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Category Archives: Marvel

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

I think it’s actually quite fitting that I have a review of Ultron just after my review of Suicide Squad. Both films had large expectations behind them, and both ended up falling quite a bit short of them for many fans. The biggest difference is that while considered a disappointment, it still snagged around a 75% approval rating from critics, though I imagine that many of those positive reviews still have the word “disappointment” or some variation of it within the text. In fact, one of the reasons why I didn’t immediately review this film after seeing it for the first time in theaters myself was because I felt like I needed to let it settle for a bit and I wanted to give it a second viewing with tempered expectations to help see some of the positives without getting stuck on the feelings of being let down from the perfection that was the first Avengers movie. I just didn’t quite expect that second viewing to come almost a year and a half later. But here we are. So, did it improve from that initial viewing? Yes, but there are still plenty of flaws throughout the run time.
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X-Men: Apocalypse

X-Men: Apocalypse 2016

We are starting to get deep into the summer movie season as we kick into the latest comic book movie with superheroes fighting superheroes, but at least in this case every movie has been about mutants fighting mutants. And very similar to the last two theatrical releases this year, I enjoyed this movie as well, but thought that overall it had some notable issues with it. There were definitely moments where I had a nice fanboy grin plastered on my face, and there weren’t really any parts during the film where I thought it was dragging, but after it was all over and I started thinking about it a bit more thoroughly, there were just too many questions that kept dragging through my head. And as is often the case with theatrically released movies, there may be spoilers ahead so read on only if you’ve seen the film or don’t care about knowing what’s to come.
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Filmwhys Spotlight: Hulk

The first episode of Filmwhys Spotlight where I showcase an underappreciated superhero film and talk to the fans who enjoy it. Kicking off this series is 2003’s Hulk directed by Ang Lee which is generally unloved when compared to the more recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but has some redeemable moments in it.

Joining me in this episode are John Turman, one of the screenwriters of the film, Paul Hawkins from the Blokebusters Podcast, Hermano DeSilva from the First Time Watchers Podcast, and Nick Piers author of the Armadillo Mysteries who can be found at NickPiers.com.
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Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War 2016

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is back with its latest installment of their ongoing franchise. And even though I watched this movie on opening night, I feel like everyone and their mother has already voiced their adoration upon this film, probably just because it was released in many other countries a week early. As a whole, Marvel films have been pretty high on my radar starting off with Avengers as the first MCU that was released since starting this site and most of the Phase 2 sequels were much better than the originals until they hit a bit of a snag with Age of Ultron that felt like they were too focused on setting up future films to worry about focusing on the current one. On that front, I felt like Civil War was a success, while it greatly helped to have knowledge of past films, Civil War felt much more self-contained than Age of Ultron. It has the fun aspect that permeates all of the Marvel films as well as some incredible action and some thought provoking themes, but it just didn’t quite knock it out of the park for me this time. And fair warning since this has just opened in the US, there may be spoilers ahead.
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Marvel Superhero Adventures: Frost Fight

Marvel Superhero Adventures: Frost Fight 2015

Just when I thought I had watched every Christmas related superhero movie they had to come out with another one. And in typical Marvel fashion, this one flew under my radar until it was actually released even though they did apparently announce the title at NYCC. It was just released digitally earlier last week and like most of Marvel’s recent home video releases it is very family friendly. But they have also switched animation styles yet again, going away from the anime and the cell-shaded CGI in favor of their TV style animation similar to Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy, though with only a few of the same voice actors. It does a nice job of tying Santa Claus into the Marvel universe, but it’s mainly just a very disjointed series of battles and/or gags with a very common holiday story at the end.
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The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014

There’s one thing that I’ve been enjoying about 2014 that I did not enjoy about 2013. Even though there have been roughly the same number of superhero and comic book movies, last year they were all packed into the 3 or 4 months of summer, while this year they have been spread out to mostly 1 or 2 a month. August has been the biggest month with three theatrical movies, and the rest of the year is pretty wide open with only the limited release Birdman, the graphic novel adaptation The Scribbler, and the first Disney/Marvel animated collaboration Big Hero 6. To date, I have only missed a couple theatrical movies including this one. It’s actually surprising because if you would have asked me last year, this would have probably been number two on my most anticipated list behind X-Men: Days of Future Past. But as I learned more about the movie from the trailers and the early reviews I decided not to take the time out of my busy schedule to go see it and instead waited until I could watch it at home. Ultimately, I think that was the best decision for me to make because when all was said and done, this is my second disappointment of the year next to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t nearly on the same level as that movie, there is still plenty of fun to be had here, and some great action beats. The problem is that it tried to combine too many characters and interconnected sub plots that just made it too confusing. It isn’t a Spider-Man 3 debacle, but it’s a far cry from the other movies. And finally I will give a quick spoiler warning as I will be mentioning a significant plot point from the end of the movie.
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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer 2007

I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about the release of this movie. I was a fan of the first Fantastic Four and I was looking forward to seeing what happened with the sequel. I was glad that they were bringing in the Silver Surfer and Galactus even though I had heard that they had turned him into a giant cloud. I don’t remember if I knew about the minor controversy with Doug Jones doing the motion capture and speaking role during production, but replaced by Laurence Fishburne’s voice afterwards. It came after a middle of the road movie and featured one of the most popular characters from the Fantastic Four, but it failed to generate enough interest and barely cleared its budget domestically. I still consider the first movie to be a guilty pleasure of mine and I expected more of the same out of the sequel. And while there is still some of that fun charm that I enjoyed in the first movie, it ends up working against itself more often than not. And on top of everything else, it fails at way too many of the necessary superhero tropes. There’s a weak villain, a weak climax, and a sacrifice that neither had weight nor real impact.
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Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four 2005

I recently talked briefly about this movie in my top 10 guilty pleasure superhero movies list even though it had been years since I had seen it last, I also think that it is one of the last few big superhero movies that I’ve yet to review here on this site along with its sequel, Elektra, TMNT, and just a couple others. While I did enjoy it the last time I saw it, I’ve had years of internet loathing to soak its way into my brain as well as years of quality cinema, superhero and otherwise to better allow me to see the flaws in this movie and boy did I ever. Of course, behind all the bad writing, dated special effects, and questionable casting choices there is still some fun to be had watching this movie and above all else, it’s still the Fantastic Four.
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Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United

Iron Man and Captain America: Heroes United

It seems like it happens quite often when a straight to home video release catches me unaware until it is actually released as is the case with this movie which is a pseudo-sequel to Iron Man and Hulk: Heroes United from last year. It has the same kinda cell shaded CGI animation style and the same voice actors for Iron Man and Hulk, though it doesn’t quite feel as young skewed as the previous attempt, it’s not too deep either. And similar to Iron Man and Hulk, I didn’t really connect with this movie aside from a couple fights and a couple laughs, it was too simple, too silly, and didn’t really feel connected with anything. Even my daughter Jena didn’t give this one a whole lot of interest. It’s interesting that while Marvel is dominating the box office, and has quite a few TV shows out there, but its home video animated movies are severely lacking.
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Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

There are a few things that I don’t do lightly, one of them is to go to the movie theater not just on opening weekend, but on opening night. Of course, it does help that these days opening night isn’t the midnight showing, I was able to catch a nice early 8pm showing and it wasn’t even the first one. But the reason why I ventured out to do this is because I was really excited to see this movie and my usual time to go on Saturday morning wasn’t nearly as early as I would have liked. But that’s all beside the point, I’ve been excited to see Guardians of the Galaxy from the first teaser and the fact that it’s directed by James Gunn. While he doesn’t have a perfect track record, I could really get behind what he’s trying to sell here. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Specials, but Tromeo and Juliet was my first Troma film, I enjoyed the live action Scooby-Doo movie for what it was, and I’m a big fan of his Super. It’s still crazy to think how Gunn was chosen for this movie in the first place, but I’m glad he was. The humor hit in all the right places for me, the soundtrack was amazing, and the ecclectic cast somehow managed to mesh in just the right ways. I don’t think it’s the Star Wars or Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Universe as I’ve heard it called, but it’s another well placed entry in the universe.
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