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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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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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FTMN Quickie: X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut

X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut 2015

While I haven’t made the time to watch the extended version of Batman vs Superman, I did manage to snag a copy of the Rogue Cut of Days of Future Past that I’ve been curious about ever since it was announced almost two years ago. Rogue has always been one of my favorite characters and I really enjoyed Days of Future Past so I was curious how much of an impact this change would have to the movie. I will say that ultimately it doesn’t make a significant impact in the overall story, there are a few scenes here and there and a couple extra jokes laced with some profanity that would have pushed the theatrical version just over the PG-13 limit, they don’t make a difference in the overall narrative, but it does answer just a few extra questions.
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Doomed!

Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four 2016

In the superhero movie world there’s one big secret out there that’s very poorly kept, the fact that there was a Fantastic Four movie fully produced, completed, and then shelved never to be released back in 1994. It’s also fairly widely known to those with any hint of an interest that the film was made merely to extend a deadline for the filmmaking rights to the characters. The only problem was that everyone below the line was never aware of this, from the director to the actors, and all of the crew. This documentary tries to tell the rest of their story and is able to fill in quite a few gaps in this story, though the entirety may never be fully known since the executives who know the other side of the story aren’t exactly keen on sharing. But regardless, this doc paints a fascinating picture through the eyes of people who were passionate about making this little movie that could despite a low budget, a rushed schedule, and a practically non-existent post production. This is an early review and the film will be released digitally on October 11th and available on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 20th through distribution by Uncork’d Entertainment.
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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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June-ing the Cult: Silver Emulsion and 3 Dev Adam

3 Dev Adam aka 3 Giant Men 1973

We’re halfway through this trip across a handful of cult superhero movies thanks to several of my cult blogging friends. Throughout the month of June, I’ve asked several bloggers that I know who often tackle their own fair share of obscure and cult films and asked them to each choose a superhero movie for me to check out and review. Thanks to Will from Silver Emulsion for picking today’s movie, if you go visit his site make sure to check out his thoughts on every Superman movie made, including many foreign knock-offs, including Turkish Superman.

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