Director : Cate Shortland – Cast Includes : Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh
Since Marvel have treated us to many solo-outings that have involved Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk and Thor to say a BLACK WIDOW picture was long overdue is putting it mildly… I decided to ignore watching the movie at home as it was released on Disney Plus at the time and ventured a little further afield to my local big-screen, and just as I had hoped the wait was worth it and MCU’s latest did not disappoint : Cate Shortland’s movie is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and sees Natasha Romanoff on the run and forced to confront an old adversary that is linked to her past : my biggest take from the movie along with it’s darkly written storyline is the films delicious humor and Black Widow is full of great one liners that are smartly written and delivered superbly well by David Harbour’s Red Guardian and Florence Pugh’s assassin Yelena Belova… I loved Natasha’s backstory and the chemistry of those involved in this big cuddly dysfunctional Russian Spy family and along with the injection of humor it was the terrific big scale action scenes that caught the eye, from Black Widow’s first encounter with the Taskmaster in Norway, the epic fight scene between Natasha & Yelena, the prison escape involving Red Guardian and of course that final battle in the film’s last quarter that reminded me so much of a 70s Bond film : needless to say there’s nothing quite like watching any movie on the big screen and although the cinema was only half-full the atmosphere was enough to give Scarlett’sBlack Widow the send off she really deserves : CRAZY GOOD FUN ★★★★
The loss of Chadwick Boseman aged 43 is a crushing blow, a movie star who was only just beginning his journey to greatness : playing Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get on Up, T’Challa in Black Panther and most recently Stormin’ Norman in Da 5 Bloods Chadwick was already giving us a new hero on the screen, one to look up to and one to look forward to what they did next : he had a smile that would light up the biggest of screens : RIP Chadwick Boseman
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 ★★★★
“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….
Captain America: Civil Warpicks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
Director: Bryan Singer – Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart– Synopsis: Kitty Pryde, Magneto and Professor X hatch a plan to send Wolverine back to 1973 where time can be re-written and the destruction of the Mutants by the evil Sentinels in their future world can be prevented – this plan all hinges on Wolverine persuading a young Professor X to work alongside his nemesis Magneto and stop Mystique assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask the scientist responsible for the production of the Sentinels – Verdict: finally a superhero movie with the balls for excitement, exhilarating action scenes and an ensemble cast that don’t just talk the talk it walks the walk with strides of greatness and superhero acting masterclass – Days of Future Past is one of them rare cinematic experiences that you just want to re-watch instantly – of course I’d be lying if I said that Bryan Singer’s superhero flick was without it’s flaws (and I counted several) but in the grand scheme of things does that really matter? (sorry fan boys) – Days of Future Past is easily the best in the franchise, from them opening shots of the Sentinels in a future earth ravaged by war (reminiscent of Cameron’s T2) to that mesmerizing scene with Quicksilver as he deploys his mutant energies re-arranging the angle of gun fire, you know instantly that filmmaker Bryan Singer has returned to form and created the best X-Men movie yet! – yes the time travel is slightly confusing, and yep some of the characters are slightly underused but Singer’s method of direction is pretty powerful stuff, there’s a great deal of intensity and you seem to be involved with each character a rarity for this style of movie – I also loved the introduction of new characters Quicksilver and Kitty Pryde who both get some decent screen time, QuickSilver stealing all of his scenes and also being a fan of Game of Thrones it was pretty awesome seeing Peter Dinklage strutt his stuff playing Bolivar Trask – in my opinion along with Nolan’sBatman franchise the X-Men series always tops the comic book film adaptions – why you may ask? well unlike Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers or the Spiderman franchise they don’t rely on comedy to sell it’s product to it’s audience, it’s used sparingly and when done it’s used well and not gimmicky – the X-Men series has consistently delivered a high standard script and without question they have the best set of actors of any superhero franchise – here’s four that stood out from Days of Future Past – Hugh Jackman delivering a muscular, cigar chomping swagger as the Wolverine, Jennifer Lawrence as the confident, beautiful yet deadly Mystique, Michael Fassbender’s terrifying menace as the young Magneto and Patrick Stewart’s wise and intellectual X – when aced the superhero movie on the big screen can be an absolute delight and with Days of Future Past the balance between comedy, drama, action and suspense is delivered perfectly – Overall: after the horrible Jack the Giant Slayer a big welcome back to the talented Bryan Singer who has now directed 3 of my favorite superhero movies and has whet my appetite for Apocalypse….
Cast – Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson & Kat Dennings – many eons ago the Dark Elves led by Malekith attempt to plunge the universe into darkness using a weapon known as the Aether – their plans though are derailed when Malekith’s army are defeated by the warriors of Asgard who take the Aether and hide it somewhere safe so that it can never be used for evil again – Malekith escapes the battle and vows to return and finish what he started – VERDICT with the likes of Pacific Rim, Elysium, Star Trek 2, Ender’s Game, Man of Steel & World War Z the science fiction blockbuster has returned to our big screen this year with almighty bang – having enjoyed Kenneth Branagh’s 2011’s movie THOR I was very interested to see what Alan Taylor a director known for his television work could do with the franchise – the film was watched in 3D but unlike Avatar and The Hobbit the film made poor use of this technology so 2D viewing would suffice – I found the film’s story to be pretty decent and unlike Marvel’s Iron Man 3 the comical moments in THOR : THE DARK WORLD worked quite well, along with Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Erik (Stellan Skarsgård) who both contributed to the light-hearted side of the movie it was Chris Hemsworth’sTHOR that produced a couple of subtle comic moments that had the cinema in roars of laughter – I also loved the scenes with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki locked away in the dungeons of Asgard, they were well done with Hiddleston once again demonstrating his comical prowess playing THOR’s evil brother with a swagger and stealing many of the movies best scenes with his delicious trickery – YES the film has it’s flaws and YES Christopher Eccleston’s villain Malekith is poor and not the big bad we’d all hoped for – but that being said Alan Taylor’sTHOR : THE DARK WORLD is 112mins of heart thumping, adrenalin fueled action, with some fabulous visuals of Asgard and Svartalfheim, a breathtaking finale and some deliciously fun minor roles from the likes of Zachary Levi’s Fandral, Ray Stevenson’s Volstagg and the beautiful Jaimie Alexander playing the Asgard warrior Sif – it’s escapism at it’s best, a real Marvel treat that’s packed with entertainment…. so what you waiting for….
ps… those who wait for 5mins after the final credits will be in for a few extra scenes….
“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