Excited to welcome A.Ron Hubbard of Bald Move back into the fold this week, officially making this a joint Bald Move / Podcastica production. Grab your ceramic cartoon character vaporizer and let’s celebrate! P.S. This episode has us examining the nature of healthy and unhealthy relationships in a way that made me (Jason) feel like I’m being tricked into therapy. Slightly uncomfortable, yet cathartic.
Jim and I had the pleasure of taking a European vacation with Spider-Man: Far From Home. Just when you wonder how Marvel will pick up the pieces and continue from Endgame, the drop a super fun Spider-Man sequel on us that manages to be just as delightful as the first with even more heart. Tom Holland was born to…
Jim and I have seen the climax to a decade’s worth of world building in the MCU, Avengers: Endgame, and would like to certify it 100% awesome. Sure, you might quibble with a few cameos you don’t recognize, and the more you’re capable of rolling with the “Rule of Cool” the more you’ll appreciate the spectacle they’re putting on screen. But it’s hard to imagine any fan of superhero movies not respecting what an accomplishment this is; to get so many people across the globe to care about and invest in these characters through 20+ movies that they’ll sit in the dark for 3+ hours laughing and crying with them. How does Marvel top this? Can’t wait to find out.
We have seen the latest Marvel super extravaganza, Captain Marvel, and come away with the suspicion that it’s missing something from the usual Marvel formula. If anything, it feels DC-esque in the way it’s attempting to shoe horn in a new, unknown super power into the MCU. Uninspired fights, plot twists that are seen for miles away, and lacking engaging supporting characters (aside from Jackson’s Nick Fury, whom Brie’s Marvel has very good chemistry with) that give the main character emotional stakes, Captain Marvel is good, perhaps, but not great, and maybe that’s overselling it.
Jim and I haven’t finished The Punisher season 2 yet, but we’ve seen enough to tap out. As we discuss in our spoiler filled review, The Punisher has the chief sin of these Marvel/Netflix collaborations; a bloated 13 episode runtime, and adds to it ludicrous character details and plot-points until this grimdark ultra-violent fantasy pushes through the drama boundary and hits unintentional comedy. 8 episodes in, we still don’t know why we should care about Amy, or what makes the Pilgrim tick, or why Frank let Russo off the hook when he should be worm food except, oh right, this is a 13 episode season instead of a more reasonable 8-10 episode season and if things made sense and had dramatic urgency they’d be five hours of content short.
We have seen Deadpool 2! If you saw Deadpool, and liked it, well, here is more of it. It is arguably even better, or at any rate, just as good. We loved Deadpool, and had an even better time with 2. There are more jokes, more over the top action, better cameos, and truly shocking and original things put on screen that you’re just not going to see in other franchises, all done in a very brisk, slick, and above all else, entertaining fashion. The trailer does not ruin this film, there are plenty of fresh jokes and action you’ve never seen. If you didn’t like Deadpool, nothing here is going to change your mind.
It took ten years of careful buildup to make the massive undertaking that is Avengers: Infinity War possible, but was all the effort worth it? Hell, yes. This is hands down the most epic comic book film ever made, and it is full to bursting with Marvel Studios hallmarks; funny interactions within the heroes, inventive and imaginative fight scenes, jaw-dropping, awesome world and universe building, and genuine character beats. The final act contains some effective gut punches that Jim and I are both more than a little skeptical of, but in the moment really work well, and can only really be judged after we see what comes next. At this point, I’m not willing to bet against Marvel.
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a great super hero film, and an even better launching point into interesting discussions about the politics of colonialism and liberation. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the Panther himself, and Michael B. Jordan as the best Marvel villain since Magneto, the movie is a constant challenge to one’s complacency and sense of justice. Wakanda looks amazing, the cast is fantastic, the world they are building is both visually and philosophically amazing, to the point that one of the films weaknesses is that we were desperate to learn and know more.
Jason and A.Ron wrap up a satisfying first season of FX’s Legion with a full accounting of the finale episode, “Chapter 8”. Bad guys are humanized, suave swingers hit the road, and David seems to find peace of mind and a bit of happiness… but… well, this is Legion and there is that post-credits sequence. All this plus feedback and emerging news on season two! Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next year!
FX’s Legion delivers a fantastic penultimate episode with “Chapter 7”. Humor, action, character development, jaw dropping visuals, Legion managed to deliver the goods while building suspense as we head into the final episode of the first season. Plus, we got a ton more information about the identity of David’s parasite, David’s father, and Melanie’s husband Oliver. More Jemaine Clement is never a bad thing!