Monday, February 15, 2016

There's A Review In All This Somewhere

Calvin: {Did I go to see Deadpool opening night? Of course not, don't be silly. Did I go to see the earliest possible showing of Deadpool on Saturday? Yes, yes I did. And now I'm going to tell you all about it, and then you won't have to go- *audible sound of gun cocking*

I mean, I'm going to tell you about it so you can decide if you'd like to go see it or not.}

Deadpool: [Better. Now spoiler warning this post, cubby.]

Clever Adolescent Panda: Yeah.

Calvin: {What are you doing? He's holding a gun on me!}

CAP: People who don't give spoiler warnings are the biggest jerks!

Calvin: {I never said I wouldn't! Spoiler warning! Spoiler Warning! Please Heed this SPOILER WARNING!, my life depends on it! I know Barry Allen asked you to read something once to save him, and maybe you said you'd never listen to one of those pleas again, but seriously, I'm so much better and more interesting than Barry Allen. Not more interesting than Wally West, but Barry? Absolutely.}

Deadpool: [Plain oatmeal drying on stucco is more interesting than Barry Allen.]

CAP: *nods sagely*

Calvin: {OK, so the short review is - and keep in mind this is not terribly objective, even if the title character wasn't standing right here with a firearm - I liked it a lot.}

Deadpool: [Whew! That is such a relief.]

Calvin: {Sure, I probably had a fairly low bar set for it, like I do with most comic book adaptation movies. Batman and Robin will always cast that long shadow over my expectations. Plus, just the general rule that most things in any form of entertainment are terrible. Spurgeon's law or whatever. But I really did have a good time, and judging by the amount of laughter in the audience - pretty decent crowd, too - so did a lot of other people. Oh, and one more time for the cheap seats: SPOILER WARNING! I'm not sure when things considered spoilers will start, but they certainly exist in this review somewhere. You were warned, so no bitching afterward.}

Calvin: {It is definitely an R-rated movie, though. There's dismemberment, lots of profanity - maybe even too much, I thought Deadpool was forcing it a bit near the end - nudity - both male and female, for those of you who wanted see Ryan Reynolds with no pants, congratulations! It's your Christmas!}

Deadpool: [There was not nearly enough nudity. I go pantsless way more than that.]

Calvin: {Not on this blog, and certainly not when the panda's around.}

Deadpool: [Did you take the little one with you?]

CAP: *pouting* No he didn't. He went alone! Jerk.

Calvin: {*laughs nervously* Ha, ha, yeah, I just forgot to call.}

*Flashback to last week. Calvin is backed up against a wall, Intimidating Mama Panda glowering at him.*

Calvin: {OK, OK, I promise, I will not take the kid to see Deadpool! I swear! Just don't tear my face off.}

*flashback ends*

Calvin: {Ha, ha, yeah, just plumb forgot, is all. Where was I? Oh, and so many jokes about masturbation. Seriously, if they got 50 bucks for each one, they could probably cover the budget of the film right there. I'm surprised they didn't do a product placement for some lotion or something. They've plastered Wade's (masked) face all over the place.}

CAP: Ew.

Deadpool: [I sent them notes! But I think my mail gets stopped because all the explosive residue sets off the bomb-sniffing dogs.]

Calvin: {If I were going to compare it to something readers of this blog might know, I'd say it's kind of like Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Marvel Knights Punisher run. With the Russian, and all the kind of dark humor and cartoon violence. But maybe both a little sillier and a little bloodier than that, though it's been awhile since I read those books, I may not be giving Ennis and Dillon enough credit. It is definitely not a superhero movie that takes itself too seriously, if that was something you were worried about. I'm not sure why you would have been, I feel the marketing has been clearly indicating that, but just in case.}

Calvin: {They've been doing some of the marketing for the film portraying it as a romantic comedy, and it does have elements of that. Boy and girl meet, bond over seeing who had the worse childhood, as well as having sex on holidays in ways that were thematically appropriate. Boy contracts cancer pretty much everywhere. Relationship is strained, they're separated but still love each other. Tragedy forces him to get over his whinging bullshit and go be with her. Swelling music*pauses, looks at Wade expectantly*}

Deadpool: [*looks over from staring out the window at the snow* Oh, right! Not the only thing swelling!]

CAP: *Shakes head*

Calvin: {You can't miss your cues like that. C'mon, maximum effort, right? When did that become your catchphrase anyway? Is that a Joe Kelly thing I just missed? Anyway, I did actually buy into Wade and Vanessa's relationship, though she doesn't get a whole lot to do. Kind of falls out of the movie as an active presence once Wade goes to be a guinea pig, until near the end. Might have been good to check in occasionally and show what she was doing while he was off suffering from Ajax' tender mercies. She did get to save 'Pool's bacon at one point.}

Calvin: {Actually, I enjoyed that whole final action sequence. There were two different spots, within a couple of minutes, where I thought there were going one way, and then went another. For one, I thought Wade was going to get so hung up on killing Ajax/Francis that he forgot about Vanessa. Mostly because I don't expect Deadpool to get happy endings. But the first chance he gets, he takes steps to make sure she doesn't die. So that pleasantly surprised me. Also, I liked Deadpool/Colossus/Negasonic Teenage Warhead as a trio. I thought Reynolds and Brianna Hildrebrand, who plays Negasonic, had a good back-and-forth. Colossus gets to be the role model one, exasperated by Deadpool's immaturity, and she gets to be the one who thinks Wade's just a moron, and calls him on some of his stuff, but grudgingly accepts he can be OK, sometimes. Admittedly, Colossus gets stuck as a total square, the kind of square-jawed, "Drink your milk, kids" type people think Captain America is sometimes. So he ends up the butt of a few jokes, and oh crap, I'm the Colossus in this group, aren't I?}

CAP: It sure sounds like it.

Deadpool: [Yeah, obviously. And I'm Negasonic Teenage Warhead!]

CAP: No, you're Deadpool, Deadpool.

Deadpool: [That's boring. And I want a cooler codename!] 

Calvin: {Wait, I can't be Colossus. I've never tried to be a role model in my life. That's the panda's job, to be the mature one in the bunch! I'm all about long silences, punctuated by sarcasm. So that makes me Negasonic Teenage Warhead! Whoo! Whoo! In both your faces! Wait, why am I so excited to be a teenage girl?}

Deadpool: [Sounds like you need a session with Dr. Deadpool, Surprise Psychiatrist. Just lay down on my couch. . .]

Calvin: {NO. Back on topic. So, yeah, the interplay between the three was enjoyable, everyone takes a turn getting poked fun at, because no one in this movie is going to escape a little of that. The world this movie inhabits doesn't play favorites that way. I liked how the first third, half, of the film was set up. Rather than the more standard origin film approach of showing us Wade, then the cancer, then the experiments, then, tada! Deadpool, it starts with an action sequence in the present, which it occasionally takes a break from to flashback to the earlier stuff, and the flashbacks gradually catch up to the present. It probably helps as a way to compare and contrast Wade Wilson with Deadpool, and it keeps the movie from getting too bogged down in the more slow-paced stuff from the past. I think they understood their audience was going to want action sequences.}

CAP: I love action sequences. Why didn't you bring me along again?

Calvin: {Because your mot- because I forgot! I forgot! Hahahah! That's entirely why! I kind of hate to say this, but I feel like the film could have been a little longer. It isn't one of the 150 minute things Marvel tends to pump out, it's about 105 minutes, and it feels longer, there's a lot in there, but there were some places I thought they could have used a little more. Like the relationship between Deadpool and Blind Al. I kind of expected some sort of scene where we see what the two of them get out of the whole thing, beyond someone to split the rent with, and it never really materialized. That's me projecting a bit based on what I know from Joe Kelly's work with the characters, and it doesn't get anywhere near as dark as that did, which is good, but I think a couple more relatively brief scenes might have done it.}

Deadpool: [What about our touching scene on the couch?]

Calvin: {The one where you kept creeping her out with your baby hand? That's the closest I saw, but it kind of got short-circuited. Maybe what I'm looking for would have broke the tone of the movie entirely, which would have been jarring, I'm not sure. I just kind of expected Al was there for more than strictly jokes about the old blind lady arguing over furniture with the lunatic.}

CAP: They argue over furniture.

Calvin: {Like a married couple. It's almost sweet. I've been wavering on whether the last bit of the movie, the lead up to the final battle, seemed rushed. It kind of did, but I think it's because so much of what set it up was at the very beginning, and then interspersed between the flashbacks. So maybe the structure of the film messes with the pacing.}

CAP: You just said you liked how they did the first part!

Calvin: {I know, but I can't shake the feeling the pacing was off, and I wonder if trying something somewhat different from the conventional cape comic movie story structure is the culprit. I'd really need to watch it again.}

CAP: Great! take me this time.

Calvin: {No, because you mother will take my face off, and I'm not prepared for that.}

CAP: I knew you didn't forget! Darn it, mom!

Deadpool: [Might be an improvement.]

Calvin: {Thanks, Wade. That means a lot coming from you. Let's see, what else to discuss? Ed Skrein and Gina Carano as the villains were OK. There's not much to them. I guess Ajax is supposed to be a guy who lost his ability to care about the suffering of others when he lost his ability to feel anything. I'm not sure how heightened reflexes and not being able to feel convert to strong being strong enough to pick up a guy by the neck with one hand and hold him a foot off the ground. Even if you can't feel your muscles complaining, if they can't do it, they can't do it. But he does provide for a bit of contrast to Wade. Guy who can't feel, but can still be killed, who doesn't care about causing pain, and the guy who can recover from almost anything physically, but it all still hurts, and he doesn't necessarily enjoy causing pain. Unless the people are bad guys, and he hates them. Because Wade doesn't always rise above his based impulses.}

Deadpool: [Base impulses are fun!]

CAP: Come on Wade, be a hero. Take the high road.

Deadpool: [Now don't you start with that!]

Calvin: {Carano didn't get even that much to work with. I would have at least liked to know why she kept matches all the time, but we didn't even get that. Did she keep lighting Ajax' hair on fire as a joke, and that's why he shaved it? We don't know. So little more time fleshing out the villains wouldn't have hurt, but I guess they're mostly just another obstacle in the love story. A problem to be overcome so our beautiful protagonists, er beautiful protagonist, and her kind of messed up boyfriend, can be reunited. If you're being generous. I really enjoyed the soundtrack. I never got the hullabaloo over the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, because none of it was music I have any particular fondness for. I'm not even saying I loved that many of the songs in this one, taken strictly as songs.}

Deadpool: [Not even the cool rap about me in the middle?]

CAP: You got your own rap song?! Damn it, I want to see this movie!

Deadpool: [With a potty mouth like that, your mother will never let you go.]

CAP: Wade, don't mock me. . .

Calvin: {The rap about you, and the whole costume design/tracking down the bad guys sequence was great. I would watch the movie again, just so I could pay more attention to the lyrics. I was kind of distracted by the violence. I meant that none of them were songs that I would normally consider favorites or anything. But I liked the variety, the sappy stuff in happy moments, some of the choices during your time being experimented on, which were kind of bizarre at first glance, but make sense if I figure Ajax is enjoying the hell out of this, and that it's an awful nightmare you can't escape from. And that you had music picked out for a slow, badass walk sequence.}

Deadpool: [Oh. Well, good.]

Calvin: {Weird thing. That WHAM! song that plays in the movie, when I stopped at a grocery store for bananas and soda after the film, it was playing in there, too.}

Deadpool: [Sounds like we're definitely in the Matrix.]

Calvin: {If we were, you'd tell me right?}

Deadpool: [Sure, absolutely. . . Probably not, assuming they fixed my face and gave me a nice job.]

CAP: Wade, don't be Joe Pantoliano.

Calvin: {He could do worse than being Joe Pantoliano.}

CAP: Well, that's true. This is really running on. Do you want to try summing it up?

Calvin: {Sure? Anything's worth a try. Enjoyable movie, could have stood to develop some of the other characters a little more, lotta funny parts, depending on your sense of humor. There is an end credits sequence, if you want to stick around for that, and a Stan Lee cameo, if you care. Definitely don't take small kids to it. Or if you do, at least don't try and pin the blame for doing so on me.}

CAP: Sounds solid.

Calvin: {I left the movie and ran across the parking lot, I was so pumped after seeing it.}

CAP: You run a lot though.

Calvin: {But not enthusiastically.}

CAP: Oooh, good point. You really did like this.

Calvin: {A hell of a lot more than the last film I saw in theaters. Spectre can choke on my monumental indifference.}

Deadpool: [Do you think I'll win any Academy Awards?]

Calvin: {Have you started campaigning, sending bribes to whoever the hell it is votes on those things?}

Deadpool: [No, do you mean like, threatening to kill them? Or offering to kill people for them for a reduced rate? I offered to kill some people for Meryl Streep, she says she takes care of her own business.]

CAP: She's so cool.

Deadpool: [I know! Maybe I can get her to play Cable!]

Calvin: {Based on those responses, I think you're out of luck.}

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