May 19, 2015

Custom Made Batman Settlers of Catan

So it finally came!! For my fiancĂ©e’s birthday I custom made her a one of a kind Batman-themed version of Settlers of Catan which I have dubbed ‘Defenders of Gotham’.
The board assembled in all of it’s glory!! The desert tile is represented by GCPD, with each hex representing a villain from Batman’s famous rogue gallery. Batman is not a player character though, he replaces the function of the Robber, simply because if Batman is in the same territory as a super villain he is cleaning house. Sadly I do not have any of the pieces yet, still waiting to get them from the manufacture, but the board tiles themselves were so cool I couldn’t wait to share!
 One of the cool things I noticed while looking at card detail of the original Settlers of Catan was that each Knight card was a bit different in the details like the shields, helmets and weapons. So for the Knight replacement of Bat Family I decided to pick 14 members from Batman mythos to play the parts of the Knight.
 These are the extra cards that are used to help acquire victory points. Instead of roads we have the Oracle Networks, instead of settlements we have Safe Houses and instead of cities we have Batcaves. The objective of the game is still to be the first to 10 points. 
Instead of resources players collect henchmen from combat when the dice are rolled. The five henchmen in order of this photo are Joker, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Scarecrow and Two-Face.

Apr 28, 2015

Avengers Age of Ultron Thoughts

I was lucky enough to receive screening tickets for Age of Ultron through Denver Comic-Con! And while it didn't exactly sing on all the high notes one would expect, the movie was still damn entertaining. As always, spoilers follow.

Apr 25, 2015

Daredevil Thoughts

What a whirl wind of a season. Everything Daredevil is doing right is everything Agents of SHIELD is doing wrong. Sure, because the series isn't on ABC, a decidedly family network, it can get away with more gore and swearing, but even if you remove that 'edge-y ness' people have been clamoring for with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you are left with damn good television. I have never put all of my thoughts from one entire season into one blog post, but I am going to try. Spoilers follow.

Oct 28, 2014

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3

There is so much here... Let's start with all the dates!
  • Captain America: Civil War - May 6, 2016
  • Doctor Strange - November 4, 2016
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 - May 5, 2017
  • Thor: Ragnarok - July 28, 2017
  • Black Panther - November 3, 2017
  • Avengers: Infinity War – Part I - May 4, 2018
  • Captain Marvel - July 6, 2018
  • Inhumans - November 2, 2018
  • Avengers: Infinity War – Part II - May 3, 2019
I could not be more thrilled with this line up. First of all: Civil War is actually happening!! One of my favorite comic events is going to come to the big screen, and with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans playing the two leads! This is probably my second most anticipated film out of the list, the first being Captain Marvel, which is going to be a Carol Danver's based flick. She is one of my favorite Avengers without question, and to have her be the bridge between Earth and the Cosmic's is a smart move that I cannot wait to see executed.

Oct 21, 2014

DC Cinematic Universe Lineup

Well, here is the line up coming from DC.
  • Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - March 25th, 2016
  • Suicide Squad – August 5th, 2016
  • Wonder Woman - June 23rd, 2017
  • Justice League - November 17th, 2017
  • The Flash - March 23rd, 2018
  • Aquaman - July 27th, 2018
  • Shazam - April 5th, 2019
  • Justice League 2 - June 14th, 2019
  • Cyborg - April 3rd, 2020
  • Green Lantern - June 19th, 2020
All I have to say is that I am very disappointed that Green Lantern is so far away. The press release did say there are stand alone Batman and Superman sequels too, but with no date attached. I am also pretty pissed that Suicide Squad is apparently more important than Wonder Woman and that people think that that movie is a good idea in the first place. I go to movies to see heroism and uplifting scenes of triumph, not doom and gloom and angry people all yelling at each other. Also, having Green Lantern come out after Justice League pretty much confirms my fear that he won't be in either of them. I get it, you want to distance yourself from the first Green Lantern film, but audiences are smarter and the word 'connected universe' is common place now thanks to Marvel. You could have that movie come out next year and as long as the hyper connected internet knows the Ryan Reynolds version isn't canon you are fine.

Aug 1, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Thoughts

My expectations for this film were so high, and even then James Gunn and Marvel delivered and blew me away. Sure, the overall tone of the film is vastly different from the books it drew the most from, the absolutely amazing 2008 arc from Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, but it is incredibly fun, superbly shot, touching and has amazing action. Plus, a raccoon with a giant laser gun is one of the stars. What more could you want?

Chris Pratt was a questionable choice for Star Lord in my eyes, but he played the lovable goof very well. The breakout star of the film though has got to be Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer. An actor who came from the WWE, he easily filled out the physical attributes of the Destroyer, but he was genuine and heartfelt in all of his delivery that he elevated the character beyond a green scarred alien muscle head. The only qualm I have, but got over easily, was that Rocket Raccoon had a very angry american accident, and not the British voice implied by the comics.

Oh, and some guy named Thanos showed up chasing an Infinity Stone, the main McGuffin of the film. If he gets enough, he will form the ultimate McGuffin and have the Infinity Gauntlet, a Marvel cosmic artifact that essentially turns him into an omnipotent god.

This was an entire Marvel movie, away from Earth which gave amazing visuals, a great sense of action, an amazing soundtrack and a tear jerking ending. Considering the Guardians were incredibly obscure before this film came out, it shows that Marvel is here to stay, and that anything is in their repertoire. Given the incredibly different tones between films, Marvel can pick and choose their success moving forward. As long as they keep cheering and smiling, I am going to keep giving them money.

Jun 10, 2014

A Hopefully New Favorite Obsession: Spider-Gwen

Is that not some of the coolest character design you have ever seen? Spider-Verse is totally shaping up to be one of the craziest comic events that I cannot wait to devoure. I really hope at the end of it Superior Spider-Man comes out alive, so that we can get two Spider-Men running around the main continuity. Between Superior, Ultimate and now the upcoming Spider-Gwen, it is a good time to be a Web-head. Who knows, maybe Spider-Gwen will get her own series after Spider-Verse ends? One can hope right?

May 24, 2014

X-Men Days of Future Past Thoughts

Color me shocked. I was incredibly on the fence about this movie because of the ho-hum trailers and bad first look advertising that went out. Luckily, there isn't a single wasted frame at all, and there are rumors there is even a longer cut featuring more Rogue and future time line shenanigans.

Now the movie version is incredibly different from the comic book story it steals its name from, but that is okay because the movie nails the most important thing: Theme. Comic book movies are rarely direct adaptations anyway, Watchmen and Sin City are the exception and not the rule. Because Days of Future Past embodies the themes presented throughout the X-Men comics it works as a film, and still doesn't insult the source material.

Hugh Jackman is back as Wolverine, maybe for the last time, and he is firing on all cylinders. It is very cool to see the old cast from the 2000 movies get their due too, even if the majority of them were under utilized. Of course Patrick Stewart is amazing as ever as Professor X. It doesn't hurt that his past-self counter part played by James McAvoy is equally strong in his performance. You can really see how the two of them come together to form the same character.

The breakout scene though has to be the pentagon escape scene with Quicksilver. I am very curious to see how Age of Ultron handles Quicksilver, considering this film pretty much nails the power set. Same goes for the Flash television show that is coming this fall. I bet the Avengers Quicksilver is going to be more character driven and less 'flash-y', focusing on the bond with his sister and probably Peitro's anger a lot more.

It is also refreshing to finally get to see a new villain in action instead of Professor X and Magneto constantly butting heads together. Sure a lot of the X-Men details can easily be narrowed down to point of view and where you think the mutant race is heading, but there are also external non-mutant forces as well. The past-era Sentinels looked amazing, and really stole the show, and the future Sentinels were just harrowing husks of CG mess. Great villains though, incredibly deadly and ominous.

And that Apocalypse tease... Can't wait to see the fruits of that labor for sure!

May 2, 2014

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Thoughts

People are going to be so damn torn on this movie. I absolutely loved it though. I said it a few years ago with Amazing Spider-Man, Garfield is a far superior Spider-Man than Maguire ever was. He rides the line of 'not sure but still confident' incredibly well, and his chemistry with Emma Stone is the highlight of the film. He isn't dopey and can actually, you know, act.

The most under utilized person in this film is by far Dane Dehaan, because every single scene he is in is absolute gold. He is incredibly believable as Harry Osborn and in a few years will definitely be up for Oscar's if he plays his cards right. Jamie Foxx nails Electro, and the character sings off the screen, mostly due to the harrowing soundtrack paired with his screen time. During the film I was constantly turning my head around to see who was talking through the movie before I realized it was part of the soundtrack, which added a ton of texture to a rather ho-hum character.

Is it considered a spoiler if it happened in the comics years ago? Cause seeing Gwen Stacey finally kick the bucket on screen was absolutely gut wrenching and amazing to watch unfold. Because of Stone and Garfield's natural chemistry you feel the depth of loss when it finally happens, even if it did feel tacked on to the back half of the 3rd act.

The ending though. It pulls at my heartstrings. Peter is about resilience more than anything, and when he steps up at the end, ready to get back at it after being shocked from Gwen's death... That is the ultimate definition of heroism.

Was the execution of the film sloppy? Absolutely. Is it going to be everyone's favorite? No way. But it is in my eyes the definitive version of Spider-Man.