Posts Tagged ‘marvel’

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on a review format like this enough to justify using my limited free time to do in-depth film reviews that will become out-of-date extremely quickly anymore but alas, I ignored enough people by not reviewing Star Wars: The Last Jedi last year and well, here we are.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: X-Men Apocalypse

Had to sit on this review for a while to give it some thought, and that ended up making it a long one.

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Starring:
James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac
Director:
Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men)
Rating: M
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Well, it turns out that couldn’t last.

The X-Men movies continue to exist, for better or worse, as the only discernible remnant of the superhero movie scene pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe. The way they have always done things sits somewhere between DC Comics’ macabre big screen blockbusters and the MCU’s lighter escapades, boasting an embarrassment of riches in the character department to mine for both humour and drama. When the movies are good, they feel like giant middle fingers to the critics who think there are too many superhero movies kicking around these days. When they’re bad, they tend to become the easiest targets for said critics, as at their core they tend to feel extraneous and disposable.

X-Men Apocalypse isn’t a bad movie, but it is the worst X-Men film since X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and as an X-Men fan first and foremost within the superhero movie realm, that stings a little.

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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: 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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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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Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Even though this movie just came out in Australian cinemas officially, I feel so behind the times right now. So many of my friends got advanced screening tickets…

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Starring:
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista
Director:
James Gunn (Slither, Super)
Rating: M
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I often talk about how important expectation is to how you perceive a movie (or anything, really), but I didn’t really know what to expect quality-wise from Guardians of the Galaxy. I mean sure, the trailers and interviews sold it as a wild west-style sci-fi action comedy, and that is thus far a different and exciting direction for Marvel Studios, but it was also billed as another team-up movie “from the studio that brought you The Avengers“, which arguably made it a more ambitious project because none of the five members of the titular Guardians had enjoyed any prior screen time, while each of the four main Avengers got his own movie. And yet the Hollywood studio with the longest hot streak at the moment has once again married a promising small-time director (Super‘s James Gunn this time) with a big budget and a clear sense of fun to create a real winner. Obscure subject matter it may be, but Guardians of the Galaxy is great.

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Movie Review: X-Men Days of Future Past

Ooh boy, been waiting for this one for a while…

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Starring:
Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender
Director:
Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men)
Rating: M
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What’s this? A good multi-superhero movie that isn’t made by Marvel Studios?

As movie franchises go, the X-Men movies mean a lot to me. Not only do I remember where I was when I first saw X-Men III: The Last Stand in cinemas back in 2006, I also remember what I was wearing and who I was with. I was so damn excited for that movie and to see it play out as such a mess after the first two X-Men films had literally made me interested in comic book mythology was not the greatest feeling. Three years later the release of the underdone and just generally awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine meant the franchise was suddenly “only 50% good”, and while 2011’s X-Men First Class was a triumphant return to form with a fun political twist and last year’s The Wolverine didn’t suck, the franchise was still lagging far behind the efforts of Disney’s Marvel cinematic universe. And there was still that lingering bad taste in my mouth from 2006. Well, not anymore.

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