In Episode 11 of the Crooked Table Podcast, the Fandom Menace returns! Rob and Freddy geek out to discuss the latest DC and Marvel news, including an in-depth look at the trailers for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad as well as a review of Marvel’s Ant-Man.
There’s a moment midway through Pixels where the military realize they are outmatched by the invading aliens/retro video game characters, and the president himself (Kevin James; more on that later) allows the gaming experts played by Adam Sandler and Josh Gad to assume command of the battle. In that moment, the film nearly stumbles on to some meaningful subtext. After all, we’re all living in a world where comic book properties are the premier form of entertainment and tech skills are essential for landing a job. More than ever, being a geek is (as we once pointed out) actually a tremendous asset. Unfortunately, that split-second of promise is as close as Pixels gets to excellence.
There’s a certain gender stereotype that tends to worm its way into some romantic comedies, wherein a straight-arrow career woman crosses paths with a lazy man-child in need of a swift twist of fate to get his life together. It’s a concept that is perhaps best exemplified by Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy Knocked Up. However, with Trainwreck, Apatow and comedian Amy Schumer flip that premise on its head, and the results add up to Apatow’s best directorial effort since Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl shared the screen eight years ago.
After seven years of consecutive hits, Marvel Studios has essentially proved that it can turn just about any of its comic book titles into a cash cow at the box office. After all, once you’ve led a gun-toting raccoon to more than $700 million worldwide, it’s all downfall from there. Truly, Ant-Man doesn’t feel nearly as risky a big-screen proposition as it once did, and as it turns out, the film isn’t nearly as new and different as fans would hope. Continue reading
Both Despicable Me and its sequel present a wonderfully outlandish world wherein supervillains reign supreme and where even a guy as curmudgeonly as Gru can find his dark ambitions softened by a trio of little girls. However, while the franchise has established both Steve Carell’s Gru and his adopted daughters (remember “It’s so FLUFFY!”?) as beloved characters in their own right, it is Gru’s mischievous Minions that have become the breakout star of the films. Now, as if beckoned by the call of the untold fortune awaiting at the box office, Universal brings an entire film devoted to the yellow little creatures.