Sunday, August 14, 2016

High Rise Review

     High-Rise is a seriously fucked up movie.  I know that I usually have the usual "Good (insert part of day this review was written)" intro but I just want to cut straight to the chase so let me say it again: High-Rise is a seriously fucked up movie and I'm not saying that this is in a particularly good way either.  Let's delve into this thing.

     High-Rise was originally a novel by J.G. Ballard published back in 1975.  I had never heard of it so naturally, I've never read it but it is about a luxury high-rise building where the divided-by-class residents eventually fall into chaos.  I got wind of this movie reading a article showing the trailer for the movie adaptation, starring one Tom Hiddleston.  I've liked Tom Hiddleston's work in the Marvel movies and he was the best thing about Crimson Peak and the premise of this movie sounded interesting.  It premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival but never heard anything more about it until I went to rent The Killing Joke on xBox TV & Movies and saw that High-Rise was available to rent.  Looking into it, the film supposedly had a wide release in the UK in March 2016 and a limited release in the US in May 2016 so despite it premiering at TIFF last year, I'm qualifying this one as a 2016 release.

     So the plot?  Tom Hiddleston is a doctor in a dystopian 1970s who has just moved into the 25th floor of a high-rise building, complete with its own supermarket, gym, pool, etc so residents have little reason to leave the building except to go to work.  He begins to mingle with the other residents of the building, including having a relationship with a single mother (Sienna Miller), partying with a married couple (Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss) and playing squash with the architect (Jeremy Irons) of the building.  While hanging out with the architect, he gets stuck in an elevator during a power outage.  While this is a minor annoyance to the wealthier residents in the higher levels, it is far more problematic to the lesser residents on the lower levels.  As these interruptions in utilities continue and escalate, it leads to class warfare between the rich and the poor.

     Sounds pretty cool, right?  I don't want to sell this movie short so let me go over what was good about this.
     First and foremost, the acting is top notch.  Everyone involved puts in a high-caliber performance that doesn't make you think of other characters they have played in previous films and at least would've kept you in this film were it not for other elements (more on those later).
     The other thing that I really applaud High-Rise for is its cinematography and its set pieces.  When these two are put together, if nothing else this movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at in that regard.  It didn't matter if the scene was set in the swimming pool, a tenant's balcony or the architect's meadow on the top of the building, the scenery was beautiful even when the shit hit the fan (although there were a few parts where it would cut to an inanimate object that had nothing to do with whatever was happening and then cut back to the scene).
     There was one little thing I noticed during a scene where Hiddleston is invited to a party being thrown by the architect's wife (Keeley Hawes) and he shows up in a tuxedo with a bottle of wine, only to find the party is actually an 18th Century themed event and he is mocked by the higher ups.  Disgusted by the events, he takes a cigarette out of the pack and proceeds to light it up.  I don't know if it was intentional but the cigarette was bent slightly, the end dipping towards the ground slightly.  I couldn't help but wonder if that was supposed to be a symbol of his esteem after the exchange he had with the hosts but if this was intentional, good job, High-Rise.

Oh, and this happens too, if this is your thing.

     For those positive points I mentioned, they were rendered moot for two very crucial things.
     The first being the pacing.  High-Rise certainly takes its sweet time to get the ball rolling and while I'm not usually one to knock a movie with a slow buildup and a good payoff (Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, for example), there needs to be something happening within the story to keep me invested in these characters.  It wasn't until for reasons that are never explained, a character commits suicide (not a major character, don't worry) 45 minutes in that I really got something resembling progression of the plot but by then, the movie was already starting to lose me.  When the residents of the high-rise start becoming more hostile towards one another, it didn't really do anything to pull me back in and in my notes, I even wrote, "20 mins left, I want the movie to be over."
     The second is the script.  There are things that happen in this movie that seem to just come out of the blue with little rhyme and reason and the movie just expects us to go with it.  It is one thing to have characters do things but when we don't understand their motivations as to why they're doing things, it just comes off as bloated and confusing.  Say what you will about the characters in Jurassic World but at least you got a basic cookie-cutter motivation behind them.  After the minor character commits suicide, the movie seriously falls the fuck apart.  I get that the lower classes are pushing back against the higher classes but it becomes so muddled and cloudy, it felt like nothing was really happening.  I actually stopped taking notes as to what was happening on screen because I could no longer follow the story.  Here are the last few notes I wrote (left a couple out to avoid spoilers):

     -1hr 07min in, I seriously don't know what's going on.  I feel like nothing's happening.
     -Really feeling like I should've read the book...
     -I am so fucking lost.  Orgies in the top floor penthouse, Tom banging Wilder's pregnant wife, no indication of what the dystopia of the outside world is...

     I suppose one could make the argument that our feelings of confusion by the events onscreen not making sense is supposed to reflect the emotions of the characters effected by said events but it came off as resoundingly pretentious and it felt like the movie was so far up its own ass that I was just left in the dust.  Don't go where I can't follow you, High-Rise.  It doesn't end well for anyone.

Save your enthusiasm, Luke Evans.

     Final Verdict: Perhaps I've been spoiled by the summer blockbuster scene (after all, my top 3 favorite movies fall in that category) or perhaps I'm not intelligent enough to wrap my head around what High-Rise was trying to accomplish but I gotta call it like I see it: High-Rise is a fucking mess.  For all of the stellar performances and great looking set pieces, those two elements don't amount to much when the movie moves like molasses in January and the script leaves you more confused and frustrated than enlightened and entertained.  I don't want to jump the gun and say that there is a reason why I don't watch movies that have more of an artsy feel than the blockbuster, popcorn entertainment because High-Rise had an interesting premise to it.  It's just the delivery of said premise really didn't work for me and you shouldn't be surprised if this ends up on my "Worst Of 2016" list.  I wanted to like this one but High-Rise is a Throwaway.

 Get the fuck outta here.

     So guys, have you seen High-Rise?  Was it easier to follow for you?  Let me know in the comments and as always, if you like what you see, be sure to nudge that "Follow" button and stay cynical.
     -The Cynic

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Suicide Squad Review

     Good evening, everyone and welcome to another entry in Coffee With The Cynic's movie reviews!  Alright, here we are with another entry into the DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe) in Suicide Squad.  My exact feelings on this one seemed to be all over the place leading up to its release.  When the original trailer from Comic-Con 2015 was uploaded last year, I thought to myself, "Oh...this might be worth checking out."  The darker, bleaker tone that the DCEU was shooting for (if Man Of Steel was any indication) could really work with these characters considering it is a team of villains and all.  I mean, sure, I wasn't sold on the new look of The Joker (Jared Leto) or Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) but I was still curious to see how it played out.  However, with each subsequent trailer and promotional image, it seemed as if the movie had taken a radical change of tone, moving away from that dark, gritty tone like The Dark Knight and opting for something more colorful and wacky like Guardians Of The Galaxy and I actually found myself less and less enthusiastic towards the film and stopped watching the promotional material for it because I didn't want anything to push me over and make me say, "You know what?  I don't want to see this.  I'll just do something else on my vacation day I took for this movie."

Good thing, too.  I literally just watched the SDCC 2016 trailer and that would've pushed me over.  I can't quite put my finger on why, though.

        In case you aren't overly familiar with the Suicide Squad (I'm right there with you), there have been a few different incarnations of it but this film is using the modern take on the term for its story: a team of incarcerated supervillains that is being used by the US Government as a covert deniable strike-team for black-op missions that is under the supervision of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis).  In this case, being led into Midway City to stop Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) from unleashing ancient mystic arts to mold the Earth into something a little more preferable to her needs.

     First, the good.  The casting is really good for the most part and quite entertaining.  I really liked Will Smith as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot, giving both that dramatic flair that he's been doing lately in the scenes involving his daughter and being that classic charming but smart-ass Will Smith from Independence Day that we've been wanting back for so long and even though there isn't really a main character in this movie, I totally get why Will Smith has top billing.
     Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is just about perfect and probably the best casting the DCEU has done to date.  I'm mostly familiar with Waller through the Justice League cartoon that was on during the early 2000s and the film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and the live-action Waller is pretty much exactly how I remember her from those properties and I loved every second of it.  I would even go so far as to say she's probably the best thing about this movie.
     As for the rest of the Squad, they did what they needed to do and that was fine.  Joel Kinnaman was serviceable as Rick Flag, the Squad's direct commander and Waller's errand boy, Jay Hernandez added some emotional humanity as the team's pyrotechnic pacifist Chato Santana/El Diablo, Karen Fukuhara was pretty badass as the masked Katana, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje under pounds of prosthetic makeup delivered the big screen's first interpretation of Waylon Jones/Killer Croc and Jai Courtney was pretty likeable as Captain Boomerang.

Sure, this was the first movie I've seen the guy in but I haven't heard anything good about him in other projects.

     The action sequences were also a lot of fun and kept me entertained (hey, there's that word again).  The fights between the Squad and Enchantress' zombie-like army were pretty clear and easy to follow even if there were a few really quick cuts throughout and I really enjoyed the confrontation between El Diablo and Enchantress' brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine) closer to the end of the film with that particular scene getting an exclaim of, "Holy shit," from me.  There's also a couple of cameos from other DCEU films (stay for the mid-credits stinger, FYI) that felt far more organic than they did in BvS and playfully acknowledged that Suicide Squad is indeed part of that universe instead of shoving it down our throats with no regard for subtlety or creativity.

     I can hear you guys, "You haven't talked about Joker or Harley Quinn yet!  How dare ye!"  I'm saving them for their own sections.  Relax.

     First, Harley.  Harley Quinn is sort of a middle ground for me in this movie.  While I did enjoy Margot Robbie's portrayal of the character, even going so far as to say that she almost nailed the original Harley from Batman: The Animated Series' personality perfectly, I still hate her costume in this movie.  This was Harley Quinn's big-screen debut and there is a quick shot of Robbie in the classic harlequin-style jumpsuit with the pom poms and everything but instead they went with the white t-shirt and minuscule booty shorts.  I always found that Harley Quinn was a nice balance of looking hot and intimidating and sadly I never got the latter from her look.  While her performance helped soften that blow, all I'm saying is that you can have Harley Quinn look hot and alluring while she's still in pants.  If not the original jumpsuit, how about a variation thereof, like what she wore in the game Batman: Arkham City?

For Suicide Squad 2?  Please?

      Alright, I just want to address a couple of things that bugged me before I get to the big tamale.  At the beginning of the film, we're given these little exposition scenes introducing each member of the Squad.  While it was neat that each member was given their own song during this scene, the cartoony stat cards that came up on the screen were a bit off-putting, making me feel like I was watching an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man instead of a multi-million dollar feature film.  While the licensed songs worked in this bit, the film keeps throwing more at every given opportunity which made me wonder if composer Steven Price called Warner Bros. and said, "I just don't feel like composing today, guys.  What do you have in your licensed catalogue?"  Much like how the soundtrack in BvS was jarring, it eventually got to that point here and felt like it was trying too hard to be the soundtrack to Guardians Of The Galaxy.
     Another thing I noticed here was that there was that feeling, again, like BvS, that I wasn't seeing the full picture here.  Not that things were going over my head or I just wasn't "getting it" but I felt that there was a lot cut from the movie.  I'm wondering if that was due to the reshoots the film underwent earlier this year but it just feels like I'm being double-dipped to get the full film experience and it does hurt the movie a bit.
     I also felt that the addition of the character Slipknot (Adam Beach) was completely pointless.  I don't want to spoil anything but all I'm going to say is that he's basically here the same way KGBeast was in the animated Batman: Assault On Arkham (which follows a similar plot to this).  Of course, when he was introduced as Slipknot, I couldn't help but think, "Hey, he's not nine masked guys in coveralls from Des Moines, Iowa!  What are you trying to pull here?"
     Alright, you want to know what I felt was the worst thing about this movie?

Yup.  This guy.  Right here.

     I really did not like Jared Leto's take on The Joker and I don't just mean his appearance.  Sure, I still think the tattoos and the pimp jacket were an ill-fit with Joker but Leto's performance just did not do it for me.  He never came off as particularly threatening or amusing, just eccentric and weird and his laugh is just weak compared to literally every other incarnation of this character.   He really doesn't have much presence in this movie but I've heard that a lot of his scenes were cut for whatever reason.  I am honestly not terribly heartbroken over that as it gave us more of the characters we actually gave a crap about.  Leto's Joker is remarkably forgettable and I honestly can't remember any lines of dialogue he had in this movie.

     Final Verdict: Well, I guess the third time was the charm for the DCEU because Suicide Squad was actually entertaining!  Absent are the abundance of mopey bring-downs of Man Of Steel or the overcrowded pretensions of BvS and instead we have the kind of movie that you can just sit down and have fun with.  Yeah, remember when we were allowed to go to the movies to do that?  This will remind you of those times.  Suicide Squad is far from perfect, especially since I'm left feeling I didn't see the full film but the positives truly outweigh the negatives on this one.  While I cannot bring myself to say I'm gonna rush out and buy the Blu-Ray, I would be down for a viewing of a Director's Cut and I don't think we wasted a 90 minute drive to the theatre and then the two hour run time.  I was never outright bored with Suicide Squad and I did have an entertained smile for a good chunk of it so with that, I'm going to give Suicide Squad the rating of a Fun Ride.


     So folks, I leave the floor open to you.  Have you seen Suicide Squad and what is your favorite anti-hero?  Let me know down in the comments and, as per usual, if you like what you see on this blog, you be sure to nudge that "Follow" button and stay cynical!
     -The Cynic

Friday, August 5, 2016

Double Review: BvS: Ultimate Edition & Batman: The Killing Joke

                Hello, everyone and welcome to another entry of Coffee With The Cynic’s movie reviews!  Originally this was going to be a video but Windows 8.1 isn’t cooperating and won’t let me open Movie Maker to edit the raw footage so I will provide you with a transcript here.  Sadly, this will probably be the case until we get upgraded to Windows 10 but we hope to get that done as soon as humanly possible.  Now, on with the show…article…whatever.

                Tonight we’re going to be doing a double bill review, starting off with the Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Ultimate Edition, or as I like to call it, Batman vs Superman: Bat-Ass Edition as well as the animated film Batman: The Killing Joke.

                Batman vs Superman: Bat-Ass Edition

                Okay, so if you’ve been watching my videos, you’ll know that I really did not care for the theatrical cut of BvS and up until I watched Gods Of Egypt, BvS was actually the worst movie I had seen all year (so far).  When I heard that the Blu-Ray was going to feature an extended, “R” rated cut, I figured, “Alright, we never got to see the complete picture.  I’ll give the director’s cut a chance, maybe those extra thirty minutes will add something and who knows, maybe even knock it down a few spots on my ‘Worst Of 2016’ list.”  So I got around to watching it and I gotta say, “My eyes!  Ze thirty minutes, they do nothing!”
                The only thing I really noticed that the director’s cut “improved” the theatrical version was how it made it more coherent, dare say obvious, that someone was framing Superman.  Sadly, that was about it.  What was good about was still really good (Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons) and what was bad about the movie was still really bad (still way too many plots that would’ve been better as their own films, Jessie Eisenberg, the title fight comes in too late and ends too quickly).
                As for the “R” rating?  This movie didn’t need it.  Oh, you drop two “fucks” throughout the film?  Fuck-a-doodle-doo.  Extra CGI blood thrown in?  Wasn’t that intense, even when the thug’s head leaves a streak of blood on the way down after getting smacked by a crate.  This was a waste of an “R” rating.
                I was hoping that the extra thirty minutes would clear a few things up, that it would make the movie better and I would sit there like, “Okay, yeah, that’s a step in the right direction, guys!”  Sadly, my opinion of BvS still has not changed.  How can a movie add so much to the runtime without adding anything to the story?  It’s still a jumbled clusterfuck of a mess, focusing too much on catching up with other and more successful competitors rather than on being a good movie in its own right.  It’s still the second worst movie I’ve seen this year and it’s still a Throwaway.

Get the fuck outta here!

GOD, this is disappointing.  Like I said, I liked things about this movie but the things I didn’t like did so much damage that this just leaves me frustrated and hurt!  This hurts!  These characters deserved better.

Batman: The Killing Joke

The Killing Joke is the long-awaited animated adaptation of the famous comic written by Watchmen scribe, Alan Moore.  Prior to watching this film, I had only read the comic once and thought, “Yeah, it was alright.”  I didn’t get really attached to it or fall in love with it the way that it seems almost everyone else did but I was up for reading it again.
What got me interested in this one was the casting with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill returning to reprise their roles as Batman and The Joker, respectively.  In our household, Kevin Conroy is Batman and Mark Hamill is the best Joker.  Period.  I gotta say that these guys still got it as they are both amazing in their roles, be it Conroy’s powerful yet stoic voice or Hamill’s ability to sound both amusing and chilling at the same time (a couple of parts actually did make me shudder a little).  It never fails to amaze me how these two have been playing these roles for over twenty years and they still truly love being in these characters’ shoes.
A lot of people seem to have issue with the first half an hour of this movie involving Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (voiced by Tara Strong), whether it be they found her annoying or just because it wasn’t in the original Killing Joke comic.  I can understand why they feel this way but it didn’t bother me so much because, like I said before, I’m not strongly attached to the original comic and the film did need to flesh her out before the events of The Killing Joke so that she can be a full-fledged character instead of just a plot device.  That being said, I would be outright lying if I said I didn’t think it went on a little too long or if I didn’t say it felt like another movie added to the beginning of The Killing Joke but good things come to those who wait.
As far as adapting the comic goes, once it actually starts into The Killing Joke, it is pretty much the comic word for word and somewhat frame for frame.  It was like the executives were wondering, “Okay, how do we adapt this comic to animation,” and one of them flipped open the book, showed it to them and said, “Do this.”  Granted, the color scheme of the film is closer to the rerelease of the comic where the color palette was more modern as opposed to the flashy, carnival color palette of the original comic.
As for the rating?  This is DC’s first animated “R” rated feature so that was exciting in its own right and I will say this: this film earned its “R” rating more than BvS: Bat-Ass Edition did.  That being said, it isn’t a hard “R” like Heavy Metal or anything like that.  Probably closer to a 14A, if we’re being entirely honest.
I really like the DC Animated Universe and the movies and series released therein so I was interested to see how the animation in this one fared against the animation from previous entries.  The animation by no means is terrible but I did find it a bit stiff in some areas when a character would turn their head or one shot in particular when the CGI animation blended poorly with the 2D stuff.  It’s not a deal breaker but don’t expect animation as smooth as Batman: The Animated Series here.

Final Verdict: Basically, if you like the comic, you’ll probably like the movie or at least once the movie gets to the comic’s story.  I personally didn’t mind the extra stuff at the beginning but I can get why others might.  My feelings for the movie mirror my feelings for its source material: I liked it, I’m not head-over-heels in love with it the way many others are but after watching this movie, I read the comic again and watched the movie again, putting them both at two views and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the idea of revisiting either in the future.  I love watching Conroy and Hamill reprise these roles and I had fun and felt good watching The Killing Joke (which is kind of morbid, I know) and in the end, I will say that Batman: The Killing Joke is A Fun Ride and I would recommend checking it out.


So folks, let me know in the comments: what did you think of either of these movies, for better or worse?  Also, keep your ears to the ground on this blog as we are seeing Suicide Squad tomorrow and will be doing a review of that, as well as a review of a film I never got to see as a kid, Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm.

Thanks for your time and if you like what you see on this blog, you be sure to nudge that “Follow” button and stay cynical!

-The Cynic
-The Cynic

Monday, August 1, 2016

Top 10 Predator Crossovers I Want To See

     The Predator.  I fucking love this race of characters.  Their look and their culture is very fascinating to me and the original Predator film is my third favorite movie of all-time.  What is most compelling about the Predator though is how well it can fit into other universes and still work well as a nemesis or supporting character.  Predator has crossed over with many other franchises, most notably the Alien franchise (after all, there's countless comics and games plus two movies about that) but they have also gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Batman, Superman, Tarzan and recently ArchieYes.  That Archie.  This is a thing.

 The interior art is more in the style of the old Archie comics but this cover looks amazing.

     Even though the Predator almost always loses in these crossovers, there is enough action and carnage to make them entertaining sights and it is just in the Predator's character to lose (usually).  So with a new Predator film in the works, I got to thinking about other characters I would like to see the Predator clash with...
     10: Boba Fett from Star Wars
     I'm putting this one at the bottom because it is the most obvious one to think of: the galaxy's best bounty hunter vs the galaxy's best game hunter.  'nuff said.

     09: Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural
     My wife and I really liked Supernatural but over time we kind off lost track of it (I believe we got halfway through Season 4).  Not that the show lost its appeal but more so we just haven't been able to fit getting caught up back into our schedule.  I know that in the Supernatural universe, aliens simply do not exist but the idea of watching the Winchesters chasing a cryptid creature only to find it carved up by a Predator and spending an episode (or two) having to track and kill something that is more than capable of doing the same to them is too tantalizing to pass up.  Or how about a prequel episode where the Predator is hunting their father, John Winchester?  However you do it, Winchester vs Predator could make for an interesting and very entertaining crossover.

      08: Delta Squad from Gears Of War
     Despite the teeth-clenching difficulty of the first game, I had a lot of fun playing through the Gears Of War games, even if some of the world and backstory isn't terribly well fleshed out.  Predators thrive on heat and conflict, right?  Well, it looks plenty warm and there's more than enough conflict on Sera, the planet which Gears Of War takes place.  You could even drop a Predator or Predators in during the Pendulum Wars before E-Day if you really wanted to but it would probably be cooler to watch Predators hunt both Delta Squad and The Locust.  Who wants to see Predators fight a Corpser or a Brumak?  This guy, that's who!

     07: Jason Voorhees from Friday The 13th
     This one is actually a fan-fic I wrote in high school.  I treated it like a direct sequel to Freddy vs Jason where a female Predator landed Crystal Lake as Jason came out of hiding and went on another killing rampage.  I would love to see how the Predator would assess its target and go about hunting a revenant like Jason Voorhees.  Until an official crossover happens, we do have the DLC from Mortal Kombat X featuring these two characters to tide us over...which is AWESOME!

Cosplay by thecrunkpanda

     06: The Ghostbusters
     This was another fan-fic that I wrote in high school, only mine followed the continuity of the animated series' The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters where someone mistakes a cloaked Predator as a spirit and naturally, calls the Ghostbusters.  When they and Slimer arrive, the Predator attacks only to be driven off by Slimer and killed in a factory explosion when Peter fires at the creature in defense and hits a fuel depository.  Flash forward to Extreme Ghostbusters where the spirit of the Predator reawakens and targets other ghosts, taking their spectral bones and ectoplasmic flesh as trophies (a ghost that kills ghosts) and then the new team has to finish what the originals started all those years ago.  IDW currently has a long-time Ghostbusters series that is very well written (the art is a little iffy for me) and I would like to see a story where the team, whether it be the originals, the comic's roster or even the cast from the new movie (which is actually pretty good, for the record), goes up against an ectoplasmic Predator.

Artist unknown

     05: Ashley J. Williams from The Evil Dead series
     Bruce-fucking-Campbell fighting a Predator.  Do I really have to elaborate more on this?  I may not have seen the current TV series Ash vs The Evil Dead (heard nothing but great things, though) but I do own the first and third Evil Dead films as well as a slew of the comics, including Freddy vs Jason vs Ash and Marvel Zombies vs The Army Of Darkness, so its not like Ash is any stranger to crossing over with other worlds.  I would love to see a brawler fight of Ash's chainsaw and Boomstick against the Predator's various blades and gadgets and if the writers felt so inclined to have the Predator become possessed by a Deadite during the fight?  Groovy.
By Valdemocnij on Gamespot

      04: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
     I'm not gonna lie, this one originally started off just being The Shredder fighting Predator but the more I thought about it, why couldn't the Predator fight all five of them?  The Predator's fighting style has some ninja and stealth elements to it so it would be interesting to watch it clash with prey well versed in martial arts and match its speed and agility.  I'm not saying that Shredder and the Turtles have to ally themselves with one another to defeat the Predator although depending which incarnation of this property you use, that could very well happen.  I also would like to see other alien species from the Turtles universe in the Predator's trophy case just as a fun and morbid little Easter egg.
By Scott Blair Art of Deviant Art

     03: Spider-Man & Daredevil
     I know the most obvious choice from Marvel to fight the Predator would be Wolverine, but we've already seen that on Super Power Beat Down (very well done, though).  This is a crossover I've wanted to see since early high school and I actually remember drawing a picture of a Predator ambushing Spider-Man as he swings through New York with Daredevil in the background running in to help the Webslinger.  The picture has long since been lost in the sands of time but the idea has always stuck with me: a slew of brutal murders hits New York's criminal population.  Noticing that it doesn't fit a certain skull-bearing vigilante's M.O., Spider-Man and Daredevil join forces to put a stop to the murders (Spidey gets involved because a few of the skinnings happen in his neighborhood) and find themselves facing off against a Predator.  Since this is a Spider-Man comic, the Venom symbiote needs to be involved somehow and then it gets itself attached to the Predator...y'know, because the Predator wasn't awesome enough already, right?

     02: Punisher MAX
     Oh, ho ho ho...the idea of how much blood this crossover would shed makes me happy in my pants.  Now, just to clarify, I am picking Punisher MAX specifically because of that line's ruthless brutality and gore that gets so intense that you need to be ID'ed to buy them.  I have all of the original Garth Ennis written Punisher MAX entries (and a few post-Ennis trades) depicting an older, grizzled and more remorseless Frank Castle and given the cold one-liners (my favorite Punisher moment, by the way) and gory details the writing and art weaves in, this character is ripe picking for the Predator to do battle with.  I'm assuming that the Predator would end up riddled with bullet holes and its intestines ripped from its abdomen and shoved into its freshly slit throat but holy shit, that is a battle that I really want to see.

    And yet, not as much as...

     01: Scooby Doo
     Stop looking at me like I'm drunk and hear me out on this one.  Predator has crossed over with some very unusual characters (again, ARCHIE) and Scooby-Doo has quite the laundry list of established characters/celebrities he and the gang have run into (Batman, Wonder Woman, Kiss, WWE) so would it really be that far out of left field to see these two meet?  I don't think so.  You're probably thinking, "Isn't Predator a little much for Scooby?"  I thought so too but not too long ago, my son (over the course of a couple weeks or so) binge watched just about every bit of Scooby-Doo he could find on Netflix and came across this show Scooby-Doo & The Mystery Incorporated.  It has a story arc involving past Mystery Inc crews and various monsters and prophecies and what have you that spanned over two seasons and some episodes, particularly the series finale, actually got pretty damn dark.  If Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma were to cross paths with the Predator, I would like to have it set in this particular incarnation of the property, like a comic series that takes place in between episodes or something of that nature.
     As for plot?  Mystery Inc has tracked and captured some creature that turns out to be a wanted murderer and as he's carted away by the cops, the Predator watches and records Velma saying her famous catchphrase, "Jinkies."  The Predator tracks the murderer to his prison cell, kills him inside (like the comic Predator: Race War) and mimics Velma's voice.  Naturally, the guards and other prisoners think that Velma did it so Mystery Inc is on the run to catch the Predator and prove Velma's innocence.  The earlier season of the show really hammered in the whole "everyone has the hots for each other" thing to an almost annoying degree so perhaps to have a happy medium between the two properties, dial back the Predator violence a little bit and up the mature content with Mystery Inc a little bit.  You don't have to go full blown hentai comic but if it works in the context of the story for Fred and Daphne to get busy or Velma and Shaggy to have "Just In Case We Die Tonight" sex (is that a thing?), go for it.  I also really want to see this crossover if for no other reason than to add another entry to the very short list of Scooby-Doo things where the creature that the gang is chasing is ACTUALLY a creature and not some person in a costume.  Look, Scooby-Doo has done a bang-up job of showing us that man is the real monster but I don't want to see that if they cross paths with Predator.  Instead, I want to see Fred rip off the helmet and this conversation follow:

     FRED: Oh, my!
     SHAGGY: ZOINKS!  Like, that is one ugly mother fucker, dude!
     VELMA: Actually, Scooby, Shaggy has a point.
     DAPHNE: Ug, I'd rather look at that horrendous hair instead of that face...
     PREDATOR (vocal mimicry): HEY!

     Anyway, those are the Top 10 Predator crossovers I want to see.  What did you think of these ideas and what property would you like to see the Predator trade blows with?  Let me know in the comments and stay cynical.

     -The Cynic