Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Can you guys believe it? 11 years and 22 movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ultimate culmination is finally here. It’s kind of mindblowing and impressive, regardless of one’s opinion on the movies themselves. So let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Avengers: Endgame”.

After the horrifying events in “Avengers: Infinity War”, the team feels somewhat defeated. But they still rise up to the occasion to find a way to fix what has been caused by Thanos (Josh Brolin). And I was scared going into this. Would they stick the landing? Well, guess what, they fucking did. It’s dramatic, tense, fun, emotional, and a perfect sendoff for this entire cinematic universe. And that is all I’m saying about that. I guess you could nitpick stuff, but I don’t want to. This is great. #DontSpoilTheEndgame

A shitload of characters return. Most of their development came from the other movies, but they did also get a little from this, and it just works really well. These are fully developed characters that I love. And the performances are great. Not gonna say all who are in this because there’s far too many. But holy fucking shit, there is not a weak link in this cast. All the actors do wonder with the great material they’re given.

As with “Infinity War”, the score was composed by Alan Silvestri. And in my review of that movie, I didn’t give the score enough credit. Yes, I had positive comments about it, but on subsequent rewatches of that movie, I’ve grown to love it a lot more. And the man somehow managed to fucking top himself with “Endgame”. The score manages to encapsulate all the epicness, emotion, and energy that the story needed flawlessly. Silvestri, I salute you.

They started with “The Winter Soldier”. They came back for “Civil War”. They took over the main mantle for “Avengers: Infinity War”. And they came to tie the bow on the gift that is “Endgame”. So yeah, their direction was great here too. These dudes know how to do big, epic action in a very human way, and it feels so great that they got the task to wrap this entire shebang up for now. Trent Opaloch’s cinematography is also absolutely amazing. And it goes without saying that the visual effects in this are absolutely spectacular. Hell, let’s give the visual effects crew some extra credit here for giving us some of the most impressive effects in movie history. The package is incredibly well put together.

This movie just came out, but it has already been incredibly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 and is ranked #5 on the “Top 250” list.

Yes I’m keeping it vague and brief here, but that’s what I have to do to not accidentally spoil it. Still, with that said, “Avengers: Endgame” is an absolutely marvelous movie and a perfect way to end the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know it. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and fantastic direction/writing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Avengers: Endgame” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Avengers: Endgame” is now completed.

I’m not saying that I cried, but I cried.

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Movie Review: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

And the 2018 catch-up continues. Admittedly I don’t have a super specific series set up, but catching up on the year’s movies is what one have to do when nearing the end of said year. Enough rambling, let’s shrink.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ant-Man and the Wasp”.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has to once again don the Ant-Man suit, but instead of using it to steal some shit, he has to use his abilities, as well as the assistance of his ally Hope (Evangeline Lilly), to get hold of some tech to try and pull Janet Van Dyne out of the Quantum Realm. But this quest will prove challenging as opposing forces want this technology for their own purposes. So now we have our “Ant-Man” sequel plot. And it’s good, a fun comic book romp. Has a few decent dramatic moments. Not much I can say, it’s just a fun superhero plot. Doesn’t do much, but doesn’t do little either. It’s fast-paced and easy to follow while expanding on a few of the ideas set up in the first movie. It doesn’t do anything special, but it also doesn’t need to. It’s just an easygoing and fun plot.

The characters in this are colorful, interesting, and really entertaining. Paul Rudd of course returns as Scott Lang, the charming ex-con/superhero with a heart of gold. He’s fun, he’s someone I care about, and he is just generally an enjoyable protagonist. And Paul Rudd is great in the role. Next we have Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne/Wasp. She was just sort of a tough sidekick/teacher in the first movie, but here she gets to do a lot more, especially since she now has her own super suit to play with. And she’s quite an enjoyable character to follow. And Lilly is great in the role. Michael Peña returns as Scott’s best friend, Luis, and he’s just as hilarious as he was the first time around. Michael Douglas returns as Dr. Hank Pym, and he’s once again pretty great. Newcomer time! First up, Hannah John-Kamen as “Ghost”, a mysterious new villain with a pretty compelling arc that I won’t say more about here, but I found it to be pretty cool. And John-Kamen is really good in the role. We also get Walton Goggins as some shady black market dealer, and he’s as Goggins-y as ever, and while his character doesn’t have much to actually do, Goggins is really good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, David Dastmalchian, Randall Park, T.I., Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

Like with the first movie, Christophe Beck did the score for this one. And it’s just as fun and enjoyable as the first time around. It’s bouncy, irreverent, and just overall fits the lighthearted tone that the movie generally goes for. The added use of synth and (for lack of a better word) bouncy percussion really helps keep the pace up. It’s just fun. And there are a few licensed tracks used throughout that work well enough in their respective scenes.

As with the first movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp” was directed by Peyton Reed and I think he did a good job with it. His directing is fun, fast-paced, and just generally has a certain energy that makes it all quite enjoyable to watch. The action scenes too are quite solid, giving us some good close quarters combat, as well as the shrink/grow superhero stuff we came to see. There’s of course also a lot of comedy throughout this movie, and I found most of it to be quite funny. A few jokes weren’t the best, but none of them made me want to tear my brain out. Some mild nose-wrinkling, some chuckles, a few out loud laughs… yeah, it’s funny.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” is a fun movie… not one of the best of the year, but an enjoyable romp nonetheless. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing, and funny comedy. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is an 8,76/10. So while not perfect, it’s still definitely worth buying.

My review of “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is now completed.

Baba Yaga…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

10 years. That is how long the Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed. Starting with 2008’s “Iron Man”, it has gone to become one of the biggest franchises in cinema. Say what you want about the movies themselves, but you can’t deny the impact this franchise has had on modern cinema. And now it’s time to talk about it’s latest outing. And it’s a big one.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Avengers: Infinity War”.

A powerful alien named Thanos (Josh Brolin) in on a quest to find all of the infinity stones so he can carry out a devastating plan. So the heroes of the Marvel universe have to team up to try and stop him. And that’s about as in-depth as I will go with the plot details in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen it yet (but want to). But what I can say is that there’s a lot of stuff going on throughout this plot, with several threads in various locations. I don’t envy any filmmaker who has to try and balance this many plot threads. But they really nailed it with this one. It’s a big, epic comic book plot that is surprisingly dark and emotionally charged while still giving us the fun superhero romp that we expect from these Marvel movies. It even made me tear up. Yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters in this are plentiful, and while I would’ve liked a bit more out of some of them, I understand why some were a little more sidelined, especially since the filmmakers had to get so many in there in general. Not gonna go through all that get development, but I will say that they’re handled very well. And those that doesn’t get as much here, they’re still cool and entertaining and well set up through the other movies. But let’s talk about Josh Brolin as Thanos. Holy shit, he is an awesome villain. Not only is he a big and intimidating new foe, but they actually give him layers and make him a compelling antagonist. You understand his motivation, even if you don’t necessarily agree with him. And that’s how some of the best villains work. And Brolin delivers a great performance. Sure, Thanos is a big CGI beast, but Brolin did the motion capture for it, and every little aspect of his performance shines through here. Now to just list a fuckload of actors here because they need to be mentioned, but I can’t go through ’em in detail (too many for that). Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Anthony Mackie, Letitia Wright, Tim Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Wong, Danai Gurira, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Dinklage, William Hurt, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Michael James Shaw, Carrie Coon, Stan Lee, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Kerry Condon, and so many more (some I don’t wanna spoil). Fuck, that’s a lot of actors. All doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri, and it is stunning. A lot of big brass, some smaller and more emotional string pieces, and a few other things. It’s a score that perfectly complements the movie and fits each scene perfectly. It’s one of those scores that really added to the movie.

This movie was directed by Joe & Anthony Russo. And I have to say, well done, you two. Their directing here is big and sweeping (makes sense for a flick of this size), yet also tight and intimate, bringing good insight into the turmoil of the characters. And compared to the action scenes of their previous MCU outings, there’s not a lot of “Bourne” inspired shaky-cam here. It’s more locked down, giving us a better look at all the crazy shit that’s going on. Yes, there are a few shaky shots, but those make a bit of sense for their respective bits. But the action in general is shot relatively smoothly and it’s all quite badass. Heroes and villains tossing each other around and punching each other and shooting each other, and it’s all so much fun. It’s also surprisingly heavy-hitting, with every attack/hit feeling like there’s a lot of actual impact behind it. And at this point I don’t think I need to talk about the visual effects, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be extraordinary in these movies. And they are so here too. And Trent Opaloch’s cinematography is fantastic too, there are some truly breathtaking shots in this.

This movie just came out, but it has already been really well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 and is ranked #9 on the “Top 250” list.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is pretty much everything you could want from this type of movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is a 9,73/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is now completed.

I honestly have no idea where they’ll go from here…

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

“Avengers: Infinity War” is almost here, and I am incredibly excited. So let’s talk about one of the latest entries into the MCU.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thor: Ragnarok”.

After he gets banished to the planet of Sakaar, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has to find a way to return to Asgard to stop the evil Hela (Cate Blanchett) and the doomsday event known as Ragnarok. So now we have our Marvel space adventure. And I really liked it. The plot here is fun and keeps a fast pace that keeps it from dragging. In a lot of ways I prefer it to the other “Thor” plots, because it aims for a fun comic book adventure rather than trying to be convoluted (a la “The Dark World) or Shakespearean (a la the first one). But as much as I enjoy the plot here, I do have a problem with it. My problem is that it feels a little disjointed at times, since it tries to both do “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Planet Hulk” in it’s entire thing. Yes, I enjoyed it all, but those bits almost feel a bit disconnected, which makes me have to knock it down a little bit. But with that said, it’s still a really fun plot with a decent emotional core to it.

The characters in this are all entertaining and interesting in some way. First up we have Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as the titular god of thunder. Here we see a somewhat different side of Thor, a changed Thor, a Thor that has learned to lighten up a bit. And while he is generally a more lighthearted person compared to previous movies, he still feels like the same character as before, only having gone through some evolution. And he’s a really enjoyable character. And Hemsworth is great in the role. Next up we once again have Tom Hiddleston as Loki, god of mischief and adoptive brother of Thor. He’s still a sneaky fucker, but you can still tell that he does kind of care about his brother. He’s still such an enjoyable presence. and Hiddleston is great in the role. Next up we have Cate Blanchett as Hela, the villain of the story. She is the goddess of death who has come to claim Asgard for herself. She’s a suitably intimidating villain with an interesting connection to the characters. While not the strongest Marvel villain, she works quite well for the story here. And Blanchett is really good in the role. Then we have Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, a badass lady that Thor runs into on Sakaar. Not gonna say too much as her story is unveiled in the movie, and it’s pretty cool. But like I said, she’s a total badass. And Thompson is great in the role. Then we have Mark Ruffalo returning as Bruce Banner/Hulk. He’s been on Sakaar for quite a while, and they play around with that in a few interesting ways in the movie. And Ruffalo is really good in the role. Then throughout the movie we get supporting work from people like Karl Urban, Anthony Hopkins, Jeff Goldblum, Taika Waititi, Idris Elba, Clancy Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel House, and many more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and I really liked it. Part of it is of course the big, dramatic, and emotional orchestral tunes that one would expect from a big comic book action movie like this. But then there are tracks here that take inspiration from 80s synth soundtracks, which makes this score stand out a bit, and just adds to the overall fun factor. And there’s a licensed song used in this movie, and if you don’t know what it is, I will not ruin it. But let’s just say that when they use it, I got chills. A great song that was used amazingly. Yeah, this movie has some great music.

This movie was directed by Taika Waititi, and I think he did a really good job with it. His directing here is fast and filled with tons of energy, making the movie feel really fun and breezy. The action scenes too are a lot of fun, with a lot of Taika’s energy being brought into them. The visual effects too are great. Yes, there’s like a moment or two of less than stellar green screen, but those moments are brief, and not too bad, so I’ll let it slide. This movie also features some of the most beautiful shots I’ve seen in a Marvel movie. This movie also has a lot of comedy in it, so much that this movie is even classified as a comedy. And is it funny? Yeah, I laughed. From chuckles to belly laughs. It’s an insanely funny movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Thor: Ragnarok” is a really fun space adventure, and by far the best “Thor” movie. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, really good music, really good directing/visual effects, and hilarious comedy. As previously mentioned, my one flaw with the movie is that it can feel a bit disjointed when going between certain plot points, but it doesn’t ruin it for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Thor: Ragnarok” is a 9,20/10. So I’d say that it’s definitely worth buying.

My review of “Thor: Ragnarok” is now completed.

“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!”. 

Movie Review: Iron Man (2008)

With the impending release of “Avengers: Infinity War” (Sidenote: I am insanely excited for it), I thought it was time to have a look at the one that started it all. The spark that ignited the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Iron Man”.

After getting captured by a group of terrorists, billionaire genius Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) builds a suit of armor to escape from the cave that he’s stuck in. After he reenters society, he decides to use this technology to fight dangerous criminals. So now we have our superhero origin story, and it’s the one that set the template for this huge franchise. And while we’ve seen this type of origin several times since, the way it’s handled here still stands out. The story has a sense of realism and weight to it that helps make it feel a bit more memorable and interesting than other origin stories out there. It has the fun superhero story, but it also has a good amount of drama that makes it one of the better origin stories out there.

The characters in this range from really interesting to just being entertaining cogs of the machine. Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark, an arrogant yet brilliant engineer/billionaire (#GBPP) who gets to learn a bit of a life lesson after getting captured by terrorists.The arc we see Tony go through is one we’ve seen since this first movie, but it still feels fresh and interesting so many years later due to the brilliant little details in his characterization. And Downey Jr. (who was washed up before this movie) is fantastic in the role. Gwyneth Paltrow plays Pepper Potts, Tony’s assistant/friend who helps with him with various things throughout the movie. And you of course see signs of the whole love interest thing throughout the movie, but they never go all out on it, which makes their relationship feel a little bit more real here. And Paltrow is really good in the role. Then we have Terence Howard (who was replaced by Don Cheadle in the sequel) as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, one of Tony’s oldest friends and a military man. He works as a nice foil to the more arrogant Tony since he helps ground the eccentric engineer a bit. And Howard is really good in the role. Then we have Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane (great name), Tony’s mentor and company partner. And yes, it’s kind of obvious where his character will go throughout the movie, but they still make it work thanks to him having an overall pleasant personality, but with some shadier undertones. And Bridges is of course great in the role. Then in the supporting cat you have people like Clark Gregg, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Paul Bettany, and Jon Favreau, all doing very well in their respective roles. It is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Ramin Djawadi and it was epic. Sure, some tracks are hidden in the background as basic background noise (which is a common problem in a lot of modern film scores), but other tracks are really badass, implementing a really cool mix of orchestral instruments with an electric guitar to create this really cool sound that I think works really well for the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man.

The movie was directed by Jon Favreau (and written by a whole bunch of people), and what he did with this movie is amazing. He took this larger than life character/idea and he made it feel grounded in it’s style. He also made everything feel surprisingly gritty, making every action feel like there’s actual impact behind it. Both in quiet moments and during the action scenes, Favreau brings his A-game. And the visual effects are also quite spectacular, especially for 2008. When the movie wants you to fly with the Iron Man suit, it doesn’t half-ass everything, it really feels/looks like there’s an Iron Man suit flying through the skies.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best sound editing and Best visual effects.

“Iron Man” stills holds up magnificently ten years after it’s release. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, really good music, and great directing/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Iron Man” is a 9,83/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Iron Man” is now completed.

The MCU. The house that Tony built.

Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

This is a very special review. Some of you might think my reasoning for it is because both “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” are coming out soon, and that could be a valid argument for it, but that is wrong in this case. I am reviewing this movie in honor of a friend who passed away recently. He was a big fan of the Captain, and I thought that this was the best way I could honor him on here. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a young man who just wants to serve his country, but isn’t allowed due to his scrawny build. But one day he takes part in a secret government experiment that turns him into a super soldier. And shortly after this he finds himself on the path to taking down Hydra, an evil nazi death cult led by the evil Johann “Red Skull” Schmidt (Hugo Weaving). So now we have our origin story. And I have to say, I found myself more invested in the plot here than I did the first time I watched it. Sure, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend like this is the most original or even most well written plot ever, but it’s far from bad… in fact, it’s quite good. On one hand you get a fun WW2 adventure with a sci-fi twist, and on the other you get an inspiring tale of overcoming great adversity despite your limitations. The plot isn’t too deep and complicated, but it makes up for that in how inspiring and entertaining it is.

The characters here are unique, interesting, and entertaining. Chris Evans plays Steve Rogers/Captain America, a young man who’s been picked on most of his life. But despite this he has always stood up to bullies and bad people, always willing to give his life for what he cares about. He’s a truly inspiring character if I’ve ever seen one. And Evans is great in the role. Hayley Atwell plays Peggy Carter, a special agent that Steve works with throughout the movie. She’s tough but she does also have a more vulnerable side, making her feel a bit more layered than some characters with similar setups. And Atwell is great in the role. Then we have Tommy Lee Jones as colonel Chester Phillips, Steve’s superior and a tough but fair military man. And Tommy Lee Jones is very Tommy Lee Jones in the role… AKA really good. Then we have Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt, AKA Red Skull, AKA evil nazi death cult leader, AKA villain. And he’s suitably intimidating in the role, making the character a bit more interesting in the process. The character in itself isn’t very deep, but Weaving’s performance is what makes him so interesting and memorable. So yeah, Weaving is really good. Then we have Sebastian Stan as James “Bucky” Barnes, Steve’s best friend. You do get a good feel of their friendship and the character is decently interesting. And Stan is really good in the role. And throughout the movie you get some really solid supporting performances from people like Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough, Kenneth Choi, Richard Armitage, Derek Luke, JJ Feild, and many more. It’s a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri and I thought it was pretty great. What I like about it is that it aims to capture the feel of inspiration and wonder that comes with Steve’s journey from Brooklyn boy to Captain America. And it does help build some decent tension at times. And in general the score really inspires me to want to go out and do some good. So yeah, the music is great.

The movie was directed by Joe Johnston and I think he did a really good job here. What I like about his direction is that he gives the movie a very retro vibe, often emulating action-adventures of the past. And I think that style really works well for the story and setting. It even bleeds through into the action scenes which are intense, badass, and just a ton of fun.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,9/10.

While it isn’t necessarily the best MCU film, “Captain America: The First Avenger” is an inspiring and highly entertaining action movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and really good directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Captain America: The First Avenger” is a 9,60/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Captain America: The First Avenger” is now completed.

Here’s to you, Eric… you are sorely missed. Rest in peace, my friend.

My Most Anticipated Movies 2018

Hello there, my friends! It is that time of the year again where I talk about my most anticipated movies of 2018. And I am aware that we’re already a week into 2018, but the movie year hasn’t really begun for me. So I am still safe in making this list. So here we go.

Just a couple of rules first.

Rule #1: My list. These are my most anticipated movies of the year. If you’re not excited for any of these or I didn’t include any that you’re excited about, then make your own list. These are MY most anticipated movies of the year. Not necessarily the ones I think will be the best, just the ones I am interested in seeing. In no particular order.

Rule #2: I will not include any late releases here. You know, those that have a limited release in like December and then come to other countries in the first quarter of the next year. So stuff like “Wind River”, “Three Billboards”, and “Shape of Water” are not included on this list (though I am excited for those too).

That’s it for rules this time. Here are my most anticipated movies of 2018.

Number 1: The Commuter.

First up we have “The Commuter”, the latest collaboration between Liam Neeson and director Jaume Collet-Serra. I’ve enjoyed all of their previous collaboration, I find them to be enjoyable little thrillers. None of them are genuinely great movies, but I find them to be entertaining, good ways to kill two hours. And this looks to be another entertaining one form the duo. And with people like Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in the cast it’s sure to get some great acting in it.

Number 2: Deadpool 2.

I love “Deadpool”. It’s one of those movies that I was worried about, since FOX haven’t always been the kindest to the X-Movies. But I saw it and I had a blast. And “Deadpool 2” seems to be continuing what the first movie started. It looks like it will be as (if not more) insane as the first movie, while also introducing classic Deadpool allies Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz). But yeah, I’m excited.

Number 3: Black Panther.

After his awesome debut in “Captain America: Civil War”, I was excited to see Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) getting his own solo movie. Then the trailer came out, and I got even more excited because it looked badass. and with it coming out now in February, the hype is growing more and more. And even if it doesn’t turn out to be some fantastic movie, I am more than certain that it will be another cool and fun entry in the Marvel Cinematic universe.

Number 4: Avengers: Infinity War.

Yeah, I decided to go straight for the throat on this entry. The culmination of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The big war featuring most if not all the heroes against the mighty Thanos (Josh Brolin). This looks like it will be a big and awesome action movie, but I also feel like there will be some great character moments in it, based on what came before and what this is. The hype is real.

Number 5: Ready Player One.

Here we have an interesting entry. Based on a book by Ernest Cline, “Ready Player One” tells the story of Wade (Tye Sheridan), a young man using a virtual reality world to try to win a competition that would grant him a lot of money. I love the book, and was scared when I heard that they were adapting it. But Spielberg has proven himself before, so I will try to be optimistic. It looks interesting, and features tons of fun easter eggs in it. So yeah, player one is ready.

Number 6: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

While “Jurassic World” wasn’t anywhere near as great as “Jurassic Park” (contrary to what my original review more or less said), it was still a fun action-adventure featuring dinosaurs. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” looks to be that, but bigger, more explosive, and not as good. Not saying it will be bad (it’s on this list for a reason), but it has revealed a lot in the trailer… and a lot of it looks just… fine. Will I go see it opening week? You bet your ass, I am. But I will go in with restrained expectations.

Number 7: The Incredibles 2.

“The Incredibles” is a great movie, one of my favorites from Pixar. And Brad Bird is a good director. So I have a lot of faith that this will be good. By the way, why in the flying fuck did we get TWO “Cars” sequels before we even got ONE “Incredibles” sequel? Makes no god damn sense. But yeah, “Incredibles” is one I’m quite excited for.

Number 8: Annihilation.

Alex Garland has written some great movies. He also wrote and directed the excellent “Ex Machina”. And now we’re getting another movie that was written and directed by him. It stars Natalie Portman and is about some scientists going into some strange zone. And it looks good. I like me a solid sci-fi-thriller, and this looks like it could be such a thing.

Number 8: Pacific Rim: Uprising.

I really like “Pacific Rim”. I wouldn’t exactly call it Guillermo Del Toro’s greatest movie, but it has some interesting concepts and some damn entertaining action scenes. And while this doesn’t look like it will be as good as the first, it still looks like it could be a dumb and fun popcorn movie. And instead of Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi we seem to get John Boyega (Woo!) and Scott Eastwood (okay?). *gulp*. Please be good.

Number 9: X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

No trailer. Unproven director. Sequel to generally disliked movie. So how could I be excited for this? Honestly, I love “X-Men”. I love this franchise and I’m always excited to see new movies for this series. The X-Movies have given me hours upon hours of entertainment and I am always happy to get more.

Number 10: The New Mutants.

A horror movie set in the “X-Men” universe? Sure, why the fuck not. Could be fun. Looks like fun. Has a good cast. Yeah, I’m on board. Still confused about why horror with these mutants, and why there’s Pink Floyd in the trailer. Oh well, I’m intrigued.

Number 11: Soldado.

“Sicario” is one of my favorite movies of the last few years, so when they announced a sequel I got worried. Would they butcher it? How could they continue such a tight story? Sure, Brolin and Benicio are back, and so is the original writer… but Denis Villeneuve and Roger Deakins aren’t, so that had me worried. Then the trailer came out and I thought it looked okay. After some thinking, I am now even more excited about it. Do I think it’ll be better than the first? Hell no. But I think it could be a good movie.

Number 12: The Predator.

A sequel to “Predator”, written and directed by Shane Black? Hell yeah. Not only is Shane Black a damn fine writer/director, but his involvement with the original movie (he played the character Hawkins) gives him a bit more insight into this shit. And I’m just excited to see a new movie from Shane Black. He’s great.

Number 13: Ant-Man and The Wasp.

I like “Ant-Man”, it’s a really fun movie. I’m excited for the sequel. Has a good director, great cast, it’s part of the MCU… yeah, I’m excited. Moving on.

Number 14: Aquaman.

The DCEU has been… problematic to say the least. But “Wonder Woman” has proven that there can be good movies in it. And with an awesome cast and a solid director I am pretty excited for this movie. I feel like it could be fun. Did I say fun? Oh no, the DC fanboys will come after me now.

Number 15: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony. Sony, Sony, Sony, you unreliable idiots. Needing help from Marvel to make a good “Spider-Man” movies. What’s this? An animated “Spider-Verse” movie? Okay, I’m intrigued. It has a cool style to it (though body/facial animation looks a bit jittery). I am intrigued to see them make this. I love me a bit of superhero animation.

And that’s it for my list. There will be interesting movies that I will find out about later this year, but these are some of the ones I’m a bit more interested in right now… a lot of superhero and sci-fi stuff. I am one predictable person. But I want to hear from you, what are some of your most anticipated titles this year? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

“Avengers: Infinity War” trailer!!!

Oh boy, this is a big one. A big trailer. Big fucking trailer. Huge tra- you get the point. Let’s get into it.

So here it is, the trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War”, the big epic climax of the MCU. Of course, the MCU will continue after it, but this is pretty much like a big finale for it all. Regardless of your opinion of the MCU, you can’t deny that they’ve created something huge with it. A giant web of interconnected stories that has become a cultural phenomenon. Alright, enough of that. What’s the story then? Well, Thanos (Josh Brolin) comes to earth to steal the Infinity Stones and fuck shit up. And the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a whole bunch of other heroes have to stop him and his army. And I’m not gonna dawdle, holy fuck this looks epic! Big battles, people and creatures punching each other, Josh Brolin as Grimace’s evil cousin, the Guardians of the frickin’ Galaxy interacting with non-Guardians, and so much more! Holy fucking shit, there’s a lot of things going on in this trailer… and I am so god damn excited for this movie!!! “Avengers: Infinity War” is set to be released in late April/early May of 2018, the tenth anniversary of the MCU.

So what are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Infinity War”? And what’s your favorite MCU movie so far? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!!!

Series Review: The Punisher – Season 1 (2017)

I don’t really think I need to make an introduction for this. I’ve talked about this show several times on this blog before, every time reminding you of my excitement for the show. So let’s just get into the review and see if this show is any good.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is season 1 of… “The Punisher”!

After he has seemingly killed the people responsible for the death of his family, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) soon uncovers a deep and complex conspiracy that somehow relates back to his past as a soldier. So now Frank has to find out what the hell is going on while a Homeland Security agent (Amber Rose Revah) gets a whiff of him being back in town. So now we have our comic book thriller. And is this plot any good? Yeah, it is. It’s not a fast-paced action/revenge plot, but it’s a slightly slower conspiracy thriller that features Punisher, and I think the plot here is very intriguing. My only gripe with it is in one of the early episodes. It’s not bad, but the pacing at one point dragged a little bit. But overall here we have a surprisingly deep plot that isn’t afraid to tackle dark and socially relevant themes regarding guns, violence, vigilantism, PTSD, black ops, family, and it is all incredibly engaging and intriguing. ’tis a great plot.

The characters here are flawed, damaged, layered, and just really interesting. Jon Bernthal (like in season 2 of “Daredevil”) plays Frank Castle/The Punisher, former soldier turned violent vigilante. Already in “Daredevil” he got a fair amount of development as a character, and they somehow managed to cram in a bit more here. As we follow him through the season we see how the war, death of his family, and the vigilantism has taken a toll on him and how it messes with his mind a bit. And it is all incredibly engaging. He’s of course also a motherfucking badass, but that didn’t need to be mentioned. And Bernthal is once again fantastic in the role. Amber Rose Revah plays Dinah Madani, the Homeland Security agent on Frank’s trail. She’s a tough and determined woman who wants to find Frank and possibly get justice. But she’s not just some brash and unstoppable idiot, as she at times is shown as vulnerable, but in a good way. And Revah is great in the role. Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays David Lieberman (AKA Micro), a skilled hacker and whistleblower that Frank teams up with to try to solve this conspiracy. And he brings a much needed levity to the dark and grim tale of “The Punisher” without coming off as forced or out of place. He is funny, but he is also a serious character with a good dramatic arc. And Moss-Bachrach is great in the role. Then we have Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Frank old best friend that I will not talk too much about since it’s too easy to get a bit spoiler-y with him. But he has somewhat of an arc and Barnes is great in the role. And then (to not ramble or give too many character details here) in various supporting performances we have people like Jamie Ray Newman, Kobi Frumer, Deborah Ann Woll, Paul Schulze, Michael Nathanson, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jason R. Moore, Daniel Webber, Kelli Barrett, C. Thomas Howell, and they all are great in this. Really, it’s a great cast.

The score for the show was composed by Tyler Bates, and it was great. What we have here is a tense, exciting, dramatic, emotional, badass, and just overall interesting score that takes heavy influence from rock and blues to create a fairly unique sound for a show like this. It’s not straight-up rock or blues, but there are traces of it in the score and I like that, makes it sound almost a bit western-y at times. And it all works very well for the show. There are also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout and they all work well in their respective scenes.

The show was created by Steve Lightfoot and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (with Lightfoot having written a couple of episodes). And I think they did a good job here. While it’s not as action-packed as the trailer made it out to be, there is still action here. And when action happens it is exciting, badass, and brutal. Not just brutal as in a lot of blood being spilled, but brutal as in the violence having a real impact here. And it’s not just gunshots penetrating bodies, there’s also close quarters fighting, and knives, and various other things used throughout to create the memorable and brutal as fuck violence. And the directing and such in the less action-based scenes is good too… got a little sidetracked there, I usually save action for after overall directing… oh well, c’est la vie.

This show just came out, but it has already gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 67% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 54/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,6/10 (though this is very likely to change).

Season 1 of “The Punisher” is pretty damn great. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/action. My only flaw was the slight pacing problem in one episode, but it doesn’t really bring it down too much for me. Time for my final score. *One batch, two batch, penny and dime*. My final score for “The Punisher” season 1 is a 9,52/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Punisher” season 1 is now completed.

I really want to get into the comics.

Series Review: The Defenders – Season 1 (2017)

At long last, it is here. The culmination of all the Marvel/Netflix shows. It’s a really exciting time to be alive. Four characters from four different shows (three great, one meh), coming together for one big event. Let’s get into it.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Defenders” season 1!

When something threatens to destroy New York City, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) have to team up to try to stop this great threat. And from that we get a superhero plot filled with twists, turns, and drama. And I’d say that it’s quite the enjoyable plot. Sure, at times in certain episodes the pacing can drag a little bit, but for the most part it moves at a good pace and it’s just a fun plot to follow. Seeing these heroes we’ve come to know and (mostly) love band together to fight a common threat is just really exciting. And overall it is a solid plot, with a couple of (minor) pacing issues.

The characters here are fun, cool, interesting, and quite entertaining. And most of the characters get some really solid development throughout. Charlie Cox once again plays Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and once again he’s great in the role, giving us the blind(ish) catholic badass that we’ve gotten to know. Krysten Ritter once again plays Jessica Jones, the drunken, cynical bitch who has a heart hidden somewhere behind all the whiskey and trauma. And once again she’s great in the role. Mike Colter once again plays Luke Cage, the bulletproof badass with a heart of gold. He’s charming, he’s likable, and Colter is once again great in the role. Finn Jones once again plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of him in his solo show. As a matter of fact, he kind of annoyed me. But here something happened… he’s fun, he’s interesting, and he’s not the worst thing ever. Sure, at times he has some of those whiny moments that can get on one’s nerves, but he’s much more likable/tolerable here than in his own show. And Jones is good in the role. Rosario Dawson once again plays Claire Temple, the Nick Fury of the Netflix shows. And once again she’s fun and cool. And Dawson is great in the role… she’s Rosario Awesome. Jessica Henwick from “Iron Fist” reprises her role as Colleen Wing in this, the interesting and badass love interest of Danny Rand. And once again she’s really good in the role. Elden Henson and Deborah Ann Woll reprises their roles as Foggy Nelson and Karen Page from “Daredevil” here, and while they don’t have the biggest roles in the show, they’re present, and they’re good in their roles. Simone Missick once again plays Misty Knight, her tough cop character from “Luke Cage”, and once again she’s really good in the role. Rachael Taylor once again plays Trish, Jessica’s best friend, and once again she’s great in the role. Wai Ching Ho once again plays Madame Gao, the mysterious lady from “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist”, and once again she’s great. Also, spoiler for “Daredevil” season 2 coming up here, but this is a character important to this show, so I have to mention her… sorry. Elodie Yung plays Elektra, the dead ex-girlfriend of Matt Murdock. But she’s back here, and she’s tough and interesting (more so than in “Daredevil”) and Yung is great in the role. Now, for the newcomer. We get Sigourney Weaver (oh hell yes!) here as Alexandra, the primary antagonist of this show. She’s interesting and I found myself caring about her. And as expected, Weaver is great in the role. Then we get plenty of supporting characters/performances throughout, and they all range from good to great.

The score for the show was composed by John Paesano, the man who handled the music for “Daredevil”. And once again he has succeeded in a score that works very well for the show. It’s big, epic, cool, dramatic, and even at times beautiful. It’s just overall great. There were also a couple of licensed tracks throughout and they were used well. This show has good music.

The show was created by Douglas Petrie & Marco Ramirez, and written/directed by a whole bunch of different people (and don’t get me started on all the producers). And overall this show is quite well crafted in terms of directing and such. The show looks good and feels tight in it’s directing. The action scenes too are quite fun. They’re well choreographed, and you get a clear sense of what is going on in each action scene. It’s just fun seeing all of these guys kick some ass… even Iron Fist. One little detail that I too liked that was noticeable in transitions and the opening credits is that each character gets a specific color to represent them in those situations. I won’t go through each of them as you’ll quickly pick up on them yourself. Just thought I’d quickly mention it.

This show just came out but has so far been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,0/10. (Keep in mind, these scores can and will change over time, but I will not edit this damn post for that, all these scores are at the time of writing).

Season 1 of “The Defenders” is one hell of an entertaining show. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. The only flaw I have with it is that in a couple moments throughout the pacing drags a little, but it’s not too deal-breaking for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Defenders” season 1 is a 9,32/10. While mildly flawed, you should definitely watch it!

My review of “The Defenders” season 1 is now completed.

It looks unclear right now, but let’s face it… there will be a season 2 at some point.