The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps on rolling. Though one stage of Marvel’s superhero epic reached a conclusion of sorts with Avengers: Endgame, the overarching story continues with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Technically, Phase 3 of the MCU ends with this film, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.)
If there was any question of where Far From Home fits in the MCU timeline, the movie’s new trailer makes that clear. (I speculated on the latest Amusement Park Podcast that it must take place between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, but was obviously wrong.) So clear, in fact, that Tom Holland issues a spoiler warning before the preview begins. If you haven’t seen Endgame, don’t watch this trailer because it gives away a major development from that film, one you won’t want spoiled.
My movie calendar is probably way off, but it feels like 2019 is finally beginning at the movies. Oscars season ended almost two weeks ago and Captain Marvel represents the first big blockbuster release of the year. (Sorry, Alita: Battle Angel.) So there’s finally reason to be excited.
Plenty of other films have been released since Jan. 1, and I still need to catch up on a few of them. But it’s also time to write some movie reviews again. I’ve really fallen off during the past few months because I didn’t have an outlet — forgetting that I’ll always have this blog.
So I did write up a review for Captain Marvel, which you can read here. If you’d like an audio version, we also recorded some back-and-forth reaction for the Amusement Park Podcast. I’m hoping this helps me scrape off some rust and gets me back into regularly writing about movies again. More on that with some fun news after the first of this week’s links.
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.
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.
On the latest Amusement Park Podcast, we react to news of the next Batman movie being set for a Summer 2021 release and a younger Bruce Wayne meaning Ben Affleck will no longer play the role. We also review the entire Season 2 of The Punisher after delving into the first six episodes last week. And we review the latest DC animated movie, Reign of the Supermen.
Previously, I’ve just posted the same blurb and link to the podcast that you can find at the Amusement Park Podcast website. But I’d like to try and offer a bit more here at The Casselbloggy, especially for those who take the time to click over and read. I think it could be a good opportunity to discuss topics that didn’t make the cut or stuff that I intended to include but forgot to mention while we were recording.
That’s where I’d like to go this week because it’s bugging me that I forgot to talk about Punisher star Jon Bernthal and his voice for Frank Castle. I’ve seen Bernthal in several other movies and TV shows like The Walking Dead, Sicario, Show Me a Hero and The Ghost Writer, but had forgotten what his actual speaking voice sounds like. So when I watched some talk show clips of him, it was jolting to me how different he sounded from Frank Castle.
I know; it’s called acting! But it’s still impressive to me (and far more effective than, say, Christian Bale’s Batman voice) and a reminder of how deeply Bernthal lost himself in that role. It’s a damn shame that he probably won’t play The Punisher anymore.
On the latest Amusement Park Podcast, we pay tribute to Stan Lee and the Marvel icon’s role in pop culture. Also, George R.R. Martin’s struggles with The Winds of Winter, Hallmark Christmas movies update, and what we’re enjoying this week.
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Writing a tribute to Stan Lee was something I’d been thinking I should do for quite some time. After all, (Stan) the man was 95 years old and there were various reports about his deteriorating health. Just as a newspaper would get an obituary ready, I thought I should get something ready — whether the piece was written for another site or my own.
Sure, laziness and procrastination were probably the primary reasons for not getting that done. But the idea of writing something in anticipation of Stan Lee’s death was also very upsetting. He still appeared to be lively and vibrant in his many Marvel movie and TV cameos. It seemed as if Smilin’ Stan might just live forever.
Thanks to those movie cameos, even my sister knew who Stan Lee was. She grew up with me endlessly reading and collecting comic books, of course. But when I pointed out the guy who co-created Spider-Man on the screen, she recognized him every time he popped up in the handful of Marvel movies we saw together. She’ll never be able to escape superheroes entirely.
(By the way, will Lee’s last live-action cameo have been in Venom?) Unless he’s in Avengers 4, his final on-screen appearance may well be in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which hits theaters in mid-December.)
There will and have already been so many tributes, eulogies and obituaries dedicated to Stan Lee that I’m not sure I could possibly add anything. All I can contribute is what Lee and his many iconic creations mean to me to this day. So often when people write a tribute to someone, the piece ends up being about the writer more than the subject. As much as I’d like to avoid that, I don’t think it’s possible here.