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Matt and the Joker's Five Way Revenge

    Last year saw the passing of acclaimed comic book writer Denny O'Neill. O'Neill had a long history with many DC Comics superheroes as a writer and editor and is best known for revitalizing the character of Batman among others starting in the 1970s. I decided to pick up a copy of one of the more famous Batman issues of this era, Joker's Five Way Revenge which was written by O'Neill and drawn by Neal Adams. The story featured in Batman # 251, was released in November, 1973. While I am gaining a better appreciation for 1990s comics, I largely avoided avidly reading 1970s issues due to their seemingly dated nature and tropes. After reading this issue, I had some thoughts on both how the character and mythos of Batman has evolved over time and a greater appreciation for a more grounded Dark Knight. In Joker's Five Way Revenge, the Joker is seeking revenge for a presumed betrayal by killing members of his former gang and Batman is striving to stop him. By the time t
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Matt Versus 1917

Between the time the guns of August roared in 1914 until the signing of the Armistice in November, 1918, nations rose, empires fell, millions died, & the course of the 20 th Century was forever altered. World War I or the Great War is often called the forgotten war as it gets overshadowed by the subsequent World War II in American history and in popular culture. However the Academy Award nominated film ‘1917’ seeks to remind us all of this terrible conflict. While retellings of World War I can get entangled in the tales of kings, emperors, & statesmen, war must always be remembered as the story of ordinary soldiers. ‘1917’ focuses on two ordinary British soldiers who are tasked with a straightforward but crucial mission in the Western Front in northern France but through short conversations these two soldiers reveal quite intriguing conflicting on the so-called ‘War to End all Wars’ and war in general. In ‘1917’ William Schofield and Tom Blake are two soldiers and fri

Matthew versus the Barnes Foundation

There's something oddly relaxing about going to an art museum. For me personally, it offers me a moment to both unwind and focus on the intricacies of the art on the wall. I feel that paintings greatly benefit from being seen in person as opposed to viewing on a computer screen or on a print. I can see and follow the brushwork and ultimately come away with a greater appreciation of the artist's skill and creativity. Last Friday, I went to the Barnes Foundation as a part of Philadelphia's 100 year celebration of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It has long been on my list of museums to visit and while I have visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art,  I have never visited the Barnes before. Now on a cool September night, I decided to take that plunge. The Barnes Foundation building houses the art collection of  Philadelphia native Dr. Albert C. Barnes a chemist, physician, and businessman who lived in late 19th through the first half of the 20th Century. The collecti

Matt Vs. War for the Planet of the Apes

Hail Caesar The Planet of the Apes remake trilogy has been the most underrated film series of the past decade and it reaches its poignant conclusion in War for the Planet of the Apes. A lab created simian flu has wiped out most of humanity and given rise to a race of super intelligent apes. In what remains of the United States, Caesar the original super-intelligent ape, leads a colony of apes that are trying to escape guerrilla warfare orchestrated by a cra z ed colonel and his soldiers. War is part revenge story, and part prison escape, wrapped in the Moses Exodus story. War for the Planet of the Apes is an impactful film that humanizes apes and dehumanizes man in more ways that one and I heartily recommend it. I picked seeing this film over Spider-Man: Homecoming as I was growing tired of superhero films and felt that I needed to see something meatier. Having enjoyed both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , seeing War was an obvious choi

Matt Vs. Wonder Woman.

Three movies in, DC's cinematic universe was in trouble. While the box office proceeds were high (if slightly beneath expectations), public reception of Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman, and Suicide Squad was mixed at best. Warner Brothers and DC needed a hit to simply save their troubled movie line let alone compete with Disney's ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having finally seen DC's newest film Wonder Woman , I can say that overall the film was a giant step in the right direction. My exposure to Wonder Woman as a character is primarily from my exposure to the Justice League Animated Series as I never saw Lynda Carter's live action portrayal. Outside of some television backstory, she was literally a blank slate. I was intrigued by her Greek mythical background but never followed her comics either. Compared to prior films, I went into DC's Wonder Woman just expecting a good time. Wonder Woman starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the title cha

Matt Vs. Antman

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Matt vs Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F

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