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X-Men: Apocalypse Review

This latest X-Men movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was another 20th Century Fox film where the actors were great, but the story just fell flat. I felt like they were pandering to the audience with their some of their choices. There were scenes that didn’t need to be the movie and I wanted way more Quicksilver than I got.

Definitely not a movie for the younger kids. If they’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, they may be able to handle some of the more gruesome death scenes in the movie. I would follow the PG-13 guideline with this one.

I will say that fans of this 20th Century Fox franchise will like this movie, but it’s defientely one that not everyone will enjoy. If you like the previous X-Men movies go see this, if not wait for Redbox. Also feel free to skip the 3D, I don’t think it added anything to the feel of the movie.

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Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War is probably going to go down as my favorite movie of the Summer. It was everything that I have been dreaming about since I first read the Civil War comic books. Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and the Russo brothers did an amazing job working around the characters that they were not able to use (thanks to 20th Century Fox) and still come out with an amazing story.

With the cast list was large enough to rival the previous Avengers films, the Russo brothers did a great job pushing Cap’s storyline to the forefront of the movie. The Russo brothers also excelled in their challenge of introducing two huge characters into the MCU. Spider-Man and Black Panther were fantastic additions to cast and Tom Holland and Chadwick Boseman were great casting choices. It seems like a lot of people were skeptical about going with a younger Spidey, but in my opinion, Tom Holland is the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man to date.

I took J to see Captain America: Civil War, we were going to do a video review, but there were some technical difficulties. So, here is a transcript of J’s thoughts on Civil War:

Me: What did you think about Captain America: Civil War?

J: IT WAS AMAZING!!!

Me: What do you think made it AMAZING?

J: The story was really good, I also really liked the fighting scenes.

Me: Which character were you most excited to see in the movie?

J: Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Ant Man!!

Me: What about Cap and Iron Man.

J: They were great too, daddy. But Black Panther was so cool, and Spider-Man and Ant Man made me laugh a lot. They were just really funny.

Me: Ok, what do you want other young kids to know about Civil War?

J: It’s just a really good movie, there are some parts that might be scary and some parts that might be too sad. The other kids should just snuggle with their mommies and daddies if they get scared or sad.

Captain America: Civil War is rated PG-13 for language, violence and some adult humor. The language isn’t too bad, there is probably just as much swearing in all the other Disney/Marvel movies. The violence is a little heavier than that of Winter Solider. If your kids were able to sit through Winter Soldier, then they should be fine with Civil War. The adult humor is basically a few jokes that are going to go straight over your kids heads, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

Are you Team Cap or Team Iron Man? Choose your side and go see the movie! And after you see the movie, click here to join in a discussion group about Captain America: Civil War. The group has spoilers, so please join after you see the movie.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

Last night J and I attended a screening of Batman v Superman with our friends from Salt Lake Comic Con. It was fun to see a comic book themed movie with a bunch of geeks/nerds.

The movie takes place 18 months after the events of Man of Steel. We see what was going in with Bruce Wayne during the Superman/Zod fight and why he is so mad at the Man of Steel. Now, even though we see that Clark has only been Superman for about 2 years, we learn that Batman has been fighting crime in Gotham for 20 years. Batman’s brand of justice has evolved to where he is now branding sex traffickers and those who would harm children. He’s simply had enough, and after the events of Man of Steel, he wants to do nothing but protect the planet from the possibility of Superman going “bad”.

I really enjoyed Ben Affleck as the Batman, and Gal Gadot made me excited for the Wonder Woman movie. The Batman/Superman fight scenes were very reminiscent of The Dark Knight Returns part 2, and we loved them. The pace of the movie was pretty slow and I personally think they could have cut 30-45 minutes.

I think that Batman v Superman would be a fun $5 Tuesday movie, but don’t take the kids. It’s not that it’s scary or too violent, it’s just too slow paced and too long. If your kids want to see it, wait for the Blu-Ray.

©2013-2016 Salt Lake Comic Con

Keeping Your Kids Safe at the Con

With Salt Lake Comic Con’s Fan X ’16 coming up next Thursday (March 24th), I thought it would be important to share some tips to help keep your kids safe at Fan X and other conventions.

  1. Have a meeting place:
    The Salt Palace is a big place. Download the FanX app to see a map of the Salt Palace, and then choose a spot that you can meet as a family if you get separated. I suggest meeting around Kid Con.
  2. Point out the volunteers:
    Show your kids what shirts the volunteers are wearing, you could even introduce           them to some of the volunteers. Make sure your kids know that they can feel                 comfortable asking the volunteers for help.
  3. Arrive early on the 1st day so you and your kids can walk around and learn where everything is:
    This one is pretty self explanatory, but walking the exhibit hall on the 1st day                 guarantees that you will be able to get a feel for the full layout of the exhibit          floor.
  4. Have a picture of your kids in your wallet/purse:
    In the event that you and your children get separated it’s best to have a picture on       hand just in case. It also might help to give your kids a picture of you so they can           have volunteers help them find you.
  5. Write your name and phone number on your kid’s wristband:
    This will be the easiest way for volunteers/police security to get a hold of you if you     and your kids get separated.
  6. Have extra power packs on hand:
    Cell phones use a lot of power during conventions. You you are taking pictures, you     might leave the wifi and/or bluetooth on, or your phone might be trying to keep a         signal. Either way it’s always good to make sure that you will be able to keep your         phone charged and ready in case of emergency.

No matter how hard you try to keep track of your kids, distractions happen and kids wander. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make a plan and stick to it. The volunteers at Salt Lake Comic Con are amazing and will do everything they can to help you if you were to get separated from your kids.

©2016 - Disney XD

Star Wars Rebels: The Forgotten Droid

It seems like we have been learning more about the Ghost crew. It seems like everyone has had their solo story line, and this week was Chopper’s turn. The Rebels are on the hunt for fuel and Chopper is left at the Ghost to listen for Imperial transmissions. Chopper is easily distracted and leaves the Ghost. While away the Rebels chased back to the Ghost and Chopper is left behind.

In The Forgotten Droid, we learn a little more about Chopper and his relationship with the Ghost crew, most importantly his relationship with Hera. Chopper’s adventure is very entertaining and this was a good in between episode after that ending that Shroud of Darkness had. The Forgotten Droid left us with a deeper respect and appreciation for Chopper, and we can’t wait for next week.

©2016 - Disney XD

Star Wars Rebels: Shroud of Darkness

Since the time when Vader and Ahsoka first showed up on Rebels, we have been waiting for that moment when they would face each other. This is not that episode, but the wheels are in motion.

Shroud of Darkness starts off with an amazing Lightsaber duel with Ezra and Kanan taking on the inquisitors. Ezra’s powers and lightsaber skills are growing and he and Kanan are able to fight the inquisitors and escape with their lives. Kanan and Ezra meet back with the Ghost crew with news that they have yet to find the perfect planet for the Rebellion to make a base.

When they return to the Ghost, Ezra finds Ahsoka watching an old Holocron of Anakin teaching some lightsaber techniques. After a brief discussion, Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka decide it’s time to take the fight to the inquisitors, but to do so they must speak with Yoda through the force. What happens next? You will just have to watch and find out.

This episode has so much going for it and viewers young and old will go through so many emotions watching it. You may want to keep a box of tissue next to you, as tears may flow. Shrouds of Darkness has raised my level of excitement for the remainder of the season and I can’t wait to see what our Rebels will do next.

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The Future of Comic Book Movies

With the success of Deadpool and with the announcement of an R-rated cut of Batman V Superman, there are many parents out there who are worried that all movies based on comic books will bear the R rating. I personally don’t think that this is something that will happen. Comic book movies make so much of their money from parents taking their younger kids, that it would likely be financially irresponsible for studios to only make R-rated movies.

Something else to think about is that Batman V Superman is not the first Comic Book movie to get an alternate rated dvd/blu-ray release. If you go back three years to The Wolverine (I know it was terrible, but it was the last comic book movie to get an unrated cut after it’s PG-13 theatrical release), you will see that it really doesn’t take much to get an R rating. The theatrical release of the Wolverine had one “F-Bomb”, quite a bit of action, a little blood here and there, while the Unrated release had three “F-Bombs” (more than one is an automatic R), more action, and blood EVERYWHERE!

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, “An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually oriented nudity, drug abuse…” Before we continue, I want to break down a few of these guidelines just a little more:

Language: Movies are getting pretty lax these days, and it seems like they can pretty much get away with saying pretty much whatever they want. But as I mentioned before, more than one “F-bomb” can get you an R rating, unless there is a two-thirds majority of the board who believe the language is justified by context or use.

Violence: Movies based on comic books will usually have some kind of violence, but when it is intense or persistent, you are tiptoeing the line between PG-13 and R.

Nudity: Along with the guidelines about sexually oriented nudity, in 2010 the MPAA added that “male nudity” will likely get you an R rating.

Back to the issue at hand. Everyone behind Deadpool was doing everything in their power to push the R boundary as close as possible to the NC-17 line. With 84 “F-bombs”, violence and blood out the wazoo, a multiple minute sex montage, and a view of Deadpool’s penis, Deadpool was lucky to premiere with their R rating.

The news that Batman V Superman is getting an R-rated cut shouldn’t scare anyone, it should excite people. Where Deadpool can be seen as a model for future characters who don’t have established storylines in a cinematic universe, Batman V Superman can be seen as the new model for the PG-13 theatrical/dual rated dvd/blu-ray release. I’m not saying every comic book movie should follow either model just for the sake of following the model, but that the studios should just be focusing on who the character is via the source material.

The future of comic book movies is not going to be based on the success of Deadpool, Marvel will keep doing what they are doing with the MCU with their PG-13 films, their ABC crime style dramas, and their mature Netflix content, and DC will continue to play catch up with their cinematic universe while dominating in the animation department. The only change that we will most likely see from Deadpool’s success will hopefully be more movies/online series starring more of the anti-heroes of the comic book world.   

The bottom line is that no matter what a movie is rated, it is our job as parents to view questionable content before letting our kids watch it. If I am wrong and all comic book movies go the way of Deadpool, then you can always wait for the FX release.