragnarok, reviewed.

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Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie by an Asgardian mile, but don’t let that backhanded compliment stop you. With dual villains played by Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum plus a Mark Mothersbaugh score, it’s a stealth The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou reunion. Lo, here’s my NPR review.

The Strangest Yard: Whipping, or The Football Hamlet, reviewed. Plus: King Kirby.

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My review of Kathleen Akerley’s latest opus, Whipping, or The Football Hamlet, is in today’s Washington City Paper, along with a few paragraphs about another show that has regrettably already closed: Crystal Skillman & Fred Van Lente’s King Kirby, a bio-play about legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby and his lifelong struggle to be fairly compensated for the dozens of Marvel Comics characters he created—or co-created with Stan Lee. They don’t agree on who did what, and therein lies the tale.

If this subject interests you, I recommend Sean Howe’s 2012 history Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.

Mr. Holland’s Opus: Spider-Man: Homecoming, reviewed.

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I know I’m supposed to be sick to death of superhero movies, but I don’t think we’ve ever had three as strong as Logan, Wonder Woman, and the new Spider-Man: Homecoming arrive in such rapid succession. Here’s Homecoming, for NPR. Continue reading

Time for Carrousel: Logan, reviewed.

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I’m looking forward to the argument we’re going to have over beers, you and I, about whether Logan is the best comic book movie since The Dark Knight or the best Western since No Country for Old Men. 

Here’s my NPR review, where I ran out of space to cite all the things I loved about this movie (Eriq La Salle! Autotrucks!), or to warn you that if you know you will recoil from the sight of an 11-year-old girl defending her life with lethal force, you should skip it. And it would probably be more correct to call it the Rocky Balboa of Rocky movies than the Creed of Rocky movies, but sometimes clarity is more important than pinpoint accuracy.

Bring tissues.

Doctor Strange, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Review Movies on the Radio

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Something new for me: Reviewing movies on the radio. Here’s my Weekend Edition Sunday assessment of Doctor Strange, wherein Marvel hands the role of brilliant, arrogant, goateed rich-guy Avenger from Robert Downey, Jr., the most recent movie Sherlock Holmes, to Benedict Cumberbatch to the most recent TV Sherlock Holmes.