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’s Thor: 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’s Grandmaster 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 ★★★★
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’s Vision 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
Captain America: Civil War picks 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
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Anthony & Joe Russo – Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Frank Grillo & Jenny Agutter – Synopsis: This story takes place 2 years after the events in New York with The Avengers – Steve Rogers aka: Captain America (Chris Evans) is now living in Washington D.C. attempting to adjust to the modern world and his new surroundings. But that new and quiet life is about to turn upside down when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) gets attacked by a group of Hydra operatives and a deadly assassin known as The Winter Soldier starts targeting S.H.I.E.L.D. members – entangled in a web of corruption S.H.I.E.L.D. has now become compromised and it’s left to Captain America, his new friend The Falcon and fellow Avenger The Black Widow to uncover the truth, track down this new enemy and eliminate the threat – Verdict: Recently watched The Winter Soldier as part of a 3D Captain America marathon that included Joe Johnson’s 2011 original and Whedon’s Avengers Assemble and although the film fell short of it’s original, the Russo brothers have delivered an exciting, action & effects driven big screen event that fits snugly within the layers of the Marvel Universe and the continuing story of Steve Rogers and S.H.I.E.L.D. – the fight scenes are well orchestrated, especially the ones that feature Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow and Chris Evan’s Cap who uses his shield to great effect – my favorite scene in the movie (there’s quite a few) was possibly the Nick Fury assassination attempt with rogue cops surrounding his car and raining holy hell down with all manner of weaponry – it made for delicious big screen viewing and like most Superhero movies The Winter Soldier is a visual feast of quickly paced action, lots of explosions and car chases all that need to be seen on the biggest screen possible – we also get a small taster of new characters that I am sure we will be seeing more of in the future, the likes of Emily VanCamp‘s Agent 13 and Frank Grillo’s Crossbones who were both excellent if not slightly underused – Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury had more screen time which in my opinion only enhances the movie and Anthony Mackie a newbie to the Marvel Universe did a fine job spreading his wings playing The Falcon – Robert Redford’s character was my only negative, it was not meaty or fleshed out enough and was a missed opportunity – overall: the movie gets the big thumbs up here – it’s an exciting action packed superhero outing that lays the foundations for what’s to follow – roll on the next chapter – Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron that lands next summer….
“In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill AKA: Star Lord finds himself on the run after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan” Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is directed by James Gunn (Slither & Super) and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close and includes the vocal talents of Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel – here’s some new movie stills and the official trailer…. Enjoy!
Guardians of the Galaxy – US (1st August) – UK (1st August) – Australia (N/A)
THOR : THE DARK WORLD (2013) – Movie Review ★★★★
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’s THOR 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’s THOR : 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…