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 ★★★★
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….
Excited? Arnie is Back ! Here’s the first Terminator Genisys trailer from the Thor 2 director Alan Taylor that stars Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, Jai Courtney and Arnold Schwarzenegger – if the film is anywhere near as fun as this trailer then we are in for a treat…. Enjoy !!
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