Franchise Wars

With the release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropping earlier this week, and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi due out in a few days, nerd-dom is at its highest of levels right now. And while I cannot wait to see The Last Jedi in theaters on opening day, I’ve come to realize that I am more excited for Avengers than I am for Star Wars.

To some, this may seem sacrilegious. The franchises aren’t even in the same category or genre. How can they even be compared?

Earlier this week, Mark Hamill expressed his feelings about the Star Wars franchise on Good Morning America:

“When I read the script, I was stunned. These films now are being made by people that were children when the first films came out. They were the generation that grew up as fans and now are in charge of the franchise. It’s wonderful to be associated with something that makes people so happy. It’s escapism…we don’t want real life, it’s too harsh…”

Hamill isn’t wrong. Star Wars is quite the escapism for fans to leave the real world behind. And while I long for a release from the monotony of the day to day, Marvel has taken this idea on a different path.

In 2008, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man rocked box offices and started a ten year journey to the moment fans have waited for next year. In one film, they created the foundations for a franchise that rivaled Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even Star Wars. What Marvel Studios did was allow the world to see that superheroes were still relevant in modern society.

I was never much of a comic reader as a kid (surprise!), mostly because they were expensive and I nor my parents could afford them regularly. But where older comics dealt with issues plaguing the WWII era – Captain America punching Nazis – many of the modern comics did not line up nicely with modern worldly issues. (Again, I’d like to restate that I did not read many comics as a kid, so perhaps I just never noticed that they did.) So when Iron Man rose to meet the challenges of war during our currently state of affairs in 2008, a realistic type of escapism occurred.

Maybe it could also be that I never discovered Star Wars until I was in my teens. Maybe those that grew up with the franchise connect more closely. Maybe it’s Marvel’s marketing to produce two movies a year that intertwine so seamlessly , where Star Wars is playing catch up with Rogue One and the upcoming Solo film.

Hamill’s right in that we all want an escape, but for me I want that escape to seem real. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to be a Jedi at heart, or that I don’t want to create screen-accurate Jedi cosplay, or that I can’t wait for an Obi-Wan Kenobi solo film. But for me, I watched that Infinity War trailer, ten years of emotion and excitement game me goosebumps. I love the Star Wars franchise for its fantasy entertainment, but the Marvel films to be more a more realistic, hopeful sort of fantasy escape for me.

What do you think? Which movie are you excited to see more? Do you think these franchises will see in an end in the near future? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.

Avengers: Infinity WarTrailer

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

Advertisements

Beauty, Beast, and the 4DX Theater

beautyandthebeast

After months of hearing about this new 4DX Theatre experience, I finally got my tickets to see “Beauty & the Beast” hoping that the scene with “Be Our Guest” would include a lot of scents of croissants and freshly baked goodies. Sadly, it didn’t.

At $30 a ticket, the price may seem a bit steep but it is the novelty you are paying for. You are able to reserve your seats ahead of time and there is an option to turn off the water spray (but why bother). The movements of the seats were not jerky but incredibly smooth and flowed great with the film without taking you out of it. Air blew in your face at the right times but the water felt forced. When it was raining, a spritz of water hit your face and then that was it.
Continue reading

Maleficent is no sleeper

Maleficent-17I haven’t seen the original Sleeping Beauty in years.  I really don’t remember much about it, outside of an attractive girl put to sleep by a curse that could only be awaken by a kiss.  I vaguely remembered a dragon and some other things as well, so when I walked into Maleficent I walked into this story mostly blind, and I enjoyed the heck out of it.

In the original Sleeping Beauty they never really gave you a good reason as to why the Maleficent was evil.  She just seemed evil for the sake of being evil.  The best villains in my opinion have a backstory and a valid reason for why they do what they have done.  There are two sides to every tale, and Maleficent tells the other side of story.

Continue reading

DuckTales! Some Re-makes Aren’t So Bad!

Ducktales banner

Here’s a game that many of us played and loved….perhaps more than we realized.

I wasn’t a big fan of the mainstream Disney characters. To this day, if you were to ask me what my favorite classic Disney cartoons are, I’d still say The Black Cauldron, The Sword and the Stoneand Fantasia. Mickey Mouse never did it for me, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, etc. Not really a fan. But there was just something about DuckTales that clicked. It was a fun, well made series. The best thing to come out of it, however, was the video game that came out in 1989 for the NES.

Games based on popular licensed properties have RARELY been good. Sure, there are exceptions like Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicChronicles of Riddick, and the recent Walking Dead titles. But notice…those are all *new* (do I need to mention the LOST game?). Back in the day, the NES days, production companies would license anything and everything. Just to make more cash. To them it was no more different or important on the consumer end than slapping a decal on a t-shirt. Little effort and less love was put into most of them. *cough*E.T.*cough*. DuckTales, however, changed that.  Continue reading

Disney Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two NYCC preview

At NYCC, Nerd-Base was invited by Disney to see Epic Mickey 2 The Power of Two.  Disney provided Warren Spector, the lead game designer, to give us a tour through the game.  Disney has been showing this game off for a while now, but they have leaked out a few new levels (Rainbow Caverns, and Rainbow Falls) to show off, and I got to say I was impressed.

Continue reading