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Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix 2019

This is apparently the swan song for the Fox version of the X-Men that really started the modern era of superhero movies and re-started with 2010’s First Class, and is now lumped into the Disney conglomerate so future cinematic X-Men will likely be tied into the MCU. It’s also one of the few 2019 releases that I wasn’t able to make it out to see in theaters even though this was a generally lighter year for superhero and comic book movies, or at least the year was heavily front loaded with several releases in the early months of the year. In general, I’ve been a fan of nearly all of the X-Men movies aside from the ones everyone hates. But I’ve also generally enjoyed the more recent ones that have been pretty middling to most audiences. I don’t think they handled every character very well, but they did do a few things right in this movie and I enjoyed more than I disliked. And while this is still a relatively new release, I will be discussing the plot in its entirety so there may be spoilers.

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RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn

RoboCop Prime Directives: Crash & Burn 2001

I’ve finally come to the end of this four part miniseries and it’s going to be difficult to really say too much that I haven’t said in the previous reviews. There were a few more ultraviolent moments as well as some entertaining bits. The interstitials felt almost nonexistent compared to the previous two episodes though they did have some good moments through the end credits. The budget really showed in this episode with the climax using the most of the extremely limited budget and without a great, compelling story and characters to back it up, it really fell pretty flat. There were some nice callbacks here and there but it was mostly just an uninteresting finale to a dull miniseries.

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RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection

RoboCop Prime Directives: Resurrection 2001

I’m continuing through the four part RoboCop miniseries that originally aired in Canada and I’ve noticed that it really is starting to feel much more like a series rather than four connected movies. In a way the actual story of the movie is getting better as threads are starting to thread deeper and the characters are getting farther along on their arcs. On a different day, I might actually not consider this on my list of movies, but today I’m feeling generous. The third part has a few less interstitial interruptions and the ones they have aren’t as entertaining as the one in Meltdown but I’m definitely ready for this series to be over with the next installment.

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RoboCop Prime Directives: Meltdown

RoboCop Prime Directives: Meltdown 2001

It’s been a while since I watched the first episode of this four part miniseries that originally aired in Canada as the library only carried the first volume. But I’ve currently got a 1 month trial of Amazon Prime and all four episodes are on there so I thought it would be the perfect time to finish this series up. I didn’t remember a whole lot about the first episode but I remembered that I didn’t care for it enough to re-watch it so I just jumped right into this second episode. While the main storyline is nothing to write home about despite being much more violent than the earlier RoboCop sequels, the satirical news and commercial breaks mixed in really caught me in just the right way and made this a much more enjoyable movie because of them.

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Men in Black International

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.

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Avengers: Endgame

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.

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Inspector Gadget 2

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.

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Ant-Man and the Wasp

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.

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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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