Tag Archives: 2019

Joe’s Random Movie Review: 5 Reasons “Avengers: Endgame” is the greatest MCU film (plus 2 bad things)

!!!MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!!

Don Cheadle, Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Danai Gurira, and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

 

  1. Time Travel

Image result for avengers endgame time travel scenes

By including the aspect of time travel in this newest Marvel film, not only do we get to explore a brand new facet of the MCU, but we also get to re-explore some of the more familiar tones and scenes from some of the more favorite past Marvel movies. Such as, Asgard during the time of “Thor: The Dark World”, the invasion of New York in the first Avengers film, and many other different things. It’s almost like a kind of childhood nostalgia. Going back over the past 10 years, events of the Marvel films have covered. But also kind of gets another chance for us to explore another facet though; how the  characters have changed over time. Change through character arcs, new allies made, as well as new enemies made known. This unique comparison between the past and present shows us just how far these characters have come since the beginning of the series.

2. Collective characters and multiple plotlines

Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Rudd, and Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Even with the ending of Infinity War, Endgame leaves us with a plethora of many recognizable Marvel characters. Including the original avengers. Ordinarily, in a film that exceeds about three hours in length, you’d think that the storyline would get a little cluttered. Plotholes would show up left and right, and the film itself would seem almost chaotic (and not in enjoyable manner.) But this is not the case in this film. The scenes involving multiple characters and multiple different story arcs throughout the film actually kind of help with the pacing. The film doesn’t nearly seem as long as one would assume it to be. This structure is near perfect in it’s pacing, and is a testament to the skills of the writers of the films.

Bradley Cooper and Karen Gillan in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

3. Thanos’s death and (later) defeat

Image result for avengers endgame thanos

One of the more ingenious aspects of the story line for “Avengers: Endgame”, not only is continuing directly after the ending of Infinity War, but by killing off the main bad guy within the first 15 minutes of the film. This is something  many MCU fans probably did not see coming. Thanos is, after all, the Big Bad fans of been waiting for since his cameo at the end of the first Avengers film back in 2012. They were expecting some sort of an all out last minute fight to the death fight to save all of humanity by the conclusion. And technically, we got that at the end of Infinity War. The only difference was that Thanos won that fight. And technically speaking, in Endgame we get that final fight with a past version of Thanos, facing the Avengers by the end. Even though he is the primary antagonist of Endgame, Thanos is not the same kind of villain in Endgame as he was in Infinity War. This characteristic actually humanizes Thanos. And creates much more depth into an otherwise comic book super villain. He won, now he just wants to retire and live a simple life.

4. Perfect plend of humor in a dark film

Paul Rudd in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

“Avengers: Endgame” is definitely one of the darker of the marvel films, primarily because it deals with a very strong moral lesson. The reaction of being defeated. The important thing to remember about all of our heroes in this film, is that they are a team that has lost. But in spite of that all Endgame is actually still able to maintain a good sense of humor not only with how it’s  presented to the audience, but also how all the other characters react to one another. A true sense of teamwork. The comradery between the characters is a bit more palpable than Infinity War.

5. A true ending.

Chris Evans in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

This film concludes with what could arguably be called the perfect ending to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The final conflict with Thanos is something that has been building up over the coarse of over 20 films. Tying up loose ends, as well as defeating the main bad guy that’s driven the plot along this entire time. The conclusion with the death of Iron Man and the “retirement” of Captain America, shows us that this could very well be both an end as well as a new beginning. Just as a good ending should be. So what will the MCU bring us next? Well maybe it shouldn’t, but making over 2 billion in the box office certainly says that they’re going to be expanding a whole lot more on this already well-established comic book film universe.

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

And two bad things….. on a more personal note.

Although the film is great, it’s release couldn’t have come at a worse time. As it’s release coincided within a week the release of the new “Hellboy”. I’ve been wanting to see both films for a while, and the massive release of Endgame limited the audience intake for the new Hellboy.

Also, the only negative thing to be said about Endgame was the overall message of a do-over in the event of a defeat. In life, not all defeats get a reset button. This film’s bad theme, is that you shouldn’t get over it.

All in all though, an amazing film.

8.8/10

Advertisements

Avengers: Endgame review, coming soon!

I’m waiting out on some of the insane rush of Endgame it’s opening week. So in the next few week, I’ll post a review.

Thank you for your patience!

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Hellboy” (2019)

David Harbour in Hellboy (2019)

While many fans of the comics in the films were disappointed when Guillermo Del Toro failed to deliver us a third film to his Hellboy franchise, a reboot was the next logical step. In 2019 that’s exactly what we got. This time, directly from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Decent) have given us.

Milla Jovovich in Hellboy (2019)

In this age of remakes and reboot it’s easy to be cynical about such things. But in the case of the Hellboy franchise I think it is very well defended as a reboot. Because the franchise has such a rich mythology, specially in the comics, the Del Toro simply left it alone and wasn’t going to do anything with it. It’s exact same mistake that Warren Beatty made when he made Dick Tracy in 1990.

Daniel Dae Kim, David Harbour, and Sasha Lane in Hellboy (2019)

One thing that a lot of horror movie fans might enjoy from the new Hellboy movie as oppossed to the Del Toro films is that it actually ignores the whole superhero stereotype in some of today’s films. The previous films ahead actually focus more less on the superhero motif of Hellboy. Where is this new reboot actually focuses more on the horror and mythological elements.

David Harbour flat out as awesome as red. He gets the characterization perfect. It actually does in my opinion a much better job than Ron Perlman did. And Harbour’s performance we actually see Hellboy”s internal struggle to try and find a place in the world. In that way his version is a little bit more sympathetic, more grittier, and the kind of underdog that film fans want to root for.

This film is on also much closer to Mike Mignola’s universe. Including certain characters which make appearances besides Hellboy of course, and Professor Bruttenholm (now played by Ian McShane), it also has characters such as Alice Monaghan , Ben Daimio, even an appearance by Lobster Johnson.

Thomas Haden Church in Hellboy (2019)

This film was undoubtedly made for fans of a comic book, and such fans, myself included, were rewarded. It seems the only thing that’s really holding some back from total success, is the cynicism of people who regretted not getting a third original Hellboy film. Daniel Dae Kim in Hellboy (2019)

This film dares to be something different in this modern era of superhero films. It tried to ditch the superhero motif and present Hellboy as an all out gory horror film piece with quite a bit of humor and lots of action. Such a dark tone only helps the story.

David Harbour in Hellboy (2019)

Hopefully this film delivers us a sequel or two, because the universe set up in this one, has more action, more horror, more character development, and flat out is a good, fun movie.

6.5/10

5 Reasons why “Captain Marvel” isn’t the greatest movie/character in the MCU (so far)

Please Note:

I thought the film was great, however I did notice a few flaws in it.

Can’t wait to see her return!

photo

!!!SPOILERS!!!!!

Captain Marvel has certainly left a positive impression on fans of the MCU. But the film is far from perfect, and it broke a few patterns but the MCU has spent the last 10 years establishing. Initially, it’s building something up for the film “Avengers: Endgame”. Not to say at the film “Captain Marvel” or the character are terrible, quite the contrary, both are really good. But there were a few noticeable flaws in both.

  1. She’s too powerful

Image result for captain marvel end skrulls

Captain Marvel could very well be one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU. Her power of Energy Projection basically makes her a living Sun. And because her powers come directly from the energy of the Tesseract  (a.k.a. an infinity stone) we can assume that her powers must be on par with Scarlet Witch’s as both derive their powers from infinity stones. Making a character as powerful as Captain Marvel the MCU did do something that was very unconventional. They broke the standard formula set by a basic MCU movie. Usually in the first film that introduces the hero, they will have a villain that is equal to them in power and in essence a mirror image of the hero being power or tech. Iron Man had the Iron Monger, Black Panther had Killmonger, Ant-Man had Yellowjacket, but Captain Marvel has no equal. While this probably is looked better on paper than it did actually in the film it’s not bad. But at the same time it left some audiences a little bit bewildered as far as the introduction of this character is concerned. By not giving Captain Marvel and equal villain the face up against, her power has yet to truly be tested in emotional and physical dual.

It’s almost like Captain Marvel is a hero from an Ayn Rand book. Rand’s characters are always too noble. They were good characters but too noble and characters who are too noble have no real transformation emotionally speaking throughout the story. A poor comparison I know, but it speaks to the idea the Captain Marvel’s powers have yet to be tested by an equal of hers. It really makes you wonder just how she’s going to work with the other Avengers in the upcoming film “Avengers: Endgame”.

2. No Real Answer to Feminism

Image result for captain marvel plane

While the film DOES have a positive outlook in a positive message for women everywhere, it doesn’t really deliver on much of an answer to feminism except the “they’re too cool for this”. It almost seems as though she is answering Gaslighting with more Gaslighting and that doesn’t exactly provide a healthy answer to the idea of equality among genders. And in the case of this movie they might’ve written it in there a little too strongly.

3. Another Moses leading the people to freedom

Image result for captain marvel end skrulls

Rather than skip a few sequels to bring her into this motif, the first film of Captain Marvel is already turning her into essentially another Moses leading an exodus to save an endangered race. Well this is a noble act for the character to do in her first movie, it essentially fulfills Captain Marvel (as well as any other MSU heroes) role as a Jungian Archetype. By putting them in the Moses or Jesus-like protagonist role, our hero has already gone a step further than being just a regular superhero. Rather, she and possibly the others are going to be introduced to the MCU are now the “new gods” walking among mankind. And this may sound cool but it actually isn’t. Because when you make heroes into the new gods of the Earth defending truth and justice for all people of all races, it makes it more difficult for human beings to relate to them as characters. And that’s actually what the marvel comics excelled at. Being able to make sympathetic characters that we could all relate to. But introducing this in the first Captain Marvel movie, they’ve almost made the character completely unrelatable to the everyman.

4. Too Heavy on the 90’s

Image result for captain marvel blockbuster

While those moments of actually showing off the 1990s in the film are quirky and funny, the problem with that was that there are scenes were it was a little bit too heavy such as the computer scene where the file is trying to load, the arcade games, and a few other bits and pieces are thrown throughout the movie. It would’ve been enough just have a subtitle saying that the film takes place roughly 1995. But they were trying a little hard to remind people that the film took place in the mid-1990s.

5. Coulson and Ronan needed more screen time

Related image

Being a prequel of course is a perfectly legitimate way to bring back previously deceased characters. As well as seeing familiar characters in a completely different light. This film did excellent in showing Nick Fury a different point in his life before he was the Nick Fury that we all know and love. In this film also did something else to buy bring back to previously deceased characters such as agent Phil Coulson, from “The Avengers”, as well as the villain the Ronan, from “Guardians of the Galaxy”. And let’s face facts, both Coulson and Ronan are awesome characters to begin with. And it seems like there are scenes in this film were not quite long enough. These are both fan favorites one good, one bad but it really would’ve been more interesting if they had much more scenes in the film. Honestly, it seemed like they were just thrown in for fun. But it really would’ve been interesting to see Ronan a little differently than we had seen him and “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Image result for captain marvel phil coulson

And a character like Phil Coulson is just a very likable guy. In all this chaos and mayhem, it’s nice to see a character with no powers, but it was already captured the hearts of superhero film fans everywhere.

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Us” (2019)

Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)

 

!!!!!!WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

In 2019 writer director Jordan Peele has given presented “Us”, a follow up to his film “Get Out”. Like it’s predecessor, “Us” contains within a very deeper messages hidden behind the horror.

Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke in Us (2019)

The film follows the Wilsons, a family on vacation in Santa Cruz. Adelaide, Gabe, Zora, and Jason. Adelaide seems very worried about going to Santa Cruz because of a traumatic event that happened to her there back in 1986. Which the film initially begins with. Then later that night, they are attacked by four strangers which they soon realize are in fact doppelgängers, or doubles, of themselves. Going by the names of Red, Abraham, Umbrae and Pluto. These doppelgängers referred to themselves as “The Tethered”.

Initially, this section of the film is structured and looks and feels a lot like a classic 80s slasher film. Instead of one killer stalking many people, it’s a few killers stalking a few people.

Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us (2019)

Eventually it is revealed that Adelaide had encountered Red before, back in 1986. As the film progresses towards its final moments, we find out that this doppelgänger phenomena was not limited only to the Wilsons but rather to people worldwide. Apparently the Tethered had existed in this long network of underground tunnels constructed by the United States Military as an experiment to try and control the populace. When the experiment failed, the Tethered were left to fend for themselves living only off of live rabbits.

Winston Duke and Shahadi Wright Joseph in Us (2019)

As the battle for the Wilson survival culminates in a final confrontation between Red and Adelaide, the big twist at the end is revealed. Back in 1986, when Red first encountered Adelaide, Red knocked her out, chained Adelaide to her bed inside the tunnels, and switched clothes with her Replacing her in the real world. Thus revealing to the audience, as well as to the character Adelaide herself, that she in fact was the doppelgänger of the entire time. A dark and surprising twist ending indeed, for any of us who are fans of Peele’s work.

Image result for us the tethered

Doppelgängers in folklore and myth have long been shown as Omens of impending doom or death. Many historical figures including that of Abraham Lincoln and claim to of had encounters with doppelgängers of their own soon before such impending doom happened upon them. There’s something very otherworldly and very frightening of seeing something that looks like you, behaves like you, and yet isn’t you. It also calls into question the idea of individuality as to whether or not you in fact have it, or if you are completely alike with the double. And with what little information we’re actually given about the Tethered in this film, Jordan Peele leaves it greatly open to interpretation. However he leaves it open to interpretation, but not in a way that feels as though the film is riddled with plot holes. This is one of those movies where new bits of clues and symbolism will be discovered and rediscovered as “Us” is watched and rewatched.

Lupita Nyong'o in Us (2019)

As “Us” progresses and gets darker along the way, you’re showing little bit more of the nature of the Tethered, especially when they were living in the tunnels to fend for themselves. The Tethered themselves seem to be a metaphor for the lower class ascending and finally going after the privileged upper class who weren’t even aware of their existence. Even though these “lower class citizens” have always been there.

Evan Alex in Us (2019)

The whole revolt of the Tethered seems to be a great metaphor for oppression, or possibly a class struggle. This would make the message of “Us” a little bit greater than the message given to us would “Get Out”. With “Get Out” the message was one of racial differences, where is this one is about class differences regardless of skin color. It becomes less a story of man vs. monster, and is more about the privileged against the underprivileged. And because the Tethered in the very nature didn’t exactly have freedom of choice, after all they could do was mimic the actions that their counterparts in the surface world could do. Their fight becomes more logical and much more sympathetic in that they feel they don’t have freedom of choice. At least not in the way we understand it.

Image result for us the tethered

When the twist ending coming into play though, the motivations of the film’s main antagonist Red seem to be a little bit clearer. It seems the Tethered chose her to lead them because they understood that she was different than the rest of them. Primarily because she actually, in fact, wasn’t one of them. And her motivations seem to be very logical at the very least. After all she only wanted to reclaim the life that was forcibly taken from her by her doppelgänger.

Image result for us 2019

And Adelaide herself and her fight to preserve family, seems to by the end of the film realize that all she was doing was justifying the horrible action she did when she was a child. But it really calls into question as to whether or not the villain of the story was right in their motivations. Very few times will film actually make you question the moral compass of the hero that you’ve been presented, A sort of unreliable narrator.

Jordan Peele has undoubtedly come along way since the days of being a comedian. But with what he has set up so far with both of his films, and in a little bit more poignantly in “Us”, Jordan Peele is setting himself up as one of the greatest directors of the horror, thriller, and indeed one of the greatest directors of the 21st-century.

9/10 Excellent, excellent film!