Alright. Honesty time. With everything going on this week, after my first thoughts video (see here), I completely forgot about this. I usually like to take some time afterwards to write out a more detailed, still non-spoiler review. As much as I’ve been talking about the Marvel Studios/Sony Spider-Man: Far From Home this weekend, you’d figure it’d be impossible, but I forgot nonetheless. Anyway, here we go. My thoughts haven't swayed at all. This film plays the role of epilogue & sequel delightfully. Coming in as a more than solid sequel to Homecoming, while also putting a nice little bow on the 10 years we've decided to call The Infinity Saga. We get plenty of growth from every member of the Homecoming class. Tom Holland is great as Spider-Man, & watching how he develops as Peter Parker has been delightful. He's the perfect amount of awkward to personify the role. Even in his awkward relationship with MJ. It’s not just Holland that displays growth too. The layering to these characters epitomize teenage life. Adding to the cast this time around besides the always perfect Sam Jackson as Nick Fury is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. Hero from another dimension. Who also adds layers to this character in a role we’ve never seen the character step into. I love what they do with him. Gyllenhaal is amazing. Even more so, I like how they bring a really good explanation to Mysterio's power set. As with the original incarnation it's based in special FX. Which I always found weird in the books. As much as I love effects, they’re still not real. The way this film gets around this is one of my favorite things about it. Don’t want to get to into it as Marvel is making it harder & harder to review these without accidentally dropping major spoilers. Besides being an almost on par, if not on par sequel to the original, another place this film shines is in its epilogue quality. Capping off 10 years of anything is a chore. They do it perfectly, it feels like the issue that caps off a major comic book event. Basking us in the fallout, while giving us hints as where we could next. I love at one point the villain basically gives a social commentary on how we are in real life with these comic films while talking about people in their world. The two post credit scenes are awesome. The first gives us a look towards the future of Spider-Man, while the second gives us the same for the whole of the MCU. Loved this film though. Can’t wait to see it again. Everything I could've asked for to back up Homecoming while helping come back down to earth after the insaneness that was Endgame. Curious y’all's thoughts? As you see it let me know in the comments, like, & share.
As per usual, after my first thoughts video (here), I've taken a couple days to let Dark Phoenix set in. Then, write a more thorough non-spoiler review afterwards. After hearing all the poor reviews, I'm still surprised how much of this I really liked. Was it perfect? Not at all, but when put I to contrast everything we've got from the past 20 years of X-Men it does more than hold up. Not quite as great as X2 or Days of Future Past, but far from being a X3. In fact, I'd almost go as far to say spin-offs aside, I'd put this at a tie for 3rd place. Everyone holds their own, acting wise for what they're supposed to be. Major standouts from McAvoy's Professor X, & Fastbender's Magneto as usual. They've really held their own in some giant shoes left by their predecessors. There's a lot definite pros & cons to this film though. As I said, it's not perfect. It didn't really stick the landing in my opinion, & I'm only talking last 5 minutes of the climax. In a world without X3, I'd have probably been a little more lenient. However, it felt too close to that film's Phoenix attempt. I also wasn't really feeling Jessica Chastain's character at all. While her alien race made for great canon fodder later in the film, her characters addition felt like it was forced to fill a void. Particularly if we're talking comics, the void of Mastermind & the Hellfire Club to get into Jean's head. We've already done Hellfire Club though in these though. I get they needed a bigger villain, this just wasn't it. Other than that, there things that a just become a token of FOX with the X-Men property. Lack of continuity, & unknown mutants added when they have literal books filled with actual famous & semi-famous X characters. However, all that said, the pros on this film somewhat tilt the scales in its favor. The story, changed a little from its source material, was really good. Alien race aside at least. Much darker tone than expected. It fits the subject matter perfectly though. I loved what they did with Jean's background. On top of that, the Mutant power action side of this film has never looked better. Hands down, this was the best display of the actual original's team's powers in use we've seen so far. And though I don't like their use of no name mutants, they still keep up the fun fan service of characters fans will notice in the background, but unfortunately have no real part to play. That's been a staple since day one. All in all, if you've stuck with the X films so far, you shouldn't be disappointed with Dark Phoenix. I liked it way more than the last installment, & just judging from the epilogue of this film, I'd have continued to follow this cast. That said, am I glad this is it for FOX? The X family are going to get passed into the more capable hands of the MCU eventually? Yes. It's been more good times than bad over the past 20 years with FOX's, but I feel like even when they hit a homerun, they haven't fully reached the X-Men's full potential. I'm glad I went to the theater for this one though. They're going out on a much higher note than they were. I enjoyed a whole lot more of this film than I didn't.
Avengers: Endgame. Probably the most anticipation I've ever felt for a movie. If you've seen my first thoughts video (here), you know I not only was pretty excited leaving this film, I highly enjoyed it as well. In fact, I didn't think they could top Infinity War, but this one does 10 fold. If you've been keeping up I like to let these set in a little before coming here & writing out a more full, still spoiler free, review. Spoiler free is going to be hard with this one as every scene could potentially be a spoiler. The Russo brothers were not lying when they said the trailers were pretty much in the first 30 minutes, if real footage at all. I'm gonna handle this one a little different than usual & talk about my only negative first.Read More
So, as usual after my first thoughts video, I like to take a little time & let everything set in before I write a more full review. If you haven't seen that video you can check it out here. I feel like Captain Marvel is fighting an uphill battle, even with people I personally know, before they even see it. For some it's the press it's getting, for others it's unfortunately the fact that it's a girl superhero. Both as unfortunate as the other because this was a really good film. I highly enjoyed myself through every minute of this latest Marvel installment. While it's not on the level of an epic Infinty War, Civil War, or any Avengers film, I feel like it easily takes its place by the side of Doctor Strange, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, or any of the introductory MCU films. Those being some of my favorites due to their ease of rewatchabilty. Much like this, those seem to have a fun factor that sets them apart from their longer more epic films. While those are the better films, they do take a certain mind frame to really get in the mood to rewatch. This one itself really shines in the way it deals with its story. It hasn't been a secret that Captain Marvel would be the most powerful hero we've seen so far in the MCU, & she definitely is. She's basically the equivalent of Superman when it comes to power levels in comparison to the rest. That's what's made it so hard to tell compelling Superman stories over the many years of his existence. When you're dealing with an overpowered superhero just their entrance into the game ends all threats. This film found a way to deal with that level of overpowerness perfectly, & that was the amnesia aspect. When this film opens Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior hero is already a thing. However, she has no idea she has a whole human life before all of this. This not only made for a very interesting sci-fi story, it was a great way to keep her overpowering in check until the grand finale. Powers which were so great, without spoiling anything, I questioned the grandness of the finale until they really upped the ante in the final moments. As I said in the first thoughts video, I can't wait to see this character find a matchup on her own level. It'll be an amazing sight. Now, a lot of the actors parts will be hard to really get into without spoilers. So, forgive me if I'm to vague in some character descriptions, as the misdirection in this film's advertising was real. Brie Larson was amazing as the title character. Once she finds out things aren't as she believes her character development is so on point, & she is pure greatness in this role. Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury stole every scene he was in however. The de-aging process is now perfect, as he just looked like they picked him right out of A Long Kiss Goodnight. His back & forth with Carol Danvers was by far one of my favorite parts of this film. We had a very unique villain with a lot of depth in the form of Ben Mendelsohn's shapeshifting Skrull Talos. I was not expecting his performance at all. I was thinking we'd see some shades of Rogue One, but this character is 100% original in comparison. Jude Law also wasn't at all what I was expecting, & I really hope we get to see more of Yon-Rogg in the future. Annette Bening was one of the biggest surprises to me. Yet, she's also the hardest one to talk about without delivering spoilers. Layers of performance from her though, with bold decisions to the lore that actually work quite well. Can't go through the characters without mentioning Goose the cat, with a top notch acting performance in his debut role. Seriously though, I highly enjoyed, & recommend this film. Even with the comic knowledge filled head I have this kept me on my toes with all the surprises. They took liberties here & there, but all the decisions to stay worked. The 90s aspect brought me right back to my high school days. The moments of comic nostalgia were so naturally added. All in all this film is perfect for fans of the MCU as well as fans of great sci-fi. The Star Trek to Guardians of the Galaxy's Star Wars feel. A must see in the theater as well. The 3D was amazing as well. So, if you're a 3D fan, this is definitely worth the upgrade. Before signing off fully I must address the awesome tribute to Stan Lee. Not only his appearance, but the Marvel title screen. Applause rang out through the theater & almost brought tears to my eyes. Thanks again Stan. Also, make sure to catch both the after credit scenes.
Took a little longer for this one. Got a lot going on, & after going on for almost 20 mins in my first thoughts video (see here), I decided to take an extra day. Crazy thing is, the more I keep going over Ant-Man & the Wasp in my head, the more I realize how much I loved it. From the time it started all the way to the amazing end-credit scene. This is not only perfect follow up to the first Ant-Man, it even feels like this spot is the perfect spot in the MCU for this to land. Taking place during the events of Infinity War this film offers a much needed counter to the weight of the SNAP. Very few times do comedy sequels live up their predecessors, but this one makes it look easy. This thing fires joke after joke, but the jokes are so natural. It's "real world" comedy based off the amazing personalities of these characters. Evangeline Lilly's Wasp really steals the "superhero" side of this one. She kicks @$$! Her fight choreography paired with the shrinking, growing, shooting, & flying was amazing on so many levels. This actually goes for all of the films choreography. From the fights to the chase scenes to all of the various uses of shrinking of growing, this film felt like it never even thought of taking a break. With Wasp playing the heroics Paul Rudd was able to spend more time being Paul Rudd. On house arrest for helping Captain America in Civil War, all he wants to do is spend some time with his daughter. This sets up his relationship with Randall Park's CIA agent. Between that & his relationship with Michael Douglas's Hank Pym, I couldn't figure out which I enjoyed more. These guys are hilarious together. Speaking of hilarious though, Michael Peña's Luis is my favorite MCU character. His crew backs him up great, but I totally sponsor his character doing a full retelling of the MCU to this point at the opening of Avengers 4. Newcomer Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost serves up a villain that we haven't really got in the MCU. Her motives are so relatable it's really hard to look at her as a true villain. Adding more layers to what takes the films center. The hunt for Hank's wife, the original Wasp, played by Michelle Pfeiffer who was lost in the Quantum Realm years before the first. And actually, the Quantum Realm should also get some credit for this one. I've never seen something as complicated as quantum mechanics handled so beautifully, making it almost simple to understand. All in all if I even had a drawback for this movie it'd be the same one that the whole MCU faces now. With each film some of these become more inaccessible. There's at least 4 movies mandatory you have to see to fully appreciate this film. That number keeps growing. For me, I don't care, I love all these. I've seen them all, multiple times for that matter. For a newcomer though, at some point this might become overwhelming. We're not there yet with this one though. Great follow up. Especially if you look at it as just a comedy film sequel. There it stands with an elite few when it comes to comedy sequels. I do wish I would've seen this in 3D. I just feel like I missed something special there in the Quantum Realm. I would highly suggest a theater visit for this one. Prepare to laugh. When you're done let me know your thoughts. Put it in the comments, like, & share.
I took an extra couple days from my first thoughts video (which you can see here), before I wrote this. I wanted to let this set in, so I could think about it, & really get into it, still without delivering any spoilers. This is probably one of the most spoiler heavy movies I've ever seen. As long as it was, I still don't know how they've crammed so much into this film. That's one of things you get going into Avengers: Infinity War . You get this sense immediately of how big this film is. Not just in cast, but in scale. From the time it starts, you can feel this is different from anything Marvel's done. Taking place directly after the end credit scene of Thor: Ragnarok , there's an essence of grandeur right from the beginning. This is almost immediately followed by a setting of the stakes. They want you to know that nothing is off limits, no punches are being pulled, & this is the beginning of the end. Or at least the end of the Marvel universe as we know it. Everything was leading up to this. All roads were leading to Thanos, & from the time he appears he makes it known that he is a force to be reckoned with. It doesn't take long at all to realize why we need the Avengers, the Guardians, & anything else we can throw at him. Thanos is not just an awesome display of power though. He is perfectly brought to life by Josh Brolin. A man who is starting to look like is incapable of not delivering some of the best performances we've ever seen. He brings so many layers to the Mad Titan, you almost start to empathize with him. That's a hard feat for a guy that wants to gather all the Infinity Stones to wipe out half the life in the galaxy. Thanos definitely steals the show when it comes to this film. Totally making it his film. That's not selling anyone else short either. All the heroes came to play as well. We're just at the point now where most of them ARE their respective characters now. It's hard to not see Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, or Chris Hemsworth as Iron Man, Cap, & Thor. The same goes for the whole Guardians cast. Even the newcomers in Tom Holland as Spiderman, & Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther have not just taken these roles, but own them. This is even the first time I really cared about Olsen & Bethany as Scarlet Witch & the Vision. The evolution of the whole Hulk story takes an unexpected turn in as this as well. Remember he's been gone through all of Civil War , so he don't even know about the split yet. Banner has a big role to play in times to come. The reunion between him an Widow was something I was really waiting for too. This film also has propelled Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange as one of my favorite Avengers. He keeps proving he was the only person for this role. Finally, on the side of good there were the Guardians of the Galaxy. This was one of the two most curious things for me going into this movie. The Guardians films have a certain distinct feel to them, different from the rest of the Marvel universe in a major way. I was wondering how seamlessly those styles could mesh, or if one would just have to borrow the others? They meshed perfectly. I couldn't believe how perfect. Some of the best parts of this film where in how perfectly these characters interacted, & it was their differences that made that so. The other curiosity I had going in, by the way, was the use of the Guantlet. If your not in the know on this one the Guantlet with the Infinity Stones allows the wielder power over everything. The mind, time, space, reality, the wielder has the powers of a God. This is a tricky thing to display in comics, much less film. I was glad to see them once again defy odds, & pull it off without flaw. Thanos uses every aspect of the Guantlet, & each effect is spectacular. Thanos isn't alone by the way. He brings his children into the fray as well. None shining more for me than Ebony Maw. Going up against Doctor Strange, this guy was every bit the stuff of nightmares. I wasn't really 100% invested in the others, but every action film needs cannon fodder. And action this film definitely delivers, while I've mentioned it. This movie opens fast & hard, & doesn't stop going at that pace until the credits role. The isn't a rollercoaster, it's a drop from a friggin elevator. In the third quarter this thing starts bouncing back & forth between an epic sci-fi battle, & an all out Lord of the Rings/Braveheart battle. Only for all of that to get totally overshadowed by a fourth quarter slobberknocker falling right on top of it all. This film has quickly moved to the number 1 spot on my personal Marvel list. From beginning to end & all the little surprises in between, I loved this movie. Might not choose the Fan Event next time though, as my only regret is I didn't see it in IMAX. This movie deserves to be seen as big as it can possibly be. They have their work cut out for them if they're going to top this in Avengers 4 , whatever it's SECRET name winds up being. Keep em comin Kevin Feige. Don't ever leave us. Anyway, that's my full thoughts, I'd really like to know yours as well. Put it in the comments, like, & share.
A little later on this one than usual. Got a lot of exciting developments going on right now. Made sure to get out my first thoughts video for Black Panther over here, but I like to give it some time to settle before I write about it. Usually that time helps me get a better handle on what I liked versus what I didn't. This time however, I'm still coming up short on the latter. I can't find anything I didn't like about this movie. I'm a sucker for origin stories, & in all honesty this really might have been Marvel's best yet. It takes up directly after Captain America: Civil War with T'Challa returning to Wakanda to take his place on the throne after his father's death, as well as the mantle of Black Panther. The beauty of this is even though this picks up right after those events, the film really stands on it's own. You need no knowledge of the Marvel Universe prior to fully enjoy this movie. In fact I'd almost say this movie would've worked without being a super hero film. The story feels like an amazing fantasy-adventure film that takes place in Africa. Chadwick Boseman is amazing in his title role, even more so than Civil War. Almost too cool for the screen, he was the epitome of royalty. He's such the perfect pick for this role, it reminds me of Downey Jr. as Iron-Man/Tony Stark. Coming in right under him would be did antagonist in the form of Michael B Jordan's Killmonger. I will admit I was a little thrown off by Jordan in the previews, as he felt like he didn't belong. Proving everything is a slave to context though, I found I was right, but at the same time, that's also what his character was supposed to be. Unfortunately, I feel as if I would have to label him as the most "American" character in the film. Which in all honesty, is what contributes to him being such a relatable villain. You totally understand where he's coming from. This is the point I stop selling Jordan short as Killmonger immediately jumped to the top of memorable villains on Marvel's list. He was amazing, & the dilemma involved gives two sides to a controversial topic, but also showing the real high ground in the long run. Anyway, your leads really shined, but the supporting cast did more than play their part. The women of Wakanda were amazing. Lupita Nyong'o is growing into a better actress every time she's on screen. Her Nakia is probably the most interesting female interest in Marvel Studios to date. The only person giving her any challenge for that would be Pepper Potts. Danai Gurira's Okoye commanded T'Challa's bodyguards with authority, serving up some of the best action of the fim. Two others that really stood out to me were CIA agent Everett K Ross (Martkn Freeman) & Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis). Ross wound up having a way bigger part & impact than I thought his character would. While Serkis was amazing as Klaue. Not did he play this part to a tee, the realistic world sonic arm from original comic character looked great. All in all though, the real star was the land of Wakanda. Showing a mix of traditional Africa with a futuristic sci-fi like environment, Wakanda looked amazing. The tribes of Wakanda's costumes better get some award love next year they were so amazing. I thoroughly loved every second of this film. Even the soundtrack & score couldn't go without being noticed. They commanded attention, & neither remotely disappointed. The craziest part to me though, is how as much as this movie stands alone, when all is said & done the outcome will have more ramifications on the Marvel Universe than a majority of the solo outings. Even crazier than that, we're only months away from seeing the Panther again in Avengers: Infinity War. This was as epic film though. See it as big as possible, & don't worry if you don't know Marvel or aren't a fan, this almost doesn't even feel like a super hero film. Just a great Fantasy/Action/Adventure flick. Make sure to check out our Black Panther T-Shirt Contest going on for a month. Just click here, read, comment, like, & share for your chance to win a one of a kind shirt.
Before I start I want to take a couple moments to mention a couple things. First, we've been trying to attend the AMC Fan Events for every opening as of late. I haven't been mentioning it as of late, but they're awesome. You usually get a small gift & a "backstage" looking lanyard. This time around we got a Thor: Ragnarok coin & they through in a large popcorn for every ticket purchased. The real treat to these however, is the fact that these are the people you want to watch these movies with. It's so much fun being surrounded by the biggest of fans. Costumes, interactions, & just the overall excitement in the room throughout is worth the extra price. The second thing I want to mention was basically what I wanted to start off with. There was one thing I left out of my first thoughts review video (see here) that I wanted to make sure I mentioned in this. So we will start the review with the music of Thor: Ragnarok. The music selection was awesome. Not something I'm going to rush out & buy, like the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy. It's not my thing, but for the film? It was amazing. Like Guardians, the use of the music was so on point to the tone, & used at the perfect moments. Speaking of the tone of this movie, it was surprisingly hilarious. I wasn't expecting to use that word describing a Thor film, but this one is definitely a comedy above all. The crazy thing is in the moments that you're not laughing, this thing gets at sometimes jaw droppingly intense. It was almost like it kept you laughing just to take away how dark this film actually was underneath the surface. Dealing with not only some serious revelations, but having an aftermath that will be felt throughout the whole Marvel Universe. The characters were amazing. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) felt like the Thor we see in the comics who is so cocky that no matter how bad it gets, he's still having fun. Loki (Tom Hilddleston) was as Loki as Loki could be. I think I loved, hating, loving, Loki in this film more so any other time he's appeared in the Marvel universe. Grandmaster (Jeff Golblum) was great running the planet Sikar. I can't wait to see him come into contact with his brother The Collector (Benicio Del Toro). The best way to describe Sikar is bringing up them up again, it's a very Guardians-film looking planet. It's the setting for most of this film, & where we first run into a Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). I make sure to say a Valkyrie because this is not the Valkyrie you're used to. It actually took me awhile to really accept this iteration, but by the end of the film I'm all in, she's great. Sikar is where we also see the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) join the fray, the highlight of the previews. Hulk was the second best part of this movie. This was comic book or cartoon Hulk. This is the Hulk as we've been waiting to see the Hulk. They've teased a three-part Hulk story that started here & runs though the Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers 4. I now can't wait for this to occur. This will be one of the highlights of these next films for me. Now we get to the best part of this movie, Hela (Cate Blanchett). First & foremost Cate Blanchett looked amazing, I don't think I've ever seen her look that good. And Hela? You've been wanting a villain? This villain was worthy of the attention of the whole Avengers team & more. Just in her introduction to Asgard there's more destruction involved than we've seen out of one person in the Marvel Universe so far. I absolutely hope we see more of her. How does one kill the Goddess of Death anyway? I know it feels like I'm leaving out Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but it's Anthony Hopkins you already know he's going to deliver. Overall, I loved this movie. I would go as far as to say it's the best Thor movie, but that's where I have to stop, because I just can't. For the same reason I couldn't call Civil War the best Captain America film. You have to see so many films other that Thor to make this movie work the original Thor wins best Thor film by default. That saddens me because I loved the first Thor, I think it's the first Marvel film designed for a movie audience. It really drew in some fans that otherwise would avoid comic movies. Even though I enjoyed myself more watching Ragnarok, it's because of a lot more than the Thor films. Kinda makes this more of a Marvel Universe film than a Thor film to me. That takes nothing away from this amazing film. It didn't steal a spot in my top five Marvel films, but if you change those ratings to rely only on pure enjoyment while watching, it would easily be in the top three. I had so much fun watching this, but I'd really like to know what y'all think too when you see it. Put it in the comments, like, & share.