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

‘Logan’: A History of Violence

“There are no more guns in the valley,” Laura says in her eulogy. She and her band of mutants are no longer on the run, but their safety, much like their hopes of a future, come at a cost. The line is a reference to the 1953 Western Shane, a film that operates as key thematic influence in Logan; a film within a film. Logan itself is a film within a larger film universe (and an ever-expanding Marvel brand), which, like it’s overt film referencing, is all but impossible to ignore. Logan stands tall as an outlier, doing away with end-of-the-world plots, superhero team-ups, and allusions to future installments, servicing an even greater payoff that not only honors its comic book origins, but transcends them.  Continue reading

X-Men: Days of Future Past

With a trilogy, two spin-off films, and a reboot, the X-Men franchise has already established sure footing in our collective imaginations, though it has taken quite a while for the series to hit a comfortable stride. It peaked with X2, fell to a critical low with The Last Stand, and hit rock bottom with Origins: Wolverine. Then, it began its successful ascent with First Class, the reboot it sorely needed, followed by a worthy standalone Wolverine movie that re-directed the narrative of both the character and the franchise. Days of Future Past is the culmination of everything that has come before it. The film acknowledges the choices and mistakes of previous entries and re-purposes them into an epic blockbuster with plenty of sci-fi intrigue to spare. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the film boasts an A-list cast who light up the screen with charm and wit, all while embracing the wonderful 70’s vibe. This isn’t just the best X-Men film to date. This is one of the year’s best films by far. Continue reading