Deadpool Movie Review

Deadpool

I saw Deadpool with one of my friends and the movie delivered exactly what it promised, violence, action, raw sexuality, crude jokes, and fourth-wall breaking comedy. The movie did everything it needed to capture Deadpool’s appeal.

If you’ve read the Deadpool comics I’m fairly certain you’ll enjoy the movie. Sure the origin story is different and a few parts of Deadpool’s personality aren’t fully realized, but it’s what you’ve wanted. Go see it!

For those of you who don’t know much about Marvel’s “superhero” Deapool, let me fill you in!

You notice how I put superhero in quotation marks there? I did it for a good reason. Deadpool isn’t always a heroic character. Sometimes he saves New York from aliens. Other times he might try to steal some weapons-grade explosives from the superhero police, SHIELD, because he wants to know what it tastes like (Just an example, I don’t think there’s a comic about this).

Deadpool is a violent, perverted mercenary who got cancer. He got injected with some stuff that made him heal super fast, but his cancer is still there. The cancer grows and makes his entire body look super ugly.

Deadpool has a soft side as well. He loves to help children with whatever problems they have, intimidating bullies, finding lost cats, listening to their problems. However Deadpool can help a child you can guarantee that he’ll be doing it.

All of that aside, Deadpool is probably best known for being a fourth wall aware character. He knows he’s a comic book character and he talks to himself about it all the time.

He makes pop culture jokes that the other characters never understand, he occasionally dresses up as Batman who is from another superhero universe, he frequently addresses the audience to ask how they’re enjoying the story, etc.

The movie has all of this to varying degrees. The plot? Honestly, who cares. Deadpool wants to fight people. He says some jokes, there’s some cool action sequences. It’s good.

I’ve read that a few people were confused about this movie, so let me clarify one thing. Deadpool has an R rating for a reason. There’s sex, there’s violence, there’s cruelty and dismemberments, there’s foul language. Pretty much everything that could up the rating of a film is present in this one. It’s all great, but it’s all for adults.

-GoCorral

Hercules Movie Review

Hercules Movie Poster

Hulu has started streaming movies as well as TV shows. I’d wanted to see the new Hercules movie since it came out. Perfect Combination!

The movie stars Dwayne Johnson (are we still calling him the Rock?) in the title role, which is probably one of the best casts I can think of for Hercules.

The trailer advertises the classic story of the Twleve Labors of Hercules with our hero slaying many beasts  to thunderous applause.

That is not what the movie is about. At all.

So with that disappointment out of the way, let’s talk about what the movie is about.

Hercules and his band of friends are mercenaries with Hercules as the front man.

Hercules and his band of misfits are hired by King Cotys to defeat the barbarian warlord, Rhesus, who is attacking local towns. They train Cotys’ army and then lots of fight scenes ensue. Standard action movie stuff.

The group plays up Hercules’ reputation by constantly reinforcing that he is the son of Zeus and that he’s slain tons of fantastical monsters. All of that is false in this story. No monsters. No divine parentage. Just stories to make Hercules more intimidating to their foes.

There is a bit about Hercules having to fight centaurs later on in the movie, but a nod is given to what some people believe inspired the myth of centaurs, people riding horses. A person unfamiliar with that practice might assume that they were seeing a human-horse hybrid and not just a person on top of a horse.

As for Hercules’ well-known strength that many are familiar with from the Disney movie, that is actually in the movie. It’s not to the supernatural degree, but he is still really freaking strong.

There is some augmnetation for that intimidation factor I mentioned. At one point Hercules kills a man with one punch. The audience sees that he accomplished this by concealing an arrowhead in his fist and stabbing it into the man’s skull.

Hercules is very similar to 300 and Beowulf. He even shares the iconic scene in Beowulf where the title character shouts his name to emphasize his manliness. If you liked those movies you will like Hercules.

If you’re looking for a story that is actually about the myths of Hercules, that isn’t here. There are tons of references to the myths, but no actual reenactments. Similar to Troy the movie tries to show us how historical events could’ve inspired those myths instead of showing the myths themselves.

If none of that interests you the movie is still a decent action movie. Lots of well choreographed violence and snarky one-liners. It’s not the best in that genre, but I certainly enjoyed myself.

If any of the stuff I said interested you, go check out Hercules in the DVD section of your local store or on Hulu if you have a subscription (I don’t think you can watch it there if you don’t have one).

-GoCorral

The Amazing Spiderman 2

I saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend with my wife.

She’d liked the first one even though she claimed it was scary.

That was pretty much her reaction to the sequel too. She only likes watching romantic comedy movies when we go out.

I liked it a lot because it stayed true to the comics in many ways that the last series of movies did not.

And for those who haven’t seen the movie, I will be talking about spoilers and stuff in this blog post so you should avoid it if you want to keep the movie as suspenseful as possible.

The Amazing Spiderman series has Gwen Stacy as the Peter Parker’s love interest. The original movie series had Mary-Jane Watson.

In the comics Mary-Jane goes to high school with Peter and Gwen does not. Peter never becomes involved with Mary-Jane until they are 23 or something.

Gwen is Peter’s college girlfriend in the comics. They shifted her to high school in the movies to advance the narrative faster.

In the comics, Peter has no girlfriend in high school.

This can get confusing because they rebooted the comics as well. I mean the original Amazing Spiderman comics.

So the new movies have kept Gwen as a first girlfriend and written their relationship to be realistic and charming.

The original movies made you wonder why Mary-Jane dated someone who didn’t seem to care about her emotions and physically endangered her (I started wondering less after I realized how that type of relationship matches Mary-Jane’s parents’ relationship in the original movie series).

Other parts of the movie called back to the comic as well.

The scene on the airplane is very close to how its described in the comic, Aunt May’s oblique references to Spiderman match the comic (she knows that Peter is Spiderman already), J. Jonah Jameson is still a dick even through email, Harry “goes away for awhile” and then comes back to “do drugs” before he becomes the Green Goblin (his voice is also perfect for the Goblin), Norman’s creepy green skin matches how he looks in the comic reboot (Ultimate Spiderman), etc.

The music in the movie was also amazing. I’ve been listening to it at work this week.

And now for the spoiler part!

Gwen Stacy is killed almost exactly how she is in the comic.

The Green Goblin drops her and Peter catches her with his webbing, but she dies regardless.

One of my friends posted on Facebook that this type of plot twist is too common in modern movies.

The female lead dies to make the hero feel sad, but it also sends the message that women are expendable.

I agree. They could’ve just as easily referenced the comic with her plunge to earth, but had Peter rescue her successfully in the movie.

I’d much prefer a sequel where Gwen Stacy was still Peter’s girlfriend instead of Mary-Jane. It’s hard to imagine Mary-Jane being anything but inferior to the relationship Gwen and Peter displayed in the first two movies.

But the little fanboy in me is happy that they stayed by the comics.

-Mister Ed

Order of the Stick

I read a few webcomics and one of my favorites is called Order of the Stick.

There are different genres of webcomics just like any other medium.

My favorite genre combination happen to be humorous comics about video games or D&D written by physicists or computer scientists.

Anyways, Order of the Stick fits pretty well into that genre.

Order of the Stick is drawn and written by Rich Burlew, a game designer who now does the comic full time.

The comic is about a band of adventurers named the Order of the Stick fighting the evil lich, Xykon.

As you can see the comic is drawn in a fairly simple style which is occasionally lampooned by the characters themselves. For example, Roy’s feet are different sizes and there is a comic where he talks about how his big shoe goes on his left foot.

Speaking of Roy, the main characters of Order of the Stick!

Roy is the black guy on the far right of the picture above. He is the leader of the Order of the Stick, an intelligent and principled fighter who fights Xykon due to an oath sworn by his father.

Next is Haley, a rogue with a complicated past. She joined the Order of the Stick to earn money to pay her father’s ransom. She’s stayed on due to the good work the group does and because she’s started dating the next person in line.

Elan is the blond guy playing the musical instrument. He is hyper aware of storytelling tropes. He also has an evil twin, a good mother, and an evil father. Elan is a bit dumb when it comes to anything that isn’t a storytelling device, but he has a pure heart.

Durkon is the short bearded guy. He’s a dwarven cleric. He looks out for everyone else in the party. He has a strong sense of honor and is always ready and willing to do the right thing.

The short bald guy behind Durkon is Belkar. He’s an evil halfling psychopath. His journey with the party is basically a form of community service for murders he’s committed in the past. You’d think this is weird, but its a fairly common gimmick used in D&D. The cat walking next to the party belongs to Belkar and is named Mr. Scruffy.

Flying above the party is Vaarsuvius, an elven wizard. Vaarsuvius is arrogant and uses magical power to cruelly avenge the slightest insult. Vaarsuvius’ gender is never revealed in the comic and is joked about on a few occasions.

Xykon is close to achieving his goal of using an ancient evil to rule the world, but the Order of the Stick is ready to stop him. Of more concern is Xykon’s assistant, Redcloak, who is planning on double crossing Xykon at any moment.

That’s enough on one comic for now!

-Mister Ed

Knights of the Dinner Table

20140401-175844.jpg
I read comics a lot when I was a kid, but the only subscription I’ve kept into adulthood is for Knights of the Dinner Table.

Knights of the Dinner Table is abbreviated as KODT. Why does “Of” make it into the abbreviation if “The” doesn’t? Because the authors don’t have copy editors and make a few mistakes every issue.

The mistakes in the magazine have become charming over time, some even seem to me to be done on purpose at this point.

The image above shows the typical art style for the comic, a bunch of talking heads.

The heads are literally just rotated using an image editing software and new expressions put on. The exact sort of thing that I’ve heard people dislike about comics in the newspaper.

So about now the comic seems like its done by unprofessionals, right? It kind of is.

None of the people who are involved in the comic’s creation have any sort of training or experience in the comic industry outside of KODT.

But the comic has been in circulation for over twenty years now. That’s gotta count for something!

KODT’s shining point is the content. While the art is minimal, that’s all that’s needed.

The comic is about a large gaming community in Muncie, Indiana. The Knights of the Dinner Table, shown above, are just one of many gaming groups within that community.

The comic follows the gaming sessions of the community as well as the random events of life.

The most recent issues cover B.A., the DM for the Knights, starting to date someone for the first time in his adult life.

I started reading KODT at issue 50 about the same time I started playing D&D. Over ten years later and they’re up to issue 207 now.

The comic and the game seem like almost the same thing to me at this point.

I look forward to getting my issue every month, even though they are technically two months behind schedule.

I still get one comic a month with the two months behind thing, but the holiday themed issues end up being a little strange. Everyone is wearing costumes in December and celebrating the new year in February.

The company that makes KODT has also put out an amazing roleplaying system called Hackmaster. I’ve bought it and look forward to playing it sometime.

But Hackmaster is something for a different blog post! That’s all for now.

-Mister Ed

Cartoon History

20140401-175524.jpg
I said in a previous post that I’m reading the Cartoon History of the Universe Part 3. Here’s the page I’m on now about Japanese civilization.

The Cartoon History series is now complete with five books. The first three are called Cartoon History of the Universe Parts 1-3 and the second two are called Cartoon History of the Modern World Parts 1-2.

The author’s name is Larry Gonick. He does a bunch of other cartoon non-fiction books as well.

I own Larry Gonick’s Cartoon Guide to Physics, Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, and his Cartoon History of the United States.

All his books are funny, informative, and quick to read. You can check out more of them at his simple website, www.larrygonick.com

I started reading the series in third grade when I was homeschooled by my parents.

Only the first two books existed then. I’ve read them cover to cover dozens of times since. This repeated reading is probably why I know so much about ancient history, but a lot less about anything after the fall of Rome.

I showed the books to my father-in-law recently because he was interested in the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empires.

His reaction upon flipping through them was surprise at the vast amount of sex in them.

Gonick doesn’t shy away from portraying the sexual scandals in his books. If sex between two people influenced their actions and their actions affected history, then he includes the sex.

I read the books when I was eight if that matters to anyone.

Gonick also writes a comic feature for the children’s science magazine, Muse. The magazine is written for ages 10-14.

The feature is a page comic of archetypal philosophers from different cultures talking with each other.

The philosophers also fool around and crack jokes in the margins of other articles throughout the magazine.

I’m rereading the later three Cartoon History books now so that I can fill the gaps in my natural recall of different historical periods.

I’ll probably need to reread it another dozen times before my recall of anything past 500AD is perfect, but I’m hoping that I’ll get there!

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed