Franchise Weekend – Thor: The Dark World (2013) Revisited

Director: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher L Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne, Robert Rodat (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Walter Simonson (Comics)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi

 

Plot: When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves.


Tagline – There was darkness.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sequel

 

Story: Thor: The Dark World starts as Thor (Hemsworth) must restore the power in Asgard after Loki’s (Hiddleston) actions, this has made him in the position he should be, waiting to take over his father Odin’s (Hopkins) role. Meanwhile on Earth Jane (Portman) is trying to move with her life, but in London she discovers an unusual series of events which ends up taking her to Elf world.

When Jane becomes cursed, Thor takes her to Asgard to find a cure, which gives Malekith (Eccleston) a chance to lead his army back into combat so he can return the universe back to darkness. Thor must turn to Loki t help him defeat Malekith and save the universe.

 

Thoughts on Thor: The Dark World

 

Characters – Thor is once again preparing to take his throne in Asgard, he has restored faith in the nine realms, but he still misses Jane. When she becomes cursed, he returns to Earth to save her, which only brings back an ancient enemy to the Asgardians in the Dark Elves, he must disobey his father once again to end the threat and save the woman he loves. Jane is trying to get on with her life now, her research has taken her to London where she is trying to get over Thor, her investigation sees her cursed and taken to Asgard to learn about Thor’s home world. Loki is locked up for his actions, after his mother is murdered, Thor turns to him for help to get vengeance. Malekith is the leader of the Dark Elves, he has waited for his chance to bring the universe into darkness once again, killing Frigga the mother of Thor.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth continues to make Thor one of the most entertaining character in the universe. Natalie Portman was known to not be interested in being in the film, it does show in her performance which does disappoint. Tom Hiddleston brings another dimension to his character here which is only going to make him a more loved character. Christopher Eccleston does give us a basic villain, one that is only after power and is mostly under make up, making his performance harder to judge.

StoryThe story here follows Thor on his latest adventure, one where he must face an ancient enemy who wants to put the universe into darkness, while finally returning to Jane who has become cursed by the Dark Elves magic. This is another sequel that does address the previous films in the franchise by showing the hints the Thor and Loki could still rebuild their bond even after what Loki has done, we address forbidden relationships between Thor and Jane, have a villain that is obsessed with power, though isn’t the most three-dimensional and see Thor needing to learn more about his responsibilities as a potential king. This is everything you would expect a sequel to be in this universe.

Action/FantasyThe action involved in this film is mostly big CGI chases sequences between spacecrafts, we do get Thor doing the hammer routine which works well enough for the film. the fantasy side of the film continues to build on the idea that the worlds above have been fighting longer than people could imagine with fresh enemies waiting in the shadows.

SettingsThe film uses Asgard, the home world of the Dark Elves and London as the main settings, each has its own action sequences which also shows what Thor is fighting for.

Special EffectsThe effects are not as strong as previous films, but we do get some very impressive scenes none the less, the certain moments of weakness do hold the marks up though,


Scene of the Movie –
London battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The villain isn’t as interesting as previous ones.

Final ThoughtsThis is still an entertaining sequel, it might not be as strong as some of the previous films, but it entertains throughout.

 

Overall: Fantasy Filled Sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Shazam! (2019)

Director: David F Sandberg

Writer: Henry Gayden, Darren Lemke (Screenplay) Bill Parker, C.C. Beck (Creators)

Starring: Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel

 

Plot: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.


Tagline – If you want to save the world, say the magic word.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tonally Messy

 

Story: Shazam! Starts when teenage runaway Billy Batson (Angel) gets sent to the latest foster home after being caught searching for his mother, Billy must share a room with Freddy (Grazer) who is a comic book enthusiast. When Billy is select as the latest candidate by a Wizard (Hounsou) he is given the power to become Shazam! (Levi) a superhero.

Billy must turn to Freddy for help to understand these new powers which he uses for fun, until Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Strong) comes looking for the power after he was a rejected candidate because he was drawn to the evil within the lair. Billy must learn his powers to stop Thaddeus from bringing chaos to the world.

 

Thoughts on Shazam!

 

Characters – Shazam is the superhero version of Billy, this plays out like any teenage who would become a teenager, be it buying alcohol, skipping school or visiting a strip club, he is immature just like you would imagine and must learn to control his powers to fight Thaddeus, he is meant to be an icon for good. Dr Thaddeus Sivana was once a candidate to be given the power of Shazam, but he was drawn to the evil, banished from the lair, he has dedicated his life to searching for the truth which he unlocks the evil of the seven deadly sins. Billy is a runaway teenager, he is in search for his mother, he doesn’t like the foster system, but this new family give him a chance, he continues in his rebellious ways until he is given the power of Shazam which lets him learn the true meaning of family. Freddy is the roommate and superhero expect that is help Billy understand his new powers, he would love to be in his position because he gets constantly bullied at school.

PerformancesZachary Levi in the Shazam might well look the part, but due to him complete difference to character to Billy it is hard to take him seriously in this role. Mark Strong is as I have always said, an easy to pick villain that never lets you down. Jack Dylan Grazer brings plenty of enthusiasm to his role, while Asher Angel does his best mood teen impression.

StoryThe story shows us how a foster child is given unlimited power by a wizard who needs somebody to take over the guardian role to protect the realms from evil, only the evil is out and the foster kid is the last resort to stop this evil. It would be fair to say this is a tonally confusing story, we have a villain that is very dark and could easily be just another figure from later Harry Potter story, he has the deadly sins which are monsters that are trying to scare children, only for some reason they don’t, we have a reluctant hero who would rather make money of his need alter ego than help people. The problems do mount up quickly here as Billy and Shazam do feel like very different characters and it feels like Shazam is just Zachary Levi doing his funny man routine, over the idea of him being a version of Billy suddenly grown up. The villain is the best part of the film, he is going to step into fights before anybody else not needing anyone to help him. The story does try to bring us some heart with the ideas of just where Billy is in his life, between searching for somebody that left him or accept a family that wants him.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action is mostly silly over the top action we know DC tends to do, we have destruction of windows, fight scenes that just have people crashing through stuff along with some flying. The fantasy side of the film shows us just how the magic world can produce good and evil depending on which side of you soul you let think for you. The sci-fi element of the film comes from the idea of a new superhero being inside a teenage boy.

SettingsThe settings in the film mostly use Philadelphia as the main setting, we haven’t really seen a comic book movie set in this location before.

Special EffectsThe effects are a real mixed bag, the creature designs look brilliant no question, but certain flying scenes look like they came from an 80’s Superman movie.


Scene of the Movie –
Unlocking the true power.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Shazam didn’t feel like an adult version of Billy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a silly superhero movie, it gets the tone wrong by having a villain that is way to dark and a hero that is just too playful.

 

Overall: Just another DC miss.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – T – Tangled (2010)

Director: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay) Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm (Fairy tale)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy, Ron Perlman, M.C. Gainey, Jeffrey Tambor

 

Plot: The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is.


Tagline – Get tangled up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Princess 101

 

Story: Tangled starts by taking us to a fantasy land where Rapunzel the new princess is taken by Mother Gothel who has been using a golden flower to stay young, but the flowers power has transferred to Rapunzel long blonde locks.

Years later Rapunzel is locked in a tower by her mother forbidden to go outside even though she is desperate to, Flynn Rider is a thief on the run who stumbles into Rapunzel’s tower, where the two make a deal to help Rapunzel escape to see the lanterns her real parents have been lighting in hope of find their daughter on her birthday.

 

Thoughts on Tangled

 

Characters – Rapunzel is the princess of the land that is taken as a baby locked in a tower, grown up she dreams of leaving the tower to see the lanterns the royal family light every year. Once she gets out she uses her hair as a weapon and is overly excitable about seeing the world for the first time. Flynn Rider is a thief that is wanted throughout the kingdom, he relies on his charm to get him out of trouble only to end up finding Rapunzel who opens his eyes to a life on the good side of the law. Mother Gothel has kept Rapunzel as her own daughter because it will give her eternal youth, she is controlling and evil on a different level to other Disney villains.

StoryThe story does follow the fairy tale about Rapunzel, by bringing a fresh spin on everything, we get the idea that her first visit away from the tower is enjoyable for her an adventure she has always dreamed off, while also having the idea of a Disney Princess being protected in her own way. I do feel this story does have a negative side because a lot of what goes on focuses on people stopping everything to make a girl happy on their birthday. For a Disney story this is everything the fans will want.

Adventure/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure takes Rapunzel away from the tower which was her prison to see the world for the first time, the fantasy world we enter shows us just how magic can work when it comes to the story of Rapunzel and the musical is trademark Disney.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are normal Disney locations which are fine throughout the film.

AnimationThe animation is always going to be fantastic quality from Disney which will never be doubted by anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rough bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is by the book Disney princess stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the princess fans out there, it follows the traditions well and brings us the fresh look at the classic fairy tale.

 

Overall: Disney hit their target audience.

Rating

 

 

Psych: The Movie (2017)

Director: Steve Franks

Writer: James Roday (Screenplay) Steve Franks (Characters)

Starring: James Roday, Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen, Zachary Levi, Kurt Fuller

 

Plot: The old gang comes together during the holidays after a mystery assailant targets one of their own.


Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Fan Service

 

Story: Psych the Movie starts as we see how Shawn (Roday) is now trying to do the detective business in San Francisco where Gus (Hill) has gone to his full-time job. Juliet (Lawson) has a new partner while trying to stop chief Vick’s (Nelson) daughter from falling onto the wrong side of the law.

When Juliet’s partner is attack and left for dead, with Shawn banished from the case by Juliet, this could be Shawn’s first big case in San Francisco. It isn’t long till Shawn finds himself investigating the case which involved Thin White Duke (Levi). When the Duke targets Juliet, she doesn’t want Shawn to be involved in the case, which only leads to the guys bringing back the rest of the gang to solve the case.

 

Thoughts on Psych the Movie

 

Characters – Shawn doesn’t seem to have settled in the new city, he wants to continue with his investigation business even though Gus is busy working to keep the business a float. He still is the slacker that uses his skills of observation to keep himself busy. Gus is the best friend of Shawn who followed him to San Francisco and started a new job to help fund the investigation agency, he still enjoys his food always finding himself eating the most random dish he can get his hands on. Juliet is back in her position of detective, but this time she becomes the target after her partner is killed, she doesn’t want her friends getting involved, wanting to clean up her own mess. Thin White Duke is the man behind the targeting of Juliet, he works well his crew, but is working for someone from their past. We have plenty of appearances from fan favourites from the series.

PerformancesJames Roday was always fantastic in this role, it is like he never left the role that can play for years. Dule Hill gets plenty of laughs with a role he never felt like he left too. The whole of the original cast gets to have fun with, sadly due to health issues we only got a cameo from Timothy Omundson. Zachary Levi does make for a good villain for the film, getting the best dialogue against the regular characters.

StoryThe story brings back our favourite characters from the show, we see how they have got used to their new environment where the TV show finished off. We get a case to solve where we see Shawn and Gus get themselves into more trouble, but it is Juliet needing to figure out who is trying to ruin her career that takes centre stage. If you were a fan of the show, then you will enjoy this story.

Comedy/Crime/Mystery The comedy comes from the problems Shawn and Gus get themselves in because they have fantastic chemistry, we also dive into the light-hearted crime story, that brings in the mystery to who is behind the whole crime.

SettingsThe film being set in San Francisco brings our characters to a new location for a crime story for the first time, as the show ended with them moving there. It works because we see the struggles to get used to this environment.


Scene of the Movie –
Mental home investigation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We would have like more of Carlton, but it was for medical reasons we didn’t, so can’t complain.

Final ThoughtsThis is a TV movie that will make any fan of the show happy, it keeps the humour flowing and brings back plenty of our favourite characters.

 

Overall: Fans will be left with a smile on their faces.

Rating

 

 

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

logoDirector: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Don Payne, Robert Rodat (Story) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings

 

Plot: Thor (Hemsworth) returns to Asgard and unites all nine realms earning respect from all realms but his heart is still drawn Jane Foster (Portman) on Earth. An old enemy of Asgard Malekith (Eccleston) leader of the Dark Elves has been waiting for his chance to rise up and conquer and once Jane finds the Aether she becomes possessed, Malekith awakens and heads to Earth. Thor must come back to the rescue and brings along his brother Loki (Hiddleston).

 

Verdict: A smart, funny superhero film

Story: As a story on its own it will be very hard to pick up and watch and really understand what is going on. (6/10) As part of the franchise this is brilliant story that offers some much need reunion between Thor and Jane. It also gives us a conclusion to Loki story but leaving enough doors open for a Thor sequel as well as an events to return for the Avengers. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Chris Hemsworth – Thor goes against orders to save the day much like the first Thor. Chris was made for this role and continues to do a great job in the role. Star Performance Award, Iconic Performance Award, Action Star Award (9/10)

 thor

Actor Review: Natalie Portman – Jane Foster the human love interest that’s curiosity gets the better of her. I feel like this role could go to a more unknown actress as someone of Natalie calibre needs to be in a more dominate screen role. (6/10)

jane

Actor Review: Tom Hiddleston – Loki the scene steals of the Avengers but locked up due to events in that film. Helps Thor escape to stop Malekith. Tom has made a real name for himself in this film and with the role he continues to be the star of the show. Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 loki

Actor Review: Christopher Eccleston – Malekith the leader of the Dark Elves who want to take control of all realms. Good villain role from a very capable actor. (8/10)

 malekith

Director Review: Alan Taylor – The first steps into movies and he does an excellent job fitting into the world created by previous directors. (9/10)

 

 

Action: The action scenes are very ambitious and stand out. (9/10)

Adventure: The adventure side of the film is good. (8/10)

Fantasy: With the creations of Asgard we get a brilliant fantasy world. (10/10)

Special Effects: Brilliant special effects all round. (10/10)

Believability: No but what comic book it? (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The setting put together brilliantly be it Asgard, The Dark World or London. (9/10)

Suggestion: I personally enjoyed this film and would recommend this to people, but I do feel that you will need to have seen Thor and Avengers to understand some of the jokes and reasons certain things have happened. (Superhero Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Asgard invasion

Worst Part: Too many inside jokes about previous films.

Action Scene Of The Film: Asgard invasion

Funniest Scene: Any scene with Darcy (Kat Dennings) in

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes being it stand alone or next Avengers

Similar Too: Thor

 

Overall: Super, Superhero Action Film

Rating 88