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 ★★★★½
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 ★★★★
ANT-MAN and THE WASP : Peyton Reed Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena
Like most I’ve been a huge fan of Evangeline Lilly since Lost back in 2004 (shit !! is it really that long) and she absolutley nails it as The Wasp in Peyton Reed’s hilarious action packed sequel Ant-Man and The Wasp her action scenes, chemistry with Rudd’s Ant-Man and Daddy Douglas is perfection and I will be first to shout the loudest for a Wasp stand-alone movie – it was ALSO rad seeing the exciting Hannah John-Kamen play Ava aka: Ghost in what is an awesome twist on the comic books & one that works so well – And what about ANTonioBanderas damn I nearly fell off my seat laughing – Overall this sequel may not be quite as good as the first film but it comes bloody close, it’s pace at times is breathtaking, Paul Rudd combines everyday dad with superhero wonderfully well and once again surprises with his timing during the action pieces, in fairness he’s brilliant – the films overall look & CGI is stunning, the effects are like a mixture of Men in Black and Honey I Shrunk the Kids except TEN TIMES better SO if you love comicbook movies or just fancy 2hrs of pure entertainment then don’t wait for it’s bluray release (you know where the cinema is) ★★★★
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT : Christopher McQuarrie Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames & Henry Cavill
HOLY HELL now that’s what I call an action movie – this is not only the third movie directed by McQuarrie that stars Cruise but it’s also their best work together – I loved every single second of this exciting thrill ride, full of the most insane stunts, car chases that make Bullit and The French Connection look amateur and a storyline that’s easily the best of the Mission Impossible franchise – along with Cruise’s Ethan Hunt we get more screentime for Benji and Luther and Fallout also sees the return of Ilsa Faust played by the exciting, beautiful and totally badass Rebecca Ferguson, but one of the highlights of this sixth installment has to be the injection of Henry Cavill who plays CIA operative August Walker an insane assassin and a bloody good one at that, amongst his best scenes in the movie is that most talked about bathroom brawl and I SHIT YOU NOT this has to be one of the best in the history of cinematic bathroom brawls IT’S BONE CRUNCHING AWESOME – along with Cruise’s energy and them incredible stunts he pulls off the guy is so infectious, his teenage-like smile and passion for what he does comes across on the screen and he’s an absolute joy to watch, and in Ethan Hunt he’s built in my opinion the greatest spy franchise there is, consisently great in every department – Overall Mission Impossible: Fallout IS A MUST WATCH on the Biggest and Baddest screen you can find, load your guns with popcorn & a beverage and get ready to be WOWED ★★★★½
I know I know I know… another bloody remake…. well that was my initial reaction to the news that our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man was getting another outing with yet another cast and so soon after the Marc Webb movies landed…. but as always first reactions are not always the right ones, having now seen John Watts superhero movie I must say “what a ridiculously fun, coming of age thrill ride that blends the humor, action & darkness perfectly to create one helluva cinematic event” – Tom Holland (who I loved in Pigrimage and The Impossible) was so the right choice & delivers a magical turn as our webslinger, capturing the innocence and arrogance of a teenager that’s required for this movie, Holland is surrounded by quality at every turn, Aunt May is played by the delightful Marisa Tomei giving a new & younger slant on Peter’s guardian, Michael Keaton hits it out of the ball park playing the villain Adrian Toomes aka: Vulture and Robert Downey Jr who’s actually a good mentor to Peter and is fun to watch, some of his screen time in Homecoming I found better than his Avengers stuff – I have to be honest and say when I first heard of this latest remake I wanted it all to be a complete disaster, crash and burn and be complete garbage but Spider-man Homecoming is far from it, its an exceptionally well written comicbook adaption that took me back to my teens, reading the comics, watching the animated series & avoiding spiders at all costs – Overall this is one of the best Marvel Superhero Movies in recent times, it’s an action packed, John Hughes homage laiden big screen summer movie that I found totally engrossing and deliciously fun to watch…. ★★★★½
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….
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….
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…
So looking forward to November when this movie lands on the big screen – it’s director Alan Taylor looks set to helm the new Terminator movie so the studio’s must be pretty pleased with what they’ve seen of The Dark World – was disappointed with Iron Man 3 so I’m hoping Marvel up their game for this Thor Sequel.
“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