The Reviewinator: Creed (2015)

creedposterRemember 25 years ago when Rocky V came out, and it was the last one? And then 16 years later Rocky Balboa came out and it was the last, last one? Well, it’s now 9 years after that, and we have the next installment in the Rocky franchise, and while it may or may not be the last, last, last one, it’s certainly better than the two that came before it.

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Before They Were Stars: Rachel McAdams on “Earth: The Final Conflict

If you’re a fellow Canuck, you might remember Earth: The Final Conflict, which aired on Canadian television in the late 1990s and could basically be described as a low-budget Canuck version of Star Trek. The show was actually assembled out of unused ideas from Gene Roddenberry, because after he died, Rodenberry’s widow made sure these ideas could still be turned into a series. While Earth: Final Conflict did last five seasons, it was notorious for having major turnover with its main characters constantly disappearing from the show due to behind-the-scenes problems. Anyway, the show is also notable for providing one of the earliest acting jobs for an aspiring young Canadian actress named Rachel McAdams, who guest-starred on a 2002 episode.

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Last Link of the Day: Take a Stroll to the Snack Bar

I can’t stop watching this. Watch it until the end. Then watch it again. And again.

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Sometimes I want to punch you in your perfect teeth.

Here it is at last: the first official trailer for Captain America: Civil War. And I don’t know how to feel about it, guys. On the one hand, I still really enjoy the Marvel movies. I’ve liked far more of them than I’ve disliked, and with only a couple of exceptions, I think the films of Marvel Phase 2 have been some of the best yet, and even some of the best superhero movies ever made, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier being right near the top of the list. But Avengers: Age of Ultron wasn’t especially awesome (though I maintain that it wasn’t a bad movie), and it seemed as though one of the movie’s failings was that it felt overstuffed. With the first Avengers film, Marvel had the advantage of setting up every character over several movies. By the time the crossover happened, we were already quite familiar with the villain, and we’d even been introduced to Hawkeye in the first Thor (remember that?). But in Age of Ultron, we had to give every one of the main characters an arc, plus an arc for secondary characters like Black Widow and Hawkeye, and then introduce new characters like Ultron, Vision, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch on top of that. Too many cooks! So while the trailer for Civil War definitely looks badass, there appears to only be one character in it (General Ross) who isn’t a superhero. Furthermore, there’s the question of carry-over continuity. At this point, it’s clear that neither Captain America nor Iron Man will die before the big, gigantic conclusion that is The Avengers: Infinity War. This trailer seems to show War Machine all limp on the ground – is he dead? I doubt it. Will anyone die? I’d be surprised. This is the problem with the Marvel films at this point. They’ve introduced so many characters, but they’re not removing any of them. Ideally, these films should have a rotating cast of characters, but they don’t, and there’s just no tension when they all feel untouchable. Spoiler alert, but the only character of note who died in Age of Ultron was a character they introduced for that film, and nobody really cared.  Age of Ultron had no consequence on the greater MCU, and that’s the problem, guys. This is why I’m hesitant to get invested in Civil War: too many characters, but no consequences. Hell, we see Black Panther in this trailer, and he looks amazing, but we know he’s getting his own movie, so of course he’ll make it out just fine.

But on the flip side, this looks like the perfect culmination to the tension that’s been developing between the characters and the world they inhabit. It’s a good follow-up to The Winter Soldier‘s plot about SHIELD keeping NSA-style tabs on everybody, about Cap and Iron Man constantly in a tug-of-war over values, about the whole Bucky plot that has been going on since 2011. The fight between Cap, Iron Man and Winter Soldier looks awesome. And it’s being directed by the guys who did The Winter Soldier, which is far and away one of the best Marvel movies yet. So there it is.

Captain America: Civil War comes out May 6, 2016.

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Before They Were Stars: Mark Ruffalo in “Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance”

No, they’re not making a sequel to the Tarsem Singh-directed Snow White adaptation from three years ago. Mirror, Mirror was a 1990 horror film about a mirror which unleashes an evil demon and it somehow managed to spawn three sequels. A young Mark Ruffalo made an early acting appearance in the first sequel, Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance, and pops halfway through the film when the heroine has a vision of the studly Ruffalo emerging from the demonically possessed mirror. Believe it or not, Ruffalo returned again to play an entirely different role in the next sequel, Mirror, Mirror III: The Voyeur! Well, if that whole Marvel Universe thing doesn’t work for Mr. Ruffalo, he always has the Mirror, Mirror franchise to fall back upon.

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Last Link of the Day: Pita!

Am I the only person who thought it was odd that Pita was a baker, but he didn’t make pita? The answer: probably.

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He called for a monster

Well, this is not at all what I was expecting from a movie called A Monster Calls. Based on the title and the fact that the director also did The Orphanage, I thought for sure that this would be a movie with at least shades of horror to it. But no, this looks like My Neighbour Totoro with an ent voiced by Liam Neeson…which sounds awesome, actually! I may not have been the biggest fan of The Impossible, but I loved The Orphanage so much that director J.A. Bayona is still high up in my good books, and this trailer looks charming enough that I’ll gladly give this a shot. And hey, maybe if we’re lucky, the Neeson ent will go on a rampage.

A Monster Calls comes out October 16, 2016.

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Review: Jessica Jones (Season 1, Episode 1)

I wasn’t an outspoken fan of Daredevil‘s first season so why would I dip another toe into the Marvel Television universe’s pond? Simply put, a female protagonist and film noir. Sure, they dabbled in Age of Ultron with flashbacks to Black Widow’s neutered past but she is basically a soldier-for-hire. I doubt her backstory merits exploration. For their effort, Jessica Jones is a landmark show for Marvel on Netflix: equal parts Jake Gittes, Sarah Silverman and Ellen Ripley.

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Before They Were Stars: Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett in Irish Whip Wrestling

As a wrestling fan, it’s tough to resist the urge to post older footage of current World Wrestling Entertainment superstars competing in gymnasiums in front of 100 people before they were famous. This clip originates from Irish Whip Wrestling (clever name), an independent promotion from Ireland which was the launching pad for the most famous Irish wrestler in the world: current WWE champion Sheamus. Competing under his original name, Sheamus O’Shaunessy, he faces an English wrestler named Stu Sanders, who would also find fame in WWE as “Wade Barrett”. Oh, and the Scottish guy you hear on commentary is Drew Galloway, who competed in WWE as “Drew MacIntyre”.

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Last Link of the Day: Smoke Biscuits

I wonder if this is bad for your health. Probably not, right?

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