Let’s Talk About Avengers: Endgame

(Update: As of May 29, 2019, Endgame is the second highest grossing film of all-time worldwide. You’ve got some ground to make up there, DC)

We’re back again with another entry in our “Let’s Talk About” series. It feels like we’ve done more of these for Marvel movies than anything else. I’m not sure if that’s true or not (Kevin will rake me over the coals for not double-checking), but it probably has something to do with the fact that we started this blog in 2013. The Avengers was almost a year old at that point and the MCU had grown into a juggernaut that owned the box office and earned all the praise from critics. Even Thor: The Dark World did well later that year, scoring the largest opening weekend in November ever for a Disney movie (that I did look up).

If that piece of crap could do so well, the writing was on the wall that there was no stopping the MCU. To be fair, I own that piece of crap and that’s just another sign of how Marvel has us by the balls: I buy all of their movies, even if I don’t like them that much.

Kevin and I have certainly been fans this whole time and that’s why it seemed fitting that he just happened to be in Denver so that we could see Avengers: Endgame together. Marvel’s behemoth of a finale for its Infinity Saga promised to be epic. It promised to resolve years worth of storylines. But did it live up to the ridiculous level of hype surrounding it?

Now that everyone on the planet has checked this movie out, I think we are safe to dive into some spoilers and nitpick the shit out of this thing. Well, not really. We’re nicer than that and have compliments to give out too, but I promise you that nits will be picked.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

 

Kevin: Alright Jesse, I conned you into another ‘Let’s Talk About’ blog. Honestly I only do these to get out of my responsibility of writing a review by myself. How does it feel to be Tom Sawyer’ed?

Jesse: That would imply that you tricked me into doing something unpleasant or laborious. Unless this is actually a chat about Spider-Man 3, I’m really excited to be here!

Wait, is this a chat about Spider-Man 3?

Kevin: It’s not. Unless you want to pretend we live in an alternate Spider-Verse where Spider-Man 3 was actually, you know, good. Alas, we do not, we live in the Spider-Verse that is constantly chasing the high of Spider-Man 2 and has so far given us an unnecessary reboot attempt to start a new cinematic universe, a successful attempt to work a rebooted Spider-Man into an existing cinematic universe, and a confusing attempt to start a new cinematic universe with Spider-Man’s greatest foe but without Spider-Man.

It’s been an awkward decade to be a Spider-Man fan to say the least. But being awkward is part of the charm of Spider-Man so I guess it fits. The good news is all of this awkwardness paid off and we finally got the Spider-Man, er Spider-Men…actually Spider-People…wait, Spider-Mammals that we deserve!

And listen, I know rankings are pointless and biased and overdone, so I won’t rank where Into the Spider-Verse falls in the franchise, I will just say this was simply the most fun I have EVER had with a Spider-Man movie. Is that a fair statement?

Jesse: Of course. This was a visual feast of a comic book movie, enhanced by an animation style that I don’t recall seeing before and a vibrant color palette that takes full advantage of the big screen. Throw in a banging soundtrack, a diverse and delightful voice cast and a refreshing origin story, and this was definitely the most fun that I had at a Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s beloved second installment.

Most fun ever? My nostalgia for Spider-Man 2 fights me on that but how great is it that we even get to have that conversation? It only took 14 years.

From a pure enjoyment standpoint, what are some of the things about Into the Spider-Verse that give it the edge for you?

Kevin: The most fun part for me was the seemingly limitless potential of the Spider-Verse. As someone who went into the movie with limited knowledge of the pre-existing Spider-Verse, it was a ball to be thrown into so many wild and random alternate worlds. It opened up my imagination in a way that I haven’t felt since I was a kid who spent my free time drawing made-up versions of Yoshi (I’m positive I drew a Spider-Yoshi at some point).

On top of that, in addition to the visual feast you mentioned, the web slinging and battle scenes were off the charts. After years and years of the superhero movies hitting similar beats in their big action pieces, Into the Spider-Verse was a dose of fresh air. Especially the climatic battle at the end which was visually stunning and a hell of a lot of fun.

On top of that, the self-referential humor was top notch and not overly done. The entire ride from start-to-finish was a blast that you instantly want to re-watch.

I have to say my absolute favorite aspect of this movie might be the diversity it opened up to the superhero world. As someone who campaigned for Donald Glover to pick up the Spidey suit years ago, I am thrilled to see Marvel bring Miles Morales to the screen.

My question to you, seeing that this movie opened up our imaginations and paved the path for some much needed diversity, is where do you see this alternate universe thing going? Or more importantly, where do you want to see it go? Do you want a straight sequel that picks up where we left Miles? Do you want a spinoff battle royale between Spider-Ham and the Homer Simpson’s Spider-Pig? Or do you want Nicholas Cage to voice a trilogy of Spider-Man Noir?

Jesse: Oh I’m fully confident Sony will cash in on every opportunity to make more movies in this franchise. You can have more sequels with Miles, and you can have oddball spin-offs with Nicholas Cage or a showdown of Spider-Ham versus Spider-Pig. The LEGO movies milk the shit out of this formula.

With Tom Holland still portraying the live-action Spidey over in the MCU, and those movies likely making more money than any featuring yet another Spider-Man reboot at Sony would, my hunch is that Sony will want to keep it that way. In turn, I would expect they’ll do everything they can to build a franchise in the Spider-Verse.

So my answer to your question is basically “All of the Above.” Knowing how badly they’ve messed up this type of thing before, would you be worried at all about that happening again here?

Kevin: The only reason to not worry is because of how self-aware Into the Spider-Verse was. They poked fun at many of the mistakes the past Spider-Man movies have made form the endless reboots to emo dancing.

Still, movie franchises usually lose steam, they change writers, or directors. Or if they manage to keep the creative minds behind something so fresh, the freshness eventually wears off, or the creative people get lazy or run out of ideas.

However, these days Marvel’s image is so micromanaged that there isn’t much wiggle room to screw things up (Venom notwithstanding). I think the real question is, what will get old sooner, the endless Spider-Man franchise or the endless superhero movie genre?

Personally I foresee some great superhero fatigue following the release of Avengers: Endgame this year. And unfortunately the Into the Spider-Verse universe could be the victim of an apathetic audience.

Who am I kidding, I bet Disney is already lining up two sequels and three TV seasons straight-to-their-new-streaming-program. I bet we will drown in Spider-Mammals until no one can hear our muffled objections.

I digress, I loved this movie and it has given me hope that there is still juice to squeeze in the superhero genre. And this juice happens to be animated, fun, and all about Spider-Man so I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Now that you’ve soaked the movie in fully, what is your final ranking of all Spider-Man movies? Where does it fall in all of the superhero movies?

Jesse: Oh sure, you said it was pointless to rank these movies earlier, but now that’s up to me? I see how it is.

I won’t count Civil War or Infinity War, because Spidey was just a character included in a much larger scope, but everything else is fair game. Let’s get the garbage out of the way first:

7. Spider-Man 3

It’s fair to argue whether or not this is truly the worst of the bunch, but Spidey 3 was unquestionably the most disappointing movie-going experience of my life. Never before or since have I left a theater more bewildered, confused and desperately hoping for the flashy thingy from Men in Black so that I could forget everything.

6. The Amazing Spider-Man

5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Behold this joke of a reboot featuring the “untold story” of Peter Parker’s origin, which is more or less the same story we already knew, just more convoluted and angsty. Because that’s what every movie in the early 2010’s needed right? More teenage angst!

I will say the second one makes me want to gouge my eyes out a little less, mainly because Andrew Garfield hinted that he could do the character more justice than the hopeless script and clueless studio allowed him to. But alas, it was not to be.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Homecoming is the rice cooker of Spidey movies: does what it’s supposed to do and you can’t complain about the result, but it’s a little bland and definitely leaves you wanting more. Michael Keaton’s villainous turn as yet another costumed bird-man is the best reason for revisiting this one.

3. Spider-Man

Ah, the wonders of letting a campy director like Sam Raimi get his hands on a superhero movie and then leaving him to his own devices. This isn’t usually a style that’s allowed within this genre anymore, and that’s made the first Spidey flick of this millennium stand out more and more as time has gone on.

1B. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

1A: Spider-Man 2

I mentioned earlier that I can’t pick between these two. Having not seen either since my first viewing of Into the Spider-Verse, I don’t think it’s fair for me to try now, but I believe that either one would be worthy of the coveted no. 1 slot.

So what say you Kevin? Are you shaking your head at my logic or disappointed that I didn’t include Venom or the hilariously bad Spidey movie from when we were little kids? And any other final thoughts?

Kevin: I think you nailed it Jesse. However I might start claiming Into the Spider-Verse is the best Spider-Man movie of all time just so we can fight about it.

No final thoughts from me, I look forward to revisiting this topic after we see Avengers: Into the Avenger-verse in 2022.

Pegboards’ Sixth Annual NFL Mock Draft

Hello and welcome to Pegboards’ Sixth Annual NFL Mock Draft where the rules are made up and the picks don’t matter because we will be wrong 95% of the time.

Just like last year, we have pulled our “friends” Eric and Ryan into the mix to help us throw darts at the mock draft dart board. Why would we do this again, you ask? Is it because our friends added some much needed expertise and accurate predictions last year? Hahaha, no, of course not, it’s mostly because we are lazy (which you can tell by our never-ending lack of updates).

So here’s how it’s going to go, the draft order begins with myself, Kevin, and then it goes Ryan, Jesse and Eric. We were allowed to make trades and, spoiler alert, one of us actually did! Jesse and I will be providing most of the commentary for each pick. We will most likely use our pick’s commentary to praise ourselves and use their pick’s taking some deep shots at their character, intelligence, and overall self-esteem. So just normal, healthy friend stuff.

Without further ado, the Browns of Cleveland are on the clock… again. Just like last year.

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Are the Broncos Stuck in the Pit of Misery? – Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our offseason series for our beloved Broncos, and whether they are totally screwed moving towards the 2018 season. Can they escape from the pit like Bruce Wayne did in The Dark Knight Rises? Or are they stuck in there with a bunch of old guys and access to cable television? The consensus so far? Too early to tell.

But it’s not too early to continue speculating about the moves John Elway and co. will make to place the Broncos back among the contenders in the AFC. And that’s what we’re going to do.

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Are the Broncos Stuck in the Pit of Misery? – Part 1

Hello there, faithful readers. It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from us. It could be that there hasn’t been anything worth writing about over the past month in the world of sports or movies (partly true), or it’s possible that our real jobs keep us from writing on a more regular basis (mostly true). Regardless, we’ve missed you guys and we’re glad to be back. Not a moment too soon, either.

You see, things really start to heat up in the sporting world when the calendar turns to March, and I’m not just talking about the weather. Seeing as we are mostly a Broncos blog, it’s fitting that our favorite team is entering perhaps its most important offseason since John Elway took over the front office. With a glaring hole at quarterback, dire needs at multiple other positions and a coach that barely survived his first season on the job and will need to make huge strides if he wants to see the end of his second one, it’s safe to say that the moves the Broncos make over the next couple of months could make or break their 2018 campaign before it ever gets started.

And we’re back to see all those moves through with you. While we’re optimistic that everything that happens will put our team back on the path towards winning, we’ve been humbled way too much since Super Bowl 50 to feel that confident. Still, you should know up front that Pegboards still very much trusts John Elway to make things right, and we hope you do to.

So without further adieu, let’s get to it. Are the Broncos stuck in the Pit of Misery? And if not, how do they get out?

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Let’s Talk About The Last Jedi

Unless you live under a rock, or plain just don’t like movies, chances are you’ve seen the newest entry of the Star Wars saga by now. It’s been quite the divisive piece of entertainment and whether it knocked your pants off or made you so angry that you were mean to Rian Johnson on Twitter, there’s no question that it made an impact on you. It sure as hell made a huge one on Kevin and I.

But here’s the thing. If we had all come away from The Last Jedi with warm feelings of nostalgia in our tummies and then immediately went home and stopped talking about the movie, because it was more of the same of what we come to expect from Star Wars, then you would know that Disney had just churned out a giant cash grab and wasn’t interested in trying anything new. And that would suck, because part of what made Star Wars great in the first place was that it tried things that were new.

Instead, Disney trusted Johnson to create something bold and original, and we are still having discussions about it over a month after its release. And that’s how you know this is much more than just another movie. Instead, it’s a piece of art that challenges us to rethink what we think we know about some of our favorite stories and characters, and that’s something that we desperately need in an age of cookie cutter sequels and tired remakes.

So Kevin and I are going to keep that discussion going. Feel free to chime in if you wish.

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