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– by Nick Doll

Welcome to Breaking Geek, a new weekly column where uber-geek Nick Doll offers commentary and reactions to the most interesting news of the week, using his expansive knowledge of all things geek!

My opinions are awesome, but more importantly, I want to hear from you! Please agree with me in the comment section after you read Breaking Geek, or, even better, let’s start a fun argument/discussion with our fellow geeks!

 Indiana Jones 5 Must Happen Next For Spielberg!

Last Friday’s news that Steven Spielberg’s next project just may be Indiana Jones 5  has me just as excited as I am for Avengers: Infinity War, Star Wars: Episode IX, and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, if not more excited. After all, Indiana Jones is my favorite franchise with Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade being my first and second favorite films of all time, respectively.

Though I do not agree that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a complete train-wreck as most feel, it was certainly a disappointment, and step down from the original trilogy of films. There were parts of the film I hated, like “Mutt the Monkey King” and “Indiana Jones and the magical tree branch that lowers a vehicle safety into a river,” but other parts that bothered a lot of fans didn’t faze me.

The first act of Crystal Skull was nearly perfect, and felt like a classic Jones adventure until they literally nuked the fridge (which was a little over-the-top, even for an Indiana Jones film, but not completely out of bounds for such an exaggerated action-adventure series). The action in the warehouse and shocking horror of “Nuke Town” is exactly how I would expect the adventures of an older Indiana Jones to go, and I hope for more of this type of action in the future, as opposed to swinging on vines with monkeys and falling into quicksand.

As an atheist, the reveal of aliens felt no different or less believable than any of the previous religious MacGuffins (the aliens actually sound more plausible to me), and the ants, though a little less realistic than their creepy predecessors including snakes, bugs, and rats, were really cool, creepy, and amusing nonetheless.

It really comes down to three reasons why I want to see Indiana Jones 5 in 2020 as originally announced by Disney.

1)      Steven Spielberg is directing. Harrison Ford will be Indiana Jones. George Lucas is not involved. Yes, I am counting all this as one reason.

2)      Disney has proven they can improve and even fix broken Lucasfilm franchise. Look at Star Wars prequels, then look at the three Disney releases. Even if you hate The Last Jedi, it’s better than the prequels, right?

3)      I would personally watch an Indiana Jones film without a script, just Ford in the hat in front of a green screen with no effects, with Spielberg whistling the John William’s classic theme just off camera, and enjoy the film just fine. And if the film is actually good? Well, Indiana Jones 5 could end up being my favorite film of the decade.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout!

Being excited for a delayed sequel such as Indiana Jones 5 is one thing — a process full of fear that the franchise will be further tarnished — but the recently titled Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a whole different animal. If this year wasn’t already the landing ground of Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, I’d say Mission: Impossible – Fallout would have been my most anticipated movie of the year.

I’ve loved the Mission: Impossible films since I first watched the original on VHS from Blockbuster Video. I was probably too young at the time — Emilio Estevez’s death was particularity disturbing — but my love for the franchise has only grown over the years… with the exception of Mission: Impossible II (or M:I:II) which is pretty terrible and especially cheesy.

Since M:I:II however, each film has magically been better than the last, with Rogue Nation (or Mission: Impossible 5) being my favorite entry in the franchise since the 1996 original. For my money, Skyfall and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation are the two best spy movies of the current decade. The Mission: Impossible producers even grew a brain eventually and added subtitles instead of numbers, preventing further atrocious looking titles like M:I:III (which Stephen Colbert used to pronounce as spelled).

And now they’ve gone from cryptic and often silly titles like Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation to the nice and clean Fallout. Writer/Director Christopher McQuarrie made the title even more clear this week, after announcing it:

“The title has multiple meanings in the film, from the literal to the figurative. There is the threat of nuclear terrorism hanging over the movie, which is the literal threat. There’s the notion that what’s happened in the movie is the end result of choices that Ethan Hunt has made in his life. It’s Ethan’s past come back to haunt him. It’s the fallout of all his good intentions.”

“It’s a fallout of all his good intentions?” Sounds like the final chapter to me, and it actually may be time to go out on a high note, as sad as the idea of ending the Mission: Impossible franchise or not including Tom Cruise makes me.

The best players from Rogue Nation are back, including writer/director Chris McQuarrie and the strongest addition to the cast since the original film, Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust. And while the synopsis leaves a lot to be desired — a mission goes wrong… again! — I am more confident in McQuarrie’s talent and far less worried about this movie than Indiana Jones 5 or Avengers: Infinity War; the latter is juggling a dangerous number of characters and carries huge expectations. That being said, Skyfall and Spectre were from the same teams, but one was great and the other… wasn’t. So, like all films, Fallout could go either way.

I can’t wait to see Tom Cruise hang out of a helicopter… and revel in Henry Cavill’s world-famous mustache, in the first trailer which must be coming soon, and then in full when Fallout is released on July 27, 2018.

Avengers 4 – Time Travel, Right?

There has been much speculation about Avengers 4 being a time travel adventure, with set photos showing the cast in old costumes and apparel seen in past films from The Avengers to Captain America: Civil War. Likewise, sets have been spotted representing every era from the ‘40s to the ‘60s.

Will we be watching a movie full of flashbacks? Because that is a terrible idea; flashbacks stop a movie completely in its tracks, unless that movie is Watchmen or Memento.

Or, were these scenes shot to throw off fans in the most intense move of secrecy/misdirection in the history of Hollywood?

Director Anthony Russo had this to say about the theory footage was shot specifically to throw off fan speculation:

“We’re too tired to shoot anything that’s not going in the movie.”

Frankly, I believe him. It would be far too expensive to conduct such massive shoots for footage that will never be used, even for Disney. Making it even less likely, this is a waste of all the actors’ time, especially those who are trying to maintain a career outside of Marvel.

So, we’re talking time travel right? Here’s my pitch:

Everyone but Spider-Man and Doctor Strange die in Infinity War, than this “Doc” and “Spidey” duo must travel through Marvel Cinematic Universe history (not unlike Doc and Marty in Back to the Future), changing events so the Avengers are more suited for battle against Thanos in 2018! After all, this is the first opportunity in Hollywood history to jump across 20 or so films, revisiting existing scenes from new angles with new events. Not doing something similar to what I pitched feels like a missed opportunity.

So, time travel, right?

Again, Anthony Russo has a different explanation, or deflection, reminding us of a little gadget from his last film, Captain America: Civil War, that created an effect of something that looked very much like time travel/an extreme flashback:

“Certainly there is a five-minute sequence in Civil War around a piece of technology that was laid in for a very specific reason.”

Russo is, of course, referring to Stark’s memory device that allows Tony to show/relive his last memory of his parents to the crowd at MIT, with minor alterations of course. How would such a device be useful in Avengers 4? It allows you to see a memory, and react differently in it, but does not change the course of time. Are we really going to see all these time periods through Stark’s memory machine? That sounds ridiculous, though the setup for it coming films earlier is an awesome idea if true, so…

Time travel, right?

 The Right Superhero Film Was Nominated For An Oscar: Logan

Bravo for Logan, the first superhero film to earn an Oscar nomination in a “top category,” not simply a technical one (aside from Heath Ledger who won best supporting actor for The Dark Knight)! The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay earlier this week.

While many felt Wonder Woman deserved a Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, or Best Picture nomination, I said “hell no!” to that and put my faith in Logan. Wonder Woman is a fine superhero film, but it didn’t really do anything new for the genre except showcase a female lead, which is great, but not enough to be Oscar-worthy. Everything about the film was fine… aside from muddy special effects in the finale, but the film didn’t break any new ground or impress me in a way I had not already been so in a past superhero film.

Logan, on the other hand, did break new ground, and the script is at the heart of that. I consider Logan the first truly “adult” superhero film. Having an R rating doesn’t automatically make you “adult,” so Deadpool was your typical action-packed superhero movie, simply with more violence, naughty humor, and nudity. Again, really not adding much to the superhero formula.

Logan may have featured breathtaking scenes of Wolverine violence we’ve always wanted to see, but the film tread at a very adult pace, with short action scenes that were few and far between, and a heavy emphasis on plot, well written dialogue, and incredible character development making for a very “adult” film that would bore most children (whereas Deadpool would not).

Logan was my favorite film of the 2017, so I wish it got a Best Picture nomination, but that may never happen for a superhero film with how snooty the Academy is. Likewise, Logan is a long shot at winning the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but I’m sure it was an honor just to be nominated.


Now, I want to hear from YOU! Agree with my opinions? Think I’m wrong about everything? Let me know! Let’s get some fun discussions and arguments going in the comment section below. That’s the entire point, so join me, my fellow geeks, and let me know what YOU THINK!

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