20 Songs from the 2010’s (Part Deux)

Stephen Malkmus at The Forum

Better Off / Guijo St. (Makes You Wonder) – Apartel (2016)
Apartel is Ely Buendia and the gang in full soul/funk/R&B mode. If I remember correctly, Ely once said that he can’t do R&B. Maybe, RnB or contemporary R&B (i.e., South Border, Freestyle, Beyonce, Rihanna) was what he meant because here he is doing exactly that, producing good, if not be for everyone, funky music. Continue reading “20 Songs from the 2010’s (Part Deux)”

How long till we finally get Deadpool 3?

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After Avengers: Endgame, there’s only one (comic book) movie that gets me excited like first date, one movie that I’m really really looking forward to: Deadpool 3. And I check the news almost every day. And every time I search for news, all I get are click-baits, misleading headlines, and dead-ends. Continue reading “How long till we finally get Deadpool 3?”

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)

Initially thought this is funnier than Deadpool 2. But that’s maybe because I’ve seen Deadpool 2 many times already. And then I saw this one. And it was refreshing that Ryan Reynolds isn’t the snarky one. That he’s being upstaged by and clearly no match to Mr. Nick Fury without the eyepatch. And Dios Mio! I never thought Salma Hayek would be the perfect match for the foul-mouthed Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot? Forget it. All I need is Sam Jackson in the passenger seat singing some blues while Mr. Pool answers with an Ace of Base tune and I’m in. No questions asked. Gary Oldman, made older with some thick make-up, as the Russian-therefore-he’s-bad dictator is the perfect baddie for bad-guy-is-good-guy Sam Jackson. Where have we seen that before? Probably from some forgettable action movie the title of which I can’t remember right now because the movie was, uhm, forgettable.

This movie is loaded with all the cliche an action movie fan could think of. It’s a little too long to waste 2 hours at the movies when it could have easily been just around ninety minutes. Though I never really checked my watch until near the third act. Which only means Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson (plus Salma Hayek) could be entertaining as fuck.

But still, two hours is a little too long when I could pretty much predict what’s going to happen or how it’s going to happen in the end. And that’s 242 words for a not so memorable movie. Make that 252. Wait, it’s 255 now. Two-fifty… Oh, I don’t how to end

Favorite Records, 2018

What I’ve Been Listening To In 2018?

A bunch of oldies. Neil Young, some music from the Aughts, one fine indie rock band, and few new releases. Fear of missing out this is not. In fact, my Spotify playlist is stuck on Moira dela Torre. And Moira is like what—so 2017? Or 2016? The last band I discovered on Spotify was Ovlov. And that was in… 2015? Continue reading “Favorite Records, 2018”

Deadpool 2 Is The Super Duper $@%!#& Superhero Movie of the Year

13 Reasons Why Deadpool 2 Is The Super Duper $@%!#& Superhero Movie of the Year

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Not really a big comic book guy, but if you’d ask me who my favorite comic book characters are, top five would be, in no particular order: Spider-Man, Hulk, Punisher, Cable and Deadpool. That’s right, one from MCU’s Avengers team but not Iron Man, Thor or Cap and none from Fox’s X-Men. Wolverine? I like Wolverine, but not Hugh Jackman’s Polverine. Continue reading “Deadpool 2 Is The Super Duper $@%!#& Superhero Movie of the Year”

Favorite Movies of 2018

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I started this list and wrote the draft in early September, feared that Jose Mari Chan’s cool as breeze and soothing voice would soon invade the airwaves and mind-erase the best movies I’ve seen this year. The original list was longer and includes flicks I don’t think so highly about (i.e., Black Panther) but I like to keep it short this time and include only my favorite films. Continue reading “Favorite Movies of 2018”

Revisiting Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’

The Old, Cheesy, Amazing, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man

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Marvel’s continuity shtick, one where various comic book characters and stories exist in one universe, used to be confined within comic book realms. In the early 2000s, there was no such universe and comic book movies were one-shot deals. Sequels were never planned and if a movie isn’t successful enough, then it joins the ranks of those one-off comic book movies: Hulk, Daredevil, The Punisher, Elektra, LXG Continue reading “Revisiting Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’”

Deadpool 2’s X-Force Assemble Is Better Than Avenger’s Infinity War

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There are no Infinity McGuffins in Deadpool 2, no superheroes fighting for the fate of the universe. What it does have is an unkillable motor-mouthed anti-hero, who clearly doesn’t want to get upstaged by other characters inside and outside his own movie. And that makes Deadpool 2, arguably, better than Infinity War. Or does it? Let’s see. Continue reading “Deadpool 2’s X-Force Assemble Is Better Than Avenger’s Infinity War”

Are You Team ‘Infinity War’ Or Are You Team ‘Deadpool’?

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Couldn’t we just like them both? Be excited for both? Eggsactly. But where’s the fun in that? Also, these are two very different superhero movies. Two movies that operate on very different levels. So let’s contrast and compare.

Continue reading “Are You Team ‘Infinity War’ Or Are You Team ‘Deadpool’?”

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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How d’you like my Batman voice?

Deadpool reminded me of Spider-Man. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, that is. Deadpool was half the movie that Spider-Man was, but with enough adult things—humor, language, sex, violence—to make up for the lacking half.

Continue reading “Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)”

Kick-Ass (2010)

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With great firepower comes great kick-ass finale

Damon Macready (Nicholas Cage) was a good cop out to get NY kingpin Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong)—who in turn framed him for drugs and got him incarcerated. Macready lost everything while in prison, save for his little girl—thanks to his buddy Sgt. Marcus Williams (who showed up in the movie for a few minutes just to read Macready’s first graphic novel and reveal what this movie is all about: Macready’s revenge). Continue reading “Kick-Ass (2010)”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

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When it comes to the worse Marvel-based movies, the B-grade X-Men Origins: Wolverine is easily among the front-runners. As a comic-book movie, Wolverine is one serious offender. It has no regards for a lot of things: the first X-Men movie (where Sabretooth appeared), the Weapon X series, the other X-Men characters (i.e., Gambit, Deadpool). But outside its irreverence, is a somewhat tightly constructed B-movie (particularly the first half) that knows its own thrills. If you think about it, the story was nothing more than a silly excuse to get Logan in Wolverine-mode. As a low budget action movie (they didn’t even bother to get back Brian Cox to play Stryker), it actually works—kind of. While there are still plenty to ask for in Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of Wolverine (he’s too soft, too pretty), at least his own movie is so bad—ass; not only does it cut its ties with both comics and other X-Men movies with ease (talk about the script’s adamantium quality), it also almost killed and forever shut-up the one exciting character that Fox has: the snarky anti-hero known as Merc with a Mouth.

Top 10 Superhero Movies

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Spider-Man 2 (2004). In the comics, later in the story, it is revealed that Aunt May knew all along that Peter is Spider-Man. That she secretly knew his secret. That this is hinted at in the movie, is one of those little things that made this adaptation great. That Aunt May is given her own kick-ass moment, teaming up with Spidey to beat Doc Ock, is another. Of course, there’s the great train sequence, the bank heist, Doc Ock’s Evil Dead moment, and don’t forget, J.K. Simmons as the blustering  J. Jonah Jameson.

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008). This is one visually stunning film. The troll market is a hoot. The fate of the last forest god is both tragic and beautiful. On top of that, the film’s main conflict isn’t just simplistic good vs. evil—Prince Nuada has good reasons to break the truce. Remember the part where they drink beer and sing along to Barry Manilow? Yeah, this movie’s quite funny too.

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Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014). It’s a good mix of action, comedy and drama—not over serious but not just mindless fun either. From the opening song and dance number down to the other song and dance numbers before and mid-credits, this movie about a band of misfits saving the world is a winner! And probably the danciest superhero movie of all. The best MCU movie? Yes—beats The Avengers by a hair and way way better than Civil War.

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Batman Returns (1992). Tim Burton isn’t much about inventive fight scenes than he is about texture, the elaborate Gothic sets, the quirky and oftentimes grotesque characters. What it does lack in action, it makes up with style and wit (i.e., Penguin’s weaponized umbrella, Selina Kyle’s taser-kiss). Add to that the deliciously insane script and the great cast—Danny De Vito, Christopher Walken, Michelle Pfieffer—and you got the best adaptation of the Caped Crusader’s plight.

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Spider-Man (2002). Compared to more recent movies, this may seem a little too straightforward now—more like a comic book primer, a one-shot. But that’s only because it is the prototype, which others would later try to improve on. Some movies upped the action (Kick-Ass), some, the comedy (Deadpool) but Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, where Peter Parker learns that “with great power comes great responsibility”, remains the all around better origin movie.

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The Avengers (2012). After two Hulk movies that were just okay, here’s that Hulk movie we all really need. I remember not being so excited about this before it came out. That all the movies that lead to this movie were just okay—the talky Iron Man sequel, Cap’s WWII origin and Thor‘s uneventful Asgard—was enough for me to lower my expectations. Thus, seeing the Earth’s mightiest in one awesome movie—thanks to Joss Whedon—was such a huge marvelous surprise.

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Deadpool (2016). Merc with a Mouth’s origin story is part Spider-Man redux, part corrective to the atrocious Wolverine origin and the closest a comic-book movie comes to approximating Monty Python and the Holy Grail-type of craziness (though it’s not even close). Green Lantern is quite good as Deadpool and he’s got Serenity‘s feisty muse as his girl next door.

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Kick-Ass (2010). Also known as Big Daddy’s Revenge (With A Little Help From Kick-Ass). Because. It’s all about revenge. And Matthew Vaughn’s stylish action sequence. Never mind the premise; or the first half; or Dave Lizewski’s thought balloons about being a superhero. You’ll forget about them anyway, once you see Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) take on Big Boss Frank D’Amico in a brutal hand-to-hand combat in the movie’s kick-ass finale.

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Super (2010). The genre deconstruction that Kick-Ass hardly was—James Gunn’s pre-MCU superhero black comedy features the pipe-wrench wielding vigilante who calls himself The Crimson Bolt and his far more unhinged side-kick Boltie. It’s dark, funny and gritty. Tired of the family-friendly and passable entertainment from Disney? Or the trying hard to be dark and edgy DC movies? This one’s for you.

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Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). I was one movie short of making this a top ten list. So I thought of another movie which I really like. Then, I remembered this—Kevin Smith’s movie about Jay and Silent Bob going to Hollywood to stop the adaptation of Bluntman and Chronic into the big screen. It’s trashy and amateurish, which is typical of Smith’s movies. A must-see if you’re a fan of Smith’s.

Deadpool (2016)

PhotoGrid_1467207022180Midway through the film’s title sequence, it occurred to me – this could be the Captain Deadpool and the Oily Grail of all comic book and superhero movies! Only, it didn’t turn out to be.

Minutes later, Deadpool segues into the highway scene we’re already familiar with – the one where he jumps into a van full of bad guys who in the hands of the Merc with a Mouth, will soon suffer or die in outrageously violent and sometimes funny ways. From there, Deadpool goes about his origin story through a few flashbacks, encounters the two X-men who would become his sidekicks and then assures the audience that his movie is actually a love story. Much like Peter Parker’s story years before, this is also about a girl – Vanessa, played the very hot Morena Baccarin.

It’s definitely inferior to Spider-Man, but it is also lots of fun. Deadpool is irreverent, self-aware, shockingly juvenile and does with plenty of violence. Our titular character also breaks the fourth wall every once in a while. That said, it still feels lacking and tame in some way as compared to some recent films of the genre. James Gunn’s Super is far crazier; his Guardians of the Galaxy has that one sequence that’s infinitely funnier than anything here (not to mention that it’s followed by a touchingly poignant final battle). In terms of action and violence, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass is more, uhm, kickass – fluid camerawork, great choreography and a boss fight that’s brutal as fuck. And despite Deadpool‘s hard R-Rating, the nudity is of the blink-and-you-miss-it variety. No, exposed butt doesn’t count.

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Okay, Deadpool may not have that many wow moments, but on the plus side, the fight scenes are mostly coherent – better than in any of those Michael Bay atrocities, better than the expertly choreographed, but poorly shot and badly edited fight scenes we saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

For what it is, which is an adequately faithful adaptation of the comics, Deadpool is ultramega OK. “The real heroes here” did a fine job taking from a variety of source materials, putting in the right amount of Deadpool-ness they need and adding their own sensibilities to come up with their own definitive version of the fourth-wall breaking Merc. The result is a film that ticks all the fanboys’ check boxes and hardly strays from the character’s established conventions, which are not quite conventional – at least within the current trend in comic book movie adaptations.

Of all the in-jokes and pop culture references here, his jab at Hugh Jackman/Wolverine is the one I like the most. A character Fox love so much – Wolverine appeared on almost every X-Men movie and pretty much shoved everyone else to the sidelines. And yet, six movies in and Wolverine still has to make one memorable onscreen kill.

Deadpool – 10, Wolverine – 0

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