movie reviews

Captain Marvel takes a while to click, but eventually comes together for a payoff

Carol Danvers has been a C-list character in Marvel Comics for most of her 50-year history. Only within the past seven years has she held the mantle of Captain Marvel that sells her as a pretty big addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Danvers has a convoluted comic book history, one that surely made her difficult to distill into something simpler for a movie. Yet like Tony Stark before her, the lack of a signature storyline made Danvers a blank slate for Marvel Studios and the five writers (including Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Nicole Perlman and Inside Out‘s Meg LaFauve) who took a crack at Captain Marvel‘s story.

A comic book overhaul in 2012 by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (who appropriately has a quick cameo in the movie) made Danvers a tougher, more accessible character fueled by all of the doubts and obstacles encountered throughout her life. That perseverance is what pushed her into becoming an elite fighter pilot and gave her the edge to stand as an equal with Captain America, Iron Man, and the other Avengers.

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Amusement Park Podcast: Captain Marvel Special Episode! Non-Spoilers and Spoilers

Captain Marvel has arrived! And with that, it feels like 2019 is finally beginning at the movies. The Oscars are done, people are seeing or have seen last year’s awards contenders, and wannabe blockbusters such as Alita: Battle Angel have fizzled out.

We do get into spoilers on our special episode of the Amusement Park Podcast. But that part of the discussion begins about halfway through the show, at the 21:40 mark. So be warned! And please come back and compare your thoughts on the movie after you’ve seen it.

Higher! Further! Faster!

My review of Captain Marvel can be read here

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You can also give us feedback at amusementparkpod@gmail.com and find us on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks for listening!

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Amusement Park Podcast 029: Arrowverse Crazyness! Plus, Spielberg vs. Netflix

The original plan was to build this week’s Amusement Park Podcast around reviewing Captain Marvel, which figured to be the big geek culture event of the week. Then, news of Arrow announcing it would end after Season 8 broke and there was suddenly another topic to which we had to devote some significant time.

So our Captain Marvel review and reaction will be in a separate, special episode.

Eight seasons is a formidable run for any TV show. But it seems especially notable for a superhero TV show, and Arrow opened the door for a lot of other superhero programming to walk through — and that’s just on the CW alone with The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and Supergirl anchoring that network. Arrow isn’t the show it once was — ultimately, it may have been too much of a Batman clone — and it’s probably bowing out at the right time.

We also dive into the Steven Spielberg vs. Netflix debate. I see where Spielberg is coming from. Someone needs to stick up for movie theaters and the experience they create. However, people increasingly prefer to watch movies at home if there’s a streaming option. To deny that is to deny the current moviegoing reality.

And I tip my cap to Seth Everett, who runs his own geek culture podcast titled Hall of Justice. It’s the show we hope the Amusement Park Podcast can come close to being someday. But Seth is also a sports guy who likes to let his geek flag fly, which is pretty cool. What a pleasant surprise to see him as a guest on DC Universe’s DC Daily show last week, and he interviewed the cast on his podcast.

Please leave a review and rating on iTunes for us and a like on our Facebook page to help spread the word. You can subscribe to the Amusement Park Podcast everywhere you find podcasts:

You can also give us feedback at amusementparkpod@gmail.com and find us on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks for listening!

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Overzealous Recycling 008: Welcome to this one-man show

This might be one of my more anti-social tendencies, but I enjoy going to the movies by myself. Mark Serrels planted his flag for solo moviegoing, calling it one of “life’s secret pleasures” in a piece for CNET, so I figured I’d share my feelings on the topic too.

— If you missed the last Overzealous Recycling, you can read it here 

Most people I know — and I presume most people you know — have a big hang-up about it, like going alone says something about you socially. Or maybe they just don’t like being by themselves in that kind of environment.

I totally understand. That was something I needed to get over too. And I feel the same way on a Friday or Saturday night, when it’s all couples at the theater. It feels awkward, especially if I’m unfortunate enough to be seated between two couples or groups. Most of my solo moviegoing is done during the day, and I imagine that’s the case for the majority of people who see a movie alone.

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Amusement Park Podcast 028: Oscars recap! Plus, True Detective, Doom Patrol and Trouble in Arrowverse

I’ve always been a fan of the Academy Awards, even when I wasn’t as much of a movie buff as I am now. Once upon a time, I let the Oscars dictate most of the movies I went to see. Now, it’s the other way around: I hope the Oscars reflect what I felt were the best movies of the past year.

For various reasons, I wasn’t as excited about the Oscars this year as I usually am. I didn’t even make an effort to see all of the Best Picture candidates, which I typically do. I had plenty of opportunity to see The Favourite, Green Book, and Roma, however. (And I’ll see them in the weeks to come.)

But there was still plenty to talk about with the Oscars, notably the show not having a host and a crowd-pleasing blockbuster like Black Panther being one of the Best Picture nominees.

— Show notes for Ep. 28 are available at the Amusement Park Podcast website —

We also dissected the Season 3 finale of True Detective. Overall, I enjoyed the season, especially Stephen Dorff’s performance as Roland West. The mystery was intriguing enough, though not the driving storyline for the season, as it turned out.

Please leave a review and rating on iTunes for us and a like on our Facebook page to help spread the word. You can subscribe to the Amusement Park Podcast everywhere you find podcasts:

You can also give us feedback at amusementparkpod@gmail.com and find us on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks for listening!

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Overzealous Recycling 007: Was that just a pose?

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I’ve been following a lot more people on Twitter recently, largely to try and get more views in my timeline. That’s increased the noise on my TweetDeck, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing as much stuff as I wanted to while trying to keep my follower count lean.

No, I haven’t been adding more conservative political views or anything like that. Most of the follows have been culture writers, especially people who either work in the comic book industry or cover it, to try and learn as much as I can for The Amusement Park Podcast or my own writing.

— If you missed the last Overzealous Recycling, you can read it here —

Along the way, I’ve noticed a few writers linking to their Muck Rack page, a database for journalists and public relations professionals. (I think it was Meg Downey, writing for DC Universe, who first got my attention.)

This reminded me that I created a Muck Rack page for myself a couple years ago. I had actually forgotten! I’m even a verified journalist there! My avatar was a photo of baseball player Munenori Kawasaki wearing a Cubs cap, which means I posted it in 2016. So I figured it was time to wipe off the cobwebs and update that thing.

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Amusement Park 027: True Detective, Doom Patrol and We Mourn the Punisher – and bonus thoughts

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The Season 3 finale of True Detective is on Sunday, so we try to get in some theories and reactions to the season on the latest Amusement Park Podcast.

Maybe Chris and I would’ve had a bit more fun had we checked in every week, but I think we managed to put a couple of guesses out there regarding who the true bad guy is and how far up the whole conspiracy goes. And I got to voice my love for Stephen Dorff, who’s been tremendous as Roland West. It’ll be intriguing to see where his career goes from here.

We also react to the pilot episode of DC Universe’s Doom Patrol, which has the potential to be unlike anything ever seen in superhero TV. Fingers are crossed. Get weird and funny with this stuff, man.

Show notes for Ep. 27 are available at the Amusement Park Podcast website

Since we also discussed Netflix’s inevitable cancellation of The Punisher (seriously, there’s no way Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would be canceled, and The Punisher and Jessica Jones saved), I was reminded that there were a couple of things about Season 2 that I wanted to touch on, but didn’t previously.

I’m certainly self-centered enough to think Season 2 of The Punisher was speaking directly to me somehow. But there were a handful of intriguing coincidences that were extremely amusing.

First, the season begins in my home state of Michigan while Frank Castle is traveling the country and trying to get away from the events of Season 1. He ends up at a bar called Lola’s Roadhouse, which happens to be the name of one of my nieces.

lolas_roadhouse

Then at the end of the season, Castle and the young woman he’s been protecting throughout the story end up at a bus station. (I’ll try to avoid spoilers by saying why.) But the destination on the bus is where I currently live: Asheville, North Carolina.

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I haven’t encountered any murderous vigilantes, deeply religious contract killers, amnesiac soldiers, or Homeland Security agents with a major grudge during the past few years. So these parallels only apply so much with me. But still, I’ll always have a soft spot for Season 2 of The Punisher for these amusing coincidences. And I’ll be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

Please leave a review and rating on iTunes for us and a like on our Facebook page to help spread the word. You can subscribe to the Amusement Park Podcast everywhere you find podcasts:

You can also give us feedback at amusementparkpod@gmail.com and find us on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you! Thanks for listening!