Posts Tagged ‘avengers’

h1

Deadpool 2 (2018) and more

May 29, 2018

I’m so far behind on movie reviews I’m just pump them all out now before I head to Vegas.

Deadpool 2 (2018) – Lacks the fresh feel of the original, but it’s nearly as funny and entertaining. Cable and Domino are great additions, there are some amazing cameos, and Ryan Reynolds is still perfection as Deadpool.

Replay Value: I wouldn’t watch it a second time in theaters like I did with the first one, but I’d certainly enjoy a second watch sometime down the road.

Sequel Potential: I see Deadpool 3 and X-Force have been announced, both with Ryan Reynolds attached as Wade Wilson/Deadpool, but no concrete release dates or any other details yet.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: Dina seemed to mostly enjoy this.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Wind River (2017) – A gritty, murder mystery set in chilly Wyoming featuring a great performance from Jeremy Renner, this is a movie I really liked but absolutely need to see again because I was absurdly tired while watching it and don’t feel like I appreciated the experience as much as I should have. Writer/Director Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water) has proven to be quite the brilliant filmmaker.

Replay Value: I want to watch this again immediately.

Sequel Potential: None.

Oscar Potential: Many considered this film one of the biggest snubs of last Oscar season when it got zero nominations.

Dina Meter: I don’t think Dina disliked this, but I don’t remember her being too into it either.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable) *I think this might be a Must See but I need to watch it again

Thor: Ragnarok – Lots of fun. Easily the best Thor movie and one of the funnier Marvel movies to date. Taika Waititi was an inspired choice for director and his comedic touch made this movie substantially better than its predecessors, even as the story dramatically raised the stakes on Asgard. Chris Hemsworth gives his best performance as Thor to date and Cate Blanchett was great as the villainous Hela. The reveal of The Hulk would have been a lot cooler if it wasn’t included in the trailers.

Replay Value: The only Thor movie I feel is worth watching more than once.

Sequel Potential: Thor just appeared in Avengers: Infinity War and will be in the next Avengers movie as well, but who knows after that.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: She was a fan.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Good Time (2017) – I gave this one of the most disrespectful watches I’ve ever given a film. First, I rented this movie and let it sit around my house for nearly four months before finally trying to watch it and then I watched bits and pieces of if over what must have been 6-7 viewings over a two week span. Needless to say, whatever I have to say about it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The story is about two brothers that rob a bank and wind up separated when the mentally handicapped one of them falls behind and gets arrested and the other one spends the night trying to keep his brother out of Riker’s Island prison. It’s a pretty grimy movie and the two lead characters aren’t likable at all, although Robert Pattinson is terrific in his role. I didn’t know he had it in him. The way the score is done reminded me a lot of It Follows – it’s jarring and loud and definitely increases the tension of the picture. This movie made it on my radar by appearing on a number of top ten lists and I don’t think it was nearly that good, although I can’t say I got the full experience either.

Replay Value: Not really something I’d want to see again.

Sequel Potential: None.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: No way Dina would make it through this one.

5/10 (Decent)

Amateur (2018) – This was a Netflix movie I decided to watch because it was about basketball. Not much to see here. It’s about a junior high phenom that becomes a victim of the dirty politics that can happen when parents and coaches exploit young athletes. None of the performances are noteworthy and there are only a few cool basketball moments. This was a pretty forgettable flick and not even a must see for basketball fans.

Replay Value: Basically zero.

Sequel Potential: I can’t imagine.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: Dina could probably tolerate this but I can’t imagine she’d like it too much.

4/10 (Forgettable)

Super (2010) – Before James Gunn became a household name with Guardians of the Galaxy, he made a very little seen flick called Super. Rainn Wilson stars as a regular guy that decides to become a superhero after his wife starts preferring the company of a drug dealer. This movie has similarities to Kick-Ass in that a regular dude with no powers decides to dress up in a costume and fight crime, but this movie isn’t as outlandish and the humor is darker. Ellen Page is a scene stealer as Crimson Bolt’s foul-mouthed and absurdly eager sidekick. This movie is certainly worth a watch.

Replay Value: Worth seeing more than once.

Sequel Potential: No sequel yet and unlikely to happen.

Oscar Potential: None.

Dina Meter: I’m honestly not sure about this one.

6/10 (Fun)

Spotlight – This Best Picture winner might be a bit overrated by the Academy. While I enjoyed this newspaper movie about The Boston Globe uncovering a massive child molestation scandal in the local Catholic Archdiocese, it’s actually my least favorite of the seven 2015 Best Picture nominees that I’ve seen. Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton give solid performances, but Mark Ruffalo is guilty of some serious over-acting in this movie, yet somehow snagged a Best Supporting Actor nomination. This is a good movie, but not 2015’s best film by any measure.

Replay Value: Mostly a single watch type of film.

Sequel Potential: None.

Oscar Potential: Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay winner. Also nominated for Best Film Editing, Tom McCarthy for Best Director and acting nominations for McAdams and Ruffalo.

Dina Meter: We both thought this was good, but not great.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

h1

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

May 2, 2018


Director: The Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: Winter Soldier)
Starring: Half of Hollywood

I’m going to attempt to do something difficult and review a movie that a) I feel like I need to see again before I have a firm grasp on how I feel about it and b) I’m not sure I can say much about without spoiling things. Here goes…

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. If you’re still with Marvel at this point, then Avengers: Infinity War is as big as it gets. My friend I saw this movie with is a comic book fanatic and I’m pretty sure seeing this movie ranked somewhere in the top five most anticipated moments of his entire life. This is where we’ve been headed since Robert Downey Jr. first became Iron Man all the way back in 2008 – when Marvel completely changed the movie-going experience by creating a massive shared universe that has stretched over a decade now. And if you’re still eagerly awaiting Thanos’ arrival on Earth then chances are it’s going to be very hard for Avengers: Infinity War to disappoint you.

But that didn’t stop Age of Ultron from disappointing, did it? Admit it, that was arguably the worst and most forgettable film in the ten years of Marvel’s nearly flawless run of box office dominance. It was also at that point that Joss Whedon passed the directing baton to the Russo brothers, whom have proven to be the most adept filmmakers in the MCU, with both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War ranking in the top five Marvel movies to date.

I’ve actually read some criticism of Infinity War saying that it lacks character development. Something along the lines of the characters just show up and get involved in the story. What. Yeah, I forgot about the last ten years and previous 18 movies that have led up to this point too. Outside of Thanos, basically everyone else involved has had multiple movies worth of character development. We don’t really need it here. Hush.

So the basic premise here is that Thanos is the biggest and baddest dude from space and he has obtained what I believe is called the Infinity Gauntlet and he is after the six Infinity Stones that can be placed in the Infinity Gauntlet and when that happens, he can unlock unrivaled universe-erasing power. Not that he needs it: in the first sequence of the film, Thanos puts a severe beating on a few heroes and proves that The Avengers are already no match for him, Infinity Gauntlet or not.

It’s pretty easy to see how earth’s mightiest heroes get pulled into the fracas. If you’ve seen all the movies that have led up to this point (and you should have) then the following are not spoilers: Vision has an Infinity Stone in his forehead; Loki likely has an Infinity Stone and he’s currently traveling through space with Thor and the few surviving Asgardians; Doctor Strange has the Time Stone; and two other Stones are in space with people we’ve seen the Guardians of the Galaxy interact with. Needless to say, Thanos will have to go through some Avengers and possibly some Guardians to get all the Stones.

So that’s the gist of the plot and I have to say the execution mostly doesn’t disappoint. Infinity War is wonderful cinematic spectacle. At over 150 minutes and with a massive amount of characters to include, the film manages to be engaging and juggle screen time quite effectively. Sure, some of our heroes get less screen time than others, but when it comes down to it, this is Thanos’ movie anyways. I think I actually may have stepped out of the theater to use the bathroom at an inopportune time – particularly, when Thanos explained his reasoning for wanting to obtain the Stones and erase half of the universe’s population. So I really can’t comment on his motives, but if anyone wants to destroy half the universe, there’s probably a good reason for it, right?

I definitely enjoyed my first viewing of Infinity War. Like most Marvel movies, it blends action and humor to perfection and all the key players have an opportunity for a WOAH moment.

While Infinity War packs all the necessary punches, it also had a number of eyebrow-raising and eye-rolling moments. There are quite a few moments in the movie where a character has to make a tough (yet incredibly easy, all things considered) decision and makes an idiotic choice. What kind of hero would jeopardize the fate of the entire universe for one life? A shitty one. One that will be hard to root for in the future. Also, there’s a point where Doctor Strange looks into the future and says something along the lines of in 14 million possible outcomes, The Avengers only win in one of them. Is that really necessary? 1 in 14 million? When everyone in the theater knows the actual chance of an eventual Avengers victory is 100%? Do we need to be insulted like that? And if Doctor Strange can see into the future, and knows the one path to victory, then what is really at stake here? Nothing.

And that brings me to something I can’t really talk about. What I will say is that the film had no emotional impact on me. There are supposed to be huge moments of shock and sadness and I felt nothing. Because none of it seems real. None of it seems final. Because of the Soul Stone and the Time Stone and the nature of comic books, I just have a hard time believing that anything of massive consequence that happens in this movie can’t just be overturned at the snap of a finger. And because of that, my only emotional response was PFFFFFFT.

Still, I definitely enjoyed the movie. Fans of the genre should love it – and they do: it’s currently sitting in the top ten all time on IMDB’s Top 250 list (and that’s just absurd). If you haven’t been a fan of the MCU, this movie won’t change your mind. I’m looking forward to seeing it again and wonder if my opinion of it will change at all.

Replay Value: I’m ready for my second viewing already!

Sequel Potential: Avengers 4 has already been shot, I believe.

Oscar Potential: None?

Dina Meter: My wife enjoyed it.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

h1

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

July 10, 2017

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya
Director: Jon Watts

Bottom Line: I loved it. Tonally, this is the Spider-Man movie we’ve been waiting for: a high school kid that looks and acts like a high school kid and is clearly in the rookie year of his superhero adventures, despite briefly dipping his head in the majors in Captain America: Civil War. While Spider-Man might have a high tech suit capable of amazing things thanks to Tony Stark, he’s still just a kid looking to help out around his borough and hoping not to be a loser at school, while waiting around hoping The Avengers come calling or he stumbles across something big.

Tom Holland crushes the role. We got a glimpse that he might be the right actor for the job in Civil War but now there’s no doubt about it. Holland is charismatic and hilarious and does some great physical comedy in the film. I think it’s safe to say that we will be seeing him as Spider-Man for at least the next decade and that’s a very good thing. He is perfect for the job and it will be fun to watch him grow up with the character.

The script in this movie was fantastic. I’ve heard people call it the funniest Marvel movie yet and maybe it is – it was basically nonstop laughs for two hours and all the jokes landed successfully. Michael Keaton plays Spidey nemesis Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture, and, as expected, does a great job, bringing an everyday person element to the character that is usually missing from comic book villains. Toomes is a regular guy whose company strikes a huge deal to cleanup the aftermath of the first Avengers movie only to have a Tony Stark subdivision come in and take things over with little apology, despite Toomes pouring all his financial resources into the project. It’s a smart way to weave The Vulture into the MCU and screenwriters make some other genius decisions with this character as well.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is exactly what you want from a Spider-Man movie: great action, lots of laughs, a charismatic and funny hero, and a formidable villain with some emotional resonance. The film works incredibly well considering it doesn’t introduce Spidey staples like Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, or Harry Osborn. Most movies, even when they are good, you still want to end at some point, but I could’ve watched Tom Holland play Spider-Man for several more hours and I’m really looking forward to more sequels and Avengers appearances in the future.

Replay Value: I’d watch it again now and it will be a must own in my movie collection.
Sequel Potential: Avengers: Infinity War is due out next year and a Spidey sequel is announced for 2019.
Oscar Potential: Great performances from Holland and Keaton, but not really Oscar fare here. Of all the 2017 films I’ve seen so far, I’d give this one the edge in Visual Effects.

Grade: 7.5/10 (highly enjoyable/must see)