Posts Tagged ‘Marvel’

I like Marvel movies, I do, but they tend to stick to a certain formula when making its origin movies, or really making any movies for that matter. That being said there’s this undeniable force behind the movies that keep bringing me back time and time again: The movies have the ability to seamlessly blend humor, wit, charm, action, and amazing special effects. And they are always impeccable with the casting.

Marvel’s
ANT MAN

Directed By: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale,
Judy Greer, Patrick Wilson, David Dastmalchian, Anthony Mackie

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So okay, the plot is a little iffy, the whole “rag-tag, Ocean’s 11, steal an important relic but not before a big training montage” has been done to death. And there are many looming plot problems that put the entire story line into question (but I won’t spoil it, lest it be like that time on Big Bang Theory when Amy ruined the entire plot of Indiana Jones for Sheldon). Plus there’s a complete lack of a big female presence thing, except for Evangeline Lily who is awesome, but could really use another woman to talk to.

However, despite all these things there is one big thing in Ant Man that makes the movie worth watching even if none of the rest interests you. No, it’s not Paul Rudd’s undeniable self-deprecating charm, it’s not the incredible attention to detail in the “shrinking” special effects (that bathtub scene is so awesome), nor is it the awesome action sequences such as Hawkeye and Ant-Man battling it out. The thing, or rather person that makes Ant-Man worth watching is Michael Peña.

Michael Peña plays Luis, Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) partner-in-crime friend. But Peña manages to take the terms “goofy sidekick” to a whole other level. Luis is full of joy, even if things are going absolutely terrible in his life. Perpetually stoned, everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. But the thing that works is that you don’t write Luis off as just a goof-ball, you genuinely like the dude. And that is the genius of Michael Peña. Luis is not just comic relief, he’s much more.

AAAGGHHH! The Latino actor reacts pretty much how everyone reacts when they see a bug on their shoulder

We have to remember Ant-Man is the origin movie. It’s the TV equivalent to a pilot meaning there is room to grow. Now that we know the characters, now that we know his backstory, we can be launched into some exciting adventures. I can’t wait to see Paul Rudd and Ant-Man integrated into the MCU, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers. Because we all know that the Marvel movies work best when all their characters are together.

Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Though it wasn’t a bad movie by normal standards, Man Of Steel was not what I wanted for one of my favorite superheroes. What Snyder and Nolan did was take Superman, and make him average.

Man Of Steel
Directed By: Zack Synder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Chris Meloni, Michael Kelly, Russell Crowe, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Ayelet ZurerPremise: When John and Martha Kent find a baby in a pod, they know he is not of this world. As Clark grows older he realizes he has great powers he doesn’t know how to control. After hiding his powers for so long, Clark, a loner finds himself helping others. He’s become a myth, an idea of a savior, until Lois Lane discovers his secret and alerts the world, and other worlds to Clark’s existence. As his otherworldly enemies threaten to destroy Earth in order to hunt him down, Clark must decide if he’s done hiding his alien half and ready to start trusting his human half.

My Review: Superman is probably the mostwell-known and well-liked superhero in the world. Everyone knows Superman, everyone loves Superman. He is the kind of person you hope your kid grows up to be like, cape or not. He is a good guy who just happens to be an alien from another planet…with superpowers. He truly does good, not evil. Unfortunately, Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan took away everything that was “good” about Superman and turned him into your typical dark and brooding hero.

It’s a hard thing to do. To make Superman seem average. But mixed with grandiose and distracting camerawork, plot holes with obvious chunks of movie missing, and a gray/blue scale color pallete, Superman felt like kind of a downer.

 

Things I Liked:
1) Clark’s backstory. I’m a sucker for flashbacks. I blame JJ Abrams for that one. I liked that he was seen as a freak or an outcast as a child. It makes us understand him, and also makes the decision to help even his enemies all the greater. Unfortunately this theme doesn’t continue within the movie.

2) Amy Adams. She’s always this bright light in any movie, even when she’s in a serious role. She just carries this light throughout her. Unfortunately they didn’t have time to build up the chemistry between Lois and Clark so things were just lukewarm between them.

3) Henry Cavill is a handsome handsome man. Those piercing blue eyes. Those form fitting shirts…I could go on and on. And when they showed the teenage version of him, I swear he looked exactly like Tom Welling.

 

 

***SPOILER ALERT!!*** SKIP if you don’t want to be spoiled!!

 

4) The revelation of Clark Kent. *spoiler!!* I love how Synder teased Kent’s revelation. A flash of the Daily Planet. A flash of his suit. A flash of his black glasses. Everything was just an anticipatory teaser until Clark Kent, reporter at the Daily Planet was born. Genius.

 

 

What I Didn’t Like

1) The documentary style camera work. The whole shaky cam, “can’t find” the subject, quick zoom camerawork did not work for this kind of movie. Ok, so maybe it worked for the final battle but by then you were so sick of the movement you just didn’t care. A friend pointed out that JJ Abrams does this too, but I’ve never really noticed…and that’s how it’s supposed to be.

2) Michael Shannon. Michael Shannon is a good actor but I find with him that he’s either subtle or over the top. There’s no middle. Premium Rush he was SO over the top that he was cartoonish. For this movie he straddled the line so much it became almost comical instead of threatening.

3) Chunks of movie were missing. I felt like parts of the movie had been cut out so significantly. For example, Laurence Fishburne, who played Perry White, and Michael Kelly had small parts in the beginning of the movie, then suddenly they were all over the climatic ending. Like we were supposed to care about these characters fate even though we had NO IDEA who they were. But that was only one of the many, man holes in the movie.

***SPOILER ALERT!!!** SKIP if you don’t want to be spoiled!!!

4) SUPERMAN DOESN’T KILL. I agree with this article whole heartedly. In this movie Superman caused more destruction than he did saved lives. Sure the falling buildings looked cool, but how man lives were in those buildings. The Superman I know would have risked his life to hold up that building. He also, and this is my biggest problem with the movie, he also doesn’t kill. And when he does it should have a been a MUCH bigger deal than it was in the movie. I understand that when he killed Zod he was not only killing someone for te first time, he was killing his last lifeline to his home planet he only recently learned about. Its big, I get it. But Superman killing someone is BIGGER. This plot point wasn’t worthy of the first Superman movie. We have to get to know our first Superman. If you are going to make him a killer it should have been in movie 2 or 3. If you are going to make him a killer,  time should have been spent with him coming to terms with what he has done and what it means for who he is. If you are going to make him a killer, it needs to be handled with care. But it wasn’t. I don’t like my Superman like this. Superman is good. Let Batman be conflicted. Let Tony Stark be selfish and dramatic. Let the Hulk be an outcast loner. Superman puts others before himself. Like Captain America, Superman always had good values, he just needed the means and opportunity to show it. Keep Superman good! Let him be the beacon of light in a dark world.

If Man Of Steel were about any other superhero BUT Superman, I could easily say it was a good film. But because I have such high standards for my Superman, this film was a great letdown. I understand the temptation to let our Superheroes go dark, it’s interesting and gives them places to go. But the movie felt heavy. Whereas Marvel injects the comedy part of the “comic” book aspect to its stories. DC seems to be taking its characters in a more serious route and I’m not sure I like it. Make it fun. Make it brilliant. Make it thrilling. But most of all, don’t take the best part about a character’s character, and make him like every other superhero out there.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars

 

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