Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy is a 2014 superhero film directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista. It is one of Marvel’s finest films.

…………………………………………………….

Nothing goes over my head.

My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

…………………………………………………….

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

I love this film. To me the film gets better with repeat viewings and truly after the third time I’ve seen it, I bumped the rating from 4 to 4.5 as it truly is one great blockbuster film that should go down in history as one of the best, certainly one of the best of its decade.

The story is pretty good. I still think that the infinity stones explanation is weak and not good enough as it should be better explained having in mind its importance for the entire MCU, but I loved how separate this film feels from the rest of the universe as it truly works as a standalone film. The story isn’t particularly original as it has typical building up team and motivational speech themes, but it presents those in comedic manner which is why even those clichéd scenes succeed. And because the settings are great, it succeeds as a pretty good space opera in its own right.

Star-Lord is great. He is the guy Indie should have been as he is both cocky and likable at the same time. Not to mention very funny at times. Gamora is dull and is the most boring and lifeless character here. But Drax the Destroyer is superb and one of the funniest characters here. His endlessly quotable stupid lines are hilarious.

…………………………………………………….

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

Groot is very good and of course endearing, but Rocket is very underrated as he is one of my favorites here – so memorable, funny and with a great backstory. I loved every backstory to each of the characters. Ronan the Accuser is actually one of the best Marvel villains so far as he actually posed some threat and was capable all around. And I didn’t have a problem with how he was beat as this is a comedy after all. All of the other characters are also solid and of course we finally got to see a bit of Thanos here.

I liked the performances and Chris Pratt is truly very charismatic and likable in the main role. It is easy to see why this jumpstarted his career. Dave Bautista is silly and unprofessional, but he works in the context of the character. And Bradley Cooper did a surprisingly good job in his voice performance. The film is also quite well directed by James Gunn and so well edited.

Guardians of the Galaxy also looks cool with a good use of dark and colorful imagery. I liked its various planets and the special effects are pretty good. But of course the score is superb as it utilizes on the seventies hits so well with a couple of scenes being so entertaining.

…………………………………………………….

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review…………………………………………………….

The action is certainly overwhelming and the third act once again succumbs to the usual blockbuster, grandiose territory, but for the most part, the action is pretty good with good fighting scenes, although not the best that Marvel has done so far. The humor is naturally so good with almost all of its characters being very funny and memorable. They work great as a team as they are so cool and infectiously dynamic together. Drax, Rocket and Star-Lord got the biggest laughs out of me, but even the smaller characters such as the one played by John C. Reilly got some big laughs here and there. In the end, Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel’s best film after ‘Doctor Strange’.

Guardians of the Galaxy is one of Marvel’s finest films with the third act not being the greatest, but it is mostly superb and so incredibly entertaining leading to one of the best blockbusters of the decade. The characters are unforgettable, they work great as a team, the humor is fantastic with many hilarious lines, the action is solid and the movie works great both as a comedy and as a space opera.

My Rating – 4.5

…………………………………………………….

Share

X-Men (2000)

X-Men Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

X-Men Movie Review

X-Men is a 2000 superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman. It is a solid, yet very troublesome film in context.

………………………………………………………………………

You know, people like you are the reason

I was afraid to go to school as a child.

………………………………………………………………………

X-Men Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

As the first entry in the X-Men franchise, the film is disappointing. It sets up the sequels well, but as a standalone feature, it doesn’t quite work. The main problem is the plot which is too simplistic when compared to other entries to come. It also lacks clear focus and is good mostly as a setup.

Let’s talk about the characters. I found Wolverine to be memorable here as he’s as good as always in this installment. Magneto and Professor X also have their moments and this a fine introduction to these amazing characters. Cyclops and Jean Grey are solid and I liked the triangle between them and Magneto, it was well established for the first time here.

Mystique is disappointing and although great in terms of the action sequences, as a character, she is lacking and I think she didn’t even get any line of dialogue which is ridiculous. Storm is as boring and as frustrating as ever. And I have a conflicting opinion on Rogue. On the one hand, her character is the most tragic and her story is both emotional and well crafted. But on the other hand, even though this is in some parts her own movie, she didn’t get a lot to do in ‘X2’ and thus they never really did anything with her which is just unfortunate. The treatment of this character is just as poor as the treatment of Storm.

………………………………………………………………………

X-Men Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

The acting is expectedly good, everyone did a great job and it is great watching Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen in particular for the first time in their great roles. But James Marsden and Famke Janssen are also quite good.

Bryan Singer directed X-Men quite well and the film is somewhat well paced and well shot, although too dark. The special effects are good for the time being, but now not so much. The entire movie is great and groundbreaking for its time as it is the first ever serious superhero film which has to be respected, but it is nonetheless a bit dated nowadays as time did not treat it well at all.

………………………………………………………………………

X-Men Movie Review………………………………………………………………………

I really liked some of the action sequences in the third act. The fight between Wolverine and Mystique was really well done, but the action is overall not the greatest and not particularly memorable as well. The film is well executed and solid as a whole, but just never as good as the succeeding entries will be. It is a solid introduction to the series and rarely being more than that.

X-Men has some very good scenes, strong acting, solidly executed action sequences and it is groundbreaking being one of the first serious superhero films, but the direction, the script and the characters are never as sophisticated or as engaging as they will be in some of the later entries in the franchise.

My Rating – 3.5

………………………………………………………………………

Share

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a 2014 superhero film directed by Bryan Singer and starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender. It is the second best entry in the franchise.

……………………………………………………………….

The past: a new and uncertain world.

A world of endless possibilities and infinite outcomes.

Countless choices define our fate: each choice, each moment, a moment in the ripple of time.

Enough ripple, and you change the tide… for the future is never truly set.

……………………………………………………………….

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Yes, only ‘X-Men: First Class’ is a better movie than this one and I just love that film. But Days of Future Past surprised me with is quality and watching it for the second time, it is as good as it was before and it makes me realize how disappointing ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ is and how it didn’t close this trilogy in a satisfying manner.

Wolverine goes back to 1973 to change history and prevent doom for both humans and mutants. The film definitely has a couple of time travel trappings in it, but it is better executed than most time travel stories and actually only further strengthens this whole franchise which is so admirable as it easily could have been a filler. Some of the highlights are the first scene which is exhilarating in action, the meeting of Wolverine and young Charles was so well done and of course the scenes with Mystique were terrific.

She is the focus of this movie which was an interesting choice. I still do not like Jennifer Lawrence in this role, but the character herself is excellent and watching her struggle whether or not to kill Trask was done in a very dramatic, realistic manner. The conflict here is so well established. Speaking of Trask, I found him disappointing. I guess it was interesting to have a more real villain instead of the over-the-top and usual one, but he was still too boring and was frankly a bit forgettable even though Peter Dinklage is solid in the role.

……………………………………………………………….

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

The mature versions of characters weren’t as well utilized here because the movie is overstuffed with too many characters. That is definitely a problem, but I actually liked that the film focused more on history instead of the future and I liked that it was both a sequel to ‘The Last Stand’ and ‘First Class’, but much more to the latter film. As for Kitty, I really liked her and she had an interesting power plus I always like seeing Ellen Page in a movie.

Watching Erik and Charles together is again the highlight, so well executed are their scenes together. They had a lot of troublesome shared history and it shows in their interactions in this movie. Their scenes were the most emotional and serious of the film. Storm is as boring as ever, but Beast is actually really good here and better than usual. Wolverine is so good and used in just the right amount of time, but I also loved that he was an essential player in this story which was a refreshing thing to see. And Quicksilver is as great as everyone said he is. Funny and amusing, he is such a great comic relief and his now famous action sequence is truly one for the ages.

……………………………………………………………….

X-Men: Days of Future Past Movie Review……………………………………………………………….

Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are as great as usual, but Bryan Singer did a great job as the director here. The film is very well edited for the most part, but a bit rushed at times. It had too many characters in it, but it is still visually great with a good score as well and its opening title sequence is actually fantastic and so inventive as the 3D in it was gorgeous. The humor was excellent as some of the lines and moments really made me laugh and the ending is heartwarming and funny at the same time. The dialogue is also terrific and the script is actually pretty clever in its politics and social parallels. The action is as great as usual and some sequences were jaw-dropping in their terrific, entertaining execution. All in all, it truly is one of the best that the series has to offer.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is definitely a bit rushed at times and it has way too many characters in it, but most of them got their moment to shine with Mystique, Charles, Erik and of course Quicksilver being the highlights. The film is not only funny and entertaining owing to excellent humor and action, but it also has good dialogue and a strong, clever script leading to the second best entry in the franchise.

My Rating – 4.5

……………………………………………………………….

Share

The Wolverine (2013)

The Wolverine Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

The Wolverine Movie Review

The Wolverine is a 2013 superhero film starring Hugh Jackman. It is the sixth installment in the X-Men franchise and the second one with Wolverine. It is flawed, but pretty solid.

……………………………………………………………………

How did you know there’s a pool down there?

I didn’t.

……………………………………………………………………

The Wolverine Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Logan travels to Japan where he meets an old acquaintance and struggles with guilt. The plot is basic and not particularly memorable or great. The conflict is solid and I liked the villain and his goal. It was cartoonish, but better and more dramatic than most of the other superhero villains and their motivations. But I particularly liked the setting of Japan as I loved the country and it was great to get an X-Men film revolve almost entirely in it. It was a good excuse for the series to venture into a different part of the world.

The characters aren’t the greatest here, but are quite solid and some are very interesting. Again I liked that it features Japanese characters and actors, that was refreshing to see and those characters were some of the highlights. Mariko was a bit dull to me, but Yukio is very likable and I really liked her. She was both a genuinely sympathetic person and a great female character who provided some excellent action sequences.

……………………………………………………………………

The Wolverine Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Of course I liked the villain as I said. The shared past between him and Logan was well explored and was a solid setup for the conflict. But all of the other Japanese men here were very forgettable and boring to be honest. Viper is quite good, somewhat typical, but a solid and strong villain. As for Logan himself, I still believe that he isn’t suited for feature films and as a main character, but he is here much better developed than in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” which was an immensely weaker film in comparison to this one. And Hugh Jackman is naturally the acting highlight, delivering a strong performance once again. I really liked Rila Fukushima too.

The Wolverine features some quite good and exciting action scenes, especially in the first half. But I agree with almost everyone that its third act was highly disappointing. In terms of storytelling, it was an okay conclusion, but in terms of the action, it was rather weak and bland. Whenever in these movies they fight in a building like this one, I roll my eyes. And the presence of a giant stupid robot frustrated me even more. Another thing that annoyed me was the overwhelming presence of romance scenes which were dull and unnecessary.

……………………………………………………………………

The Wolverine Movie Review……………………………………………………………………

Another problem with this movie is its lack of humor and an overly serious approach. This character has always been quite comedic and here he is too serious and played overly straight. The overall tone to the movie was way too serious and dramatic. But I liked the pacing of the movie. Yes, the film is just too long, clocking in at over two hours which is too much definitely, but it isn’t dull and is almost consistently involving. The pacing is deliberately slow and that was a good choice as it led to a better crafted plot and more memorable characters. The score is not great and the special effects are pretty forgettable and standard, but the movie is otherwise visually pleasing with some very solid city imagery as well as some memorable interiors. It utilized its setting surprisingly well.

The Wolverine is a very flawed movie owing to its overlong running time, overly serious approach with an unfortunate lack of humor and a third act which is disappointing in its bland action, but the action was otherwise well executed and entertaining, the characters are mostly well utilized along with its interesting setting and the film features a solid villain and conflict. It is far from the best entries in the series, but it is solid nevertheless.

My Rating – 3.5

……………………………………………………………………

Share

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.

……………………………………………………………………………..

Black. All good movies start with a black screen

……………………………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………………………..

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

……………………………………………………………………………..

Share

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.

…………………………………………………

Big man in a suit of armor.

Take that off, what are you?

Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist

…………………………………………………

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.

…………………………………………………

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.

…………………………………………………

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.

…………………………………………………

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

…………………………………………………

Share

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.

…………………………………………………………….

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

…………………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………………….

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.

…………………………………………………………….

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

…………………………………………………………….

 

Share

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.

……………………………………………………………..

Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise

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

Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.

……………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………..

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.

……………………………………………………………..

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

……………………………………………………………..

Share

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.

………………………………………………………………..

Dormammu, I’ve come to bargain!

………………………………………………………………..

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.

………………………………………………………………..

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.

………………………………………………………………..

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.

………………………………………………………………..

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.

………………………………………………………………..

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

………………………………………………………………..

Share

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.

………………………………………………………………………

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

but we love them for their defects

………………………………………………………………………

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.

………………………………………………………………………

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.

………………………………………………………………………

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

………………………………………………………………………

Share