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Archive for the ‘Spoiler Zone’ Category


Spoiler Zone: How to Train Your Dragon 2

how-to-train-your-dragon-2-posterI don’t talk about any spoilers in this post, but spoilers are allowed in the comments!

Since a few people have asked me already, I just saw How to Train Your Dragon 2, and I loved it. It is a wonderful expansion of the world and deftly sidesteps many of the pitfalls of a lot of sequels.

It’s a darker film (befitting the characters’ age), bigger without being an assault on the senses, and gorgeous to look at (and listen to).

I’ve said before that the first one is a “perfect” movie, inasmuch as any movie can be. I could nitpick about a few things (exposition-induced pacing issues in one scene, a clunky line in another, etc.) but there is so much done well — so much done perfectly, really — that I really feel like I need to see it again to solidify my opinions about it.

In any event, this second film in the series was an intense, emotional, and action-packed adventure movie featuring characters many of you already love. What the hell are you waiting for?

If you’ve seen it, tell me what you thought below! But be warned: spoilers are 100% okay below.

Spoiler Zone: Captain America: The Winter Soldier talkback

When longtime Community producers and directors Anthony and Joe Russo were tapped to direct the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger, it was a bit of a head-scratcher for me. These guys have literally only done comedy to date: loads of sitcoms, mostly, the box office bomb Welcome to Collinwood, and You, Me, and Dupree. So while I’ve never been one to think that people who haven’t done action before aren’t “qualified” to do action movies, they did seem like an odd choice. I wouldn’t say I doubted they could do it, but it was an intriguing choice on Kevin Feige’s part.

Working from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriting duo behind the (yes, I’m gonna say it) actually-pretty-good Pain & Gain, the interminable slog of Thor: The Dark World, and the I’ve-never-seen-any-of-them Narnia films, and obviously using the Ed Brubaker run as inspiration, The Winter Soldier has the smartest and tightest script of any solo Marvel Studios movie to date (and arguably The Avengers), the most emotional weight of any Marvel Studios to date, and the best action of any Marvel Studios movie to date (including The Avengers).

While there are one or two plot points that viewers either roll with or not (I’ll refrain from being specific here, but I’ll freely discuss them in the spoiler-approved comments below) — I went with them — and I loved that the storyline of the film actually changes the status quo of the MCU meaningfully. Actual consequences! Imagine that. The ever-charismatic Anthony Mackie is a fantastic addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Falcon, as well. Bring on Captain America 3!

Those of you who have seen it, what did you think? Obviously, spoilers are okay in the comments section here, so if you haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, you have been warned!

Spoiler Zone: Pacific Rim talkback


Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim came out this weekend and made $38.3 million here in the US ($91 million worldwide). It’s the biggest del Toro flick to date, but the film also cost $190 million, so it will need to show some legs to make a profit theatrically. It does seem like it’s in good shape to make a profit eventually, though, which is good for two reasons del Toro’s career and the prospect of actually seeing more original genre films get made, not just sequels and comic book adaptations. It unlikely to spawn a sequel, though. Which is fine.

More importantly, I thought the movie was really fun. The dialogue was cliché-ridden, the characters were relatively thin, and most of the actors are pretty wooden. A notable exception is the girl who plays young Mako (Rinko Kikuchi’s character) in some flashback scenes; that little girl was gifted.

Despite its shortcomings, the pacing is brisk, with only a slight lull in the middle. It’s very funny. The fights are great, particularly the one in the city. (They are sort of slow, but like Jason says in the current strip, I think it’s more because these are gigantic monsters and mecha/Jaegers that could not realistically move as fast as we’ve seen them in the past than because of slow motion. There’s a little slow-mo, too, I think, but mostly the former.)

Spoilers are okay in the comments section here, so if you haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet, you have been warned!