Miscellanity #2 (5/2/19): The Revenge of “Capacity Weekend”

miscellanity 2

Of all the ideas for which I’ve sent up trial balloons over the five years and counting of darkadaptedeye.org – such as “Musings Deathmatch”, where I compare and contrast different versions of the same property (essentially an original vs. reboot firing range), or “Pilot to Bombardier”, where I review TV pilots three at a time in an attempt to determine whether or not to tackle the series proper – the one I most hoped would turn into a recurring item was always “Miscellanity”. Structured as a potpourri of snap reactions to an unreasonable number of pop culture, concerts, and/or sporting events dropping or landing or taking place within a limited time window, usually the course of a single weekend, “Miscellanity” posts are quick hitter compilations (for this blog anyway) – comparatively fast to write (though not this time), theoretically fun to read (knock on wood) – not necessarily designed to induce whiplash, though the risk is always present. They are also indicative of a life well-lived for a goof like me, Continue reading “Miscellanity #2 (5/2/19): The Revenge of “Capacity Weekend””

Avenge Winterfell! Conjuring Analogues (and Making Bets) Amongst the Thrones/MCU Survivors

Avenge Winterfell
GoT Cast Photo Property of Entertainment Weekly

NOTE: Let it here be affirmed on this date of publication – 4/24/2019 – that all predictions made as part of the folly below were offered with absolutely no advance notice of how the respective battles in “Game of Thrones” and “Avengers: Endgame” might or did play out this weekend, and are the intellectual property of the author insofar as they might, with the full benefit of hindsight, be worthy of nonstop ridicule, or, assuming pigs fly, reluctant praise from the smarter marks among ye. Enjoy the shows, all. ‘Tis a heady time to be a geek.

Dear occasional reader/confused tourist,

In case the rock you’ve been hiding under is wired for neither cable nor internet, the (as of press time) upcoming final weekend of April marks the happy, if terrifying, convergence of the two arguably most popular ongoing properties in all modern pop culture, HBO’s armies + dragons + zombies medieval fantasy phenomenon Game of Thrones and the 21-blockbuster (and counting) Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) of quirky, quippy, cooperative superheroes. The following mash-up post operates under the questionable assumption that, in spite of, ahem, Stark surface differences, there is considerable common ground between not just the franchises’ respective fan bases but the two creative behemoths themselves, in terms of characters, motivations, and high, high stakes, and seeks to explore and exploit them for the amusement of its author and entertainment of its readers. Mostly the former. Continue reading “Avenge Winterfell! Conjuring Analogues (and Making Bets) Amongst the Thrones/MCU Survivors”

Movie review: “Captain Marvel” (2019)

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“What is this?”

“It’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.”

“Does announcing your identity, with branded clothing, help with the covert part of the job?”

“…Said the space soldier who’s wearing a rubber suit.”

Captain Marvel, the latest but hardly last in the current glut of attempts to shoehorn yet another theoretically resonant new standalone superhero into our already righteously taxed moviegoing consciousness – bookended at the box office by DC’s Aquaman and, gulp, Shazam! – arrives at a precarious moment for the formerly sturdy Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), whose equally hyped and hype-worthy Infinity War event saw an unprecedented, slightly ridiculous number of Avengers assemble across multiple worlds in a last ditch effort to beat back the intergalactic threat posed by jewelry enthusiast/genocidal sociologist/city planner run amok Thanos. Sorry, but I think we’ve evolved well past spoiler territory here. Continue reading “Movie review: “Captain Marvel” (2019)”

Movie review: “Venom” (2018)

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“Your world is not so ugly after all. It will almost be a shame to watch it end.”

All I really know about the towering, terrifying, slobbering, needle-fanged, ludicrously extreme comic book anti-hero Venom, I learned from Topher Grace in Sam Raimi’s schizophrenic, terminally ambitious, generally unfortunate Spider-man 3, which I think you’ll agree is not exactly optimal return, even on the admittedly negligible educational investment of one matinee movie ticket over a decade ago.* The rest I kinda gathered peripherally, via osmosis, incomplete spot research, and lingering glances, alternately amused and bemused, at hysterically garish comic book covers and panels, both in store and online. Continue reading “Movie review: “Venom” (2018)”

Movie review: “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)

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“All that for a single drop of blood…”

None of the a**holes showed up at my class reunion. Foiled yet again. Thus, my idle, childish daydreams of summarily nuking the place and spiriting off for reflective meditation to some scenic hillside with a four-pack of CBC Creeper Triple IPA and a phone full of Miles Davis, Rivers of Nihil, and Frightened Rabbit became, instantly, far more problematic. Thanos, dread purple bogeyman of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), suffers no such compunctions about ending life on an impossibly large or even planetary scale – it is both his modus operandi and, to hear him tell, destiny – and must therefore be stopped at every cost imaginable. Though it doesn’t come right out and state the obvious, Avengers: Infinity War is but the first of two chapters detailing that herculean struggle, and that’s a damned good thing for the hopeful. Continue reading “Movie review: “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)”

Movie review: “Black Panther” (2018)

Black Panther

“You will destroy the world, Wakanda included!”

“The world took everything away from me! Everything I ever loved! But I’ma make sure we’re even. I’ma track down anyone who would even think of being loyal to you, and I’ma put their ass in the dirt, right next to Zuri!”

The Wakandan Board of Tourism must truly be a buzzing hive of state-sponsored propaganda and activity, secretive yet proud (with ample reason for each posture), by turns touting and tempering outsider interest in the emerging Central African nation’s rich, impressive, at times head-spinning history, cultural traditions, dangerous geographic beauty, anthropological complexity, philanthropic motivations, and booming industrial and technological concerns in relation to an unsteady, still-evolving position on the world stage. Damn good thing, I guess, that it doesn’t exist. Yet. Wakanda, the fictional swath of third world African flyover country with the clandestine first world pedigree and explosive new world potential, is the breakout star of the much-anticipated Black Panther, and stands tall and apart as the premier achievement in Marvel’s world building efforts thus far. Continue reading “Movie review: “Black Panther” (2018)”

Movie review: “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)

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“It sounds like you had a pretty special and intimate relationship with this hammer, and that losing it was almost comparable to losing a loved one.”

“That’s a nice way of putting it.”

There was once a time, closer to the dawn of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), that Thor, the fabled and since repackaged Norse God of Thunder, was the only game in town when it came to magical superheroes. Despite his devil-may-care exterior, Tony Stark was, of course, deeply, almost painfully, human, and had the whole irresponsible billionaire industrialist/incorrigible playboy angle down cold to boot. Bruce Banner, also human, was a brilliant scientist with unfortunate, pronounced anger issues and extremely bad luck. Steve Rogers, the career Army man and milk commercial in human form, started out as an anthropomorphic pipecleaner before governmentally sanctioned experiments neatly replaced his general mousiness with elite combat skills and infallible resolve, and his unimpressive sinew with muscles upon muscles. Humans, all, regardless of their own various performance-enhancing origins or regimens, somehow keeping not only acquaintances but pace with a literal deity. Continue reading “Movie review: “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)”