Tag: Marvel Cinematic Universe

That owl sure was superb

That owl sure was superb

Gotta ride that SEO wave, am I right?

I kid of course. Out of all the blog posts I’ve ever written, a football-related piece is far from the one I’m looking to blow out of the park.

It just so happens that the only thing I’ve done today beyond researching history for my novel is watch the Superb Owl. So as much as I could care less about football, it might as well serve some kind of grander purpose.

Even though that grander purpose was definitely not to get me more invested in the sport.

Because hoo boy, I’m not a fan and even I could tell that Super Bowl 53 was lame.

The game was tied up 3 – 3 from field goals alone until the fourth quarter. There the Patriots scored the first touchdown of the game and a subsequent second field goal to end things 13 – 3.

As much as I couldn’t care less, at the very least I figured I should root for the Rams considering they’re a Los Angeles team. It’s just too bad they lost after an excruciatingly boring game.

The commercials weren’t even that special, making it so the one reprieve from sportball didn’t balance out the boring game.

Probably the best spots were the brief Avengers: Endgame trailer right before the game started, the Bud Light commercial that turned out to be an ad for Game of Thrones in disguise (gotta give HBO a shout out for that majesty) and the Washington Post ad narrated by Tom Hanks toward the end.

As someone going into journalism I figure I should be happy about them spreading the good word, even if I do think it was a weird promotional gimmick with a whole story about the fact that they put out an ad in the first place?

But you know what. I’m at least a friendly acquaintance with Gene Park, who does social media stuff for the Washington Post, so I won’t complain about his business.

He’s very worth a follow. Just saying.

So okay. The game sucked. The ads sucked. What about the Maroon 5 halftime show? That had to be something good, right?

After all, the NFL was planning to do good on a petition for “Sweet Victory” from the Spongebob Squarepants episode “Band Geeks” to be played in honor of Stephen Hillenburg dying a few months ago.

They couldn’t have messed that up, right?

Well…

Let’s just say the concept was much better than the delivery.

Even I got in on the fun with my own hot take:

If anything, I suppose this was my favorite part of the Superb Owl this year. Never before have I been ‘invested’ in the game enough to watch it carefully and follow the Twitter reactions as a result.

We’re going to talk about it this week in my Gaming class, so I figured I should pay attention.

Seeing the Internet lose its mind over the Spongebob debacle and a select number of commercials was more fun than I’ve had on social media in a long time.

However, that wasn’t the most fun thing about the game.

That honor, of course, had to go to the feast:

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After a rough weekend, it was nice to take a little time to relax and pig out with lots of junk food.

Even if I’ll definitely have to hit the gym a few times this week to make up for it.

So anyway, that’s my sport-related content quota for the year. Anything else from here on out is pure overtime. Look forward to maybe that!


Featured Image courtesy of Paul Sableman via Wikimedia Commons

I am INTO the Spider-Verse

I am INTO the Spider-Verse

When I watched Sony Picture’s “Venom,” my major take-away was that the post-credits preview scene from “Into the Spider-Verse” was the best part.

Little did I know how right I was when I said my time could have been far better spent.

I just walked out of this Spider-Man adventure, having seen it with my friend Juan. Frankly I regret every single day that it took me to see this movie.

Firstly because it’s an absolute joy visually and from a narrative standpoint. It hits things out of the park in every category. That’s also from someone who isn’t very knowledgable about Spider-Man lore, so there are whole other categories I can’t appreciate as well as others!

But I also regret not seeing it sooner because holding off has left me in a very enigmatic place as far as what to say.

It took me 20 minutes of staring at a blank screen to figure out where to start because despite the unadulterated passion I had walking out of it, just what can I add to the conversation at this point in the film’s life cycle?

Yeah I know what you’re going to say, “Jason this is the Internet, it’s the place where opinions thrive.”

I get that. I probably wouldn’t have bothered writing anything if I didn’t feel like I should at least spread my opinion that “Into the Spider-Verse” is a film everyone should see, regardless of their feelings on comic book blockbusters.

The only problem is… I know for a fact I’m not the only person who has that opinion.

For weeks, all I’ve heard about this movie is that it’s phenomenal. The best comic book movie in years, if not ever.

I knew they couldn’t be lying, because the trailers did look great. Though I expected to walk out feeling like hype drove my expectations too high.

Yet… That’s not at all the case.

If anything I walked out of the theatre floored at how much this movie ruled IN SPITE of the over-hyped praise.

Not only does “Into the Spider-Verse” balance six different art styles at once with various Spider-people, it does so after proving itself with a masterful blend of comic book aesthetics so engrained in the narrative that not a single flashy effect feels superfluous.

Take notes Ang Lee, this is the movie you wanted to make with “Hulk” back in 2003.

But even with such a complex dance of art styles and truly fluid, engaging action , somehow the story doesn’t falter. Any joke or meme you could make about previous Spider-Man movies are addressed in the first few seconds, leaving audience members open for something completely novel.

From there, every single character is given a perfect amount of exposition.

There wasn’t a single person in this film that was not relatable or well-developed in some way. Other than some brief cameos who didn’t need anything to appear and be awesome.

It’s not a joke to say that “Into the Spider-Verse” crams in seven or eight origin stories and tells you just enough with each to feel invested better than some movies handle an entire 2-hour origin story.

Plus most of it is so comedic that barely any part of the film is dull. The sensory overload is welcomed.

The only moments that could be described as ‘duller’ in terms of that overloaded sensory splendor are poignant, emotional character-building scenes that all seem to appear exactly when they need to.

But with all that film fellating, the thing that truly astounded me about this Spider-Verse film was how little got spoiled for me.

If this were “Infinity War,” it would have been dangerous to go anywhere online because people like to slip spoilers into unexpected places. For this movie, I’ve seen nothing but praise and still got a ton of surprises.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this movie has one of the best “secret villain” reveals I’ve seen in ever. I won’t say anything more.

The problem, however, is just that. I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that wouldn’t spoil a thing, or that you wouldn’t get out of some big media site review.

Especially since you should just see the damn movie!

After three Sam Raimi movies, two Amazing Spider-Men, a number of Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances and enough cartoons to choke a small village, the biggest piece of praise I can give “Into the Spider-Verse” is that it is truly fresh and original and an absolute joy to behold.

If you’re writing your list of New Year’s resolutions, be sure to add ‘watch this movie’ onto it if you haven’t already. Or even if you have already seen it, go see it again!

Just give this movie all the money, people. What more can I say?


Featured Image courtesy of IMDb.com

Balance is key

Balance is key

As promised earlier, my time to go radio silent for finals has come and (hopefully) gone. This weekend was just a bit too full of work for me to spend extra time coming up with blog post topics.

That said, it was a very productive weekend! I finished my nine page paper for Evolution and Creation:

Which considering how much I was dreading the assignment, the fact that I banged it out in a day or two was wonderful — and I got a lovely talking point out of it.

Then on Sunday I took my online Visual Communications exam. Was a bit harder than I expected it to be, but still squeaked out with an 84 percent…

… That was immediately balanced out by an exceedingly curved 110 percent on Exam 2. Not sure how it happened, but it means I’ve retained a high A in the class.

I also spent time putting my study guides together for two Psych exams. One of which, Learning and Memory, is officially over and done!

I got an 82 percent, though I can’t complain because even that score retains my A in the class.

Thus, all I have left for the semester is my cumulative, non-curved Sensation and Perception exam and a presentation on my aforementioned paper.

Then I am free.

I’m going to try to do a blog post every day during finals, probably culminating with a semester-in-review sort of thing. I’ve found that having some distractions to keep the stress of exam season balanced out has been especially helpful during this semester’s class cycle.

In fact, the rest of this post will be talking about the media I consumed this weekend to break up all of my studying and writing woes. Hence the Thanos reference: Studying and fun in perfect harmony.

I have TV, Movie and Video Game stuff to talk about, so it should be (mostly) fun! Plus this keeps me from the existential dread of my next exam for a wee bit longer.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

I want to do a full-scale post all about Smash in the early days of Winter Break, so I’ll keep things brief right now.

Ultimate has been my ‘play a few hours a night’ de-stressor, and boy have I needed that. The process of unlocking every character one-by-one was a great experience of gradually forgetting and being reminded of how many fighters there are in the game.

Yet the biggest thing to discuss (especially with online servers still being kind of trashy) is the sheer amount of love and care that went into the game’s references. The Classic and Adventure modes are a joy to play through because each fighter and Spirit has their own thing to make them unique.

Again, I’ll go more in-depth later. Though I do feel obligated to point y’all to my friend Kristina’s review in the Daily Titan that got published today, because I happened to pick it up a few minutes ago and it’s a good.


Wreck-It Ralph 2

There’s too many nice things to say about this sequel. On top of being a gorgeous piece of animation (with special accolades to the mass-character physics of a plot-relevant spoiler toward the end of the movie), Ralph Breaks the Internet presents an interesting take on the digital world that has strong characters, ever-present metaphoric theming and super tight narrative structure.

The movie also exceeds due to a rare blend of reverential and reference-filled, self-defacing humor that I would have never expected Disney to approve. Especially for the Princesses — who I’m sure you think you know everything about thanks to the ads, but I assure you are a beyond wonderful mix of fan service and commentary.

It helps that my Dad worked for Disney, so we laughed a lot at the jokes they were putting down.

If you haven’t seen Ralph Breaks the Internet, do yourself a favor. It’s not as video game-heavy as the first, but what it offers instead is just as good if not better.


Bohemian Rhapsody

Talk about a movie with a great set-up and wasted potential.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic about Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, but as my Dad aptly pointed out it winds up being more of a timeline on the success of the band than it is the trials and tribulations of Mercury’s life.

Don’t get me wrong, Rami Malek is wonderful as the lead character, surprisingly so considering how used to him as a psychopathic introvert from Mr. Robot.

The rest of the cast is good too, and the cinematography is very pretty. Plus, it’s hard to go wrong with a soundtrack composed of Queen songs.

But the narrative of the film falls really flat because it glosses over so much of the potential personal drama in favor of the band’s story. I swear, there are a number of scenes missing between Mercury and his father that would make a pay-off scene toward the end that much more impactful.

Bohemian Rhapsody is far from the worst thing I’ve seen this year. It’s kind of perfectly average, disappointingly so.

But the worst thing I’ve seen this year probably goes to:


Venom

Wow. What a hot mess.

You know it’s bad when the best part of the movie is a totally irrelevant post-credit scene previewing another movie that I would have had much more fun watching.

The only thing Venom has going for it is Tom Hardy as the titular character’s host, Eddie Brock — but even then he’s given nothing to work with. Half of this movie feels like it was left on the cutting room floor. It literally meanders until a relationship between the two that had APPARENTLY been developed without us knowing about it arrives.

Then we’ve immediately got the unearned climax to hit.

The whole experience is also generally unpleasant because of clear editing issues like awkward jump cuts. Maybe if the dialogue was better and the characters were likable I wouldn’t have noticed so readily, but because we got things like this:

It was hard to stay engaged.

Venom has been beaten to death so I won’t abuse the poor horse. Instead I’ll just say… Go watch Nando V. Movies’ fix for it instead.


Big Mouth

I can’t give you all a full review of this one. I only watched a chunk of the second season with my sister, so I’m working entirely off that.

That said, Netflix’s Big Mouth is an… Interesting experience. It’s a show all about young teenagers going through life changes, with puberty given physical form as “hormone monsters” that work off of them in a variety of cliché coming-of-age scenarios.

The premise of a physical embodiment of puberty is interesting enough to work through all the clichés in what might otherwise be a typical school-age comedy — alongside a heaping helping of gross-out and mature humor. There were about as many moments where I said, “damn that’s pretty accurate” as I cringed at something uncomfortable (like most of the musical numbers).

If you think you would enjoy a Family Guy-esque adult comedy, but a little smarter and more fresh, Big Mouth is worth checking out. I’ll probably go back and finish season 1 before season 3 comes out.


Featured Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Hanukkah came early this year

Hanukkah came early this year

The latter half of this Thanksgiving Break has included a lot of media binging with my family. So much so, in fact, that I had planned on writing something today which could serve as miniature reviews of “Daredevil” season 3 on Netflix and “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” on Amazon Prime.

But then we wound up going out for most of the day, and that distraction coupled with my overall lethargy kind of killed any desire to do a serious, hard review of things tonight.

So here’s a two sentence review of each:

  • “Daredevil’s” third season, despite starting slow, becomes one of the best Marvel Netflix shows due to its compelling characters, brilliantly used set-pieces and themes of religious disillusionment and government corruption. The show is engagingly dramatic in all the right ways and builds up to a crescendo of an encounter in the last episode that serves as a perfect catharsis for the Matt Murdock.
  • “Electric Dreams” is an anthology sci-fi series in the same vein as the Twilight Zone, which tackles similar societal and psychological scenarios that are the apparent long-reaching effects of modern-day consumerism, technological advancements and fear mongering politics — all based on modernized Philip K. Dick short stories. My Dad and I watched the show on a whim and (except for one or two episodes) did not regret the experience in the slightest thanks to their varied directorial styles, futuristic concepts designed with well-done CGI and some really dark, thoughtful stories.

I would recommend both of these shows if you have the appropriate streaming services. Though, as a fair warning, “Electric Dreams” might just give you a dejected, jaded world view for a short time after.

I know I certainly felt somewhat paranoid taking out the trash after watching the final (and in my opinion best) episode. Very poignant in today’s media scape.

With that said, let’s move on. Even though Dad and I stayed up extra late finishing the latter show, we still had to get up and do chores this afternoon.

But before we went out to do chores, my Mom (for reasons I’m still don’t really know) decided to give Aly and I some of the more goofy, kitchy Hanukkah gifts she bought. Despite the fact that Hanukkah starts on December 2.

So even though the holiday is much earlier than usual on the Gregorian calendar this year, she still decided to give us some of our gifts weeks in advance?

Don’t know guys, I’m just rolling with it. Mostly because it gave me something kind of funny to talk about on a night where I don’t feel like exerting a whole lot of effort.

For instance, one gift that she got for both of the Rochlin siblings was:

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Big ol’ cotton balls that vaguely feel snow-like in texture meant to stand-in as snowballs for us west coasters in the blazing tropics.

Cool? I guess?

I mean don’t get me wrong it was fun pelting people with these things and there’s basically no way they could hurt anyone. But… Still a strange and kind of random gift.

Though I still don’t think they top this other gift in terms of randomness:

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Marvel socks!

Marvel socks?

Yeah, again I’m not entirely sure where the inspiration to get these came from. But they are actually kinda cool and much more useful than fake snowballs.

Like sure I know in my Stan Lee tribute post I talked all about how I don’t have a ton of experience with the Marvel universe outside of movies. But that said I do love me some Marvel movies.

Plus some of these socks are kind of nice. I’d wear the Spider-Man ones, or the Captain America ones or the Ghost Rider ones just because they’re nice designs.

I’d also wear the Red Skull socks because, let’s be honest, they’re so incredibly dumb that how could I not?

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What a fuckin’ goof he is.

So long story short, I may have a ton of socks already, this may be one of the strangest, most random gifts I’ve ever gotten and we completely disregarded the ‘advent calendar’ packaging for the socks (because that was something they were trying to do)…

But that doesn’t mean I won’t wear them ever. Plus even if I don’t, Alyson already stole the Rocket Raccoon socks, so someone will.

Oh yeah, let’s not forget that while we were out, we happened to pick up a copy of a certain new Pokémon game for a certain Nintendo Switch.

But I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to pretend I don’t know that yet, so more on that some other day.


P.S. — Featured image courtesy of Shlomo via Wikimedia Commons.

Because we haven’t actually broken out any of the Hanukkah stuff in our house yet.

A post-Stan Lee world

A post-Stan Lee world

I don’t know that I had anything planned to talk about today amid a storm of homework I’ve been putting off. But once I saw this news come through, I knew there was really only one thing I could do: Pay tribute.

Within the last hour or so, rumors began to trickle around Twitter that the great Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee had died today at 95 years old.

Having seen a few celebrity death hoaxes in the past, I didn’t want to succumb to the emotions that came with that statement at first.

But once I saw the Associated Press confirm it, I has to accept the truth.

Since then I’ve honestly been walking around seemingly like a shell of my former self. Hell, I haven’t felt inspired to write a tribute in death for a celebrity since Carrie Fisher passed away, so you know this one must have hit hard.

How do you quantify the life of a man that has affected culture so much? How do you live in a world that, in its innate cold-nature’s cruelty to our mortality, will just keep moving forward in time without him?

Obviously this isn’t a “surprise” beyond the fact that it’s happening somewhat unexpectedly right now. The internet has been talking about Stan Lee’s inevitable passing for years, lamenting the possibility of the older man disappearing now that he has become a ubiquitous part of our movie-going culture if nothing else.

In fact, take a look at any of the stories that have already come out about Lee’s passing and you can tell they’ve been written and on the back burner for a long time, ready to update once the day came.

Personally I really like the piece Variety put out. It captures a lot of the good and the bad of Stan Lee’s life in a degree far better than I could as an arguably fledgling comic book fan.

To be honest, that’s kind of the craziest thing about my feelings toward Stan Lee’s death right now. I’m not even a huge comic book fan — so I can’t imagine how terrible other people must feel.

While a much younger Jason had a vague appreciation for certain comic book animated shows like Teen Titans or Batman the Animated Series (both DC properties I know, but that’s beside the point), it wasn’t until the Marvel Cinematic Universe boom began with 2008’s Iron Man that I started to steep myself in the world of comics.

Also, I guess you could count “Who Wants to Be a Superhero?” from the mid-2000s as part of my early exposure to Stan Lee. But I feel like that old show is a topic for another day.

I’ve seen almost every movie put out by the studio since their cinematic universe project began (outside of, say, Iron Man and Thor 2). Having grown into my own as an aspiring writer alongside its release schedule, I’ve come to really appreciate the way they create such an extensively connected story, one that makes me more and more excited for each entry to see where it can go next.

Sure, I know the films are somewhat formulaic and arguably predictable for anyone who knows the comics… But like I said, I don’t really. Only since the movies have grown in popularity have I personally started to research different famous comic book arcs and find YouTube channels dedicated to comic book stuff so I can educate myself on the matter, like NerdSync or Nando v. Movies.

Both of whom have also become regular parts of my life through binging their podcasts on my long commutes to-and-from CSUF.

So the Marvel movies have really been my gateway into comics. And all of them have one unifying thread.

A creative giant who has a cameo in all of them.

From what I’ve read there are a few more Stan Lee cameos pre-recorded for Captain Marvel and Avengers 4 at least, but they’ll certainly be more bittersweet than ever before.

Though not any more bittersweet than never seeing him cameo again after, even if Avengers 4 seems like as poetic an end point as they come.

Rest in peace, Stan Lee. A man who will truly live in forever in his creations.

Excelsior.


Featured Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Ant-Man 2 shrinks the MCU’s scale with minor success

Ant-Man 2 shrinks the MCU’s scale with minor success

Ant-Man and the Wasp is, frankly, a mediocre showing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has some brilliant stuff within it, as one might expect from the studio that has revolutionized the idea of a connected universe of films for the last 10 years. However, that brilliant stuff is marred down by a weak plot with awkward pacing and some noticeable problems balancing the movie’s comedy and heart.

Now as usual I’m not planning on putting any spoilers in this mini-review here. Though all things being equal, I would argue there isn’t too much to spoil outside of the end credit stuff that isn’t already shown in trailers and advertisements.

I do wish I could talk about that end credit stuff, because I’m still overjoyed at how my post-Infinity War fan theory was made true in a big, bad way.

But I won’t. Just know that Marvel has no chill right now and I love it.

The first Ant-Man movie was something of a surprise hit for Marvel along the same wavelength as Guardians of the Galaxy. Nobody expected much of anything out of a superhero film with a premise that the hero can shrink down and be really small.

However, by mixing together a lovable main character, some well-done comedy, a few clever visual spectacles and a heist film plot, the movie was a fun little success.

It led to Paul Rudd, the titular Ant-Man, becoming something of a darling in the MCU. He turned into the kind of character whose cameos improved other films like Civil War. As a result, people were a little disappointed when Rudd and Jeremy Renner (the universe’s Hawkeye) did not appear in the crossover blockbuster Infinity War due to a somewhat weak excuse.

That they had “other things going on.”

So Ant-Man and the Wasp, the second MCU film starring Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as our other titular hero, promised to hopefully be the compelling story of just what was so damn important that we couldn’t have shrinking powers assisting in the big fight against Thanos.

What we got was a product that, like I said, was rather mediocre. But not because of its explanations regarding Rudd and Lilly’s absence from Infinity War.

As something of a side-discussion before I jump into where Ant-Man and the Wasp faltered, I want to dive into the reason why I love the opening premise to this film. Even going back to the original advertisements for it, I knew I was looking forward to Ant-Man 2 because it’s a movie that’s predicated on the consequences of other movies.

The aftermath of Civil War, where Rudd is part of the group arrested for siding with Captain America against government restrictions on superheroes, plays heavily into the plot of Ant-Man 2. Much of Rudd’s struggle is having to help his friends while also trying to serve his last three days of house arrest so he can be free to see his daughter more. Meanwhile, Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym and his daughter Hope (Lilly) are also on the run from the FBI because their tech was what allowed Rudd to take part in that battle.

I love that Ant-Man is being used as an example of how actions in their universe have consequences going forward, much like Civil War did. Just a little less heavy-handed due to its smaller scale story.

Puns.

As much as I love the way the movie is set-up, the plot it rolls with given that establishment isn’t the most stellar one we’ve seen. The first third of the film is great and the resolution is decent. But the middle of the movie is bland and forgettable, in part because of the way it tries to balance at least six different stories at once.

That’s right, if the back-and-forth of those three or four driving plot points I’ve already laid out aren’t enough, there are also a couple of separate things going on with all the side character. That’s not even mentioning the film’s villain Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen.

She does alright with what she’s working with, but for the most part Ghost feels like a more one-note throwaway character than most of the other Marvel villains we’ve seen lately. Her personal story arc also has a vague conclusion in the film that seems sidelined in place of Rudd going after his happy ending.

They do offer John-Kamen room for possible inclusion in sequels, but not enough was done to encourage me to be excited for her to show up again.

The way Ghost’s inclusion seemed choppy was kind of emblematic of the problems with Ant-Man and the Wasp as a whole. Because so much was being done all over the place with each character, it felt like a lot of the film was left on the cutting room floor. Many of the scenes feel rushed, with quick cuts that seemed more jarring than stylized in the overall package.

Balancing all of those aspects also created tonal issues. There are a lot of attempts to be comedic that fall flat. For every funny bit, like relating Ghost to an old Russian folktale, there are two or three returning bits from the original Ant-Man that seem to be there just to reference the original Ant-Man.

The lackluster comedic bits hurt especially so because they are interjected around emotional moments that work damn well. Ant-Man and the Wasp is a movie about family, and each character struggles with familial issues in some way or another.

Rudd’s character shines far brighter whenever he’s with his daughter than when he’s the ‘dumb, goofy everyman’ archetype stuck in a room trying to pretend he understands what’s happening.

Every moment his daughter, captured expertly by Abby Ryder Fortson, was on-screen made the movie that much better. You can tell she and Rudd had an electric chemistry together that left the whole audience saying ‘aww’ throughout the film.

Lilly’s relations towards her mother, another driving motif in the film, are also quite heartfelt. I actually teared up a little during the film’s cold open, which was surprisingly well done and emotional.

Ant-Man and the Wasp should have spent more time deciding whether it wanted to be a comedic movie or a heartfelt one. Either path likely would have led it to more success, but the balance is skewed badly in its current state.

It did have some decent action scenes to stand on, especially when digging back into the things that made the original so good: Playing with size.

I won’t spoil too many specific bits, but probably the most memorable moments outside of Ant-Man with his daughter were the moments playing with making big things small and vice versa.

Though my personal favorite ones involved a salt shaker and some hot wheels cars.

Like I said at the top, there were some great things throughout Ant-Man and the Wasp that were wonderful. The family moments, some of the comedy and the visuals especially… Plus the spoiler-y stuff I won’t go into.

However, it was so bogged down by much larger problems that the high of the end-credit scenes quickly fade into a lukewarm reception at best.

Oh, there is one more thing I can think to mention. But my friend Lissete put it best, so I’m going to let her handle this:

Yeah… Arguably the most egregious use of product placement I’ve seen in a Marvel movie thus far.

It’s pretty noticeable all over, though I won’t say it ruined or improved the movie for me in any significant way.

If nothing else, I’ll just say it’s worth seeing the movie – either now or later on cable – to understand why I now want Paul Rudd to be both my Dad and Mom.