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TV Bloodbath Pt 3: The CW and CBS

Perhaps one of the most genre friendly networks around turned out to be The CW.  And this year they really are the geek friendliest place on television.

The CW

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The CW kept nearly its entire lineup intact, nixing only two series, Hart of Dixie (which I didn’t even know existed) and The Messengers which only just started last month and tanked in the ratings dept.  If you didn’t get a chance to watch the whole 4 episodes or so that aired, the series was about regular people who realize they are fallen angels assigned to stop the apocalypse.

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The shows they are keeping though include Arrow, The Flash (considered one of the best comic book series on TV or around really,) The Vampire Diaries (which is losing lead actress Nina Dobrev), that shows spin off The Originals, newcomer (and one of my faves) iZombie, and the juggernaut that is Supernatural which is entering its 11th season (making it one of the longest running horror series EVER.)

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CBS

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CBS has a lot of series still left undecided on the renewal front yet.  One of those is Elementary, the US version of Sherlock from the UK (a modernized version of the Sherlock Holmes story.)  The series has lost a lot of ratings points over the last season so it’s still bubbled.   Another bubble show is The Good Wife which has a rabid fanbase (and bonus Alan Cumming.)

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Two series that are for sure getting renewed are the Robert Patrick headed Scorpion (geeks vs crime) and the on going nerd face that is Big Bang Theory (no matter how much we wish it would go away.)

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Cancel wise CBS ended Two and a Half Men after a long and eventful run and it also said goodbye to the Mentalist.

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It’s also important to point out that CBS has no less than three NCIS series now going and two CSI’s.  CBS needs to think about changing its name to CNCISI.

And now lets play do you remember:  Do you remember when Corey Feldman starred in Big Bang Theory back when it was on the first time and called something else, the oh so loving Dweebs.  Please, explain to me how this isn’t the same show.  Here’s a site with a nice write up about the series as well as the pilot episode.  It was also aired on CBS.  It only lasted a season though.

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The TV Bloodbath Part 2: NBC & FOX

After the news from ABC on who lived and who didn’t for next season we’re getting the announcements from FOX and NBC on who didn’t make it.

As I’m writing this I’m sort of amazed by how many of these shows that weren’t renewed I’d never even heard of.  And there are a lot of them.  You have to wonder why they even bothered with them if they weren’t going to try and advertise them as part of their line up.  Most of these are comedy 1/2 sitcoms which seems to be the equivalent of popcorn now for network television.  Quick to make, quick to eat, and you don’t really remember how many kernels you chewed up afterward.  And there’s a lot of  hot air involved.

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NBC not surprisingly has sent Constantine to the hell of cancellation.  The show, while loved by fans, was given the death spot of late Friday night (the same spot that killed Dracula.)  Twitter has taken up the call to try and save the series and has been trying for a few weeks now as they waited for word on the series fate.  #SaveConstantine is now the call to arms.

Personally I think Constantine would be well served on Hulu or Netflix.  With the success of Daredevil it’s evident that a show like Constantine would thrive if given the opportunity.  There’s hope his can happen, so let’s keep the faith.

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Political thrillers on NBC didn’t do very well (unless you lump The Blacklist into this category which will be returning.)  Allegiance (the NBC equivalent of The Americans) is gone.  So is the Katherine Heigl series State of Affairs (which I couldn’t even tell you which night it was on.)  Neither of these had more than a handful of episodes aired.

Hannibal is returning in June for a third season, so we won’t know if a 4th is in the offering until later.

FOX

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FOX has said no more to The Following.  The series that started out strong started losing ratings, and this last season saw the lead cult leader Joe Carroll played by James Purefoy (who is heading to a new series based on the works of Joe R Lansdale) executed.  The series will rap up this month but has some rumors swirling about looking for a new home on Netflix or Hulu.

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Backstrom is also canceled.  Rainn Wilson’s new series that I always saw as an attempt to remake House as a detective but no where near as likable couldn’t find an audience.  After not being able to make it through the pilot all the way this was not surprising to me.

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Oh, and don’t forget one of the biggest failures in network TV history happened for Fox earlier this year with Utopia.  The reality series died fast after costing the network a LOT of money.

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The renewals though for Fox are surprising.  Sleepy Hollow made it for a 3rd season.  So did Gotham (which was one of the first renewal announcements.)  The Last Man On Earth is also coming back as is fan favorite Bob’s Burgers.

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In the Jesus will it ever end category we have The Simpsons and amazingly enough Bones for an 11th season.  Family Guy is actually not confirmed yet nor is American Idol.

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We’ll be back with more of the winners and losers of the TV war!

 

 

 

Rule 1: The Moffat Lies – Osgood Lives!!

Yep, you knew it was probably true.  At the end of Peter Capaldi’s final season a fan favorite met their end…and no I’m not talking about Soldier Boy.  I’m talking about Osgood who, after a possible invite to see all of “time and space” our favorite fangirl was puffed into nothing by a mad Missy.

After much speculation and theories about Zygon doubles and who the real Osgood was we’ve got a the reveal that Osgood is back and she’s bringing the Zygon’s with her.  See below for the press release and commence fangirling for the fangirl!!!

BBC AMERICA’S DOCTOR WHO ANNOUNCES DOUBLE TROUBLE AS OSGOOD TAKES ON THE TERRIFYING ZYGONS

 

UNIT scientist Osgood, played by Ingrid Oliver, returns to Doctor Who for season nine. Having been killed by Missy (Michelle Gomez) in the show’s season eight finale ‘Death in Heaven’, Steven Moffat decides to bring back the Doctor’s biggest fan.

Steven Moffat, lead writer and Executive Producer, said: “Osgood is back, fresh from her recent murder at the end of last series. We recently confirmed that Osgood was definitely dead and not returning – but in a show about time travel, anything can happen. The brilliant Ingrid Oliver is back in action. This time though, can the Doctor trust his number one fan?”

The last time we saw Osgood as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart’s assistant was with the Twelfth Doctor during an invasion of Earth by an army of Cybermen led by a new, female incarnation of the Master. This time she’s back in action and comes face-to-face with the shape-shifting extra-terrestrial Zygons, as they also return for the new season. They last appeared in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ for the show’s 50th anniversary episode.

Speaking on set, Ingrid Oliver commented on her reappearance: “As every actor who’s worked on Doctor Who will tell you, there’s always the secret hope you’ll get the call asking you to come back. To actually receive that call is both unexpected and brilliant. The word ‘honour’ gets banded about a lot, but it really is, it’s an honour. Especially because I was so sure Osgood was a gonner after the last series!”

The two-part episode is currently being filmed in Cardiff, Wales, and is written by Peter Harness (Doctor Who – ‘Kill the Moon’, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Wallander), produced by Peter Bennett and directed by Daniel Nettheim (Line of Duty, Glue).

Also joining Peter Capaldi (The Doctor) and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) and confirmed for guest roles in the double episode is Jemma Redgrave, Jaye Griffiths, Cleopatra Dickens, Sasha Dickens, Abhishek Singh, Todd Kramer, Jill Winternitz, Nicholas Asbury, Jack Parker and Aidan Cook.

The Cancelled and Renewed of TV Part 1 ABC

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With summer starting and falls TV seasons coming to a close, the word on your favorite and not so favorite shows fates has started to be released.  Here’s what we know so far about ABC

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Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a 3rd season (not surprising.)  But what’s actually surprising is that Agent Carter is also renewed.  We at Fangirl LOVE Agent Carter and we know that many comic fans loved the series too.  But there was some doubt that a 2nd season would happen for the series as it announced to be on the bubble for a while.  What will be interesting is how much face time we will have for Howard Stark in season 2 as actor Dominic Cooper is going to be starring in AMC’s comic series Preacher as the lead.

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Another surprise renewal leaves us singing with Galavant getting picked up for a 2nd season!!  Long live the Kings Beard!!!  There was a lot of doubt this would happen even though Galavant was epic in its awesomeness.  We love this show and are so happy to hear those dulcet tones of renewal.

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Once Upon a Time is also coming back for another season (not so surprising.)  Also not surprising but uncertain on if it’s female lead will be back is Castle.  Nathan Fillion will return for another season but Stana Katic may decide to bow out.  We’ll keep you posted.

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And in the MY GOD WILL IT EVER END column we have Grey’s Anatomy for a 12th season….and somehow…America’s Funniest Home Videos (which is nearly 30 years old!)

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Sadly not making it is Forever, which didn’t live up to the title.  The series was actually good but couldn’t find an audience.  It, much like the VERY similar series New Amsterdam, only made it a season.  Also not living up to the title is Resurrection, which will bow out after two seasons.  Since this show is now ending I sort of have to do the trailer compare for you of them.  Because honestly…same show.

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Here’s Forever’s intro:

Here’s New Amsterdam:

Thoughts?

The Bride of Hannibal…this is epic

By Jessica Dwyer

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Last season (so so long ago…) Hannibal finished in a bloodbath of epic proportions.  The good doctor managed to cleave his way through every obstacle that came his way and in the end escaped with the psychologist who had possibly stolen his heart.  While it was Bedelia Du Maurier may not be Will Graham, she is perfect match for the charismatic cannibal.  So much so that she defeated him in the end (by surviving and keeping his interest), while also running away with him.

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Bedelia’s an interesting character in that (like Harley Quinn…one not so different from her actually) she was created for the TV series, not an original character in the books.  She’s also a psychologist who seems to fall for her obviously unhinged patient who likes to dress in snazzy suits and kill people, usually while smiling.  She quickly became a fan favorite because she was just as urban, smart, and mysterious as Hannibal himself.  Gillian Anderson played her just as cool as Mads Mikkelsen does as Hannibal.

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As the below trailer shows, come June 4th we’re going to see where Hannibal and Bedelia wound up (Italy) and the possibility that they are actually married (I’m not sure I’m believing that happened for real.)  But the killer couple is certainly int their element.

Now I have a couple of things I’m going to ponder here.

1.  I think we’re finally going to see Bedelia’s attack by her patient happen in a flashback.  And I think we’re going to see that in fact she fought back and killed said patient (not Hannibal as many people assume) and Hannibal merely helped her cover it up. I think Bedelia has that killer edge just as Hannibal does.

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2.  Even though Bedelia is given regular status this season I don’t think she’s going to make it.  Firstly we’ve got to get to the Red Dragon portion of the story…something that we know is going to happen as the awesome Richard Armitage has been cast as Francis Dolarhyde and has already finished filming the season.  That story takes place after Lecter is captured and most likely alone.  I’m going to hazard this guess:  Bedelia dies during an FBI raid on Hannibal’s location.  I don’t know why but that’s what I”m feeling.  I don’t think he kills her…but I could be wrong.

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This would lead to he and Will once again coming into contact and it would also leave him (somewhat) emotionally damaged from losing one of the few “friends” he has left alive…and one who understands him just as much as Will…who chose not to run off with him.  I think that loyalty means a lot to Lecter and to lose it such a fashion would leave him vulnerable and open to the wiles of another FBI Agent (trainee) who may be waiting in the wings for another season.

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What do you think about my theory?  What do you think about the freaking badassery that is Gillian Anderson and Mads Mikkelsen together on screen?  And what about poor Will?  Also, what the hell do you think Chilton is going to look like now?

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May the 4th is a great day to be a girl

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May the 4th is a great day to be a girl!

By Jessica Dwyer

Today was May the 4th, a day that has due to it’s similar sound, become forever associated with Star Wars and the line May the Force Be With You.  Star Wars celebrations, meme’s, merch sales, all of it happens today.  But this year it was extra special as we’ve got a new Star Wars movie coming this Christmas.   So today turned out to be a pretty special news day for fans of one of the biggest sci-fi franchises in the history of everything.

But the really big news, at least to me, was the casting info that was finally confirmed for The Force Awakens which hits screens later this year.  Way back when the original cast list was released a lot of people scrambled upon the “There’s not enough women!  Star Wars is still unfair to girls!” train.  I always had a problem with people saying that because I never ever though that was true.

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Princess Leia was always represented as a strong and independent woman.  She was never truly a damsel in distress.  People seem to forget that due to the Slave Leia look.  But they also forget that Leia turned that around on Jabba and strangled him with the chain he tried to bind her with.  She alone represented an amazing character in a genre that typically didn’t have women with that sort of strength…especially when sporting the title Princess in front of their name.

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It wasn’t just Leia in the original films that represented a strong female character.  The very leader of the rebellion, Mon Mothma, was a strong female leader and political figure in the senate before taking on the entire Empire.  This seems to slip some peoples minds too.  Not to mention the fiction series characters like Mara Jade (who, while not considered cannon anymore possibly, is still awesome.)  The prequels and cartoon series have also given us some memorable strong females too, actually too many to list here.

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These new films, starting with the Force Awakens appear to give us some truly epic female characters on both sides of the fence.  Daisy Ridley as Rey appears to be the lead character firstly (where all previous Star Wars films have focused on a male protagonist.)  We also have Lupita Nyong’o playing an alien pirate named Maz Kanata.

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But the one that truly has me the most excited is Gwendoline Christie, playing for the first time ever on film, a female Stormtrooper.  Not only is she a female stormtrooper, she’s the ChromeTrooper that made everyone’s eyes grow wide at first glance in the trailer.  Captain Phasma is her name and she’s part of a special group of troopers called The First Order.

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You’ll most likely know Christie from Game of Thrones where she plays the fan favorite Brienne of Tarth who holds her own quite well against all of the boys.  Brienne is another character breaking ground in both our world and the world of Westeros.  Her story in Game of Thrones is one of the most fascinating to watch play out due to her nature and the nature of those she’s around.  And Christie brings a nobility to the role and a humanity that could have been lost in trying to keep the character hardened and unemotional.

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This all adds up to me being stoked about this character.  Not only have we never had a female trooper on screen but we’ve never had a truly epic female Empire villain (which I’m REALLY hoping she stays as.)  Yes yes, I know you’re going to say “what about the bounty hunters or that shape shifter?”  Really?  How long was their screen time firstly?  And second, they were independent contractors, NOT a true member of the Empire’s crew.

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So yes, Star Wars The Force Awakens promises to be not only one of the biggest movies of the year (you already know it’s going to break every record out there) but it’s also breaking new ground for women in the genre that it helped create.  The girls have arrived and they are going to give the boys a run for their money and show them their sabers are just as big….and they know how to use em.

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Ozploitation: the wonderful world of Australian Exploitation Cinema

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In 2008 a new word entered the vocabulary of the cinema fan. A portmanteau of the slang for Australian, and the word used to describe low-budget trash cinema. The word was Ozploitation, and it was coined by a dedicated film researcher named Mark Hartley. Hartley had spent years laying the groundwork for what would become one of the best film documentaries in recent years: Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

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Not Quite Hollywood covers the New Wave of Australian cinema by looking not at those films deemed “worthy” by critics and festivals, but instead looking at those considered to be trash, filth, and with a wide exploitative streak. Hartley charts how Australian cinema rapidly evolved into two streams. On one hand, there was the artistic movement as typified by Walkabout (Dir: Nicholas Roeg, 1971), Picnic At Hanging Rock (Dir: Peter Weir, 1975), and Breaker Morant (Dir: Bruce Beresford, 1980).

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On the second, there was low-budget, cheap and nasty, tits and violence movies as typified by Stork (Dir: Tim Burstall, 1971) The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (Dir: Bruce Beresford, 1972), Stone (Dir: Sandy Harbutt, 1974), Mad Max (Dir: George Miller, 1979) and Turkey Shoot (Dir: Brian Trenchard-Smith, 1982).

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Not Quite Hollywood breaks into three main sections, each dealing with a different exploitative hook. The first dealt with nudity and vulgarity; the second with horror and violence; the final section covered action movies. In each section Hartley presents extensive interviews with producers, directors, actors and actresses. There is something vibrant and enlivening of how Hartley edits these interviews together with clips from the movies, with a strong soundtrack lacing it all together.

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According to Wikipedia, Hartley spent 5 years accumulating 100 hours of interviews and 150 hours of clips, which would eventually be assembled into the documentary. One of the key reasons this film got made is Quentin Tarantino, who was a fan of exploitation cinema, and personally gave hours of interviews. As a result of these insider interviews, the film presents fascinating behind-the-scenes details into so many obscure and half-remembered films.

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Most of all, Not Quite Hollywood provides an always entertaining “hit-list” of must-see movies. For cinephiles without pretentions, there is much to love here, from the earliest 1970s new wave such as Wake In Fright (Dir: Ted Kotcheff, 1971), to brooding intelligent horror such as Long Weekend (Dir: Colin Eggleston, 1978), and on to glossy monster movies like Razorback (Dir: Russell Mulcahy, 1984).

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Not Quite Hollywood should be sought out by any serious fan of cinema who wishes to look at films that have fallen by the wayside of traditional filmic analysis. You will find, in this documentary, a vibrant and energetic sense of fun that is missing from so many other works, and it’s really infectious. So much so, that over the next couple of months we’ll be taking a look at a few select works of classic Ozploitation. These will include Wake In Fright (1971), Stone (1974) Patrick (1978), Long Weekend (1978), Mad Max (1979) Thirst (1979), The Chain Reaction (1979) Road Games (1981), Turkey Shoot (1981) Razorback (1984), Dark Age (1986) and Fair Game (1987).

DC vs Marvel: Episode II: The Movies

DC vs Marvel: Episode II: The Movies

By Erik Smith

Who remembers Columbo, the rumpled detective, played by Peter Falk? The unique thing (at the time) about the show, was that each episode began by showing us the killer, plotting and committing murder. There is no real mystery. The fun for the audience was in watching Columbo solve the crime.

What does that have to do with DC vs Marvel? Well, when it comes to the movies, there is no mystery. Marvel wins. Is there anyone who will dispute that? I didn’t think so. What follows is my Columbo-esque investigation into the cinematic universes of some of our favorite (and not so favorite) heroes.

For the sake of clarification, when I say “Marvel movie,” I am talking about any film based on a Marvel comics property. “Marvel Studios movie” means, well, a flick made specifically by Marvel Studios. Also, I am ignoring anything made before the year I was born, which means the old serials. Also also, I’m talking about theatrically released movies. Finally, I will be concentrating on superhero and anti-hero movies (this will not be all inclusive), though I will mention some of the other DC and Marvel based movies, at the end.

As I was preparing to write this, I looked for lists of all DC and Marvel movies, so I would like to start with a few random things, that I found interesting.

The oldest movie (taking into account the rules above) is Batman: The Movie, from 1966.

DC’s next movie was Superman, in 1978.

DC released 6 movies, before Marvel’s first film, Howard the duck, in 1986.

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Three years later came The Punisher (1989).

DC has only had 8 heroes/teams starring in their own movies. (I’m not counting Watchmen.)

Marvel has had 14.
There have been 8 Batman movies and 6 Superman movies.

Okay. With that out of the way, let’s begin. As with Episode I, we will start with DC.

Batman is arguably DC’s most successful franchise. Beginning in 1966, with Batman: The Movie, which was intended as a pilot for the TV show. Scheduling issues caused this flick to appear between seasons one and two. Great, campy fun, this isn’t a bad way to start 46 years of Batman on the big screen.

We had to wait 23 years for our next fix. Some would argue that Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman is the best of the bunch.

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I like this one, well enough, but it feels more like a Jack Nicholson/Joker movie, than a Batman movie, to me. Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne/Batman is fantastic, and Burton’s directing is, well, Burtonesque. It was very nice to see the material taken seriously, for the first time.

The follow-up, Batman Returns (1992), was more of the same. Too much more, if you ask me. The cast is great, but there is just way too much going on. And, the Burton factor is cranked up to 11. It’s not bad, but it didn’t quite live up to the promise of the first one.

Of course, compared to Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997), Burton’s films are pure gold. I don’t know what Joel Schumacher, and the rest of the people involved, thought that they were doing, but it hurts my head, just thinking about these movies. If they were trying to return to the fun of the 1966 movie, they failed, epically. Two words: Bat Nipples.

This brings us to the age of Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale. Batman Begins (2005) is the darkest version yet. The stellar cast (Liam Neeson! Gary Oldman!!!) help to raise the simple “comic book movie” to new levels of cinematic art. Sure, it’s just another origin story, but it delves deeper into the early years of Bruce Wayne/Batman, than any previous outing. Except for a “Batman voice,” that gets worse with each movie, Bale is easily my favorite actor in this role.

The Dark Knight (2008). Best. Batman. Movie. Ever. Due, in large part (completely?), to Heath Ledger’s amazing portrayal of Joker. Though underutilized, Two-Face looks fantastic. Thought the movie drags at times, overall it is a superior piece of work.

Here’s where things get dicey. I don’t like The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The plot is ridiculous. The characters are all whiny. It’s a jumbled mess. A disappointing ending to the trilogy.

Okay. I’m burning up my allowable word count, so I’m going to condense some things.

Superman (1978) & Superman II (1980). A nice pair of movies. Christopher Reeve does a great job as Clark Kent/Superman. Terence Stamp is a wonderful Zod. There are problems. I’ve never gotten behind the whole “reversing the earth’s rotation to turn back time” thing. Or the memory erasing kiss.

Superman III (1983), Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, and Superman Returns (2006). All crap.

I’m one of the few people (seemingly) who likes Man Of Steel (2013).

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It’s not perfect, but I like Henry Cavill, and Michael Shannon is an amazing Zod. On the other hand, Pa Kent is a moron. Despite it’s faults, I approve of this movie.

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Rounding out the DC heroes, we have decent movies, like Swamp Thing (1982), and, well…that might be it.

Steel (1997), Catwoman (2004), Jonah Hex (2010), and Green Lantern (2011) all fall short. (For the record, I enjoy Green Lantern, despite it’s many faults.)

DC has done wonders with their non-superhero movies. Road To Perdition (2002), A History of Violence (2005), and V For Vendetta (2006) are all great films.

Moving on to Marvel, who got off to a late, and rough, start. Howard the Duck (1986), The Punisher (1989), and Captain America (1990) are all bad, all the time.

In 1998 we got Blade, and proof that we could get a decent movie, based on a Marvel character. The Blade trilogy has some problems, but it’s not too bad, in the end.

X-Men (2000). Wow. What a thrill, seeing these characters live, on the big screen. The original trilogy has plenty of problems, but, well, see the previous sentence. X-Men: First Class (2011) is my favorite, mutant movie, so far. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) has some incredible scenes, but I found some of the storytelling to be annoying.

Spider-Man(2002). Again, with the wow. Not for the movie, or even the trilogy, but for finally getting to see old Web Head in theaters. The second movie is the best of the three, but it can’t make up for the crapfest that is the third.

You want some more controversy? I think that The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), and it’s sequel, are superior to the Raimi films.

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In 2008, Marvel Studios came on the scene, with Iron Man, and everything changed.

 With creative control over their own characters, and a solid, far reaching plan, Marvel Studios is showing DC how it’s done. (Unfortunately, DC doesn’t seem to be paying attention.) Hell, 2014 gave us the best Marvel Studios movies, to date: Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

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The future looks bright, for Marvel Studios, with an upcoming slate of movies that looks to be as varied and exciting as what we have already seen. The addition of Spider-Man to the stable is just icing on the cake.

As for the rest of the Marvel characters, they haven’t lived up to their potential. Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Daredevil, The Fantastic Four; all have been rather disappointing.

I think that about covers it. At least, as much as my word count allows. Without Marvel Studios, it might be a closer call, but, thank Cthulhu, that is not a world we live in. Marvel is clearly the winner here, putting them at 2-0. Will they continue their winning streak, when I cover TV, in the next episode? Tune in next time, to find out.

Oh. One more thing, ma’am. (That’s a Columbo reference, people.) I just wanted to say, I can’t wait to see Ant-Man.

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