Category Archives: 10’s movies
Constantine: City of Demons: The Movie 2018
I’m still playing catch up with the past couple years of superhero movies and this is the third webseries turned movie that debuted on CW Seed after Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray, the latter of which I still have yet to watch. I liked the Keanu Reeves version of Constantine but I really loved the Matt Ryan version despite the fact that it only lasted a single season and I’m glad that he’s been able to continue the role in the animated movies and Legends of Tomorrow. And while this doesn’t completely fall in line with the live action series, it still has the same feeling to it. The movie falls right in line with the spirit of the TV series version but it dials up the gore several notches to some pretty extreme levels. And what this really does is make the importance of the decisions that Constantine has to make that much more impactful.
It’s previously been very rare for me to see any movies on opening weekend, let alone going to see a movie during an early screening. And while this wasn’t an extraordinarily exclusive early screening, it’s one of the first times I’ve ever gotten to see a movie early. As far as the character goes, I’m not overly familiar with DC’s Captain Marvel aside from a vague history of how he got his name before Marvel existed, then had to change it to Shazam to avoid confusion. It’s also an odd coincidence that Marvel’s Captain Marvel and DC’s Captain Marvel were released within weeks of each other. Not only that, but they both feature Djimon Hounsou in a minor role. And after the negativity surrounding the early extra grim-dark entries in the DC Universe, they’ve gone much closer to the successful Marvel route to lighten things up quite a bit. And while it might be a little closer to standard, it still works and makes this one of the most fun DC films in a long time. And as I do with every new release, there will be spoilers so here’s your warning.
Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors
This is the most recent animated project from Marvel which have been very hit or miss and mainly focused on TV series lately. This almost seems like a response to DC’s Super Hero Girls only instead of making a team of super hero girls and market it directly to girls, this seems like just a generally diverse group of heroes that happen to be made up of more than half women. And while I haven’t seen much of the marketing for it, I get the impression that it is geared slightly more towards girls, but also generally gender neutral. This is my first experience with the majority of the heroes presented in here, though I have heard about several of them in passing and I was familiar with Chloe Bennet’s Quake from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. though I stopped watching shortly after she first got her powers. It also is an odd release strategy as this is basically the pilot movie that aired on TV and is now available on Marvel’s YouTube channel Marvel HQ. But the next two releases are 30 minutes followed by 44 minutes and are considered “TV specials”. It’s not a series, it’s not movies, the lengths are all over the place so far, but I’m curious where it’s going to go.
This is still just the second to last theatrical release I have to catch up on from last year. After this, there’s just Aquaman left for me which is currently out on digital so I hope to get around to it soon. When this came out, I heard a lot of mixed things about it, even those who didn’t enjoy it gave at least some credit to Tom Hardy for his performance. I generally like Venom as a concept, but I haven’t really gotten much of a feel for him past Spider-Man 3. This movie tried to take that concept and mix in a few too many genres. It feels like they wanted to go much more of a horror route, but the horror elements were very minor overall, there’s honestly more of a character drama with a really weird buddy cop comedy mixed in only it’s very much on the dark side of things where the humor is concerned. Overall, I did enjoy it, but I thought they could have taken it a bit further and made it great. Instead, it was just ok.
I was browsing through Vudu’s library of movies instead of choosing one of the movies from my curated lists on Hulu and Netflix and came across this movie. This will actually be the fifth animated movie that I’ve watched from Arcana Studio and they’ve had some mixed results. The Howard Lovecraft trilogy was ok, but I wasn’t a fan of the Steam Engines of Oz so I didn’t have a lot of hope for this movie. At only 73 minutes, I still figured that I’d give it a shot and even if I didn’t care for it, I hadn’t lost much time on it. Spoiler alert, I was right and this was a pretty poor movie that had shallow characters, poor humor, poor animation, and a weak plot.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie 2017
This was a movie that I never planned on watching in theaters and somehow kept forgetting to add to my big list of superhero movies. But I never forgot about it and had actually heard quite good things about it, at least in the very general sense without revealing anything of the plot. When I finally watched it, I was quite surprised at the direction this movie went as it was equal parts Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Deadpool, all mixed with a kid’s imagination on a PG level. It was fun, it was silly, it was absurd, it made me laugh quite a bit and was really a joy to behold despite not really having any deep down morale or message.
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children 2018
I’ve always been a fan of animated movies whether they’re what most American audiences think of like the standard Disney animated fare marketed towards children or the independent or foreign animation that’s targeted towards adults. This is definitely the latter of those two. It’s a Spanish animated feature based on a graphic novel called Psiconautas that takes place in a dystopian island populated with anthropomorphic animals alongside a handful of regular animals that still have the ability to communicate and some inanimate objects who can also speak. The film is filled with dark imagery of nuclear style explosions, death, drugs, violence, addiction, abuse, and plenty of others. It’s densely packed with intense imagery and themes and it unfolds in a way that’s somewhat difficult to unpack in a single viewing, but it is intensely fascinating and hauntingly beautiful in places.
Batman & Bill 2017
Everyone knows who Batman is, Bruce Wayne, billionaire, crimefighter. Not everyone knows who’s listed as the creator of Batman unless they’re a comics fan, and very few people unless they’re die-hard comics fans know who really created Batman. This documentary follows the research of novelist Marc Tyler Nobleman as he not only uncovers the seldom told story of Bill Finger but also manages to get him officially credited as the rightful co-creator of Batman right alongside Bob Kane. The documentary itself is a fascinating story that has a few surprises going for it as it tells its quest for recognition that was long overdue. The interviews are bolstered by comics inspired simple animations. It’s a story that I didn’t know but I’m glad I know it now.
Captain Marvel 2019
So here we are with the first MCU release of the year to kick things off into spring even though it’s still pretty damn cold here in the Midwest. Also, after 11 years and 18 movies, Marvel finally gives a woman center stage and on International Women’s Day no less. Captain Marvel is someone that I know very little about, I’m not overly familiar with the Kree or the Skrulls, so I was coming into this movie pretty fresh. And for the first time in my life, I actually went to see this movie on opening Thursday as the Friday release date keeps getting pushed back further and further. All things considered, this ended up being a fairly standard MCU movie that hits all the same beats along with some fun twists and a female empowerment message. Of course, fairly standard MCU is still an above average superhero movie it just doesn’t do anything to break new ground with the gold standard. And as I always do in my reviews, I will be discussing the movie in full so here’s your spoiler warning.
LEGO DC Superheroes: The Flash 2018
Even though I still have a handful of movies on my List on Netflix, I decided to start my rotation of a few different streaming services to continue my catch up of superhero movies from the past couple years. For no particular reason I decided to start with Hulu and the first movie that I found on there was this one. I’ve generally been favorable towards the LEGO DC animated movies, they’re not nearly as good as either the theatrical LEGO movies nor the more adult skewed DC Animated Universe. But they’re still head and shoulders above most straight-to-video material marketed specifically towards kids so it’s not exactly a pain to watch. It has many of the DC voice actors including the perennial comedic Cyborg, and it has elements of the LEGO humor that’s used in all of their movies and video games. Plus, it has a time loop in it and that’s something I always enjoy.