The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie is a 2017 animated superhero comedy film directed by Chris McKay and starring Will Arnett and Michael Cera. It is a pretty good film.

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Black. All good movies start with a black screen

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

I liked the plot here quite a bit. It was definitely typical and so obvious in a couple of its plot points, but the overall storyline is actually quite dramatic and more meaningful than I thought it would be. Along with less action and better humor, its big heart is the reason why it is ultimately better than ‘The Lego Movie’.

As for the characters, most are really good, but some are lacking. Batman is absolutely fantastic and possibly one of the best interpretations of this character yet. He is a hero, but also arrogant and selfish. He has his problems, his past is explored and I loved his humor. He was the funniest and deepest character here and the heart and soul of the entire film.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Joker is phenomenal as well. I loved how he was funny and amusing here and what they did with their relationship was genius. They basically have a bromance here which was so great to witness, not only in terms of the humor, but also in terms of characterization as it fits these characters and explains a lot about them in a comedic manner.

Robin is funny, typical but funny at times. And I loved his relationship with Batman and how they eventually became father and son. Alfred was also excellent and his interactions with Batman were some of the best here. I loved how they made him a guardian and Bats was an angry child, so funny, yet again fitting and clever.

Barbara Gordon is okay and serves her purpose, but she was somewhat typical and I wasn’t the biggest fan of her as she is ultimately too forgettable in comparison to the other major characters. Harley Quinn and most of the other villains were seriously underutilized and there lies the problem – the film is crowded with too many characters and cameos, but unfortunately most of them come and fly by quickly and just are not memorable enough.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

What they did with non-superhero villains is a two-edged sword. Again they were underutilized as there were too many of them and they weren’t as funny as they should have been. But I liked the overall idea behind it and that subplot was actually pretty intriguing and was very well incorporated into the overall story. Lord Voldemort and Sauron are the highlights there, both are frequently funny and the best used of these villains for sure.

The voice acting is phenomenal here. Rosario Dawson is forgettable as her character is and I wasn’t the biggest fan of Zach Galifianakis’ voice or performance here, but Michael Cera was suitably casted in this role and he did a really good job. Ralph Fiennes was also very good. But naturally the standout actor is Will Arnett. I just love his work here and he carried the entire movie on his shoulders. An excellent voice and an overall terrific comedic performance.

The Lego Batman Movie doesn’t have the most memorable animation in it. Don’t get me wrong, it is perfectly fine and respectable with the character designs again being terrific, but I wasn’t blown away by it as a whole with not enough particularly memorable imagery or sequences.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

Again the film has too much action, overwhelming at times. Its overall emotional arc is also typical and predictable, albeit very well done and with a lot of heart. As for its humor, I liked it quite a bit, but sometimes it was overly childish with typical jokes and slapstick oriented too much for the younger audience. The film overall should have been a bit more mature.

But the film did frequently make me laugh. The highlights were of course Batman, Joker and Robin. Everything surrounding Batman was great as he was hilarious with his larger than life, crazy personality. I loved his calmer moments, but his interactions with everyone were great. I loved the opening and closing credits, so humorous. His relationship with Joker also provided many chuckles and I liked the film’s various superhero and movie references, some were overwhelming, but most were clever and memorable. The film isn’t hilarious, but it is very funny at times and mostly satisfying in its humor.

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The Lego Batman Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………..

The Lego Batman Movie features sometimes interesting soundtrack, but it was mostly too angry and loud in tone, albeit that was fitting for the protagonist. The film is mostly quite well paced and is well directed and well scripted with some solid dialogue and a great emotional investment to it. Overall, it thoroughly succeeds as a spin-off because they picked the best character from the original and let him have his own movie and the results are more than stellar.

The Lego Batman Movie again has overwhelming action at times, it is definitely crowded with too many characters and some plot points are typical and obvious, but this is mostly a very good, satisfying spin-off with excellent voice acting, very good humor with many very funny lines and a great use of its characters with Batman in particular being not only funny, but also surprisingly well developed. It is ultimately an improvement over its predecessor because it is funnier and it has a much bigger heart.

My Rating – 4

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The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers Movie Review…………………………………………………

The Avengers Movie Review

The Avengers is a 2012 Marvel superhero film directed by Joss Whedon and starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlet Johansson and Tom Hiddleston. It is a solid and entertaining, yet frankly overrated movie.

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Big man in a suit of armor.

Take that off, what are you?

Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist

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The Avengers Movie Review…………………………………………………

The team must stop Loki from subjugating Earth. The plot is so clichéd that it prevented me from enjoying this movie more. It is the main reason why I find the film to be immensely overrated along with the overabundance of action. Not only is it typical, but entirely predictable from beginning to end too. At first they don’t get along, but when Agent Coulson die, that gives them the motivation to work as a team. Then they fight Loki and beat him together. Such a predictable and standard plot.

But what I liked here and respected actually is the dialogue which is so memorable and brisk. There is a lot of unforgettable one-liners here with the one from Tony Stark being a millionaire being the highlight. I loved how they quarreled and how each one of them felt like a member of the team, but also a singular person. Yes, the film benefits from having a number of singular entries preceding it, but the character development is very good here as well.

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The Avengers Movie Review…………………………………………………

The testament to that is the Hulk. He is basically the new character as the MCU decided to forget about Edward Norton’s version in ‘The Incredible Hulk’. But this new one is very good, very well developed and again a proof that he works well in small doses. He was quite comedic too. I liked Captain America, but he wasn’t as memorable here. Thor did have a couple of great moments and Tony Stark is excellent, but never as great as he is in his own movies.

Black Widow definitely has a couple of terrific action sequences and this movie finds her at one of her best, but she is still not my cup of tea and us too cocky and posing. Hawkeye is pretty likable and the two are memorable together. Coulson’s death was okay, but overly sentimental. Loki has a couple of absolutely terrific, funny scenes and was dangerous at first, but he disappointed me later on. Nick Fury is as solid as ever.

The acting is top-notch. Everyone did a really good job with the highlights being Robert Downey Jr. and of course Mark Ruffalo. Both are phenomenal and I liked the scenes that they shared together. Tom Hiddleston is expectedly great in Loki’s role and Jeremy Renner is solid, but the two Chrises definitely were inferior to the rest of the crew.

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The Avengers Movie Review…………………………………………………

The Avengers is solidly directed and the film mostly flows well before that third act. The special effects are pretty good and some of the imagery and set pieces were terrific. But, as I said above, I really disliked the action here. The action itself is great, don’t get me wrong. Some scenes were exciting and phenomenally well executed and entertaining. But the film is filled with too much action and basically the final fight lasted for half an hour or so which was just too much. It ruined what could have been a much better movie and it became overloud and bombastic and a typical brainless blockbuster.

But the humor drives The Avengers along with the chemistry between the actors. I loved how each and every one of them interacted with the rest of the team and the scenes where they just talked were some of the highlights. Tony Stark has his moments, but is never as funny as he was before. The Hulk has a couple of hilarious moments such as the moment where he punched Thor. I also really liked the jokes about Cap’s being old and out of time as well as Thor’s stupidity. All really well done and surely both the humor and the dialogue propel this movie to much greater heights.

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The Avengers Movie Review…………………………………………………

Because the action is overwhelming and the script is weak, the film is never great, but its jokes, its characters and its dialogue really made it worth a watch and entertaining. But I still find it to be very overrated and actually one of the weaker Marvel entries. Yes, many call it the greatest MCU film, but to me only a couple of them are weaker than this one and I still prefer Age of Ultron.

The Avengers is a solid, but immensely overrated movie that is one of Marvel’s weakest. The humor is fantastic, the dialogue is great, the performances are all top-notch and the characterization is remarkable with everyone interacting well with one another and getting their proper due, but the script is so clichéd and predictable and the action is overwhelming to the point of being exhausting and seriously impacting the movie which could have been very good, but is ultimately just solid and never as great as everyone says it is.

My Rating – 3.5

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X-Men: First Class (2011)

X-Men: First Class Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

X-Men: First Class Movie Review

X-Men: First Class is a 2011 superhero film directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. It is the fifth and best X-Men film.

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I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders. Never again.

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X-Men: First Class Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

It is a prequel that focuses on the relationship between Magneto and Professor X as well as showcasing the beginnings of the team. This is one of my favorite prequels of all time as it is so phenomenally well made and emotionally powerful. It was immensely satisfying following the beginnings of the team and most especially the character paths of many major characters. Some of the earlier sequences had too heavy montages, but overall the film is very well made and involving to watch and actually incredibly entertaining.

I loved Charles Xavier’s story and he is so likable in this movie. Erik’s origin story is a bit typical, but moving and so well executed and the relationship between the two is so complex and wonderful to behold. I found the conflict at the end to be superbly realized and it was fascinating learning how the team got split in two and how Charles got paralyzed.

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X-Men: First Class Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Moira is such a likable character and I’ve always had a fondness for Rose Byrne. Mystique is pretty solid, but as is usually the case with her, Lawrence’s performance isn’t particularly exciting. Beast was quite funny at times and he is here utilized the best of any movie. Banshee has a silly power and the same goes for Angel, but the two still have their moments. Azazel is solid and Emma Frost is quite memorable. Darwin is forgettable and it was frustrating having a black guy die first. Sebastian Shaw is quite solid as a villain here and is actually one of the more capable villains in all of the X-Men movies.

Nicholas Hoult was quite likable in his role and Kevin Bacon did a really good job as the villain. But of course the standout ones are Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy as these two perfectly embody their roles and they conveyed emotion so well. I would go so far as to say that they are better in these roles than Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart.

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X-Men: First Class Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

X-Men: First Class doesn’t have the most impressive special effects, but it is still visually pleasing and very well shot. It is also really well directed and although I admire the work Bryan singer put into this franchise, Matthew Vaughn made the best X-Men movie with this one which is also one of my favorite superhero films of all time.

The action is excellent and some of the pieces here are exhilarating and incredibly fun to watch. All of the mutant powers were very well utilized both visually and in terms of the action as some of the fights were quite memorable and very well put together. But the humor is so strong that it honestly surprised me how great it is. Many do say that the lack of Hugh Jackman is felt, but I disagree as many characters here are quite funny at times and we get many really funny lines and scenes. The execution of jokes is excellent and they come at just the right times plus the energy from these young actors is palpable.

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X-Men: First Class Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

The script is terrific and despite its obvious employment of Cold War and Russian opposition, the historical elements are nevertheless solid here and the film ties stupendously well with the rest of the franchise and actually exceeds the quality of the previous ones which is so admirable. The entire third act was just so emotionally devastating and featuring both terrific action and great character moments that it came as a perfect conclusion to the movie that was a bit too long and somewhat oddly paced in the first half. It is one of the most moving entries in the series while also containing the smart script, conflict and political themes that we’ve come to expect from the franchise.

X-Men: First Class is a tad long, but always involving and entertaining to watch. Thanks to a smart script, a well established conflict, superbly utilized characters and their relationships, a moving and perfectly constructed third act, many great action sequences and a surprisingly good humor as well, this entry is by far the best in the X-Men franchise while also being one of my personal favorite prequel as well as superhero films.

My Rating – 4.5

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Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Captain America: The First Avenger Review

Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 superhero war movie directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans. It is the fifth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This film is Captain America’s origin story and it follows him fighting in World War II and then it closes off with him joining the Avengers team in the present. Now obviously this is a highly typical origin story seen countless times before. Beat by beat, you know everything that is going to happen here and nothing is ever surprising or new.

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Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise

me one thing – that you will stay who you are.

Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.

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Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

But I have to say that the film is so well made and technically well put together that it wasn’t boring watching this typical story that easily could have been very dull. I liked how it introduced us to this character and how it tied into the MCU as a whole with that ending which was solid. I absolutely adored that it was a period piece and to me they brought forties to life beautifully and it was particularly memorable watching it just for that reason alone. It was a different time period than what is usual for Marvel and that made it intriguing.

I liked Steve Rogers quite a bit here. Though bland and typical, I admired what he represents and there are some really good messages and lines in this movie concerning true heroes. Red Skull is never as weak as most of Marvel villains are as he posed some solid threat here and there, but his goal and overall characterization was way too cartoony and familiar. Bucky Barnes is solidly introduced here, though I admittedly never cared for him that much. But Peggy Carter is easily my favorite character in this movie. She is never too much of a feminist despite somewhat being written that way, but I liked how strong of a female character she is, both physically and emotionally, and I loved most of her scenes as well as the relationship between the two.

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Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

Captain America: The First Avenger is the weakest film in the character’s trilogy as both ‘The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Civil War’ are much better and much more memorable movies. That is the biggest offender here – the film is just forgettable and you easily forget it once you’ve watched it. It is the worst quality a movie could have.

But it also has infuriatingly weak action that really hurt it in the long run. For a superhero movie, action is incredibly important and you have to nail it in order for it to work. But here it is uninspired and frankly boring. Some of the earlier sequences are fine, but the entire second half is never as entertaining as the first one and that is mainly owing to that dull action and war sequences which are never exciting and the fights aren’t that well executed.

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Captain America: The First Avenger Movie Review……………………………………………………………..

I definitely enjoyed its first half and despite its problems, it was actually pretty engaging and even charming to watch at times. Its themes and dialogue were solid and I liked some of the imagery here and the costumes and attention to period detail are all good. The score is also solidly retro and the film is pleasantly old-fashioned, but it is a weaker MCU film for it is too uneven.

Captain America: The First Avenger is very well made with a different and interesting time period for Marvel, solid characters, some very good lines, a solid villain and the first half is very entertaining, but the second half is boring and the film is ultimately a forgettable MCU entry owing to its typical origin story and very uninspired action sequences.

My Rating – 3.5

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Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Doctor Strange Movie Review

Doctor Strange is a 2016 superhero film directed by Scott Derickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Rachel McAdams. It is the best superhero film that I have ever seen.

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Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain!

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Doctor Strange Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Doctor Strange is Marvel’s fourteenth feature film that tells the tale of surgeon Stephen Strange who learns the mystic arts from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident. There is a lot to talk about here, but first let’s just say that I’ve had a blast watching this movie in a theatre. It is such a refreshing experience and truly a one of a kind blockbuster. I’ve always wanted a movie that fully utilized magic in it and this one is one of the first I’ve seen that thoroughly succeeds at that.

The reason why I loved it so much is that it seems that it was made right for me. I love magic, mysticism and Asian culture and this film is a perfect mix of those that I just adored it. It is more a fantasy and even a martial arts film than a superhero picture, but it succeeds in all of those genres as it is just so good and mostly flawless.

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Doctor Strange Review………………………………………………………………..

I loved how smart it is which is a true rarity for the genre. It has a multitude of themes and messages in it with the prevailing one being about selfishness and arrogance and how bad those traits are. But I loved its pro-religious approach as it perfectly makes a statement about the importance of religion and how science can’t explain everything and how awful scientific ignorance actually is. But the use of Nepal as a location is authentic and beautiful and Hinduism is so wonderfully and respectfully portrayed here.

I really liked Stephen Strange. He isn’t the most original character as he shares a lot of similar traits (arrogance and high intelligence) with Tony Stark. But there is one major difference here and that is his willingness to change and adapt to different situations and surroundings. And yes, he changed a bit too much towards good in a typical blockbuster fashion, but at least it was more subtly done this time around.

I absolutely loved the Ancient One and everything about her. Her power and inherent wisdom brought many terrific sequences and so many great messages. But I admired Mordo’s character as well and how he believed in her and was disappointed when he realized some of her flaws and how she isn’t perfect. I really liked those religious elements and the conflict between him and Strange was so well established.

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Doctor Strange Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Wong is so funny and once again the villains are weak, but that thankfully doesn’t hurt the plot as much as they aren’t that important in the long run. Kaecilius is weak, but Dormammu is memorable if mostly for that awesome end fight. As for the actors, I never really got Benedict Cumberbatch until now. He is so good here that I liked him in the end as he was so good in his typical role, but also brought a lot of the humor and emotion to the table. Tilda Swinton is very good as usual and is so well cast. Benedict Wong is very likable as is Rachel McAdams who is the most sympathetic and relatable person in this movie. Mads Mikkelsen is the only weak link here as he gave a forgettable, so-so performance.

Doctor Strange is of course brilliant in terms of visuals. Rarely have I seen a better looking movie in recent years as the effects are superb and some of the imagery is wonderfully psychedelic and original. The entire film is original both in setting and in mythology, but the visuals are probably the finest reason to see it as they led to an unforgettable viewing experience. The crazy cosmos scenes are memorable, everything in the temple is just beautiful and so meticulous in detail and I loved the use of both light and dark color in it.

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Doctor Strange Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

The film manages to be both funny and serious which is a real feat. Yes, the humor is excellent which was unexpected. It just might be the funniest superhero film I’ve seen. Cumberbatch brought a lot of the humor himself with a great subtle performance, but most of the others contributed as well and almost all of the jokes worked and they made me laugh.

The action is stupendous and so exciting. Watching them fight while buildings rearranged was just a marvel to behold. The use of magic in fighting is so well mixed with martial arts and the results are stellar. The action is both entertaining and superbly executed. Some of it was too convenient, but most of it was well explained.

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Doctor Strange Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Now, the flaws. Doctor Strange has a typical origin story, but that is sort of a template for superhero films and a reason why I don’t blame this one that much. But I blame it for being too similar to ‘Iron Man’ both in structure and in its protagonist. Another flaw is that the movie doesn’t do a good job connecting it to other MCU films, but at least they tried with the infinity stone and they referenced the other Avengers. But the biggest problem here is that this world is so rich owing to great world building and its mythology is so meticulous in detail that it sometimes only covers bits and pieces and is definitely rushed a bit in pacing and is sometimes too convenient and some plot points moved way too abruptly. But other than that, it is one of the best genre films I’ve seen and easily Marvel’s finest movie so far.

Doctor Strange is sometimes rushed in pacing and familiar in structure, but it is so rich in world building and its mythology, it is so original and different in its setting, so beautiful in its visuals, so well acted by its cast, so smart in its themes and just so exciting and refreshing in its use of magic, mysticism and religion that it is the smartest, funniest, most entertaining, most original and ultimately the very best superhero film I’ve ever seen.

My Rating – 4.5

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Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

Hellboy Movie Review

Hellboy is a 2004 superhero film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Ron Perlman and Jeffrey Tambor. It is a very disappointing, middling effort from the director.

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My uncle used to say that we like people for their qualities,

but we love them for their defects

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Hellboy Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

It is about a demonic beast turned superhero who secretly works to help the world safe from paranormal threats with his team. The premise is admittedly fun, but the execution of it isn’t. I just was never invested in this movie which is weird for me as it obviously has every hallmark of the director including the gothic elements and the great visuals. But I just never found either of its plot points, characters and the whole mythology that fascinating.

The move is also not only lacking in terms of the themes and emotion, but it is also never as entertaining as it thinks it is. There is too much action in its second half which is why I preferred the first one that started with a very intriguing opening that was also unusually long, clocking in at about 15 minutes before the actual credits. But everything that came after it never delivered on that great opening and we are left with broken promises and lost potential.

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Hellboy Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The titular character is quite well developed, but unfortunately all of the others were very forgettable. His relationship with Liz is solid, but Liz herself is never particularly likable or memorable. Abe is an interesting creature and he had some great scenes, but was ultimately underutilized. This isn’t Jeffrey Tambor’s greatest performance, but at least Ron Perlman is pretty good and capable in his role and all of the others are solid.

Hellboy’s humor is disappointing and never as great as everyone says it is. The action is also fairly forgettable and mostly not that well executed. The same goes for the dialogue and its themes. It is a thematically empty movie and although some lines are solid, most of them do not amaze. The direction from Guillermo del Toro is solid and he does deliver in some areas, but this is still one of his weakest films to date.

Hellboy is a technically excellent film and its visuals are easily the best thing about it. I never found the effects to be particularly great, but the creature designs are all excellent and the film looks really good, is well filmed and has a great gothic style to it that really appealed to me. I would have liked for it to have been more gothic not just in visuals, but at least visually speaking, it is great and the cinematography and score are both solid.

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Hellboy Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The pacing is not great and the film is overlong and unfortunately not investing at all. There are some pretty entertaining sequences, but for the most part, the movie is surprisingly devoid of any sense of fun or excitement, not to mention that it lacks in action and fantasy elements too. It is definitely different and somewhat unique, but the mythology is either uninteresting or underutilized and it ended up being a huge disappointment and such a middling effort from a great director.

Hellboy is visually arresting with a great gothic style to it, but the characters aren’t memorable, the mythology isn’t particularly interesting and the action is underwhelming. It has its moments, the main character is good and the film is well made, but it is never that entertaining or exciting and it is one of del Toro’s weakest efforts.

My Rating – 3

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X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review…………………………………………

X-Men: Apocalypse Review

X-Men: Apocalypse is a 2016 superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and Oscar Isaac. It is a solid entry in the franchise.

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Everything they’ve built will fall!

And from the ashes of their world, we’ll build a better one!

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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The plot here is nothing new. In fact, it is a basic good versus evil superhero storyline and although that is certainly a problem, at least it was executed pretty well and is always entertaining to watch. I adored that opening sequence as it was memorable, visually powerful and exciting. And overall the first half is stronger than the second one because some of the later fights were a bit lacking, but more on that later.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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Charles is really good here. I didn’t quite like what they did with him and Moira as that led to a somewhat awkward comedic approach with the character, but he is otherwise very strong and continues to be such a strong presence and one of the most endearing characters in this franchise. Magneto is expectedly good and again tragic, but he wasn’t in the movie as much as I hoped he would be.

I found Apocalypse to be a solid villain. He is a typical superhero bad guy for better and for worse. Yes, he is over-the-top and his goal is way too clichéd. However, I found him to be a great villain in terms of strength and power as he posed a real threat to the mutants and he was genuinely tough to beat which I really liked. Mystique is the weakest link in the movie as she is very poorly utilized and weakly acted, but more on that later.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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Beast is again forgettable, Quicksilver is solid, but his comedic scene is too similar to the one in the last movie and Moira is definitely quite solid and a likable addition to the cast. Cyclops is pretty good as is Jean, but Psylocke is underdeveloped, but great in fights. Storm is excellent. Here we finally get a good, powerful Storm to whom you can easily root for and who is genuinely awesome. Archangel is again forgettable, but as Psylocke, he is great in terms of action sequences. Jubilee is very forgettable and slight, but Nightcrawler is pretty good, if his humor is forced.

Let’s talk about the performances. X-Men: Apocalypse benefits from a really solid cast of new young actors and all of them play their parts really well with Sophie Turner being great as young Jean Grey and Tye Sheridan being a pretty good Cyclops. Oscar Isaac is also very good as the villain. James McAvoy is expectedly terrific as is Michael Fassbender and both are the highlights. But Jennifer Lawrence is very mediocre. She obviously doesn’t want to play this part anymore and it shows in her performance which is lifeless and quite weak which is a problem as her character needed great acting. She really disappointed me and I just wish that they finally replace her with another actress as that is sorely needed for this character to work again.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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The action is very good in this movie, but with a couple of reservations. That mind fight was basically a rip off of the exact same scene with Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter. That was disappointing. And not all of the characters contributed to the fights which was a shame. But the action was mostly very exciting and very well filmed with Psyloche’s powers being very well utilized and the same goes for Nightcrawler. And I just loved the Phoenix at the end of the fight in that very powerful sequence.

X-Men: Apocalypse is well made and well acted. It is also well paced and is thoroughly entertaining for its quite long running time. The tone is great as it is quite light and comedic at times with solid humor, but also quite dark and dangerous in other scenes. The score is pretty good, but the visual effects are nothing impressive as some scenes had some heavy CGI. Also, the 3D wasn’t particularly great despite a few outstanding sequences.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

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The emotion is definitely there, but the major problem with this flick is that it just lacks the same power that some of the best X-Men movies have which is why it is inferior to the last entry. It is never as emotional as I wanted it to be and above all, the film just lacks sophistication and they basically turned it into a basic superhero flick. Yes, it was hugely entertaining that way, but I am a fan of this franchise mostly for its strong character relationships, drama and politics, all of which quite lacking this time around which is evident in a weaker dialogue as usual. In terms of storytelling, it is solid and it is great seeing and finally learning how Charles lost his hair, but it isn’t as strong in its plot as the previous X-Men entries were. But at least it does succeed as solid sequel.

X-Men: Apocalypse lacks in terms of storytelling, emotion and sophistication which is why it is far from the greatest X-Men entries, but it is still a solid, even underrated flick that benefits from some good performances, fine use of its characters, a solid villain and some really powerful fight sequences. It is flawed, but fun and satisfying nonetheless.

My Rating – 3.5

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

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Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War is a 2016 superhero film that concludes the Captain America trilogy and is the thirteenth entry in the MCU. It is such a good film that is one of Marvel’s finest.

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Our very strenth incites challenge.

Challenge incites conflict. And conflict… breeds catastrophe

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Captain America: Civil War Movie Review__________________________

The disagreement over international oversight of the Avengers splits the team into two fractions – one led by Rogers and the other by Stark. That is the plot of this movie and it is admittedly pretty good. Let’s talk about the story in two different areas as the two halves here differentiate a lot. The first half of the film is very political, almost too political. But even though I usually dislike the serious tone in these superhero films, I have to say that I liked it here as the politics is really well handled, in a sophisticated, but thankfully not pretentious manner. I liked that the film went global, even though some obvious nations were still vilified. But I really liked that global feel to it and I found the conflict at the center of the story to be really well explored and powerful.

The second half of the movie is quite the opposite as it suddenly shifts the tone from serious to very light and comedic and I absolutely loved that. Spider-Man himself brought some necessary humor into the picture, but the entire team brought some laughs. I loved the fact that, even though they fought, it was obvious that they are still friends so they didn’t fight seriously. The comic exchange was great there and those scenes were wonderfully energetic and just fun to watch.

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Captain America: Civil War Movie Review__________________________

Let’s talk about the characters. Captain America: Civil War is stuffed with way too many characters and that is one of its obvious big problems. Yes, they fleshed most of them out pretty well for such a short time, but there are still too many of them and not everyone got their moment to shine. Captain America himself is somewhat disappointing here as, contrary to the title, this isn’t exactly his movie, but rather the third Avengers flick. But he still had his more emotional and dramatic scenes. Iron Man is really good, if not particularly humorous this time around. But the problem with their relationship is that it isn’t that well realized and a bigger emotional punch was definitely needed given the magnitude of the conflict.

Black Widow continues to annoy me with her overly cocky attitude and they again did not fix that. Bucky Barnes is once again emphasized a lot, but his character still remains somewhat empty and boring. Falcon is used much better this time around, but he is still not relevant in the bigger picture. Rhodey was good and the emotion was felt between him and Iron Man, but his tragedy still did not feel as heartbreaking because his character was underutilized. Hawkeye is okay, but like Falcon, not needed.  Black Panther is the addition to the team and I really liked him as he is obviously such a different character, both in appearance and in personality. His scenes were some of the best in this movie.

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Captain America: Civil War Movie Review______________________________

Vision was quite good, but he didn’t get too many scenes. But Scarlet Witch continues to be one of my favorite members of the team as she is so relatable and so likable. As for Ant-Man, I have to say that I found his character to be very disappointing here. He is used in so few scenes that he is basically redundant and the decision to have this many characters in a movie hurt his character most. Sharon Carter is solid and I really liked the blooming relationship between her and Cap. And Helmut Zemo is typical villain character.

And as for Peter Parker himself, I have to admit that he is very good. It is early to say that he is the best incarnation of the character yet, but he is true to his original self as he is very energetic and quite funny. I particularly liked his interactions with the rest of the team, particularly Tony. And I loved how realistic it was from them to have him not rise to the challenge in the battle as he is too young and inexperienced. That was great, but what wasn’t great is that they failed to bring up the subject of whether or not it was okay to bring a minor to a battlefield. That was such a missed opportunity.

Captain America: Civil War has some amazing action sequences. Really, the action here is so well executed that I was riveted by it during some scenes. The camera angles were also really good and the only problem is that the movements were too fast sometimes. But it was so exhilarating to watch and this is easily one of the most entertaining MCU movies to date. And I really liked that most of the characters delivered in terms of the action.

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Captain America: Civil War Movie Review____________________________

As I said before, the humor is great and there were some hilarious scenes here. The shift in tone is a bit jarring, but I overall liked its two tones here. The cinematography is good and the score is stupendous. Yes, we finally have a well scored Marvel movie which is so refreshing. The pacing, on the other hand, is problematic because the movie is just way too long and sometimes in the third act a bit too prolonged and quite frankly boring. The dialogue is quite solid and the film is overall well crafted. It lacks emotion, but it isn’t cold either. Overall, even though it has its problems, Civil War is definitely one of the better Marvel movies thus far and the best entry in the trilogy, beating ‘The Winter Soldier’ for me.

Captain America: Civil War is one of the better MCU films so far thanks to a really well crafted and sophisticated storyline, a great political first half and an entertaining and comedic second one, really good humor and absolutely terrific action sequences. It does lack a bigger emotional punch, it is way too long and it is stuffed with way too many characters, thus seriously reducing the impact of some of them, but most of the characters are memorable and well used here, the team dynamic is great and it is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining Marvel movies.

My Rating – 4

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Superman Returns (2006)

Superman Returns Movie Review

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Superman Returns Movie Review

Superman Returns is a 2006 superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden and Kevin Spacey. It is a solid, albeit messy movie.

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Lois, Pulitzer Prizes are like Academy Awards,

nobody remembers what you got one for,

just that you got one

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Superman Returns Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

Superman returns to Earth after having been absent for five years. He finds out that Lois Lane has moved on with her life and that Lex Luthor plots to destroy him and the world. I found the plot to be quite interesting and different than usual. The choice to go five years into the future is superb as it leads to much better character development and a somewhat different storyline. However, it still has typical Superman movie problems – it is at times way too silly and the villain’s goal is just ridiculous.

Superman himself is okay, but rather boring as a protagonist. But this character has always been dull to me so that is expected. Lois Lane is a bit better as she is somewhat stronger than usual, but still the relationship between the two is lacking and it should have been much more involving and charming given the fact that it is the focus of the entire film. As I said, Lex Luthor is silly as always, but it is interesting that he became dangerous near the end and he even posed some serious threat to the hero. That was interesting, though it led to a weird shift in tone. Richard White is solid and Kitty Kowalski is memorable, but Jason is problematic. It is quite intriguing that he turned out to be Superman’s son, but they didn’t really explore that development as thoroughly as I wished.

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Superman Returns Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

The acting is quite flawed. Brandon Routh is a very weak Superman. He fits in terms of looks as he is reminiscent to Christopher Reeve, but he is a so-so actor and delivered a mediocre, forgettable performance. The same goes for Kate Bosworth and the two lack chemistry. James Marsden is certainly better, but it is Kevin Spacey who gave the finest performance here. He is perfect for this role and he is so memorable in it.

Superman Returns benefits from a strong direction from Bryan Singer and some fantastic score that is wonderfully old-fashioned and just pleasant to listen to. The tone is light and although the film is too silly at times, I really liked that it was unserious. It’s just that the jarring shift in tone is too evident as it suddenly goes dark near the end. The special effects are pretty good and the film is visually nice to watch. Some scenery is memorable, but I still expected more from it. And the film is too childish in its dialogue at times which is typical for these superhero flicks.

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Superman Returns Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

Superman Returns plays it traditional instead of modern. It is an homage to the original film and is much different than ‘Man of Steel‘. and I really liked that as I can’t take a Superman film seriously no matter what. The light tone is perfect for it. However, there lies a problem. Yes, it benefits from a strong focus on character development and romance, but neither of those things ended up being as strong as they were supposed to be. And although I liked that it is bereft of action for the most part, there should have still been one strong action scene as those that are here are lacking. And the film is way too long. I would cut off at least half an hour here.

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Superman Returns Movie Review…………………………………………………………………

But the movie has its charm and its old-fashioned approach is done for the better in my opinion. It is an entertaining film despite being so long. And it is overall much more professional and much more mature than your typical Superhero story. It is flawed, but to me it is a solid film meaning that I lean towards the critics on this one as audience’s opinion is wrong.

Superman Returns does have way too long running time, the characters and the acting should have been better plus it has the typical trappings of a Superman film – it is silly and the villain’s goal is ridiculous, but this flick is still solid owing to a great old-fashioned light approach with a great emphasis on character development and story instead of action and it also has a great score, good direction and an interesting storyline.

My Rating – 3.5

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Deadpool (2016)

Deadpool

Deadpool Review

Deadpool is a 2016 superhero comedy film directed by Tim Miller and starring Ryan Reynolds. It is one of the funniest movies in recent memory.

The story is engaging and I liked how it’s told. It is told not in a chronological order, but still manages to be mostly well edited which is great. It starts off with a bang and ends on such a sweet note, but some of the middle parts disappointed me to be honest. The movie subverts clichés in its first act in a really fun and inventive way. However, the film itself eventually becomes that which it has been previously making fun of – a superhero cliché and a basic origin story. Yes, that origin story is just so familiar and so tired by now that I was annoyed by it. And the whole ’’protagonist must save his girlfriend’’ trope is so boring by now.

But the characters are fantastic with a couple of exceptions. Deadpool himself is absolutely fantastic and is the reason to see the movie. He is always funny and a lot of fun due to his high energy. But he is realistic as well. I didn’t like his origin, but everything else is great from his personality to his jokes to his fighting skills. Vanessa is excellent as the love interest and the two are one of the best superhero couples ever as they are so good together. But she is not only great as his equal in terms of jokes, but also because she isn’t a typical damsel in distress and proves herself in the last fight.

As for the supporting characters, they are a mixed bag. Some are great, but others are underused and boring. Blind Al belongs in the latter category because she is so underutilized and frankly dull here which is a shame as she had a lot of potential. Francis is also mediocre as villains usually are, but at least he posed some serious threat to the main character. Angel Dust is also forgettable. But Negasonic Teenage Warhead is pretty good and Colossus is quite funny at times. But of course Weasel is the highlight with his brilliant jokes and he thankfully steps into the necessary comedic role when Wilson himself becomes a bit boring in the second half.  The two are so great together and he is such a great sidekick.

Deadpool has a great cast with most of the actors delivering a superb performance. Gina Carano is the weak link, but Brianna Hildebrand is pretty good and Morena Bacarrin is great and so likable in the role plus she and Reynolds share such a great chemistry together. Ed Skrein is okay, but T.J. Miller is phenomenal and steals the show whenever he is in with a great delivery of jokes. But this is of course Ryan Reynolds’ show and he gives possibly the performance of his career. He was born to play this role as he fits it wonderfully. He is funny, likable and always charismatic and he shines in this great role. His turn as Deadpool is the best comic-book performance along with Robert Downey’s role in ‘Iron Man’.

The humor in Deadpool is absolutely magnificent to the point of being one of the funniest films in recent years. It succeeds as a comedy way more than as a superhero flick which is troublesome, but at least that means we get some brilliant jokes here. I liked most of the jokes as most aren’t forced and most are really clever. The jokes about superhero movies and especially those targeted at Fox’s properties are just so observant and hysterical. The sex jokes are also funny and the character interactions are so natural and so terrific that they bring a lot of the humor to the table. I laughed out loud many times during this movie as the references are so clever and so relevant due to the superhero craze these days and, most importantly, they were often genuinely hilarious.

Deadpool, on the other hand, doesn’t succeed as a superhero film because the origin story is clichéd and the action is not that great. Some of it is really fantastic, but some of it is also highly typical for a movie that tries to be subversive. Also, I disliked the use of violence here. It was for the most part handled properly and the sexual parts did not bother me, but the hand-cutting was disgusting and the entire torture sequence was a bit too much for me, but at least it was well realized as it presented us some real danger and threats.

It is very well filmed and the action, although some of it hastily shot, is still for the most part well executed. The acting is great and the film is mostly well paced and well directed. The effects are great for a small budget the movie had and the film is incredibly entertaining to watch while also being funny and even charming as well. I like that it has a romance in it, but the one that is so modern and so realistic while still being sweet and heartwarming. That was unexpected and wonderful. It isn’t one of the best superhero films I’ve seen due to its many problems, but it is still one of the better ones and it’s one of the best superhero comedies for sure.

Deadpool does not succeed particularly well as a superhero movie due to some typical action, some boring characters and a very clichéd origin story which is troublesome as the movie tries to make fun of clichés, but becomes one eventually. But Deadpool succeeds as a comedy because it is so hilarious and amusing with excellent jokes and references that do hit, Ryan Reynold’s performance is magnificent, the characters are mostly really good and the film is very entertaining and even charming with its heartwarming and unexpected romance. It has its flaws, but it is one of the better superhero movies and one of the funniest films in recent memory.

My Rating – 4

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