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Power Rangers

Power Rangers 2017

I’m already back to the theaters this week, though I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see the indie film Wilson any time soon, but I took my wife and daughter to see this film based on the trailers and the box office and the few positive reactions I noticed this weekend so far. Last year I revisited both the original Power Rangers Movie as well as the second movie Turbo and while I had watched the first season or two of the show back when it aired, those did not hold up for me at all. This film did a much better job of updating this story and these characters by taking them more seriously, but not so seriously that everything became extremely grim-dark. It does feel a little bit like it’s trying to copy the Marvel formula, but considering how well that has worked for Marvel, it’s not that bad of an idea. And for myself, and my family, it worked.
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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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Batman vs. Superman

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

In the past couple years there hasn’t been many other films that have had the amount of buzz and hype that this film has had next to Star Wars and Civil War. And once the early reviews hit, they hit pretty hard. So even though I technically saw this film on opening day, I went in with a whole lot of trepidation. As far as my history with Zack Snyder, I’m generally more in favor of his films than against. While I haven’t seen his first feature film, Dawn of the Dead, I have enjoyed more than I haven’t. In fact the only film of his that I’ve actively disliked was Sucker Punch. And while Batman vs. Superman is weighed down by some of his shortcomings, there was enough mystery and nuance to the film that I enjoyed seeing where it was going. It mainly suffered from two things: it constantly mired itself in artistic flourishes to make it feel like it’s tackling serious topics rather than two guys in costumes fighting each other, and like Age of Ultron it had to spend a lot of time making it known that there’s connective tissue linking it to other films coming in the future. Finally, as is usually the case there may be spoilers ahead so tread carefully if you are worried about that sort of thing.
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X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014

Many people would say that the last good X-Men movie that we got was way back in 2003 with X-2: X-Men United which also happens to be the last film of the franchise directed by Bryan Singer. There was also the franchise re-boot with First Class directed by Matthew Vaughn which also got quite a bit of critical praise, and now we have this movie. Bryan Singer has come back to direct and Matthew Vaughn contributed to the script to bring the worlds of First Class and the original trilogy back together, even though the Last Stand is treated pretty much as if it never actually happened aside from a few memories in Wolverine’s head about what happens to Jean. Not only that, but this storyline is one of the most iconic and revered within the continuity of the X-Men comic, though I only know what was pulled from it for the 90’s cartoon series. Honestly, I loved where they went with this story and thought it was handled masterfully. There are still some holes here and there, but overall it was a fantastic way to tie together the rest of the movies into a slightly more cohesive continuity. There is a lot to cover in this movie, and as usual I’m not going to tread lightly on spoilers so be forewarned.
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Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass was a great hyper-violent superhero satire directed by Matthew Vaughn back in 2010, a few years later nearly everyone returns for the sequel minus the director. I was a big fan of the original Kick-Ass and had high hopes for the sequel following some fun looking trailers and the addition of Jim Carrey to the cast, despite his public disapproval of the film’s violence a couple months ago. The original had a nice commentary about some of the realities of real-life superheroes contrasted with some balls to the wall stylish action scenes involving an 11 year old girl and a not insignificant amount of blood. The sequel tries to bring back what worked in the original, but only hits its mark about half of the time. It’s still a good movie and it’s great to see Hit Girl back to kick some ass, but it just never reaches the original in terms of flair, humor, or message, and when it comes close it feels more like a rehash of the original rather than a return. There are a few possible surprises in this movie which I will mention so here’s your obligatory spoiler warning if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
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