The Tale of Two Teasers: Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Avengers

The “after the credit” scene has become the new thing for comic books. I believe this was started with Iron Man but I could be wrong. If it wasn’t started there, you can be damn sure than Marvel popularized it.

After credit scenes are typically used to either get fans talking or hint at the plot of a possible sequel or both. Marvel used theirs in a way to bridge the different movies in anticipation for the Avengers movie. Green Lantern used one to hint at a sequel. And just recently, the Amazing Spider-Man had its own after credit scene.

Unfortunately, not all studios are using these after credit scenes to their fullest. You can definitely see this when comparing two of the summer’s biggest movies: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers.

After the jump (due to spoilers), a comparison of the two end of credit scenes. One movie got it all wrong while the other movie nailed it.

The Good: The Avengers

– The Avengers after credit scene showed us the Chitauri leader talking to some dude on a throne about their failure in taking the Cosmic Cube from Earth. He mentioned trying to take over Earth would be tempting Death itself. The dude on the throne stands up, turns around, and grins.

!!!!!!!

And every single person who has read a Marvel comic knew EXACTLY who it was. They didn’t have to say his name, they didn’t even have to do a full on shot of the guy. We saw the helmet, we saw the grin, we saw the chin, and we caught the reference to Death. Three words popped in our head:

Thanos. Oh. Shit.

For the non comic book nerds? They could simply a) hear the nerd next to them squeal “oh fuck Thanos!” b) asked someone else in the theater, or c) googled “purple dude with big chin in Avengers” and it would have popped up.

Thanos is a BEAST. 

The teaser did its job. It teased at the possibility of Thanos appearing in the MCU which got people excited and talking about Thanos. Searches for Thanos exploded on Google. The “Infinity Gauntlet” comic books from back in the day sudddenly started selling huge. People were generally excited and intrigued about Thanos and where he could possibly fit in this movie universe. Is he the villain of Avengers 2? Does this mean we will be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy (answer… yes). Is he the villain of Thor 2? Are they saving him for Avengers 3? Is he going to get the Infinity Gauntlet and Gems from Odin’s vault?

So many questions with no answers… but people are talking about a particular character and all the side characters that could appear because of Thanos. People are STILL talking about Thanos on the internet.

On the other hand…

The Fail: The Amazing Spider-Man

TAS ended with Connors in a cell, lighting strikes, and some dude appears in the shadows. They are talking about “the boy” and what he knows about his father. Connors is like “leave him alone” and then lighting strikes again and the dude is gone.

That is it. We getting nothing but a glimpse at a shadow.

The internet went straight to it being Osborn as that makes the most sense. It was all just a pure guess though as we were given absolutely no evidence to make any sort of good, hard guess.

Oh, and then the studio turns around and says it wasn’t Osborn. Da fuck?

Maybe?

So now, the internet goes and just starts throwing out names. Mysterio? Electro? Osborn still? Is Connors talking to himself? Frankly, nobody has any fucking clue. We are just guessing.

And with nothing to hang our hats on… the discussion ends. I had a friend or two ask me who the shadowy dude was. All I could say was, “not really sure.” And the discussion ends. With The Avengers? I said, “Thanos!!!!” They would ask who he was. I would try to explain. They would go to wiki and look him up. The Avengers teaser prompted discussion. The Spider-Man teaser prompted nothing. Why wonder how a Mysterio movie will work if we don’t know if it is Mysterio? Why speculate about an Osborn movie if we don’t know anything? Sure, the teaser got people talking… for a little bit. But with nothing to really talk about past the “who is it?”… what is the point?

The teaser did nothing but say, “there will be a sequel.” But we already knew that. This was a huge opportunity blown by Sony. They tried to tease and they were TOO secretive. So instead of people talking about Green Goblin.. Spider-Man just got buried under The Dark Knight Rises news.

Mid-Day Musings #20: The Mind of Shadow One Year Later

A year ago today I made the first post on this blog: a simple “about me” thingy outlying why this blog exists.

In short, it exists because I want it to exist… nothing more, nothing less. It gives me a place to pontificate on my wide variety of interest on a site I have 100% control over.

As of right now (typed this last night), I have had 17,000+ views on the blog. Each month I seem to get more and more views (although I had an un-natural spike during Avengers week). Are they spam bots? Bots attached to pictures? Maybe but my views are growing so whatever. Bring on the bots.

Or Auto Bots

I have made over 400 posts in the year, which probably will not be duplicated again. The subjects seem to ebb and flow topic wise, with the only consistent item being movie stuff. I have made 67 movie reviews this last year and I could easily match that number this next year. I own a ton of movies that I have still have not gotten around to reviewing.

Some topics have come and gone (MMA) and others seem to be becoming more and more prominent (comic books). It is just all based on my interests at the time. The biggest example of that is my fish posts. I planned on doing a bunch, then my tank broke so I almost stopped, then I got a smaller tank, then I got busy, and now I have been ramping up the fish posts again.

I really hope to make some more health related articles or study based articles in the next year. I keep saying I am going to do it, but then I don’t want to go through the effort to be honest.

In short, the next year will be more of the same. Lots of movie reviews, movie news, and original movie posts. Lots of updates on my 29 gallon fish tank that is starting to take shape. Fish pictures of the month are a standard. Comic book news and reviews. Musings with random shit in it.

And of course, weightlifting, which is why this all started to be honest. My free time seems to get shorter and shorter and my training seems to be the thing that gets cut out. But, I do what I can when I can how I can. My days of squatting 500+ and benching 300+ and pulling 500+ may or may not be over but I will be in the gym regardless challenging myself in any way that I can.

The Mind of Shadow isn’t going anywhere. I don’t care if I get 1 view a day (my wife)… I will be throwing out whatever pops in my head when it pops in my head. This site isn’t about making money (the adds are incredibly annoying). This site doesn’t exist to sell shit. It exists to entertain me and it is doing its job so far. Hopefully, it is entertaining a few of you out there as well.

Thank you to the people who come by. A bigger thank you to those who comment. Hopefully you have as much fun reading what I write as I have writing it.

Comic Book Review: July 18, 2012

Books I read last week (07/18) include:

  • Avengers vs. X-Men #8
  • Daredevil #15
  • Fantastic Four #608
  • Green Lantern Corps #11
  • Journey into Mystery #638
  • Justice League #11
  • Nightwing #11
  • Uncanny X-Men #16 (AvX crossover)
  • Wolverine #309
  • X-Men #32

Top 3 comics and this weeks list after the jump.


3) Uncanny X-Men #16 (AvX crossover)

– The P5 attack Sinister and Sinister essentially kicks their asses one by one. The left behind X-Men show up at the very end and realize the P5 done fucked up.

2) Avengers vs. X-Men #8

– Namor attacks Wakanda and the Avengers ALL rally to try and stop him, other than the few that went through the portal to Kun Lan. Namor pretty much kicks all their asses and destroys Wakanda, but is finally taken down by the Scarlet Witch. Right as this occurs, the rest of the P5 show up, Namor’s powers leave him and go to the P4, Cap goes “oh shit” and they all exist through the portal, minus T’challa who stays in his destroyed country. Xavier telepathically chastises Cyclops and tells him that he will stop him if he has too.

1) Fantastic Four #608

T’challa gets his powers back (and more) from Bast and becomes the “King of the Dead.” Not really sure what that means but who cares. As a T’challa fan, him getting his powers back is a “BOUT DAMN TIME!” moment. Also, this foreshadowed the destruction of Wakanda, which occurred in AvX #9.


Comics I will be reading this week (07/25) include:
  • Amazing Spider-Man #690
  • Aquaman #11 
  • Avengers #28 (AvX crossover)
  • Deadpool #58
  • FF #20
  • Incredible Hulk #11
  • Mighty Thor #17
  • Secret Avengers #29
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #12
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #6
  • Ultimate Comics Ultimates #13
  • Uncanny X-Force #28
  • Venom #21
  • Wolverine and the X-Men #14 (AvX crossover)
  • X-Men Legacy #270 (AvX crossover)

Fish to Avoid #1: Red-Tailed Catfish

Once your tank is all set up and ready to go, the hardest and most fun thing to do is pick which type of fish to put in there.

Most people just go to the local fish store and find stuff that looks cool. They do not do much research (especially in they days before the internet) and basically rely on the people working in the fish section for advice or they just take a glance at those little cards on the fish tanks that tell you how big the fish is and how aggressive the fish is and what kind of food it eats. 
The problem? A lot of workers at fish stores are fucking morons. And some of the owners are just looking to make a buck and could give a damn about the animals they sell. So they tell you false information or put bad information on the little cards and you go home with a swimming disaster waiting to happen in your little plastic bag. 
These series of posts is to warn you about the common fish that prowl the waters at your local fish store that look cute and awesome but are actually fish you need to really avoid.
Today’s Fish: the Red-Tailed Catfish
Awww, look how cute he is!
See that little guy up there? Well, this is what happens to him when he is all grown up…
Fry that fucker up!

This fish can get over 4 feet long. And it isn’t an anomaly either. This fish will get at least 3 feet long and with that comes a very large mouth. Large mouth plus predatory catfish equals everything that can fit in its mouth WILL be eaten. Oh, and it has a neat trick where it will eat too much and just vomit it up, destroying your water quality. 

This fish needs a pond to live in to be frank. There are few people out there who have a big enough actual tank to adequately keep this fish. We are talking thousands of gallons. Unfortunately, lots of pet store owners are just trying to make a buck and lie and say they need something like a 50 gallon and “only” get 12″. But in reality it will get that large in like 6 months. It really has no business being sold in pet stores, despite how cool it looks.

Still a baby…

If you have a smaller tank and like the look of the fish, I would suggest looking at the Raphael Catfish. There are both striped and spotted ones. They stay small (under 6″) but have the same type of body shape. I will warn you that they are extremely reclusive though, only coming out to eat after you have trained them to come out during the day. I had one once and he was pretty cool AFTER we got him to come out to eat. Otherwise it just hid. Due to their lack of activity, you could probably keep one in 20-30 gallon tank.

Striped Raphael. 

The Dark Knight Rises Review

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TDKR was not just a movie: it was the end of a true trilogy. It had the task of not only delivering an epic movie experience, but it also had to wrap up Nolan’s Batman universe while living up to the high standards of the first two movies. And while this movie is FAR from perfect and probably doesn’t quite live up to the first two, it is still a great comic book movie that ties up Nolan’s Batman trilogy quite well.

Nolan tried to up the stakes big time in this movie. Frankly, he tried to do a bit too much in my opinion. His ambition lead to some big plot holes and it made the movie seem a bit sloppy and long. But man… can he make a cinematic experience. His use of music (or no music when needed) and camera angles are second to none. I did not even see it in IMAX and I thought it was a very good looking movie.

Nolan also NAILED the casting once again. He actually made Catwoman (well Selena Kyle) interesting and not a big bag of suck. And Hathaway fit the role perfectly. John Blake was an interesting character and Lewvit or whatever his name is nailed it. The returning cast was there usual great selves. Bane was also played as well as you can expect from Hardy. The mask really limited what he could do (his only emotion was essentially crazy eyes) and I wish he was taller as it was obvious the whole movie they were shooting at an angle to increase his height. But Bane was as menacing as he should have been and was physically imposing. Unfortunately his voice SUCKED and was incredibly hard to understand in spots.

So where did Nolan go wrong? The dialogue was surprisingly bad and incredibly cheesy in parts, which was extremely odd given the tone of the trilogy. The hand-to-hand fighting scenes were once again one note and the same old stuff, although the first Bane-Batman fight was handled pretty well and was as brutal as it should have been. And once again… Batman was barely on screen and was just a supporting character. One odd thing about the movie was the passage of time. Five months went by in a blink of a scene and it just felt off. It was mentioned randomly and it totally caught me off guard.

But really… the third act is where shit just hit the “what the fuck?” fan and not in a good way. I can’t say much without spoiling the movie but it just ruined some of the characterizations of the character and it seemed like a mess.

I did however like the very end of the movie and felt it was a good way to end this trilogy.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 87% Audience: 93%

Shadow’s Rating: 8/10– TDKR breaks the “third movie curse” and was a satisfying end to The Dark Knight trilogy.

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Pros, cons, and SPOILERS after the jump.

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Continue reading The Dark Knight Rises Review

Training Log: Legs + Back

Warm Up:

Modified Cressey Warm Up

Lifting:

Pull Ups: BWx10x3 -ss- Leg Press: 540x10x3 

One Arm Cable Rows: 50x15x3 -ss- One Leg DB SLDL: 10x10x3

Push Ups: BWx15x5 (end of each superset)

Conditioning:

Stationary Bike: 1.5 miles

– I have been struggling to go to the gym for one reason or another (school, tired, baby, lack of motivation… pick one) but I forced myself to go and had fun while I was there. The hardest part these days is getting in the car and going.

– New plan of attack. Size stuff is well… boring. And one times a week hitting a bodypart isn’t enough for me. More later.

– So my gym is closing from like August 3-15 to remodel, including new equipment. This scares me. Commercial gyms never add squat racks or free weights… they add machines and take out that stuff. And I will have to travel farther away to go to another Anytime Fitness in town. Frustrating to say the least, especially since that hits during my finals when I have even less free time.

10 Things I Hope To See in The Dark Knight Returns

1) Batman Better Not Die

– Seriously, this will piss me the hell off. Batman does not die. If Nolan does it, he is doing it just for shock value. And really it would piss me the hell off, not shock me.

2) An Epic, Memorable Battle

– BB and TDK didn’t really have an epic battle in it. Sure, the fight with Ras was somewhat cool, but they didn’t “fight to the finish…” Batman just blew the rails of the train up lol. And the Joker wasn’t really a physical threat so it really wasn’t expected there. Bane, however, is that physical threat. So I want to see an epic battle between the two towards the end of the movie. We already know Bane is going to beat Batman’s ass somewhere in the beginning/middle… I think the second battle between the two will decide whether this movie is epic or not.

3) Just a Sprinkle of Catwoman

– When I heard Bane was getting used for #3, I was stunned, intrigued, and happy. When I heard Catwoman was being used I groaned. I just do not enjoy the character at all and I really hope her part in the movie is contained. If they were going to use the side kick route, why not use Robin or Nightwing?

4) More, Better Action

– Batman Begins offered some pretty cool martial arts sequences and some classic Batman action. The Dark Knight didn’t have hardly any at all and the fighting we did get was extremely basic and very un-ninja like. Maybe it was because the Joker is more of a psychological enemy or maybe it is “just because.” But I want to see more of the Ninja-Bat and I expect that we will see it because Bane is a very physical threat and someone that can kill the Bat one-on-one.

5) The Greatest Detective of All Time

– Batman is considered the greatest detective in the DCU. Unfortunately, we really haven’t seen that in the movies (and the few instances we have didn’t make any sense realistically). This is the one trait that is unique to Batman and makes him useful when compared to the other, super powered heroes of the DC universe. I hope we get to see that, and not just him reacting the whole movie.

Next five reasons after the jump.

6) Break the Bat

– We know it will happen in some way. The trailers point to it and there is no way you can use Bane without breaking the Bat. But I would LOVE for Nolan to actually acknowledge the comic book crowd for once and break the Bat iconic-ly. Just once Nolan, how about a nod to the true fans of the character? Now I don’t mean paralyze Batman, which won’t happen because healing from that is out of the “realistic” box again, but a nod to the iconic panel would be nice. Just because lol.

Pretty please?

7) Venom

– Nolan chose to use Bane, so surely he can’t skirt around the fact that he is strong as shit due to the Venom drug. Some how it has to be introduced, even in this “realistic” world Nolan as created. Venom is central to the character of Bane.

8) A Focused, Determined Batman

– The ending of TDK and the trailers hint at the fact that Batman may have quit being Batman after TDK. If so… that is total bullshit. Batman doesn’t just quit. He is unhealthily obsessed with ridding Gotham of every single bad guy. He doesn’t quit just because people die. In the comics, he has had Robin’s killed (Todd) and Batgirl paralyzed. And he was still the motherfucking Batman.

9) Robin, Nightwing, or Azrael

– Like it or not… Robin is a huge part of the Batman mythos. Yes, it is a tad weird that Batman runs around with teenager fighting crime… but it is what it is. And we have seen Nolan has no problem changing comic book stories to fit his universe so he can easily update it so it doesn’t seem so weird. Honestly, despite Nolan’s comments, I fully expect the character Levit or whatever his name is that is playing the new cop to be Nolan’s version of Robin or Nightwing or Azrael. He is getting way too much attention to just be a cop.

10) A Somewhat Happy Ending

– Bruce Wayne’s life kinda of sucks. He is one of the most powerful and richest people in the world, but he is so haunted by his parent’s death that he fights a never ending battle against the scum of Gotham. A battle he is losing to be honest. In the movie universe, the love of his life is dead, he failed to stop the Joker, and all of Gotham hates him because they think he killed Harvey. His life is pretty damn shitty and lonely. Can we get an iota of cheer for Batman at the end of the movie? I almost feel sorry for the fictional guy lol.