Predictions About the Future Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

So basically any time in the last five years that someone was like “hey, maybe Spider-Man will be in one of the Avengers sequels”, I’ve been pretty quick to shut them down with the hard fact that Sony owns Spidey and aren’t giving up the rights any time soon. But Kevin Fiege (head of Marvel studios) has said on record that he would be open to negotiating a deal, and Sony could definitely use the kickback from letting Spider-Man appear in a couple MCU movies. Now, there have been mutterings that Avengers 3 could actually be the Civil War. For those of you who don’t know, the Civil War storyline from the comics is when a superhuman registration act is implemented by the government, and the entire Marvel universe becomes divided on the issue of whether or not superhumans should be forced to reveal their identities, with Iron Man leading the pro registration side and Captain America leading the anti registration side. Seeing the two of them go up against each other is both the saddest and coolest thing ever. A Civil War movie would be awesome. But it has previously seemed like an unrealistic hope. 

See, Spider-Man is the third most important character in that entire story arc. He starts out on Iron Man’s side, even going so far as to reveal his secret identity to show his support, but then eventually has a change of heart and pledges allegiance to Cap. What makes his role so pivotal is that both Iron Man and Cap have been great idols and mentors to him. It’s like a kid having to choose between his parents in a divorce. He may not seem on the surface like the most vital character, but without Spidey, the Civil War just isn’t the Civil War. So with Marvel’s need for Spidey rapidly increasing, Sony continuing to lose money, and the two studios being on pretty good terms with each other, it suddenly seems like a very legitimate possibility that Avengers 3 will be a Civil War movie, with Spider-Man in it. Which would be totally awesome. But if you’ll allow me to speculate one step further: There have been a number of rumours flying around about the ending of Age of Ultron (potential spoilers ahead).

The rumours are basically that almost every major character dies, or leaves the team, and the movie will end with Captain America assembling a new team of superheroes. Which could lead to a Captain America 3 in which he leads this new team, which in the comics he does under the title of “the Secret Avengers”, which is my official guess for the Cap 3 subtitle. Now, we’ve been expecting the Cap 3 subtitle reveal for a while now, and the Russo brothers, in addition to assuring us that the title would be a huge game changer, have also said that one of the reasons they’re hesitating to reveal the name is that they’re waiting for certain deals to come through. Could that mean certain deals with sony? Could Spider-Man be a member of the Secret Avengers in Captain America 3, setting him up to play a major role in Avengers 3: Civil War? If that’s true, could we even see him make an appearance as soon as Age of Ultron? Maybe in a post credit sequence, or cameo towards the end? Sony has pushed the Amazing Spider-Man 3 back to 2018, and apparently he’s not going to be very heavily featured in the Sinister Six movie, which means that both Andrew Garfield and the character are free to appear in the MCU without interfering with the solo Spidey movies. This may all be just speculation based on rumours, but it does all fit. And if it is true, all us comic fans are in for a real treat.

The only real flaw in the theory is that the Marvel movies have so clearly been building towards the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but who says that has to involve the Avengers? With the huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s obvious they want to build the cosmic side of the universe, and a great way to do that would be to have the Guardians go up against Thanos. We could see the whole infinity storyline play out in space while Avengers 3 gives us the civil war down in earth. We could even have major characters like Iron Man or the Hulk be involved in both events. All I’m saying is just because an Infinity Gauntlet is inevitable doesn’t mean that it will be Avengers 3. And Guardians was a success, but if Marvel really wants to create a cosmic branch of their universe that’s as strong and compelling as what’s going on down on Earth, they’re gonna need some heavy hitting bad guys and story lines, and Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet seem to fit perfectly. We can have the Guardians and more soon to be introduced cosmic characters up in space playing out the unfolding Thanos arc, and we can have The Avengers and Spider-Man building to a Civil War down on Earth. The only real missing piece is the Hulk.

The plain and simple fact is that Marvel missed their window on a sequel to the Incredible Hulk. The set up a lot of threads in that movie, and I’m sure a follow up would have been great, but it’s just been too long. The movie’s already six years old, and even if it were still fresh in our minds and they hadn’t fired all the actors, a story that small in scope is simply no longer where the universe and character are at right now. If they gave the Hulk another solo movie, it would have to be something major. Something like World War Hulk. World War Hulk, in the comics, directly follows another storyline, Planet Hulk. In Planet Hulk, the Illuminati (a secret organization composed of Marvel’s smartest minds) decides that Hulk is too dangerous to live on Earth, and stick him on a spaceship heading for a distant and uninhabited planet. The ship veers off course, however, and land him on a gladiator world where he’s forced to fight in tournaments against alien monsters for the amusement of other alien monsters. Eventually, he defeats all the alien monsters and becomes the new King of the planet, even taking a wife and having a son. World War Hulk then deals with him coming back to Earth with an alien army and waging war against basically everyone.

World War Hulk seems like a logical step for the character. But for World War Hulk, you need Planet Hulk, and for numerous reasons both Kevin Fiege and Mark Ruffalo have said that a Planet Hulk movie is impossible. (Mainly just because between Hulk and aliens the movie would be basically all CGI) But we now go back to another couple of rumours that have been circling the youtube internets for a while now; one, that Hulk will at some point towards the end of Age of Ultron find himself stuck in a ship heading for deep space, and two, that this will lead to him having a supporting role in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Which is obviously exciting because everyone wants to see Hulk buddy around with Groot and the rest of the gang. But put yourself in Kevin Fiege’s shoes: you really want to make a World War Hulk movie, but you can’t make a Planet Hulk movie, and you’ve got a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel on deck that you’re really hoping will continue to help solidify them as part of the rest of your universe. What do you do? The incredibly obvious answer that’s been smacking me in the face ever since I hear these rumours is this: tell the story of Planet Hulk as a B-plot in Guardians 2.

So that’s all the pieces laid out: Age of Ultron will leave us with a disassembled Avengers and a space bound Hulk. Captain America 3 will see Cap form the Secret Avengers and introduce Spider-Man into the universe as somewhat of a protege to the Captain, while the rest of phase three will continue to set up new character such as Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and hopefully Black Panther and Ms. Marvel. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will also serve as a Planet Hulk movie. Then Avengers 3 will take the original Avengers, Spider-Man, and all the new character and throw them into the Civil War, ending with the final showdown between Iron Man and Captain America. That will cap off phase three pretty nicely and probably see the departure of a lot of major characters. Going forward after that, we’ll see the cosmic universe continue to expand, and eventually lead to the Infinity Gauntlet, possibly in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Then eventually, possibly in the form of Avengers 4, we’ll get World War Hulk. And that is my official prediction for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is probably completely wrong. But on the slim chance it is right, I’ll get to say I told you so a lot in the next few years.

Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Review

I love the fuckin’ nerd. Let’s get that out of the way first, I’m a big fan going into this review. And as a fan and frequent watcher, I’ve been waiting a loooooooong time to watch this movie. Anybody who watches the Nerd knows what I’m talking about. He’s been in production on it for about five years, and for the last two years we’ve been hearing about how it’s coming out very soon. So to actually sit down and watch it on my computer a few night ago was kind of a surreal experience. I spent about the first half just going “oh my god, I can’t believe this movie finally exists”. But once you get past the excitement, the real question becomes whether or not it actually holds up as a movie. I was really afraid that I wouldn’t like this movie, because honestly I don’t really like it on the web-show when things sort of get away from the actual game review, and obviously that was going to be what the movie was. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, it definitely requires you to accept it as a pretty silly movie, but if you do that it has a perfect and consistently corny tone that not only fits well with what the movie tries to do, but allows for the scope of the story to seem natural. Like, towards the end there’s a giant robotic death god destroying the world, and you’re sort of just like “yeah, that makes sense”, because by that point in the movie it seems normal. Another thing I really like are the special effects. They’re pretty cheesy, but it’s amazing how much better a terribly cheesy practical effect looks than a slightly crappy CGI effect. I don’t really have a problem with CGI as a tool, I just wish it wasn’t the automatic go to for so many things, because there’s something so great about practical effects. Especially with lower budget films, I really wish more directors would cut it back on the use of CGI. Anyway, this movie is kind of a big departure from the show, but it has a similar enough tone and is full of enough references that it will surely satisfy any major AVGN fan. As a movie itself, the plot does drag a little in places, and the typical female love interest and black sidekick characters get really annoying really fast, but it’s just self aware enough to be fun as hell to watch. I would for sure watch this movie again, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the nerd. 

Overall Rating: Cockburn/10

Bojack Horseman Season 1 Review

As soon as I started the first episode of Bojack Horseman I could tell it was a cleverly written show. Normally that wouldn’t be enough for me to write a whole review on, but after the seventh or eight episode, I realized was how brilliantly creative and unique this show really is, and so I decided I would have to talk about it. But let’s take a step back: for those of you who don’t know, Bojack Horseman is an animated sitcom and the newest Netflix original series. It takes place in a world where anthropomorphized animals live alongside humans, and it stars Will Arnet as a washed up sitcom actor from the 90s. Also he’s a horse. The show starts when he hires a young writer to ghost wright his auto biography. Along for the ride are his ex-girlfriend/agent/casual hookup partner/cat, his roommate/some guy who’s been crashing on his couch for the last five years, and his arch-nemesis Mr. Peanut Butter. Now right off the bat this show is hilarious. I found my self laughing out loud several times in the first episode alone, and it was a bar that didn’t drop as the season went on. But what took me by surprise is how honest and sobering of a look it was at not just the culture surrounding celebrities in this day and age, but at the dark and lonely lives of those who live to entertain. In light of Robin Williams recent suicide, I think this show’s statement on how sad it is be someone who makes people laugh is more relevant now than ever. Add to that two separate and equally catchy theme songs, Will Arnet’s amazing performance, and one of the craziest drug trips I’ve ever seen and you have a truly original show. Home release and instant access to every episode has changed TV a lot, and it’s shows like this that show the true potential of this new creative freedom. Shows nowadays are not only able to keep longer story arcs going over multiple episodes, but they’re also beginning to blur genre lines between comedy and drama. It’s just so great to see a show not be restricted by being lumped into a certain category, and instead go wherever it needs to go tonally. This and the fourth season of Louie are the future of television. But don’t think this show is all drama; these tragic and sobering character moments only serve as a backbone for a tremendous amount of comedy, and it’s all some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen in a while. 

Overall Rating: HOW DO YOU DRINK A MOOD?! 

Bojack Horseman Season 1 Review

As soon as I started the first episode of Bojack Horseman I could tell it was a cleverly written show. But normally that wouldn’t be enough for me to write a whole review on. But after the seventh or eight episode, I realized was how brilliantly creative and unique this show really is, and so I decided I would have to talk about it. But let’s take a step back: for those of you who don’t know, Bojack Horseman is an animated sitcom and the newest Netflix original series. It takes place in a world where anthropomorphized animals live alongside humans, and it stars Will Arnet as a washed up sitcom actor from the 90s. Also he’s a horse. The show starts when he hires a young writer to ghost wright his auto biography. Along for the ride are his ex-girlfriend/agent/casual hookup partner/cat, his roommate/some guy who’s been crashing on his couch for the last five years, and his arch-nemesis/dog, Mr. Peanut Butter. Now right off the bat this show is hilarious. I found my self laughing out loud several times in the first episode alone, and it was a bar that didn’t drop as the season went on. But what took my by surprise is how honest and sobering of a look it was at not just the culture surrounding celebrities in this day and age, but at the dark and lonely lives of those who live to entertain. In light of Robin Williams recent suicide, I think this show’s statement on how sad it is be someone who makes people laugh is more relevant now than ever. Add to that two separate and equally catchy theme songs, Will Arnet’s amazing performance, and one of the craziest drug trips I’ve ever seen and you have a truly original show. Home release and instant access to any episode has change TV a lot, and it’s shows like this that show the true potential of this new creative freedom. Shows nowadays are not only able to keep longer story arcs going over multiple episodes, but they’re also beginning to blur genre lines between comedy and drama. It’s just so great to see a show not be restricted by being lumped into a certain category, and instead go wherever it needs to go tonally. This and the fourth season of Louie are the future of television. But don’t think this show is all drama. These tragic and sobering character moments only serve as a backbone for a tremendous amount of comedy, and it’s all some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen in a while. 

Overall Rating: HOW DO YOU DRINK A MOOD?! 

Stop Looking At Me, Swan

I love Adam Sandler. I do. Honestly. Do I think his last ten movies have been terrible? Of course. Do I hate him for what he is doing to the film and comedy industries, and that he is single handedly destroying all creativity in hollywood? Again, the answer is yes. But the plain and simple fact is that there is a lot of great Sandler stuff out there, and what there is of it is all gold. The two greatest Sandler films, two of the best comedy films period, are Billy Madison and Big Daddy. They also happened to have been two of my favourite movies as a kid, the kind that I would watch every goddamn Saturday for a year, on very worn VHS tapes. And they still are two of my favourite comedy movies of all time. And growing up with these movies, one of the interesting things was slowly realizing what all the dirty jokes that I didn’t get as a kid actually meant. When I was a kid there were a lot of jokes in these movies that made absolutely no sense to me, and I’ve spent the last seven years of puberty slowly checking jokes off that list. And by the time I was about fourteen, I got every joke in the two movies.

Except for one. There’s a seen in Billy Madison, near the beginning, when he comes home super drunk and has to take a bath. He’s sitting in the tub, and he’s playing with the shampoo and conditioner, making them fight each other. (“shampoo is betta, I go on first and clean the hair” “conditiona is betta, I leave the hair silky and smooth”) Classic Sandler. But then he drops the hair products, turn to face his right side, and yells “Stop looking at me, Swan!”, before turning back to us with a dumb, vacant grin on his face. When I was a kid, I would actually quote this line a lot, just because it sounded funny. But it never quite made sense to me. What exactly was the joke there? Is he pretending that somebody is watching him take a bath? But then why does he call them a swan? Maybe he says “swine”, but that only makes slightly more sense, and it really does sound like swan. Maybe there is someone there, like his maid or something, and he’s calling her a swan. But why? That’s not a thing you call someone. Maybe someone on set has the last name swan, and it’s like a fourth wall joke? I checked on imdb, it’s not the director or any of the producers, but maybe it was like a grip or something? That seems more like a behind the scenes clip, though, I don’t think they would leave that in the movie. Maybe he’s imagining a giant swan, just like he imagined the penguin. But we never see the swan. And the penguin returns several times, but we never see any other imaginary animals. The rest of the movie sort of makes it seem as though the penguin is his only drunk hallucination animal.

I don’t get it! All the other movies I’ve seen, all the culture I’ve been made aware of since I was a kid, and I still don’t get this one single joke in Billy Fucking Madison! It’s literally driving me insane. So I’m left with two options: I can go out into the world in search of the answer to this age old question, or I can except the fact that it’s just Adam Sandler being silly and there really is no meaning. The first one seems like a lot of work, so I don’t want to do that. But I hate letting stuff go. So I decided to just make as many people as possible aware of this joke, and see if any of them know what it means. Please help me. 

UPDATE: HOLY SHIT THE BATHTUB FAUCET IS A SCULPTURE OF A SWAN, THAT’S WHAT HE’S TALKING TO HOW DID IT TAKE ME 15 YEARS TO REALIZE THAT!!!! 

Harry Potter Conclusion

So I watched all eight movies, and it’s finally time to find out whether or not I hate Harry Potter. I think the answer is no. I like the universe. I like the character. I think the first three or four movies are great, and they will always have been a big part of my childhood. However, the last four movies are terrible. And because I liked Harry Potter so much, it pained me to see it get so shitty. Kinda like the Simpsons. But unlike the Simpsons, there are a lot of people who think the last four Harry Potter movies are actually really awesome. And that makes me mad, because it seems like a lot of people will just like anything as long as it has a familiar name attached to it. It’s like none of these people even understood why they liked Harry Potter in the first place, they just became so obsessed with it they would love anything related to it, whether or not it was actually good. And I really hate that kind of mentality, and I think it’s idiots just like that who are destroying the film industry by assuring that nobody actually has to put effort into their movies in order to make a million dollars. With no standard for quality, the quality will drop. And we’re rapidly losing out standard for quality. And it’s frustrating to me that all of this is happening because of a bunch of stupid twelve year olds who won’t shut up about Harry Potter. Or The Hunger Games. Or fucking Twilight. And I don’t want to rip on any of those franchises specifically, I haven’t even seen Hunger Games, I’m just saying it’s those kind of idiot kids that are vomiting all this money into the box office just because the movie has a familiar name on it. And as people rapidly being using this to their advantage, we’ll eventually have no movies with any effort put into them whatsoever. And that sucks ass. So my overall conclusion: I don’t hate Harry Potter as a whole. In fact, there’s a lot of Harry Potter that I love. But I hate the last four movies. And I really, really hate the people who love the last four movies. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Review

So I guess at some point down the line Harry Potter became just another dark, Nolan-y action franchise, and I guess it’s because of that that the series had to end with two and a half hours of mind numbing action and death. And I guess for two and a half hours of mind numbing action and death, it’s pretty good. I’m just kind of upset that that’s what Harry Potter turned in to. It’s the same thing that happened with Star Trek in the new J.J. Abrams movies. Not everything is an action movie, but when Hollywood decides to make everything gritty and realistic and updated that’s the only way the seem to know how to do it. They adjust everything to be more like previous successes and eventually everything loses it’s distinguishing attributes. And so things like sci-fi, fantasy, and family adventure movies all just become homogenized into action schlock. And after this long of seeing the same thing over and over again it simply doesn’t matter to me whether it’s done well or not. So I guess you could argue that 2009’s Star Trek was actually a pretty solid action action film despite being so disrespectful to the original source material, but the fact is that no matter how good something is I don’t want to see it over and over again, especially when it’s extracted from something that used to be original. I would take variety over quality any day of the week, because at least that’s interesting. Unlike this last Harry Potter movie, which despite it’s several very well constructed action sequences, is incredibly boring to me. There’s a huge fight in the castle, Harry sacrifices himself, then there’s the whole “is he dead or not” fake-out, then there’s another big fight in the castle, and eventually Harry and Voldemort duke it out mono e mono and Voldemort dies in a big epic explosion of light. Fucking snooze. You know what would have been a way more interesting ending? If in the middle of the big battle, like halfway through the movie, a wall falls on Harry and he fucking dies, and then Ron and Hermione and goddamn Neville have to devise some sort of scheme to lure Voldemort into a nest of giant poison space wasps, and then they all sting his ass to death. And then everyone magically comes back to life and they have a giant game of Quidditch. At least that would be something I hadn’t seen before. If you really like Harry Potter and you think this movie is awesome, it’s somewhat hard to disagree. The bank robbery sequence it a lot of fun, things get pretty epic towards the end, it gives appropriate screen time to all the characters, and it wraps up all the plot lines for the whole series really well. It’s well made. It’s just not interesting. 

Overall Rating: Does Not Hold Up