Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

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Plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

You can say a lot about the lackluster of appeal the majority of movies DC has eked out has, but I do admire how devoutly DC sticks to Zack Snyder. Whether it is detrimental or genius or blindly devout, they are sticking with this guy and we must all just deal with it. Patty Jenkins did a fantastic job with Wonder Woman, and she’d be a strong contender for any DC material out there, but I guess these guys are just not ready to let a woman do the job she’s certainly qualified for and choose a lesser able man to do it.

BUT, despite what the internet is telling you (Seriously people, you don’t have to hate everything just because it’s fun to smack down films), Justice League qualifies as one of the better DC movies. Certainly second to Wonder Woman, but compared to the joke that was Suicide Squad (which I didn’t hate completely) and the absolute disaster that was Batman vs. Superman (I’d like to forget that one completely), the Justice League is nearly Oscar material in comparison.

Snyder, who I’d like to say at this stage it can’t all be his fault, has a distinct modus operandi. The excessively dreary dialogue and repressive atmosphere that makes you question why you ever liked movies, the irritatingly long fight scenes (remember Zod vs. Superman? FML), the monumental and recurring and completely unnecessary GCI. It’s exhausting, but up until this point DC has not suffered at cinema. They have likely noticed how much more popular their competitor was, and it was a really good decision to attempt some lightheartedness while also keeping the signature dark style.

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However, only one of these irritations became a reality. The fight sequences were handled ridiculously quick compared to Batman vs. Superman as well as the drawn out Superman film in 2013. There were attempts at humor, which worked for the most part. The story was less cluttered and the dialogue had a clear direction. The CGI was the main culprit and was horribly abused. Since Henry Cavill is on the poster, it can be safely deduced that he’s in the film, so that is not a major plot spoiler I’m giving you now (or if it is you lack deductive skills). Followers of Cavill on Instagram will know that he’s sporting a moustache for an upcoming Mission Impossible film. (He, and maybe Tom Selleck, remains the only men to successfully WERK the moustache) He was contractually obliged to keep said moustache throughout shooting, and when Justice League reshoots clashed with the ‘stache, the powers that be decided to CGI the shit out of Cavill’s face. The results are startling, leading many people to wonder if he is, in fact, Human Shrek. The scene where his face is altered is clearly visible and terrible work – I can’t imagine how that got approval. His resurrection is fake and devoid of feeling because of CGI-Superman. I was confused in cinema – his face was distorted and it looked terrible. I sat in the second row of the cinema (was fully packed), so got a very close up and disturbing view of CGI-Superman. Even knowing now why he looked like that does not make it better in any way.  He had a whole lot more teeth than what is usually visible on his beautiful and talented face. That said, Cavill is a superb Superman – he has the gravity required for the success of the role and certainly looks the part. It also takes a whole lot to convince me that Jason Momoa is the second prettiest thing on screen.

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Justice League is miles, and I mean MILES, better than Batman vs. Superman. Ben Affleck has become more comfortable as Batman, he has some believability in the role now, and manages to inject some humor and sarcasm into his portrayal that was desperately needed. He has injected a humanity into his portrayal that was absent in BvsS, something that made him that much more a success of a character. There are also multiple mentions to the fact that the reason he’s a superhero is because he’s rich, which got some chuckles from the crowd. Ezra Miller is a great Barry Allen – he’s so hilariously young and awkward and he is responsible for making the movie more lighthearted. I’ve been pained by Miller in the past – his usual roles are so weird and whiney, but he was an excellent choice for this role. I could have done with some more backstory on Allen, as well as with Cyborg (also an excellent casting choice in Ray Fisher), and the delicious Arthur Curry (Momoa). They showed enough of him to make me excited to watch Momoa as Aquaman for that origin story. It struck me that it was the first time I heard Momoa actually speak English (his other native tongue being Dothraki), and for his major return to the spotlight this seems to be a great role for him.

Wonder Woman returns to Gotham, and her work is questioned by Batman, who displays into the White Man syndrome fantastically. He queries why she hasn’t been a beacon to people, never considering that she gets to make that choice herself. All her actions are basically only to show how strong her male colleagues are, and when Aquaman (Jason Momoa) sits on the Lasso of Truth, her beauty is complimented whereas Superman, Cyborg and The Flash have their abilities complemented, a sure sign that a male director called the shots. I love Gadot as Wonder Woman, and it is an unquestionably the better film. I’ve seen some unhappiness by the Amazonian’s decidedly smaller costumes, and it’s true – Themyscira underwent a troubling fashion change at the hands of Snyder.

I cannot stress enough how good the casting is in this film. Ezra Miller impressed me to no end, and he has a quirky banter with his team mates. He even manages to be endearing. Momoa is well, Momoa, big and manly and tough. The glimpse into the underwater world we will get to visit in Aquaman was beautiful, and I can’t wait.

A not so good thing about Justice League is the utterly forgettable Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). He’s poorly introduced, and for all the hard work in keeping the “boxes” safe, he just smashes through all lines of defense. He is also yet another CGI villain from DC. His vampirish followers are slightly scary. His end is ridiculous and leaves room for so much open ended questions. Where did he even go? That end is also preposterous – as my friend pointed out we have all these super-humans battling Steppenwolf and the second Superman pitches everything is saved? What is the point of the Justice League then? How about the incredible Cyborg? The warrior Wonder Woman? The Flash that is seemingly only as fast as Superman, eliminating the need for him almost entirely? Aquaman that saves the team from certain death by water?

I’d love seeing a more realistic villain – this guy was so vague about his purpose and half the time he was a secondary focus point. Can we maybe have less CGI villainy and more real-human villainy? I hope with Lex Luthor in the credit shots we are going to have that the next round.

I enjoyed JL – it is not without flaws but it is the first real attempt DC made to correct their ensemble films. It’s been a good year for these guys and I’d love to see what they conjure up next year.

Have you seen Justice League? Leave your thoughts below

Rating: 7/10

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Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

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Plot: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

*Contains minor spoilers*

How is it possible that it has been 5 years since The Avengers? It seems like only yesterday. At the time it was one of the coolest and most interesting action hero films I’ve ever seen, and created an avalanche of Marvel-watching for yours truly. And it was great for its’ time – Joss Whedon did a fantastic job, even though it was a large CGI feast and if you hadn’t watched previous MCU films, well, sorry for you because that story would have made no sense at all. Since then we’ve been exposed to the good and the bad of superheroes, often with directors resigning in protest against MCU’s heavy handed control. There has been unfortunate mishaps (in particular, The Dark World was really just crap), and Marvel started to have a tired, repetitive tone to all their films. It was all good to look at, but man, it was all the same. Marvel Studios and DC Comics recognized superhero fatigue was quickly starting to rear head, and Marvel took some preventive actions while DC realized they needed to make proper films. Dr. Strange of 2016 was a visual stimulation we had not yet beheld, Deadpool went R-rated with its graphical violence and strong language, Wonder Woman finally proved that female superheroes could work and that DC miraculously still had a smidgen of sense, and Guardians of the Galaxy was original, quirky and fun as hell.

Ragnarok is the best film in the Thor franchise, which up until now has been the seemingly poorer relative of the MCU. Directed by the uniquely talented and marvelously hilarious Taika Waititi, prepare yourself for Marvel as you’ve never seen it before. You now by the multiple reports on this director that he’s the director behind What We Do in The Shadows and Hunt For The Wilderpeople. The man himself is an eccentric gem, and his humor is as evident off-screen as it is on. His distinct directorial style reverberates throughout Ragnarok. He didn’t write the material for the film but the nature of the humor is a clear indication that he’s all over it. Ragnarok is hilarious – I have never laughed quite so hard at a superhero film before. I laughed and snorted and spit out some of my drink – nothing is too sacred or serious for Waititi to omit. Dangerous portals are “the devil’s anus” and weapons are called “melt sticks” in such a deadpan way that you simply expect Waititi to walk out and wave at you. He is there, and you will have to listen only to know, but I won’t give away his character – I laughed too much at him and would like people to find him on their own. He is also able to bring out the best in Hemsworth and in the character of Thor – Chris Hemsworth is at his finest while playing Thor as a big, lumbering hero who can be quite the meathead but also has a heart of gold. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) returns as the “is he or isn’t he?”baddie, and to be honest I sometimes detect a weariness in Loki’s eyes – he’s so clearly intellectually superior to Thor that his brother’s antics must get exhausting. Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) makes a momentary appearance with his mindboggling magic tricks, and learn both brothers lessons in manners. It works, because unlike Civil War, this isn’t Avengers 2.1 – the entire MCU doesn’t pitch to join in on the fight. It is also more unique, less CGI extravaganza and a complete Thor movie, not a derivative movie that depends on the success of previously established MCU successes (Looking at you, Homecoming).

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The scramble for Marvel to include women, brought on by their rival DC’s wonderful Wonder Woman, brings us two females of note – the villain Hela (fantastically devious performance from Cate Blanchett) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). They are even on the poster. It is a positive turn of events, and I’ve seen complaints regarding Hela being one-sided, but I really thought her great and so refreshingly devious – like just mean and no worries about being so. Two times Oscar winner Cate Blanchett brings all her powers, and if one thing I wish they’d given her more time – she’s devious and crazy and cruel, and for the first female villain from Marvel, she’s absolutely wonderful. I’m all for conflicted villains, and Karl Urban’s Skurge certainly has inner conflict, but a pure, evil villain can be such fun, and watching Hela prove that Odin isn’t as squeaky clean as suggested was one glorious ride.  Valkyrie is a potential love interest, as Natalie Portman gets discarded with one single line (another flaw). I am quite pro a love interest that fights on her own and isn’t a damsel, so we will see how this goes.

The Revengers are endless amounts of fun. The movie reaches its conclusion without filler nonsense, the end is quite dramatic and heroic and Chris Hemsworth is as utterly gorgeous as always. Some of the humor is smart, some of it is blatant, and some excellently inappropriate. There is a buddy comedy vibe between Thor and The Hulk, which is endearing and hilarious. Be ready to adore Thor, The Hulk and even Loki – they are clearly having the time of their lives. The post credits scene is interesting and suggests something I thought would happen, and it can only mean great things.

Have you seen Ragnarok? Let me know your thoughts!

Rating: 8.5/10    

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Movie Review: Dr. Strange (2016)

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Plot: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts

Rating: 8/10

Dr. Strange is by far Marvel’s best looking film to date. The images are extraordinary and a showcase just how far Marvel and technology has progressed up to now. I was very much impressed by all the pretty looking effects and mind breaking images. The slightly lacking plot is saved by the incredible talent that is Benedict Cumberbatch, who enters the superhero craze by taking on a role that wouldn’t have fitted any other actor and suited him perfectly. I think his success comes not only from his talent (which is astronomical) but also his clearly focused approach to his career development – he hasn’t taken on a bad choice in years. I enjoyed him as Dr. Strange, obviously, his work as a neurosurgeon, his crippling loss and refusal to be something what he considers less, and his subsequent rise as a very reluctant, disbelieving superhero.

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The androgynous mastermind Tilda Swinton takes on the role of Sorcerer Supreme. I liked her – she’s so strange and otherworldly and I could completely support her as a century old being with magical power. Chiwetel Ejiofor was wonderful but underdeveloped – I found his pure spirit and belief wonderful, and he deserved much more development on screen.

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I thought the end was a bit drawn out and wished for its closure a while before it ended. It would be unfair to say the plot had holes – it didn’t, but I would have appreciated more information. A lot of the time I felt that the golden magic they were making was simply parlour tricks. I thought the villains looked faintly ridiculous with their golden eye shadow and eyeliner gone wrong.  It’s probably the first time I’ve been unimpressed by Mads Mikkelson – this role didn’t suit him at all. I also thought the love story was a bit superfluous – really, why even include it at all, and that Rachel McAdams should probably have had more time on screen because she’s a wonderful actress.

I really loved the bookcases – if I had so much space I would definitely do that! I also quite enjoyed the librarian; he had some good interactions with Dr. Strange.

Dr. Strange wasn’t perfect, but it was really good, really unique and a brilliant new approach from Marvel. I’m quite convinced that nothing will stop them now, they are taking careful steps to avoid boring their audience. If you haven’t seen this yet and isn’t tired out by superheroes, I definitely suggest you give it a try!

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Series Review: Arrow Season 1 (2012)

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Rating: 5.5/10

What I liked

  • I’m going to start with the final episode. It was good and arguably the best of the season. It started out so vague that I went back to check if I had missed an episode. I didn’t, it was following the standard format of the show. It managed to develop into an emotional episode that was jam packed with drama. That episode alone convinced me to give the second season a try. So, well done guys on getting one episode right out of 23. Great job.
  • David Ramsey as John Diggle. Wow. Can’t he be the main superhero? Please. ONE person in this show that has acting skills! He is a saving grace and I enjoy the scenes that he’s in. He is also subjected to terrible lines, but at least he knows something about acting.

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  • Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak. The IT genius tech is given a proper spot on the show to provide comedic relief, and she does it well. I enjoyed the awkwardness of her character and the fact that she is a complete nerd – a very beautiful one sure, but at least they tried. Rickards should try to improve the timing of her punch lines and refrain from doing things that a scientist should do – she’s IT, but I did enjoy her.
  • Willa Holland as Thea Queen. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the character, but she is one of the better parts of the series. I am interested to see where the show takes her. She starts out as the spoiled rich kid but quickly develops into a better person.
  • The scenes on the island. That is marginally interesting and I would love to know more about stealthy Chinese man at this point. Also, really appreciative of everything Slade Wilson brings to the table.
  • Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance. In Supernatural she was Ruby version 2.0, and a much more enjoyable one. She is way more tolerable as a character in Arrow. I do like her character, just the acting that still needs to evolve a bit.
  • Colin Donnel as Tommy Merlin. The initial party boy sneaks into your heart, and is also part of the tiny circle of people that doesn’t speak in stage whispers or employ eye wriggles to get their point across.

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What I didn’t like

  • Arrow is more Days of our Lives than Superhero. Seriously, this feels like a soapie. The acting certainly furthers that idea.
  • The dialogue. Cringe. Cringe. Cringe.
  • The main villain. John Barrowman. Just, what? I was so irritated by him. He mostly just looked very dirty, but I could ignore that if he wasn’t the epitome of the rich and successful of this show. His copycat hood looked amazing but was rarely used. Why is his true character introduced so late into the show? He is a bad father, sure, but initially he just looks like the run of the mill rich parent that couldn’t care less about their children except that they be heir someday.
  • OLIVER QUEEN HAS LESS STEALTH THAN JACOB ZUMA’S POLITICAL AGENDA RIGHT NOW.
    • He’s SO chill when someone finds out who he is. It’s like: “Yeah, you know I’m murdering people but I am sure I can trust you completely, person I’ve just met”
    • Stephen Amell’s acting. Let’s not even go into this. Does he think he’s a voice over actor? Because he has a I’M BATMAN voice and this seriously low pitched serial killer voice when he tries to show his feelings. Also, why does he talk so slow? I’m sure the average comprehension speed of the watchers isn’t THAT slow.
    • HE HAS NO STEALTH: Asking your IT guy at work to hack documents for you that ARE CLEARLY SECRET, not even caring that she might find it interesting to mention it to other people.
    • THE STAGE WHISPERING. OMFG. I’m dead about this.
    • The hood – you can still see his face dammit.
  • The pacing. These actors have NO pacing. They just mumble out the words and DONE.
  • Voice overs. Dead.
  • Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance. EYE WRIGGLING, BODY SHAKING, I’M SUCH A GOOD ACTOR.
  • The cut and dried method of each episode. Zoom in on baddie, take him down, go smile beautifully at something.

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Slade’s guns are definite pros!

Seriously, the show’s main redeeming qualities are Steven Amell’s chest and those dreamy eyes. He needs to learn to act though, he needs to connect to his character. It isn’t all bad, it’s just not written in a superhero format, and itis reminiscent of Days of Our Lives. The dialogue makes me ashamed and they are ruining a truly excellent storyline. I’m not saying it needs to be super dark – goodness knows there are enough dark shows to go around. They should just learn to connect the characters emotionally to the material and not be so damn cheesy all the time. I’ve heard a few times that the series improves in time. This proved to be true at the end of season two, so I will give season two a chance. This show is mindless enough to enjoy without thinking about it and since you form no attachments it is not a train smash when a character dies, I guess it can be considered light watching.

PS: JUST DON’T THINK TOO HARD. THE QUESTIONS WILL BE ENDLESS THEN.

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PS: Let’s not forget:

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Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

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Plot: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool

Rating: 8/10

There is a war going on right now. You might be thinking that I refer to the war between DC and Marvel, but this war I speak of is one where Marvel and DC seem to be on the same side. The other side is us, the innocent consumers. Because every time I hear a mention of superhero fatigue, either Marvel or DC does something that makes you pack that exhaustion away and sit back and watch another damn entertaining movie.

Deadpool is nothing like anything that has been seen on the screen in a very long, if ever, time. It is rude, very inappropriate and not for anyone who takes offense every time someone who makes a joke that is very below the belt.

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Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson, the ex-super soldier who spends his free time beating up men who enjoy beating up women. He meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and for a while everything seems like it is working out. But as cancer sets in Wade is reminded of his mortality and chooses to go with the definitely shady offer that is thrown to him by a very shady looking man.

That is as far as I will go into the story, because you need to go watch that for yourself. Deadpool is hilarious and very rough, the violence is graphic and inventive. The language is strong and Marvel is out with all guns aimed at being a bit more original.

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It works. Really well. I laughed, I cringed and there were scenes where everyone wondered if someone actually said that out loud. The movie has everything it needs – violence, heroics, drama, sadness and serious concerns for some of your favorite characters. It entertains you, insults you and makes you laugh very hard.

Fuck you, Marvel.

Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

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Plot: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1650554/

Rating: 8/10

Is it possible that I enjoyed this one more than I did the first one? I have no idea, but I really enjoyed this one very much. It keeps the hilarity and ridiculousness of the first movie. Chloë Grace Moretz is much older and although the time gap in their ages shorten significantly and improbably between the movies, it is as entertaining. I wondered if and how they would implement some romantic entanglement between Purple Mist and Kick Ass, and the little amount is okay because any more would have felt paedophilic.

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The superheroes in here are just as cringeworthy as in the first one. Like, I want to shrink and hide my face in embarrassment. Night Bitch was really a unique one, and let’s not even start on Motherfucker’s name or costume. Or hair. Or lisp. Or anything.

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Aaron Taylor, wow. For Science, that is one remarkable body. I have real issues that he is married to a woman twice his age. It is not fair to younger women (i.e. ME) . I love him as Kick-Ass and he will always be that despite being Quicksilver in Age of Ultron. Nope, he will always stay the very sexy geeky Kick-Ass to me.

Dave (AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON) and Mindy (CHLO? GRACE MORETZ) try to blend in as their alter-egos in the follow-up to 2010?s irreverent global hit: ?Kick-Ass 2?.

I used to not really like Chloe Grace Moretz – my film knowledge of her was limited to Dark Shadows, a movie that I found the greatest waste of my time. But I’ve seen Carrie and If I Stay recently, and that upped her significantly in my books. Now I finally like her. She is so badass and cocky and able in these movies. I love how she dealt with being deadly and being a teenager as well as those pesky hormones when Kick-Ass pulled off his shirt (no straight woman alive blames you) and how she continued being true to herself. I love the relationship she has with )))). He is a sweet man and it is obvious that he knows how unstable her father raised her and wants to give a normal life.

I think Nicholas Cage in the first one was very funny and that might have made it more amazing than this one. Jim Carrey provides some laughs in this sequel, but there were a lot of scenes where the other characters just felt like a waste of time because they didn’t have a lot of substance. I know many people felt that this sequel didn’t live up to expectation, but I watched this with my bestie and her fiancé, and we had such an amazing time that I think I will just love it forever! 🙂

Marvelous Mondays: Elektra 2005 by the IPC

Once again, another Monday is upon us. I am here to make it happy for you by posting a review of Elektra, produced by Pappy, who blogs over at the IPC.  Pappy (or Eric, he has many names), has the funniest blog I have ever stumbled across. He hosts Shitfest about four times a year, and if you are interested in doing a most fun blogathon, I suggest you keep your little eyes open for the next opportunity. Thanks for participating Pappy!!!

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Here’s the deal with me and this movie. When Daredevil came out back in the day I was REALLY out on Ben AFFLACK and refused to go see it (I still haven’t but I actually like the guy now). So when this came out, I read all of the bad things everyone had to say about it and didn’t feel like giving it a shot in case AFFLACK and his shit-eating face showed up. So, when Kidney announced this run and I looked at the list, I thought, “Hey, why not?? We could have something here for the next shitfest!” and gave it a look.

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For those of you that don’t know me, I look at a lot of shitty movies. It’s what I’ve done my whole life.  I would always walk to the video store and just rent whatever was new. I’ve also never been a real big fan of mainstream movies, for the most part. I like to find little films that no one else has ever seen and they’re my little secret. All of this is to put something in perspective – I watch a LOT of bad movies. Movies that are so bad they hurt.  I’m also not one of those people that ONLY watch things I’m going to like and give everything a 4 out of 5 or a nine out of ten.  So, when I tell you that I thought this movie was pretty OK, and you return with “WHAT THE FUCK ISAACS YOU IDIOT!!!!!” I challenge you to watch something like GREEN RIVER or THE LEGEND OF SORROW CREEK or CLOSETS and then come back and tell me how much Elektra sucks.

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This isn’t a GREAT movie or anything, but after hearing so much negativity about it, I have to ask – what were the haters expecting? I don’t really know dick about the character from the comics – for some reason I thought she was Russian but I could be confusing her with someone else, Daredevil was never my favorite.  I thought Garner did a good job as the character. She seemed to be no nonsense and wasn’t acting up like some ham or something. I thought SOME of the fight scenes were done pretty well and, despite some dodginess in the last big battle, I was surprised at how much I didn’t hate it.

Now, I’m not recommending anyone to drop everything they’re doing, pull up their pants and run out to the fucking store to buy it, but it certainly wasn’t THAT bad. In fact, if you’re going to give this a go, I suggest you have an appetizer of DIMPLES, ROGUE RIVER or ROOM 33. Then watch Elektra. Then let’s go have a beer. Or nineteen. THANKS KIDNEY!!!!

THANKS PAPPY!!!

PS: If you are interested, see the list here and get back to me!

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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What happens?

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted from earth by Ravagers seconds after his mother’s death. He is raised by them, and grows up under their leader Yongu (Michael Rooker).

Twenty-six years later Quill steals an artefact on the planet Morag. He is intercepted by Korath (Djimon Hounson), who is a servant for the cruel Ronan (Lee Pace). Yongu is furious that Peter did this without him and issues a bounty for him, while Ronan sends the assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to kill Peter and retrieve the stone.

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I am Groot!

Quill, Gamora, the bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper), a genetically engineered racoon and his tree-like friend Groot (Vin Diesel) are captured when Rocket and Gamora tries to catch Quill the same time on Xandar, the home world of the Nova Corps. They are sent to a high security prison where they eventually team up with Drax (Dave Bautista), an inmate who initially wanted to kill Gamora for her connection with Ronan. Quill convinces Drax that Ronan wants Gamora dead for her betrayal and that he would be doing his enemy a favour and Drax decides to tag alone in the hopes of killing Ronan himself. Gamora reveals that she has a buyer for the orb and that if they work together they can share the cash.

After breaking out, they attempt to sell the orb, but disaster strikes and they realise how dangerous the orb is that Peter stole – it is an infinity stone that is exceptionally dangerous. They agree that getting the stone back to the Nova Corps is crucial because if Ronan gets it he will destroy Xandar.

Will they be able to elude Ronan? Can Xandar be protected by the fanatical Ronan who is intent on destroying the planet? Will the Nova Corps believe that Peter is trying to help them?

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Rating: 7/10

I have to confess that I solely went to see this movie because I wanted to go to the IMAX theatre that opened in Pretoria recently at The Grove. It was so much fun. It is FAR and PRICEY but totally worth it – the mall itself is beautiful and new and wonderfully designed and the theatre is epic, although the leg space is a bit small. I really enjoyed the experience and the movie as a result.

Guardians of the Galaxy seem like something Marvel worked really hard on. it is beautifully done – the graphics are amazing and for once the 3D was actually obvious – have you felt as well that sometimes 3D seems so NOT 3D? The movie is packed with events and worlds and drama, humour and attitude.

Ronan the Accuser was frightening. He seemed genuinely cruel and without mercy, fanatical and bent on destruction. His outfit contributed towards the horror he carried with him, and his eyes genuinely seemed dead. I liked the fanatical side to the character – he wasn’t overly interested in world domination but wanted a brand of justice. It felt like a nudge to all the people in the world who murder on some misconception of giving justice to their own people.

Chris Pratt is suddenly this sexy man that has a real career beckoning in Hollywood. He is really funny as always and his character has so many quirks. He worked extremely hard to pull off a type of Iron Man superhero – who saves the day but is funny while doing it.

I really laughed at Drax – he is an ode to every person on the planet that doesn’t grasp sarcasm and is made up of pure logic. His story was sad and his initial despise of Gamora understandable. It was sweet to see how they all became closer as their adventure progressed, especially Gamora and Drax, who didn’t meet under the best of circumstances.

Good things in the movie:

Completely new story being told – very original stuff

The graphics was flat out awesome.

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Groot – especially in the tiny form. He might go into the cuteness overload club alongside Toothless and Stitch.

Stan Lee – duh, as always.

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Drax: NOTHING goes over my head!… My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

Things that didn’t work:

Zoe Saldana – I feel like I can’t ever connect to her performances. She is firstly too fond of playing aliens and she doesn’t really ever feel authentic.

It sometimes feels too much – there is so much happening in this movie that you can lose track what is going down.

It is very long – three hours maybe?

The spoiler at the end of the movie was so not satisfactory considering the amount of credits you must sit through.

It didn’t give me that rush of emotions I was hoping for. I probably unfairly wanted to feel like I did the first time I watched the Avengers. This was good but the action never approached wow levels.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman (2012)

The Amazing Spiderman tells the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), a high school student, who is bitten by a radio-active spider. He must stop Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) from spreading mutation serum onto humans, causing them to become reptile-like.

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A young Peter discovers that his father’s office has been ransacked. His father takes secret documents, flees with his mother, and leaves Peter behind with his aunt and uncle. His parents are later killed in a plane crash.

As a teen, Peter goes to Midtown Science High school. He is in love with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who, unfortunately for him, is the daughter of police captain George Stacy (Dennis Leary). He discovers his father had worked with Dr. Curt Connors to combine human and animal DNA to cure illnesses. Peter sneaks into Oscorp, the company where Connors works, to speak to him. While walking around in Oscorp, Peter is bitten by a modified spider, and he develops superhuman speed, strength, a heightened sense of danger and the ability to stick to surfaces.

Peter solves the missing key in the serum when he goes through his father’s documents. At school, Peter gets into trouble when he finally retaliates on the school bully’s taunts. Peter’s uncle dies when he rushes after Peter when they have a fight, and Peter starts to search for the man responsible. He apprehends other criminals in his search, and attracts the unwanted attention of the police force. Peter finds out that Gwen’s father is the police chief, and after a disastrous dinner at her house, he tells her that he is Spiderman, and they kiss.

The Amazing Spider-Man

When the test mouse regrows its missing link, Connor injects himself with the serum, and his missing arm regenerates. Connors mutates, and begins to become a large lizard-like creature.

Peter suspects that Connors is the lizard, and after an unsuccessful confrontation in the sewers he leaves his camera behind, revealing his identity to the Lizard. Connors goes to Peter’s high school, and they fight there. The police start a man hunt for both vigilantes, and Connors head to Oscorp with the intent to disperse his serum across the city. Meanwhile, Gwen develops an antidote and gives it to her father to give to Spiderman. Peter and Captain Stacy reach a tentative truce when Peter tells him that Gwen is in danger, and Peter promises the dying man that he will stay away from Gwen for her safety. Gwen realises what her father made Peter do, and the movie ends hinting that they might resume their relationship.

Rating: 7.5/10

I didn’t watch The Amazing Spiderman for quite a while because I have never been a Spiderman fan. Andrew Garfield really did a phenomenal job as Spiderman. I am really impressed by his portrayal of the character. The action scenes were entertaining enough, and had the added bonus that the action wasn’t stretched out too much.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves comic books, superheroes, or the traditional story of a messed up guy trying to save the world.

Movie Review: Thor (2011)

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At the beginning of the movie, it is 965 AD, and the king of Asgard Odin (Anthony Hopkins) wages war against the Frost Giants to prevent them from conquering the nine realms, of which Earth is a part of. The Asgardians are victorious, and take the Casket of Ancient Winters, the power source of the frost giants.

Back in present times, Odin’s son Thor (Chris Hemsworth) prepares to become king of Asgard, but the Frost Giants try to take the Casket, and prevents it from happening. Thor ignores Odin’s orders and travels to the Jotunheim to confront Laufey (the leader of the Frost Giants), and a battle ensues. Odin intervenes to save Thor and his company, but the fragile truce between the Asgardians and the Frost Giants are broken. Thor is stripped of his godly power and is exiled to earth, along with his hammer Mjolnir, which is now protected by an enchantment that can only be broken by someone worthy enough to wield it.

Thor falls out of the sky in New Mexico, where astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her assistant and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) finds him. Agent Phil Coulson arrives to inspect the Mjolnir after it becomes a local attraction. Thor tries to retrieve his hammer, but is heartbroken when he is unable to remove it from stone. With the help of Dr. Selvig, he is freed from S.H.I.E.L.D’s scrutiny and resigns himself to life as a mortal, even going through the beginning stages of a relationship with Jane.

Back at Asgard, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) learns that he is in reality Laufey’s son, and was adopted by Odin after the war. After Loki and Odin fight, Odin falls into the “Odinsleep” to recover. Loki seizes the throne, and offers Laufey the chance to retrieve the casket and kill Odin. Thor’s companions, Sif and the Warriors Three, are unhappy with Loki’s rule, and attempt to return Thor from exile, convincing Heimdall to allow them to travel to earth. Loki learns of their plan, and sends the Destroyer to pursue and kill Thor. The warriors find Thor, but when the Destroyer finds them they are defeated. Nearly dead, Thor offers himself for the safety of the humans, and this sacrifice prompts the Mjolnir to return to its master. He defeats the Destroyer, kisses Jane, and returns to Asgard to confront Loki.

Back in Asgard, Loki betrays and kills Laufey. Thor arrives and fights Loki to prevent Loki destroying the Jotunheim through the Bifrost Bridge. Thor destroys the Bifrost Bridge, destroying his only way back to Jane. Loki falls into darkness when Odin reject his plea for approval. Thor and Odin makes peace, and back at Earth Jane searches for a way to get to Thor.

Thor

Rating: 7/10

Thor is such a good film! I would recommend it to most people, particularly if you love superheroes. It is good to watch each film that leads up to the Avengers, and understand who is who and why they became like they are. Thor is one of my favorite films, partly because I discovered the awesome Chris Hemsworth here. Not only is he super attractive, he can luckily act as well (a rare occurrence) Watching it the second time around alerted me to some characters I hadn’t noticed before – Kat Dennings (who plays Max in my favorite comedy Two Broke Girls) and Josh Dallas (Prince Charming in Once Upon a Time). Natalie Portman made a really good Jane, looking intelligent and wholesome the entire time.

On the Avengers note, I would place it after the Iron Man trilogy but before Captain America. Overall, I would say that watching Thor is not a bad way to spend nearly two hours of your time.