Posts Tagged ‘Man’

Ranking All the Marvel Movies (Again)

So a long time ago on this blog I posted a ranking of my favourite Marvel Studios movies, back when there were only 10 out in the wild and the idea of a proper shared cinematic universe was fresh and exciting. Time moves so fast nowadays that we’ve already blown right past 20, and while the MCU is now a household term with more familiarity around it, the films that have released since are also more confident and the average quality level is arguably higher. With a rather clear sense of finality hanging over the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, I’ve been rewatching a bunch of Marvel films to refresh myself – with the ultimate goal of having watched each film available on Blu-ray at least twice overall – and so a list refresh is also in order. This is all expressly my opinion, of course.
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21. The Incredible Hulk

This may be the bottom of the list, but let it not be said that I didn’t enjoy re-watching The Incredible Hulk regardless. I don’t believe that any MCU movie is outright bad, after all. If you pretend Ed Norton is Mark Ruffalo it kinda still works. Once upon a time I looked at this particular story as the less exciting of the two modern Hulk movies (the other being Ang Lee’s utterly bizarre 2003 Eric Banner-led Hulk), and nowadays it still looks more unnecessarily self-serious and grim than almost every other Marvel movie. But because it does so without that colour-washed filter a lot of other Marvel movies use, the majority of the film still stands apart with a grainy-yet-saturated grime. Every scene in Brazil is a surprisingly vivid delight as a result – though the bombastic finale’s reliance on a bucketload of dated shades-of-grey CGI makes it a bit cringey to watch nowadays, not to mention hard to follow. Liv Tyler is a polarising performer at the best of times but I don’t like her in this movie, though Tim Roth makes for a fun, believable villain. There are more wider MCU connections here than you might remember – including an important final shot – but it’s still the black sheep of the Marvel Studios output.

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Movie Review: Avengers – Infinity War

Yep, spinning up the old template for my first movie review in almost two years (My last one was Suicide Squad – ew). I got sick of people asking.
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Starring:
Just a lot of people
Director:
Anthony & Joe Russo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)
Rating: M
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Hi. Yes, I’m reviewing this Big Deal of a movie thanks to the requests of some lovely people who read my older stuff back in the day and I’m really quite flattered but it’s been a long time since I’ve put a score on something and the functional purpose of this blog has changed and I’ve changed and to be honest I feel like I can’t really put enough of my own spin on a review format like this enough to justify using my limited free time to do in-depth film reviews that will become out-of-date extremely quickly anymore but alas, I ignored enough people by not reviewing Star Wars: The Last Jedi last year and well, here we are.

Now why open a review like that? After all, if you’re reading this in the far-flung future you probably don’t care about my state of mind regarding reviews circa early May 2018. No sir. However, it seems quite apt to talk about the futility of following the structure of a scored review (which I’m doing anyway) when talking about this movie in particular, because Joe and Anthony Russo‘s Avengers: Infinity War is not concerned in the slightest with sticking to a recognisable blockbuster narrative structure. Also, no matter the score, it’s clear people will go see it anyway (Hello biggest worldwide opening weekend ever).

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Movie Review: Captain America – Civil War

Oh look, another movie pitting superheroes against one another. I wonder how this one will go…

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Starring:
Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr, Sebastian Stan
Director:
Anthony & Joe Russo (Welcome to Collinwood, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Rating: M
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The only “complete” Marvel comic book story (if such a thing exists) that I have read to this day is Civil War, a seven-part 2006/07 series that was given to me as a gift a couple of years ago. A positively gigantic event, the series divided literally hundreds of Marvel characters down an explosive ideological line – one side led by Tony Stark/Iron Man, in favour of regulating superhero activity to safeguard against massive collateral damage – the other by Steve Rogers/Captain America, unable to reconcile his desire to do good with the politics he feels would impede true justice. When Kevin Feige announced that Marvel Studios would be doing an adaptation of sorts a couple of years ago, I was skeptical of the project, and I wasn’t alone. How could they possibly do justice to the expansive, universe-shattering story with so few established characters in their stable?

As it turns out, the film version of Civil War, appropriately prefixed as Captain America: Civil War, is such a loose adaptation of that comic that the argument is moot. Sure, there are nods to the structure of the original, but what the movie actually turns out to be is primarily a story about Captain America (the still-amazing Chris Evans) and the closest relationships in his life, and on that front, it succeeds spectacularly. It also has some pretty cool supporting characters, and almost all of them add to the sheer fun of the spectacle. Though Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a more focused film, returning directors Joe and Anthony Russo have now proved that they can handle much bigger casts with aplomb, resulting in a sequel that is almost as good as its predecessor, and noticeably fresher than Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Movie Review: Batman v Superman – Dawn of Justice

Wow. There are an awful lot of different opinions circling around this movie at the moment.

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Starring:
Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Jessie Eisenberg
Director:
Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, Watchmen)
Rating: M
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a whole lot of things, but to me, what’s most surprising about the Warner Bros/DC Comics take on “shared universe” filmmaking is that it isn’t primarily a prequel to the upcoming Justice League movies, or primarily a sequel to Man of Steel, or even primarily a new take on Batman. What it is, more than anything else, is a Zach Snyder movie. If that makes a chill run up your spine then I understand your trepidation. If that makes you intrigued, read on. Continue reading

Movie Review: Avengers – Age of Ultron

Yes, we have already reached another summer blockbuster movie season. I’ve already seen this sucker twice and have let it settle for a bit before writing this.

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Starring:
Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner
Director:
Joss Whedon (Serenity, The Avengers)
Rating: M
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And so it is that Marvel’s all-conquering cinematic universe has completed its second “cycle” (well, almost – there’s still technically Ant-Man left in July). Even though it seems like yesterday that his first Avengers movie changed cinematic history by tying up four movies of build-up with a very pretty, rather hilarious bow, Joss Whedon has returned with his second and final major contribution to the increasingly expansive web of continuity that is the MCU. And while it’s probably fair to say that it would have been impossible for Age of Ultron to match the euphoric sense of triumph achieved by its predecessor, something tells me that we’ll be lamenting the lack of Whedon come the third movie. He just gets ensemble stories like this.

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Movie Review: John Wick

Any Keanu fans in the house?

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Starring:
Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane, Willem Defoe
Director:
Chad Stahelski (New)
Rating: MA15+
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Say what you will about Keanu Reeves, but there is one kind of role he does really, even spectacularly, well. When he’s on a screen, not saying anything, dropping villains and acting like a general badass, there are few who can match his magnetism. That’s what helps make his latest film, John Wick, one of the most surprising movie outings of the year, but it isn’t what makes it an instant recommendation from yours truly if you enjoy action. No, what makes it so good is its astonishingly effective commitment to world building within a short time frame. If you enjoyed Liam Neeson‘s Taken but wished every one-man-army action movie since its release hadn’t felt exactly the same, you need to go see John Wick.

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What’s the Best Marvel Movie?

Well, would you look at that. The release of Guardians of the Galaxy means there are now ten movies out in the wild from Marvel Studios. You know what that means…

Here’s my personal ranking of the films, from my least to most favourite. You will probably disagree. Mild plot spoilers might follow.
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10. The Incredible Hulk

In truth it’s been a while since I saw this one, but I don’t really have much interest in seeing it again, which probably explains why it’s at the bottom of my list. The Incredible Hulk is not a bad movie, and it’s certainly better than the Eric Bana – Ang Lee green monster movie from 2003. Tim Roth makes a cool bad guy and that bit at the end turns out to be critical to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole, but the film’s dark, gritty tone means it is missing much of the sense of fun that makes the rest of the Marvel Studios movies so memorable.

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