Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

What can be said about Civil War that hasn’t been said already? This movie is exactly like what all the reviews would have you believe: it’s fun, clearly the best Marvel film developed so far, and is an excellent culmination of events Marvel has been dealing with since Iron Man first came out in 2008. But does it truly deserve all the hype its been getting, or are there secretly cracks beginning to form in Marvel’s movie making machine? (spoilers: there aren’t)

The Plot

After the Avengers try and fail to stop a bombing in Lagos, the team is brought under fire by the new Secretary of State, former military general “Thunderbolt” Ross, who hands them a document known as “The Sokovia Accords,” the film’s version of the Superhuman Registration Act. As you’d expect, some members of the team agree to the Accords, while others do not, leading to fights and damaged relationships.

My Thoughts

First off, the writing is spectacular. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo definitely show a great understanding of all the Marvel characters, from Tony Stark/Iron Man to newcomers like Peter Parker/Spider-Man and T’Challa/Black Panther. The dialog feels real and earned, to the point where you can almost feel the history behind each of the characters and see how someone like Steve Rogers, a soldier and a die hard patriot in The First Avenger, would refuse to sign something like the Sokovia Accords and give in to governmental supervision. This plays into how amazingly deep and emotional the story is. It carries both a weighty, worldly feel, while at the same time keeping to the theme of a torn apart family, making all the events seem more personal and at home. It’s an emotional punch to see these people, who we’ve seen fight and save the world together, coming apart at the seams over essentially a large disagreement (sure, it’s a disagreement motivated by numerous deaths, but still).

However, don’t expect the film to be overly dark and complicated. There certainly are lighter moments in the film, especially when Tom Holland’s Spider-Man arrives on the scene. Spider-Man is clearly one of the best parts of this film, and I’m sure audiences everywhere will love every second the character is on screen. I can certainly see why many people say he steals the show from Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, but at the same time, I’m glad Spidey got as much screen time as he did. Like with the Punisher and Daredevil, Marvel’s Spider-Man is clearly superior to the other versions of the character we’ve seen thus far, and I cannot wait to see his future solo film.

 

The action is, without a doubt, spectacular. It’s big when it needs to be (that airport scene is incredible!), but also proves, especially during the battle between Captain America and Iron Man, that it can come down to a more personal place when the story demands it. It’s been said that the fight coordinators that handled John Wick were involved in this film’s fight scenes, and I’d completely agree with that. Every punch and kick feels powerful and real, exactly what a film with this depth and tone needed. To put it simply, if you’re an action fan, you’ll love this film.

Now, we can’t talk about this film without talking about this year’s other big team up film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeCivil War ended up doing what Dawn of Justice should have been committed to doing from the start; rather than trying to be something dramatic and briefly about a fight between two titans, Dawn of Justice should have made the story way more personal, with more of a focus on character motivations and an interesting story. There’s clearly more to say about this, but Mr. Sunday Movies has a video,which you can check out below, that essentially sums up everything very well.

All that having been said, let’s talk about some of the negatives in this film (they’re a bit on the nitpick side, but they’re still there). For instance, Spider-Man looks incredibly like full CGI, as if he’s never truly part of the scene. Even when his mask is up and you can see Holland’s face, the red and blue tights seemed a bit off from the surroundings. Maybe it’s just one of those things you have to see more than once to figure it out, but during my first viewing, the character seemed a little fake.

Another problem is Zemo, or rather Zemo’s plot. While his plan is ultimately a good one, it’s the way he gets to where he wants to be that’s a tad bit odd. It seems as if he runs entirely on chance and coincidence, with some actual planning here and there to help smooth things out when needed. Again though, this might be another one of those things that becomes clearer the more times you see the film. I also feel that, contrary to statements made by the Russo brothers, the film clearly gave a “right” and “wrong” side to the argument over the Sokovia Accords, rather than leave it open to audience debate. It’s hard to say without spoiling anything, but hopefully you’ll understand what I’m talking about when you see the film for yourself.

All in all, Captain America: Civil War is currently the best Marvel movie by far. If you want action, it’s there. If you want complex and interesting character arcs, it’s there. If you’re looking for another knock out film by the Russo brothers, you’ll find it here. Whenever you can, go see this film.

FILM GRADE: 10/10

For those of you who have seen it, what did you think about Captain America: Civil War? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. While you’re at it, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official YouTube and Twitch channels, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

Reading through the first issue of writer/director/photographer Chris R. Notarile’s new live action comic book series The Centurion is kind of like watching one of his films on YouTube: it’s fun, engaging, and definitely feels like a lot of hard work and determination went into it. But while this issue does have a number of positive elements that will surely entertain any Notarile fan, there are a number of things that will also bother and might turn off both long time comic book readers and new fans curious about the world of Retcon Chris has been building up through his series of films.

The Story

This first issue follows Kayla, a former Army Lieutenant turned superhero named the Centurion (originally established in The Retcon Chronicles). Through a series of flashbacks, we learn more about Kayla’s early superhero career before launching in to her tracking down the source of a mysterious explosion at a research lab. The cause? A woman with nuclear superpowers!

My Thoughts

First, the positive. Chris is an active photographer in his spare time, and the practice definitely shows in each page of this issue. Each shot is gorgeous and crystal clear, with everything he wants to convey being well lit and executed. Even the actors in each shot (with some exceptions) are convincing in their body language and facial expressions, giving the entire book more of a traditional pencil and ink comic feel. Speaking of the other characters, the dialog and characterizations are believable and work within the confines of the Retcon world. Sure, a lot of this issue is written with a very classic, Silver Age type of feel to it, but honestly, I think that works well here.

I also appreciated knowing more about the Kayla character and her previous superhero work, particularly how her story seemed intertwined with Phantom Faye, another Notarile superhero character. How this fits in with the Phantom Faye YouTube series, on the other hand (where it seemed that Kayla was meeting Faye for the first time) is still up in the air for me. I do wish Chris peppered in the flashbacks throughout the series, rather than pushing them all in the first few pages, so we could focus on more action and character development in this first issue, but how it’s been presented here is still acceptable.

All that having been said, let’s talk negatives. If you’re not a fan of Chris’s YouTube work, then you might not enjoy this story. It is a little stereotypical, and heavily relies on the reader having knowledge of Chris’s shared universe of films. Heck, I’ve enjoyed his films for a few years now, and still completely forgot who Jack and Jill were when they popped up in one of the titular character’s flashback scenes. The photographic effects for the various superpowers and weapons also leave a little to be desired, with some instances (like portions of the Nuclear Woman scenes) looking far too obviously fake to be completely convincing in a live action setting.

This is also what I’d like to call the “expositional comic”, in that this issue is working overtime to set up literally every other detail for the upcoming story (introducing the characters, giving some backstory, setting up future conflicts, etc). While it will most likely end up working just fine as part of the larger whole, as a standalone it currently suffers from overly heavy amounts of dialog and a lack of any real conflict. Sure, we have the Centurion smashing through a window to intimidate a kidnapper, but that’s really about it.

Probably the most disappointing thing about this whole issue is the lack of the promised villain on the cover. With a subtitle like “Wrath of the Nuclear Woman,” I was really hoping to see more of the irradiated female doing just about anything. Instead, we get to see her fry two random nice people and make a costume out of radiation (somehow). I know I mentioned a minute ago that an assumed familiarity with the characters was a bad thing for this issue, but I can’t help myself in saying this: I already have an idea who the Centurion is based on Chris’s films, so I would have enjoyed seeing more of the Nuclear Woman in action instead. Throw some of Kayla’s flashback time her way! However, I’m assuming there will be another issue in the future that shifts the focus and lets us see more things from the villain’s perspective later on.

In the end though, I’d hesitate to really call any of the problems in this first issue “serious.” It is just starting out, and is likely still finding its legs in terms of storytelling and direction. I imagine that these things will eventually sort themselves out and get better as time goes on. I still have to give both the photographs that make up the panels, as well as the actors, a heaping pile of praise for creating a unique and visually interesting take on the traditional superhero story. Way to go for pulling off the first issue Chris. Can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

COMIC GRADE: 6.5/10

Will you pick up a copy of The Centurion #1 when it’s released? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official Youtube channel, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

As you know, this website was taken over for a month by Wade Wilson (the “Merc with a Mouth”) himself, who covered random bits of comic book news/facts in his own…peculiar way, leading up to the release of the Deadpool film. Despite having only been gone for roughly a day, Wade is already apparently not fond of the fact that I only recently got around to seeing Deadpool, and decided to write me (and all of my readers, aka you) the following letter:

Dear Comic Book Nerd,

What the absolute f*#k is your problem? I finally get a decent movie appearance after one of the worst attempts at comic book fandom to date, and you can’t even be bothered to review it yet? Don’t you run a website for this sort of thing? I’m guessing there weren’t enough cheap costumes or terrible green CGI to keep you interested? Or maybe you need a solid kick in the nuts to get the ball rolling on these types of things? In that case, consider this letter a freshly spit shined, steel toed, athletic kick in the aforementioned junk.

After all, everyone needs to know how awesome I finally am! The action? On point! Where else are you going to see heads exploding, @!$holes getting shot, and regular slicing and dicing happening with my trusty swords, Bea and Arthur? The acting? Even better! Everyone in this movie was so natural and fresh, like they just stepped out of one of those fields on the laundry detergent bottles. Plus, we finally get a decent Ryan Reynolds performance, so what does that tell you? Seriously though, I loved Reynolds in this movie. He’s the only person who can do me justice. Plus he’s totally naked in this movie. You’re welcome, any ladies who happen to be on this site at the moment (because c’mon, we all know you can’t resist putting this on your website).

That’s not even getting to the best part: the references. Because it’s all about the reference love, and ol’ Deadpool has a lot to go around. We brought in Stan Lee, Rob Liefeld (look for the guy who loves pouches and drawing man boobs, can’t miss him), James McAvoy, and Daredevil, and that’s just in the first few minutes! There’s so much going on, we actually cut out a ton of jokes! Think they’ll be on the DVD? Think again you cheap f*#kers, because I’m saving that goodness for the Blu-Ray (out whenever I decide to release it, because I said so).

Plus, you’ve already seen the movie, so you know there’s nothing bad about it. Everything’s a 10/10! “But wah,” I can hear some of your readers saying, “there’s too much of the bridge scene in the marketing! The whole movie must just be that scene from the first Fantastic Four on loop!” First off, f*#k you for making me think about Fox’s disaster franchise again, because that whole thing is an awful mess. Second, there’s actually other stuff going on besides one really bad-@!$ fight scene. Didn’t you read what I wrote up top?

All in all, go see my movie again. It’s awesome, the actors/sets/special effects are awesome, and I need more money for Deadpool 2. Plus, I know where you live. Don’t make me come a knockin’.

With love,

-Deadpool

Fine Wade, we get it. The movie was good, and we should all see it at least once. Happy now?

Have you seen Deadpool yet? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official Youtube channel, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead

This is probably the best Spider-Man comic in a while, right?

And it doesn’t even have Peter in it! 

Not till the end anyway. But you’re right, this is a really good first issue! Back to the basics and everything!

With a few minor problems, of course.

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Spider-Man vs Blackheart! Image taken from comicbookmovie.com

The Story

The story is pretty simple in this issue. We start off with Blackheart trying to take over the Earth again. All of the Avengers are beaten, and Miles Morales is the only one left standing.

Flashback time!

Going back a little bit, we see Miles losing out on another potential girlfriend because of his commitments as Spider-Man.

We get a quick glimpse of him punching the Shocker, which is a little bit humorous.

But his parents call because his grades stink!

So he goes to class, only to leave pretty quickly because an explosion is happening down the street. As Spider-Man, Miles saves a bunch of people before we catch back up to the beginning of the issue.

Surprisingly, he manages to win against Blackheart all by himself.

That’s when Peter finally shows up! He looks like he might be ready to fight Miles too!

Our Thoughts

This is classic Spider-Man, no doubt about it. We get to see old-fashioned Spidey problems (classes, girls, family) mixed in with the usual superhero fights and explosions.

The art is fantastic, by the way. Sara Pichelli pulls off great action shots throughout the book. Some of the faces (especially Miles’ reaction shots) look a bit weird, but they’re at least excusable.

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Image taken from comicbookmovie.com

Bendis has some pretty good writing in this one too! All of the lines feel natural, and it’s pretty nice to see all of Miles’ friends and family!

But how does he take down Blackheart all by himself? That’s a little weird, considering how he managed to take out the Avengers all at once.

I can’t imagine his venom blast technique is that powerful…

Exactly. It feels more like they did it just to give Miles an early victory.

What’s up with Peter? Why’s he mad at Miles?

Nobody knows! Maybe they’ll tell us next issue, but it would’ve been nice to get even a little clarification now.

Overall though, it’s not a bad introduction to the character’s new series.

Not at all!

You said it! I wouldn’t mind picking up issue two to see how the rest of this plays out.

COMIC GRADE: 7.5/10

Do we even have to give an intro for this one?

Nope! If my readers haven’t taken the time to watch the new Suicide Squad trailer yet, then they’re lying, because everyone’s seen how awesome it is.

Or they don’t have a TV/internet!

That too.

So what do you think after watching it again?

It’s definitely great. I loved listening to “Bohemian Rhapsody” the entire time the trailer was going.

It’s my favorite song!

We get a better look at everyone on the team too, with clearer introductions for the people who don’t read comic books and wouldn’t have a clue who these people are.

By this point, how could you not read comics?

What’s really interesting to me is how different this trailer is compared to the last one. That one was all dark and serious, while this one seems lighter and more like Guardians of the Galaxy. Which reminds me, the Joker in this one seems like he’s having a lot more fun.

Who wouldn’t when you actually get some screen time?

“I can’t wait to show you my toys.” Wonder if he has something to do with the movie’s bad guy? He’s supposed to be the one that messes around with the team’s plans anyway.

Who is the bad guy anyway?

No clue! Maybe a closer look at the trailer (a “Trailer Breakdown” if you will) will find out some more clues on that.

So basically there’s nothing wrong with the trailer right? 10/10 material!

Well, not really. Stuff blowing up, the Joker’s jump into the chemicals with Harley’s transformation, and the new tone are all really good. It’s just…the rest of it seems a little off for me. Just a tad though.

Sounds like you’re about to nitpick.

I’m still not a huge fan of Killer Croc’s makeup, but seeing it in action and moving around some makes it a little bit better.

Yep, nitpick time.

The dialog is a little cheesy sometimes too. Stuff like, “We’re bad guys! It’s what we do!” maybe should’ve been rewritten or delivered differently. Not to mention the fact that I’d kind of like to know who the bad guy is, or see more of the Joker doing things, or-

That’s called “anticipation” moron.

Yeah, just give it time! We’ll see more stuff on the movie soon!

Yeah, I guess you’re right. Doesn’t change the fact that I want to see more now though, does it?

What’d you guys think of the new Suicide Squad trailer? Let me know in the comments below, or with a tweet through that widget on the left. You can also like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, subscribe to the official Youtube channel, and follow the official Comic Books vs The World Instagram to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World.

TRAILER GRADE: 9.5/10

What’s this, another fan film?

It’s for Deadpool Month. We have to review it.

I don’t wanna!

Well too bad. What’s the movie about?

Watch it and find out.

My Thoughts

…What was that?

You didn’t like it?

What are you talking about? That was awesome! I killed so many people in that movie!

I don’t like how they used my text box.

Didn’t my old issues always have me talk in yellow boxes though? Doesn’t exactly apply to anyone specific.

I’m more concerned with how fake everything looked.

It’s a fan film. How much Avatar were you expecting?

Yeah, but it looked weird when they’d jump from actual prop blood to CGI blood. Too fake.

What about how they used that weird edit and had us run down the same hall three times?

You mean the same one they used to have us about to be punched three times?

Nitpicks, you guys! Nitpicks! I don’t know about you guys, but I loved the actors.

You just liked who they got for Domino.

No…

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Image taken from youtube.com

I know I did!

What about the guy they got for me? He seemed pretty accurate.

Sure, but who the hell is Slim Jim? Is he even a Marvel character?

Who cares? Point is, this movie is awesome!

I loved it!

Yeah, I liked it too.

FILM GRADE: 9.5/10

Welcome back to Deadpool Month guys and gals! You know what’s awesome? Being able to play a game and find a version of yourself in it!

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Look, it’s me! Image taken from fightersgeneration.com

Isn’t that awesome?

Yeah, great. But how useful are we in this game?

I like the part where we beat people with our life bar!

Woah guys, one step at a time. First, let’s start with the basics.

Didn’t the guy who normally writes this blog do something like this for Daredevil?

TO THE BASICS!

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BANG BANG BANG! Image taken from youtube.com

The Basics

Believe it or not, I’m actually not that bad of a Scrapper right out of the gate. My Health, Attack, Defense, and Accuracy are pretty decent (although I will say, my Evasion’s a tad bit off for some reason). All four of my attacks can be built up to give out a bunch of debuffs to the bad guys, while buffing me up to no end! Stack me with a Guardian Insignia for maximum buffs!

Or use our character specific ISO-8, Savory and Spicy. Basically, one gives us life when we die, the other protects the team and makes enemies bleed when we use our swords (on the attack “Sharp Pointy Things”). You players will have to beat Heroic Battles to have a chance at getting both of them.

Wait, we weren’t making enemies bleed before? With swords?! What kind of bulls#!t is that Playdom?!

Heroic Battle

I get a Heroic Battle too? This game’s got everything!

Close to it. Actually, we team up with Cable and fight the U-Foes.

The U-Foes? Who cares about them?

We do apparently, since we’re scrappin’ with ’em. Yo dawg, I heard you like Scrappers-

No, not again!

Unlockables

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Image taken from marvel.com

Well damn, check me out! Isn’t that costume awesome?!

It looks gray!

…Right…But it also has a bunch of really cool perks too. When we have this suit, we can give other X-Force members on our team candy, and-

Candy? What, do we get a windowless van with this upgrade too?

No! It gives our team the Boon Buster effect for single target attacks. That means we can pretty much increase our strength against anyone with stat boosting effects.

Boon Buster eh? I like the sound of it!

Me too!

Team Worthy?

What do you think? Of course I’m f@#cking team worthy! I’m already super awesome in this game, and now I’ve got the extras to back me up! Sure, I may cost 135 Command Points, but who cares when you can play as me?

Add in the extra 60 points for the X-Force costume, plus whatever they end up charging for our movie costume…

Shut up.

CHARACTER GRADE: 7.5/10