2460f53854be7ef8f3e7ee40220e8e4d

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer: Peter Parker Seems to Be Feeling Just Fine

Looks damn promising…..REC

It’s been a week full of Marvel Studios mania. The week kicked off with a new trailer for Captain Marvel and it wrapped up with the mysterious teaser for Avengers: Endgame. However, let’s not forget that there are three movies coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year, and the first trailer for the third and final one has been released.

Spider-Man: Far From Home has Peter Parker (Tom Holland) getting back to heroics, but the question is whether or not this movie takes place before the events of Avengers: Infinity War or after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Does the trailer help clarify? Find out by watching below.

Spider-Man Far From Home Trailer

This time Peter Parker and his pals are going overseas on a trip, but of course, trouble follows the webslinger even when he’s on vacation, forcing him to get caught up in action outside of New York City. But there’s no indication whatsoever as to where this falls in the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. It just acts like you picked up with Spider-Man again and nothing else major has happened in his life, whether it’s from Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame.

Jake Gyllenhaal takes post as the new villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing one of Spider-Man’s signature villains, the genius known as Mysterio. But he’s not alone, because Michael Keaton will also be involved in some capacity as Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming.

There’s not just a new villain, but a new look for our hero. In fact, there are two new looks for Spider-Man on the way. Spidey has a new suit inspired by his original design created by artist Steve Ditko, but he’ll also be suited up in a stealth suit that looks more like a SWAT Team member with Spider-Man eyes. It’s a much better option than the bright colored suit, especially if you need to get involved in spying overseas.

Speaking of spying, let’s not forget about Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders coming into the Spider-Man franchise as Nick Fury and Maria Hill. They’ll be good allies to have for whatever sneaking around Spidey needs to do this time.

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 5, 2019.

Advertisements

into the spider

With a 97 percent approval rating  on Rotten Tomatoes and such pronouncements as “the greatest Spiderman movie ever”, I endeavoured to view this film with an objective mind. Miles Morales’ Spiderman is a relatively new character, created in the late 90s in a universe building venture to engage newer/younger fans. The Ultimate Universe that ensued presenting new-ish takes on existing long time characters delivered a mixed bag. With M.M. however, a palpable hit character was created. When stepping out of the shadow of Marvel’s flagship and best selling character Spiderman, the film had to make its mark and successfully define itself as something worth viewing considering the current saturation of the character via various media platforms. Was it successful in doing this? More importantly was it a good movie? My review follows below.

This film was visually dazzling and unquestionably ground breaking. The style of animation was something fresh and new. My concern was that the film would be purely a launching point for Miles Morales’ Ultimate Spiderman at the possible expense of the legendary material that informed it. My fears were quickly allayed with some pretty darn superior story telling. The voice work was equally solid; the dramatic performances no less so.

First and foremost, the film delves into the Spiderman mythos. It is brilliantly self aware and Chris Pine’s Peter Parker/Spiderman captures the heart of the character with such superb opening material as:

Peter Parker [narrating]  Alright, let’s do this one last time. My name is Peter Parker. I was bitten by a radioactive spider and for ten years I’ve been the one and only Spider-Man. I’m pretty sure you know the rest. I saved a bunch of people, fell in love, saved the city, and then I saved the city again and again and again… And, uh… I did this….

The “this” is of course a funny as hell reference to the much reviled dancing Spiderman sequence from the intensely divisive Spiderman III. The sequences which precede it however freely mine the Maguire/Raimi stories with due respect. Honestly, while I do really like the current Tom Holland variant, pound for pound the first two Spiderman films still stand out as ageless classics. This being said, this frenzied amalgam of both hero and villains simply killed. I had a minor complaint about Liev Shreiber’s Kingpin/Wilson Fisk…and it is twofold….the essential Ray Donovan Southie accent fell flat and the animation which made him appear as a massive “Gru-esque” parody of the original character devalued his villainy to some extent. His story arc was solid and again freely mined the source material to superb effect however.

Shameik Moore brought Miles Morales to life with a combination of heart, fear, fearlessness and utter genuine nature. Miles is a kid. He is finding his place in a new school with his parents’ hope he can excel in a safer, more refined environment. He is anxious, funny, kind and innocent. His cooler manner however makes him more of a natural among kids his age and he does not fall into the trap of isolation the original Spiderman fell  prey to. You like him almost immediately and this allows you to invest in his character. His interactions with new student Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld) resonate as they would with anyone who has been young and wanted to impress a young woman. His interactions with his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali) however  opens up his character, allowing him a more worldly, and occasionally rebellious view. His reactions to being gifted with powers beyond his imagining were astoundingly relate-able. He is again…a kid.

With “S.I.T.S.”, characters are not who they appear to be. Characters that have been long  defined become something far greater. You will never look at “The Prowler” again in the same light. This universe’s rendition to him is akin to Todd MacFarlane’s Spawn and duly fearsome. Kathryn Hahn’s “Dr.Octopus” was a very bright take on a long existing character. This is a fun movie, but it has due gravitas, including loss. The encounter between Spiderman (Pine) and Fisk (Shreiber) is brutal. A later moment between the Prowler and Morales’ Spiderman is no less so.

The film was overall a very pleasant surprise. Nic Cage’s Spiderman Noir was just perfect. A character I expected to fully dislike, namely John Mulaney’s ‘Spider Ham” actually delivered both splendid comedic lines and tight action sequences. Actually pretty much every action sequence in this movie was outstanding.

The use of a collider with the purpose of breaching dimensions is an oft used plot device in sci fi fare, but here, it played extremely well and felt fresh. Each character’s awareness of their particular lot, including the cost of being in a foreign dimension led to both cool visual moments and a genuinely tight, entertaining narrative.

Jake Johnson’s more beat down version of Spiderman initially grates but quickly yields gold both in his interactions with Miles as a potential mentor and later true inspiration. The banking off each character, with deepest nods to Gwen (Steinfeld) and Johnson’s Parker/Spidey, allowed for each character to tap into their better selves. The initial failure of the “hobo-esque’ Spiderman plays initially for laughs but quickly pushes forth the true toll of being a hero for over twenty years.

With “Spider verse”, Sony gets it right, giving due credit to a character who has proven so successful in every respect for their organisation. With this run, the notion that a film outside the standard MCU continuity could be so very good without direct Marvel oversight creates a hope for future offerings. Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse is as close to an animated masterpiece as you can get.

th

If this image causes you to utter WTF…you are not alone. Unfortunately this opening segment informs what is to come more than I would like as the mystery aspect of Dick Grayson returning to Gotham could have stood as spectacular on its own. Nonetheless, Titans season 1 is capped off with a very large bang and  an end credit segmentthat stands to raise a show that is already exceedingly good to an even greater height. My review follows below.

Dick’s idyllic life is visited and via a flash forward sequence, we learn he has made all the right moves, now in a loving relationship as a father and father to be. Moments of domestic bliss played very well as both Brenton Thwaites’ Grayson and Minka Kelly’s  Dawn Granger/Dove have strong on screen chemistry. The moments between them feel earned. The follow up with Gar (Ryan Potter) and Rachel (Teagan Croft) now on their own and doing well feels equally right. We know however that this is “Titans” and a very, very dark show. As such, dark reality will need to intrude.

The meeting between Jason Todd/Robin (Curran Walters) and Grayson delivered. Having learned the harsh lesson Dick attempted to push in an earlier episode, the Jason Todd who appears now is humbled and imploring. The reveal that Batman has become unhinged after the Joker’s latest murderous run is at the core of Jason’s visit.  Jason referring to Dick as the “real Robin” and the “one Batman listens to” is a stark contrast from the arrogant swaggering youth who visited with Dick before. The liberal references to both Batman family, rogues and allies kicked up the sequence several notches. This series unlike its predecessors seem less afraid to acknowledge its expansive universe. This in my opinion makes the show stronger.

th23

Upon  Jason’s reveal, Dick’s trip to Gotham to reach Bruce Wayne/ Batman is a foregone conclusion. The arrival yielded exceedingly bleak, grim fare including a cabbie’s suggesting Grayson stay in Boston, 6 hours away, when he asks where he might find a good hotel in town. The ep played like a descent into madness with supernatural overtones. Moments upon his arrival, Grayson reaches out to his old mentor to attempt to talk him down. From the hotel room to the crime scenes and eventual “assault on Arkham”, this ep played as untethered, unbalanced and anxiety inducing- all desired effects. Grayson’s initial intercession in a domestic squabble is later revisited with a harsher approach from him and the feeling of escalation continues to resonate.

Dick’s reconnecting with Kory (Anna Diop) allowed for her reintroduction in a new role. Her appearance pushes forth the question as to why her Starfire look had to be so ostentatious with bright pink hair. Her current look could easily have been modified so as to pay tribute to the character she plays in an easily understated fashion. Diop’s performance however remains solid.  In any case, Kory’s reconnection with Dick indicates the depth of her importance to him on a personal level.

The appearance of a lead police officer (Seamus Dever) who requests Grayson’s personal assistance and insight to take Batman down reminds the viewer of the actual con that is being played out. Batman’s behavior with the Joker initially presented a strong image that many might deem as overdue. The later follow through in a hospital however is next level. Batman’s course correction at Arkham with due representations of his enemies in his wake was superior. The continual referral to Batman’s code mirroring Grayson/Robin’s own to a degree is tested. After Batman’s action against Kory, Grayson makes a decision that cannot possibly play well. A final sequence yields a taste of Trigon’s (Dever) end game. Rachel’s reaction offers a trace of hope for salvation but as the season ends, we must await another year to learn what next will pass.

The end credit scene offering another presence allows for access to a DC classic and potential upending of the current Titan team dynamic. Titans, in a brief 11 episode run gets so much more done than most current series do in 20 plus runs. Titans is assuredly outstanding and well worth your time.

bvs-civil-warp-ig-marvel-memes-no-people-this-is-what-6955051

First and foremost I would see this movie…kudos to the folks who came up with the meme:) Briefly and to the point, hope everyone has Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays as befits your beliefs and practices. At this time, the world is very much on fire in many quadrants, literally and figuratively. Now more than ever, we must remember we have more in common than not and pull together, reminding ourselves steadily that there is more good in us – and this world – than bad. I wish you all peace and good will throughout 2019 and beyond.

 

REC

Honestly, while comparisons to Led Zeppelin may abound, Greta Van Fleet goes out of its way to ensure the band’s legitimacy. They are borne of such bands as Zep, Cream and AC/DC but the group is endeavoring – successfully- to bring next gen music fans to the light regarding rock n roll. Josh Kiszka, howls, screams and sings the arse off every song on this album presenting everything from folk, old blues style music to withering rock n roll sonic assaults.

Bolstered by brothers Jake (guitars) and Sam (bass), and friend Danny Wagner on drums, GVF opens with a melodic flourish and absolute change in tempo from what they  have presented so far. Having deeply enjoyed their ep, this latest endeavor allows the band to stretch a bit. “Age of Man” is epic coming off as a sort of hymn with a message of hope. “Watching Over’ presents such lyrical gems as:

Turn back the clock within your glass of sand
To a time of love within this blackened land
A silent child climbs a mound of char
Where he plants a seed that grows beyond the stars

“Lover, Leaver” is just plain kickass rock n roll. Framed by a deep Zep vibe, the song maintains a heavy even beat, solid- so very solid – guitar work by Jake who is so very fluid and even keel. The group’s drum work is also not to be dismissed. Presenting a pounding back beat that tightens the band’s overall sound, the drum work on this song compliments Josh’s vocal, stratospheric calesthenics. Honestly, each component of the band is strong. Sam’s bass frames all songs aiding in the firm distribution of the powerhouse rock sound.

Again lyrics with Lover, Leaver- my personal favorite- are vintage rock n roll:

Oh my holy lord
Sets my soul on fire
Flames of love and sweet perfume
She’s my heart’s desire
She’s an angel straight from hell
Draws me to the deep
In the darkness way below
It’s my heart she’ll keep

The release “When the Curtain Falls” is not the best track on this latest disk but is still damned stellar. A cool indictment of the shallow rich and famous lifestyle is ably put forth.

When the curtain falls
Walk the hollow halls babe
Once a valley doll
Now you’re not at all

Vocals on this run are blistering as is the guitar work. The premiere of this song live on Jimmy Fallon recognized that this is a band meant to be seen live. They sound amazing and have easily earned a spot on my bucket list.

“You’re the One” is more folky than previous volleys but has due resonance and punch. The theme of someone not being good for you but you want them anyway persists in this album. “New Day” maintains the folk-ish acoustic vibe that permeates several tunes in this latest effort. “Mountain of the Sun” features some pretty damned fine slide guitar work by  Jake. “Anthem” closes off the album with a fitting reverie and peaceful folky sign off noting:

With the news there’s something every day
So many people thinking different ways, you say
Where is the music?
A tune to free the soul
A simple lyric to unite us all, you know

Where is the music indeed? It is alive and well in the forms of four young men from Frankenmuth, Michigan. Greta Van Fleet does not reinvent the wheel with “Peaceful Army” but it reminds us that rock n roll is still in very good hands. Another superior effort by a superior band I cannot wait to see. GVF is outstanding and well worth a listen.

Aquaman- A Review

Posted: 12/23/2018 in Uncategorized

aquaman

After seeing this film with my lovely wife, an usher stopped us and asked us what we thought. A quick moment later and the young man demonstrated a fairly keen knowledge of the DC universe and his hopes that Aquaman might fix much of what is broken. Will it? Time will tell, but for the moment I believe DC has a genuine hit on its hands.

I won’t lie. When Jason Momoa was cast in the role I had misgivings and might have jokingly christened him “Aqua-Momoan”. This being said, his work in Justice League was promising. His performance in Aquaman has made the role his own. Wonder Woman was a step in the right direction but Aquaman actually “world builds”. The scope of the story spanning the history of Atlantis had surprising depth. The visuals were absolutely stellar. Gone is the early 2000s video game folly….the amazing pastiche that is brought forth via the myriad seascapes and cultures at the ocean’s depths was riveting. My wife and I opted for 3D and were very pleased that we did.

The different kingdoms stemming from the original seven rulers played extremely well. While all were well done – the Trench Kingdom was both the most brilliant and unsettling. A Dantesque descent into hell featuring Arthur Curry/Aquaman and Mera (Amber Heard) pushing past the trenchers was anxiety inducing and beautiful simultaneously.

The film was very much a quest story. King Arthur’s journey was fueled by Excalibur and the eventual hunt for the Holy Grail. Arthur Curry, the man who could be king, seeks a trident whose origin reaches back to Atantis’ first king- Atlan (Graham MacTavish). The quest through different countries expanded the reach of the film with such locations as Italy and Africa before returning to the multiple Kingdoms beneath the sea. The film is beautifully shot and paced. .

Amber Heard was not my first choice for Mera….Her previous work never really resonated with me. Mera is fierce, powerful yet incredibly loyal to both her people and kingdom. The majority of her time with Aquaman consists of her pushing him, criticizing him and simply course correcting him. His nature is that of a warrior, but a joyful one. This dual nature was hinted at in Justice League. Here, it is openly explored. The more she balks at his fitness to rule, the more he simply is…Momoa’s Arthur Curry is the most chill, zen-ish version of this character thus far. Over time, both audience and Mera warm to him. Momoa is unquestionably charismatic as hell and having the time of his life which shows perfectly on screen.

Aquaman’s opening moments on a ship yield another origin story line with later consequences.  Arthur’s line about the sea showing mercy was terrifically delivered. The seamless illustration of his strength and ferocity, along with his ultimate humanity is marred by one understandable decision. His later review of said action, illustrates character growth.  A bar scene after Aquaman’s rescue could easily have played as standard fist fight and bad assery demo but instead presented something far more fun. With Aquaman DC finally gets it….presenting a due balance of humor, heart and action. There are stakes, there is loss but there is also warmth.

The film at its core is about family. Its inception is the basis for Arthur’s journey. The coming together of both worlds -the sea and the surface – yields his existence. His sense of self is anchored more on land than at sea as his mother, Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) is lost to him. His abilities make him an outsider which was keenly displayed during an early scene with him being bullied as a boy. His dumb, ‘blunt instrument’ veneer is just that. His easily navigating various places on land, as well as demonstrating both linguistic and historical knowledge allows Mera to grasp how much more to him there is and that he might very well be worthy of the throne. The chemistry between the two is palpable and as it occurs organically is earned. The illustration of her fighting skills and water manipulating abilities had due oomph on the big screen.

Villains were quite fantastic in this film. The ripped from the pages Black Manta  (Yahya Abdul Mateen II) was just outstanding. His look, his demeanor and vendetta got due delving and while you could not sympathize with him, you could nonetheless understand the course he sets for himself. His fight sequences with Aquaman were superior. No less so was the presentation of Orm (Patrick Wilson), current king and eventual over ruler or “Ocean Master”. His fight sequences with again “ripped from comic books” look were dazzling. His ruthlessness presented a man more obsessed with power than his people’s well being. Though honestly, his ‘sending a message’ to the surface world was pretty spectacular and left a solid statement about our environmental state without preaching.

Smaller, supporting roles were ably filled with proper kudos being assigned to Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Orm’s vizier and former trainer of Arthur. Dafoe’s performance was understated but effective. Even Dolph Lundgren’s ‘King Nereus’ had proper presence, fleshing out another key figure contributing to the main narrative.

There was a satisfactory twist that defied the source material. There was an end credit promise of things to come but above all, there was a fulfilling, entertaining story told. Aquaman is a great course correction for DC. While the current North American totals underwhelmed, I am hopeful that word of mouth will push this film to where it deserves to be, among the genre’s most respected and financially viable. Aquaman gets it right presenting a movie that is quite outstanding and  well worth your time.

Doom Patrol Promo

Posted: 12/22/2018 in Uncategorized

untitled

Doom Patrol series announces premiere date, character posters and trailer

The upcoming live-action series Doom Patrol will be premiering on DC Universe starting February 15, 2019. The announcement came with a slew of character posters and even a teaser trailer to get you hyped, which you can check out in the post below!

Part support group, part superhero team, the Doom Patrol is a band of super-powered freaks who fight for a world that wants nothing to do with them. Picking up after the events of TitansDoom Patrol will find these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by none other than Cyborg, who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same.

Doom Patrol stars Joivan Wade as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Brendan Fraser as Robotman, Matt Bomer as Negative Man, Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder/The Chief, April Bowlby as Elasti-Woman, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane and Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody.

The Doom Patrol characters previously appeared in the fifth episode of Greg Berlanti’s DC Universe live-action drama Titans, with Bruno Bichir, April Bowlby, Jack Michaels, and Dwain Murphy starring. The direct-to-series order of 13 episodes will be written by Supernatural‘s Jeremy Carver and will be executive produced by Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Jeremy Carver, and Sarah Schechter. DC Universe recently announced that another live-action series, Swamp Thing, is being developed for the digital service. The series is being executive produced by James Wan (The Conjuring universe, Saw franchise, The Tommyknockers) and will debut in 2019.

Berlanti, a master of superhero TV shows, has helmed series including All AmericanArrowBlack Lightning, DC’s Legends of TomorrowThe FlashRiverdaleSupergirlBlindspotGod Friended MeThe Red LineThe Chilling Adventures of SabrinaYou, and Titans.

Doom Patrol will stream exclusively on DC Universe starting February 15.

black-lightning

Maintaining traction set from inception, the mid season finale opened the series a little more, pushing forth the notion that heroism runs deeply in the Pierce family tree. Tobias’ (Marvin Jones III) reach extends a little further and the presentation of another meta human agent to add to the already volatile mix stood to ensure the remainder of the season will be captivating.

The Khalil (Jordan Calloway)/Jennifer (China Anne McClain) dynamic continued to develop with her commitment to him being undeniable. The effects of Cutter’s (Kearran Giovanni) attack find Khalil in grave condition. Jen quickly grasps how near death Khalil might be and acts accordingly. Her evolution from privileged young girl to steely, determined bad-ass has occurred organically and is therefore intensely watchable. Her actions on Khalil’s behalf mirror Anissa’s earlier illegal actions (Nafessa Williams) regarding her community. Ultimately,  Jennifer will do what is required to ensure the right thing gets done. The ep was very Jen-centric with the Jefferson/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) sub plot playing  in the periphery.

Every member of the Pierce family gets screen time and character exploration with this run. Lynn (Christine Adams) seems to crumble a bit which is notable considering her normal hard edged resourcefulness. Her fearing her daughter’s loss while dealing with the recent incident with the “Green Light Babies” has led to her greatly suffering and has allowed for Adams to stretch dramatically on screen. Lynn’s follow up actions with Khalil’s father  could have played a myriad number of ways, but instead presented a study in humanity and strength.

The trio of BL, Thunder/Anissa and Gambi (James Remar) played as well as it always does. Gambi’s genuinely looking after every member of the family is at the heart of his character. His assisting Lynn who acts independently, as she cannot sit idly by waiting for Jefferson to find Jennifer, reinforces his role. Gambi physically taking on Jefferson, who in a moment of crisis nearly risked everything, was superior. The demonstration of BL’s abilities outside of his suit reminds the viewer of exactly how powerful he is. A later segment featuring BL tapping into power lines to find Jennifer allowed for great visuals and a cool overall moment.

Jennifer’s keying into her own potential via connecting with her more confident self and Perenna (Erika Alexander) demonstrated fantastic growth for this character. Her recollecting her education, namely the science of electricity, brought about one of the episode’s most superior moments. Her spotting then dealing with Cutter was pretty damned momentous. Her forcing a solution to Khalil’s failing condition again demonstrated Jennifer’s strength of  character. Her unwillingness to leave Khalil afterward further emphasizes her growth.

Jefferson and crew eventually finding the scene of Jennifer’s rising up allowed for a more somber denouement. Even Khalil pushed for Jen reaching back to her family. Tobias pushing for Cutter to follow his mandate regarding Khalil…at all costs…might very well tie into the end sequence threat to come. The end segment featuring a teleporter no less assuredly whet the appetite for the second half of season 2.

Honestly, whatever negativity is being laid out by fans of the first season who aren’t on board with season 2’s more dramatic turn, the show does not suffer for it. Black Lightning remains engaging and a completely different take on standard super hero fare. BL remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

Hellboy Trailer

Posted: 12/19/2018 in Uncategorized

untitled.png

The Hellboy trailer is here!

At long last, the Hellboy trailer has been unleashed! Featuring star David Harbour as the titular hero, you can check out the trailer in the player below!

The Stranger Things actor stars as the title character, and will be joined by Ian McShane (Deadwood, American Gods) who plays Hellboy’s adoptive father, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (aka Professor Broom), Milla Jovovich (The Fifth ElementResident Evil franchise) as villain Nimue aka the Blood Queen, Sasha Lane (American Honey) will play Alice Monaghan, Penelope Mitchell (Hemlock Grove) will play the elder witch Ganeida, and Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-0LOST) is playing Major Ben Daimio.

When asked about the character, Harbour said the following: “He has a heart that’s really good and with a lot of this crusted-over stuff. What I’m dealing with in Hellboy is a lot different, bigger in a certain way. It’s very Shakespearean. It’s demons and witches and stuff like that. But it has a similar core to a dude who’s trapped in horrible circumstances who’s just trying to be a good guy.”

Neil Marshall (The DescentGame of Thrones) will direct from a script by Andrew Cosby (Eureka), Christopher Golden and the character’s creator, Mike Mignola. Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin will produce with Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment.

Once-Upon-A-Deadpool-Fred-Savage-Post-Credits-Scenes-Header

While I’m sure many saw this as a cash grab, I saw it as an opportunity to meld two classics with standard Deadpoolian subversion…and a charitable twist with a portion of the earning going to “F##% Cancer”.  I had a blast seeing this film, as did my wife and those in the theatre on a cold, stormy Tuesday. My review follows below.

The first question that bears asking? Would this effort prove successful…could a PG 13 version work, noting the manic visceral madness that was DP II? The answer more often than not was a yes. Scenes of extreme bloodiness were highly sanitized and the eff word was banned except for a censored bleep. The “S” word was free and clear for usage. A prolonged sequence by Deadpool with a censor button allowed for a later sequence in which Savage spoke of working with Matt Damon, whose prosthetic laden appearance in DP II was a well guarded secret. The delivery featured a laugh out loud moment in which DP intimated a word substitution to hilarious effect.  The banter between Savage and Ryan Reynolds’ released ‘id’- Deadpool- was as continuously funny as expected.

The tearing down of the fourth wall was duly referenced, including Savage’s own shots at said wall. His mocking Deadpool 2 as not real Marvel is a gag within a gag. DP’s defense fell before Savage’s comparison of the Fox/Marvel amalgam as akin to the Beatles being produced by Nickelback. A cut scene and promo regarding the derided band was not included in the film and that is a shame as it was absolutely uproarious….”ear garbage” indeed.

DP’s attempting to get Savage to reprise his role while the former child actor acknowledged he was being held captive at a set recreation of the original movie played dazzlingly well. The capper of  DP’s having dressed Savage without pants as “Bears don’t wear pants” referencing Savage’s former get up would yield a later funny payoff. The DP pronouncement of the classic Fezzini line played from Princess Bride- by the fantastic Wallace Shawn- was gleefully enhanced by his stating “I’ve always wanted to say that…”

The movie while cut a goodly bit still had enough hilarity to sustain it, including the banter between Deadpool and various cast members. The funniest key scenes featuring the formation of X-Force remained. They were made all the stronger with a key sequence in which Savage questions Deadpool as to the appearance of Brad Pitt.  DP’s “Shawshank” riff was just so damned funny. No less so was Savage’s in depth knowledge of Cable (Josh Brolin), astounding DP with insight on the character’s history and evolution. DP’s response that they covered the “time travel thing” was perfect.

What made the film genuinely funny was the key interspersing of ‘Princess Bride-ish” moments to the point that you wondered when each would next occur. A later moment between DP and his captive audience was again…funny as hell. The splicing of both narratives played to the film’s finale and even beyond in post credit scenes. A final post credit moment featuring the legendary Stan Lee was worth waiting for and gave the film of cool flourish with a surprising amount of emotional delivery.

Financially, this film will not be a success. Reviews have been middling as well but honestly, for the sheer audacity of the attempted marriage of Princess Bride and the Merc with a Mouth, the behind the scenes powers that be are to be lauded. “Once Upon A Deadpool” delivered and was time well spent in the theatre.