Category Archives: Marvel

Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 2021

This is only just the start of the squeezed MCU timeline as this is the second of four MCU films coming out this year that started with Black Widow just a couple months ago, Eternals in a couple more months, and Spider-Man: Far From Home to end out the year. Many of these MCU films are generally split down the middle more or less. Half of the film follows a more or less typical Marvel movie format with light comedy mixed throughout and a big end battle filled with explosions. The other half of the film gets to branch out into many different genres like spy thriller, war movie, sci-fi comedy, what have you. This does that to a certain extent, but it feels like the split was closer to 70-30 in favor of a martial arts/Wuxia film and I am all on board for that shift. After Black Widow’s moderate disappointment in that it followed the Marvel format a little too much, I absolutely loved every minute of this film from his audience surrogate friend slash potential love interest to the sympathetic villain to the fantastic-yet-still-unique CGI-filled climactic final battle sequence. And as this is a new release, as with all my reviews there may be spoilers ahead so if you want to go in fresh be warned.

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The New Mutants

The New Mutants 2020

Of all of the superhero movies of the past few years, this one was probably talked about more than it was actually watched whenever it eventually came out. It had a hugely trouble production as the studio seemingly didn’t have a lot of faith in it compared to Fox’s other mainline projects Deadpool 2 and Dark Phoenix so it got pushed back, they did some reshoots, Disney bought Fox so it got pushed further, the pandemic happened so it got pushed back even further, they wanted more reshoots but too much time had passed for their younger cast. And the articles around the project are confusing, as some say that the director wanted more horror, yet the first round of reshoots were supposedly to add more horror. And yet what the movie really could have used was, you guessed it, more horror. In the end, it didn’t fail at the levels of something like Fant4stic, but this was clearly a result of studio meddling that left us with a B- movie when there is the skeleton of an A movie.

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Black Widow

Black Widow 2021

First off I just have to start out with holy crap it’s good to be back in a movie theater. Granted things are very different than they were when I saw Birds of Prey which I’m pretty sure was the last movie that I saw in theaters. We just survived a pandemic, at least everyone who has decided to get vaccinated has survived a pandemic but I won’t go further down that discussion right now. I’m living in the Atlanta suburbs after spending the previous six years in the Chicago suburbs, and this is the first Marvel movie to come out since Spider-Man: Far From Home back in the summer of 2019. So yeah, things are quite a bit different. But kicking off the theater going with the latest MCU movie felt like falling back into old patterns. It was definitely enjoyable with great action beats and enjoyable humor, but the climax felt rather uninspired and I just wish they could have done something a little bit different than falling right back into the MCU formula that I often like to think doesn’t really exist. And as this is the latest MCU movie, if you haven’t seen it yet from here on out there may be spoilers so be warned.

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Marvel Then and Now: An Evening With Stan Lee and Joe Quesada

The Hero Initiative Very Very Live: Marvel Then and Now: An Evening With Stan Lee and Joe Quesada Hosted by Kevin Smith 2007

In honor of this month’s Patreon poll, since I wasn’t able to borrow any of the titles I chose for March’s poll since they were all chosen from my local library’s shelves, I decided to pick a similar non-fiction title that I haven’t covered here yet. I plan on watching the winning title Crumb as soon as the library re-opens. I’ve had this on DVD for quite a while but never got around to watching it before now. I’ve seen a few different Stan Lee interviews and was able to see him live once, I’ve also been a big fan of Kevin Smith and have enjoyed a lot of his speaking engagements whether it’s his podcasts or other things similar to this. Unfortunately, this was filmed mostly live with several technical difficulties, low sound quality for most of the run time, and poor editing with some repetition thrown in. Not nearly the best way to watch an interview with these two about Marvel.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #39: Thor

Stop, Hammer Time!

#39: Thor

Or

The Day The Earth Stood A Little Still

This will be a fun one to discuss!

First Impressions

This film was one that I remember not really enjoying that much on the first viewing. I had no real knowledge of pretty much every character and actor/actress in the film and I couldn’t fully embrace the Thor character because I felt he was a little stiff. Have I changed my mind? Let’s find out!

The Characters

  • Chris Hemsworth: Thor

    As we all know now, Thor becomes one of the best characters in the entire MCU by Endgame. And that’s not an opinion, he’s genuinely one of the best characters with some of the best character arc bits. And knowing that when re-watching this film can give you some real perspective on how naive the character is. I still stand by my initial assessment that the Thor we get in this film is very stiff (calm down ladies and gentlemen!), I can now understand what I wasn’t getting before. Maybe I just wasn’t ready to think of Thor as a character who had actual character depth (even if his character at the time was as shallow as possible). Ah well, now I know!

  • Natalie Portman: Jane Foster

    Um. She’s…. ok? To be honest, I never liked her in this and on rewatching I still don’t really see her as anything to write home about. Or write an article about. Personally I think that Kat Dennings is way more fun to watch as Darcy Lewis, even though she’s relegated to “sidekick” status here. So yeah, kinda dull.

  • Tom Hiddleston: Loki

    There’s not many characters in the MCU who start as they mean to go on. The actors get comfortable in their roles and can make them come alive more. I think that Hiddleston hit the damn nail on the head here and gave us a Loki who we KNOW will go bad and we also know that he actually has good reason to. The fine line of humour, drama and madness is there from the start and only gets better down the line. Well done Hiddles!

  • Everyone Else: Everyone Else

    As you may guess, there’s waaay too many people to list even all the main characters here without taking 90% of the article length. So here’s the ones I found fun:

    – Odin: A good character for this film but I’m glad he wasn’t on screen more, if that makes sense.

    – Heimdall: Idris Elba. Fun! Next!

    – Sif & The Warriors Three: Kinda fun but basically end up being time wasters by the end. Not a huge criticism, given the run time there was no more room, but still valid.

The Setting

This film was our first introduction to Asgard, the realm of Thor and Norse Gods, within the MCU. And they actually did quite well spending time there, given that tradition would dictate that you get an intro, maybe 20 minutes max, before Thor gets stuck on Earth with minimal screen-time for Asgard after that. At least, that’s what most comic book films did back then, because audiences wouldn’t want to see lots of stuff in totally fantasy realms that they can’t relate to. Or so seemingly ever single studio thought. Not Marvel though. We got LOADS of time in Asgard and even a fair share of time in Jotunheim, the realm of the Frost Giants. I really do appreciate how different this film was to others that came before.

Now the flip side is that I actually get kinda bored with the Earth stuff. There’s a fairly boring location, not really much that happens outside of “Hey, I want my hammer back!” and “Hey, they took my research!” until The Destroyer arrives (though surely simply yelling “Klaatu Barada Nikto” would have ended that fight really quickly!). So funnily enough the exact opposite of what most studios had feared occurs where we get bored with the stuff that should make us connect with the characters on a subconscious personal level and we enjoy more the stuff that we cannot begin to connect with in the same way. Who’d have thought it?

Alrighty, we’ve heard a fair bit from me but my partner-in-crime has yet to chime in. Let’s fix that right now! Take it away Bubba!

It’s been a while since I’ve watched this. In fact, I think I watched it once during the first year of this site and I don’t think I’ve re-watched it since. I do enjoy Thor as a character and a setting as I’m a fan of high fantasy and Thor is a mix of high fantasy and superhero, and this first movie has a touch of fish out of water with Thor coming to Earth. It’s interesting to look back at this origin story for Thor considering how much he’s changed over the course of three solo movies and four Avengers movies. It’s a bit of a backlash to see where he started, but it also makes his transformation so interesting. Plus, the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston is evident right here from the beginning. The only downside is that Thor spends half of the movie being the pre-heroic Thor who is a complete arrogant jerk, and director Kenneth Branah has a bit of an overuse of Dutch tilts during most of the scenes on Earth. Otherwise, it’s a fun action origin with a touch of romance.

During the first phase of the MCU, Thor was actually the highest grossing origin behind Iron Man. It was also part of the MCU’s ongoing goal to bring in relatively big named directors not known for doing superhero movies like Kenneth Branagh who was best known for his Shakespearean tendencies. And as of 2020 based on currently announced titles, Thor will be the only Marvel hero to have a fourth solo movie unless Love and Thunder becomes more of an origin story for Jane-as-Thor. As far as the MCU goes, it’s important as the origin for one of the original Avengers though it’s possible that it might be replaced by Ragnarok which was a big turning point for the character to bring him more into the comedy realm. But as for the list as it stands. I’m sticking by this one, especially over the less well received the Dark World.

Danke Mr Wheat. And so, we bring ourselves to the big questions. The questions that we must all ask ourselves from time to time. And those questions are:

  1. Would I recommend this film to others?
  2. Does this film deserve to be on the list?
  3. If so, where does it appear on the list?

Given that I seem to have developed a pattern of following the usual order of numbers, let’s go for #1 first.

1) Yes. I’d even recommend doing as I did, watching the film again after seeing the others. You get the full appreciation of the arc of Thor (and his washboard progression) AND I feel like I understood more of the film once I had more knowledge of the world.

2) Yup. See above & it’s the origin of an amazing Superhero!

3) Let’s see. Carry the 2, cross out the 9 and add Pi. So that puts it….

  1. Hellboy
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger
  3. The Crow
  4. Men In Black
  5. Dr Strange
  6. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
  7. Megamind
  8. Thor
  9. Batman: The Killing Joke
  10. Superman 3
  11. The Wild Wild World Of Batwoman
  12. The Meteor Man
  13. Supergirl
  14. Howard The Duck
  15. The Fantastic Four (1994)
  16. The Punisher
  17. Batman & Robin
  18. The Amazing Spider-Man
  19. Batman Forever
  20. BvS: Dawn Of Justice

    Potential Substitutions:

    Wonder Woman (replacing The Death Of The Hulk)
    X-Men: The Last Stand (replacing Catwoman)
    Turbo Kid (replacing The Incredible Hulk)
    The Incredibles 2 (replacing Fant4stic)

Maybe a bit of a surprise for you guys there, but I feel that’s about right. And now we must draw this review to a close. As the Bifrost Bridge begins to spin up, I shall bid you Adieu and…………

Oh bugger, it missed me. Ah well, I’ll walk then. Toodles!

The Best of the Decade pt. 3: Marvel & DC

And it’s finally time to finish off this giant best of the decade list with the biggest superhero movies to come out over the past ten years. The blockbuster live action movies from DC, Marvel, and the connected Marvel Cinematic Universe. And hopefully after this, I’ll get back to watching some more movies including the movie that won the Patreon poll so be on the lookout for that review coming up soon, plus the new releases will be starting very soon kicking things off with Birds of Prey, the sequel/spin-off for Suicide Squad. It’s been a great decade for Marvel, DC has been much more hit and miss with a strong finish. So, let’s get to the lists!

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #89: Fant4stic

Did NOBODY say anything about just how bad that title looks?

#49: Fant4stic

Or

Something tells me you might know how I feel about this film already. Let’s see…

First Impressions

Ok. I’m going to admit something here that I think you might be a little surprised by. I didn’t hate the 2005 Fantastic Four film. I know it’s not good, but I was alright with it. I went into this film knowing that it had a SOLID cast, a director who had done some good work and a studio with money behind it. So, all things considered, sounds like a great recipe! Then I saw the film in the cinema. And now you get to hear about it.

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Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix 2019

This is apparently the swan song for the Fox version of the X-Men that really started the modern era of superhero movies and re-started with 2010’s First Class, and is now lumped into the Disney conglomerate so future cinematic X-Men will likely be tied into the MCU. It’s also one of the few 2019 releases that I wasn’t able to make it out to see in theaters even though this was a generally lighter year for superhero and comic book movies, or at least the year was heavily front loaded with several releases in the early months of the year. In general, I’ve been a fan of nearly all of the X-Men movies aside from the ones everyone hates. But I’ve also generally enjoyed the more recent ones that have been pretty middling to most audiences. I don’t think they handled every character very well, but they did do a few things right in this movie and I enjoyed more than I disliked. And while this is still a relatively new release, I will be discussing the plot in its entirety so there may be spoilers.

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BlokeBusting The Essentials #41: Men in Black

I don’t think the title is obvious enough…

#41: Men In Black

Or

Don’t Be A Menace To New York While Chilling With Aliens In HQ

There’s waaaaay too many Will Smith references that we could start this one off with. Nah, forget it. Yo homes, to the review!

First Impressions

I recall going to see this film with a friend of mine, my family and his. We took the train there (since that’s a thing that you can actually do if you live in the UK), we watched the film and I’m moderately confident that I spent the majority of the train ride back talking about various things from the film. So I think it’s fair to say that I enjoyed this film the first time. Did it hold up? Let’s find out…

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Top 10 Aliens in the Men in Black Movies

With the recent home video release of Men in Black International, I thought it was a perfect time for me to revisit the original trilogy as well as the rebootquel and come up with a list of my 10 favorite aliens in the series. Plus, aside from the second one, I do enjoy watching all of these movies and the first and third are some of my favorite movies. I liked the rebootquel more than most, but I’m not too broken up that it doesn’t seem like it will continue into its own franchise. Also, this is part of my Patreon rewards program, for just $1 a month, you could get early access to articles like these and help decide on a movie that I review each month. So click right here and help support this site and help it continue to grow.

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