Film Review: Bloodshot (2020)

Release Date: March 5th, 2020 (Germany)
Directed by: David S. F. Wilson
Written by: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer
Based on: Bloodshot by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin, Bob Layton
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Cast: Vin Diesel, Eiza Gonzalez, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce

Annabell Pictures, Bona Film Group, Cross Creek Pictures, The Hideaway Entertainment, Original Film, One Race Films, Valiant Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, 109 Minutes

Review:

“Control-Command-BURN THE BUILDING DOWN!” – Wilfred Wigans

Bloodshot was a comic book character that I always thought looked cool as hell when I was a kid in the ’90s. I read some of his earlier stuff that was put out by Valiant Comics and I thought it was all pretty entertaining, edgy ’90s shit.

However, this version of the character is not the same guy that he was in the comics, as his origin and look are completely different. But I guess Vin Diesel just likes looking like Vin Diesel. When you’re a producer, I guess you get to call some of the shots, even the ones that are detrimental to your own production.

The comic book Bloodshot, from the era that I read, was an ex-mobster. Here, he’s some brainwashed soldier stuck in a Groundhog Day computer simulation. Frankly, it’s really fucking lame.

As the film rolls on, Bloodshot starts to figure shit out and what should be a simple, straightforward story, becomes a convoluted mess of a movie where the writers tried to be smarter than they needed to be. Hell, they tried to be smarter than they’re apparently capable of and overplayed their hand. The smarter this film tries to be and the more it takes itself too seriously, the dumber and worse it gets.

This didn’t start out bad but it ended up being a slow, wet fart that soiled the picture’s pants.

Bloodshot is derivative as fuck and I guaran-damn-tee the writers, director and producers thought they were striking gold with this shit. It’s got that sort of young Hollywood smarm all over it and at best, it’s a SyFy movie of the week from fifteen years ago.

Honestly, though, I didn’t hate this. It didn’t have enough for me to latch onto in any sort of emotional or tangible way. It’s boring, tortuous and it looks drab as hell. If I’m being honest, I had a hard time staying awake watching this.

The comic book version of the Bloodshot character was infinitely more interesting, cooler and badass.

This comes across as a vanity project for Diesel, who wanted to be in a comic book movie where he got to show his face. I guess voicing Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie wasn’t getting him the visual recognition he wants from single mother strippers buying Marvel bedsheets for their kids.

Rating: 4.5/10
Pairs well with: other comic book flicks that come nowhere near close to the higher quality standards of modern Marvel movies.

Vids I Dig 300: Comic Tropes: Jim Shooter: From Comics Superstar to Outcast

From Comic Tropes’ YouTube description: Jim Shooter has accomplished more than most in the world of comic books. But he’s also had failure at Marvel Comics, Valiant Comics, Defiant Comics and Broadway Comics. This video tracks not only Jim Shooter’s career by tries to look at his writing and editing techniques and his personality to try to understand how he has had an equal number of successes and failures.

Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 2nd Quarter, 2019

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

But, as you can see, my list keeps shrinking.

Marvel Comics:
-Conan the Barbarian
-Daredevil
-Dead Man Logan
-Guardians of the Galaxy
-The Immortal Hulk
-The Punisher
-The Savage Sword of Conan
-Spider-Man: Life Story
-Symbiote Spider-Man (upcoming)
-Venom
-Wolverine: The Long Night
-X-Force

DC Comics:
-Batgirl
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Justice League Dark
-Justice League Odyssey
-Red Hood: Outlaw
-The Silencer

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Battlestar Galactica Classic
-Red Sonja
-The Shape of Elvira

Image Comics:
-Spawn

Valiant Comics:
-Bloodshot: Rising Spirit

Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 1st Quarter, 2019

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

Strikeouts are what I removed and a double asterisk** means I just added it.

Marvel Comics:
-Conan the Barbarian**
-Daredevil
-Dead Man Logan
-Guardians of the Galaxy (upcoming Donny Cates run)
-The Immortal Hulk**
-Infinity Wars
-Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker
-The Invaders**
-Killmonger**
-Man Without Fear**
-Marvel Knights 20th
-Marvel 2-In-One
-Mr. & Mrs. X
-The Punisher
-Return of Wolverine
-The Savage Sword of Conan**
-Superior Spider-Man
-Typhoid Fever
-Venom
-Wolverine: The Long Night**
-X-Force**

DC Comics:
-Batgirl
-Batman: Damned
-Batman: Kings of Fear
-The Batman Who Laughs**
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Drowned Earth (all related crossover titles)
-Electric Warriors
-The Green Lantern
-Justice League Dark
-Justice League Odyssey
-Nightwing
-Red Hood: Outlaw
-Sideways
-The Silencer
-Suicide Squad
-Suicide Squad: Black Files

Dark Horse Books:
-Mystery Science Theater 3000
-Stranger Things
-Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Battlestar Galactica Classic
-The Shape of Elvira

IDW Publishing:
-G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
-New Upcoming Transformers**

Image Comics:
-Murder Falcon
-Spawn**

Valiant Comics:
-Bloodshot: Rising Spirit

Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 4th Quarter, 2018

*This is a feature I had planned to launch in 2019 but I figured I’d actually start now because why wait?

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

Marvel Comics:
-Daredevil
-Dead Man Logan
-Guardians of the Galaxy (upcoming Donny Cates run)
-Infinity Wars
-Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker
-Marvel Knights 20th
-Marvel 2-In-One
-Mr. & Mrs. X
-The Punisher
-Return of Wolverine
-Superior Octopus
-Typhoid Fever
-Venom

DC Comics:
-Batgirl
-Batman: Damned
-Batman: Kings of Fear
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Drowned Earth (all related crossover titles)
-Electric Warriors
-The Green Lantern
-Justice League Dark
-Justice League Odyssey
-Nightwing
-Red Hood: Outlaw
-Sideways
-The Silencer
-Suicide Squad
-Suicide Squad: Black Files

Dark Horse Books:
-Mystery Science Theater 3000
-Stranger Things
-Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Battlestat Galactica Classic
-Elvira
-The Shape of Elvira (upcoming)
-Turok (upcoming)

IDW Publishing:
-G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Image Comics:
-Murder Falcon

Valiant Comics:
-Bloodshot: Rising Spirit

Comic Review: Shadowman (the Garth Ennis Run)

Published: July 6th, 2016 (this collected edition)
Written by: Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins
Art by: Dennis Calero, Ashley Wood

Valiant Entertainment, 200 Pages

Review:

This collected edition is just called Shadowman without any extra subtitle to differentiate it from the general franchise. This collects Shadowman numbers 1 through 4 and Shadowman Presents: Deadside numbers 1 through 3. This is the run that was written by Garth Ennis (the mind behind Preacher) with art by Ashley Wood.

I’ve never read a Shadowman story but I vaguely remember the video games from back in the early ’00s. So this was my first experience with the character in a literary sense.

That being said, I’m not sure if this was a good jumping off point. It’s hard for me to tell if this is how all Shadowman comics are or if this is just Garth Ennis being Garth Ennis and trying to be artistic as fuck without giving me much to really care about from a narrative standpoint. While Preacher is a good example of Ennis style blending well with substance, this just lacked substance or at least any substance I cared about or could relate to.

As I got about a third of the way into this, I really didn’t want to keep reading it but I stuck around, hoping it would be worthwhile by the end and because I loved the art. Really, the art is the absolute high point of this book.

After reading this, I’m still not sure what Shadowman is or is supposed to be. But I’m going to do more research and try and find a better jumping off point.

And maybe this will make more sense if I have more context.

Rating: 4.5/10
Pairs well with: Other Shadowman collections (I assume) and Garth Ennis’ Preacher (which greatly exceeds this).

Comic Review: Bloodshot, Vol. 1: Blood of the Machine

Published: November 6th, 2012
Written by: Kevin VanHook
Art by: Don Perlin

Valiant Entertainment, 200 Pages

Review:

I feel like my love for everything Image Comics in the early ’90s overshadowed some of the other comics I liked but didn’t pick up as regularly. I read Bloodshot books back in the day but wasn’t as loyal as I feel I should have been. Valiant had some great titles but my Image fanboyness was super powerful and now I feel like I need to rectify my past sins.

I picked up this collection because it is old school O.G. Bloodshot. I’m glad that I did because it grabbed me from the first panel and it was a hard book to put down. I don’t often read things in one sitting but Blood of the Machine gave me an hour or so of pure enjoyment.

Plus, this book gave me an introduction into two other major Valiant characters: Rai and Ninjak. Both of the stories that featured them used them a bit sparingly but it still familiarized me with them enough to get me to want to check out their books too. Sadly, no X-O Manowar in this, who was my favorite Valiant hero after Bloodshot.

Bloodshot spends the majority of this book searching for answers to his past. He doesn’t know his identity or why he is this super solider with fast healing nanomites in his blood and enhanced senses and physical abilities. As this collection rolls on, we discover some answers as Bloodshot does.

This is a collection of the first eight issues of Bloodshot ever released. It isn’t a complete story arc with any sort of natural conclusion. It continues on beyond this and this is more or less a small sample into the larger Bloodshot and Valiant universe.

I loved the art style, which to be honest, felt dated by ’90s standards but worked for this book. I also loved how the dialogue was displayed in a more angular and aggressive style than typical comic book lettering. Granted, it just looks more like italicized Comic Sans but it had a nice flow to it that wasn’t the standard look.

Blood of the Machine is a great starting point as it is the starting point for Bloodshot.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: Other early Bloodshot collections, as well as other Valiant titles from the same era.

20 Comic Book Properties That Haven’t Gone Live-Action Yet

*written in 2015.

There is a rumor that Netflix is now developing a Moon Knight series in addition to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. It hasn’t been officially announced, so I included Moon Knight on this list. It could just be a rumor but I really hope it isn’t. Because I’m now really looking forward to it and Iron Fist.

But this maybe news got me to thinking about what other comic book properties still haven’t gotten the live-action treatment yet.

These properties are my top twenty comic book franchises (or characters) that I would like to see come to life in live-action form.

1. Umbrella Academy
2. Hawaiian Dick
3. Hack/Slash
4. Moon Knight
5. X-Factor
6. Dr. Fate
7. Nightwing
8. Turok
9. Bloodshot
10. Grendel
11. The Spectre
12. Morbius
13. Thunderbolts
14. The Maxx
15. Invincible
16. The Savage Dragon
17. Sleepwalker
18. Simon Dark
19. X-O Manowar
20. Doom Patrol