Posts Tagged ‘war’

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: What We Do in the Shadows

Well this one snuck up on me.

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Starring:
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh
Director:
Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi (Boy, Eagle vs Shark)
Rating: M
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If you enjoyed the two seasons of TV show Flight of the Conchords for more than just its songs, then you’re well on your way to enjoying new vampire mockumentary comedy What We Do in the ShadowsIf you enjoyed the awkward, slightly sad humour of Eagle vs Shark, you owe it to yourself to drop what you’re doing and go see this new film, as it features much of the same talent and a similar spirit. However, What We Do in the Shadows goes further than appeal to regular fans of New Zealand-made comedies, as its supernatural subject matter and unrelenting approach to throwing out punchlines makes it worthy of a much wider recommendation. It may be based on a well-worn theme, but the latest from gifted director Taiki Waititi is fresh and funny.

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Movie Review: World War Z

Three of my most anticipated films of the year came out this week. Here’s the first of them.

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Starring:
Brad Pitt, Mereille Enos, Fana Mokoena
Director:
Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace)
Rating: M
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It’s a wonder Brad Pitt‘s new zombie virus outbreak film World War Z has even come out in cinemas, given its well documented production troubles. The script, adapted from a well received but difficult to film novel trilogy, was almost completely re-written and re-shot along its tumultuous journey to our screens. It was only the determination and stubbornness of Pitt‘s production team that allowed it to scrape through. And at the end of the day I’m glad it did.

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