Storytime with J

J’s class has been learning a lot about fairytales and fractured fairytales. During their Writers Workshop time, the kids would write about the heroes and villains they would like to have in their own fairytales. The kids then had the assignment to write a fairytale. Below is The fairytale that J wrote (with a little editing by me). We hope you enjoy it.

The Lost Apprentices

Written and Illustrated by J

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, there lived two apprentices. The first one was named J. The second one was named Antony. They loved to do really, really cool things like fighting bad guys. One day they found a portal leading to the Marvel dimension. They got pulled in by a giant scrap robot. The giant scrap robot was controlled by a bad guy called Ultron. They found some super heroes called The Avengers. They only found three Avengers. One was named Iron Man. The second one was named Hulk. The third one was named Captain America. They all were struggling. Then, right there in the sky, they found an Imperial Space Station called the Death Star. The Death Star was trying to invade and destroy the Earth.

J fighting Ultron

They found a squadron of X-Wings. The X-Wings were called there by the apprentices. Then, out of nowhere, they found some U-Wings. On Earth, they were calling out a lot of the ships. They found another bad guy that was named Loki. Loki was helping the Death Star. They saw another portal, and Loki pulled them out of the portal. Then they saw a guy named Firestorm coming out of the portal. Out of nowhere, a guy on a motorcycle named Ghost Rider with a flaming skull and chain came to help Firestorm defeat Loki.

Ghost Rider and Firestorm fighting Loki

J warns, “we must destroy the Death Star by shooting an Ion torpedo into it! And we have to distract the troopers so they can’t get into their cannons and destroy the X-Wings.”

Out of nowhere, a U-Wing picked them up so they could fly to the Death Star. The U-Wing dropped them off at the tractor beam so they could be sucked into the Death Star. Then, out of nowhere, Darth Vader came. He was a Sith Master. His lightsaber’s color was red. The apprentices charged at him. Then Vader cut Antony’s arm off.

A hero name Doctor Strange came and reversed Antony’s arm injury with a weapon called the Eye of Agamotto. The Eye of Agamotto had a weird item called an Infinity Stone. There are six Infinity Stones. The one that is in the Eye of Agamotto is called the Time Stone. A second one, which is in a hero named Vision’s head, is called the Mind Stone. Doctor Strange used one of his awesome powers and shot Vader in the face.

Doctor Strange and J fighting Darth Vader

Then, a bad guy named Thanos destroyed the Eye of Agamotto by smashing it. He flew down to Earth, shooting everyone with time lasers, turning everyone into babies. They ran into a bad guy named Joker. Joker had a weird flower on the side of his chest and it shot pollen. He had a purple jacket, a white striped shirt that was green, and grey boots. His pants were purple. Joker was immediately beaten. And they lived very happy lives.

J fighting Thanos

Full disclosure, I didn’t edit much. I added a few words that he missed here and there. The biggest edit was wherever you see “out of nowhere”, J had originally written “out of the open”. As I said before, we hope you enjoyed J’s little story. Maybe I can convince him to write a new one of these once a month.

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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.

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.

Marvel Universe Live!

To keep the tesseract out of Loki’s reach, Thor decides to smash the cube into three fractals causing them to scatter across the Earth. Loki decides to kidnap 3 X-Men to help him create a “cloned” cosmic cube so he can conquer the Universe. With the help of A.I.M, Hydra and the Sinister 6, Loki plans on keeping our heroes busy while his plan unfolds. Will the Marvel heroes overcome their devious villains? Will they stop Loki and save the Universe? Buy your tickets today and see what happens!!

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Loki addresses the crowd

The storyline of Marvel Universe Live! seems to mix a few different Marvel mediums together to create a fun and original story that fans young and old will love. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been wanting to see a live action adventure with both the Avengers and X-Men, and here is our chance. That being said, Marvel Universe Live! is in no way connected with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this is the closest we will get to a live action Avengers and X-Men team up.

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Avengers Assemble

Marvel Universe Live! is an edge of your seat, action packed adventure filled with motorcycles, explosions, fire, and more. If you are taking small children be aware that the arena gets loud, so you may want to bring some ear protection. There are lots of fight scenes, and Wolverine does impale a Chitauri solider with his claws, but there is no blood, so in my opinion it is not too intense.

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Black Widow laying the smack down on Madame Hydra

If you are a Marvel fan, you will love Marvel Universe Live!. You will want to see it again and again. Make sure you walk the corridor before the show, during intermission, and after the show to see everything else that Marvel Universe Live! has to offer. There are Selfie Booths, Green Screen photo ops, plenty of vendor booths (to cut down on long lines), and some interactive games. Marvel Universe Live! is entertainment that the whole family (even non Marvel fans) will enjoy.

Marvel Universe Live! will be playing 6 more shows in Salt Lake City at the Vivint Smart Home Arena, click here to see show times and to purchase tickets. Ticket prices range from $25 – $75 with children’s tickets starting at $15. Children 2 and above are required to have tickets to this event. Make sure you follow Marvel Universe Live on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook to see some amazing pictures from the show and to follow the show’s amazing journey.

J absolutely loved Marvel Universe Live!, but I think I should let him tell you in his own way. Thank you to The Summit Group in Salt Lake City for giving us a fantastic night that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

*This post is sponsored by Marvel Universe Live and The Summit Group. We were provided tickets to the show*