Yes, There Are Scenes During AND After the “Justice League” End Credits

Wonder Woman!

An optimistic Wonder Woman is already scouting locations for the Hall of Justice.

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls Justice League “Not Remotely the Worst Film of the Year!” I mean, y’all do remember 2017 spawned another Transformers sequel, right?

As a comics fan for nearly forty years, I’m not among those with unconditional love for every project with the DC Comics imprimatur on it, but their creators have made cool things over the decades. I found Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice the Worst Film of 2016, but The CW’s The Flash is my favorite current TV show, and I thought more highly of the first half of Suicide Squad than many people did. In comics I found the New 52 reboots largely dreadful, but love that “Rebirth” brought Christopher Priest’s Deathstroke and Gene Luen Yang’s New Super-Man into the world. The Flash was among the first super-heroes I ever followed monthly beginning at age 6. When I started making up my own super-heroes circa age 9, Cyborg was among the first ones I ripped off. But I pledge unquestioning allegiance to no fictional characters.

I fully expected Justice League to be an enormous waste of time that would have me nitpicking and raging for hours, given: (a) the departure of director Zack Snyder under tragic circumstances; (b) that former Marvel movie overseer Joss Whedon, the opposite of Snyder on every conceivable level, had been tasked with stitching together the pieces; (c) that Warner Brothers executives had demanded nearly a third of the movie be chopped out to enforce a shorter running time for reasons of greed; (d) they were trying to foist a redundant Flash on us despite the ongoing awesomeness of Grant Gustin; and (e) it’s mostly from the makers of Batman v. Superman. That’s a lot of strikes even before getting to the plate.

Honestly? It wasn’t that bad. In fact, I’ll go on record here and confess I wouldn’t call it “bad”.

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Yes, There’s a Scene During the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” End Credits


A rare quiet moment for Hawkeye in between spectacles and explosions and scene-winning.

The short version: I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron on opening weekend. I had a blast. I liked it more than the first Avengers.

I had a few quibbles, but nothing too upsetting. I noticed some themes and formed some thoughts. Y’know, what I usually do before I settle in and crank out 1500-2000 words for my li’l site here. It’s just this thing I do every time I see a film in a theater.

Instead I came home, spent the weekend reading Age of Ultron internet fights between various factions for various reasons, scribbled a few surface thoughts about it, silently tucked them away for a while, and let memory scratch much of the rest. I could retrieve them if I tried, but I worry that everything’s already been written about it, and I know I’m tired of reading about it. But here I am anyway, salvaging the remains because so far, compared to the other two (2) 2015 films I’ve seen so far, technically Midlife Crisis Crossover calls Avengers: Age of Ultron The Best Film of The Year. So it oughta have an entry.

(The other two films were Jupiter Ascending and Chappie. The competition up to now has been far from fierce.)

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“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”: Exploring the Possibilities of 0.00001% of the Marvel Universe

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

Drama! Excitement! Danger! Peaceful forest walks!

Six episodes into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (not to be confused with, say, Law & Order: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), we’re seeing little improvements here and there as the writers make up their minds how the camaraderie and rivalries should work between the characters. The series began as an awkward hodgepodge of our man Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen (Mulan, ER‘s early seasons), and some extras on loan from the CW, who together felt not nearly scruffy enough to headline a Joss Whedon TV project.

I’m warming a little more to the show as the weeks progress. I’m no longer wishing for Skye the fake-hobo hacker to be dismissed and dropped off at her van down by the river. I’m no longer letting the mystery of Coulson’s alleged clinical death undermine my attention. I’ve stopped nitpicking at how Agent Ward looks 25 but we’re expected to believe he has the acumen and respectability of a 50-year-old war veteran. And I can’t remember the last time I was distracted by an underbudgeted special effect.

One major disappointment still looms: while it’s nice to see them playing with elements of the Marvel movie universe — what’s stopping them from exploring more deeply into the actual Marvel Universe?

(Fair warning: one bit later in this article is a mild spoiler for tonight’s new episode.)

So, about that Marvel Universe…

Seven Happy Reasons for Much Ado About “Much Ado About Nothing”

Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Much Ado About Nothing

Wesley and Fred, together at last!

Midlife Crisis Crossover calls Much Ado About Nothing the Best Romantic Comedy of the Year!

Seriously, in a world where romantic comedies are either R-rated sexfests or direct-to-video beneath-my-notice nice tries, how many true romantic comedies are the studios releasing theatrically per year now? Two? Maybe three? Of which I see zero per year at most. According to my personal moviegoing records, the last romantic comedy I paid to see writ large was 2003’s Down with Love. It’s been a while.

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Driveway Tunnelers Fail to Find Hoffa, But Recover My Lost “Cabin in the Woods” Review

My daily MCC followers may recall a recent entry in which I eulogized one of my oldest entries, a review of The Cabin in the Woods that somehow vanished from this blog without malice aforethought or explanation forthcoming. Originally posted on May 6th, I tried to return to it months later to double-check something I’d written (I don’t even recall exactly what), only to discover a large hole in my history where once it had existed. The software left a trail of another post that I intentionally deleted a few weeks later, but not the Cabin piece.

Wanna hear a funny story about a forgetful old man?

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Today’s Unrelated Things: Joss Whedon, Action Hero; and “The Killing”, Inaction Victim

For Rosie Larsen, justice was served far, far too late.

Last Friday AMC announced their cancellation of The Killing after two controversial seasons. What launched as a grim-‘n’-gritty crime drama with a unique tone and a promising premise strained to sustain viewer patience, culminating in a season-one finale that launched a thousand ‘Net-fits when it ended To Be Continued. TV fans raised on the complete, self-contained, season-long arcs of superior shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars were unaware that any showrunners in this age would still rely on the ancient TV model of ending a season with a DVD-boxed-set-ruining cliffhanger. We former might have been more forgiving if the season had been more satisfying. Alas, ’twas not the case here.

Before season two premiered, my half of a conversation with a friend digressed into a diatribe about my discontent with the show and my bold plan not to watch a single episode of season two, despite the thirteen hours of my time already invested without benefit of closure. My tantrum went like so:

I patiently allowed myself to be strung along for thirteen hours’ worth of watching one truly original character, several mopey characters, and one aggravatingly incompetent protagonist. I labored under the delustion that the season would be a fulfilling story in and of itself. I waited it out through thin and thinner, enduring unbelievable acts of stupidity committed in extreme slow motion by characters that would’ve been fired or murdered long ago if the same had happened in real life, under the expectation (fostered by precedents set by other, better shows, not to mention 99% of all other whodunits throughout recorded entertainment history) that closure for the simple question of “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” would be forthcoming in a timely manner.

When the show revealed itself to be an extended tease for a resolution that might or might not occur in some future season, unless they decide never to solve it, which they totally could if they wanted to, meaningless press releases in recent months notwithstanding, and when showrunner Veena Sud confirmed that they never intended to solve the mystery in season 1…I was not remotely happy.

And it wasn’t just for my own sake, but for my wife’s, whose reaction was even more vehement and scary than mine. She and I rarely watch any new TV shows together, but just this once she had trusted my recommendation and given The Killing a shot. It was fun to watch the show together, to compare our notes and thoughts on a shared experience.

So that blew up in my face. When the finale ended with the complete non-solution and the one original character betraying us, she instantly swore off the show, and she’s not fully trusted a TV recommendation of mine ever since.

So thank you, Veena Sud, for helping me not spend more time with my wife. I’ve never been this excited about not watching a TV show, but now I’m zealously anticipating any and all Schadenfreude I can derive at your show’s expense.

…but I’m feeling much better now. I honestly expected this to be a minority opinion that would long forgotten somewhere around the show’s fifth season. Apparently I wasn’t the only upset customer who upheld their promise, refused to tune in again, and passed the time until the finale aired and online news sites reported the mystery’s solution.

For what it’s worth, my wife bought me season one of Sherlock for our eighth anniversary a couple of weeks ago, in hopes that we’ll have time to enjoy it together. Neither of us has seen an episode yet (I’ve watched one brilliant scene online, under the title “Sherlock Holmes, Grammar Nazi”), but trustworthy people keep recommending it. Here’s hoping.

* * * * *

Since I’m not really in the mood for a complete downer of an entry, enclosed below is something completely different. If you’ve already seen it six times in the last week because your friends flooded all your Internet inboxes with links to it, I’ll understand if you groan and fire up your escape pod now.

From the producers of The Guild, a new Web series called Written by a Kid springboards from simple storytelling segments with children ages four to nine, who still say the darnedest things after all these years. Whereas Bill Cosby would only allow each of his interviewees a brief moment in the spotlight, Written by a Kid moves one step beyond and turns each child’s improv short-story into an animated tale of whimsy and wonder.

Episode one is called “Scary Smash”, about a one-eyed monster on a milkman-murdering rampage and the SQUAT team captain that takes seven days to stop him. Starring Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall, NewsRadio, A Bug’s Life) as the dead milkman, Kate Micucci (stuff I’ve never seen) as a latecomer to the war, and, in his first starring action role, TV’s Joss Whedon (TV’s Angel, TV’s Firefly) as that steadfast captain, Gerald by name, who wields a sword and a shield and a gun and a small gun.

…and now you know how to count to ten hundred.

If you watch as many YouTube shows as my son does, you may also recognize some of Gerald’s poor, ineffective soldiers in split-second cameos, including YouTube stars Rhett and Link, and executive producer Felicia Day herself.

For a first effort, it’s not bad. It may be the last time in this kid’s life that he will know the joy of having a script produced without a rewrite by a meddling studio hack.

Y’know what I liked best about it? It told a complete story in four minutes flat.

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