X-men: Apocalypse Strives to be All New and Different, but is Just Above Average

x-men-apocalypseHard to believe that after sixteen years and nine movies the X-men movies still can keep things interesting and change things up. X-men: Apocalypse is no different it features our merry band of mutants taking on one of their toughest foes to date. When the first mutant Apocalypse decides that the world has become weak in his absence he enlists the help of some of the world’s strongest mutants to wreak havoc. Now it’s up to the X-men to stop him before he brings the apocalypse.

X-men: Apocalypse is a good movie, not the best from Bryan Singer and company but far from the worst. They crafted a story that has a good amount of fun and action but still manages to be dark and intense at times. There is also a good bit of fan service, with some scenes popping right out from the comic. A few in particular will have fans of the comics saying “I can’t believe they did that”. This is probably the most accurate the characters costumes have looked to their comic counterparts. Speaking of which most of the new cast does great Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Kodi Smit-Mcphee, and Alexandra Shipp did great jobs as Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Storm respectively. Considering the shoes they had to fill that’s saying something.

The X-men
The X-men

While those characters did good with the material there is a downside. I would have liked to have seen a lot more character development. Bryan Singer can usually manage big cast very well, but some new characters got the short end of the stick. Unfortunately Apocalypse was one of the casualties of this under development. I was happy to see a new villain, but he never had the menacing presence I was expecting. He was supposed to be this big bad that all other mutants feared but he was never more than a side threat instead of the movies big bad. One reason he never felt like a main threat is because they went with the tried and true formula of making the movie the Magneto show. They have gone to the Magneto wheel one two many times, this was their chance to do something bigger but came up short in the villain department. Saying that Magnetos story is great and he comes full circle from the first class movie. I would have gladly had some of that cut if it meant some of the other characters getting a little more back story.

Apocalypse and the Horsemen
Apocalypse and the Horsemen

X-men: Apocalypse was a good movie that did try to go against the grain, but came up short. Because of that it falls somewhere in the middle of the franchise. I will say that they did try. The action is some of the best the franchise has seen and the new additions to the cast endeared themselves to me. I hope the next movie can fix what this one was lacking, and can grow on what has now been established. I’m very excited to see where the X-men go next. X-men: Apocalypse should definitely be seen in the movies, but by no means should you rush. I give it 7 X’s out of ten.

Sorry, John Boyega Will NOT Be Joining Black Panther

John-Boyega-Marvel-Black-Panther

For almost 24 hours, rumors have been circulating on John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) would be joining Black Panther due to a vague snapchat and a follow from the head honcho himself, Kevin Feige. Here’s how it all started.

Boyega posted on his Snapchat: Meeting Time

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Followed by a follow from Kevin Feige.

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(hmmm why follow Boyega then Boseman???)

Sites have been posting these rumors and getting the fans hyped for this to happen, especially when Feige said that Black Panther will be starring 90% Africans or African-Americans. Well, early this morning, Boyega’s agent – Mr. Femi Oguns associated with the Identity Agency Group located in London, L.A., and Toronto – put a stop to all of those rumors.

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Now, that doesn’t mean he won’t be in another Marvel movie – only time will tell – ORRRRR Boyega will be in Black Panther and the news can’t drop yet. You be the judge.

Source: Twitter

#Outcast Episode 1 Review

outcast-logo

Most of you know that I just recently found my way into comic books. I’ve spent the last year trying to familiarize myself with the characters and stories from industry powerhouses DC and Marvel, so I haven’t found the time (or the funds) to also explore less popular indie comics. But before you ask, I have not read Outcast by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta. I was invited to a very creepy screening of Outcast, which was held in a cemetery…in the rain….at night. 

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Set in a small southern town called “Rome”, Outcast is writer Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead) latest foray into cable television. The show follows main character Kyle Barnes, (played perfectly by Patrick Fugit), who is trying to understand why the people around him keep getting possessed by a demon and why he seems to the be only one that can bring the devil out of them. Barnes is an interesting character, he is simultaneously broken, scared and optimistic.

I know that it may sound weird for someone in his position to appear optimistic, but I attended the Outcast panel at New York City Comic Con last year and when asked why they chose to cast Fugit to play the main character, creator Robert Kirkman said it was because Fugit approached Barnes with a little bit of optimism. At the time I found that comment to be a bit confusing considering what the show was about, but by the end of the episode we get a sample of the optimism that Kirkman was referring to.

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The first scene is shocking. REALLY shocking. So much so that it left a room full of hardcore zombie and horror fans with their jaws on the floor. But much like Kirkman’s post Zombie Apocalypse hit TV show, The Walking Dead, which isn’t really about the zombies, Outcast isn’t really about being possessed. It’s about how Barnes and this small town deals with the deviation, fear and confusion the demon brings with it. It’s about forgiveness and learning how to move forward. Kirkman avoids the typical narratives of possession and demon centered films by focusing on what happens after the demon has been exorcised from its victims. Speaking of its victims, Gabriel Bateman, who plays a child possessed is fantastic. He dives headfirst into the role (literally) and absolutely horrifying.

I should also mention that Kirkman deals with the topic of religion with a considerable amount of nuance and respect. The religious folks in the town appear to be kind-hearted and well intentioned. Despite not being a believer, Barnes agreed to keep the demons latest victim in his thoughts and prayers. I thought it was a nice departure from the usual hard lines people on opposing ends of that debate usually take.

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To sum it up, Outcast is amazing. Everything from the acting, to the writing, to the pacing to the way it is shot is perfect. This show isn’t just for fans of horror. If you want suspense, great characters and something a bit different I highly suggest you find your way to Cinemax to check it out.

Check out the latest terrifying trailer for Outcast:

Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Gone Girl) stars as Barnes, a man searching for answers, and for redemption, who sequesters himself from those he loves for fear of causing greater hurt. Philip Glenister stars as Reverend Anderson, a West Virginia evangelist who believes he is a soldier in God’s holy war against the forces of evil on Earth. An inveterate drinker and gambler, he doesn’t believe God intends people to sweat the small stuff. Gabriel Bateman stars as Joshua Austin, an eight-year-old who lives across town from Kyle. To his family’s dismay, he appears to be in the clutches of demonic possession, but there’s something very different about this possession and its connection to Kyle Barnes.

Robert Kirkman wrote the pilot episode, You’re Next, directed by Adam Wingard.

If you’d like to catch up on Outcast comic before the TV show comes out here are the collected volumes.

Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Volume 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him
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Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Volume 2: A Vast and Unending Ruin
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Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Volume 3: This Little Light
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Outcast premieres on Cinemax June 3rd at 10PM.

Sorry Resellers, No NYCC Tickets for You! New Rules are in Effect!

NYCC logo

Ever wanted to go to New York Comic Con and tickets sell out in 2.5 seconds? Next thing you know, you’re searching on Ebay or Stubhub or wherever for tickets and now the price has tripled! Welp, worry no more because ReedPop/NYCC has put an end to all of that. You now have to fill out a fan application to get tickets. Peep the rules and regulations below.

NORWALK, CT – May 17, 2016 – In true superhero fashion, ReedPOP, the world’s leading producer of pop culture events, is taking a stand against the live event industry’s greatest supervillains – ticket resellers. Today, the producer of New York Comic Con announces the introduction of a new Fan Verification process to help limit the amount of resellers and get Tickets into the hands of Fans along with other Ticketing changes. As part of today’s announcement, ReedPOP will also transition the New York Super Week brand to NYCC Presents, representing a shift that will support a broader range of NYCC content throughout Manhattan. New York Comic Con will take place October 6-9, 2016.

The Fan Verification system will launch on Friday, May 20, when Fans will fill out a profile in order to be eligible to purchase Tickets when they go on sale. Fan Verification will close Monday, June 13 and anyone who has not completed a Fan Verification profile will be unable to purchase Tickets. For the first time, purchasing Tickets will only be possible online through the NYCC Ticket website and there will be no retail sales.

“At ReedPOP we put our fans first and this process is to get as many tickets into the hands of those fans, plain and simple,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. “We know it is a little more work for our fans but we hope they will happily work with this new system if it helps to thwart ticket brokers and ticket resellers.”

Also new this year, ReedPOP will roll New York Super Week into new series, NYCC Presents. This will continue the rapid expansion of New York Comic Con content throughout New York City and under a brand and banner that fans will recognize. NYCC Presents will include a massive array great evening events at multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Each of these events will require a separate Ticket.

Full details regarding the Fan Verification process and NYCC Show news can be found here and atNewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification. A snapshot of this new process can be found below.

  • Fan Verification is required for NYCC 2016. Everyone who would like to attend NYCC (whether you are buying Tickets yourself or someone is buying them for you) must fill out a Fan Verification profile.
  • Kids who will be ages 6-12 at the time of NYCC 2016 and will be using a NYCC 2016 Adult Ticket or Sunday Kids Ticket do not need a Fan Verification profile for their NYCC 2016 Ticket.
  • Fan Verification will be open from Friday, May 20 at 12:00 PM EDT to Monday, June 13 at 11:59 PM EDT. Fill out your Fan Verification profile correctly and completely – there’s no need to rush through it.
  • All NYCC 2016 Ticket Types will go on sale at the same time on a first-come, first-served basis. Fan Verification does not guarantee NYCC Tickets.
  • VIP Tickets for NYCC will no longer be made available.
  • NYCC 2016 Tickets will only be sold online. NYCC Tickets will not be on sale at retailers or any events leading up to NYCC 2016.
  • All Fans who filled out a Fan Verification profile will be notified via email 48 hours prior to NYCC Tickets going on sale.
  • The email Fans will receive with the NYCC on-sale date will include a unique link where Fans will have the opportunity to purchase Tickets first-come, first-served when they go on sale. There is a one transaction limit per link.
    If Fans are purchasing Tickets for multiple people, they must be assigned to a person using the name and email address they created their Fan Verification profile with. If Fans are purchasing a Ticket for a kid ages 6-12, they will add their name and age to the Ticket.

These changes have been done with the hope that more Fans will get the opportunity to experience NYCC 2016. The full Fan Verification process and NYCC Show news can be found here and atNewYorkComicCon.com/FanVerification.

Additional exciting details about New York Comic Con and NYCC Presents events, talent and sponsors will be announced in the coming months. For more information, please visit NewYorkComicCon.com and NYCC’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

DAMB! That’s a whole lotta rules.

Captain America: Civil War is a Must See, and Ushers in a New Age for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Captain America: Civil War
Captain America: Civil War

Like most people this weekend I ventured out to see the newest Marvel movie Captain America: Civil War, and I loved it. It is arguably the best Marvel movie to date, and one of the best comic-book/superhero movies I have ever seen. Everything worked the story, the character development, the cast, the direction it’s all there. Civil War is the culmination of everything that started eight years ago with the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man. A must see and game changer for anyone that is a fan of these movies.

Captain America: Civil War sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) butt heads with friend and fellow Avenger Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) aka Iron Man over how the heroes should be governed and held accountable for their actions. There is weight and seriousness to this movie that we haven’t really seen in any MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film. While this is the first movie of phase three, it acts as a fitting end to the first two phases. Nothing is the same after this every character knows that the decision they make will change things forever. They convey both sides of the issue so well that I wouldn’t be surprised if a few folks found themselves switching sides during the movie. Avengers was the bright side of the MCU the team coming together, Civil War is the inverse of that it shows that there are consequences to everything that happened in the previous movies. There is a gravitas to this situation that the Russo Brothers convey perfectly. The humor that these movies have become known for is still there but it’s used sparingly and saved for key situations giving it a darker feel than some may be used to..

Captain America and Iron Man facing off.
Captain America and Iron Man facing off.

Speaking of the Russo Brothers they did a great job directing Civil War. The Winter Soldier was going to be a hard act to follow but they did a great job. They meshed practical with visual effects perfectly and created some of the best action sequences I have ever seen. Civil War is a Battle Royal that fans of the comics and movies have been waiting to see and Joe and Anthony Russo made sure every character got a chance to shine. They allowed each cast members to get screen time and explain their motivations, and still kept a steady flow to the movie. At two hours and twenty minutes I never felt bored, and no scenes felt rushed. Not only that the movie served as the debut of both Spider-man and the Black Panther two iconic heroes who never felt shoehorned in just to plug their movies.. Both steal every scene they are in Chadwick Boseman nailed T’challa and Tom Holland could be the best Spider-man yet. I am very excited to see both of their movies.
Team Captain America
Team Captain America

This leads to my only problem with the movie while I loved that all the characters got time there were moments that the movie felt more like Avengers three instead of Captain America three. That’s not a bad thing, but what I loved about the Winter Soldier is that it felt epic but still stayed grounded in being a Captain America story. I really didn’t get that from Civil War until the final act of the movie.

After 8 years and seventeen movies Marvel needed something to make things feel fresh and new again, and Civil War was the perfect movie to do it. Civil War was a fitting end to what came before, but also ushered in the next phase of movies perfectly. Homage was paid to the comic, but it also made the story its own. I left the theater feeling happy and feeling I had seen a complete story, At the same time I am anticipating what is coming and can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. I highly recommend going out and seeing this movie as soon as you can.