They’re All Dead!!! (Spoilers Ahead)

Avengers_Infinity_War_logo_001Wow!!! 10 years and 18 films later and Infinity War is the first MCU film where I did not leave with excitement about what I just saw, but instead excitement for the next Avengers film and the start of a new 10 year story line. That is not to say I did not like the movie. By all means it was fantastic and had so many great moments I cannot list them all here. It was just the first film for me from the MCU that did not have some optimism towards the end.

We saw Loki die very early on, Gamora was sacrificed by Thanos, and Vision was destroyed by Thanos towards the end of the movie (not to mention the whole Black Order was destroyed). It was the end where Thanos achieved his goal of wiping out half of existence and we saw many heroes die (which you will have to find out who by watching the movie). I am familiar with the original comic book story line, but I was shocked that the directors (the Russo brothers) had the guts to depict so much death and sadness on screen for many fans who were not comic book geeks. Of course, I know that most of these characters will come back because no one stays dead in comics, but some may not, especially those whose deaths were depicted earlier in the story. Walking out of the movie I just shook my head and said “Hmmm…what are they doing next?”.

The Russo brothers were perfect choices to direct this movie since they not only had no issues filming this intense of a story in a mostly lighthearted cinematic universe, but they also handled the insane amount of characters quite well. The antagonistic relationship between Tony Stark and Stephen Strange was entertaining as was Spider-Man’s excitement over becoming an Avenger. The Guardians of the Galaxy were their usual hilarious selves and inserting Thor into their dynamic worked masterfully. Seeing Captain America and Black Panther fight side by side was awe inspiring and for me there were no weak points in this movie.

The shocking, but not totally unexpected, ending sets up next year’s 4th Avengers film perfectly and I cannot wait to see how this is all resolved and how they start up a new version of the Avengers along with another 10 years of amazing films.

This film does require you to have knowledge of the previous films so if you do and you have not seen Infinity War yet, get out there now!

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Captain America: Civil War

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*Be forewarned…there are spoilers ahead*

There is a always a great deal of excitement when a new Marvel movie comes out. The success rate for these movies is quite high and even though some are better than others, all the movies in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) have been entertaining and important to watch considering how each movie effects the others. After watching Civil War I realized that superhero movies are not in a slump as some people claim and are in no danger of wearing out their welcome as long as they continue to be as excellent of a movie as this one. The Russo brothers have given us great hope that their spin on the MCU will be the best to date.

One thing was made very clear to me after watching this film…all those before it were leading to this movie. The very first Iron Man made a clear reference to the Civil War comic book event when the movie ended with Tony Stark telling everyone he is Iron Man which was a key moment early on in the comic book event. Also, the destruction at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron hinted strongly at the fact that something was going to happen as a result of so many civilians being killed and injured.

The conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers has been shown throughout their previous meetings and due to the Sokovia Accords (which essentially gives the government control over the Avengers) the antagonism between them come to a boiling point. What impressed me most is how the movie makes you see and somewhat agree with both sides. Controlling the superheroes could be a good way of preventing more deaths of civilians, but the concept of any government possibly using them for their own personal gain is an uncomfortable idea.

Iron Man leads the pro-Sokovia Accords side and Captain America leads the side that is against the proposed laws. What truly brings things to a head is when Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier is framed for killing the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka. Iron Man wants to bring him in to pay for his supposed crime and Captain America wants to protect his life-long friend.

The action scenes in this movie are insane and I will not go into great detail since these moments have already been well chronicled, but there are so many incredible moments without making the viewer feel overwhelmed. When T’Challa/Black Panther hunts down Bucky we get to see one of the most incredible chase scenes captured on film in a long time. The big airport battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man has so many amazing moments it is hard to pin them all down, but when Ant Man becomes Giant Man we are treated to a humorous and awesome moment.

When Spider-Man enters the fray we see nothing but one great moment after the other starting with him fighting Captain America one-on-one in a pitch perfect battle and then Spider-Man taking on Bucky and Falcon that will having you smiling throughout. The final battle, which is the most emotional and brutal, shows Iron Man taking on Bucky and Captain America in an amazingly choreographed scene. We find out that Bucky murdered Stark’s parents decades ago while he was being brain washed and the anguish and rage we see on Stark’s face when he discovers this is extremely powerful.

The one thing I really appreciated was that none of the main heroes died. Some came close, but none actually perished. In the comic books we see Captain America die at the end of the storyline which causes Tony Stark  to rethink his position, but we do not get such an easy out in the movie. We see a hint of reconciliation, but they still are not fully on the same side which makes sense and gives an intriguing spin on what we may see in the next two Avengers movies.

It is amazing to me that a movie which has some dark/serious undertones can still come off as bright, humorous, and positive. Everything does not have to be constant doom and gloom to be an effective movie in today’s world. Civil War proves that.

Despite all of the amazing moments and performances the two actors that stick out the most are Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa. We have finally found the perfect Spider-Man who truly embodies the role better than anyone before and Boseman’s portrayal of Black Panther gives us a performance that is truly gripping and gives us a new character in the MCU that could turn out to be it’s best and most popular. Their performances give me great confidence in their upcoming solo movies.

This movie is definitely a must see wether you enjoy this genre of film or not since it is not only a great superhero film, but a great movie overall.

Spider-Man

Hey there, guys! So, as you know from my father’s previous post, I’ll be doing Fandom Fridays from now on! I’ll be making my debut here with a review of the original Spider-Man trilogy.

Okay, let’s get started!

The original comic book character is a young adult, with a struggling freelance job, and a romantic life. Peter Parker works at the Daily Bugle, a fictitious New York newspaper industry, and sells J. Jonah Jameson, the head of the industry, his photographs of Spider-Man.  Peter Parker is a genius, he is witty even without the mask of Spider-Man, and he is obviously like a young adult- still learning, still growing, but mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong in controlled situations. Peter Parker’s first love is Gwen Stacy, but then she tragically dies and his new love interest becomes Mary Jane Watson.

Now, starting off with Mary Jane is overall a bad idea, since Gwen’s death is an extreme learning experience for him. Especially with how she dies. So having Gwen, one of the most important people in his life, join in the third movie just to be a plot device really wasted her character. And I disliked how Mary Jane had no character development through the entire trilogy.

I like how they started off the trilogy. I enjoy how they put in the wrestling career Peter had, and I love Bruce Campbell’s cameo. I don’t like Toby Maquire as Spider-Man, but I feel like he was good anyways. I feel like it was a good idea to start off with the Green Goblin, and even though he’s introduced in the fourteenth issue of Amazing Spider-Man, he is still one of the first villains for Spider-Man. I like how Willem Defoe played him, how you can see the insanity in him when he takes the serum. I enjoy how they wrote him too, how he had motive, but it wasn’t something that made you pity him.

I think it was a good move to go with Doctor Octavius next. I love how Alfred Molina played him, and I don’t know who else could play him like Alfred Molina did. I don’t feel like they handled the arms very well, though. In a real life situation, I could hardly believe that a crowd of people would just brush off four gigantic robot arms that happen to be attachable. And I really like Rosalie Octavius. I really dislike the whole I’m-Losing-My-Powers-Because-Of-Relationship-Problems thing in it. I do understand how they were trying to tell how much Mary Jane meant to Peter, but I feel like they could have handled it a bit differently.

I really didn’t like the third Spider-Man movie. I didn’t like Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, and as Venom it was worse. The entire movie has a big problem; there are way too many subplots and conflict. With Sandman, Green Goblin, Venom/Eddie Brock, the Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson love triangle, Harry Osborne, and the emo Peter Parker, there are way too many subplots. And Topher Grace as Eddie Brock was an odd decision.

I really like Harry Osborn and Flint Marko, but I don’t have much to say about them. I like how they had Harry not be vengeful against Peter by getting a concussion, and his death scene was very touching. I enjoy sympathetic villains, I like how Flint Marko has an actual backstory and serious motives. When he’s forming back into himself after his DNA is changed, the CGI on that part is amazing. It’s so touching, how he tries to grab his locket with his daughter’s picture in it. It has so much life to it, you can see the struggle as he forms. It was incredible.

I did not enjoy how they made Venom. I like the textures, and I do like the overall idea, but the thing about Venom is that, to me, the symbiote was using him as just a sort of base to create itself from. He has a very alien look to him. His tongue is unnaturally long, same with his teeth. But with the movie, it wasn’t very impressive. It just didn’t feel like it was enough. Having his face peel away so that Eddie can talk just makes Venom so much less like the actual Venom. The symbiote controls him, but gives Eddie the illusion of being a part of him. I do enjoy how Topher Grace performed with what they gave him, he truly is a good actor, this just wasn’t the role for him.

I think the first Spider-Man movie is the best of the trilogy, but it does go into a decline after that.

I’ll be reviewing Amazing Spider-Man next week, so do come back! Have a Marvelous weekend!

Original artwork by Gabriele Dell’Otto.

The Amazing Spider-Man

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With the recent release of Amazing Spider-Man 2 (which I have yet to see) I figured I would give my opinion on the first movie in the Spider-Man relaunch.

My first reaction to this movie was just how impressed I am by Andrew Garfield’s interpretation of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. For the most part I enjoyed the original Sam Raimi trilogy, but did not like Tobey Maguire’s performance. I thought he never got the character’s intricacies correct and just played him like the stereotypical nerd who just happens to get super powers. He never seemed comfortable when firing off Spider-Man’s trademark quips and in my opinion was not very believable in the dual role. Garfield is now the quintessential live action Spider-Man.

He nailed Parker’s awkwardness and the tragedy of his Uncle’s death, plus he perfectly captured the freedom the character feels dressed as Spider-Man with his snappy one liners and seemingly carefree attitude. In my opinion he was as perfect for the role as one could be. We will see him for at least 3 movies and I really look forward to his character progression.

The other improvement this movie made was in the female lead. Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane in the original 3 movies was a terrible choice. Mary Jane is a character that has personal issues but always hides it behind this perpetually positive attitude and outward confidence. Dunst clearly had no clue about the character and portrayed her as a brooding, emo girl which was a terrible decision on her part. To go with Gwen Stacy as the initial female lead in these new movies was not only a great idea, but the casting of Emma Stone was pure genius. Not only does she truly capture the character, but her chemistry with Garfield (I am sure dating in real life helped) really made this movie work on many levels.

Ryhs Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard also worked well despite the CGI for the villain being a little off in places. He was a sympathetic villain and played his part in the movie quite well.

The rest of the cast really rounded out the movie perfectly. Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Ben and May Parker was a great casting choice as was Denis Leary as Captain Stacy. Stan Lee’s expected cameo was also entertaining as always.

As for the movie itself, it was a great start for this reboot. I initially felt it was way too soon to completely recast the movie and pull the Hollywood reboot routine, but it worked out well and I am really looking forward to future installments.

With mixed opinions on the sequel and the fact that the studio seems to be going a little overboard announcing Venom and Sinister Six movies so soon, I cannot help but be a little concerned with the directions the franchise may be going in, but I will remain positive and look forward to more Spider-Man goodness for years to come.