Things have been slowing down a bit here, but I’ve still managed to make it to the theaters once again to catch the latest non-Disney Marvel movie that wasn’t Dark Phoenix. Ok, so technically it’s an extra step removed from being a Marvel movie since it’s the latest sequel in a series of movies that were originally loosely based on a Malibu comic that was purchased by Marvel comics. But this is kind of a rebootquel as it reboots the series with two new leads replacing Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but still connects it to the previous three movies with references to Agents J and K as well as Emma Thompson as Agent O. The film was fun enough but it had a difficult time capturing the wonder of the first film while tossing in an undercooked mystery. And as this is a new release, I will be discussing the mystery in full so here’s your spoiler warning.Read the rest of this entry
Avengers: Endgame 2019
Even though it’s only been out for a little over a couple weeks, it feels like everyone has already seen this movie considering that it’s about to top Avatar to become the second highest grossing movie in the US of all time. The MCU in general has become the biggest franchise of all time in short order, offering up 22 movies over the course of only 10 years, and while most of the films follow a similar overall formula, the specifics of each film tends to vary wildly among secondary genres. The MCU films are safe, and yet they still manage to take chances, whether it’s giving unknown characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy a chance to shine, or what it does in this movie: it spends time to show the audience how the characters react to loss. This film feels like a culmination of all the previous MCU films in more ways than one, it revisits moments from earlier movies, and it generally offers closure for the majority of the original six Avengers in a rather satisfying way. And while the official spoiler has ended, I am still offering my typical spoiler warning from here on out.
Inspector Gadget 2 2003
This is one of those movies that’s been sitting in my Netflix queue for well over a year and I’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on it because I knew it was going to be pretty bad. But me being me, I was in the mood for a bad movie so I finally watched this one. Now, I was a big fan of the cartoon series when it was on Nickelodeon, but I never watched the first live action movie because I also suspected that it was kids movie trash. And while I did initially have some slight reservations on whether to actually consider this a superhero movie, I figured that there is a direct line from Cyborg to Robocop to Inspector Gadget. The best argument I heard against is that he is typically more of a spy than a superhero crimefighter, but at least in this movie, he’s a straight up cop. With super powers. So I think he’s just barely over the line. As for the actual quality of the movie? It’s straight to DVD Disney sequel trash that never got a laugh out of me and barely resembled the cartoon it was based on.Read the rest of this entry
Ant-Man and the Wasp 2018
It’s taken me a little while, but with the next MCU movie coming out next week I thought I’d finally catch up with the only Disney Marvel movie that I missed last year. I actually quite enjoyed the first Ant-Man and I was looking forward to this one but for whatever reason I just never got around to it until now. It followed up with the fun of the first movie without going quite as far into the comedy realm as Thor: Ragnarok though it is a little heavier on the comedy than most MCU movies. But what this film really has going for it is the positivity between the characters. There are villains including one who’s the prototypical bad businessman jerk like Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 or even Darren Cross from the first movie, but there’s no unnecessary negativity outside of the antagonist/protagonist conflict which is actually refreshing. Especially with Scott Lang’s family issues with being a divorced father. It’s a fun movie that expands what is possible with the Ant-Man tech and it’s always nice to have a mostly stand-alone story with only post-credits connections to the other movies.
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.
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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Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness 2018
This is the third movie in a trilogy from comic studio slash low budget animation studio Arcana. The first movie felt a little overly kiddish, the second was a little darker and a little better. The third movie finishes out the trilogy and ends up falling somewhere inbetween the two. This has always been a lower budget animated series, but somehow the lower budget is felt a lot more in this final chapter. And I’m still not overly familiar with the mythology behind HP Lovecraft but of the three, I think I’ve either just started to get the hang of it after watching it over the course of three movies, or it was less dense this time around. It’s still an odd choice for what appears to be a children’s film but it’s not a bad ending to the trilogy. And even though this is a less popular film, it’s still a fairly recent release which I will be going into full spoilers so here’s your warning.
Even though I watched this for the first time last year after I heard about the final twist that connected it to Unbreakable I never got around to writing about it until now. And honestly, I’m glad I did as I was able to watch a video showcasing some of the extra good parts that I missed the first time around and I also saw more things that I hadn’t quite noticed on a first watch. This was a great return to form for Shyamalan after a series of disappointments and even though Glass didn’t quite resonate with many of his fans, I think that this is a great trilogy with a very similar style. Where Unbreakable was the first act of the origin story, this is the second act where it showcases the origin of the villain. It also has a similar slow pace and real world explanations for the powers. Not only that, but it also holds its own as a stand-alone horror suspense movie.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part 2019
It’s been an interesting year so far for me, and while it’s only February, I’ve actually been doing quite well at keeping up with the new releases that I cover here on the site. And while LEGO Movie may have been a bit of a stretch to consider as a superhero movie at all, the sequel is even slightly moreso. But it still has LEGO Batman as a main character and the heroic characters are busy saving their world, so I’m rolling with it. As far as how it stacks up to the previous two movies, the humor is still the same but this one builds on the live action reveal of the first movie in a way that’s predictable but still enjoyable. And as I tend to mention with any new release reviews, I discuss the movie in full so if you’re worried about spoilers, here’s your warning.
Incredibles 2 2018
I’ve almost finished catching up with all the 2017 releases but I still have a ways to go with the 2018 releases. I actually watched this film with my daughter in theaters back when it first came out. I remember quite enjoying the film overall and hearing mostly positive praise for the film with a handful of complaints about how it was overly obvious and more or less mirrored the first film. Watching it again, I do see some flaws in logic, but for the most part it was great to see the family back together again and it felt just as good as it did the first time around. There’s a similar aspect of family difficulties right alongside some fantastic superhero action. There were a few questionable actions, but in general I was having too much fun just watching the movie that I didn’t really care.