Good mornin’ y’all. Hope you are able to get through the last day until every handheld and wall-hung screen in your life is playing NCAA Tournament basketball all waking hours for four straight days. Terry Francona suggests plopping on the couch with a pizza for the games, and who are we to argue with Tito?
I received notice that Captain America: Civil War tickets went on sale this week, and The Big Bang Theory recently had on Adam West as the latest in global marketing for the impending Superman v Batman movie. Both summer blockbusters look to continue the recent trend of comic book movies dominating the box office.
I have always been a Marvel guy since I was young reading their comics, but I do enjoy a good comic movie regardless of origin.1
Regardless, there is plenty of interesting (to me) discussion topics without even getting into any of the potential spoilers. So, here is a spoiler-free look at the upcoming summer movies.
We pretty much know what to expect from Superman given that DC has already given us the origin story movie, so the real question becomes the Batman side of the equation.
Marvel tried Ben Affleck as a masked vigilante with a monotone persona. He mangled the role so completely even in his relative heyday that Daredevil could only be resurrected as a Netflix television show (though a quite enjoyably dark one).
But, hey, now that Affleck is a complete mess, let’s give him the Batman role and potentially ruin what should be a valid competitor to the Avenger franchise in the Justice League. And, having the director say things like it being “v” instead of “vs” is to help show they are not completely opposing forces. Ugh.
The thing is they have lowered expectations to the point where a marginally entertaining production will be well-received. And, I still believe they achieve such. So, yay to lowered expectations.2
On the Big Bang’s ranking of Batmans, they got it all wrong. Bale and Clooney played the best Bruce Waynes, but Keaton and West were the best vigilantes.
My overall Batman ranks (including Bruce Wayne side):
As for Captain America, the two movies I have been awaiting the most since the Marvel movie franchise took off are Civil War and World War Hulk. Steve Rogers is the best character in the Marvel universe other than Bruce Banner. And Banner has the advantage of literally battling his inner demon every waking second of his life (except in Planet Hulk, which is a B-movie style gladiator narrative).
Despite the Loki-style jokes (Loki’s impersonation was hilarious in Thor: Dark World) about Rogers being nauseatingly morally upstanding and simply a flag waver, the depths of Rogers characters have always fascinated me. The Captain America series is about figuring out how to decipher truth, honesty, and liberty in a world that has far more gray than the often-portrayed black-and-white dichotomy.
Rogers (throughout the comics) is constantly betrayed by those he trusts most, which makes him question the very fabric of his existence. He attempts to answer questions of what is truly right, how much freedom makes you free, and do the ends justify the means. He never fully answers them, but does the best he can to uphold what he believes is right even if it is against societal influences.
Tony Stark’s ego and paranoia make for fun action films, but lack a certain level of depth. So, it will be interesting to see how Marvel plans on folding in his character as I suspect the the viewers will be forced to choose sides between the protagonists.
If you need last minute bracket advice to pick out a few Cinderella teams, then there are plenty of people who are way more qualified to give you those teams. But, I have done some research and here are the furthest I have double digit teams going in each region.
But, the fun part of March Madness is that we are all wrong. Just attempting to be among the least wrong people making picks is what makes things intriguing.
Speaking of just trying to make the least wrong decision, I promised some politics last time and with the Ohio primaries finishing up, it seems prudent to make mention. Well, I hope you all got your sticker for voting. And, while we won’t have a monarchy-style Clinton versus Bush 2016 election, I do find it humorous that the 1980 election initially panned the idea that a respected actor would run for POTUS, but the 2016 election very well might have a reality television star in the running.