Ant-Man: The Little Superhero That Could

There’s a never-ending charm to Ant-Man’s shrinking powers. In the summer blockbuster game, it’s go big or go home. The world’s ending. Shit’s blowing up. The good guy’s gotta stop the bad guy. Cue half-hour finale. 2015’s Ant-Man is all of the above except refreshingly, cheekily scaled back. Peyton Reed’s film has no other ambition than to charm and entertain the hell out of you. I didn’t admire it then. I respect the hell out of it now.  Continue reading

I Saw ‘Infinity War’ Five Times

This isn’t a cry for help.

I’ve seen Infinity War five times now. (Just one more and my Infinity War Gauntlet is complete!) With the rest of summer movie season underway, I suppose it’s time to bid farewell to the most ambitious superhero crossover – that is, until the Blu-ray comes out. Of course, the film’s theatrical run is nowhere close to being over. The film is principally eyeing down The Force Awakens’ global tally, with Titanic soon in its crosshairs. (We go live to James Cameron in 5…4….) Infinity War will enjoy a storied box office run, but it’s cultural moment has surely come to an end.  Continue reading

Why We Need Deadpool

It seems only fitting that after the most ambitious superhero crossover we get a Deadpool movie. The perfect contrast: a small-scale solo venture and an R-rated satire with other superhero IPs in his crosshairs including himself. It’s also the perfect antidote. Genres tend to go unchecked as studios blindingly chase where the money’s at. With Batman, Iron Man, Captain America, and now Black Panther hitting it big, this ensures more of their comic book brethren to follow, meaning more origin stories, crossovers, more tropes done to death if it means a shot at a billion dollars. Deadpool, fortunately (or unfortunately), is the superhero genre’s own system of checks and balances.  Continue reading

You Will Always Kneel – Marvel’s Best Villains

The MCU has long been criticized for having a villain problem. Warranted, but it’s slightly disingenuous to the Marvel villains that do their job. If the goal is to challenge the hero’s worldview, then the playing field is a lot bigger, and a hell of a lot badder. The first step towards solving a problem is acknowledging there is one, and Marvel has steered itself just in time. Thanos has shaped up to be the biggest and baddest Marvel villain of all, but he’s got some living up to do. Here are ten Marvel villains that have set the bar for the Mad Titan.  Continue reading

The Strength of ‘Black Panther’

That Black Panther exists is a dream come true. It’s progressive from concept to execution: our first modern black superhero, one supported by a cast of women, and contextualizes discussions of race, exclusionism, and cultural responsibility at a time of profound nationalism and political divide. One could argue that Black Panther would’ve been a success no matter what, but the fact that the film chooses to say something so pivotal about the world is what makes Black Panther Marvel’s strongest movie to date. T’Challa may need his strength taken away to prove his worth, but director Ryan Coogler and his crew flex their strengths as filmmakers to showcase the storytelling wonders of representation.  Continue reading