Tag Archives: superhero movies

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

DC couldn’t help themselves.

The same way they made Batman v Superman mimic The Avengers, they had to turn Suicide Squad into a game of Pictionary.

Suicide Squad is DC’s version of Guardians of the Galaxy. The character parallels are visible but the actual characters less interesting, the story yet another doppelgänger of something Marvel has already done and to a better degree, and the synopsis as depressing as I’m making it seem.

Not horrid but certainly not good, Suicide Squad is yet another mirage in the deserted streets of DC Comics that presents false hope yet again to the fans who have been waiting since the early 90’s for something that can universally be called good theater. DC had little to no role in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, I’m not sure I would call V for Vendetta a superhero film and while I would make an argument for Man of Steel, there are plenty who wouldn’t.

Since we’re on the topic, let’s take a look at what DC has churned out since 2004: Catwoman, Constantine, V for Vendetta, Superman Returns, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and this. That’s a shoddy list, folks.

That’s more than a decade’s worth of missing the target. At first, it was laughable. Catwoman and Constantine back to back? Superman Returns, Watchmen, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern in a cage match of incompetence? Now, it’s just sad.

DC has become a vacuum for disappointment and a magnet for mockery. It’s become a charade of itself, a mime of Marvel that all the practice in the world can’t make convincing. DC used to be dark, one of the reasons Nolan’s Batman saga received so much praise and why I think Man of Steel is the closest that DC has gotten to being themselves. Like an adolescent girl, DC is preoccupied with being someone she’s not, unsatisfied with the talent she possesses and jealous of what the other girl has. This attitude isn’t the end of the world if we’re talking about a prepubescent teen. It is a problem when we’re talking about a multi-billion dollar company.

Suicide Squad is sad because it makes me acquiesce that DC may never be what it was again. It may and looks likely that it will never return. The dreams film journeymen and DC fanboys have had will never come true. All hope seems to be lost. DC seems preordained to fail us. We’re actively frustrated now but it won’t be long until that agitation breeds lackadaisical indifference and further down the road, complete neglect.

Suicide Squad‘s first half is a never-ending music montage flavored with a roulette of character expositions. Every three minutes, we’re moving on to the next stage and putting the next guy on a pedestal, giving us a brief backstory synopsis before the timer reaches three and it’s time to move on to the next contestant. It reminds me of a first-time driver who continuously pumps the brakes when there’s no reason to, the instructor heaving back and forth from the momentum shift. That is what the first half of this movie is like, disrupting any natural flow that could have been manifested.

I was looking forward to this film and I was hoping for the best but there is an active depression taking hold of me right now as I write this. DC has become obsessed with taking a razor to the fine points of their products and an ax to any tree that bears fruit. The only respite offered is that we never got to see what could have been and watch them drain the life out of it, though sometimes our imagination can be much more crippling than our eyes.

Suicide Squad should have been a chimerical bacchanal, a chaos-torn environment with unchecked villains to invest some of their own chaos. Instead, we get something that is far too well-coordinated and formulaic as we watch villainy transform into heroism. Our characters lack interest for this very reason. Will Smith’s Deadshot is never shown as a pure serial killer nor El Diablo painted as a mobster with anger management issues. Killer Croc is a vestibule for one-liners more than a character and Jai Courtney has gone completely off the deep end with his role as Captain Boomerang (what a stupid name). Jared Leto’s Joker is disappointing and a sideshow, words that no one should have had to ever communicate regarding the Joker. The Joker is not meant to be a sideshow character, ever, but you can bet your salary DC managed to pull that off, too. Rather than the Joker, we get a gangster who seems unhinged rather than a true psychopath.

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the true highlight, accompanied by Smith’s Deadshot and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller. Robbie’s performance is a breathing fantasy, a temptress who uses her appearance to her advantage. It’s one of the few things from this movie I will miss. Smith’s Deadshot turns into a buddy cop and while it makes no sense with the character we’re gifted, Smith is likeable enough to keep his character on the radar. He’s also slipped some of the film’s best one-liners.

None of this comes comparatively close to delivering what we should have had: an unbridled fun house. Instead, we get a film that’s far too neat and orderly, the opposite of what we are led to believe these characters are.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ghostbusters (2016)BatmanFree State of JonesThe Running Man10 Cloverfield Lane)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Batman ForeverThe CrowHardcore HenryBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and Zombies)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (UnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See YouConstantine)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Independence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the ApesStonados)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Suicide Squad: 66.

The trailer promised so much and the film delivered so little. As expected, 2016 has been yet another year where Marvel has taken a collective dump on DC and remember Marvel still has Doctor Strange coming in November to increase the size of that dump. The DCEU is in real trouble and no, I’m not looking forward to Justice League.

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Movie Review: Batman

Tim Burton’s first big budget film came in 1989 and became one of the biggest box office hits of all time. That film was titled simply, Batman.

Accompanied with its long resume, Batman is an impressive film on paper as is Jack Nicholson’s name next to the Joker. Batman was a stalwart innovator for its time, showcasing Burton’s talents at their most primal and Nicholson’s range and exemplary talent, and earned critical praise, winning the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

That said, I would argue Burton’s comments on his own film are more telling than any box office receipt, film review or audience response: “It’s OK, but it was more of a cultural phenomenon than a great movie.”

Batman has a lot to be proud of when the credits roll, but is it as great as we’re told it is? I have to say no.

Nicholson is a great cast for the Joker and shines in the glimmer of the spotlight. One could argue this film should have been called Joker, not Batman. With the eccentricity of a learned psychopath but the knowledge and dark wisdom of a sociopath, Nicholson is a true puppetmaster both as an actor and character. While Nicholson carries the metaphor of the macabre artist with him throughout the script, he also serves as the film’s most magnetizing presence. From his costume’s lavish design to his omnipresent sharp-witted lines, Nicholson as the Joker is as much a deadly dancer as he is a livid gangster or criminal comedian. It’s no wonder all the film’s eyeballs are drawn to every scene he’s in and audiences slow their breathing when he’s about to utter his next crack.

All of this culminates with a third consecutive Batman film reviewed on this blog where Batman is not the main character. This isn’t an innate problem. The Dark Knight remains the best Batman film ever made and there is no debate that the Joker was the star of the show in that masterpiece. It’s when you having nothing remotely close to evening the scales that we start to have problems as we do here with Keaton’s Batman.

In what became a war between Burton and Warner Bros. over casting choices (see Batman section), Burton chose Keaton as his lead man despite his inexperience with action installments. Burton’s logic was to make Bruce Wayne an everyday man with a wealthy inheritance, thereby making the argument that anyone could be Batman.

This perspective clearly resonated with audiences. Often our superheroes are painted with a very particular brush, one that tells us only a select few can be superheroes. Batman said anyone can be super and people loved the film for it. You can count me among that group. When you take away a man’s money, his material possessions, his family and all else, he is but a man. The only thing that makes that man any different from another is what’s inside. That’s the ideal Burton emphasizes here.

If anything, Burton pushes this point a little too hard. Keaton’s Bruce Wayne is such an average Joe that he seems out of place in his own house. They are too completely different entities, this character we’re presented with and Batman. Wayne is so average that it’s no wonder our eyes are drawn practically anywhere else. The Wayne we’re granted is a nice touch but never fully blossoms and no one, not even an avid gardener, is going to sit next to their garden and wait for their flowers to bloom. They’ve watered it and taken the best care of it that they can. They’ll move on to more worthwhile things.

This problem, while not a world ender, is bothersome. While Keaton surpasses the performances of Clooney and Kilmer, Batman remains an underdeveloped vigilante who is more an outfit than a hero. There are scenes in which that is not the case, where the audience is gifted a glimpse of what Batman could be, with a special emphasis on the word “could.” Here, it’s what he could be but not what he is in Batman.

The action broaches the dramatic and at times loosens the tension, especially when Batman seems in no hurry to save the damsel in distress, which brings me to what will be the most aggravating part of this review.

The damsel in distress intersection is wearing on me. I’m a hopeless romantic. I enjoy a romantic storyline when appropriate and natural. Hollywood, especially the action staples of the industry, seem unable to discern natural from wasted plugs. I would greatly appreciate it if they would stop inserting papier-mache flames with no credibility or intrigue into their films because these scripts’ pages and tortured, glued newspaper strips are full-heartedly begging to be beat with a baseball bat. To say I am pissed off about seeing Kim Basinger battle Jack freakin’ Nicholson for screen time is putting it lightly. Forced and not at all subtle about it, we’ll see another Batman love affair that no one cares about engage in a warfare of prioritization.

Let me chirp on that again and make sure no one can plead ignorance: No one cares about a Batman love affair. No true Batman fan’s first description of the caped crusader is going to be “he gets all the ladies.” Getting all the ladies means very little in the grand scheme of things and it’s time for Hollywood to start acting like it. Not only is Kim Basinger’s Vicki Vale a walking, talking detour sign from what audiences care about (Batman), Burton is willingly giving her the camera over Nicholson’s Joker. It is needless and excessively frustrating, especially for me, who gets slammed over the head with shoehorned romances in what feels like every other film I watch lately.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Free State of JonesThe Running Man10 Cloverfield LaneCreedScouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Batman ForeverThe CrowHardcore HenryBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and Zombies)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (UnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See YouConstantine)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Batman: 76.

1989’s Batman was a step in the right direction for the comic book genre, displaying some wit and charm that had previously been unseen. A young Burton was the man for the job, even if his visual style wasn’t up to the parlance we’ve come to expect from him now. Nicholson’s compelling Joker adds enough fear to the script to keep things going and Keaton is a charming enough presence even if at times it feels like Wayne and Batman are two different people. It’s a good picture but was it a pinnacle in film? No. No, it was not.

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Movie Review: The Crow: City of Angels

The Crow: City of Angels is a wannabe doppelgänger of its older and more prominent sibling. In its quest to better itself, it only succeeds in being a lesser replicate of the cult film that started it all.

The problem that plagues sequels is their stubbornness to piggyback on their relative rather than demonstrate how they differ and can be successful in their own right. I’ve seen it too many times. I think we all have. Sequels are meant to build off the original, making additions and further insulating the piece while constituting itself as an individual feature. Too many times sequels have played their cards the same way as their predecessors did, formulating a creation that is as mindless as a clone. It only knows what it has been taught by its elder. It has no cognitive function or inner direction. It just follows the script.

This leaves a film or any art for that matter rehashing the footsteps of another, going through the paces with the lifelessness of a weathered doll. It’s stodgy. There are no wheels turning or current of energy flowing through it. It’s as animated as a mannequin, faceless and without an identity to distinguish it from all the others. It’s practically invisible at its own party because all of the guests that have been invited have naturally been attracted to the superior, The Crow, which has more energy and enthusiasm than his woebegone brother.

City of Angels is a prime example of why every promising film does not need a sequel regardless of the established fan base. Based off a plethora of examples, I think we’ve seen we can’t count on Hollywood to make sequels that do justice to the original work. Sadly, critical acclaim from sequels is not a certainty, no matter the sometimes glorified state the original finds itself. Sequels become remakes, the opposite of what a sequel should be.

The Crow didn’t need a remake and it didn’t need a sequel. As I hashed out in my review, The Crow has a unique aura surrounding it, even perusing the mystical but amorphous Crow. The lack of knowledge of the character at times worked in the film’s favor, spurring curiosity. City of Angels spurns all that with a new director who lacks the vision that Proyas had. It’s obvious this film is under the control of a different hand. This project’s brokenness is ubiquitous. The production is more depressing than the atmosphere. The acting, especially by the man beneath the spotlight, Vincent Perez, is a fresh serving of histrionics, quips and dialogue so malignant I feel I should be wearing a hazmat suit. It’s hard to find Perez culpable, however, given the character write-up.

The motif of the film overrides the players trying to carrying the film and with no calling to the audience, there’s little reason to stick with it or find any value in the banners it does manage to raise. It’s a message taken verbatim from the 1994 work, but with no new composition.

The bug that crawls all over this piece is the lack of productivity. Like the wheels turning on a bike with no chain or a car left in neutral on the plains of the Midwest, the vehicle is left stagnant, milling in the limited space it’s afforded and susceptible only to its own gravity. City of Angels weighs so little that gravity doesn’t have a reason to act upon it and so it’s left still on a remote campus.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Running Man10 Cloverfield LaneCreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson Peak)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The CrowHardcore HenryBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (X-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See YouConstantineRaceEverest)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (BloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeavers)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for The Crow: City of Angels: 34.

A short review for a short film, it’s been a little too long since I’ve seen this to write a thorough piece, not that City of Angels deserved that anyway.

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Movie Review: Deadpool

I saw this on Valentine’s Day, wrote this review a few days later. I’m posting a review of Race that I wrote a few days ago. From here on out, what I write will get posted as soon I’m finished with it. Let’s go.

I went into Deadpool with cautious optimism. After all, 20th Century Fox had the reigns to this prima donna, the same studio that has flopped not one, not two, but three Fantastic Four films with flying colors, tarnished Daredevil for over a decade and gave Elektra a stench that studios are still afraid to go near. Let’s not forget X-Men: The Last Stand either.

Add in Fox’s reluctance to give a director sole control of his own film, as evidenced by 2015’s Fantastic Four debacle and you start to lose a lot of respect for Fox and become suspicious of everything they produce.

In comes Deadpool, a script that Fox managed to sit on for seven long years and you start to wonder if Fox has the guts or the decency to let the character run his course the way only Deadpool can: unabated and unlimited.

My cautious optimism was not ill-founded but for this specific Fox feature, you can rest easy. Deadpool is everything he should be, played all too effortlessly by a Ryan Reynolds that I’ve never seen before. Not only is Reynolds flowing with confidence, one can safely use the description talented. With bombs like Green Lantern and R.I.P.D on his resume, I wasn’t sure Reynolds had any cards left to play. In Deadpool alone, Reynolds proves millions wrong, not just those who doubted his acting ability, but those who doubted that Deadpool could be a box office success. In a weekend, Deadpool had already blown away the record for best opening weekend for an R-rated movie handedly. In less than two weeks, Deadpool has become the highest-grossing X-Men movie in the United States. Imagine what Deadpool still has to offer.

Imagine what it still has to offer to those who haven’t seen it, to those who are still doubting one of the best marketing efforts Hollywood has offered in a long time. Imagine what those who doubted a movie this big releasing in February are saying.

Deadpool wasn’t supposed to succeed, no matter how much money was thrown at this. If January post-Oscar buzz is the cemetery of Hollywood projects, February is the morbid funeral gatherings that follow. Neither holds enjoyment and everyone has the same expectations for them.

Deadpool has taken a gambit and won the golden ticket. There’s nothing to see in theaters in January and there’s nothing to see in February. That’s a lot of itchy wallets ready to spring on a decent attraction. Throw a movie like Deadpool in the ring and people charge for the theater entrance like it’s Black Friday.

Deadpool has no competition in theaters right now. Desperate studios that threw a project together for a February release hoping for a quick buck are getting shellacked by a movie that decided to buck the system and do what it wanted when it wanted, R-rating or February release be damned.

It’s admirable, but more importantly, it works. Deadpool is a lovable character for so many reasons and always has been. Watching Deadpool is like watching a rebellious and unashamed comedian spout off whatever he wants and doesn’t give a flower petal what anyone thinks about it. His will is impenetrable and unbending. He’ll catch bullets with his torso if he has to, but he will not quit. Deadpool is the guy that will continue to run himself into a brick wall until he breaks through just to prove to you that he can. He’s unrepenting and unrelenting. If you don’t like him, there’s the door. Deadpool’s gonna Deadpool and if I were him, I’d Deadpool, too.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Avengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappie)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (CreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe MartianBlack Mass)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: GenisysBlack Sheep)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (EverestHerculesThe SentinelMad Max: Fury RoadBlitz)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Deadpool: 93.

Deadpool is still setting records and is a huge success for Marvel and the R-rated superhero genre. If you haven’t seen it yet, get going. You’re missing a phenomenon.

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Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

One of the most anticipated films of all-time, one of the biggest budgets of all-time and one of the most talked about casts of all-time. Did Avengers: Age of Ultron live up to the hype?

I watched this on Sunday so it’s been a week but the things Age of Ultron offers are lasting. Similar to a first impression that can’t be detached from your memory, Age of Ultron gives you a strong uppercut right out of the gates. Whedon holds no punches. The action is almost paralyzing given the amount of intensity and wonder filling these shots. The cinematography and Whedon’s tracking shots lead us by the hand through the battlefield and debris like a parent does a child crossing the street. The visual effects compliment the stunt choreography and the pounding of machines never gets old.

Yet people continue to criticize Whedon’s work, including ultra feminists harassing him on Twitter. The continued but unreasonable argument that “I don’t like it because it’s not like the comics” is for some reason still a thing.

The last time a superhero was modified in a movie and people didn’t lose their minds was Spider-Man in 2002. In 2012, Whedon practically slapped these people right in the face when Mark Ruffalo turned to the Avengers and said, “I’m always angry”, turned into the Hulk and smashed an alien ship in the face. You know what happened? Absolutely nothing. People loved it. Plenty of my friends said it was their favorite part aside from Hulk swinging and bashing Loki like a kid’s toy.

People loved it because it was something they had not seen before. It was creative. I respect anyone who has a comic book obsession, but I have a serious problem with people defaming a film because it didn’t fit prior material. If there was one word to describe the film industry, creativity would be towards the top. That is what keeps people going. If no one made original ideas, what would the point be? What freedom exists in a monotonous, austere replication of past work? Yet these same people, after harassing Whedon for making his own creation, will then throw other films under the bus for being replicas of past ones, an utter double standard demonstrated by hypocrites.

Age of Ultron had the second-biggest opening day in history ($84.5 million), the second-biggest domestic opening weekend ($187.7 million) and has pulled in an estimated $627 million worldwide in 12 days. Apparently none of that matters. Somehow Whedon haters manage to forget that The Avengers presented people with something they’d never seen before: a megafilm. Somehow they forget all of the success Whedon has had both financially and critically.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that no matter what Whedon does, everyone isn’t going to be happy. Comic book nerds will outrage because of their shortsightedness and feminists feel the need to open their mouths about almost anything, but the truth is the truth and nothing will change that. That truth is that Whedon is underappreciated and is a gift to Hollywood. It’s a shame that so many people, both stupid and smart, haven’t recognized his talents.

If you don’t like Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’re probably one of these people and I pity you, I really do, because you’re unable to see the true brilliance of Joss Whedon and man, is it beautiful.

Robert Downey, Jr. leads the pack with Chris Evans right behind. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were not bad casts, but there is room for improvement in both their roles and their acting fortes. They have some potential that hasn’t been brewed yet. Johansson and Renner are given the opportunity to shine as Black Widow and Hawkeye develop into story drivers.

There’s more impact in Age of Ultron. The Avengers lighthearted nature limited the depth the story could reach. Age of Ultron‘s nature at times mirrors Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but Whedon knows when to tap the breaks and give us a laugh. The comedy in Age of Ultron far outreaches its predecessor, hanging right up there with Guardians of the Galaxy.

I think the reason I find myself lost for words is because Age of Ultron was really that good. The visual effects were killer, the scripting was much improved. I don’t know what to say.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The AvengersThe BabadookInterstellarChappieAmerican Beauty)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for Avengers: Age of Ultron: 95.

This isn’t a good review and I’m sorry but let me sum it up like this: Avengers: Age of Ultron is a boss film. It’s the pump that runs our heart, the blood that runs through our flesh, the bones that comprise our body. It’s that type of awesomeness. If living was watching Avengers: Age of Ultron on loop, I wouldn’t be upset. I’d be thrilled and you would be, too.

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Movie Review: The Avengers

Joss Whedon’s comic book marvel flashed before our eyes in 2012 and few were disappointed. It was the first superhero bonanza to show up in theaters. It became the third-highest-grossing film of all-time. It became a legend.

The Avengers had the advantage of being the first of its kind. Never was such a big project undertaken, a money-hungry dog let loose by the leash of Marvel. This money-hungry dog was given a $220 million dollar bone and enjoyed the chainless existence of a freelancer, able to investigate what it wanted, say what it wanted and to create what it wanted.

I truly believe Whedon was given the golden goose. He directed it, he co-wrote the story and created the screenplay. The only metaphor applicable to the type of luxury and novelty that Whedon enjoyed during this production is a child on Christmas. A cast list that few can compete with, one of the largest “bones” to ever be handed out to a director and a partnership of Marvel and Disney? Joss Whedon was given the life that people can only dream of and perhaps in this case, a dream very few can dream of.

I give Whedon props for delivering a Hulk-sized trophy film, a film that made huge ripples in the world of cinema and reignited the comic book world. The Avengers served as a memento for the world and it still does today.

Robert Downey, Jr. proved to be the best of the bunch as Tony Stark. His utter disregard for others, Olympus-sized ego and flippant comedy sketches are some of the biggest highlights of the film, as well as how Stark evolves as a character. Comic book fanatics can argue who the best of the Avengers is all they want, but Downey, Jr. is evidently the most-talented, although Chris Evans isn’t too far behind.

I’m still amazed that Chris Evans is the same dweeb that acted in 2005’s Fantastic Four. He had no bravado, no genuine energy and no talent but somewhere deep, perhaps in the bowels of Mordor, Evans discovered his natural ability to draw the camera to that charming face of his. While Captain America: The First Avenger was nowhere close to where it should have been in terms of production and quality, Evans held the film together and then opened his jaws for The Winter Soldier and really showed us how far he could go. While The Avengers gets nowhere as complex as The Winter Soldier in its story, its got some seriousness to it but not so serious that the lighthearted fall out of touch with it. A lot of that seriousness is provided by Evans. Keep it up, Cap. Looking forward to Civil War.

I’ve got to give a small hand of applause to Mark Ruffalo for giving us a Hulk film that doesn’t make us want to barf all over. The Incredible Hulk has proved incredible in the past couple years, incredible at turning A-listers into actors comparable to Hayden Christensen. Edward Norton is a great actor. He did not look like a great actor in The Incredible Hulk and to my knowledge, Marvel is staying away from Hulk films for the time being. It’s a shame because there’s a great actor there now in Mark Ruffalo that finally calmed the beast down and got him to stop looking stupid and saying stupid stuff. Mostly known for rom-coms, Ruffalo showed another realm in The Avengers and also in Foxcatcher, which I read good reports on. That was my one main concern regarding The Avengers, was that the Hulk was going to destroy everything. Actually, I guess he does kinda destroy everything but I mean the film, not all the baddies that had it coming. Hulk Smash!

Finally, Chris Hemsworth. I know we’re all in love with those beautiful locks of his and are bedazzled by that bod, but to this point, the guy has demonstrated little acting ability and continues to pour me vinegar when I asked for a martini. The Thor movies are the worst of the newest Marvel films by far, especially Thor: The Dark World, my crowned champion of 2013 Worst Film of the Year. The stories are toothless and present no suspense, supporting cast, or logical story line. There might have been more plot holes in Thor: The Dark World than there are craters on the moon. All this said, the guy’s not terrible, he’s just not good. He’s satisfactory, average. He fills the role and I completely understand that it’s too late to recast, but I wish Marvel would have looked elsewhere when they decided to pick the Norse god. Brad Pitt or Ben Foster both would have worked for me. Do you guys agree with me? Who do you think would have made a great Thor? Let me know in the comments.

It’s also important to mention our lead villain, Loki. Tom Hiddleston’s performance was a few pegs higher than in Thor and provided that acidic twist a film like this needed. One of the main complaints about Guardians of the Galaxy was its underwhelming villain, a problem that The Avengers never had. Samuel L. Jackson makes everything so much better as does the beautiful Scarlett Johansson.

Jeremy Renner is probably the only outlier in this cast, but only because the development of the character is not there, mainly because of a plot point. It’s a minor thing but it’s still a thing. When a movie’s this great, you have to get picky.

My only other comment is the drag in the opening scenes. It takes a while for things to get going because we have to introduce each hero, have their little hurrah moment, and move on to the next one. It’s like going on a long vacation but before you get on the road, you have to stop at five different locations and pick all these people up. It’s a bit of a hassle. A necessary one but still a hassle.

Aside from those two things, The Avengers is all the hype. The action is state-of-the-art special effects with stunning visuals and an adrenaline booster. The characters are brought out with dashes of humor and the story is there. It’s the superhero tribute we waited for.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (The BabadookInterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone Girl)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (BlitzThe PunisherDrive HardRun All NightRage)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (CrankErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (OutcastSabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafe)

My score for The Avengers: 96

Three years removed from where it all began and not even a week after its sequel released, The Avengers remains in cinema trophy cases and on millions of bookshelves for its “first shot heard ’round the world” epic. With impressive visual effects, concrete scripting and big-name cast, The Avengers has lost no spark nor has it faded into the recesses of our minds. The Avengers is very much alive.

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Movie Review: The Punisher

“Go with God.”

“God’s gonna sit this one out.”

Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) is an undercover FBI agent and during a sting, the son of crime boss Howard Saint (John Travolta) is killed. Castle retires and goes to a family reunion in Puerto Rico where the worst happens: his entire family is murdered. His parents, distant relatives, the love of his life and his only son.

Saint’s henchmen and other son do the dirty work and only the grace of their own stupidity saves Castle’s life and allows him his chance at vengeance.

My favorite stories are ones of redemption and rebirth. There is a certain euphoria to be had from the moment of true justice, to be completely devoted to a character, to take part in his pain and then in his glory. These are the stories meant for me. We all weather storms and the most extreme ones illustrated in film rekindle our resolve as well as our hearts to strive on.

The Punisher does not deserve such a lavish intro, for the things that make a character restoration are not to be found here. Character-audience parallels are the unstoppable force in these tales. Without them, a redemption story does not fuse our inner selves with the film. Our need to see that justice wavers, our passion and lust for it dwindles and soon the tale becomes superficial instead of an ordeal we too are going through.

Director Jonathan Hensleigh seems reluctant to enter the deep waters of antiheroes. The notion of antiheroes is filled with darkness, brutality and uncompromising willpower. They’re not pretty but given their histories, the actions they take are understandable albeit reprehensible and barbaric. Antiheroes are not good people but there are mere moments when they show the capacity for good and it is in those brief examples that we put our faith in these characters. People will say the way they kill people is “cool” but that is not the basis of an antihero and anyone that believes that to be the case should go get educated.

So when I see an antihero as underdeveloped as Riddick or in this case Frank Castle and I realize the director/writers don’t even grasp what an antihero is, I wonder why they have jobs.

To make a antihero more than a coffinmaker and instead a legend, you need to show us every detail of his life. There is more substance to antiheroes than killing people and partaking of the bottle. I want to hear the gems of dialogue, see the black in his eyes, the brokenness of his character. Having Castle have a stern look on his face while becoming an alcoholic is a role a homeless man could play with just as much acting prowess as Jane does here. Granted, he tries, but the writers fed him to the wolves with one of the poorest superhero scripts I’ve ever seen. This is comparable to Green Lantern and Ghostrider. It’s that bad.

Hensleigh also decided to put in a supporting cast that feels out of place in a film that should be entering the world’s sludge and instead infuses Castle’s tragedy with neighbors who are completely oblivious to the world around them, which doesn’t make any sense when you see the rough part of town they live in. Our neighbors are played by Joan (Rebecca Romijn), Bumbo (John Pinette) and a young Ben Foster as Dave. Void of dimension and character spurring, useless is an appropriate adjective. They’re gutless, they don’t do anything and aside from a brief showing of courage from Ben Foster’s character, nothing is tacked on to the overall product. It’s more clutter to search through than any audience should have to navigate to find the golden nuggets such films are supposed to offer.

Once again, this leaves Jane with nothing to wrap his hands around and aside from brief action sequences and sitting in his recliner downing bottles of whiskey, moves very little both as a protagonist and in a character sense.

So is Thomas Jane’s acting bad? Yes, yes it is. No question. Not his fault, but still bad. A more experienced actor could have done better. The more and more I watched this film, the more and more I wished Ben Foster and Thomas Jane had switched roles. The Punisher was made in 2004 so Ben Foster had not yet burst onto the scene with films like 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma. However, Foster’s first big role was in 2005’s Hostage, only a year after this was made, which makes me think that Hensleigh would have been better off making Foster his leading man.

However, this is Thomas Jane’s role and perhaps shining moment in his career which is a shame because I think he had a better performance in Drive Hard then this, which is really depressing when you think about it. When you look back at your career and you tell people, “Yeah, my best role was opposite John Cusack”, you know you screwed up. I don’t think that’s something anyone wants on their resume.

John Travolta is The Punisher‘s best gift to audiences as Travolta rarely seems to show up to a film outmatched. Few writings have made Travolta look out of his league or plain stupid. He delivers more often than not. In other words, he’s a winner.

With that said, Howard Saint remains but a model of a character rather than a character in and of himself. It’s all too clear this is a movie.

“But Tim, isn’t it supposed to be a movie?”

Yes, but a movie is not meant just to be a movie. It’s meant to be an experience, a journey, an adventure, a submersion in human emotion. The Punisher offers none of these and really never tried to.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (InterstellarChappieAmerican BeautyGone GirlMulan)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (EquilibriumDead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands Tall)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Black SheepTwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe Raven)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Drive HardRun All NightRageZoolanderThe Expendables 3)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly Madison)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for The Punisher: 58.

Perhaps not as poor as my memory originally told me it was, The Punisher is deserted like a garden unwatered. Weeds fester and kill the morning glories before the sun is ever given a chance to rise.

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Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The summer movie reviewing begins and with it comes The Amazing Spider-Man 2. If you read my review of The Amazing Spider-Man, you know I ain’t a big fan of the reboot because this is the more cocky, irresponsible Spider-Man as opposed to the more humble, moral one in the original series. This new Spider-Man isn’t the one I’ve become such a huge fan of. I also feel like it was too soon for a reboot and my feelings proved to be warranted after watching the first one because it was the same backstory that I had just watched in the original series a decade ago. With me on my review of the sequel is my brother, Chris, who can be found over at theofficialgrump.wordpress.com. It’s a bonus brother edition!

Chris: I don’t like you. Thank you for inviting me. I’m looking forward to doing reviews this summer with you.

Tim: One step at a time, sir. Andrew Garfield is still in the lead role as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man but he’s not as irritable or agitating in this one. Yeah, he totally lied to Gwen’s dying father which makes him a total sleazebag but he shows some genuine guilt over the whole thing. It didn’t seem believable to me at first but I have to admit I think Garfield is starting to grow on me… a little. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Moving on, Garfield and the script do more than color in the lines, giving us more than just a sneak peek of true character and personality and giving us a person with highs and lows just like the rest of us. It’s better for character connection and for me giving a care in the world than giving me the one-dimensional cocky teenager routine we’ve all seen too many times.

Chris: He had a better performance in this one than he did in the previous one and he learns more about his past in this one.

Tim: Emma Stone is the man or rather the perfectionist in this film. While Garfield has clearly learned from his acting experiences, Stone has been around Hollywood more than a few times and knows what it takes to make a role come alive. I can’t say I’ve seen her in anything aside from Zombieland and Gangster Squad, but I don’t need to in order to say she’s clearly got a head on her shoulders. It’s still not as good a characterization as Dunst did with Mary Jane in the original series but Stone’s performance is not far from it. There’s some true emotion and weight to this character and while she was one of the few highlights in the first film, she’s one of the many here.

Chris: She had an easier time with her characterization than Garfield. Her role made it feel like you were looking at Gwen Stacy and not Emma Stone.

Tim: The romance between them is complicated, the way I like it to be although it burns inside sometimes. Occasionally, there was a little too much in terms of the emotional roller coaster but it all worked out in the end so I won’t complain. There isn’t really anything negative to say about it which is a good thing because this romance became the focal point of the story rather than the conflict between Spider-Man and Electro, which I do think is a little unfair because I think the trailers made it look like this was going to be an action-bonanza and it wasn’t. I didn’t mind it though and coming from an action-obsessed critic like myself you know that’s saying something.

Chris: I think the romance worked well. If you were going in expecting to see a Captain America: Winter Soldier-type film, that’s not what you’re going to get.

Tim: The heavily anticipated unveiling of Electro ended in quite the disappointment for me. Jamie Foxx doesn’t get enough screen time or character buildup before he turns into the shocking villain (see what I did there?) which leaves me confused as to what his motives are. He starts off as a huge Spider-Man fan who doesn’t have any friends and gets degraded a lot everywhere he goes. He just wants to be noticed for once and I understand where he’s coming from but killing people isn’t going to get people to notice you; it’s going to get people to run away from you, which will only make you feel like more of a freak and so on and so on.

Chris: In the trailer, they showed him as if he was always a bad guy and in the movie they make him out to be almost mentally disturbed. I felt his action scenes were very short and a lot of his dialogue was said under his breath which made it hard to understand sometimes. I like Jamie Foxx as an actor but I feel he struggled in the role because of the scriptwriters’ lack of writing.

Tim: Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) isn’t as refined a character as he was in the original series and also doesn’t have a lot of face time. As I said earlier, it’s all about the romance, which is well-done, but where are our villains? This guy is Harry Osborn 90% of the movie along with maybe a whole five minutes of the Green Goblin! You got that sinking feel? That’s the feeling of disappointment and the acknowledgement that this is not Spider-Man’s super battle.

Chris: The trailers give you all of the action scenes of the Green Goblin and the Rhino. He’s a very different Harry Osborn than he was in the Toby Maguire series. Also, RAGE MODE ACTIVATED!!! Why were action scenes from the Matrix thrown in here where everything was in slow motion and dodging bullets and electricity and more bullets?!

Tim: The action scenes were still cool, but there was a lot of slow motion when had it happened in real-time it would have been so much more adrenaline-filled and lifelike. I’m not sure I’d go so far as distaste, but I expected more.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Spider-Man 2Captain America: The Winter SoldierMr. & Mrs. SmithPrisonersSecretariat)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Non-StopDivergentSpider-Man 3Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2Young Guns)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Captain America: The First AvengerDawn of the DeadFlyboys300Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The Long Kiss GoodnightDodgeball: A True Underdog StoryDisaster MovieThe Incredible Hulk, Godzilla(1998) )

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Alien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThorYou’re NextThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (AlienSerendipityCowboys and Aliens300: Rise of an Empire, A Haunted House)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3Open Grave)

My score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 85.

There’s little doubt you’ll come out of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 surprised, but enjoyment is still to be had in this film, especially with it being as thought-provoking as it is. It’s just not the kind of enjoyment you were expecting. For all the Iron Man 3 haters out there who complained because it didn’t follow the comics, this is the superhero movie for you because it’s very accurate to the comics. It’s definitely a huge improvement from where it started and I will be looking forward to what direction director Marc Webb decides to take with the third one.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

Tim: If you got the “follow the comics” hint, you know that Gwen Stacy dies at the end of this movie. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and it saddens you but if you know more than a little about Spider-Man then you know this was inevitable. Can you imagine the uproar that would have occurred if Sony decided to make the two live happily ever after? Would I have been outraged if that had been the case? Certainly not, but there’s no doubt The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would have been the new Iron Man 3 for comic diehards had that been the case and then I would have heard the same stupid, short-sighted argument from these people for another six months instead of hearing about all the great things this movie was able to accomplish despite all the great things it also missed. In conclusion, it didn’t ruin the movie for me, although it is disheartening.

Chris: I felt this was going to come and it rather frustrated me. If you watch most Marvel, D.C. , or any superhero movie, there is always a romance involved in it, a romantic story that captures our hearts and make us care. The fact that they basically threw out the entire love story at the end made me quite annoyed. I understand it shows that Spider-Man has feelings which is a good thing, but every movie usually has a romance and wondering if there will even be one in the next movie will be interesting.

Tim: This doesn’t involve a major plot point but it is something I would like to discuss nonetheless because it’s so stupid. Two planes are flying towards the airport in New York City when Electro knocks the power out which eliminates the traffic control towers, leaving the airplanes flying blind. One of the route trackers on one of the planes calculates that the planes will crash in four minutes and one of the pilots tells this attendant to start the timer. Then, the power is restored about 15 seconds before the planes were to crash and they miss each other by inches, including the pilots turning their planes to avoid each other in three seconds. I’m sorry, but really?! That does not happen. If you know you’re going to crash in four minutes, why wouldn’t you change your path when there was a minute left or something? Go up, go down or move left or right, just do anything but keep going straight you idiots! How did no one on either of these planes think of this? Weren’t they considering what they were going to do if the power didn’t come back on?! Were they content with playing chicken with another plane and refusing to move, electing to explode into smithreens when a simple turn of the wheel or rise or decrease in elevation would have caused the avoidance of certain death? How dumb is that?!

Chris: I was really glad to see that Denzel Washington helped out with the planes (-_-). I did find this part incredibly dumb, too, and I laughed as soon as I saw it thinking, “Well, I’ve seen this about a 100 times.” I understand it is Hollywood but watching bombs being defused and planes near missing with like 2 seconds left gets annoying.

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Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

The superhero Captain America has never really appealed to me. While I didn’t know all of Captain America’s story coming into this movie, I felt I knew enough to make an opinion. My opinion was one of dislike. It wasn’t the person that Captain America was so much as the powers that were there or the lack thereof. Aside from a shield that blocks basically everything, he’s no more than a big guy that used powerful steroids. He’s not bulletproof, he’s not incredibly agile although faster than most people, and he doesn’t have any powers that really make him any different then a world’s strongest man competitor. He can take hits and dish them out and he has a shield that deflects everything, yet he insists on throwing it at his opponents, forgetting that without it he’s left vulnerable, becoming nothing more than a heavyweight boxer. He also uses guns, which puts him on the same level as the Punisher, arguably the worst superhero ever.

My family saw it when it came out but I couldn’t bring myself to see it. The trailer didn’t look bad, but my pre-movie bias stopped me from going to see it. After seeing the new trailer for the sequel, I thought it would be appropriate to see the first one.

Captain America: The First Avenger does a very good job of giving the audience background information so that those who don’t know the whole story of Captain America such as myself can follow the story.

Action scenes, humor, and character interactions is what the movie is focusing on most of the time. I’ve seen far better action scenes, but they’re still fun to watch. The humor gets some grins and chuckles, but what really makes this movie what it is are the characters. Chris Evans does a great job with his portrayal of Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America. I picture him in the role the whole time and I feel like I’m actually watching the story of the guy, not watching the story of the guy being portrayed in a movie. The character connection is dominant. As someone who was 120 pounds at my high school graduation, I can understand the trials and tribulations that Rogers had to deal with. I was 6’0″, but was 5’3″ through most of junior high, so I knew what it meant to be the little guy, at least for a while. His character is sincere, a genuine person and what he lacks in size he makes up for in character, something that I admired. He doesn’t get arrogant or self-obsessed after his transformation. The love connection between Rogers and Peggy Carter is sincere and I care what happens between the two.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42Just Go With It)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Man of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House DownJobsThe Truman Show)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Shaun of the DeadSharknadoThe Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape Plan)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss Goodnight)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (Road to PerditionTotal RecallDodgeball: A True Underdog StoryAlong Came PollyAliens)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlien)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark Fury, Alien 3)

My score for Captain America: The First Avenger: 76.

It’s not a must-buy by any means, but Captain America: The First Avenger is definitely worth giving a shot. The screenwriting is well-done for the most part and most of the characters are top-notch, which makes up for the slightly disappointing action scenes.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

The action scenes are slightly disappointing but I think that’s more because of who the superhero is. Captain America is just not a high-grade superhero. He’s an underdog, someone you want to rally behind, but if there was such a thing as a “superhero draft”, Captain America wouldn’t be in the top 15.

Captain America crashes the plane to prevent the weapons from exploding and ends up freezing himself. He wakes up 70 years later and realizes that everyone he knew and loved is dead, including Peggy Carter, who he was supposed to have a date with in a week. It was very sad and I felt bad for Rogers, because it’s like starting life all over again, except you remember what it used to be before.

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