Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Avengers: Infinity War, created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Thanos has finally achieved the start to his grand plan…one of the six Infinity Stones.  If things go according to plan, he will be able to find the other five.  And then nothing will stand in the way of his destiny and grand plan- using the stones to create ultimate peace and serenity in the entire universe.

As he and his children move through the universe to acquire stone after stone they run into a variety of different situations. 

The Avengers must group together with many others from the Guardians of the Galaxy to the Black Panther in order to stop Thanos.  If they don’t then the world as we know it may cease to exist.

But when everyone is scattered far and wide across the universe getting back to Earth may be a bit tricky.  Will they make it in time? Or will Thanos be able to enact his plan?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters by Stan Lee

-Length: 149 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthoby Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So many moving parts.  Just so many moving parts.

I honestly don’t know how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby kept everything straight in the YEARS of comics they wrote to get to this point.

And the film captured it so well.

With such a wide variety of characters coming together at different points in the universe all to make everything happen the way it does.  Everything really comes down to choice.

The writers have done and incredible job with this (and with part two) keeping everything straight and making sure that the story isn’t difficult to follow even with so many different bits and pieces going on at all times. 

We see the development of characters, and the choices they make under the stress of the situation.  We see their deepest fears and regrets.  And we see the world changed because of an extremest view on how to bring peace to the universe-not by working together and celebrating our differences and helping each other…but by simply destroying half of all life in the universe.

I mean…I guess it works after you can get past the chaos of losing half of all the people you care about in the world.  And how many more after that to the after-effects.

The amount of thought and discussion that goes into comics just continues to astound.  I think people who enjoy the movies (since they are more mainstream) and teased people who loved the comics for being geeky and nerdy are realizing just how much is going on in the worlds within those pages.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

Captain America: Civil War, created by created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Nearly a year has passed since The Avengers defeated Ultron in the nation of Sokovia.  Now part of the newest group of Avengers recruits (Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson and Wanda Maximoff) are trying to stop terrorist Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon on Lagos.  When Rumlow blows himself up during the confrontation in an attempt to kill Captain America, Wanda diverts the explosion…miscalculating and destroying part of a nearby building where a group of Wakandan humanitarian workers were helping the less fortunate.

Thaddeus Ross, now the US Secretary of State, uses the incident as a jumping off point to inform the Avengers that the United Nations is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords which will establish a UN panel that will oversee and have complete control over the team.

The Avengers are divided.  Tony Stark (alias Iron Man) is in support of the oversight, particularly in light of the incident with Ultron.  Steve Rogers (alias Captain America) disagrees and has faith that the team, and himself in particular, can make better and quicker decisions that a group of politicians.

As the Accords are ratified another bomb goes off… this time killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda.  The footage shows that the bomber is none other than Roger’s former best-friend turned brainwashed Hydra agent, Bucky Barnes (alias The Winter Soldier).  As Bucky flees, things begin to get complicated.  The Avengers are split on the Accords.  T’Chaka’s son T’Challa has vowed to kill Bucky.  And a strange, masked superhuman appears…wearing a black suit and rivaling the abilities of The Avengers themselves.

What will happen to the team now that a major rift has formed?  Will the Avengers ever be the same?

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero

-Creator: created by created by Marvel Cinematic Universe, based on characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

-Length: 147 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Emily VanCamp, Tom Holland, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, Daniel Bruhl

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

So much goes on in this film, its almost on the same level as The Avengers title films.  There are so many characters and so much information that is given in this movie.

Not to mention the continuation of the discussions of morality that have continued over from Age of Ultron.  This story does come from the comics but I haven’t gotten to reading it yet so I can’t speak to the differences.  But I was a little shocked the first time that I watched the film because I was not expecting who ended up on each side of the issue.

The fights are epic and it was a great introduction to both Black Panther and this version of Spider-man (who is the best version in my opinion).

We get both sides of the issue…which doesn’t often happen in grand discussions like this.  The writers did a great job showing the pros and cons to both the Accords…and to not signing them.  So many times we as humans think that decisions like this are black and white when they are shades of grey.  This film shows that and so much more.

Revenge and grief.  Fear and loathing.  The desire to do good…but that doing good is not always doing “right”.  So many different layers to peel back. 

And when I saw it in theatres it was a great jumping off point for discussions about these things.  That is what art and entertainment media should strive to do.  Of course, there will always (and should always be) art and entertainment for the sake of that…but they should also be able to launch discussions that are deeper than ourselves.  That make us think of those around us. 

This film does that…as do so many comic books.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, MARVEL

The Avengers: Age of Ultron, created by Marvel Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of everything that was discovered by Captain America about HYDRA taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. the Avengers have followed the trail of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker to the tiny Eastern European country of Sokovia.  There they are confronted with two of the experiments that Strucker has been working on, a brother and sister who have been genetically modified to have powers.  Pietro Maximoff has been granted super speed while his twin, Wanda, has both telepathic and telekinetic abilities.

With Strucker dead, Loki’s scepter retrieved and everyone back at Avengers headquarters, Stark and Banner discover that there is some sort of Artificial Intelligence inside of the gem of the scepter.  The pair secretly decide to use it to implement an experimental global defense program, codename “Ultron”.  Its mission is to protect the Earth from threats from within and without.

As JARVIS examines the scepter’s AI…the scepter is doing its own reconossance…bringing to life the otherwise hypothetical Ultron.  When Ultron finally comes to life he wreaks havok in the in lab, eliminating JARVIS and destroying the Avengers headquarters after determining them to be the biggest threat to Earth.  He steals the scepter and leaves the Avengers in shambles to begin his grand scheme.

Rid the Earth of every threat on it…even if that means ridding it of all human life on the planet.

General Information:

-Genre: Superhero, Action/Adventure

-Creator: created by Marvel Cinematic Studios, based on characters created by Stan Lee

-Length: 141 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Sakarsgard, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson

-Page of Reference in RP1: MARVEL is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):

I forgot just how deep this movie is.  It isn’t your standard superhero film.  It is a cautionary tale of what happens when you take the idea of defense too far.

I know that many people would love the idea of preemptive strikes on threats both on and off Earth.  But what determines that threat?  Is it someone who has committed a crime already?  How big of a crime?  Someone who is an excellent speaker that can move hundreds if not thousands of people but has never committed an atrocity to date?  Is the fact that they can move people enough?

Or is it the people that do everything they can to save as many people as they can…even if they cause other destruction or issues while doing it?

Ultron and his idea that the whole human race should start over is the extreme of this.  He followed the logical path his programming was given and decided humanity was the biggest threat…so humanity should be wiped away.

Its something to think about.  Our actions have consequences, and those consequences can be damning.

This is why I love comics and superheroes.  There is always the discussions of morality, hope and compassion.  Right and wrong.  The extremes which we will continue to see throughout the MCU.

Some of my favorite characters are introduced in this…Wanda and Vision….and we get to see more of the life behind Hawkeye who is one of my favorite characters of all time.  With every movie we get to see more and more into the characters.  And the Infinity Stones that keep popping up around the galaxy.

Just a great step into the larger world of the Avengers and what is to come.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.