Summer Movie Reviews: Now with 100% More Robot Avengers

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 4.5/5

This movie rocked. Spoilers ahead. I don’t know why people were down on it. I read some reviews and they were nitpicking like “Whats the point if we know that they’re all going to assemble again in a few years?” You’re dumb, movie critics.

This is everything you could have possibly wanted in an Avengers movie, and it felt way more like the comic book Avengers than the first film.

The bad:
There were a few little plot strings that bothered me, and it too is nitpicking. Andy Serkis/Claw kind of just disappeared and was there for set up for Civil War and Black Panther. Maybe Dr Cho died, but I thought she didn’t and should have been at the new Avengers Academy at the end so she felt like a real part of the movie. Black Widow/Hulk stuff was fine for the most part, except they’re “Lets run away together and leave everyone else to fight Ultron and save people.”

I would have preferred Ultron to be darker and more evil evil, but he is still a strong villain and we don’t know if he’s actually dead. If you know anything about comics, unless you see a dead body then they aren’t dead. And even if you see a dead body they probably aren’t dead. I have my own theory why he’s alive I’ll share if you ask me to.

I don’t know what it is about Black Widow, but when Joss Whedon is doing the writing/directing I do not enjoy the character. In Cap 2 and Iron Man 2, I quite liked her.

The good:
Basically the entire film. It starts off letting you know exactly what you’re getting. A cool like 2 minute shot of everyone doing their sweet fighting together like the Avengers in the comics/cartoons. Fighting like a team. It was awesome.

Hulkbuster fight. Awesome.

Vision. Awesome. Great comedy as well.

They made Hawkeye interesting! That was so good. And better than that, they gave him a role of his own. He is the “normal guy” on the team.

Linking the two films centered around Loki’s staff and the Mind Stone was a great tidbit for comic nerds that I don’t think non-nerds will quite follow.

We saw heroes saving people. That is huge to making them heroes versus violent fighters.

Ultron’s execution and naivete was spot on. I liked how different his plan was compared to the comics and to other villains. He wasn’t going to destroy the world by shooting it. He wanted to do it by causing a legitimate disaster.

I enjoyed the little plot threads we got to see for Civil War, Ragnarok, and tie-ins to the space alien stuff with Guardians.

The trailer’s do not spoil the whole film. The trailers were basically picked from 2-3 scenes in the first 40 minutes. Also nothing from the end of the movie. Surprise ūüôā

The awesome:
Rotating the cast of the Avengers team gets top marks from me. It keeps things fresh and also keeps the growing the universe. It also allows for them to do more Avengering as Thor and Hulk, in practical terms, limit exactly what the team can do and how often.

Cap, Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch and Vision make a nice new team with a whole new dynamic.

Plus we know that Iron man, Hawkeye, Thor and Hulk will come back for Infinity War and some of them for Civil War.

Killing Quicksilver and not Hawkeye made me go “Say whaaa!” because it really threw me for a loop. I like that. I guess Quicksilver was really just in there so Marvel could get their hands on Scarlet Witch first.

Other reviews

To come this summer:

  • Mad Max, May 15
  • San Andreas, May 29
  • Entourage, June 5
  • Jurassic World, June 12
  • Antman, July 17
  • Fantastic Four, August 7
  • Hitman: Agent 47, August 28
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, December 18

Maybe to come this summer:

  • Ted 2, June 26
  • Terminator: Genysis, July 1
  • Pixels, July 24
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, July 31
  • Goosebumps, October 16
  • Jen and the Holograms, October 23

5 Marvel Movies I Am Waiting For

Doctor Strange

Doctor-Strange Forgive the latency as I know they have began casting, but I can’t wait. I seriously can’t wait. I love all the magic shenanigans and I like that “powers” are actually becoming a thing in Marvel’s own universe. We have humans with a suit of armor, a soldier on super steroids, a science experiment gone wrong, gods and some master assassins. But no real “magic” like demons and stuff, as I consider Thor and Asgard their own thing and not magic in the Dr Strange way. Also quite like the fact he’d only be passively linked to the Avengers since he was never really an Avenger. Casting choice: Been hearing a lot about ol’ Benedict Cumberbatch which would be intersting, although I do dig the idea of Jack Huston. Continue reading

Ranking the Modern Marvel Movies, 17-7

Continuing to rank these films. Got through pretty well all of the poop last time. This was hard to rank as most of these movies in here are relatively interchangeable a few spots give or take.

17. Incredible Hulk

This isn’t bad, but its not good. Its much less ambitious than Ang Lee’s “Hulk” and it suffers/improves accordingly. They got closer to getting Bruce Banner and The Hulk right this time around, but still whiffed a bit. I like Ed Norton, but I don’t think he really fit as Bruce Banner. Liv Tyler sucks. Otherwise, the casting for the most part is well done. Blonsky is a sensible “villain” and the camera work and story isn’t really that bad either. It just misses “clicking” and the Hulk design not resembling in any sense Ed Norton. That part really bugged me.

16. Thor

This movie had the potential to be so much worse but, like with most good comic book movies, good actors can sell you on the silliness. The casting was another home run. Sif, Odin, Thor and Loki are all casted perfectly and all bring the right amount of maturity and immaturity to the movie. The characters, even the grating ones, have great chemistry with each other. Sending Thor to earth works to balance the giant golden city of gold everything that Asgard is. Few too many Dutch camera angles though.

15. X-Men

This entire list owes it to this movie for being the first. Its low budget and thats obvious, especially as it has aged. But at the same time¬†it was certifiably nuts¬†and did everything it needed to do. It also laid down the template for pretty well every comic book movie to execute and improve upon which is why this ranks where it does. Huge impact, but over time its been outdone. The casting in this movie is perfect except for Rogue. Anna Paquin…

14. The Amazing Spider-Man

This is a perfectly fine and unoffensive remake of Spider Man. I enjoyed the character chemistry, which is a strength of the reboots. Andrew Garfield fits Spider Man as a hero better than Toby McGuire. Emma Stone is flawless. The biggest gripe I have is that he learned his powers too easily in the movie. He swung around a dumb empty warehouse on a skateboard and POW! he was Spider Man. Also, how crazy Curt Connors got was strange. Went from “OMG I can haz arm!” to “EVERYONE SHOULD BE LIZARDS!” I sort of get it and know and saw what they tried to do to show the descent, but they just whiffed on it. Went for a home run and got a bloop single into right field.

13. Iron Man 2

I’m so wishy washy on this movie. I had it at 16 and I’ve had it higher so I settled on here. When you watch it with your turbonerd vision on, which is how I watch all comic book movies, then you see a lot more to it. Its perfectly fine and fun. The character chemistry is still there and there is lots of Iron Man-ing. A lot of the things that others see as plotholes, I have totally reasonable non-fanboy explanations that are actually in the movie. Synthesizing the vibranium was a¬†little¬†outlandish though.

12. Spider-Man

This is a good movie. While Andrew Garfield is a better Spider Man, Toby McGuire is a better Peter Parker to me. He’s better at the nerdy, down on his luck character with all sorts of conflicts. James Franco does Harry Osborne well too and the casting is pretty strong. I don’t know if Kirsten Dunst is a bad MJ, or if its the lack of chemistry between her and McGuire that brings her character down. The plot is good and comic booky while believable and the CGI holds up really well over time. Its complete and very satisfying.

11. X-Men: First Class

Another ace in character casting. Beast, Professor X, Magneto and Mystique are all excellent and many of the side characters are very well done too. I’d give the show stealing performance to Michael Fassbender. He’s an excellent Magneto and his scenes accordingly¬†excellent. If it wasn’t for the bomb that was Origins: Wolverine, we were supposed to get a Magneto movie but they folded a lot of those scenes (Magneto the Nazi hunter) into this one. I really enjoyed how the super hero conflict was blended into actual history. Its a very strong origin for the franchise and really established the strong relationship between Professor X and Magneto.

10. Thor: The Dark World

Much like the first film, this one is goofy and dumb but it pulls it off. They fully embraced more of the weird spacey realm mytholgy things. Hemsworth has improved every time he’s held the hammer. Hiddleston is Loki. Loki is Hiddleston. Jaime Alexander is excellent as Sif, while criminally underused. And even Natalie Portman and her team of misfit scientists make this work. There is case to be made that of the post-Iron Man Marvel movies that this hast the weakest villain, and well yeah. No charisma or pull, which is unfortunate with an actor like Ecclestone under all that makeup. He’s just an evil bad dude. But a combination of Loki, improved action, scope of the plot and with more time spent on not-Midgard really makes it enjoyable.

9. Iron Man 3

I get wishy-washy on this Iron Man movie too. I had it at 15, then 7 and everywhere in between. Its really good. The tone is great. Its fun. It has all the great character chemistry you’d expect. It also does a good job at¬†emphasizing Tony Stark as the hero versus the Iron Man suit as the hero. But I have my issues with it. First and foremost, The Mandarin as an actor and bathroom humour vehicle. But then again, I love the Extremis storyline and liked Guy Pierce’s character. The twist was interesting¬†and¬†cheap at the same time. And that is what tears me on it. From a movie standpoint, its great. But from a comic book standpoint, it takes a few too many liberties in a way I wasn’t totally okay with. Its everything you’ve come to expect from Iron Man in the previous movies, but at the same time unique and different which was refreshing. And it wasn’t just another villain in a suit which I LOVE LOVE LOVED! It also really set up an interesting world for Avengers 2¬†and find out just what Tony’s been doing.

8. The Wolverine

This is a really interesting “comic book movie” because it really wasn’t all that comic book movie, but it was. It was character driven and the scale of the plot was stripped down from what we’re used to seeing in these movies with world domination¬†and extinction¬†and whatever. It was a really different take on the character and reminded me of the Terminator 2. There isn’t a lot of excess at all and it keeps things moving pretty straight forward. It was very enjoyable in how lean and focused it was. Really a “Wolverine” movie versus a “Wolverine and Friends”. The end could be better, but thats a pretty common gripe with just about every movie.

7. Captain America: The First Avenger

I really have to hand it to this movie. They took a character that is as easy to screw up as Captain America and nailed it. They really embraced how old fashioned Cap is as a character instead of trying to turn him into a gritty soldier screaming “AMERICA!” That is my favourite part of this movie. He’s fighting for the USA, but not as this pro-America supremacist flag waving nut case. His values are simple like bravery and fighting for what is right while being entirely selfless. He’s the “ideal” American, while feeling like you can easily replace “American” with whatever your nationality is and lose none of the messaging. Then making it work in this day in age as a World War II movie mixed with space guns and a soldier who beats everyone by punching them super hard. The supporting cast is perfect as well. Arnim Zola to Peggy Carter to Bucky Barnes to Red Skull to everyone else.

Marvel movies 28-18

Marvel movies 6-1

Ranking the Modern Marvel Movies, 28-18

Gonna rank these bad boys since I’ve seen them all over the last 6 months. Except both Ghost Rider movies, but I heard I didn’t miss anything. And well, you didn’t miss anything with most of these either.

28. Fantastic Four

This movie sucks. They turned Marvel’s First Family into a silly sitcom family. Instead of fighting bad guys, they basically spend the entire movie bickering amongst each other. Its a shame, because Doctor Doom is arguably the greatest comic book villain of all time and he’s just marginalized by everything. The unreleased F4 movie from like 1991 is significantly better.

27. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

This movie sucks, but just a bit less because its less sitcom and more terribly done action movie. They actually do superhero stuff and save the world. Doctor Doom is bungled again. Galactus is a… cloud? Why is Reed Richards using his stretching ability to wheel ladies at a nightclub? Blargh, I hope Fox fixes it next time or just give it back to Marvel.

26. Elektra

When I went to HMV to get all the movies I didn’t have or couldn’t get on Netflix, I almost forgot this one existed until I Googled before leaving. Everything is forgettable and I don’t really even know what happened. I wonder how they got this approved after Daredevil.

25. Daredevil

This should have worked better. Daredevil is a great street-level superhero and especially in a time before Iron Man and the Avengers, this could have worked. But, its just not right. Ben Affleck didn’t work here, but I think it was more Fox trying to have their way with the material and “adapt” it for “regular” people. Granted, Michael Clarke Duncan and Colin Farrell do pretty well as villains, but things just aren’t right. All this time and I still can’t figure it out as far as what specifically doesn’t click, but its not good.

24. Punisher

I like the Punisher. I really do. He’s like comic book Max Payne or The Hitman. Like if Batman just gunned everyone down. He should be an interesting, violent, sorta-crazy vigilante, but he was just a boring, goofy caricature without the desire for gunfire and blood he should have. And seriously, getting back at John Travolta by getting him a parking ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant? This is a dude who is like the angriest, bestest dude at killing in the world with guns, and that’s vengeance?

23. Spiderman 3

I have so many reasons for hating this movie. All the dumb, goofy scenes like dancing and crying. Harry Osborne going nuts. Sandman’s whole “story”. Completely neutering Venom. But most of all, being so bad they rebooted it shortly after¬†into a completely average series of films. This movie sucks.

22. X-MenOrigins: Wolverine

F–k. This movie did a lot of stuff I like with all sorts of mutants and some really cool ideas¬†and Gambit but then everything got dumb and the execution was… well it was poo. The CGI sucks. There are 3 scenes its awful. First, when he’s looking at his claws in the mirror. Second, when he was destroying the fire escape. Third, the whole scene with Patrick Stewart and all the kids running towards him at the end. I want to know who came up with memory bullets, and “The Deadpool”, and Will.I.Am, and everything. Where did Gambit get a plane?

21. X-Men: The Last Stand

The only reason this is higher is because they killed Cyclops who totally sucks but that was only the first of two good things. The second good thing is how many mutants we got to see: Colossus, Shadowcat, Juggernaut, etc. Now onto the bad, such as everything. Its such a mess. The biggest mess. Of all messes. Plot, characters, dialogue, structure, camera work. There is a third good thing though and its honestly amazing how Magneto and Professor X have awful lines, but Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart deliver them so well they become mediocre. There is also all the action you could ever want to see too, but it can only be so entertaining before it becomes visual noise.

20. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Another steaming pile of crap. I don’t know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the good, which is Emma Stone and Emma Stone wearing skirts all movie. Why did we need like 4 villains? Electro sucks. His death makes no sense. Why did he wear boxers and a battery meter? The new Green Goblin is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in comics. And the plane scene was utterly pointless. And the parents story-line was horribly unsatisfying. And the whole thing just felt like 4 or 5 episodes of a Spiderman TV show played back-to-back and not at all like a movie. Andrew Garfield was up and down and overall meh again. The biggest sin of all is that this movie is “launching” us into the Spider Man Movie Universe. The most pointless and unnecessary movie universe of all movie universes.

19. Hulk

I wanted to like this more. Its really ambitious and is shot almost like a motion comic. Almost a literal comic adaptation. Or even taking a lot of the scenes from the TV show and making them into a movie. But it just doesn’t have any of the “it” factor to be really good. I think it comes down to an issue with the Hulk himself. Hulk is more of an antihero. He doesn’t do well as a hero, because once he turns green he just destroys everything. He doesn’t really have much intelligence as the Hulk which almost makes the action scenes sort of mindless. I think more of it falls on Eric Bana and trying to make Bruce Banner interesting.

18. Punisher Warzone

Punisher - War Zone Now, this movie isn’t terrible as a movie. Guns, explosions, wacky, good camera work. But it never really felt like the Punisher to me for whatever reason, and I just don’t quite know why that is specifically. Felt more like The Expendables before The Expendables. There is all the violence and gore and mess you’d expect from an R rated Punisher, but it didn’t fit.¬†Its been like 10 years and I still can’t pin point exactly what puts me off.

Marvel movies 17-8

Marvel movies 6-1