This week we talk about Batman #77, Sony keeping Spider-man, Matrix 4, Spidey & Black Cat marriage, Keaton Batman suit auction, Hellboy wrestling in Japan, Spawn #300, Krypton cancellation, Superman 14 & Supergirl 33 recall, Marc Maron hating superhero movies, Breaking Bad movie, Bloodshot movie, Star Wars #75, Dark Crystal Age of Resistance, Rambo Last Blood, and so much more.
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Dumbo is one of the cornerstone cartoons of Walt Disney Pictures. It is the movie that helped them rebound after Pinocchio and Fantasia both lost the studio money in 1941.
Dumbo is almost as iconic as Mickey Mouse. He is one of the characters that is readily recognizable from just a silhouette. That is one of the reasons I was surprised Disney decided to make a live action retelling of Dumbo.
Patrick and I were both indifferent to Tim Burton’s Dumbo. Even with a star studded cast of Danny Devito, Colin Farrell, and Michael Keaton we were not enamored with the movie. There were several references to the original movie, the best one being the dancing pink elephants. Disney also let Tim Burton poke a little fun at Disneyland with his theme park called “Dreamland”. Disney is usually really strict about any mention of or allusion to their intellectual property, so I was happy to see they allowed this.
For us, there just was no emotional connection to any of the characters in the movie. I fully expected to start ugly crying when they separated Dumbo from his mother. When that moment occurred in the movie my eyes didn’t even water up. For me the whole movie just seemed very flat and unemotional.
After talking to the audience we found we were in the minority. Most of the movie-goers gave the movie high praise and really enjoyed it. We did notice that nearly all the people we spoke to had NOT seen the original Disney Dumbo cartoon. Not sure if that has any direct correlation, but it was just a weird fact we noted.
Online review sites are putting Dumbo around 50% approval. Closer inspection reveals most of the reviews are either very high and glowing reviews or the are very low and scathing reviews. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. It seems you either love or hate Dumbo. I judge a movie by what I would do if it was playing on TV. If I was flipping through the channels and came across Dumbo… I would keep flipping channels.
Our take is, this version of Dumbo was made for those who are unfamiliar with the original. This movie will introduce Dumbo to a new generation of movie goers. This is likely the plan Disney had all along. Instead of re-hashing the old story again, shake it up and make it modern so it appeals to the new generation. This is how Disney will remain a powerhouse in the entertainment field. They are replenishing their audience base. For old fogies like us…. the original still exists. I ain’t mad at ya Disney, but I still prefer the original. According to the audience members we spoke to I can highly recommend this movie for families to take the kiddos to. Maybe show them the original first.
Did you see Dumbo? Did you like it? Did you see the original? Let us know in the comments.
Spider-man has been one of the flagship titles in Marvel Comics line up ever since he debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15. Somewhere along the line Sony acquired the movie rights for Spider-man. While they’re Spider-man movies with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were financially successful, they seemed to miss capturing the essence of Peter Parker/Spider-man.
Sony agreed to share the Spider-man rights for the movie Captain America: Civil War. They parted ways with Andrew Garfield and chose Tom Holland to be their Peter Parker. Even though Spider-man had a very limited amount of screen time, his impact on the movie was huge. The audience cheered when he made his appearance on screen.
Sony shared their movie rights with Marvel again for Spider-man Homecoming. The result is an awesome movie that seems to capture the innocence and naivete of Peter Parker and his strong personal drive to do what is right no matter the cost to him personally. Tom Holland played the part to perfection.
As good as Tom’s performance was he was nearly overshadowed by Michael Keaton as the Vulture. In the comics the Vulture always seemed like a hokey character. An old man flying around in a bird suit. He was never one of my favorite Spidey villains. The portrayal of Vulture in this movie made him feel like a serious threat. Keaton was just the right amount of menacing to pull it off. If he doesn’t get a best supporting actor nod for this movie there is no justice in the world.
Easter eggs in the movie
True to all Marvel movies, there are a ton of Easter eggs that may have been missed by the casual fan. If we missed any let us know in the comments.
Betty Brant as the high school reporter. She eventually graduates and works at the Daily Bugle with Peter Parker.
Ned Leeds as Peter’s friend. Ned also ends up working at the Bugle and he marries Betty Brant. He does a turn as the villain, Hobgoblin as well.
Flash Thompson is Peter’s main high school bully. He hosts the Venom symbiote for a while as “Agent Venom”.
Mac Gargan’s is one of the Vulture’s accomplices. Mac is the villain known as the Scorpion. He hosted the Venom symbiote for a short time too.
Aaron Davis is the Ultimate Comics version of the Prowler. He starts out as a criminal, but eventually turns to the good side. This isn’t really an Easter egg since they tell you he is Prowler. The Easter egg part is he is the uncle of Miles Morales who is the Ultimate Comics version of Spider-man. This opens up the door to having Miles Morales appear in an MCU movie.
Tyne Daly’s character, Ann Marie Hoag, actually exists in the comics. She is the director of the clean up crew Damage Control. Interesting note, Damage Control is owned by Tony Stark and…..Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. Maybe we will see Kingpin in the MCU soon.
The principal at Peter’s school is Principal Morita. In one scene you can see a picture of his grandfather in his military uniform. You might recognize him as one of the Howling Commandos that fought with Captain America.
They guy that made Vultures mechanical wings and all the other cool weapons is Phineas Mason. Comic book aficionados will recognize this name as the Tinkerer.
Cindy Moon is a relatively new Spider-man character. She was bitten by the same spider that bit Peter Parker. Her powers are similar to his with some small differences. She goes by the superhero name of Silk.
Even the most casual fan will enjoy this movie. It really captures what makes Spider-man such a popular character. The hard-core comic book fans will enjoy it too with all the references and name dropping of other Spider-man characters. This is a great start to launch a series of Spider-man related movies from. The best thing Sony could’ve done is share their movie rights with Marvel. The Marvel movie formula is still strong and still works like a charm.
Please let us know in the comments below if we missed anything. We tried our best to avoid any major spoilers.
Jack and Troy from ZiaComics.com geek out about the upcoming Spider-man Homecoming movie
After the hack of Sony Entertainment we found out they were working with Marvel Studios to produce a string of Spider-man films. We have already seen Spider-man in Captain America: Civil War. Spider-man was easily one of the favorite characters of that movie. The prior Spider-man movies have not been able to capture all the little nuances that make Spider-man so popular. That seems to have changed now with Marvel back at the helm.
The movie has some big names in the cast. Tom Holland will be returning as the title character. Robert Downey Jr. will be reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Marisa Tomei is back as Peter Parker’s Aunt May. Bokeem Woodbine has been signed to play an undisclosed villain. Add to that Michael Keaton as the Vulture. The route Marvel wants to take with the Spider-man films is to follow Peter Parker through his high school years. They want to capture his conflicts as he struggles to balance normal high school issues with fighting deadly super-villains.
“We want to play with Spider-Man in the high school years because frankly there’ve been five Spider-Man films and… there are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet. Not just characters or villains or supporting characters, but sides to his character… I think it was midway through the first film that he graduated high school. At the beginning of the second Marc Webb film, he graduated high school. And some of my favorite Spider-Man arcs and Spider-Man stories, he’s in high school for a lot of it. We want to explore that. That also makes him very, very different from any of our other characters in the MCU…”
—Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios
Feige also said if additional films were made one of the ideas [Marvel] has is for the films to follow the model of the Harry Potter film series. The plot of each film would cover a new school year, adding “it was sort of how do we do a journey for Peter not dissimilar for what the students of Hogwarts would go through each of their years”.
With Spider-man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe the door is open for other Marvel characters to appear alongside Peter Parker. While he is great as a solo act, some of the best stories have him working with other superheroes.