Two New Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailers Released – Takeaway

 

These two new trailers give a lot about the movie and maybe in fact too much. If you take the footage from all the trailers you get a sense of the major beats of how the movie will go excluding the non costumed parts. These two new ones are enjoyable though so here’s my take:

  • We will definitely see as to what Spider-Man was doing in the time right before the big airport battle in Captain America: Civil War, during and the immediate after.
  • Though he isn’t in the trailer a lot, we do get a sense of what Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and what his goal is. It’s still a little generic but that is kind of Spider-Man’s villains thing.
  • Quick shot of Bookem Woodbine attacking Spider-Man
  • Toomes and his pals are in The Tinkerer’s lab
  • More interactions between Peter and Michelle (Zendaya)
  • Donald Glover’s still unnamed character gets a few lines.
  • Peter is an “intern” for Tony Stark. Seemingly give progress reports. Something tells me that Stark doesn’t actually care and is purposely not answering calls.
  • The high tech suit that Stark gave Peter has a lot of limitations put in to be unlocked by Stark at his choosing. We see that his new suit has a parachute equipped in it. (Funny how he couldn’t give Rhodey a parachute in his suit) Will this suit turn into the Iron Spider suit?
  • Happy Hogan looks to play a bigger role in this movie than originally envisioned. I guess if you couldn’t get Downey for a lot of it, find a good middle man to be a mouth piece for him.
  • This trailer did tone down the Tony Stark/Iron Man element. Does make you wonder just how much he is in the movie?

I’ve mentioned that I’m not too excited about the movie but it does keep me intrigued enough. I’m just glad to see more of Spidey’s classic villains being used. I hope they aren’t killed off and avoiding that superhero movie trope. I just wonder how this movie is going to go. I can’t really place my disconnect but maybe it will dissipate by the time the movie is released.

Samurai Jack Finale – One of the Best?

Samurai Jack has finally come to an end. After ending over a decade ago with no conclusion, many thought that we would never see the end of Jack’s journey. After coming to blows with the evil entity known only as Aku, Aku out of desperation thrust Jack into the future where Aku ruled all. The initial series showcased Jack’s role in the future as he wandered through the land in hopes of one day ending Aku and returning to his time.

When the show was revitalized, we learned that fifty years had gone by and Jack has not aged a day due to the means he got to the future. A shell of his former self and one veering on suicide, it was a Jack we did not expect. This was also the case with Aku who had gone into a apathetic depression as he destroyed all the means for Jack to travel to the past in the hopes of Jack’s dying of old age but to no avail. Now both were at a standstill in their journey. Jack, yielded the only weapon that could kill Aku but lost it in a past confrontation. Aku is holding up in his tower in fear that Jack will finally seek him out.

By the final episode, Jack had fallen in love with Ashi, the daughter of Aku. Being the daughter of Aku proved to be his downfall as she had all his powers, which included time travel. Using her abilities to transport herself and Jack to mere moments after Aku initially sent Jack to the future. Without missing a beat, Jack finally ended his enemy. What next? Jack and Ashii are to be married but of course things will not go smoothly. Since Ashi was born in the future and Aky was killed in the past, she was a walking paradox. Fading away at her and Jack’s wedding, Jack is left heartbroken.

Despondent once again, Jack is next seen wandering. This time he stumbles upon a cherry blossom tree where a lady bug lands on him. A bittersweet smile comes upon his face and the series ends with a image of Jack under the tree.

Like life, most things are bittersweet. Jack’s life has never been easy. The day he was born was the same day that Aku came to be. Spending his whole life training to be the one to defeat Aku, he almost succeeded before being sent to the future. Spending fifty years in the future making no connections (despite living an impact on the people he encounters lives) and when he finally does, she turns out to be the daughter of his arch nemesis. Their love was destined to fail but it certainly left a mark. So while he may have defeated his arch nemesis and thus created a better future, he has lost a lot. The woman he loved is gone and presumably most of the people he encountered in the future as that no longer exists. Being in the future tainted Jack as he was forced to take other living beings’ lives. Let’s not forget that Jack while being in his 20’s, he is mentally somewhere in his 70’s. He has lived a lifetime.

But the ending was good as it showed that there was still hope in the world. The cherry blossom reminded Jack of Ashi and how it symbolized her change from cold blooded killer to a caring person. Showing that while he has lost a lot in his very long life, this is still a better future than what we came back from. That there is still hope in the world and that the sacrifices and loss were not for nothing. It was a beautiful finale to a great animated series.

The Roman Reigns Issue

Everyone knows that Vince McMahon loves big, sweaty men. Who is a big sweaty man? Roman Reigns. Now let me preface this by saying, I do not dislike Roman Reigns. I do not know the man personally and I cannot fault anyone for doing what is asked of them in their job. That being said, I dislike what is being done with the whole Roman Reigns thing. He’s clearly being groomed to be the next face of the company but it really isn’t working. Why is that? I mean I can only speak for myself so here’s my take.

Shoved Down My Throat

I know how business works and I know that companies need a face of the company. John Cena is on his way out of the WWE so Roman Reigns does aesthetically make sense to be the new face. But this isn’t the day in age where people aren’t tuned in 24/7. The whole move to make Reigns the new face of the company isn’t particularly smooth either. Winning all the time with little to no challenge gets boring fast. Reigns can work in the ring and I’ll never say that he cannot because he does. Even when he loses, he just comes across boring. When Kevin Owens used brass knuckles against him in a match, Reigns just shrugged it off like they were nothing. Giving him the U.S. Championship and then doing nothing with it. It’s so obvious with what they are doing with him, there is nothing endearing about it.

Who is Roman Reigns?

My biggest issue with Roman Reigns is that I have no idea who this guy is. His mic skills fluctuate as sometimes he works and sometimes he does not. Usually it is a less is more approach when it comes to that aspect. The biggest problem I can think of lately was after the most recent Wrestlemania. In his match, he was the one to effectively retire The Undertaker. Of course this was going to be met with mixed reaction but with Roman Reigns it was definitely divisive. The night after Wrestlemania, he simply stood in the ring while fans chanted insults at him. All the while, Reigns had a smug grin on his face before proclaiming:

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Then the week after that, he was doing an interview where he was talking about how he did not want to retire The Undertaker. During this interview, he was more solemn and had a look of confusion on his face like it wasn’t his intention. This simply flew in the face of what he said and acted like in the week before. Then Braun Strowman came out of nowhere and beat his ass and gave him serious (fake) injuries. But I still don’t get a sense of who he is.

One week, he’s acting heelish and the next he’s acting like a face. It’s not even really a tweener angle that he is going for.

Now we’re back to business as usual with Roman Reigns. Despite being (fake) injured, he’s still going over people perfectly healthy such as Finn Balor. He’s being groomed to face Brock Lesnar at the NEXT Wrestlemania to win the WWE Universal Championship. The rumor is that he will win the Intercontinental Championship and thus become a Grand Slam Champion. It’s really draining to see the favoritism towards Roman Reigns while there are perfectly capable performers right next to him. As said, I do not have a problem with the man himself. But this thing they are doing is just the worst and frankly keeps me away from watching WWE Raw.

Alien: Covenant Review

The Alien franchise is back once again. The follow up to 2012’s Prometheus, Alien: Covenant,¬†is more or less a return to form for the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott, who directed the first film and Prometheus is back in the director’s chair. This film aims to combine the best elements from Alien, Aliens and Prometheus. Does it effectively do that? Not really. Does that mean it’s bad? No it does not.

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The film follows the colonist ship, Covenant, as they are woken up from hibernation due to a freak accident. As they are drifting in space and not wishing to go back into cryo sleep, they discover a beacon from a planet that should show no signs of life. Who sent out the signal? None other than David 8, the android from Prometheus and the sole survivor of that crew. But not everything is what it appears to be and with this film being an Alien film, you know that something is just drifting in the background and ready to strike.

First thing, this movie is gorgeous. Who would have known that just a wheat field can look hauntingly beautiful? The cinematography is top notch and you can see every penny being spent on the screen. This does effectively set the mood for the film. That things are beautiful but also the underbelly of dread as things are not really what they should be. Without giving away too much, mummified bodies have never looked hauntingly beautiful.

The plot of the movie is bare bones as it is in the quick synopsis that I gave earlier. You can tell that the criticisms of Prometheus being too heady was probably taken to heart. But this is where the film runs into problems trying to have its cake and eat it too. It kind of wants to continue to delve into the philosophical stuff established in Prometheus but at the same time wants to have the horror from Alien and the action from Aliens. So the movie has key and great moments in those individual moments but it doesn’t really gel all that well. If there is a sequel to this (and thus another prequel to Alien) then they can probably figure out the right balance to everything. In fact, you should watch the prologue videos released online that are probably deleted scenes rejiggered to be prologue shorts to help flesh out the film.

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When it comes to the actor’s, this is Michael Fassbender’s movie. He plays dual roles here as David from Prometheus and a new android Walter. As mentioned earlier, David is the only survivor from Prometheus but if you remember that movie, he was not. So what happened in between? The dichotomy between the two androids gives the movies some of the best scenes in the movie. The only problem is that the movie is supposed to have some mystery concerning these characters but it is obvious from the get go especially if you have seen Prometheus.

Katherine Waterston as Daniels Branson fulfills the Ripley-esque role. She is the voice of reason in the film and one who wisely tells the others to not go to the planet. Billy Crudup is always a solid actor and he is the Captain of this ship but also a man of faith. In this future, being a person of faith is looked down upon as hinted in the previous film. The true standout has to be Danny McBride. Known mostly for his comedic efforts, though he has done dramatic roles, this film gives a good mixture of both. The pilot of the ship who has some comic relief but gets serious when things get serious as well.

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Now since this is an Alien film, how are the aliens? Well the classic Xenomorph and Facehuggers have returned. But in addition there is also something called the Neomorph. The Neomorph brings a new element of horror as we have never seen anything like this in the franchise before. If you played Resident Evil 7, it is reminiscent of the some of the creatures in that video game. But Ridley Scott is also utilizing a good mix of practical and computer graphics to get the best out of his creatures to establish a true horror in them.

This is ultimately a solid film and a solid entry into the franchise. Even in his bad films, there is always a level of polish and professionalism that goes into a Ridley Scott film. From the direction to cinematography to music and acting. There are all solid across the board. But there are still some rough patches that do not put it into the upper echelon of the franchise either. If you enjoyed Prometheus, I think you will enjoy this. If you did not enjoy Prometheus, I think you will definitely enjoy this. I do hope that this movie does well if only to get a conclusion to the story arc started in Prometheus.

 

SCORE: 7.5/10

Doomsday Clock Revealed

The time has finally come for Doctor Manhattan’s meddling with the DC Universe to be revealed. Ever since DC Rebirth in 2016, there have been strong hints about who meddled with the DC Universe. As of this writing it still has not been fully confirmed in story as to who it is. It has been strongly been hinted to be Doctor Manhattan. I figured that it might be a misdirect and it still might be but writer, Geoff Johns, specifically mentions Doctor Manhattan by name.

The mystery of why the good Doctor has been doing what he’s doing is one of the biggest mysteries since Rebirth. Multiple heroes and villains have been kidnapped and kept in a prison for unknown reasons. Characters that have powers beyond the extraordinary such as Mister Mxyzptlk are aware of a bigger threat but are seemingly unaware of the more finer details such as the who. Then there is the character of Mr. Oz who has been appearing since before Rebirth and is seemingly a key to solving the mystery with a special interest in Superman

Superman has seen the biggest change since Rebirth happening. Recently the older who appeared post Crisis on Infinite Earths and the younger one who appeared post Flashpoint have fused into one being with a mix of both characters’ histories. Geoff Johns mentions how the contrast between Doctor Manhattan and Superman is the key conflict between the two. With Doctor Manhattan whose powers are so extreme that he has become alien to humans despite being one. Superman, the alien, despite his abilities embraces the humanity.

It is refreshing to see a major DC Comics storyline revolve around Superman. It should be important to remind people as to why Superman is important and necessary despite being a “goody two shoes” and “boy scout” when he really isn’t either of those. The contrast between two beings that people relate to Gods will be interesting to see. Superman cannot have a fist fight with Doctor Manhattan who can atomize beings with a simple thought. So what will their conflict ultimately boil down to?

I will be heading to my local comic book store to check out what this story leads to. How it will shape the DC Universe going forward.