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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

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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

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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

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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

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Aquaman” (2018)

With the plethora of superhero films coming to theaters in 2019, it seems rather fitting that the conclusion of 2018 should come at an epic scale. With the release of DC’s “Aquaman” not only has this been a major improvement on the layout of the DC film universe, but it also has a great deal of action, grandeur, and a good example of storytelling that other superhero films might to able to improve themselves upon.

Jason Momoa and Amber Heard in Aquaman (2018)

Up until the release of this film, the DC film universe was basically a hit or miss type situation. This is especially the case with films like “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and “Suicide Squad.” People either really like these movies or they really hated them. But one thing at the DC cinematic universe has actually shown is that the next film tends to make the previous film just a little bit better.

In the case of their version of “Justice League” it out of a certain lightheartedness that the cinematic universe DC was strongly lacking. Initially, the Aquaman film is a little bit more lighter in story than say other introductory movies like “Man of Steel”. The character of Arthur Curry is a very complicated and yet extremely simple protagonist. One of the oldest forms of storytelling to date: a man fighting his destiny. Well this type of story may be one of the most recognizable, it is also quite possibly the most easily understandable. And then having such a sympathetic character the audience is more easily able to relate to him. This is not a person burdened by the glorious purpose of being a god among men like Superman, or someone with borderline sociopathic tendencies like Batman. For the most part Aquaman is simply a man doing what he believes is right. The exploration of such a character in the DC cinematic universe alone helps garner a better audience response that some of the previous films.

Besides the great acting and story line of this film, another thing that date that deeply deserves praise is the use of visual effects. In presenting the underworld the underwater world of Atlantis, there is great beauty mix both in comic book images as well as typical undersea landscaping. The world present an Aquaman is an elegant and yet chaotic world.

Djimon Hounsou, Natalia Safran, and Sophia Forrest in Aquaman (2018)

One thing that audience is me find a little bit intimidating about the movie, is the length of time. It seems like they tried to cram a lot of the mythology in as much as short a time as possible which unless the story is written correctly, can get tedious very fast and resulting in a poor film. But for what it was worth the writers and filmmakers did an excellent job in that including very subtle comic book references that only true fans of Aquaman will notice.

Aquaman (2018)

Overall, this is a terrific that fully delivers.

This film is the reason there will be no more bad jokes about Aquaman.

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Deadpool 2” (2018)

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Juggernaut is credited as being played by ‘Himself’.

Juggernaut is actually being played by the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds did the motion capture work and the dialogue. His voice was lower in post production.

Joe’s Random Movie Trivia: “Deadpool 2” (2018)

Image result for deadpool 2 rednecks

The two rednecks talking to each other when Cable makes his appearance in Present Day, are actually being played by Matt Damon and Alan Tudyk.

Image result for deadpool 2 rednecks

Joe’s Random Movie Review:  5 Things “Justice League” got right.

So far the films released by the DC cinematic universe are either a hit or miss. Fans either love them or they hate them. Probably the most poignant example so far of the series with an outcome like this was the film “Suicide Squad”. In spite of having the lowest box office income of any of the DC film so far, Justice league has a similar result as far as the fans are concerned. Bear in mind that this is still just an introduction story and so not all things the fans would like to see what happen within this film . In spite of how people felt about it, I personally feel that this film get some things right.

WARNING 

!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

1. Character Arcs 

 One thing that Justice league did excellently, were the character arcs presented for the film’s particular storyline. It actually makes enough room in the storytelling for each character to have a short enough development to not make them or the film too dull. From Superman’s resurrection, Batman learning how to work with the team, Wonder Woman make yourself known to the world, Cyborg rediscovering his humanity, the Flash learn to interact with others, and Aquaman becoming less stubborn. Writing like this in the story with multiple heroes is not easy, but this film actually did it pretty well.

2. Further introductions to.the DC Universe.

Justice League, being an introduction story, further expands the DC Universe, bringing more familiar characters. Besides Jeremy Irons’ return as Alfred Pennyworth, and Diane Lane as Martha Kent, another familiar face from the Batman mythology is J.K. Simmons’ first appearance as Commissioner Gordon as well as Joe Manganiello making a cameo appearance as Deathstroke.

3. The film’s length.

At just short of 2 hours long, Justice League is the shortest film in the DC Cinematic Universe so far. This creates a swiftness in plot that allows for both the characters and for the action to be entertaining, without being too overbearing. In short, in keeps the film from being boring.

4. No more Aquaman jokes.

Jason Momoa’s first official appearance as Aquaman has given the comic character a much needed revitalization. For years, Aquaman has been the butt of many comic jokes, but it’s not the case anymore. Great introduction to the character, and a good performance from Momoa. This leading into the Aquaman solo film coming soon.

5. Steppenwolf

 In choosing to have a not so well-known comic book villain as the primary villain for this movie. It actually aids in the further character development of this films multiple protagonists. What are the flaws of superhero films in the past is that if they have a villain who is very popular it can overshadow the hero, or even become more popular to a point . Much like Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in the infamous 2008 film “The Dark Knight.” One of the advantages of Steppenwolf as the main villain, is that we’re not interested in his backstory. We’re not interested in his character development, we’re only interested in his motivations and how he goes about them. This allows for a much easier flow of the storytelling.

Joe’s Random Movie Review: “Wonder Woman” (2017)

At long last the DC Cinematic Universe has given us the origin story we’ve all been waiting for. First came “Man of Steel” then the sequel “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” and then the film “Suicide Squad”. It’s fairly obvious, even to non comic book film fans, the DC cinematic universe was going down dark terrain, especially with the previous film release . But Gal Gadot’s introduction as the infamous Wonder Woman in the film Dawn of Justice, certainly shows that there is a brighter origin story to be shown.

 One thing that really works really good for this movie, is Gadot’s acting. One woman is shown as a character with very obvious character flaws. She’s somebody who trusts her own capabilities a bit too much and even going against her own family to take matters into her own hands. She is somebody who is still in the process of learning about herself, and also coincidently learning about the outside world itself. Which is extremely sympathetic to the audience. It also makes her more believable as a character.

Another thing that works for the film is the setting. The World War I era.
Something most people need to remember is that WW1 was a very different environment than WW2. In many ways it was a more chaotic war. Which parallels, not only Wonder Woman’s mission, but her introduction to the outside world from the comfortable home she once knew.

All in all, Wonder Woman is a terrific movie. A great addition to the DC Movies. Great acting, good story. Definitely one of the best superhero movies they’ve made so far.

Final score: 8.5 out of 10