Director : Destin Daniel Cretton – Cast Includes : Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings : Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization… I’m not gona start prattling on about Scorsese or Villeneuve, I just LOVE MOVIES and variety is the spice of life… so what did I think of Marvel’s latest cinematic outing? well firstly it’s directed by Destin Daniel Cretton known for his work with Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) on the likes of Short Term 12, Just Mercy and The Glass Castle all of which are good movies but nothing like the sheer size of Shang-Chi so I can’t deny I was surprised by Marvel’s choice in giving the reigns to a director with not much experience in this arena… but Destin’s involvement was not just the chair, he also co-wrote the picture as he did with his other three movies and after recently watching the film in my local cinema his choice was the right one so what do I know eh!… Shang-Chi is the REAL DEAL it’s an explosive, kung fu opera that dazzles with it’s entertaining style, it’s incredible stunts and choreography and sumptuous backdrops : I loved the energy from Simu Liu, from those riotous fight scenes including the Chan inspired bus fight to the chemistry he shares with Katy played by the delightfully funny Awkwafina, Liu has stamped his mark on the MCU and in Shang-Chi he makes the film experience a much more enjoyable one… I loved the mythical beasts of Ta Lo, some cute and cuddly and others looked ready to rip your head clean off, the sets are costumes are sublime, Ben Kingsley gives a gentle reminder of his comic genius and if the casting of Michelle Yeoh who plays the aunt to Shang-Chi was inspired then what would you call Meng’er Zhang’s introduction to film? AMAZING is just one word I’d use, Zhang plays Shang-Chi’s mysterious, confident if not slightly damaged sister Xialing and what a debut, the scenes Xialing shares with Katy and Shang-Chi are electrifying… so as you can see from my movie thoughts Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a cinematic joy to behold, it’s top tier Marvel and one that balances action and humor with the seriousness of it’s world perfectly ★★★★
It’s been 4 long years since Alan Taylor’sThor: The Dark World graced our screen’s so boy it’s great to see him back – yes I know our favourite Norse God has appeared in the Avengers: Age of Ultron and had a small cameo in Doctor Strange but for me personally there’s nothing quite like seeing your comicbook superhero’s in their own picture, on the big screen with an audience full of exciting anticipation
“Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.”
So down to the movie, firstly it’s the third film in the Thor franchise and it’s directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi – who the hell’s he I can hear you say? well he’s the guy responsible for that delightful, gorgeous little movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople one of my favourite movies of last year and if you’ve not seen it then please do so – whether it was Taika Waititi’s māori sense of humor or the writers fresh approach the whole movie gave off a rather unique vibe, it almost felt entirely a comedy and certainly the most humor I’ve seen in a Marvel picture for me personally this was a bonus – Thor: Ragnarok is full of the most ridiculous, colourful characters – Jeff Goldblum’sGrandmaster is no doubt the pick of the bunch, his big eye’s tinged with blue eye liner, dressed in a gold, blue & red gown lent marvellously to this wacky Willy Wonka appearance, Goldblum really looked in his elements – we also get to meet some other comicbook favourite’s such as Kork a huge creature made of crumbling rock & Surtur a firey demon voiced by none other than Clancy Brown – the scenes between The Hulk and Thor are witty and at times downright hilarious and their battle in the arena is a riot – Cate Blanchett breathes life into Hela with an elegant menace, her voice and costume is devoured by the actress who is simply perfect as the movies villain – Westworld’s Tessa Thompson who plays the warrior Valkyrie is sublime, so bewitching, totally badass with that confident swagger and cocky attitude but as Loki found out to his cost Valkyrie can also fight with the best of them
Overall: Thor: Ragnarok is the easily best Thor movie to date, it entertains with it’s sharp witted narrative, allowing it’s cast to have fun, it’s almost as if the cast ripped up the script and improvised their way through proceedings – this movie will undoubtedly divide opinion with some diehard MCU fans not liking this all comedy approach, but remember those with short memories Iron Man 3 was exactly the same, full of humor except it was poorly written or handled abysmally by Downey Jr – this can’t be said for Thor: Ragnarok a modern blockbuster that has a refreshing feel to it, sending me into joyous rapture for it’s 2hr plus runtime and like the majority of the packed cinema I laughed, smiled and clapped my way through it all – oh yeah and don’t forget it’s rocking soundtrack, another fun Stan Lee cameo and 2 small but intriguing after credit scenes ★★★★
Whether it be DC or the Marvel Comics Universe the excitement of a new movie landing on the big screen is an event, it’s something as a film fan I can honestly say I look forward to – yes I won’t deny my favorite genre of film is Horror and the Western but I grew up watching the likes of Christopher Reeve as Superman, Michael Keaton as Batman and Tobey Maguire as Spider-man so my love for this superhero craze is pretty extreme, I feed of it’s excitement and thankfully in recent years we as comic book fans have been spoilt rotten by the countless comic book movie adaptations that have consumed our screens the majority of which have been wonderful to watch….
First things first you must watch this movie in 3D and on the big screen, a big chunk of what gives Doctor Strange it’s uniqueness, it’s originality is it’s trippy Inception style visuals, for me the magic & sorcery of the film’s narrative comes alive during these colorful eye catching moments and praise must go to Sinister director Scott Derrickson and his team for having the bottle to go against the grain and deliver something bravely unique to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – as far as the casting goes Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch handles Doctor Strange with style – the wit, arrogance and complex nature of Strange is brought alive before your eye’s, Cumberbatch looking every bit the Sorcerer Supreme he will undoubtedly become – TheAncient One who is an old wise man in the comics is portrayed by actress Tilda Swinton – her presence and looks remind me of Tripitaka the ancient bald monk from the Japanese show Monkey, she truly is a delight and owns her character bringing a level of mysterious mysticism to Doctor Strange – my own slight negative in the movie is Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous turn as Kaecilius, as a villain this character is nowhere near as evil or dark as I would have written or imagined him to be and having someone like Mads a great actor coming off possibly his darkest role Hannibal Lector it’s seems a slight waste not to have him be insanely bad BUT that being said it does not deter one jot from the pictures overall enjoyment – Derrickson‘s Doctor Strange is not only a totally bonkers, weird at times experience it’s also a film with intelligence and one that’s magically entertaining throughout – the film thou is not a one trick pony, don’t get too bamboozled by it’s effects and stop thinking about it’s story, that first quarter of the movie showing Strange as the gifted neurosurgeon he once was, his relationship with Miss Palmer played by Rachel McAdams are of great importance as the movie moves forward – oh yeah and before I forget hang around for them customary extras after the credits rise, they’re lots of fun and lay the foundations of what’s to follow….
“Set in the future, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation lead by Nathaniel Essex is destroying the world leaving it to destruction, with Logan’s healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier’s Alzheimer’s forcing him to forget. Logan must defeat Nathaniel Essex with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine”
Here’s the first teaser trailer for LOGAN the third and Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the Wolverine – reuniting with James Mangold who directed the impressive The Wolverine back in 2013 this promises to be epic, western in style with a hint of Mad Max and a darkness that looms across it’s narrative – I’m so looking forward to seeing Boyd Holbrook thrown into the mix maybe playing mutant hater Donald Pierce now that would fun to see and what about the mysterious young girl is she really X-23 the clone daughter of Wolverine? – could Logan really spell the end for the Wolverine as we know him or will the claws be resharpened and a younger incarnation surface for future movies? Enjoy this trailer and it’s superb Johnny Cash cover of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails overlaying proceedings….
Without getting bogged down with the movie vs comic aspect of Civil War & trying to avoid any early reviews or spoilers I decided to visit my local IMAX and see if the Russo Brothers have delivered another entertaining slice of cinema – It took less than 10 minutes before I had my answer, finding myself totally immersed in this world of villains, superhero’s & the carnage that goes with it, I was like a kid in a candy store, the 2hr 30mins runtime flew by and I enjoyed every fun minute of it – there are many reasons why I really enjoyed Captain America: Civil War for a start it’s easily Robert Downey Jr’s best outing as Tony Stark aka: Iron Man, there’s much less comedy from his character and a lot more emotion, he’s hurting and Downey Jr does hurting well, even the die hard fans who dislike Stark will feel for him towards the movie’s finale – Don’t get me started on the movies fight & chase scenes or I could be here drooling all night, let’s just say they’re relentless in pace, high on scale & brimming with destruction simply put the effects are bloody incredible, the battle with Crossbones played by Frank Grillo at the start of the movie whet’s the appetite for what’s to come and boy you won’t be disappointed – The Russo Brothers continuing on from Winter Soldier do such a great job in sucking you in to the personal battles of many of the characters in the movie, you feel invested whilst also feeling slightly intrigued & somewhat excited by the eventual outcome.
Essentially this is like an Avengers movie, so many characters are along for the ride, watching Paul Rudd’s scene stealing Ant-Man and the introduction of a few new characters to the franchise such as Spidey, Black Panther and the villainous Baron Zemo is like movie heaven for us superhero fans, all are perfectly cast & their involvement in the movie’s big action set pieces are considerable and in the case of Spidey adds plenty of humor to proceedings – also wasn’t it great seeing Paul Bettany’sVision getting more screen time? he’s a fabulous character and in my opinion has been underused in previous outings – But for me the main reason why Captain America: Civil War works so well is the exciting and at times explosive dynamic between Iron Man and Captain America these two guys respect the hell out of each other but both have different views, neither will back down, leading to a nail biting finale pitting two of the great comicbook superhero’s against each other – Overall: not often do I come away from the cinema having watched a movie that has lived up to it’s hype but Captain America:Civil War does just that – it’s well written, well executed and movie escapism at it’s finest – roll on Infinity War Part 1 can’t wait !! ★★★★½
When Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) was attached to direct Marvel’s latest ANT-MAN my pulse was racing and my excitement for a comic book adaption could not be any higher, the craving to see this excitable talent thrown into the comic book arena was immense, but then disaster struck, after years of planning Wright left the project citing creative differences (in my Darth Vader voice “Noooooooooooo”) and was replaced by Peyton Reed the filmmaker behind Jim Carrey’sYes Man and 2000’s Kirsten Dunst cheer leading flick Bring it On – having spent the last few months doubting Marvel and doubting Peyton Reed’s ability to take the next step in what so far has been some what of an ordinary career behind the camera, a new poster and the first trailer has landed and you know what? – it’s actually very encouraging – Paul Rudd looks comfortable & every bit Scott Lang, Michael Douglas oozes the style & mystery of Dr. Hank Pym and it’s obvious from this first trailer that Peyton Reed’sANT-MAN will combine the action with serious doses of comedy as is the way with any script written by Anchorman’sAdam McKay – take a peak at the films poster, some stills and the film’s new trailer and enjoy….
“Armed with the amazing ability to shrink in scale but increase his strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world”
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
“Hooked on a Feeling !”
Director: James Gunn – Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close & Benicio del Toro – also vocals by: Vin Diesel & Bradley Cooper– Synopsis: The movie starts on a very somber note (hankies ready) by giving us a little bit of background on the young Peter Quill, his mum’s fate and how he ends up becoming Star-Lord the rogue outlaw, thief and womanizer – zooming on 26yrs and Quill is on the planet Morag attempting to steal his latest bounty an orb and sell it on Xandar the home world of Nova Corps and that’s when all the fun really starts – Verdict:Guardians has to be the first movie set around a comic book universe that I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into the cinema – and when Star-Lord this rough and ready outlaw starts dancing across the screen, his feet splashing in the puddles stomping to the beat a homage no doubt to 80s classic Footloose I knew instantly that this film from the guys who’s brought us Iron Man and The Avengers was going to be so so different – Overall: James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a sexy adrenalin fueled space opera that not only looks beautiful but delivers a sublime balance of wit, jaw dropping visuals, delicious & fun loving characters and a soundtrack that is pure yum! Hats off to James Gunn in not only delivering the best Marvel Movie to date but also entrusting Chris Pratt in the lead role of Peter Quill aka : Star-Lord – possibly the greatest piece of casting since Ford played Solo – Guardians is one of them rare cinematic events that I would gladly pay to watch again, it’s CGI is seamless bringing the likes of Groot and his sidekick Rocket to life in a quite beautiful, humorous and screen hugging way – the villains of Guardians played out by Lee Pace’s evil Ronan the Accuser and Gillan’s supervillain Nebula are hugely effective both reminding me of villains from old scifi flicks of yesteryear, both delicious to watch and proving great adversaries to the Guardians – not only is Guardians of the Galaxy one of my favorite movies of 2014 but it’s my favorite comic book adaption period – don’t forget it’s a Marvel Movie so make sure you stay until after the end credits for a few outrageous extras….
Here’s the latest batch of character posters from Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – judging by the trailers and the promotional material I’ve seen this looks downright outrageous and could be the film of 2014 – the action looks slick, the characters colorful and the cast assembled appears to be spot on – let’s just hope it delivers….
Here’s some rather colorful character posters from James Gunn’sGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY the latest Marvel big screen bonanza that will hit our screens later this summer – Gunn the guy who brought us the fabulous Slither and comedy superhero movie Super has assembled an exciting cast that includes Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel – here’s them posters…. Enjoy!
here’s my thoughts on the show – this is a post update
I adore all things “Superhero” and love the universe’s created by the like of DC and Marvel, so when it was first announced that Joss Whedon the man behind one of my favorite TV shows “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse” was going to be heavily involved in an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series you can imagine my excitement (it was off the charts crazy) and then came the posters the trailer and finally the day of the pilot arrived – it quickly became the biggest network drama debut in four years and attracted over 12 million total viewers – and it’s second episode attracting over 8 million viewers…
Having been impressed with the latest in comic book movie adaptions such as The Avengers, Thor, The Wolverine & The Amazing Spider-Man my expectations for this show were very high but after recently watching the shows fifth episode I must confess Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is mediocre at best, the effects are something you would expect to see on shows such as Warehouse 13 and Eureka – no offense to these shows but this is a Marvel Television Production on ABC – in an era of far superior “Superhero” shows such as Arrow, Heroes, Smallville etc – S.H.I.E.L.D. presents us with nothing new, the overall feel of the show is cheap and at times like a bad 80’s show – it lacks an engaging story, that’s been badly written, full of bad dialogue and unlikeable characters – the shows writers obviously feel that every now and then a geeky marvel reference or brief comical cameo’s by characters such as Nick Fury played by Samuel L Jackson will appease the fan-boys – but to me that is simply not good enough…
Obviously the show is still in it’s infancy, and has already been a given a full season order by the network but in my opinion Marvel/ABC need to up the ante, maybe take the show on a slightly darker path, introducing a couple of bad-ass villains to proceedings something that on the big screen Marvel has done so well – they also need to develop more of the weaker characters such as Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and the rather annoying Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) who both seem miscast and not comfortable in their given roles – they also need to fire the guy who decided it would be a great idea to have that “Disney Park” jingle everytime a fight scene or action piece gets underway, it’s like some music you would listen to at their theme park and it’s horribe and pretty amateurish – I also feel that the shows character Melinda May who is played by Ming-Na Wen should have more screen time she is clearly underused & is one of the the real positives from the show…
On a final note I really hope that the show improves not only it’s ratings but mostly it’s quality as I feel on it’s current path we could see the demise of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sooner rather than later – for us fans of the comicbook arena that would be such a shame and overall a missed opportunity…
“I'm a mog - half man, half dog. I'm my own best friend” - Spaceballs (1987)
“I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts” - Bananas (1971)
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm a schizophrenic and so am I” - What About Bob? (1991)
“Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention” - Dumb and Dumber (1994)
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son” - Animal House (1978)
“Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes” - Naked Gun 33 ½ : The Final Insult (1994)
"Yes, it's true. This man has no dick" - Ghost Busters (1984)
"I have nipples, Greg. Could you milk me?" - Meet the Parents (2000)
"They called him 'Fast Eddie'... He was a winner... He was a loser... He was a hustler" - THE HUSTLER (1961)
"For Three Men The Civil War Wasn't Hell. It Was Practice!" - THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY (1966)
"The night HE came home" - HALLOWEEN (1978)
"All the power on earth can't change destiny" - THE GODFATHER PART III
"In space, no one can hear you scream" - ALIEN (1979)
"Be afraid. Be very afraid" - THE FLY (1986)
"Cruise like Thunder" - DAYS OF THUNDER (1990)
"Same Make. Same Model. New Mission." - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY (1991)
"Houston, we have a problem" - APOLLO 13 (1995)
"The greatest fairy tale never told" - SHREK (2001)
"We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening." - THE HAPPENING (2008)
DJANGO UNCHAINED is the first time in 16 years that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get the top billing
In John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN Michael Myers' mask is actually a Captain Kirk mask which was altered for the film
On the set of 1982's THE THING the whole cast and crew was male
BLAZING SADDLES was shot on the same MOVIE set as Yul Bryner's WESTWORLD
The first TWILIGHT movie is the only film in the saga to not receive any Razzie Award nominations
In a deleted scene from James Cameron's ALIENS Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver) daughter was played by Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney Weaver's real-life mother
Prints of the movie INCEPTION were shipped to theaters under the name "Hour Glass"
The Dude from the superb THE BIG LEBOWSKI says "man" 147 times in the movie