August 21, 2016

Stop killing our heroes!!!

Tony Stark mourn James Rhodes in Civil War 2

Civil War 2 is the new Marvel's mega saga that came to, guess what, kill a couple more characters. This time Bruce Banner and James Rhodes, known as Hulk and War Machine, were the new victims. Is that sad? No. And you know why? Because nobody cares anymore!

Back in the day when an important character died, it would be a hell of a deal. When Gwen Stacy, Spider-man's first love, died, even though I read it years later through the reprints, it was a very emotional moment. I remember clearly how Peter's mourning made me sad and depressed. I could say Gwen's passing was my first contact with this ugly big thing called death.

The last great time comics that killed a character and really had public going for it was The Death of Superman event. After his return readers just realized a character will never really die in the comic book world; it will eventually return. So, why bother? Why care? Jean Grey, for example, died and returned several times, to the point we start questioning the originality of the plot.

The Death of Superman: The last time I believed a character could really die.

I can name by heart at least 20 important characters who "died" and then came back. You don't mess with reader's emotions like that: killing a character to increase sales and then bringing them back to sell a few more issues. Death is something deeper. It's emotional. It's hard. And it hurts.

Gwen Stacy's death: Devastating moment! 

Gwen's death devastated Peter Parker and even nowadays it remains an open wound in his heart. The same happened to Batman when his second sidekick, Jason Todd, was brutally killed by the Joker. It made us see not only the villain is not a funny clown, but it also made us see a side of Batman people are not used to seeing. However, while Marvel kept Gwen dead in its main timeline, DC decided to bring Jason back from the world of dead. And why? No reason other than to make A death in the Family storyline something we don't respect as much anymore.

Death of Jason Todd: Why bringing him back after this memorable storyline?
Comic Books should learn how to honor death. It says it likes to reflect reality in its stories, but it doesn't understand yet that when someone we love is gone in the real world, it's gone for good. So, unless Comic Books learn to understand how death "works", readers are just not going to ride with them in the journeys they propose. 

Mary Jane Watson is black! So what?!

Zendaya will be playing Mary Jane Watson.

I've been reading a lot of BS about Zendaya, who's possibly playing Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker's love interest, in the upcoming Marvel's Spider-man: Homecoming. A lot of friends come to me to ask my opinion about this "unusual" cast choice, because they know I'm into comic books since I was 8 years old and I love Spider-man.

My answer is: I love it! I really do! I really really really really really really love it!

Let's get one thing straight: Mary Jane is white in the comic books. We know it! But it couldn't be any different back in 1965 when she was created. At that time, it was not seen with good eyes a white man dating a black girl. So, it explains why Peter Parker, born and raised in an ongoing diverse New York, only dated white girls. Can you name any important black female characters at that time? Neither do I!

Let's face it: Comic Books were not always a place that embraced diversity. Justice League and Avengers, for example, were depicted with a majority of white characters. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love those characters as well, but I'm happy with the new world! Comics accepting Black, Latins, Asians, Muslins and all other types of characters was something I was always looking for.

The Original Mary Jane Watson.
TV and Cinema were great gateways for diversity. It embraced non-white actors playing famous characters. Just to name a few recent examples: Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury for Marvel Cinematic Universe and Candice Patton as Iris West in Flash were very well accepted by critics and helped people see we lacked other races in the Super-heroes Universe. And good to see it's being fixed little by little!

When Zendaya was announced in the Homecoming movie as a "minor" character named Michelle, I knew they were bluffing. In fact, I was expecting her to play Gwen Stacy, but I think Emma Watson's portray of Peter's first love was still a recent memory a lot of us love, whereas Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane was something a lot of us would love to forget. Well done, Marvel Studios!!!

Welcome, Zendaya! Be the best Mary Jane you can be. We know you've got what it takes to do a great job. You may experience some hate, some mean tweets, but, you know what, the best way for you to give a straight answer is by being great.

And you, guys, don't bother spreading your hate on my post!!! Love, on the other hand, is pretty much appreciated!

June 21, 2016

Do Not Disturb! - A Disturbing Horror Tale

Imagine waking up, tight to a bed, with a complete stranger in the same situation, knowing there's someone, something, preying on you somewhere in the darkness. That's the starting point of Do Not Disturb!, an original short horror movie directed by P. Tavares, a Brazilian director who's been in love with the genre for a long time.

The movie has all the qualities we expect from a thriller: Good plot, actors prepared to deliver a believable performance and a gloomy atmosphere that will make you think about it for days to come. Especially after the disturbing ending.

Can I give you a tip? Turn off the lights, get cozy, enjoy your trip and, if you notice something watching you from behind, bear in mind your imagination sometimes can be tricky. Or maybe not... Dare to look!

Do Not Disturb! has already won a few awards and the producers are planning on turning it into a feature film, with a brand new screenplay written by Tavares.

So, hit play and enjoy! If you want to have more information about the movie, check HERE.

June 17, 2016

Finding Dory

  • Country: United States
  • Original release: June 17, 2016
  • Running time: 103 minutes
  • Director (s): Andrew Stanton
  • Written (s): Andrew Stanton
  • Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Ty Burrel, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levi, Idris Elba, Dominic West, others.

In 2003 Pixar Animation Studios presented us with some of the best under the sea animated images in an unforgettable movie: Finding Nemo. As usual, the studio taught a lesson on how to create an incredible original screenplay (nominated for an Academy Award in this category), that paid special attention to character development. One of these characters was the sweet, yet clumsy and forgetful, Dory. The Pacific regal blue tang stole the spotlight and it came to no surprise when she was announced as the protagonist of the sequel.

It took 13 years for this movie to come to life, but, I must say, it was worth the wait. Under the sea, however, only one year has gone by since Dory helped Marlin rescue Nemo. Life is the same for everyone, except for one single detail: Dory starts to have glimpses of memories about her life as a young fish, having her parents around her. That's when two important things happen: the adventure begins and it is nothing like the original.

Finding Dory doesn't recycle the plot or characters. Don't expect, for example, to see Darla or the trio of Sharks. This movie brings its own assemble of new characters and they are special on their own. The original trio, Dory, Marlin and Nemo, are still true to their characteristics with Ellen DeGeneres doing another exceptional job voicing the blue fish with the perfect tone between naivety, youth and comedy timing. This time she has new friends: Hank, the cranky octopus (played by Modern Family's Ed O'Neill); Destiny, a short-sighed whale shark; and Bailey, a beluga whale. Also, Eugene Levi and Diane Keaton provide the voices for Dory's parents, Charlie and Jenny. All of the characters have their moments to shine in a screenplay that navigates well between comedy and drama, without being pushy or underestimating children's understanding. 

The animation is a piece of art. Every frame, every fish, every seaweed... Everything has a special appeal. Sometimes it's like seeing the real thing, like going under the sea. This experience is enhanced by the real 3D, something that wasn't used with its predecessor. Back then 3D was not a well developed technology as it is now.

Coming from successes in the animation field (A Bug's Life and Wall-E) and a huge flop in his live-action attempt (John Carter), the director Andrew Stanton, who also wrote the movie and provided the voice for the sea turtle Crush, outsmart himself with this sequel. Can we say it's better than the original? No, we can't. However, we can say for sure it is as good as Finding Nemo.

Tip 1 - Don't come to the movie late or you'll miss the incredible Pipper, the best piece among all Pixar's works in short length features.

Tip 2 - The Aquarium crew is not part of the movie this time, but if you want to know what happened to them after Finding Nemo I advise you to stay for the after credits scene.

Find tickets for Finding Dory HERE.

June 16, 2016

Superman #1 - Review and Preview

Superman is back, we all know that at this point. If you don't, check HERE and HERE first. We know who this old new guy is and we glad to see him in the official Timeline. This Superman #1 came with a mission: making the generation that started reading the series during the New 52 relaunch fall in love with this Clark Kent. That's why the story, written by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, happens through Jon's point of view.

Jon, who was born during the Convergence event, is Lois and Clark's young son, who just recently found out who his father was. Besides, his powers are starting to show up, what makes the family come together in a attempt to protect and prepare the kid for what's coming his way.

The whole issue deals with Jon trying to understand what's happening to him and what's the weight of being Superman's son. His powers brings him a loss right in the beginning and a gain in the Kathy Branden character, who, for what is seems, is going to be the "Lana Lang" for this "Superboy".

Through Jon's eyes, we see his admiration for his father, his love for his family and Superman being recruited by the Justice League in one of the coolest moments of the issue. Also, a cliffhanger leads us to believe the boy is closer to become a younger version of his father.

The panels developed by Mick Gray, with colors by John Kalisz, are really good, but not as good as the work presented in Action Comics #1. There's room to improvement there. In general, a good issue.