The Merc with a Mouth in a Movie | Thoughts on the Deadpool flick

https://i0.wp.com/s3.foxfilm.com/foxmovies/production/films/103/images/posters/464-film-page-large.jpgFor an action movie with a foulmouthed blabbermouth antihero, it’s pretty good. The opening sequence let’s you know right away (and any parents who may have foolishly brought their little ones expecting Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America fare) what the nature of this movie is going to be about and what kind of content you can expect. The opening credits laced throughout that first sequence are written in Deadpool’s unique perspective, which also informs the flavor of this raucous, ultra-violent movie. Right away we see Deadpool doing what he does best, delivering graphic and gruesome punishment to bad(der) guys, all the while quickly rolling off a litany of witty, wisecracking one-liners off his swift tongue for all the chuckles, usually in voice-over or while looking right at us, breaking the fourth wall. The camera angles in these first few sequences are daring for great comedic effect.  You come to realize without a doubt during this first zippy action sequence that that Ryan Reynolds is the ideal actor for Deadpool.

Storywise, I think my favorite aspect was the choice to go non-linear with the narrative. I’ve preferred in-media res (starting in the middle) storytelling since I was a teenager first studying the art and craft of fiction. I think most of us prefer the immediacy of what’s happening now to start things off before we get into the why and how of it. At this point it’s become the formula for these kinds of movies and I’m good with that, all things considered. Since this is Deadpool’s first solo outing, it’s ultimately an origin movie.

So just as we’re getting into the rising action, the narrative shifts right at the perfect time to Deadpool’s past as Saskatchewan, Canada’s own Wade Wilson, an ex-Special Forces operative now working as a mercenary who’s just bad enough to kill the even worse guys who deserve it when the job calls for it.  These narrative flashback sequences – merged seamlessly with the present-time narrative – offer us what is effectively a love story, and a potentially tragic romance, which is my favorite kind. The pleasant surprise comes in the arrival of the always wonderful and oh-so-lovely Morena Baccarin as his lady love, Vanessa. As lovers ,Wade and Vanessa have that perfect — if unlikely and rare —  connection where their past psychological baggage is nearly equal in bleakness and volume, and they also just totally get and complete each other.

And therein lies the typical catalyst for a Marvel comics character: love, or the loss of it, is the main impetus for springing our would-be hero into action. But not before we see the events leading up to all of that – the torture at the hands of the villain Ajax (aka Francis) that brings about Deadpool’s apparently latent mutation, making him the badass ultra-healing human killing machine with an never-ending mouth to match. The Merc with a Mouth. His mission is to find and ultimately kill the bastard who made him what he is (through the ruse of curing his terminal cancer). Once the life of his lady love is seriously threatened, it’s really on. With the help of two sidekick X-Men characters in the classic Colossus and newcomer Negasonic Teenage Warhead (!),  who would rather he join their motley band of heroes, Deadpool ultimately triumphs — the ugly guy gets the girl back. The movie ultimately satisfies while not overachieving.

Since the movie’s record-breaking opening at the box office, much chatter has been made about the freedom a rated R “superhero” movie has in regards to language, sexual content and violence. In mainstream movies that aren’t exclusively adult in nature, I always say that less is more because it’s more impactful when it does occur. Deadpool is no exception, but it tries too hard to walk that edge, making some of the gags feel forced in my opinion. In effect, each timely F-bomb, witty sexual reference and gruesome dismemberment becomes overkill once they get well past the half-dozen quotient. But true blue — er — red Deadpool fans certainly won’t be bothered and will likely expect even more of the same in the imminent sequel. Hell, the studio may even go for an NC-17 just to prove the point they made with the R rating. I’m mostly kidding.

CBF Grade: B+

— Brandon L. Rucker

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Buzz: An R-Rating for Wolverine 3?

wolverineiiirSo the big comic book movie news that went viral today was that the makers of the forthcoming Wolverine 3 (2017) movie are “targeting an R rating”, according to Comicbook.com (and plenty of other sources). My initial reaction was one, surprisingly, of conservative preservation of the status quo.

Of course this comes on the heels of the R-rated Deadpool movie having a record-breaking February opening this past weekend. You know how Hollywood works, it’s a copycat town so of course the next Wolverine movie should be rated R, right? I presented this topic to my comics and geek culture group The Comic Book Underground on Facebook today with this opening from me:

Here we go, because Hollywood is gonna Hollywood. Wolverine is an exception, I suppose, but let’s not start making every team movie the Watchmen (insert wink emoji).

And thus, ensued a spirited for it-versus-against it conversation in regards to the upcoming Wolverine movie having certain liberties that come with an R rating, copied and pasted here, unedited (because I’m lazy):

Terrence Sage This makes sense to me. It’s Logan swan song.

Joe Gardner I don’t know. Wolverine SHOULD’VE been R from the get go. But now that you’ve made him PG-13, it’s going to be hard to change that. Especially if you thought the parent backlash against Deadpool was bad.

Like · Reply · 2 · 8 hrs

Garbiel Guerrero Why bother. An R Rated Origin is what we deserved. Too late man, game over.

Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

Michael Tennant There is no reason you need an R-Rating for Wolverine. None at all. Never has been. Character isn’t known for using foul language or graphic sex…violence maybe but it’s not like you cannot get by with pg13

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 8 hrs

James Lawrence I’m not sure what Wolverine you’ve been reading Michael, cussing, blood, guts and killing are all Wolverine traits IMO. The sex part no.

Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

Brandon Rucker Gotta say I agree with Michael Tennant on this. To get to that rating in that kind of movie you have to be trying hard to get there which means it will be gratuitous.

Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

Brandon Rucker James What cuss words has Wolverine uttered that would warrant an R rating? Or even the frequency? Because to earn an R rating merely on language you would have to be cussing like a Tarantino movie and dropping sexual references which Wolverine does not do. He’s not Deadpool.

Michael Tennant My favourite Wolverine graphic novel Blood Hungry would be hard pressed to get an r rating

James Lawrence None, because fuck, shit, piss and cunt aren’t allowed in comics. IF they were I think he’d be right up there with the top power users of those words. He’s no Captain America when it comes to foul language…LOL
Like · Reply · 2 · 8 hrs · Edited
Michael Tennant I’m no Captain America either but I do throw those words out indiscriminately

Garbiel GuerreroI think not seeing him curse is a byproduct of being such a popular line. How many times do you get “what the….” or “holy ….” just to be interrupted by a blast or building collapse. It’s Wolverine, he’s drowned his own son, he curses.

But still not needing an r rated movie.

Like · Reply · 2 · 7 hrs

Joe GardnerI’m fairly certain Wolverine would be quite violent. Especially berserker rage Wolverine. THAT would warrant an R.

Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs

Brandon Rucker Well the comics are the standard, right? Plus the movies so far. Again, if you want to get into the gratuitous area that the R rating allows, fine, but it will be glaring and unnecessarily showy. One utterance of fuck doesnt earn the r-rating. Several will. When has it ever been necessary for Wolverine to utter more than necessary? He’s not a fucking sailor. Also, I’ve never walked out of any superhero movie thinking “Damn, I wish they had cussed more and shown more blood.” Because you can have intense violence sans blood and gore on a PG-13 rating.

Like · Reply · 2 · 5 hrs

Joshua HootenDeadpool gets an R rating and now everybody wants an R rating.

Unlike · Reply · 2 · 4 hrs

James Lawrence He’s a guy that kills people with the claws attached to his hands and doesn’t think twice about it. But cursing is out of character for him…ok Boy Scout material right there…LOL He’s not Captain America or Spider-man.

I don’t need cursing or blood but it doesn’t bother me either.

Like · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs · Edited

Joe Gardner All I’m saying is, if they would have started with an R, this would make sense. And you could’ve justified Wolverine with an R. Not vulgar like Deadpool, but still. And I’ve enjoyed the two movies, so the R isn’t necessary. But now that you’ve made two PG-13 movies, you’ll have a hard sell to make the third R.

Brandon Rucker James it’s not about it being a bother, it’s about whether or not it’s necessary. The possibility comes up and y’all lose your minds with need like we just gotta have it.. My opinion is we’ve gone decades without it, is it really necessary to shoe-horn it in just because we can? I could jump off my roof, doesn’t mean I should or that it’s a great idea.

Like · Reply · 1 · 51 mins

James LawrenceMy only argument is that it’s 100% fitting with the character. They don’t need to shoe horn it in a final movie.

Brandon RuckerUnderstood. However the studio is “aiming for an R rating”, so, y’know. #DoinTooMuch #TryinTooHard

Like · Reply · 1 · 21 mins · Edited

Joshua HootenBrandon, if you jump off your roof, I’m going to jump off of mine, just to prove I can do it.

Brandon RuckerAnd to your point, the guy kills people with his claws and he’s been doing that successfully for how long with nary a vulgar word? Why start now LOL.

I’m open to any truly compelling arguments as to why Wolverine 3 needs or should be rated R.

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Comic Book Fetish Casts Southern Bastards TV Show

By Brandon L. Rucker

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So recently it was announced that Jason Aaron & Jason Latour’s hit Image Comic series SOUTHERN BASTARDS has been optioned for television development via the FX network. This is good news. My immediate thought is that with its strong high school — and by extension college — football connection, not to mention the racially tense location in the South, this series if made will smash in that same vein as previous shows on the network like SONS OF ANARCHY and JUSTIFIED. That said, please allow me to fan-cast three of the main characters.

For Earl Tubb I present Michael Parks of KILL BILL and TUSK fame.

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For Euless Boss (adult version) I present Ron Perlman of HELLBOY and SONS OF ANARCHY fame.

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And for Coach Big I present Danny Glover, yes, he of LETHAL WEAPON fame.

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I guess you could actually reverse Mr. Parks and Mr. Perlman and do just as well. But this was my initial brainstorm. It will be interesting to see who actually gets cast once this gets past the development phase and into a fully realized TV production. Much patience is required.

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Buzz: Flash Ep. 116 & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Ep. 214

The Flash

Just to get the BUZZ section of the site going, I’m posting last week’s Facebook conversation in regards to Flash and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Brandon Rucker I just finished watching a great episode of Agents if SHIELD and a rather good episode of Flash and come here and no one’s talking about either? For shame. March 25 at 9:08pm

John Razumich Flash felt like a little bit of a let down after last week. Still good, but less hard-pumping adrenaline. Although I did like the dente between Flash and Captain Cold that set up the motivation for the Rogues that their primary goal is to beat the Flash. March 25 at 9:16pm · Unlike · 2

Joe Gardner Sorry, I’ve not watched any TV this week. March 25 at 9:17pm · Unlike · 1

Brandon Rucker There are 21 members here and a dog. We should be able to pick up your little bit of slack while you’re on vacation Joe March 25 at 9:23pm · Like · 2

Joe Gardner If it weren’t for Hulu, I’d be a tad freaked out about missing my “stories”. LOL March 25 at 9:25pm · Unlike · 2

Brandon Rucker John my daughter was saying the same about Flash but given the nature of the last episode and the fact that they aren’t going to fully pay it off right away, our perception of this episode was compromised by default. March 25 at 9:26pm · Edited · Like

Brett DaSilva Yeah. Was expecting something big for Flash, but gonna have to watch last weeks again. I thought Barry knew more about Wells. But he does now. Will be interesting. As for Shield, not liking Simmons right now. Interesting with the two Shields as well. March 25 at 10:31pm · Like

Brandon Rucker SHIELD’s really found its stride this season. All the characters and the individual roles and actions are compelling. March 25 at 10:33pm · Like

Brett DaSilva Yep. Liked Ward and Agent 13 as well. Not sure what they are up to. March 25 at 10:34pm · Unlike · 1

Brandon Rucker Nope, not all sure. Btw, James should really be watching SHIELD. It’s a slice of Marvel he could actually enjoy. Like, seriously. March 25 at 10:36pm · Like · 1

James Lawrence I need superheroes in my superhero shows, does Shield provide that? March 25 at 10:37pm · Like

Brandon Rucker Who said it was a “superhero” show? March 25 at 10:38pm · Like

James Lawrence Anyone see Iron man on Arrow tonight? March 25 at 10:38pm · Like · 1

Brandon Rucker You watch Gotham right James? No superheroes there, buddy. March 25 at 10:39pm · Like

James Lawrence No because Gotham is a show about a kid that grows up to become a superhero! Plenty of supervillains though. March 25 at 10:41pm · Like

Brandon Rucker There’s more super-powered stuff going on in SHIELD than there is in Gotham, buddy. March 25 at 10:42pm · Like

Brandon Rucker And btw, we’ll never see that kid in Gotham grow up to be a superhero, so that point is a bit moot March 25 at 10:43pm · Like

Daryll Benjamin Been an emotional week for me but I’ll share a few interesting points that got responses from Grant, Ming Na, and Kurt Busiek when I get home March 26 at 12:09am · Unlike · 1

Brandon Rucker Awesome, Daryll. Always appreciate your insight and perspective. March 26 at 12:10am · Like

Daryll Benjamin I called Barry a douche on Twitter along with saying that he never saw Back to the Future II which got Grant Gustin laughing March 26 at 12:10am · Unlike · 2

Daryll Benjamin Then I got Mark Hamill to retweet my point that he already stole next week’s show through the promo March 26 at 12:12am · Unlike · 1

Daryll Benjamin On the SHIELD side, I moaned out loud that I had to wait a week for Bobbi vs May… Which got BOTH actresses retweeting…. March 26 at 12:13am · Unlike · 1

Daryll Benjamin And I asked Kurt Busiek if he saw the episode because NuSHIELD felt a lot like his V-Battalion from Thundersolts March 26 at 12:15am · Unlike · 2

Daryll Benjamin So I was on a roll but I was totally geeking over both shows March 26 at 12:15am · Unlike · 1

Brandon Rucker ^ Hell yeah! March 26 at 12:16am · Like

Daryll Benjamin I’m about 40 mins from doing it with Arrow so if I get anything interesting I’ll share of course March 26 at 12:17am · Like

Steve BurnChimp Damm Scheduled for tomorrow afternoon while I write a review. March 26 at 12:47am · Like

Brett DaSilva Awesome Daryll . I got geeked out when the artist of the Nova re-tweeted my review and favorited it March 26 at 8:20am · Like