Just as the Fast and the Furious saga proudly demonstrates found-family pop-culture franchises aren’t just for whitebread folks, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy series has demonstrated they aren’t just for humans, either. Whether you’re a little-league space hero, the daughter of a genocidal madman, a 1950s kaiju, a funny-animal gunslinger, or some other kind of ill-formed misfit who’d never be invited to apply for Avengers membership (okay, maybe the Great Lakes Avengers), these losers gave us hope that we too might find the right motley crew out there who needs us on their team so we can all become all-stars with our own action figures.
Tag Archives: end credits
Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” End Credits
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: I played Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, served for years as our neighborhood’s Dungeon Master and owned all the Advanced D&D hardcover manuals published through 1986, by which time all my friends had moved far away, found other pursuits, or quit me specifically. Our group breakup was slow in coming, and the final session ended acrimoniously through no small fault of my own. Eventually my subscriptions to Dragon and Dungeon Adventures magazines expired, and I stopped keep track of updates and new products in the world of TSR’s classic tabletop RPG, unless you count the handful of time my wife and I attended Gen Con and were surrounded by the company’s products. One silver lining: my departure left me with no reason to see the misbegotten 2000 film that took its name in vain.
My attention wandered so far away from the game that years passed before I was aware TSR had been acquired by Wizards of the Coast, the Magic: the Gathering masterminds. Still more years passed before I learned they in turn had been gobbled up by Hasbro, thus moving D&D under the same corporate umbrella as G.I. Joe, the Transformers, and, arguably the source of their company’s best film to date, Clue. I likewise had virtually no emotional investment when trailers began popping up for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Once it was released and word-of-mouth picked up momentum, then I gave it a chance. I entered the theater, I mentally rolled a d20 saving throw vs. Awfulness, and the imaginary die blessedly came up a 19.
Yes, There’s a Scene After the “John Wick: Chapter 4” End Credits
Previously on John Wick: the third chapter (the one with the vestigial subtitle) ended with Our Hero Keanu Reeves mostly dead yet slightly alive (again/still/more than ever), the Continental’s sacred hotel-for-rich-assassins charter revoked, and the audience left wondering how director Chad Stahelski and his Grand Stunt Army of the Republic could possibly top all that, which of course they’d have to because they ended on a cliffhanger as if to triple-dog-dare themselves into doing it all again. Hence John Wick: Chapter 4.
Yes, There’s a Scene After the “Scream VI” End Credits
Previously on Scream: I’d given up on Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven’s meta-horror series after the trilogy-capping Scream 3 sunk into chaotic, anti-postmodern soap-operatics back in 2000 sans creator Williamson. In recent times the horror genre in general hasn’t been a frequent go-to for me, but in 2022 curiosity about the fourth and fifth ones got to me when they showed up in my streaming subscriptions and outshone #3 by a wide margin. Thoughts regarding the fifth one:
The meta-META-prologue neatly and hilariously resets the stage and tone, the stabby-stabby is not always kind toward those we assumed were untouchable, and once again the killers’ motives are perceptively Too Real. My chief nitpick is one character’s sad attempt to make the term “requel” happen. STOP TRYING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. A “requel” is a just a sequel that had to wait a decade or more for another generation to pick up the baton and sprint with it. Now that Craven is no longer with us, successor directors Matt Bellinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are more than poised to hold that baton high and poke some eyes out with it.
The same directing duo returns with Scream VI, another round of dancing with one or more devils in the pale moonlight, who may or may not have favorite scary movies. The scenery is all-new and the knives are sharper than ever, but the meta-commentary that makes or breaks every episode’s whodunit solution could’ve used a few more strokes against the whetstone.
Yes, There Are Scenes During AND After the “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” End Credits
Previously on Shazam!: TV’s Chuck, a.k.a. Zachary Levi, was DC Comics’ choice to play The World’s Mightiest Mortal, as Fawcett Comics once billed him before DC Comics swallowed them and the Big Red Cheese whole back in the ’50s. My thoughts in sum:
It’s the role Zachary Levi was born to play! The best DC Comics film of 2019 does a better job than current comics of recreating that classic CC Beck/Otto Binder magic, the heroic misadventure and the endearing innocence. Sivana’s partners-in-evil are disproportionately horrific as if there were a minimum mandatory Zack Snyder threshold to be met, and Billy Batson’s newly-adult, frequently actionable shenanigans are spared a lot of deserved consequences, but the film’s found-family core and ultimately encouraging vibe have such a puppy-dog charm that it’s hard to stay mad at it.
Levi’s magically adult Billy Batson, his teenage counterpart Asher Angel, his seven foster-family members, and five identically super-powered counterparts are back in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is all of the above twofold: the rules-free magic, the wacky misadventure, the thick-skulled innocence, the disproportionate horror, the frequently actionable shenanigans, and the complete lack of consequences on every level. This time the meek attempts at encouragement and puppy-dog eyes tested my patience too far.
Yes, There Are Scenes During and After the “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” End Credits
Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins! Paul Rudd returns for his fifth MCU outing and the third film in the Ant-Man trilogy! Unless they make more and it isn’t a trilogy! Which is just as well, because we’ve never had a literal, cohesive, hermetically self-contained MCU trilogy anyway. None of the first three Thor films resembles the other, the arcs of Iron Man and Captain America are incomplete without the four Avengers films, and Ant-Man’s life likewise had pivotal moments in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame. I’d love to pretend Guardians of the Galaxy will be the exception come May, but the story of Star-Lord and Gamora in Volume 3 won’t make sense without the traumatic events of Avengers: Infinity War as well as Endgame. As their multiverse presently stands, there’s been no such credible thing as a “Marvel trilogy” since Blade.
After a three-month moment of silence for us all to meditate on the fallout from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the MCU’s back with its 31st big-screen chapter, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, ostensibly directed by returning Ant-maestro Peyton Reed (he of Bring It On and the unjustly forgotten Down with Love), whose sensibilities are definitely felt in the film’s first ten minutes and its last twenty, but not nearly so much during the long, dour, draggy, perfunctory infodump and overextended Star Wars Cantina interlude between them, like an endless row of empty, pastel-graffitied boxcars separating engine and caboose.
Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” End Credits
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: after going 2-for-2 on his first feature films Fruitvale Station and Creed, director Ryan Coogler raised the bar in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Panther, and in turn gave Chadwick Boseman a long-overdue boost into super-stardom after years of his own fine works such as 42 and the still-underrated Persons Unknown. His death was among the many, many, many reasons we will never forgive the year 2020 for its endless curses.
Though we were blessed with chances to celebrate his life and talent posthumously in Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and the grand surprisie of an alt-timeline Panther reprise in What If…? season one, the MCU proper never got a chance to say goodbye, to give King T’Challa of Wakanda the big sendoff he would’ve deserved if only Boseman could’ve had a couple more years to perform the honors. Coogler and co-writer Joe Robert Cole return for that very purpose — and so, so much more — with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Yes, You Know There’s a Scene During the “Black Adam” End Credits
Longtime MCC readers may recall a quainter era when sitting through the end credits of every single film used to be my thing, a longtime viewing habit I share with my wife that the resulting traffic stats kept encouraging me to indulge here. Sometimes that still works for me, as borne out in the first few months of 2022 when search engine users wouldn’t stop clicking on my months-old, disposable entries for Venom 2 and Encanto. (The latter didn’t even have an end credits scene — just a single fancy clip-art image that amused me. And yet, for weeks strangers kept clicking and clicking and clicking, like hundreds of twitchy-fingered Energizer Bunnies.)
Now every geek-news site has at least one fan-writer on retainer who’s more than willing to sacrifice ten extra minutes of their lives to sit all the way through films in case of any clickbait opportunities. I can’t fault those gig-economy freelancers for getting paid to crank out what I’ve been giving away for free for ten years now. Nice work if you can network with the right people to get it.
For the sake of my mental health and sensible allocation of my free-time resources, I try not to treat the end-credits thing as a competition. If I did, after last Sunday’s nonstop busyness I’d have been neck-deep in despair the next morning when the scene during the Black Adam end credits took mainstream entertainment headlines by storm. The sincerely shocking surprise had already been ruined online by boorish bigmouths over a week earlier, but after opening weekend Warner Brothers and Dwayne Johnson jointly decided it was cool to spread the same major spoiler to anyone with narrower internet feeds who’d missed out. So my pro bono end-credits monitoring services aren’t needed here.
Fun trivia, though: did you know if you pay to see the scene during the Black Adam end credits in theaters, you also get a whole movie for free? It’s true! It’s called Black Adam. I sat through that too, for better or worse. It’s miles ahead of the worst thing I’ve seen in theaters so far this year, and a few streets ahead of Justice League, but it isn’t making my Top 10.
Yes, There Are Scenes During and After the “Thor: Love and Thunder” End Credits
Unlike some actors we know who used to earn eight-figure paychecks from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and now probably have to subsist on seven-figure residuals, Chris Hemsworth isn’t going anywhere. The star and Executive Producer is back for Thor: Love and Thunder, as is Taika Waititi, costar and director of Thor: Ragnarok, the Best Thor Movie Ever and possibly the funniest MCU film to date. Perplexingly, he’s followed up with my least favorite Waititi film to date.
Yes, There Are Scenes During and After the “Lightyear” End Credits
“In 1995 Andy got a new toy for his birthday. It was from his favorite movie. This is that movie.”
That’s paraphrasing (i.e., possibly misquoting from fading memory) the first lines from Lightyear — its high-concept, low-bar mission statement and its disclaimer to deflect any viewers who might’ve refused to relax without some form of canonical context, no matter how tenuous or superfluous. Critics’ memories of the exact verbiage differed from one site to the next. The erstwhile animation trailblazers at Pixar were hoping those same fuzzy memories might forgive/forget the shamelessly unnecessary Toy Story 4 and embrace this, their latest merchandise revival to be contrived from the greatest animated film trilogy ever.