What DC Can Learn from Marvel Movies

DC comics superheroes
Let’s bring some playfulness into DC, okay?

This awesome 10 minute video (below) by ScreenRant picks apart how and why the Marvel Cinematic Universe kills it over the DC Extended Universe. You may be a bigger DC fan over Marvel, but it’s hard to argue the MCU movies are  more inspiring, with strong character beats and good-natured humor…while DC limps along being largely morose. This might change with the Aquaman film (he was quite amusing in The Justice League, along with The Flash). And then there’s the really fun-looking trailers for the upcoming April 2019 release of Shazaam.

[pullquote]I think DC might be getting the picture: stop with the grim, and come in with the ability to transport fans to a place where they can let go of their worries and enjoy a couple of hours at the cinema.[/pullquote]

Marvel used humor way back in the beginning  (ten years ago) with Iron Man 1, and upped the comic ante with time and expertise — just look at Guardians of the Galaxy or Thor: Ragnarok, and most of the latter film entries. Those are beautiful films, and also carry important messages. Did “We Are Groot” make you tear up? How about as Peter Parker cried under the rubble, then realized no grown-up was going to swoop in and save him? Did you enjoy when Ant-Man ecstatically learned he could join the ‘real’ heroes in Captain America: Civil War as a certified Avenger, or when Black Widow asked Hawkeye, mid-fight, if they were still buddies?

There’s a lot to deconstruct with Marvel, and that’s not EVEN getting into the masterpiece that was X-Men’s Logan. (Which I have seen only once, because extra curricular crying is not  on my list of daily fun stuff.)

In any case, I think DC might be getting the message. When James Gunn was unceremoniously fired from Disney’s Marvel world, DC eagerly snapped him up, to do for Suicide Squad what he did for Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m sure this wasn’t a good move for Marvel, but hey — we’ll get what I expect to be a fantastic treatment for Suicide Squad, on a premise mostly squandered before.

So, enjoy this video about what Marvel does that DC needs to emulate:

Guardians of the Galaxy Ex-Director James Gunn to Direct Suicide Squad 2

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Jilly’s POV)

Movie Review – Justice League (RunPee Dan’s POV)

We Didn’t Start The Fire – Movie References

If Billy Joel didn’t start the fire, who did? There’s a lot of suspects in this song.

Billy Joel made an historical hit in 1989, with pop song We Didn’t Start The Fire. Historical pop songs are a small genre (I can also think of One Week and Big Bang Theory, both by the Bare Naked Ladies), but mighty catchy to listen to, try as you might to catch all the cool references.

Listening to We Didn’t Start the Fire on my Alexa unit (my favorite home robot), I noticed a few entertainment related mentions, set between the political and and pop culture refs. The song moves fast, so you have to listen carefully. (Or at least check the internet for the rapid-fire, rap-like lyrics.)

The lyrics cover major events set between 1949 through 1989.

Here’s what I caught that have even the tiniest relationship to  entertainment…from the top, using the Wikipedia to keep me honest:  (Feel free to tell me what I missed!)

It’s a pretty impressive song, squeezing events from five decades of world news into only four minutes.

A case could be made to include a lot more relating to entertainment. For example, Richard Nixon featured in the 1999 teen buddy comedy Dick, starring Kirsten Dunst. Malcolm X and JFK also have eponymous movies. “Moonshot” refers to the moon landing project recently popularized in the film First Man.

Here’s the official video for your amusement:

What other pop culture and historical allusions do you think would we should  include on this list?

 

 

 

Voldemort Will Funk You Up

That’s the Were-Wolf Fenrir Greyback getting his shoes shined. Who knew he could read?

I love the video of the Dark Lord Funk, a parody of Uptown Funk, and how it so cleverly sends up the Harry Potter mythos from the perspective of a hip and urban Voldemort. You have to view this one a few times, once for overall enjoyment, once to catch the rich visual humor, and a last time to listen to the excellent line replacements from the original tune.

There’s a TON of references to elements from all seven Potter novels. It’s a real hoot. (<—- Ha. See what I did there?) The video makers even created a moving copy of the Daily Prophet, complete with headlines seemingly ripped from The Deathly Hallows. View the paper firstly at 1:48, then see (at 2:30) this headline: Harry Potter Defies the Dark Funk. Make sure to look for the band logo  for Tom and The Riddles on the drum-set at 3:25. And at 3:54, catch a moment with Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch.

Enjoy seeing Voldemort get his non-existent hair curled, while dancing with Bellatrix Lestrange, Werewolf Fenrir Greyback, and a small army of Death Eaters. The famous students of Dumbledore’s Army also appear, clearly taken aback by Voldy’s Power of Funk. “Albus sent ya, Hallelujah!”

Watch it through to the end, as there’s a tiny bonus scene with Voldemort wearing the Sorting Hat.

Did you watch the video yet? It’s more fun than a barrel of Dobbys.

Tour the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian

I’m really chuffed to show off this little video, a real treat — a tour of the brand new Millennium Falcon from Solo: A Star Wars Story, with that other double-crossing, no-good swindler of a space rogue, Lando Calrissian. Donald Glover (the new Lando, smarmily stealing Solo’s film) is in all his elated glory here. His custom-designed Falcon is in dapper shape, something we never got to see elsewhere (typical lines: “What a hunk of junk,” “You came here in THAT thing? You’re braver than I thought,” and “That’s garbage!(….)The garbage will do”).

Glover proudly introduces a fully stocked wet bar, gleaming gaming table, bouncy bed, extensive cape closet, and all the bells and whistles of his surprisingly white, clean, and shiny party-barge. Captions with arrows depict everything you see within. This is pretty fun viewing:

Stan Lee – His Marvel Cameos are a Secret Character

stan lee smiling portrait
The man is seriously always grinning. Excelsior!

Notice how every Marvel movie, whether in an obvious bit or a tiny moment, has a unique and fun Stan Lee cameo?

Fans came up with a theory and Marvel/Lee  finally confirmed it…he actually has a ongoing, arc-based role as a Watcher Informant. His job is to keep an eye on the galaxy’s superheros and report on them, while maintaining his cover as “just some old dude.”

Here’s his “big” moment  (actually, in a 2-parter, so you will need to view both to “get” it) from Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2, where he gives the latest update to his Watchers.

Part One:

Part Two:

Another, most amusing clue, comes in the recent Avengers 3 – Infinity War, where he crankily asks a school bus of children if they’ve never seen a spaceship before. (Poor quality is from leaked footage – sorry. But still cute.)

What would we like to see? How about in his next MCU film, maybe Ant-Man and The Wasp, that he actually has a larger part, and we learn a bit about who/what he is…and has an actual task to do?

The man is 95, so we think if his character is going to “come out” as it were, better sooner than later. He may not make it to Avengers 4.  That would be a real shame. And Avengers 4 will have enough characters to juggle, that it’s probably not the best time to roll out Stan Lee’s big moment. We say, make it now.  🙂

UPDATE (11/12/18) : Unfortunately, Stan Lee passed away today and he didn’t have that sweet extended scene I hoped for in Ant Man & The Wasp. He does have a fun small cameo, though.  Business as usual. There’s a possibility Lee has cameos pre-filmed for 2019’s Captain Marvel and Avengers 4. We can hope. Stan Lee, you are missed already. Thank you for envisioning such a creative and detailed universe. 🙁

UPDATE (11/13/18): IGN.com reports  Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 co-director Joe Russo confirmed the late Stan Lee already filmed his Avengers 4 cameo, with a few surprise other movie moments in the can. So we’ve got that to look forward to. #RIPStanLee #Excelsior!

Chewbacca Sings Silent Night (and it actually works)

Sometimes I just can’t help myself, and watch all kinds of dorky Star Wars fun from the endless free entertainment provided by the internet. And no, I don’t mean the abysmally received Star Wars Holiday Special. (Although you can find THAT on the internet too, if you have 98 minutes to kill watching something that even Lucas sends Imperial probe droids out to destroy).

Since Chewie has had one of his most active movie roles ever in Solo: A Star Wars Story, I figured it would be appropriate to share just how well a big walking carpet can sing.

Enjoy!

More Star Wars Story fun on RunPee.comFeaturette: Becoming Solo