What If? = Ratings

What If? = Ratings

what if jane foster found the hammer of thorLast month, Marvel Studios announced plans for an upcoming animated adaptation of the classic comic series “What If?” for the new Disney+ streaming service.

“What If?” will present alternate reality stories that take place outside the mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, with each story exploring how things would have unfolded differently had key moments in MCU history not occurred the way they did on the big screen.

During the Disney+ debut announcement at last week’s Investor Day, details were revealed for the first episode, which should give you an idea of how this anthology series will play out.

The first episode answers the question, “What If Peggy Carter Became Captain America Instead of Steve Rogers?”

In addition to Peggy Carter being the character to take the Super Soldier Serum, the episode will also feature Steve Rogers donning the first ever Iron Man suit, which Howard Stark builds for him for some reason. (more…)



First Poster for Joaquer

joker movie joaquin phoenix joaquer

That’s right. Joaquer.

You heard it here first.



The Case for the Snyder Cut

black suit superman justice league snyder cutOver the past few months, we’ve seen a slow-drip of news stories detailing what Zack Snyder’s version of the much-maligned Justice League film would’ve looked like, had it ever been completed (famously, Snyder left the project midway through due to a family tragedy and was replaced by Joss Whedon, director of The Avengers).

But, then, this week, that slow-dripping turned into a full-on flood, as Snyder himself finally opened up a bit about it in a fan Q&A, at The Director’s Cut panel at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

The big thing that fanboys have latched onto from the event is the quote of Snyder saying they needed to “grow the [F] up” if they thought that Batman wasn’t a cold-blooded killer of criminals.

That quote, and the idea behind it, has been one of the primary criticisms of his short run of DCEU films, beginning with Man of Steel, continuing on through Batman v Superman, and partially bleeding into Justice League.

Most fans of the comics agree that Batman (and Superman) don’t kill criminals for several very good reasons – that is, it’s not heroic; it alienates the characters from a younger audience; and it makes them no better than the criminals they’re trying to bring in.

Batman in particular already walks a very fine line when it comes to his nighttime vigilantism.

I can’t imagine a world in which the Gotham City Police Commissioner has a Batman-signaling device on the roof of police headquarters while Batman is out murdering criminals. It just doesn’t make any sense.

But I digress. While it’s a stupid quote, it’s by no means the worst thing Snyder said in his Q&A last weekend. (more…)



Theory: Loki is the Main Villain in Avengers: Endgame

loki infinity war
This morning, I posted a rather brilliant (IMO) theory about how Loki is still alive in Avengers: Infinity War, posing as his brother Thor ever since Thanos destroyed their Asgardian ship at the start of the film.

While writing that theory out, I merely wanted to make a case for Loki faking his death somehow at the start of the film and masquerading throughout the rest of it as his brother.

But I stopped short of theorizing on any of the main details of his Master Plan.

So let’s do that now:

Loki is the ultimate villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’s been using Thanos since the first Avengers movie to collect the Infinity Stones on his behalf, so that he can exact his revenge on The Avengers and rule the entire universe.

While I like the character of Thanos, and I appreciate how much work Marvel spent trying to build him up as their main Big Bad, he’s still nowhere near as villainous as Loki.

Thanos has a relatively well thought-out plan (if you ignore the fact his “snap” could just double the amount of resources rather than removing half of the population consuming those resources, if that’s really what he’s so worried about), but he’s not altogether evil.

He seems to have the greater good in mind, which makes for a sympathetic bad guy, but there’s no room for subtlety or nuance in a movie featuring talking raccoons and flying wizards.

What Endgame needs is a villain worthy of all this buildup. They need a mustache-twirler. They need somebody who not only bested all of the Avengers physically, but who outsmarted them, as well.

In other words, they need Loki.

Let’s go back in time and examine a few clues. (more…)



Loki is Alive and Well in Infinity War

Before we start, I think I should probably slap a spoiler warning up here. What is to follow is entirely speculation, but I feel like it’s so completely plausible that it might actually end up spoiling a significant plot twist in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.

avengers infinity war poster high res
If you recall, back in the last Avengers movie, Infinity War, when we first meet the Guardians of the Galaxy, they’re answering a distress beacon.

As they arrive at the beacon’s source, they find the wreckage of the Asgardian ship Thanos just destroyed earlier in the movie, and they also find Thor.

They bring him aboard their ship, so they can ogle him while he’s sleeping, like a team of little Sandy Bullocks, and so that he can recover from whatever left him adrift in the first place.

After he wakes up, he’s rummaging through the ship’s food and whatnot, and the team starts questioning him about what’s going on.

He explains to them that Thanos is collecting the Infinity Stones.

Also, it’s widely known that the Reality Stone has been safe with the Collector on Knowhere for quite some time. Since that’s common knowledge, you can expect that’s where Thanos is headed, to collect the Stone.

Quill interjects and says, “If it’s with the Collector, it’s not safe. Only an idiot would give that man a stone.”

Thor replies, under his breath, “Or a genius,” and the scene moves quickly on.

Let’s stop here, though, and flash back to Thor: The Dark World – the second in his standalone series – for just a moment. (more…)



How a Single One-Liner Ruins Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy

batman begins movie poster

When Batman Begins came out in 2005, there was one particular scene – one line in one particular scene, to be more specific – that bothered the hell out of me, and I have wanted to talk about it ever since.

To paraphrase John Mulaney, I know it’s kind of stupid to complain about a movie that came out 14 years ago, but I wasn’t a blogger back then, so I have to do it now.

The scene in question is the audience’s introduction to The Batman.

I’m coming in hot on this one. Let’s just dive right into it.
(more…)



Rated ‘D’ for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2019

spider-man far from home movie posterHello, and welcome to another installment of “Rated ‘D’ for Doom,” my annual look at the year’s upcoming superhero movies!

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote one of these, but that’s only because we haven’t had any new superhero movies come out lately. I guess they’re just not that popular with general audiences anymore.

But fear not! It’s a whole new year, and it looks like several of the major film studios in Hollywood are going to risk it all once again and roll the dice on a few of these properties. Hopefully they don’t lose their shirts!

No, but, for real, the stakes have never been higher than they are right now – last year, three of the top five highest-grossing superhero movies of all-time were released. At the domestic box office, six of the top ten highest-earners on the year were superhero movies.

Studios have a lot riding on this fad, and they’re determined to milk it for all it’s worth.

You thought Solo was a gross cash-grab in the Star Wars Universe? Well wait until you see the TV spin-offs for Scarlet Witch, Loki, and the Winter Soldier!

Drain ‘em dry!

But this year, we have more superhero movies coming out than ever before (don’t, uh… don’t fact-check me on that), so we don’t have any time to waste on looking back or talking about TV spin-offs.

Let’s get right into it!
(more…)



Doom & Doomer: Aquaman

aquaman movie posterDOOM DELUISE: Hello, and welcome to the latest installment of Doom & Doomer, where Jim Doom and I sit down for a back-and-forth conversation about the latest superhero movie releases of the day.

Today, we’re here to discuss the latest of the surprisingly successful Justice League spin-offs: Aquaman!

Overall, big picture, what did you think?

JIM DOOM: I loved it!

And I really only went to see it so we could review it. I thought it looked comically bad (no pun intended) since the very first trailer. I hated Aquaman in Justice League. I hate Roman Reigns. So I was going into this trying to have an open mind, but fully expecting to hate it.

And for a while, I felt pretty justified in thinking I was going to hate it.

But then it won me over, somewhere in the first act.

DOOM DELUISE: Do you remember the specific moment where you were won over? Or was it more gradual?

JIM DOOM: There was one pivotal moment in the movie that set me on a course of enjoying it.

DOOM DELUISE: Was it the octopus playing the drums?

Because that ALMOST got me on board. (more…)



Doom & Doomer Two-fer: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse & Bumblebee

spider-man into the spider-verse posterDOOM DELUISE: Hello, and welcome to the latest installment of Doom & Doomer, where Jim Doom and I sit down for a back-and-forth conversation about the latest superhero movie releases of the day.

Today, we’re here to discuss Bumblebee and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but before we get to that, let’s check in with Jim and see how he’s doing. Hi, Jim!

JIM DOOM: Hey hey hey. Let’s do this!

You know what today is the anniversary of?

DOOM DELUISE: Nope, what?

JIM DOOM: When we went to see The Spirit together.

Not to spoil the ending of this, but I liked these movies better.

DOOM DELUISE: Damn. Superhero movies have come a long way since then.

What year was that?

JIM DOOM: 2009. On the 10th anniversary of seeing that movie, we’re back!

DOOM DELUISE: Whoa! That’s crazy. Ten years ago, I was unemployed and going to see terrible movies with every bit of free time that I had.

Whoa! Nothing has changed! I’m unemployed again, and still seeing terrible movies all the time!

JIM DOOM: Is that a segue into what we’re here to talk about?

DOOM DELUISE: Yes, except for the fact that the movies we’re here to talk about were actually pretty fun (unless you want to talk about Aquaman, too).

JIM DOOM: I haven’t seen Aquaman yet, so let’s keep it to Spider-Man and Bumblebee.

We can give Aquaman its own review another day.

Although today at the comics shop, the lady at the register pointed to Aquaman on the cover of one of the comics I bought, and was like “Have you seen Aquaman yet?” I said no, I haven’t. She said “It’s really fun!” I asked “Is it good?” And she paused for a long time, and then replied “I think I’ll just stick with saying it’s really fun.”

So between Bumblebee and Spider-Man, where would you like to start? I saw Spider-Man first, so I guess maybe I’d like to vote for starting there, but I could be easily talked out of that. I saw them both the same day so it’s not like Bumblebee is all that fresher in my mind.

DOOM DELUISE: I saw Spider-Man a couple of days before Bumblebee, so I’m happy to start there.

JIM DOOM: I’ll start. I thought this was one of the best superhero movies ever. When we left the theater, I said “I can’t think of a single nit to pick!” Since that time, I’ve thought of one, but I thought it was fantastic. That’s my headline review. What about you? (more…)



Doom & Doomer: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

batman v superman posterDOOM DELUISE: Hello, and welcome to the latest installment of Doom and Doomer, wherein Jim Doom and I take a back-and-forth look at comic book movies.

Today, we discuss Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the sequel to 2013’s abysmal Man of Steel. Was this film able to rise above that one, or is this whole DC Comics Cinematic Universe doomed before it’s barely even started?

We’ll get to that eventually, but overall, in regards to Batman v Superman, what did you think, Jim?

JIM DOOM: I think I told you that I was going in with an open mind, ready to be pleasantly surprised. But I have to be honest, even with good intentions I was ready and eager to hate this movie with all my heart.

And it’s still not the movie I would have made, and I still won’t be all that bothered if Zack Snyder gets booted from the franchise (and it looks like that might happen sooner rather than later), but this movie at least did a lot of the things right that I think Man of Steel did wrong, and while that’s basically the measuring stick that I hold it against, it makes me more hopeful for the movies that are coming up.

So where should we start? All the things that are terrible about it? Because I really hate the terrible things, and there were plenty.

DOOM DELUISE: Sure, we can start with the terrible things, but then I don’t think we’ll have much left to talk about after that’s out of the way. (more…)