Tag Archives: Marvel Comics

“Iron Man 3” (2013)

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When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Directed by Shane Black

Reviewed by Brian –

I really enjoyed the first two Iron Man films and was looking forward to watching this one. It’s tough to put your finger on just why this one doesn’t feel right. I had my Iron Man checklist ready:

Sarcastic and funny Tony..check

Humor within the action…check

Formidible bad guy…check

Romantic chemistry…check

But, why didn’t this one succeed like the first two films? The main problem is the story just isn’t compelling. A former business associate turns into a fire guy while running an underground terrorist organzation to flush out the president so the Vice President can take over to pass his legal agendas? That’s really the best idea they could come up with?

There’s thousands of issues of Iron Man available with far more compelling enemies and plot twists that they could of decided on. Another issue I had is that they really make Iron Man far too vulnerable. One of the reasons that super hero films are so engaging is that you have a collection of characters that can do spectacular things. “Iron Man 3” doesn’t even have Tony in the suit for 85% of the film and when they do a lot of his suit’s functions either don’t work or are ineffective against his foes. It’s hard to accept when in the Avengers movies he was taking out an advanced alien race, fighting toe to toe with a God, and hurling a nuclear bomb into a wormhole. Now I’m supposed to believe that because a group of people can turn their skin hot, he’s done for?

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My criticisms may sound harsh but I still enjoyed watching “Iron Man 3.”  Robert Downey Jr. is typically great in the role, Ben Kingsley has some scene stealing moments, and the special effects are better than ever. It just didn’t click together for me. You could possibly chalk it up to the change in director from Jon Favreau to Shane Black. Black’s tone is certainly darker and more desperate which takes away some of the fun. But, I tend to feel the more of these comic book films come out, the more the writers have to find ways to challenge our super heroes. The problem with Iron Man 3 is it challenged him to the point of making him no longer feeling super.

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Brian’s Review – “Ghost Rider – Spirit of Vengeance”

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I have no one to blame for the abysmal, wretched, horrible, pitiful and downright painful experience of watching this pile of shit but myself. I watched the original Ghost Rider and thought that movie sucked and yet somewhere in my mind I said, “Well, let’s give another Ghost Rider movie one more day in court. They can’t possible do worse.” Well, guess what? It’s worse…..a lot worse. This is my pic for the turkey of the year.

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The script is pointless, Nicholas Cage’s acting is laughably horrid as is the rest of the cast, you don’t know what’s going on and when you do you won’t care and the direction is completely rudderless and full of so many bad ideas that I don’t know how the producers green lit it. I cannot overstate for you to avoid this film. I’m sure many of you will have the line, “It’s a Ghost Rider film, what did you expect?” I’ll respond with: A MOVIE!! You know, a reason for me to sit for 2 hours and say that I experienced SOMETHING….ANYTHING!!!

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I would rather sit and stare at a fucking wall! Who in their right mind ever considered this acceptable for a major release? There’s no story, no progression of the characters, terrible special effects, confusing and pointless action scenes, miscast characters, and nothing even resembling a cohesive plot. Do NOT bother with this film even to pique your curiosity as to how bad it may be. It’s a full on exercise of what zero ideas and zero talent can accomplish with millions of dollars…

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Captain America: The First Avenger

Marvel launches another super franchise with this action-packed origin story, which follows Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) as he volunteers for a secret experiment during World War II. Transformed into a superhero named Captain America, Steve goes after the Axis. With his perfect physique and heightened reflexes — and his sidekick, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) — Steve battles the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), a super soldier created by Italian fascists.

Kyle
Rating: 8 out of 10

This actually came out about what I was expecting. I was a little concerned it would deliver similar to “Thor” but came out a lot better. My optimism finally paid off. 

Chris Evans didn’t disappoint. He brought a great performance as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Hugo Weaving was alright though I thought his German accent was off. I thought it was odd, too, that the organization that Red Skull led (Hydra) existed almost separate from that of the Nazi party. It just seemed Hydra’s intentions were very much different than that of the Nazi party from my original understanding of the Red Skull; no hints of Anti-Semitism. 

The only other thing that bothered me was at a few of the CG sequences with Evan’s head on a smaller body. A couple of the shots were a bit unbearable; his chin was not cropped properly and it just appeared to end. Also, I thought they could’ve scaled it down a tad so that his head was proportionate the body they put him on. Other than that, I thought it was a really good film. It had lots of action, suspense, and heart. Captain America just wants to help those in need and that mentality is seen from beginning to end. 

Oh, and the post-credits footage was bonerific. Great tease to what next summer will hold in store for Marvel fans.

Amazing Spider-Man trailer leaked

Kyle

As some of you may know, I’m a huge Spider-Man fan. He’s my favorite comic book character in the Marvel universe. He’s a smart and misunderstood kid who gains superhuman abilities and, after an incident involving his uncle, tries to make the best of it, as hard at times as it can be. Even as Spider-Man, he was never is well liked or trusted.

I was not disappointed from what I saw after watching the trailer. Marc Webb is definitely coming at this with a different approach. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect seeing as he had just finished “500 Days of Summer.”

The trailer began with Parker’s parents going away. I’m not sure if this essential to the story, a flashback or a brief introduction but I’m really hoping it’s essential to the story. None of the three films went into Parker’s past with his parents but from the comics, there’s a lot there. Anyway, there are cuts of him in school, at home, and of course him going to where he meets his fate. In those images, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is wearing a lab coat, which pretty much shows they’re being consistent in the comics with her pursue of science (unlike in SM3); she is also the first love of Peter.

The one thing that threw me off, though, was at the end of the clip. Yesterday I read on First Showing that Webb was trying to do as many effects physically as opposed to CG; which took them months to capture. What threw me off was the clip was a first-person shot of Webhead swinging about NYC, obviously using lots of CG. I’m guessing this is one of the few shots that they had to succumb to using CG. It is heartening to read a director trying to avoid CG on their film (didn’t Lucas give Jackson shit for not using CG in LotR?). Spider-Man is probably the worst superhero character to shoot a movie with regards to trying to avoid a lot of CG because of his abilities and all the web-slinging he does.
Even though I am getting sick of the reboots, remakes, prequels, sequels, and adaptations, Spider-Man is one I will never get sick of… wait, I said the same thing prior to seeing SM3. Oh shit. Let’s cross our fingers for no SM3, you guys.

Thor

Kenneth Branagh directs this Marvel Comics-inspired action flick about the thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a powerful warrior whose father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) — the king of Asgard — forces him to live among humans on Earth and learn humility. Once there, he finds a friend (Natalie Portman), along with unexpected enemies sent from his world. Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård and Rene Russo co-star.

Matt
Rating: 4 out of 10

Have you ever seen the Dolph Lundgren’s 1989 opus (sarcasm) “Masters of the Universe?” It’s a live-action adaptation of the He-Man cartoon series of the 80s. The basic plot is that He-Man is this super hulk with a special weapon he wields in the name of good to protect his far-off science-fiction, fantasy home. Somehow, the he gets warped to Earth where he struggles to adapt while trying to get back. Along the way, some of the baddies from his home come to Earth where a battle ensues.

Well, that’s the exact plot of Marvel’s latest, “Thor.” This movie fails in just about every way. Without a strong supporting cast, it could have been a 2 out of 10. I was not impressed. It’s had some tough competition to follow with the excellent Iron Man movies.

I wouldn’t recommend Thor. It’s so awkward, it makes you feel uncomfortable watching it. I’d recommend watching “Masters of the Universe.” The first youtube installment is below. At least it’s funny because of how bad it is.

X-Men: First Class

In this exciting prequel to the X-Men series, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) — the future Professor X and Magneto — are best friends dedicated to harnessing their powers and promoting the education of fellow mutants during the turbulent 1960s. The duo works together to stop a powerful adversary that threatens mankind, but their ideological differences drive them apart and turn them into ferocious enemies.

Rating: 8 out of 10

It’s amazing how popular and influential the Wolverine character can be. That characters’ inclusion in the original X-Men series caused a lot of the others to be largely ignored.  Professor X, Magneto, Cyclops, Iceman, and many others were barely glazed over, much less explored in any satisfying way.  In fact, Wolverine was such a popular character that Fox gave the green light to a $150 million budget for his own film and origin story. So, with “X-men First Class,” and no Wolverine to be found (except for maybe the quick funny cameo), how would an X-men film fare? 

Well, it turns out to be the best in the entire series.  A lot of the credit for that goes to director Matthew Vaughn ( Kick-Ass, Stardust) who makes sure  action never comes at the expense of plot and character development. Each of the primary characters in the X-Men First Class are perfectly cast and fleshed out in a way that makes us care what happens to them.  I remember when I watched the first 3 flicks in the series that I thought they were all well-made films but none ever engaged me enough to truly care what happened to any of them. The effects were great, the action was great, and the plots were decent. However, many other comic book films made since have caused me to ignore them. The first two Spiderman films, “Batman Begins,” “Dark Knight,” and the Hellboy films are all better. I suppose the difficulty with the X-Men series is that it never truly lended itself to a two hour movie format. There’s just too much back story, too many characters, and too big a world to explore that it’s impossible to explain it all, especially to the non-comic book readers. That’s where “X-Men: First Class” gets it just right.  It takes a step back and allows us to slowly get initiated into the world and character relationships to the point where all the other films will make a lot more sense. Is it on par with the greatest comic book films?  No, but it’s a lot of fun and works even for those that have never opened a comic book. 

Captain America Trailer Released

Kyle

“…because a weak man knows the value of strength, the value of power.”

Marvel has just recently released a full trailer for “Captain America: The First Avenger.” After watching it a few times, I have some mixed thoughts. As good as it looks, I’m not sure if the special effects in the cinematography are applicable. I mean, it looks good but if they are going for a true feel of World War II wartime, they shouldn’t have made given that unnecessary glow that it has. I haven’t seen Sky Captain, just some glimpses from the trailer when it came out, but the look of it reminds of that film. Perhaps my expectations of it are too high. I was kind of hoping for Saving Private Ryan meets X-Men.

The other thing I’m not sure about is Chris Evans’ portrayal of the cap. He played an okay hotshot in the terrible “Fantastic Four,” a good-looking street-smart with super powers in “Push,” and a funny hotshot in “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” My hesitancy comes from the fact that he usually plays cool, confident, and attractive guys more or less. For Captain America, I imagine a guy who you can see and feel the hardship of being a below-average guy with a big heart who’s literally given the opportunity of a lifetime. With Evans’, I just don’t see it. Let’s hope his delivery better than my expectations. With Weaving as Red Skull, I’m not too worried. Weaving has some experience playing at both ends of being good and bad (“The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta”). I really hope the Red Skull’s history is depicted in the film; growing up as an orphan who has to survive by living a life of crime and eventually becoming Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man. I equally enjoy watching the rise of a hero as well as the rise of a villain; it adds some humanity to the protagonist by giving a reason for their ruthlessness.

Despite my two little bugaboos, I still look forward to seeing it. As a nerd, it’s a definite must-see regardless if it’s really good. At its core, it’s about a helpless guy who wants to make a difference and becomes a superhero and, from what I briefly saw, gets the girl. That’s enough appeal to any nerd such as myself. Will it be a huge success? Maybe not but we now live in time where if any comic book-to-film comes out, it’ll be automatically be compared to The Dark Knight and thus denouncing it as “not as good as ‘The Dark Knight.’” That alone creates quite a bit of bias for future comic book films, as different comic characters are very different than that of Batman and the world in which Batman operates. Regardless of this theory, it’s a big budget film that’ll be guaranteed to make a lot of box office dollars. Check out the trailer below and let us know what your thoughts are.