3 Lists of 3 Faithful and Unfaithful Comic Book and Manga Movies

Cause it takes a strong man, baby, but I’m showing you the door. Cause I gotta have faith. I gotta have faith. Or do you?

Your uncle Geekly is back with more comic book movie magic and a three list of three. This week we’ll concentrate on comic book movies that are the most and least faithful adaptations to their source material and throw in a third, fun list for kicks.

Usually, a faithful adaptation is better than one that isn’t, but that’s not always the case. 2011’s Green Lantern made the short list for faithful adaptations, and it stunk. Regardless, the following lists will let you know which ones have geek cred, and which ones don’t.

Most Faithful Comic Book or Manga Movies (so far)

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Iron Man (2008)

All the main points for Tony’s character are present in 2008’s Iron Man, except that he’s more of a social drinker than an alcoholic. That may be the one part that I’ve never liked about the movie version, but I get it. Marvel/Disney wants to make Iron Man more accessible for a greater audience. But alcoholism is a common problem and that’s one of the things that makes Tony accessible for people.

Oh well, like I said, the main character points are there: billionaire playboy, womanizer, purveyor of the best weapons, regrets the creation of such weapons, and needs a suit to stay alive. One must take the omission of alcoholism with stride. The cinematic Iron Man deals with his alcoholism as much as cinematic versions of Batman deal with the loss of his parents. It’s a peripheral thing.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Yes. This is the second Marvel movie in a row, but it’s a good one that’s very faithful to its source material. The only things the movie Winter Soldier changes are plot points that wouldn’t fit within the confines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Sharon Carter wasn’t introduced until this movie, so Black Widow is part of Cap’s team) and some of the more fantastic or mystical elements (sorry, no Cosmic Cube, this version is more grounded).

Again, the main points are there. Cap’s team investigate the mysterious Winter Soldier, who turns out to be Cap’s former sidekick Bucky. At the end, Bucky sneaks away to find himself. The few deviations make sense and don’t detract from the movie capturing the characters and the feel of the comics.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

Some source material was cut or condensed to fit a two-hour runtime, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World captures the original story perfectly. Over-the-top video game battles? Check. A frenetic pace? Check. Extremely expressive characters? Have you seen Michael Cera’s face? He may have eyes as large as the title character in the manga. The supporting characters are equally over-the-top and animated—but in the best possible way.

Edgar Wright did a fantastic job translating the Canadian manga into a cult classic. Unfortunately, cult classic means that it didn’t do as well as it should have in theaters.

Least Faithful Comic Book or Manga Movies (so far)

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Catwoman (2004)

Catwoman. Ugh, Catwoman! It’s so different from the source material that I wouldn’t be surprised if a film distributor other than Warner Brothers released this one. The anti-hero’s moniker and character appearance (sort of) are the only commonalities between the two entities.

Patience Philips is Catwoman’s real name instead of Selina Kyle. Patience drowns and comes back to life with the help of a magical cat instead of being a world-class cat burglar. There’s an Egyptian goddess Bastet angle that’s just awful. Who wrote this? How could the actors read the script and think this would be a good movie? Who allowed this to exist?

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The Spirit (2008)

The Spirit comic may have had some issues with Ebony White (it’s a product of its age), but the story is a great blend of crime and humor with strong characterization. I like how Will Eisner portrayed The Spirit as an everyman. It made him relatable and accessible.

The movie strips the characters of their personality and clothes. Comic book fans have known for years that Frank Miller (the movie’s director) doesn’t have the most enlightened opinion of women, and it shows here. I would say that 2008’s The Spirit should only be aired on Skinamax, but soft-core porn has more story and does more with their characters. Also, The Spirit can heal like Wolverine, so that everyman quality is lost.

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Death Note (2017)

Fans didn’t like the announcement that Netflix would release a live action Death Note and set it in the United States. While I agree that changing the setting and other cosmetic alterations damaged the movie, Death Note’s biggest sin is that the characters are dumb. It’s not that they’re dumb as in they make little sense or have limited characterization, which they do make little sense and have limited characterization, but the main characters have a collected IQ of 30. That’s not ideal for a series that’s main draw is that it plays out like a high-stakes Chess match.

Instead of schemes becoming more complex throughout the movie, they get dumb and dumber and dumberer and dumberest. This movie is so stupid that I’m making up words.

Awesome Animated Comic Book Movies

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All-Star Superman (2011)

It helps when the source material is excellent, but 2011’s All-Star Superman is amazing. It captures the essence of the character in a way other Superman films haven’t been able to. It shows what Superman would do if he knew he didn’t have much time left on this planet. He continues to protect the Earth and his loved ones because that’s who he is. There’s even a great Lex Luthor character moment when he sees the world as Superman does, ever the optimist. All-Star Superman is a must watch.

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Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Batman: Under the Red Hood was released early in DC’s animated line, but it may be the best animated Batman film ever. Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) is Jason Todd and he may own the role for some time to come. Bruce Greenwood’s Dark Knight and John DiMaggio’s Joker are almost as good as Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, and that’s saying a lot.

This film explores the complex relationship Batman has with killing and with the Robins who have joined him in his crusade. Yes. Under the Red Hood has the prerequisite action and crime fighting, but it’s a surprisingly deep movie.

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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

I could’ve gone with a lot of other DC animated films with this final move—DC Animated movies are far better than most Marvel ones, they’re the inverse of the live action films—but I had to go with one of the first Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. To me, Kevin Conroy is Batman. Mark Hamill has given one of the most memorable performances as The Joker. There’s a reason the pair have been playing these characters for over two decades.

The original characters in this film are well done too, and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm holds the distinction of being the first Batman: The Animated Series film. Any Batman newbie should watch at least the first season of Batman: The Animated Series, followed by Mask of the Phantasm.

I can only list 9 movies in this 3 lists of 3, so I’m sure some readers will differ in their opinions. Turn on the Geek Signal and I may come running if you leave within a fifty-mile radius or leave a comment.

3 Lists of 3 Movie Marathons

It’s Friday night, and you have no plans—or your plan options are limited. Why not try a movie marathon? But which movie marathon should you choose? Old uncle Geekly doesn’t know for sure, I don’t know what type of movies you like, but the following three lists of three could help narrow the search.

Short and Sweet Marathons Most People Could Finish

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Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (5 Hours and 29 Minutes)

The shortest of the movie marathons on this list is the one named after the various flavors of Cornetto ice cream treats featured in each film: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg make a dynamic duo in these three comedies. The different themes and characters also make the Cornetto Trilogy feel like it isn’t a trilogy and perhaps, the easiest one to watch.

I may not be The World’s End’s biggest fan, but it’s still a good movie and the trilogy doesn’t come close to overstaying its welcome.

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The Dark Knight Trilogy (7 Hours and 37 Minutes)

Jim might slap the back of my wrist with a classroom ruler for including Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy: it’s overrated. To be fair, I agree with him, but it’s still a quick watch, and the films have their moments—Heath Ledger’s Joker alone is worth the price of admission. While Kevin Conroy will always be my Batman, Christian Bale does a good job, despite hyperventilating through half the movies, and many of the villains are satisfyingly menaces.

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Back to the Future (5 Hours and 42 Minutes)

I had to go with the film series that has pervaded pop culture so much that there was a Back to Future Day on October 21, 2015. Universal Pictures created a trailer for Jaws 19, Mattel manufactured a hoverboard as seen in the film, Pepsi produced a limited run of “Pepsi Perfect,” Nintendo released the Wild Gunman game Marty played in the Café ‘80s scene, and many more including Nike recreating the Nike Mag shoes Michael J. Fox wore. The Back to the Future franchise begets Rick and Morty. ‘Nuff said.

Ridiculously Long Marathons I Might Be Crazy Enough to Try One Day

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James Bond (2 Days, 4 Hours, and 56 Minutes)

He’s the world’s best/worst secret agent—he’s given his real name to how many people?—and along with Sherlock Holmes, one of the most successful and recognizable fictional characters of all time. James Bond also has 26 movies (before the one that’s due in 2019) with six actors portraying the titular character. Sure, the early films are dated. Daniel Craig’s turn is a modern retelling of Connery’s and if one is looking for a more relatable Bond, one should turn there. I also wouldn’t blame you for not wanting to blow an entire long weekend. We’re talking days. Days!

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (1 Day, 18 Hours, and 44 Minutes—and counting)

While DC continues to flounder (I hope that changes soon), Marvel consistently produces strong movie-going experiences. The trick was to start with solid individual movies before expanding and crossing the various franchises. The only problem is that there are too many Marvel movies. This marathon only includes the films, not the Netflix originals and other TV shows. I’m crazy; I’m not that crazy.

You may not be able to finish every film over a standard weekend. You may have to call in sick from work. If I’m being honest, I’d have to be a little sick to attempt this movie marathon that gets longer every other month. So, I wouldn’t be lying. I am sick. Cough. Cough.

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Miyazaki Marathon (1 Day and 10 Minutes)

Miyazaki’s marathon is the shortest of the full day ones, and it happens to be the most likely one I’ll try to make happen. Season squeed after hearing that. I’ll have to track down his shorts (that make up about an hour of this runtime) and make sure we have all the animated features he’s ever written and directed. We’ve got to do this right.

To date Miyazaki is the only anime director to have ever won an Academy award. It’s shocking that he’s only won one. He’s a director who I’m always on the lookout for his next release.

Classic Geekly Movie Marathons

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The Middle-Earth Anthology (20 Hours, 13 Minutes)

You could be forgiven if you wanted to cut the showtime in half and watch only The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Uncle Geekly won’t judge, but even at 10 hours or so, The Lord of the Rings will occupy a large portion of your day. No regrets. Miss Geekly has me beat as she’s seen it at least five or six times with all the bonus features.

Any way you slice it, the Middle-Earth Anthology is cinematic magic and worth your time. Peter Jackson and company do a phenomenal job of bringing to life the series that birthed epic fantasy.

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Star Wars (22 Hours, 27 Minutes)

This runtime includes the anthology films (Solo and Rogue One) and that may turn off several fans. It also doesn’t include the upcoming ninth main film, but I had to include Star Wars somewhere on this list. It’s too good. It transformed people’s lives. Some other fill-in-the-blank hyperbolic statement that somehow doesn’t seem like enough.

There are so many ways to watch the films: in order of release, chronological order, and many, many others. I won’t go into the virtues of how to watch these films, you do you, but with a runtime of just under a day one could watch a Star Wars marathon on a day like May the Fourth.

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Star Trek (1 Day, 1 Hour, and 17 Minutes)

Okay. This one may be the other more than a day marathon I’ll have to try at some point and that’s why it’s on the lists of classics. Star Trek may not get the same recognition as the other two titles on this list of three, but it’s every bit as iconic. I’m also required to say something like “iconic” because Jim would put me in a sleeper hold if I didn’t. Zzzz.

Where was I? Yes. Some of Sci-Fi films’ greatest moments have come from Star Trek movies, and it deserves to be on our classic Geekly movie marathons.

That’s my list. I’m sure you guys have more marathons you’d like to add. Tell me how wrong I am in the comments.

3 Lists of 3 Movies

Your uncle Geekly kicked off these 3 Lists of 3 with TV so it’s only fair that we cover a few movies as well. Uncle Geekly doesn’t agree with critics most of the time and it might be a good idea to put on my psychic cap and see which upcoming movies will be better or worse than most critics think.

Upcoming movies that’ll be better than critics think they’ll be

Dark Phoenix (February 14, 2019)

I’m most likely wrong with this one. Heck, I may be wrong for countless reasons and if I am, I’ll owe Jim a lap dance from Jean Gray—How’s that for passing the buck to a fictional character? You’re welcome, Jim—but I want a well-done Dark Phoenix Saga live action film. It’s one of the X-Men’s most iconic storylines and X-Men: The Last Stand did a poor job of adapting it. Who knows what critics will think of this one? We’ll have to see what happens with Dark Phoenix, but I’m sure I’ll watch it no matter what and hope for the best.

Dumbo

Dumbo (March 29, 2019)

The Disney live-action movies are mixed bag and Tim Burton has been in a slump for some time, so Dumbo may or may not receive favorable reviews. I’m leaning toward fewer favorable reviews, since Burton tends to go odd with his interpretations. Even so, Dumbo has me intrigued. If there was any live-action Disney film Burton was perfect for, it’d be Dumbo and the director is reunited with Eva Green and Michael Keaton. This is the first time Burton and Keaton will have worked together since Batman Returns. I’m in.

Shazam

Shazam! (April 5, 2019)

I could go with Aquaman here because critics typically dock movies 10-15% on Rotten Tomatoes when they see DC is attached to a project, but I’m not as confident with Aquaman—something about a live action movie under the sea that may not land—so I’m going with the action-comedy Shazam!. About the only thing I know at this point is that Dawyne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam won’t be the antagonist of this film, his movie should be even better, but I have faith that Shazam! will build on the momentum of Justice League’s second half—and I hope Aquaman does the same.

Upcoming movies that’ll won’t be as good than critics think they’ll be

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (November 16, 2018)

The first movie of this series was an abomination and it received 76% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and while I believe the sequel can mostly go up from the first film, I don’t think it’ll be much better than a 40-50% and I won’t be surprised if it receives higher than the previous 76%. If you can’t tell, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a hard pass for me.

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Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)

This one might be a little surprising. I like the Marvel cinematic universe, and this film should build on the events of Infinity War, even though it’s set in the 1990s. I also like the 90s, many of my formative years were spent in the 90s, but Captain Marvel reeks of a film dangerous with replacing many characters with Skrulls. If half of the characters have been Skrulls all along, Disney-Marvel can easily recast those characters to keep the universe going and that irritates me. Even if Disney-Marvel doesn’t do that, Captain Marvel is a prequel and I downgrade prequels because they seldom push a story forward.

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Untitled Joker Origin Movie (October 4, 2019)

While I think DC movies receive too much hate, something tells me that the Untitled Joker Origin Movie will get plenty of high marks by critics, based on the involvement of Martin Scorsese and Joaquin Phoenix. I have heard that the movie plans to use The Killing Joke as source material, too, but DC Animation didn’t do a good job with the story a few years ago. The early trailers look promising, but The Joker tends to work best when no one knows much about him: case in point Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Surprise hit movies

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Welcome to Marwen (December 21, 2018)

This Steve Carrell engine deals with a man overcoming a traumatic experience. Welcome to Marwen is being released at the time when Oscar darlings tend to get released and while I’m sure the academy may consider the film, the direction of Robert Zemeckis usually leads to a well-received hit.

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Glass (January 18, 2019)

The third movie of the surprising Unbreakable trilogy should make more money than the previous two films. The first set up the world, the second shocked many, and the third Glass should receive enough buzz to put M. Night Shyamalan back in the limelight—at least for a while. I’m not sure if Glass will be any good, but it should make plenty of money and should be intriguing.

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Chaos Walking (March 1, 2019)

Dystopian worlds are overdone, but the premise of Chaos Walking is interesting (every living creature can hear each other’s’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise) and the stars (Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley) make this one interesting and a possible hit. I’m the least confident about Chaos Walking, but I’m hoping it delivers on some of its promise.

Are there any movies we missed with our lists? What do you think will be a surprise hit or a movie that’ll be better or worse than critics think? Let us know in the comments.

Geekly News: November 2, 2018

Elder Scrolls VI Release Window Announced

This bit of news doesn’t amount to much. It’s a slow news week, so eh. Bethesda announced that the Elder Scrolls VI Redfall will be a PS5 and Xbox (whatever they’ll call it) release. That’s pretty much what I figured. I said as much two or three weeks ago; this is just confirmation.

 Starfield may have a chance of gracing current consoles, but there was little to no chance Redfall would make the PS4 or Xbox One. Fallout 76 counts as one of Bethesda’s flagship releases and the company likes to release one flagship title every three or four years. That means that Starfield should come out around 2021—maybe 2020 because they’ve been working on it for 6 years already and 2020 sounds like an awesome release year. Okay, there’s little chance Starfield will be a current generation console release.

Elder Scrolls VI should be released three to four years after Starfield, so that puts its release year at 2023 through 2025. Oh boy.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on Hold (Again)

Okay, maybe this is a pretty busy week of news. The third volume of Guardians of the Galaxy may not survive the firing of James Gunn. Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened. James Gunn posted insensitive tweets and was eventually fired as the director of Guardians Vol. 3. Some of the franchise’s actors back Gunn and Disney/Marvel has had a devil of a time finding another director they like. This has led to a stop-start every week or two.

MCU boss Kevin Feige announced this week that the franchise is on an indefinite hold. If the sides can’t find common ground (Bautista has no contract that covers a third Guardians movie), there’s a good chance that Guardians of the Galaxy 3 may not happen at all. Don’t worry. The gang will make an appearance in Avengers 4.

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Boba Fett Movie Cancelled

Kathleen Kennedy confirms that the Boba Fett Star Wars spinoff movie is “100% dead.” While the cancellation of a Boba Fett movie helmed by Logan director James Mangold may upset some, the reason for this move is a shift to the Jon Favreau penned live-action TV series The Mandalorian. I couldn’t see both projects taking off, so a little focus for the Fett man may be in order. Let’s hope The Mandalorian delivers.

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Andy Muschietti to Direct Attack On Titan

It director Andy Muschietti has just signed on to make a new Attack On Titan live-action film adaptation. The first one didn’t land well with manga readers. Why must every movie have a love story—especially when there isn’t a love story in the original work? Muschietti is a big fan of the original manga and if his work on It is any indication, the new Attack On Titan film will get the blockbuster treatment with plenty of chills.

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PlayStation Classic Games List Confirmed

PlayStation announced that it’d join Nintendo with its line of diminutive classic systems with 20 preloaded games several months ago, but this week they announced the full list of games that’ll come with the system. They are as follows:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil (Director’s Cut)
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

A lot of these are classic games or the first game in genre defining series. The PlayStation Classic hits shelves on December 5, 2018.

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Video Games

Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun! and Drum Session! (Switch, PS4)

Drum ‘n’ Fun (Switch) and Drum Session (PS4) mark the first time that a Taiko no Tatsujin game made it to the West. This series is a huge arcade/rhythm game in the East and it’s only a matter of time to see if the States and other countries will take to its catchy beats.

Movies

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Bohemian Rhapsody

This is the big one this week for me. I’m a sucker for biopics and I like Queen. I don’t watch too many biopics in theaters, but I may make an exception for Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic for Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Could this film be so bad that it’s good? I’m not sure. A lot of critics have called it “soulless” and “incoherent,” but the visual effects are good. It sounds like an impressive cast that includes Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman can’t help The Nutcracker and the Four Realms from becoming Disney’s worst reviewed film in history. Yikes!

Suspiria

Suspiria

This one won’t be for everyone. If this movie follows the 1977 original, Suspiria tackles some heady material, and its trailer depicts vampires who let the blood flow even more. This lends itself to multiple watches, once to get over the gore and the second to dig deeper into what the film is about, but a run time of two and a half hours may be a little long.

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Nobody’s Fool

This is the latest Tyler Perry comedy. In this one, Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) is released from prison and is reunited with her family. The family learns that she’s in an online relationship with a mystery man who may be “catfishing” her. It’s a fun premise, so I may watch it. It also doesn’t hurt that Whoopi Goldberg, Amber Riley (Glee), and Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy Olsen from Supergirl) are in the cast.

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Bodied

Eminem produces this odd fusion of comedy, battle rap. Eminem has a knack for the theatrical and it looks to continue here. Bodied has received a lot of praise and high marks, so it may be worth a watch.

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Hugh Jackman stars in Columbia Pictures’ THE FRONT RUNNER.

The Front Runner

This one starts early next week. It’s another biopic, this time based on Matt Bai’s All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid. In short, it’s Hugh Jackman portraying Senator Gary Hart during his 1988 presidential campaign where he’s caught up in an extramarital affair with Donna Rice.

TV

TheOtherSideOfTheWind

Friday, November 2, 2018

Homecoming (Amazon)

I’ve talked about this one in the past. Julia Roberts stars as a caseworker who helps military members transition to civilian life. Years after she starts a new life as a waitress when a Department of Defense auditor questions why she left the program. There may be more to her being placed as a former caseworker than she realizes.

House of Cards (Netflix)

Today marks House of Cards’ final season. I lost interest a long time ago, and the Kevin Spacey scandal didn’t help, but hopefully Netflix’s first original series ends on a high note.

The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix)

This film may be the biggest thing Netflix has ever produced; it’s one of Orson Welles’s lost films. Being locked away in a Paris vault (due to legal issues) for decades didn’t prevent The Other Side of the Wind from influencing other films that came after it. It all but created the Mockumentary. What’s even better is that Netflix plans to release a follow up documentary on the film’s history which may be just as interesting.

Watergate (History)

History beats The Front Runner (Gary Hart) to the punch with this series about Watergate. This scandal may have marked the United States’ loss of innocence; it definitely gave birth to scandal journalism.

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mickey’s 90th Spectacular (ABC)

Mickey Mouse made his first appearance on May 15, 1928 (Plane Crazy), and Steamboat Willie was released around Thanksgiving of the same year. Mickey’s 90th Spectacular is a special that celebrates Mickey throughout the decades.

Outlander (Starz)

Based on the historical time travel book series of the same name, Outlander returns for a fourth season on Starz. The premise sounds interesting and it’s received good ratings, so I may give it a try.

Betrayal Legacy

Board Games

Betrayal Legacy

I may be a little late with this one, because tabletop games are difficult to track down with their new releases. Betrayal Legacy holds my interest with a death grip. Rob Daviau was involved with the original Betrayal at House on the Hill (think of a Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods in board game form) and he adds his patented legacy game mechanism to the mix. For the uninitiated, legacy games are games that change the board through multiple plays, so Betrayal Legacy should play out more like a movie and the choices players make will have lasting consequences.

I may pour a little cold water on this writeup with saying that legacy games aren’t always executed as well as they could be. Gamers may want to wait and read a review (a spoiler-free review as this board game will play like a movie) before purchasing it.

That’s all we have for Geekly news this week. Be kind to one another and stay geeky.

 

Geekly News: October 26, 2018

Iron Fist and Luke Cage Cancelled

I just missed Iron Fist’s cancellation last week, and Luke Cage joins it this week. This may or may not be a sign of things to come with Marvel-Netflix’s shows. Several factors led into the decision to cancel the Heroes for Hire (Luke and Danny). I’ll try to keep this brief.

Disney still intends on beginning its own streaming service soon and is looking to reclaim the licenses of many of their characters; this also incited the proposed Fox buy-out. Netflix ordered fewer episodes of future Luke Cage and Iron Fist seasons as an effort to lower costs (fewer episodes mean less money for the license), but lowering costs means that they would give Disney less money and that makes Disney less interested in maintaining the agreement. But the chief reason may be that Netflix has matured (as a television network of sorts) to a point where they don’t overpay for licenses they don’t need or want, and they’re less likely to continue shows that don’t earn them new subscribers or downloads. Early Marvel shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones brought in new subscribers, but Luke Cage and Iron Fist struggled.

Netflix still has the license to use Luke Cage and Iron Fist in their shows, so the cancellation of their individual series doesn’t mean that fans won’t see them on other Marvel-Netflix shows. Of course, things could change if Disney insists on reclaiming as many Marvel licenses as possible. The Mouse House could rescind their Netflix licenses or make the premiums for keeping any licenses untenable for Netflix.

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Marvel Game Universe (MGU) Announced

And now for some lighter news. Spider-Man for the PS4 (released last month) is the official launch of an interconnected series of games that will feature Marvel Universe characters. The Marvel Game Universe, or MGU, will function in many ways like the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Spider-Man acting as 2008’s Iron Man.

Rumors swirl with numerous game developers attached to various Marvel properties. Sony’s Insomniac will continue with future Spider-Man games, but they’ll take on at least another character or two, Square Enix (of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest fame) will produce Marvel titles (and Sony hinted that they may be involved with the larger project), and Rock Steady (Batman Arkham series) has been mentioned as well. I’m not sure who’ll be in the final production line as far as developers, but the main Avengers and stars of future Marvel films are a safe bet for getting their own games, and if the results of future Marvel games are as good as Spider-Man, it’ll be a fun ride.

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Video Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 (PS4, Xbox One)

The long wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 is now over. This game is a prequel to the first Red Dead Redemption (2010) and follows the story of outlaw Arthur Morgan of the Dutch Van der Linde gang. Let’s hope this Western ends in a more positive light.

My Hero: One’s Justice (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

My Hero Academia gets the fighting game treatment. There’s a strong possibility that I’ll pick this one up on the secondary market. Plus Ultra!

Call of Cthulhu (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

This game will share more with the 1981 pen and paper role-playing game than the H. P. Lovecraft short story of the same name. What makes me interested is that Cyanide game studio contacted the original writers of the 1981 RPG, so this survival horror/role-playing game has some serious roots.

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Movies

Hunter Killer

This one sounds like a good old-fashioned action adventure and that’s okay sometimes. The Russian president is captured and a U. S. submarine must rescue him while avoiding World War III.

TV

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Castlevania (Netflix)

The first season of this Netflix original anime followed the source material closely, but it dragged in a few places. I’m hoping the second season will build on a promising cliffhanger.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

Sabrina the teenage witch has largely been a comedic character and in 2014, Archie Comics gave her a grittier reboot. I can’t wait to see how Kiernan Shipka and the rest bring this reimagining of the character to life.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Stan Against Evil (IFC)

This series is still on? I kid—sort of—because this series can scratch the itch left by a dearth of new Evil Dead material. I’ve always liked John C. McGinley (“Scrubs”), so I may give this comedy-horror series another shot.

Tell Me a Story (CBS App)

I like the premise of Tell Me a Story. This series takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as dark and twisted psychological thrillers. Unfortunately, CBS is at it again with making some of its content only available on its streaming service. Ugh!

Board Games

5 Colors

This is an understated card game. The game is played with a deck of 100 cards, 20 cards of each of the titular 5 Colors. Players simultaneously play a card from their hand. The most played color gets scored and each player that played the most commonly played color gains points on the card they played. It’s simple to understand, but once players catch on with how to play, the strategy begins.

Atlandice

Atlandice

Atlandice has a lot more going on than 5 Colors. This game’s main feature is a rondel (a circular device that changes throughout a game) and in the center of the rondel is a doom clock. Players draft dice and items during their turn, trying to get the most points before rooms get swallowed by a flood and the doom clock ends the game.

It’s an interesting game with a lot going on. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and get a closer look.

That’s all we have for Geekly news this week. Be kind to one another and stay geeky.

Top 12 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies

Captain America: Civil War opens tonight and that marks the beginning of the Marvel cinematic universe’s third and final stage. I figured it was time we ranked each Marvel movie, so here we go.

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12) Thor: Dark World

Marvel movies are notorious for not developing their villains—this will be an ongoing theme—but Thor: Dark World went a step further with under developed villains. You could omit the movie’s villain and not miss a thing. It takes a special Marvel movie to have a meaningless villain (the dark elves, not Loki, as they were the main villain). The rest of the movie didn’t fare much better. Natalie Portman fought through a script she hated. You couldn’t tell she loathed the film from her performance but her alleged ire was the only thing that was memorable.

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11) Iron Man 2

The next two films could switch places, and often do on a regular basis for me, but Iron Man 2 earns the lower spot on the list, despite trying to develop its villain. It’s a mess. Tony’s alcoholism was touched, his illness took center stage after a while, and Ivan Vanko’s backstory dump through expositional dialogue was no dynamo. The movie put too many story threads into two hours and ended up flat. There was little chance the sequel could recapture the excitement of the original, but where’s the joy?

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10) Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 had more humorous moments than Iron Man 2, but it also had more issues. Seriously, these last two movies could switch places. I hate revisionist history, and Iron Man 3’s villain, set up as the mastermind behind everything Iron Man through flashbacks, played like revisionist history. Renaming a well-known Marvel group like AIM to The Ten Rings was a cheat, and Marvel had one larger than life role for an Asian actor (The Mandarin) and decided to make him a punchline. Hollywood has only cast an Asian or Asian-American in 50% of their TV shows and movies in the last several years (per The Screen Actors Guild), so a buffoonish Mandarin was a terrible look. Oh, and I don’t like having a figurehead villain with a real villain pulling the strings behind the scenes, even if the figurehead villain wasn’t the Mandarin. It’s been done. It’s not clever; it’s a lazy attempt to be clever.

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9) The Incredible Hulk

It’s a testament to how little I think of the previous three movies that The Incredible Hulk doesn’t make for a compelling lead character; he’s too overpowered. He’s great as a side character, a force of nature, or another loose end the Avengers have to tie up. Ed Norton Jr. did an adequate job as Bruce Banner, and Abomination was developed as well as a one-note villain can be, so this movie made it this high on the list despite its hokeyness.

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8) Captain America: The First Avenger

Ever wonder why Captain America movies always have subtitles? Those subtitles are what the movies are called overseas. That has nothing to do with the movie’s quality, I just thought it was interesting. Anyway, the first Cap movie was good. Chris Evans made a convincing Steve Rogers, the origin story went off without a hitch, and I liked Bucky and the addition of the Howling Commandos, but I’ve never seen a character portrayed by Hugo Weaving come across as flat as the Red Skull, one of Marvel’s best villains, and he was a huge, under developed yawn. There’s that term again: under developed.

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7) Avengers: Age of Ultron

I could’ve swapped Age of Ultron and The First Avenger, but oh well. Avengers: Age of Ultron was yet another Marvel movie that didn’t develop its villain—big shock, I know—but I can’t blame it. The film stuffed as many characters as it could into one film and the bloated cast resulted in Ultron getting twenty to thirty minutes of screen time for a movie that bears his name. Age of Ultron also suffered from the law of diminished returns. We’ve seen these scenes—or similar ones—before and the movie needed more than Marvel’s tried and true CGI goodness. Hawkeye had some great moments, while the relationship between Black Widow and Hulk was a head scratcher.

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6) Ant-Man

Despite being the final movie in the Marvel cinematic universe’s second wave, Ant-Man shrank down the plot’s scope—pun intended—and delivered a film akin to earlier Marvel films. It made characters the heart of the story. The film couldn’t quite capture the same magic of the earliest Marvel movies, but it came close. The humor was welcome. It presented a fun, super-hero twist to the heist movie genre. And Paul Rudd and Michael Pena were a joy. Sure, the main villain was under-developed—like most Marvel movies—and a greater Hydra threat loomed in the background, but the focus was on family and that made the characters relatable. I’m not sure how many more character-driven movies remain in the Marvel cinematic universe, but Ant-Man was one of them.

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5) Thor

Loki has daddy issues. It’s a common trope and colors him as a character in broad strokes, but the God of Mischief has had more character development than most Marvel cinematic universe villains, and that’s a great thing. And it’s not the only thing Thor does well. I’m not a huge Thor comic book fan, but the movie does a great job setting up character relations and developing them through actions instead of expositional dialogue. Okay. There was a lot of exposition, mostly from Odin, but a lot of other movies only build their characters through dialogue, and Thor uses the snot-nosed son of Odin’s actions as the main characterization vehicle.

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4) Avengers

This one is a spectacle. I marvel at how they balanced the character’ screen time in this one. Folks were thinking Avengers was an impossible movie to make because of the sheer number of characters needed on-screen, but Joss Whedon pulled off a miracle. I would’ve rated this movie a little higher, but viewers need context for this movie. You can’t watch Avengers without first watching at least two or three other movies—you’ll see this argument come up again real soon—and some of the scenes are a little hokey, but man, Avengers was a great popcorn flick. And I love the Hulk as comic relief.

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3) Iron Man

I had to give the movie that kicked off the Marvel cinematic universe some respect. Iron Man also holds up really well, unlike its sequels. This is another movie where the character’s actions define who he is. Iron Man could’ve spent a lot of time having Tony ponder the meaning of life—and he does a little bit of this while he’s in captivity—but that’s not who the character is. Iron Man doesn’t tell as much as it shows who these characters are, and that’s wonderful. It also helps that Robert Downey Jr. was born to play the role and he’s a delight.

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2) Captain America: Winter Soldier

When this one was out in theaters, I couldn’t get enough of it. Winter Soldier shook the Marvel cinematic universe to its core. It developed its characters really well and took secondary characters—like Black Widow—and elevated them. Winter Soldier was also the most faithful adaptation of a comic book to the silver screen. It’s amazing. But this is where the context issue comes into play. While you could say that every Marvel movie—except for Iron Man—is a dependent film, Winter Soldier suffers the most from lack of context. I showed Winter Soldier to someone who said that they love Marvel movies. It turned out that they hadn’t watched Iron Man 2, the first Cap film, or many of the other ones on this list, and they had no idea what was going on. Winter Soldier changed the Marvel universe but it’s also dependent on the rest of the Marvel universe to make any sense. Still, it’s fantastic.

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1) Guardians of the Galaxy

I really should switch these top two, but I showed Guardians of the Galaxy to the same guy who hadn’t seen Winter Soldier, and it was a much different experience. Similar to Winter Soldier, the Guardians were well developed. But while Winter Soldier leaned heavily on plot twists, Guardians of the Galaxy had more memorable moments. Each character—with the exception of the patented Marvel movie underdeveloped villain—had their own moments to shine. Guardians is also the movie that made me yearn less for a Star Wars sequel—no offense, The Force Awakens. That’s not bad for a group Stan Lee forgot was a Marvel comic.

I know that was a long post, but there’s a lot of Marvel movies. These rankings are subject to change. In fact, I may change them soon. There are so many great Marvel movies. Let’s enjoy this comic book movie renaissance. Thanks for reading.

Spider-Man Joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel fans around the world rejoice. The Spider-Man embargo in Marvel movies has ended. You might just see him in an upcoming Avengers movie and more as Spider-Man joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

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With this new deal the new Spider-Man will appear in a Marvel film from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Sony Pictures will then release the next installment of its $4 billion Spider-Man franchise on July 28, 2017 in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel, and May Pascal who launched Sony’s Spider-Man franchise 13 years ago. Sony and Marvel will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger. Sony will continue to finance, distribute and own the Spider-Man films. They’ll also have final say with creative control of the character. We’ll have to see what this news will hold, but things are headed in the right direction.

This announcement follows a decade of speculation of will they or won’t they add Spider-Man to the MCU. Today, it’s official. Spidey’s back, but what does that mean for movie goers?

1) Sorry, Andrew Garfield is out as Spidey.

2) Future Spidey–the ones beyond the Sinister Six, perhaps–should get pushed six-ten months into the future. We told you that last week’s graphic was subject to change.

But, hey. We can finally see Spidey on the big screen with Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor, so we can wade through a short transition period. Welcome back, Spidey.

Here’s a video depicting the legalize that has kept Spidey from Marvel for over a decade.