By Carl Slaughter: (1) Transformers. You don’t have to spend a weekend binge watching previous Transformers movies to get caught up for Last Knight. Screen Junkies offers a thorough but concise and rapid-fire recap.
(2) Proof of death. Looper explains why the latest mummy movie is DOA.
Despite lofty expectations and the attachment of a huge star in Cruise, The Mummy wasn’t able to scare up many viewers in its opening weekend, debuting to an underwhelming $31.5 million domestic gross. The disappointing start for the thriller likely won’t completely unravel Universal’s so-called “Dark Universe,” but it definitely spells trouble. Here’s why The Mummy was dead on arrival.
(3) Darth. Wisecrack traces Darth Vader’s decent into the Dark Side to his fear of death. Not his own death, but those close to him. The Jedi Council chime in to support this theory, as does real world child psychology. y contrast, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Luke avoid turning by being willing to die. Then Vader makes a deathbed conversion by accepting his impending death. Wisecrack has found a distinct pattern. Could it be George Lucas has been building this theme all along? How will it play out in the final trilogy.
(4) Whedon’s peeves. 6 Things Joss Whedon hated about The Avengers.
(6) Critique. Themes in Netflix’s Daredevil:
- determinism versus accountability
- due process versus vigilantism
- retribution versus rehabilitation
- faith versus agnosticism
- orchestrating sweeping change in a large area versus fighting one evil opponent at a time in your backyard
(7) Casting decisions. Jack Black as Green Lantern? The Wachowskis scripting a Plastic Man movie? Green Arrow teaming with supervillains to break out of Super Max prison? Tim Burton directing Nicholas Cage as Superman and Chris Rock as Jimmy Olsen? A Justice League movie cancelled weeks before filming because of the writers strike and a lost tax break? Warner Brothers executives passing on a Green Arrow movie because, “We just want to make movies about Batman and Superman. We don’t want to make movies about any other superheroes.”? Life is stranger than fiction. Check out Jon Schnepp’s 2015 “The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What happened?”
(8) Marching to the sound of a different bat. Everyone agrees Dark Knight is the best Batman movie. Everyone except Patrick Willems, who makes a strong case for Mask of the Phantasm. Willems’ premise is that in the other Batman movies, the villains overshadow Batman and Bruce Wayne.
Everyone agrees that the best portrayal of the Joker is Heath Ledger. Again, Willems dissents, claiming that with only 12 minutes of screen time, the Mask of the Phantasm Joker bests everyone from Jack Nicholson to Jared Leto.
(9) Logan taxonomy. Wisecrack makes a compelling and insightful case with abundant evidence that Logan is essentially a western in the tradition of the classic western movies.
(10) Philosophical conflict. Old Star Trek philosophy versus new Star Trek philosophy
(11) Solving X. The screen version of Professor X is a benevolent father figure who mentors his students. The comic book version is a much less noble character.
(12) Thrones theory. Film Theorists has a well supported theory that Jon Snow is THE KEY to Game of Thrones.
(13) Draw to this pair. Batfleck versus Baleman
(14) Geography lesson. Black Panther’s Wakanda explained.
(15) Who guards the Guardians? Wisecrack’s hilarious send up of Marvel’s hilarious Guardians, plus some literary insight.
(16) Rankings. Top 10 superhero intro scenes.
(17) Those were the days. 8 good cyberpunk movies.
(18) Costuming. DC’s fashion sense
(19) You’re the top. Top 10 animated superhero movies.
(20) Cartoon power. Top 10 animated superhero TV shows
(21) Flow chart. Marvel movie and TV chronology up to the Defenders TV show