As soon as Kurt Russell was introduced as Ego, in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2, one specific thought came to – how was he going to die? Now, to anyone who reads comics, especially those who remember when comics were a good, fun read, it’s no spoiler to say that Ego, The Living Planet is historically one of Marvel’s cosmic villains. First introduced on the final page of the September 1966 issue (#132) of The Mighty Thor, Ego is defeated in the following issue and vows to never attack anyone else … of course, over the decades, Ego has returned again and again to threaten lots of places and superheroes. But the specific story I immediately thought of was Fantastic Four #235, a few issues into John Byrne’s legendary run as writer and artist. And, as it turns out, I was right on the money. So what does this have to do with the review? I’ll get to it a little later.
My negative comments about the animated Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League Dark were definitely affected by my lack of love for animation, but mostly because the animation was ugly, and the stories weak. My comments on the animated stories within A Monster Calls were positively glowing, so I guess it isn’t animation overall I don’t get into, though that’s my biggest complaint. Another complaint is that I don’t feel that animated stuff is much more than fanservice once it goes beyond the child demographic.
I had a fairly good idea what to expect from The Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Taika Waititi’s follow up to the fantastic vampire horror comedy What We Do In The Shadows, but I’d be lying if I said I was right. I only knew that it was a bonding story; set in rural New Zealand, a troubled kid is sent to live with foster parents. It’s his last chance before getting cast into the system as a juvenile delinquent, but then he bonds with those people and all is well. Seen it before, right? Seems like it’s something that would be on Hallmark or The Family Channel – a feel good, Disneyfied slice of Midwest apple pie. That’s what it sounded like to me from my ignorant lack of knowledge about it, anyway!
Everest, directed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband, 2 Guns), and written by William Nicholson (Unbroken) and Simon Beaufoy (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) tells the true story of the ill-fated 1996 attempt to ascend Mount Everest that saw multiple commercial guided tours fall victim to a blizzard during the descent. The movie is based on the book Left For Dead: My Journey Home From Everest by Beck Weathers, a Texan climber who survived the ordeal, but in doing so lost half an arm, all the fingers on the other hand, and the tip of his nose to extreme frostbite. Weathers is played by Josh Brolin here, part of an ensemble cast that also includes Jason Clarke (Terminator: Genisys), who plays Rob Hall and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), who plays Scott Fischer.