Franchise Weekend – Spiderman (2002)

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic Book)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons

 

Plot: When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Spiderman Movie

 

Story: Spider-Man starts as we meet high school student Peter Parker (Maguire), he only had one friend at school and that is over privileged Harry Osborn (Franco) and his high school crush Mary Jane (Dunst) attending a field trip at science laboratory where Peter gets bitten by one of the spiders.

The next day Peter finds himself stronger and more aware than ever, he has gained the spider skills, Peter uses his time to learn his abilities, but when his Uncle Ben (Robertson) becomes a victim of crime, Peter becomes Spiderman protecting New York City from the criminals.

With high school finished Peter and Harry move to New York, where they find jobs, but Peter has been fighting crime become front page news. Harry’s father Norman a CEO at Oscorp determined to make the most money unleashes the Green Goblin on the city, giving Spiderman his first opponent that will tests his abilities.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man

 

Characters – Peter Parker is the socially awkward high school outcast, he does have the brains to become anything but when he gets bitten he becomes Spiderman where he starts to fight to protect his city after losing his Uncle. Norman Osborn is the career driven genius that will go to any lengths to be the leading developer in government technology, but when he loses his way, he goes out to stop anyone with his Green Goblin persona. Harry is Peter’s best friend and son of Norman, he watches how everything unfolds but also starts dating Mary Jane. Mary Jane is the high school crush of Peter, she does stick up for him as they share the same dreams.

PerformanceTobey Maguire is great in this leading role showing the innocence side of Peter but away from the high school age. Kirsten Dunst is a beautiful Mary Jane and while mostly the damsel in distress does give us a good performance. James Franco showed us all the potential he has started to show us in this role. Willem Dafoe enjoys the villainous role through the film and is easy one of the better conflicted villains in the universe.

StoryThis is an origin story for Spiderman that came out just when the superhero boom was starting up, it bought us a new hero to root for and one that was filled with the odd joke. We have the motivation for Peter to become Spiderman, a friendship which will become important through this franchise and a villain that is conflicted with why he is doing the things he is doing. It may well be a by the book origin story it does have enough darker moments to make us see the light in his actions.

Action/AdventureThe action fits the comic book genre perfectly with the adventure side of the film coming from just what Peter is learning of his new skills.

SettingsNew York City makes for the setting here, much like in the comics, it works because of the landscape that Spiderman will be taking on with his web slinging.

Special EffectsThe effects for this film show us that practical effects could still make an excellent film, the CGI feels very little.

Scene of the Movie – The parade.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You do feel like we needed more of the high school side of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an origin film that does hit the marks, a villain that can do enough damage but is never a true threat, learning the correct path and building a bigger picture for the whole franchise.

 

Overall: Easily one of the best origin stories.

Rating

 

 

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Deadpool 2 (2018)

Director: David Leitch

Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds (Screenplay) Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza (Comics)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgard, T.J Miller, Terry Crews

 

Plot: Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.


Tagline – Prepare for the second coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh a Minute Comedy

 

Story: Deadpool 2 starts when Deadpool (Reynolds) gets forced into helping Colossus back at Xavier’s mansion, his first mission to calm Russell (Dennison) a tortured mutant about to cause chaos with his fire ability. When things go south Deadpool ends up needing to protect Russell from the time travelling warrior Cable (Brolin) that has come from the future to kill Russell, along the way Deadpool puts together a team, the X-force with Domino (Beetz) using her ability to help in ways Deadpool doesn’t understand.

 

Thoughts on Deadpool 2

 

Characters – Deadpool has gone international with his crime fighting ways now, but when he suffers a life changing moment he goes in search of a purpose, he spends most of the film trying to save Russell from Cable with one liners coming out his mouth in nearly every scene. Cable has come from the future in search of a mutant that has killed his family, he will use his technology advances to get to him and fight to stop the mutant before he could clash with his family in the future. He is the opposite to Deadpool, cold hearted killer, but broken too. Vanessa is back and gives Deadpool all the motivation he needs to complete his tasks. Domino is the new-comer most people will enjoy, her ability is luck, she is super laid back and everything just seems to fall her way. Russell is the teenager with fire ability, he has been abused at the home for mutants, which has made him the enemy when he wants to kill the people that abused him. When it comes to the rest of the characters we get good moments with them throughout the film, but none of them become the centre of attention.

PerformancesRyan Reynolds shines once again in the role he was destining to play. Josh Brolin makes for an excellent Cable, they even throw the short jokes about him not matching the comic book Cable’s size in too. Zazie Beetz is the breakout star of the movie, having never seen her in anything, she handles this laid-back role very well. Julian Dennison, you might remember him from the Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he brings that level of performance here which adds to the comedy in the film. The rest of the returning cast do a good job as the new faces, but none reach the level of the previous mentioned performers.

StoryThe story here does follow similar path to the original Deadpool, where Deadpool must take on a villain using the friends both old a new while adding comedy into the revenge premise. This keeps everything simple, gets to poke fun at the genre of superheroes and does bring a turning point for the Deadpool character and his actions. There are shocks in the storyline, but I felt like I was watching a superhero version of Looper for the most part.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action gives us plenty of fights between the characters, we get to see how the director has used his past experience in the John Wick films to make the action scenes feel more intense, the inclusion of the Cable character gives us more sci-fi elements with the time travel and weaponry. It is the comedy that we have come here for though, it would be fair to say barely any jokes miss, and while some are reference heavy, the target audience should understand them all.

SettingsThe film gives us settings like a Fast and Furious movie, we have point A for one action sequence, point B for the next and part C for the final act, it is by the book and for the most part they check off action picks well.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film look brilliant too, even when they is a reference to a CGI battle, it works for the film and makes you laugh along the way.


Scene of the Movie –
Healing time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain characters don’t get as much screen time as you feel they should.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sequel that brings us more laughs, more enjoyment and great new characters.

 

Overall: Funniest film of the year.

Rating

 

 

Jessica Alba Weekend – Fantastic Four (2005)

fanDirector: Tim Story

Writer: Mark Frost, Michael France (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Hamish Linklater, Kerry Washington

 

Plot: A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Superhero Film

 

Story: Fantastic Four starts as Reed Richards (Gruffudd) and Ben Grimm (Chiklis) trying to negotiate a deal with Victor Von Doom (McMahon) a business man who runs the city as the two plan their mission in space. With the mission lined up the three are joined by Sue (Alba) and Johnny Storm (Evans) but when the solar storm heads to them earlier disaster strikes the space station with the whole crew getting exposed to the solar winds.

Put in quarantine the astronauts soon start seeing side effects and almost extra abilities they have gained, Johnny is literally a human torch, Ben turns into a rock man, Reed can stretch, Sue can turn invisible and Victor is dealing with telepathic powers. While the Fantastic Four are born, Victor Doom sees his empire crumble as his evil side comes out.

With Victor becoming a danger to the Earth the Fantastic Four must embrace their powers to save the world and become the heroes the world comes to love and accept.

Fantastic Four is a superhero film straight off the back of the X-Men and Spiderman success. The origin story works well and the battle is all good enough for what we expect for the first battle they face.  The negatives are clear here and that is with the special effects that have dated badly. The settings also don’t leave too much to the imagination as they are just the standard superhero fight locations.

The cast are all picked perfectly really with each one of the characters suiting the actor’s abilities. Chris Evans stands out as the cocky Human Torch character but it is his chemistry with Michael Chiklis that gets most of the laughs in the film. Julian McMahon as the villain works because he always looks like the powerful business man.

 

Overall: For the time this was a great addition to the genre but now it feels slightly out of place.

Ratingcard

 

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer:Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim, Steve Ditko, Joe Simon (Characters)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Idris Elba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, Benedict Wong, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle

 

Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe


Tagline – An entire universe. Once and for all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly a Game Changer

 

Story: Avengers: Infinity War starts as we see the power of Thanos (Brolin) collecting his second infinity stone leaving a path of destruction, with his power growing the Avengers must unit to fight and stop him getting the remaining Infinity Stones that will give him the power to eliminate half of any population with the click of his fingers.

The battle will take place in space, on distant planets and back home on Earth where we get to see unseen team ups and reunions between friends.

 

Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity Way

 

Characters – When we dive into characters we have so many to talk about, I will spend time talking Thanos because has been a villain waiting in the background for many films for, we know his is powerful and this is how you make a villain the powerful force we know and will remember because what he does in this film will make you remember within the first five minutes, but we do also see what drives him and that he has true belief in his cause. In the rest of the characters we know what we are getting from most, I was impressed with Doctor Strange as I wasn’t too interested in the solo film, Thor has a brilliant story arc that keeps his character in the tone we got in Ragnarok and the father son dynamic between Tony and Peter is still here. Drax gets the most laughs once more, while everyone around Steve Rogers is the more serious side of the film. the only negatives on the characters we meet would be the generals for Thanos, who are largely forgettable.

PerformancesThe performances like the characters we have way too many to talk about, Josh Brolin being the new comer makes a massive impact easily becoming the best villain in the MCU. The talent on the Avengers is fantastic and the people that stood out for me were Benedict Cumberbatch, Dave Bautista and Chris Hemsworth, while I don’t think anybody is close to being bad, I felt the actors on the Earth battle weren’t given enough to do to get to their best abilities.  

StoryThe story here is the build up for 18 movies, we have developed our heroes while learning little about the villain, this story shows just what Thanos is fighting for, what he will do to get it and what the heroes will need to do to stop him. For me this is the game changer in superhero movies, we manage to handle seeing separate groups work together to fight on different worlds in groupings you wouldn’t put together, this does however mean certain characters don’t meet in this story which might disappoint fans. The story also balances comedy with the Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy mostly and the serious side of what is coming with Captain America. This is easily what we as fans have deserved, but you might not get everything if you haven’t seen the other films.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fi/FantasyThe action is massive and takes us to different worlds for the battles which each are filled with peril because we know not everyone will make it out of this one. the adventure takes our characters to places they haven’t been before for their part in the story, which brings the sci-fi sides with large parts of the film being in space and different worlds that only could come from fantasies of comic books.

SettingsEach setting offers our characters a challenge they will need to face in battle, this shows how easily travelling through space can be if you know the ability to do so.

Special EffectsThese fight sequences, action sequences look breath taking and nearly everything is flawless except the routine space creatures in the final battle.


Scene of the Movie –
Thor meeting the Guardians.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We learn why a couple of characters are not in the film, but there are some that just seem missing which frustrates because they were interesting ones you would have liked to have seen fight.

Final ThoughtsThis is the biggest comic book movie of all time, it changes everything going forward and is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the genre.

 

Overall: Must See Brilliance.

Rating

 

 

Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letita Wright, Sterling K Brown

 

Plot: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.


Tagline – The Avengers have a new king.

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Specular Visual Superhero Movie

 

Story: Black Panther starts after the events of Civil War, T’Challa (Boseman) returns Wakanda to claim his throne as the king of Wakanda after his father’s death. going through the ceremony with the rest of the people including his ex-love Nakia (Nyong’o), most trusted general Okoye (Gurira), little sister Shuri (Wright) and leaders Ramonda (Bassett), Zuri (Whitaker) and W’Kabi (Kaluuya).

Being the new king of Wakanda his first mission is to track down former enemy Ulysses Klaue (Serkis) who is planning to sale a Wakanda weapon which brings back an old friend Everett Ross (Freeman) and a strange who believes he has the right for the throne in Erik Killmonger (Jordan), can this battle be the one that shows T’Challa his rightful place as the king and the Black Panther.

 

Thoughts on Black Panther

 

Characters – T’Challa is the new king of Wakanda, he wants to continue the calm peaceful reign like his father, but will need to face his father’s past to bring the new future for the technological advanced society. He has the expert combat skills, the calmness to be a leader and following rituals like the leaders of his past have. Erik Killmonger is a mercenary that knows he has a right to the throne and will go to any lengths to take the throne. He has an impresses kill count in battle which makes him a deadly enemy. Nakia is the former partner of T’Challa, she returns to support him and wants to see him open the technology of Wakanda to the world after her work as a spy around the world. Okoye is the greatest warrior in Wakanda, she must stay loyal to the throne regardless of if she believes in the leader of not. Shuri is the younger sister of T’Challa, she works on the weapons being the bubbly gadget lady that makes the most jokes and easily steals the scenes she is in. we have plenty of other characters with some being inside Wakanda, others being enemies and others being friends in waiting.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is wonderful in this leading role, he bought us everything we got from Civil War and made us only want more from his character. Michael B Jordan gives us a great villainous performance that is as complex and he is deadly. Lupita is good in her role as she offers Chadwick a difficult set of decisions. Dania gives us the kick ass character and one we know she can play well. For me Letita Wright is the breakout star from this movie, being able to steal nearly every scene is something that will get people talking. In fairness the whole cast is great throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows T’Challa and his rise to be the king and the next Black Panther, he must come to face the new challenges of being a leader, be it the conflict within or the conflict from the outside world. He must make the difficult decisions which could bring his people to a new stage to the world. This is a good introduction to this character and his world, which does have moments which you will have seen in other movies, but works enough to make this stand out on its own.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action sequences are wonderful to witness, we have brilliant camera work which will make one certain moment truly seem original and stand out. The adventure takes us to this new world, technology advanced from the rest of the world. The sci-fi world we enter isn’t like anything we could imagine seeing in the middle of the rain forest.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to make every location feel different from the last, this helps us enjoy the environments we are entering.

Special EffectsThe effects can’t be faulted once, they all look spectacular making this one of the best visual experience of the year so far.


Scene of the Movie –
South Korea fight sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I felt moments of comedy missed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful addition to the MCU, we get to learn more about The Black Panther character and the world he is from, which only makes us want to see more of this in the future.

 

Overall: Brilliant addition that still stands out as one.

Rating