X-Men

January 20, 2017

Simplistic Lists: The Worst Film and TV Politicans

Maybe…just maybe…it’s a little too early to call our incoming Presidents one of the worst of all time. I mean, the inauguration hasn’t even happened yet. But sitting through confirmation hearings of people who don’t have any experience in the office they are about to take (including our newest president) to be fair, it’s a little worrisome for most people that have a care for our country and not just a selfish desire for themselves.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the worst politicians from either film or our TV screen:

Mayor of Halloween Town “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Sure it’s a cartoon, but the literal “two-face” mayor goes off at the handle at the sign of discourse and even admits that he’s an elected official and can’t make decisions by himself.

Mayor Lenny Clotch “Ghostbusters I and II”

First things first, always listen to the Ghostbusters. Two, keep religion out of your politics. Don’t kiss the ring of the cardinal and ask him for help during a paranormal crisis. While “Ghostbusters” is taking the piss out of elected officials for the most part, it is scary that some elected officials need to pray and counsel with “a high power” before making a decision that could impact millions.

Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby “The Simpsons”
Womanizing, taking bribes from gangsters, illegitimate kids; all in a days works for the mayor of Springfield. Quimby is so over the top that you have to laugh, but is amalgamation of so many aspects of politics that are corrupt can still give you a sad face.
 State Senator Clayton Davis “The Wire”
While it’s hilarious to hear “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet” over and over on a constant loop, there’s no doubt the corruption that Senator Davis presides over during the run of “The Wire.” The best idea the entire series was “Hamsterdam” and it wasn’t even his idea. 
Senator Robert Kelly “X-Men”
A mutant-phobe in favor of a registration act that would “out” all mutants, he’s a monster in a $2,000 suit. With so much focus on the rights on members of the LGBTQ community and minority communities, the scary thing is that many of our leaders are much like Senator Kelly.
President Charles Logan “24”
A complete weasel and in the back pocket of the Russians…sounds like someone familiar…
President Arnold Schwarzenegger “Demolition Man”
You might not see him in “Demolition Man” but even back in 1992 we were making movies with celebrities as presidents…..just unpack that for a minute.
I’m sure there are a ton that are missing from this list, but as the list goes on it would just get sadder and sadder. You might think that I missed out on Frank Underwood from “House of Cards” but Frank is so cold and calculating that you have to stand in awe and simply admire him.
March 26, 2014

Simplistic Sneak Peek Ep. 1

Behold the inaugural episode of Simplistic Sneak Peek!  What is that you ask?  Simplistic Sneak Peek is a new ongoing series that allows you to hear Matt, Justin and DJ’s first impressions and discussions on trailers for upcoming films.  It’s kinda like a podcast shortened to a mini-sode mixed with vlog serving as a tri-editorial.  Yeah, I don’t know either.

The trailers the boys discuss on this episode include Bryan Singer’s 2nd trailer for X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Tom Cruise’s action epic Edge Of Tomorrow, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s attempt at Hercules.  You can click the links to the those films trailers below to watch them without commentary then come back and listen to what Matt, Justin, and DJ had to say about them in real time.

X-Men Days Of Future Past

Edge Of Tomorrow

Hercules

July 30, 2013

The Wolverine

REDEMPTION

The Wolverine – Redemption

It would be such a beautiful thing to one day have Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Disney to all sit down, enjoy a beer and say, “Hey, let’s all work together and share these wonderful, and lucrative, Marvel Comics characters will own, and get Oprah rich!”

That will probably never happen, but being the optimist and a person who believes in the mantra “Money Talks, Bullshit Walks,” one day it will happen and we will see Spider-Man joining up with Wolverine to fight Hulk while the Fantastic Four are fighting Thanos while Galactus and The Watcher look on.  Sure, it’s going to take millions, if not billions of dollars, but the bottom line for studios is seeing their bottom line in the black.

Fox has a sordid history with their Marvel properties,  Sure, “X-Men: First Class” was a surprise hit, but there are more “Fantastic Four II:  Rise of the Silver Surfer” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” and don’t even get me started started on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” but that brings me to Fox’s latest X-Men offering, “The Wolverine” the redemption that Fox needed in order to gain momentum and hype for the much anticipated “X-Men: Days of Future Past” film in 2015.

Once again Hugh Jackman is back as Logan aka, Wolverine.  We pick up after the events of “The Last Stand” where Logan is living alone in the Yukon wilderness still haunted by visions of Jean Grey, whom he killed when she descended into the madness that was Dark Phoenix.  While in town to teach some hunters a lesson in proper bear disposal, he is confronted by Yukio, a young mutant with the power to tell the future, even though odd enough you never see her use her power, but she is a bad-ass with a samurai sword.  Yukio convinces Logan to come with her to Tokyo to pay respects to a man that he saved in the bombing in Nagasaki during World War II.  Sure enough, Logan is forced to embrace his savage nature once again fighting off Yakuza and members of The Black Clan (I wish they would have just used The Hand, but you take what you can get).  During the course of his Japanese vacation, Logan loses his healing powers, finds redemption, and fights Silver Samurai.  Not all fun in the sun for our hero, but for fan boys that follow the Chris Claremont/Frank Miller Wolverine Japanese adventures, you’ll probably geek out a few times.

This isn’t to say “The Wolverine” is without problems.  There are plot holes, characters that either go unused or underutilized, and in a few scenes some really bad shaky cam.  Being that this film was directed by James Mangold, who I have tremendous respect for, I expected some better camera work, but considering this is his first superhero movie, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  Mangold is able to bring a good balance to this film by combining a lot of genre elements that work.  The allusions to ronins works really well in Logan’s case since for all intensive purposes he is a ronin; a man without a master who is forced to live forever and be on his own.

“The Wolverine” gives some extra depth to the character that “X-Men Origins” fumbled with.  We know that Logan is having a difficult time dealing with the death of Jean Grey while trying to create a new life in Japan with another woman.  We also see his struggle with trying to keep his feral side contained while also dealing with the lose of his biggest mutant asset; his healing factor.  But the loss of his healing factor makes him feel something he’s never felt before; humanity.  Logan has never had a fear of death due to his mutant ability and for the first time we see a vulnerable super hero who is trying to build a new life in a foreign land.  Hugh Jackman, who I give tons of credit to for returning time and time again to portray Wolverine, gives a nuanced yet complicated performance this time around.  Jackman was born to play Logan, just like Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Iron Man, and his love for the character really shines through this time around, and that’s not to say it didn’t in “X-Men” or X2: X-Men United” but “The Wolverine” lives up to it’s name and you get wall-to-wall Wolverine from the get-go.

With “The Wolverine,” Fox finally seems to be getting back on track with their super hero/X-Men properties.  Of course it takes more than just one movie to settle a fan-base down, and while “First Class” was a solid start and “Wolverine” continues the trend, “Days of Future Past” is a huge gamble and the “Fantastic Four” re-boot is still developing.  The problem with studios that own Marvel properties aside from Marvel Studios themselves, is lack of long term awareness.  For Sony and Fox it seems to be more of a cash grab than giving the source material a chance to shine, or simply bastardizing the source material to appeal to tweens, case in point “The Amazing Spider-man.”  With “Wolverine” Fox took a chance and told an X-Men story that not many people outside of the comic book reading community would know, and judging by the box office in the first week, both domestic and foreign, the film is being received well.

I’m not going to say the “Marvel Studios Method” was used for “The Wolverine” but the fact that source material was used in an effective way while adding to the X-Men mythos while prepping for the most ambitious X-Men film to date, it finally seems like Fox has a game-plan.  Of course it’s not as ambitious as what Marvel Studios is doing, but its a hell of a lot better than Warner/DC.

Fun Fact:  Wolverine’s first appearance was in The Incredible Hulk #180.

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