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Filtering by Tag: Marvel Comics

Pop Culture Happy Hour: "Spider-Man: Far From Home" and What's Making Us Happy

Chris Klimek

Tom Holland gets some enhanced security screening. (Sony)

Tom Holland gets some enhanced security screening. (Sony)

Host Linda Holmes is off promoting her already New York Times-bestselling debut novel Evvie Drake Starts Over this month, so Glen and Stephen handled the hosting chores on PCHH this episode, with Mallory Yu and me in chairs three and four to talk about Spider-Man: Far From Home, the eighth movie with the proper noun “Spider-Man” in the title since 2002. (For more important data analysis, see my NPR review of the movie.)

We recorded this episode first thing in the morning on one of the most heavily-scheduled days of my adult life. Fortunately, my energy peaked early that day, which is rare. I'm sure the wise and kind Jess Reedy was doing me a favor and protecting NPR when she sensibly excised my rant about how much money I lost on my first car, a Ford Taurus, when its engine exploded in the middle of the night and the beginning of a snowstorm as my brother and I were on our way to catch a plane to my grandpa's funeral. Attentive listeners will easily pick out where in the episode that would have gone were Jess not so good at her job.

I also shamelessly plugged my Washington Post piece from Tuesday about 1970’s Honor America Day and its soundtrack album, Proudly They Came… to Honor America.

Does Whatever a Spider Can, Again, Some More: "Spider-Man: Far From Home," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Secret identity, shmecret identity: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in  Far From Home  (Sony/Columbia)

Secret identity, shmecret identity: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in Far From Home (Sony/Columbia)

Here's my NPR review of Spider-Man: Far From Home, a lovably shaggy vestigial tale on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Y'all are great at this. Now just stop it for a while already.

I'll be on Pop Culture Happy Hour next week to talk about the movie with the great Mallory Yu, Pal-for-Life Glen Weldon, and guest host Stephen Thompson.

Summer 1989: Todd McFarlane was a good Spider-Man artist whose fast-growing popularity convinced him he could write, but he was wrong.

Summer 1989: Todd McFarlane was a good Spider-Man artist whose fast-growing popularity convinced him he could write, but he was wrong.

Hail, Dehydration! On "Avengers: Endgame" and the Incredibly Expanding Blockbuster

Chris Klimek

AvengersEndgame5cbe860b2f312.jpg

Inspired by Avengers: Endgame, the 182-minute grand finale of the Marvel cinematic saga, I crunched some numbers and examined how blockbusters—especially ones not encumbered by Endgame's hefty narrative obligations, with so many characters and storylines to pay off—are expanding at a much faster rate than is the human lifespan. I am solely responsible for the math in the piece, and the jokes. You've been warned.

It's True, All of It: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," reviewed.

Chris Klimek

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

It takes all kinds of spider-beings to make a spider-verse. (Sony)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the first good Spider-Man movie in, uh, 18 months! But it's more than that: A fun, warm, visually astonishing omnibus of Spider-lore that elegantly rebukes reactionary fans whose minds are stuck in 1963. I rarely get worked up over animated films—a blind spot I can neither defend nor explain—but I loved this. Here’s my NPR review.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Ant-Man and The Wasp

Chris Klimek

The just-fine firm of Lily, Douglas, & Rudd, LLP (Marvel Studios)

The just-fine firm of Lily, Douglas, & Rudd, LLP (Marvel Studios)

I saw a review headline earlier today proclaiming Ant-Man and The Wasp "the perfect summer movie." I could easily name 20 perfect movies released during the summer going back to Jaws, released the summer before I was, but the phrase "a perfect summer" movie almost invariably refers to movies that aren't very good. 

Ant-Man and The Wasp isn't Not Good. It is, as my pal and editor and occasional (today!) Pop Culture Happy Hour panel-mate Glen Weldon observed in his review, fine.

I'm going to see it again tonight, in fact, but only because it's on a bill at the drive-in with Incredibles 2, which I've not seen yet, and because I haven't been to the drive-in in I think two years. I won't stay for the third feature, Avengers: Infinity War, because that movie will end at 3 a.m. and it's a 55-mile drive back to the District. But I'm glad that screening is happening.

Anyway, please enjoy our PCHH dissection of Ant-Man and The Wasp. It's fine.

Vibranium v Unobtanium: A Slate Investigation

Chris Klimek

Hey,  what's  my costume made out of again? (Disney/Marvel)

Hey, what's my costume made out of again? (Disney/Marvel)

Most of Black Panther is set in the imaginary African nation of Wakanda, a technological utopia whose monarchs have for centuries observed a strict policy of isolationism, keeping would-be colonizers at bay by hiding their nation’s wealth and scientific advancement from the outside world. We’re told in the movie’s very first minute that Wakanda’s prosperity derives from its abundance of Vibranium, and that this bounty was delivered via meteorite long before humans walked the Earth.

And for a resource they're trying to keep secret, the Wakandans sure talk about it a lot. 

Even more than the characters in Avatar (Remember Avatar? Nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for my boy James Cameron? Still the highest-grossing movie in the history of movies?) speak the much-derided name of that movie's extraterrestrial miracle metal, Unobtanium.

A lot more.

For this Slate piece, I did the transcription. And the math.

Field Notes. I should've let my mom teach me shorthand like she wanted.

Field Notes. I should've let my mom teach me shorthand like she wanted.

Ragna-roll With It: Thor: Ragnarok, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

It's way more fun than this photo would suggest. (Disney/Marvel)

It's way more fun than this photo would suggest. (Disney/Marvel)

Thor: Ragnarok is the best Thor movie by an Asgardian mile, but don't let that backhanded compliment keep you away. With dual villains played by Cate Blanchett and Jeff Goldblum plus a Mark Mothersbaugh score, it's a stealth The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou reunion. Lo, here's my NPR review.