It's been a long time since I've had a favorite superhero. Having read tons of DC and Marvel comics (as well as various indies) since I started becoming a hardcore collector, and seen a vast majority of the movies, there are simply too many characters from both companies that I like for me to set one, or even a handful, over all the rest. Any sense of favoritism depends on which character I'm in the mood to read about at a given time. Still, if I was forced to at least come up with a top five list from each company, Daredevil would undoubtedly make the Marvel list. He's been a heavy-hitter in my comic collection since I started getting serious about collecting. I still remember buying my first Daredevil comics during a family vacation in Canada. Hell, I even like the 2003 movie with Ben Affleck - I saw it twice in theaters - and I continue to defend it, even while I acknowledge its shortcomings. (The director's cut was an improvement but had its own issues.)
Way back in the early days of the INCspotlight, I did a blog about movie villains I was disappointed by and wanted a lot more from than I got. I'd always intended to balance that out by highlighting the villains that were the best part - sometimes the only good part - of a film. And today is finally the day!
Well...I made it. Five years of INCspotlighting. Five years of indulging my love of classic cinema, vintage comics, retro video games, hidden literary gems, and whatever else sparks my interest. So how should I mark the occasion?
This is a big week for comic book movie fans. In just a few days, the long-awaited Avengers: Infinity War finally hits the big screen, assembling a staggering number of superheroes in one film. And what better way to get revved up for the big event here on the INCspotlight than spotlighting some superhero movie themes?
(Originally published on Channel Awesome on October 30, 2017 - updated post migration)
Anniversary reviews and posts are typically a time when I review or spotlight something I have a personal connection with. This particular year, in light of recent events, that holds especially true.
A little over a month ago, I finally self-published my first novel, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, a swashbuckling adventure story set during the Golden Age of Piracy. It was a long road turning a half-baked idea for a pirate story into something complete and purchasable - we're talking at least twelve years. A lot of people have gotten my back on this project throughout that time, and even before I had the idea itself was born. Family and friends throughout my life have not only encouraged my interest in writing, but also enabled my passion for swashbuckling fiction, as well as the "factual" history they take place in, in all sorts of ways. Sometimes that influence was very direct (parents springing for fencing lessons and steering me toward a stage combat group), and other times it was more of a chain reaction. Regardless of how it happened, though, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag never would have come about without all of this encouragement, and I will always be grateful for that.
(Originally posted on Channel Awesome on June 12, 2017)
Swashbuckling movies introduced me to historical fiction and the history behind it. The Lunar role-playing games inspired a stronger interest in epic fantasy. And the Adam West Batman series (1966-1968) introduced me not only to the Caped Crusader, but possibly superheroes altogether.
(Original version posted on Channel Awesome on November 21, 2016)
It's a rite of passage for parents to be dragged to bad movies by their kids, or vice versa, but I'd like to think that when I was a kid, my family usually dodged that bullet pretty well - at least when it came to seeing stuff in theaters. Not only was I not the movie buff I am today as a kid, and not only did we usually have other commitments that limited theatrical outings, but my parents have always had a pretty good sense of quality control. (My dad may love watching bad movies for the sake of being entertained by how bad they are, but he's not the type to spend twenty bucks to knowingly see one at a theater.) And speaking of my dad, he worked for Blockbuster Video for most of my formative years, and he got to rent stuff for free all the time. There simply wasn't the urgency to see certain movies in theaters when I knew that eventually, I could see it at home thanks to one of his free rentals. There were some films I couldn't wait to see on the big screen, like Disney's The Three Musketeers or The Mask of Zorro, which weren't exactly hard sells (my mom's a big fan of the Disney Zorro television series), but fortunately, both ended up being good. (The Three Musketeers used to be my favorite movie of all time.)
(Original version posted on Channel Awesome on January 4, 2016)
2016 has arrived, and we've got a new bunch of comic book movies coming out this coming year. The upcoming trend seems to be heroes fighting heroes - not only do we have Captain America: Civil War (which I'm REALLY looking forward to) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which I'm...curious about), but from what I'm hearing about X-Men: Apocalypse, it sounds like some of our favorite merry mutants will be spending part of the movie on the titular villain's side. I'm not a big fan of heroes fighting heroes instead of villains, but I can't deny that objectively speaking, we might be in for some impressive action sequences.
(Originally posted on Channel Awesome on June 29, 2015)
Last week, we lost James Horner, one of the greats among film score composers. The many tributes and accolades he received after his tragic death (and throughout his career) are a reminder of just how much film music resonates with audiences, and how integral it is to the filmgoing experience. Interestingly, many (not all) of the tributes to Horner that I've come across have focused more on his dramatic scores for films such as Apollo 13, Braveheart, or Titanic - and don't get me wrong, this praise is well-deserved. However, his work on adventure films such as Willow, The Rocketeer, and The Mask of Zorro are likewise worthy of attention, and not just as a testament to Horner's versatility, but to how enjoyable they are as pieces of music and how much they've livened up the action scenes from these films.
(Originally posted on Channel Awesome on April 13, 2015)
We all know of movies we shouldn't watch on a full stomach - certain horror movies or gross-out comedies, for instance. But far more insidious are the movies that actually make you hungry while you're watching them.
The INCspotlight, formerly hosted on the website Channel Awesome, now has a new home on my own website! Putting the spotlight on classics that deserve to be remembered!