Vice, is a satirical bio pic written and directed by Adam McKay detailing the life and rise of the 46th Vice President Dick Cheney. It stars Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and narrated by Jesse Plemons, whose connection to the story becomes quite the surprise.
Aquaman, starring Jason Mamoa and directed by James Wan, is the sixth movie in DC’s cinematic universe known as the DC Extended Universe or DCEU.
To get one thing out of the way, the DCEU’s record in films has been shaky at best and downright awful at worst. So it’s actually quite surprising that the film starring what is considered the lamest superhero in DC comics may be the best movie in all the series. And no, I don’t mean it in a “well compared to something like Suicide Squad or Justice League it has to be good” kind of way. This movie is legitimately fun.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated film directed by Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothman and Peter Ramsey based on the comic starring Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), the second character to bear the mantle of Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe.
As I mentioned before in my review of Gargoyles what we watch as children can have long lasting impacts in our creative tastes. For instance, when growing up I definitely leaned heavily into fantasy having enjoyed books like The Hobbit or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and read such series as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain the Redwall series and Harry Potter.
Looking back, one thing I noticed was that even though I do really enjoy science fiction, I didn’t read much science fiction growing up. I mean, I read plenty of Jules Verne but my experiences with sci-fi were usually through television and films. Things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Farscape etc. So growing up I didn’t read things like The Giver or Fahrenheit 451, it was only later in life that I started reading the works of Isaac Asimov or Philip K. Dick.
So why am I mentioning this? Well, I believe it’s important to look into the things we didn’t initially read as it is to examine the things that we did. Paradoxical as that sounds, to look into classic works beyond the targeted demographic. And that is the topic of this examination, a book I hadn’t read until just a few days ago, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the heart-breaking news of the recent passing of Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan (The Man) Lee.
I could go into great detail on the adventures and career that made up his life. The partnership and conflicts he had with artist and fellow comic creator Jack Kirby. The way he was able to rather cleverly and sometimes accidentally circumnavigate The Comics Code. The way his wife Joan convinced him to stay in the industry. Basically there’s so much that could be said for him and his 95 years of life.
But I would much rather talk about what Stan and his work meant to me.
I’d like to tell you a story, once upon a time animation became the biggest commercial for young children in America. The shows were used to sell toys, which in turn would help pay for the animation used in making shows. This paved the way for merchandise-driven cartoons like The Transformers and G.I. Joe; from that same era came Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and from that came a whole lot of imitators. They did everything from sharks to dinosaurs in an attempt to get a piece of the success that TMNT was. The only thing more obvious than the imitation was the blatant commercialization.
This is what makes Gargoyles so unique in its approach, while merchandise did exist for the show.