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Category Archives: Marvel

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 2018

Generally, the two most difficult types of reviews to write for this site are comedies and films that I enjoy. To put it mildly, Deadpool 2 is both of these things. When the first movie came out, it was a surprise hit and quite possibly rejuvenated the R rated superhero movie despite Watchmen’s mild success back in 2008. Deadpool’s comedy was something that hit in just the right way for audiences that were nostalgic for 80’s music but also current internet memes and Ryan Reynolds has the right kind of passion to get the film into the right people’s hands to make it something that does justice to the character that it previously lacked. The sequel ups the ante with a better story, better characters, a bigger budget, and keeps the humor intact for a ride that’s more enjoyable than the first movie as long as the humor hits you in the right way.

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Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War 2018

While I’m a bit late in writing this as I did actually watch it on opening weekend and even recorded a Lambcast on the movie, and even though I wrote most of this first paragraph back when I saw it the first time, it took me quite a while to revisit it as I am catching up on the films I missed reviewing over the course of 2018. The movie bills itself (or at least many others have billed it this way) as a movie ten years in the making since the introduction of the MCU proper with the first Iron Man movie. This brings together nearly all of the heroes that we’ve seen in the previous movies to come together to fight their greatest foe yet with the power to destroy the universe with the snap of a finger. It’s difficult to fault this movie much as it follows a similar arc as the first Avengers movie only on a much larger scale. There’s higher stakes, more characters, more action and death, but it balances them all just as well as the first team-up movie and much better than the second. And while most anyone interested in seeing the movie at all has already seen it, there will be spoilers from here on out.
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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018

It’s been a long year and while I have been to the movie theaters a few times to see movies that I would have normally reviewed for this site, only the first couple actually worked out that way. But I had heard such great things about this movie that I just had to see it. And everything I heard was true and more. The visual style of this film is gorgeous and unlike anything else I’ve ever seen before. The sheer amount of Easter Eggs and references that only a major comic book nerd could fully catch was astounding, and the way it opened up the Spider-Verse to someone only knowledgeable via movies and TV series was fantastic. And to top it all off, it had a great story, great action, hilarious comedy, and fully formed characters with interesting and believable choices. Just a great way to round out 2018. And since this is a very recent movie, I always discuss the movie in full so this is your spoiler warning.

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Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok 2017

Surprisingly, as much as I enjoy the MCU, over the past year and a half I hadn’t been keeping up with every release like I might have expected to despite all the rave reviews I had heard for this one as well as Ant-Man and the Wasp. The MCU has always been about making action comedies, though most of them have been heavy on the action and light on the comedy. This time director Taika Waititi turns things on its head and gives practically a full blown comedy with some action elements. It might initially seem like an odd choice for Thor to be the property to transition from a more Shakespearean action/fantasy to an action comedy, but it really works. Especially with Chris Hemsworth’s charisma and the addition of Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster. The more dramatic stuff still works, but through and through it’s a comedy with plenty of laugh out loud moments.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming 2017

Still finding it difficult to get back into the swing of watching superhero movies and writing on this site, but this past weekend I managed to watch one of the MCU movies that I missed last year even though it took me nearly a week having it from the library before actually watching it. Which is a little odd since I’ve heard almost nothing but good things about the latest Spider-Man even though it’s been such a quick reboot since the last iteration. I did quite enjoy Tom Holland’s full-fledged entry into the MCU but there were a couple things that I noticed while watching the film. First is how often the film side-steps many of the traditional superhero movie tropes. But on the other side of things, while it isn’t an origin story, it actually still manages to hit a lot of the origin story beats that we’re used to, just with a slight adjustment to them.
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Black Panther

Black Panther 2018

I’m still working on getting back into the swing of things here but I did manage to get out to the theaters to see the latest Marvel movie even though I missed the last two. Luckily, this falls in line with the end of the previous phase where Ant-Man came out just before Avengers: Age of Ultron and also had little to do with the overall phase’s arc, instead it’s a mostly stand-alone film with just a few ties to the rest of the movies. Notably Civil War where T’Challa made his debut. Honestly, the movie this reminds me the most of is Wonder Woman as it is very important for its cultural impact in the realm of superhero movies as this does for the Black community what Wonder Woman did for women. The main difference is that where Wonder Woman was weakest in the third act, Black Panther’s weakness lies in its overall lack of strong action set pieces. But what it lacks in action, it more than makes up for with strong characters, themes, and gorgeous visuals. And just for full disclosure, I am a middle aged white guy from the suburbs and I will get into spoilers.
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Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything down here on this site, but I still have a lot of comic book and superhero films to cover so I haven’t fully gone away. This weekend I was able to make it to the theater to see the latest comic book movie to hit the screen with Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle. I was a big fan of the first film and while I thought that they brought a lot of the same attitude and action of the original, once I left the theater, much of the character development and overall plot just didn’t hold up to deeper thought once I left. It’s still fun, but not quite as impressive as the first entry in the series.
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Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 2017

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was a semi-surprise hit. I say semi because even at that point, anything with “Marvel Studios” plastered in front of it would be in for a certain amount of success. And as for James Gunn, I enjoyed his previous film Super but still haven’t gotten around to his quirky horror movie Slither. And as much as I loved the first movie, I expected this second one to be more of the same. Following in the footsteps with the same level of chemistry and humor and for the most part, that’s what I got. But more than that, I got a level of heart that I wasn’t quite expecting, and some major themes of family that I imagine must be present in the later Fast and the Furious movies, though I also haven’t seen any of those just yet. And finally, as with most of my new release reviews, I will be discussing the film as a whole including any potential spoilers.
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Logan

Logan 2017

It’s been a long 17 years since I first saw Hugh Jackman on screen playing Logan aka Wolverine. In those 17 years I graduated college, got married, had a kid, moved almost a dozen times, and every couple of years or so there would be another X-Men movie where I would get the chance to see Hugh Jackman play the role once again. There has been a lot of fluctuation in the cast of these films, but there has been one constant, one actor you could count on to at the very least give a two word cameo. The quality of the films fluctuated quite a bit but one thing never seemed to waver: Jackman’s commitment to the role and his performance. The Last Stand or X-Men Origins: Wolverine are not great movies, but Jackman still gives a great performance and embodies what we have come to think of as the definitive Wolverine in spite of comic purists who may complain about his 6 foot stature vs comics Wolverine’s much shorter height. It’s so great that he was able to make his (supposed) last role as the character such an unforgettable one where he gets one hundred percent of the spotlight and makes Wolverine feel like the well rounded character that he is.
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Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange 2016

It’s already come to the last theatrical superhero movie of 2016, there’s still a couple others that I have to get around to, but that will come later. This film is sparked by a seemingly small amount of controversy by most people, and yet it’s just as an important topic to talk about. I will be discussing the controversy, but I will also be looking at the film separate from the lateral diversity in the form of whitewashing. It’s also yet another origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while there are plenty of differences to separate it from the rest of the MCU, there are still several of the same typical Marvel notes that we’ve seen across the last dozen or so movies. This is the third time Doctor Strange has graced this site in a solo movie, and almost all of my knowledge of this character comes from those two previous movies. And as always is the case on this site, there may be spoilers so be warned.
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