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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
They call themselves the Guardians of the Galaxy...this might not be the best idea...
Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of superheroes that is currently published by Marvel Comics. The superhero team made their first official appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 in January 1969; the Guardians are active in the 31st century in an alternative timeline of the Earth-691 Marvel Universe and the original team comprise of Vance Astro, a founding member of the team and an astronaut from the 20th Century Earth who spends a thousand years travelling to Alpha Centauri. Other original teams include Martinex, Captain Charlie-27 and Yondu Udonta. Each is the last of their kind and they are 'forced' to unite as a team against the actions of Badoon, an alien race which strives to conquer the Earth's solar system.
So what did I think of the most anticipated Marvel Films to date? I think that Guardians of the Galaxy is a thrill to watch and will most certainly appeal to the general audience? Comic book fans? Well, first let's discuss the movie in general.
First onto some flaws. Gamora portrayed by Zoe Saldana, I am not judging the actress, I thought she did a satisfactory job at playing the comic book character even though she looked like she was sleep walking throughout, however her make up didn't really impress me if I am honest. I didn't admire on how they import prosthetic cheekbones as if you read the comic books, you'll notice that their appearance is like a regular human being and has dark circles around her eyes. I wish they could've stayed with that character design as it was more basic in that aspect. Not to mention, she was totally unlike the character I know in the comic books. I guess they wanted a more sympathetic and softer character to counter balance all the rough 'n tumble ones on the team, but for someone who's read some of the Guardians of the Galaxy series and knows Gamora as a character, it was something I just couldn't get used to.
Furthermore, the helmets of the Nova Crops in this circumstance looked differentiated when comparable to the Nova Crops in the comic book. Also, I do have a grudge towards Rocket Racoon. I didn't particularly find this voice amusing as it needs to sound louder and angrier and he didn't really maintain a considerable amount of screen time in this film as much as the other Guardians. But these flaws/nit-picks are down to personal preferences which don't bring the movie down as a whole.
Now onto the good points. The action sequences obviously were a joy to observe as the film conserved a witty and gritty tone simultaneously which as a result makes the violence dark and disturbing and the action is contained with plenty of variety.
There's real emotional depth to the members of Guardians of the Galaxy. Examples being towards the end of the film where I got really teary-eyed at Groot as he attempts makes a tree barrier around the other guardians, causing him to explode into bits of tree and ultimately die. However, he is re spawned when Rocket place one of his twigs in a pot and Groot comes back as a baby.
The comedy scenes is what stood out for me the most as this movie maintain some genuine funny moments and Groot and Rocket Racoon is what stood out the most for me in terms of amusement. An interesting fact is that the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series preserved comic relief scenes throughout each individual issue and seeing that theme come to life on this adaptation really puts a smile on me and comic book fans.
The cast in this movie is additionally brilliant. Chris Pratt provides his performance as Star Lord or his alter ego Peter Jason Quill magnificently; he maintains the charm of the specified character and various charisma. The best scene for him in my opinion is when he is dancing throughout with 80s soundtrack, distracting the villains from more destruction. Zoe Saldana was satisfactory as Gamora; she conserves an intriguing backstory that will shape the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After her family was killed by Thanos when she was a young girl, she was tortured and raised as an assassin, only to rebel against him when she learned of his plans to destroy an entire planet. Dave Bautista supplies reasonable and miscellaneous rage feelings as the vengeful Drax The Destroyer. However the most satisfying character arcs in my personal opinion was Groot and Rocket Racoon in particular. These duos have been the main concern on the building of this movie, but they tried to make them look bad-ass and surprisingly affecting on how they become as what they become right now.
The direction was additionally creative as James Gunn imported his unique tone, balance of comedy moments, action scenes, spectacular various environments and emotional and heart hitting sequences which blended in perfectly with this comic book adaptation. With Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier attempting to conserve dark themes in most circumstances, Guardians of the Galaxy is the opposite of that considering that it has witty dialogue and it is a non-stop adventure while also know when to balance with dramatic scenes in the appropriate time.
So in conclusion, despite some comic book accuracy errors, a particularly undeveloped villain known as Ronan The Accuser, slightly disturbing character designs and voice performances, Guardians of the Galaxy nevertheless is a very good film! If you wish to see a Marvel Studios Film with more comic reliefs while also attempting to be dramatic at the same time, then I think you'll find this movie amusing in those aspects! I recommend that you do see it especially since it's a authentic setup to Avengers: Age of Ultron! I give Guardians of the Galaxy a 7.5/10!
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Please...we need you to hope again.
The 7th film in the X-Men franchise has finally been distributed onto the big screen and needless to say, various people had high expectations for this particular film and they were supplicated to see an X-Men film finally done justice after 7 years. Did X-Men: Days of Future Past redeem the X-Men franchise? I'm pleased to say that it was satisfying in almost every aspect. And of course there are problems with the specified movie however it doesn't affect the film entirely. Allow me to elaborate. The films obtains inspiration from the story arc simply titled 'Days of Future Past' which is from issues The Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142 from January-February 1981. Some changes have to made due to it being a comic adaptation and it must operate with the movie reasonably. So how closely does this film follow the comic book story arc? This film basically only took the main concept of sending one of the X-Men back in time to prevent a major event that could result in the extinction of all mutants. In the film, it is Logan/Wolverine who is sent back to the year 1973 to find the young Charles Xavier, but in the comics, it is Kitty Pryde who goes back in time to the year 1980 instead of the year 1973. However, the method of time travel in the film is only possible due to the powers of Kitty Pryde, along with the telepathic help of Professor Xavier. It attempts to borrow the elements from the original 'Days of Future Past' story arc to fix mistakes from the past in order to make a better future and comic book fans as myself will definitely notice some treatments while viewing this movie.
Now onto the flaws for starters. In my opinion, there was just two much focus on Wolverine, Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto and James McAcvoy as Charles Xavier and watching an X-Men film, I expect at least some individual characters to shine when comparable and that's what 'The X-Men' should represent; it should be specifically be about all the identified mutants to show their 'extra' powers within an appropriate amount of screen time but in this case, it doesn't really demonstrate that effect. Instances being Ellen Page, Aaron Stanford, Shawn Ashmore and Halle Berry, though like the big four, they're just there for recognition value and do very little. Same circumstance applies to Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen as I felt that they were here for a limited amount of screen time while leaving the genuine spotlight to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbeneder as stated before which is a shame because I absolutely adore their comic book performances. Additionally, how can Kitty Pryde send Wolverine back into the past with the assistance of Professor X's telepathic abilities? I'm certain that Kitty Pryde conserves the genuine capability to pass through solid matters and when interacting with objects or certain people, they and she are intangible; not time phasing powers. So seeing her perform this particular instance baffles me.
Besides the mentioned flaws, the film maintained satisfying elements when observed. The opening sequence was visually stunning in my opinion and was a spectacular method in initiating the movie; recognizing this, Blink played by Bingbing Fan was my favourite mutant in this instance as her powers of teleportation were utilized in various creative circumstances and it kept the action in repetition. This film is preserved with a huge accumulated cast and due to this instance, it may be the biggest film in the X-Men franchise so far and most of the cast do a satsfying job at reperesenting their comic book roles. James McAvoy as Charles Xavier provides one of the best superhero performances in my personal opinion. While it seems that initially gaining genuine control of his legs and losing his powers seems like his character arc in X-Men: First Class is avoided is actually utilized to act fascinating depths for a self-confidence character whose comprehending of his own code has completely turned against his own well-being. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique from my remarks is loosely based off the Rebecca Romijn portrayals and this is singularly focused on her character arcs as she is given a solo and rogue mission in attempt to destroy Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels merely supplied the implication that society and the government cause to turn on mutant kind thus commencing the potential war. And Wolverine is to locate Mystique and persuade her to give up her cause and he won't be able to do so without the assistance of the younger Professor X and Magneto.
With the exception of the mentioned flaws, this movie provided exceptional special effects and a good example of that is Storm fully demonstrating her weather manipulation, the assembled cast as mentioned were good at their respective roles even though I personally believe some of them could have maintained a bit more screen time, brilliant action sequences even though they were short lived, it managed to finally fix most of the continuity errors, the direction and cinematography is unbelievable as they use camera movements to convey potential mood in this particular film and the soundtrack is also a joy to listen to and a good example of this is '01. The Future / Main Titles' as it provides a perfect theme for the movie considering that this is possibly the most intense X-Men movie to date and great usage of the X2: X-Men United Main Theme. In conclusion, it may not be a masterpiece even though people may think otherwise but it is definitely on par with The Wolverine. I do not have anything else to say expect that you must see it. I give this film an 8/10.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
I'd like to think Spider-Man gives people hope...
I made it no secret that I adore Marvel Comic Books and Spider-Man is no exception so I was really excited to see this movie. Was it good? Yes. Could it have been better? Of course. If you don't understand what I am getting at, then allow me to explain. This leads of course to the flaws first. Gwen Stacy's death was foreshadowed through the entire movie taking great inspiration from Amazing Spider-Man #121 and #122, 'The Night Gwen Stacy Died!' with Gwen wearing similar clothing and Spider-Man and Green Goblin fighting at George Washington Bridge. The reason why the death of Gwen Stacy worked in the source material was the fact that it demonstrated that Spider-Man abilities can't always be effective in many cases and it was Peter Parker's responsibility for Gwen Stacy's death so we can sympathize with him. In the film, The death doesn't have that, in fact it's not a theme within the movie and it's not even hinted at. Gwen Stacy's death is just a death and is not a lesson for Peter to learn going forward. The beginning of the movie focuses on Peter feeling guilt meeting Gwen because of her father dying in the first movie so they part ways because of that. When it comes to her death, Peter learns absolutely nothing and the death of Gwen Stacy already solidifies what Peter Parker already knows and was specifically proved by the break-up at the beginning of the movie. So I was kind of disappointed on how Gwen Stacy's death was handled on the big screen.
Certain techniques of the editing sort of unsatisfied me; sometimes it felt like various shots were just put together one after another, without much of a consistency. This however changed half-way through the movie so I'll consider this a minor flaw. Despite the fact that it's referred to as 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Rise of Electro' in some countries, I think it was a bit unnecessary to specify it as that particular title as Harry Osborn seems to maintain a bit more screen time than Max Dillon. Paul Giamatti as Rhino is considered a minor villain in this case and will expect him to be in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. I'm not judging the Rhino regarding of how much screen time he got, for me the Russian accent seems to be a goofy throwback and is way to over the top.
I will progress onto the good points. The performances I won't go into too much detail considering that the cast were magnificent at their roles. Andrew Garfield for instance, in my opinion portrays Peter Parker almost identically from the comic books. He is smart, witty and responsible in most cases. If you didn't like Peter Parker's personality in the first movie, then you are bound you like him in this case the fact that he expresses his jokes hilariously in many circumstances as it was precisely done in the comic books and he maintains concern and respect towards his close relatives. Also, the way Andrew Garfield in the Spider-Man costume swings throughout New York City is really magnificent as I can recognize the swinging techniques from the comic books.
Also, the cinematography is beautiful to observe and various sequences including Times Square, the final encounter at Power Plant and the death of Gwen was really effective, due to the slow-motion before it and the look in Gwen's eyes before she dies are just good examples of the specified element. The GCI is admirable as towards the end of the movie for instance, Spider-Man and Rhino are running towards each other was a proficient technique, Spider-Man's swinging techniques was amusing and the rest of the action sequences are provided identical treatments. I don't even need to mention the action sequences due to the fact that it's pretty obvious that they are improvements over the first movie in the franchise and that the battle sequences between Electro and Spider- Man are one of the best action scenes in this particular movie; this specifically proves that Marc Webb is enhancing in terms of action/adventure movies.
The soundtrack composed by Hans Zimmer was more memorable than the first movie; a good example of this 'I'm Spider-Man' and it is amusing as the film had me humming the theme whenever it was on-screen, and it is a very powerful tune that makes you root for the hero. This film also had good character arcs; want me to give examples? How about the fact that Peter Parker is questioning his decision to go out with Gwen Stacy after breaking Captain Stacy's promise from the first film, Electro being obsessive over the superhero Spider-Man then has deliberate hatred towards him after he accidentally steals the spotlight, or Harry despising Spider-Man and growing more desperate to save himself. Granted, they were a bit rushed but at least the film actually attempted to provide reasonable character arcs.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a good film and is sure to please the general audience. Despite its mentioned flaws and comic book accuracy errors, it contains great action sequences, brilliant performances with the exception of Paul Giamatti, good character story arcs, spectacular cinematography, adequate visual effects, a memorable soundtrack and is faithful to the comic book character in some cases. See it if you wish. I give this movie a 6.5/10.
Considering that IMDb only allows me to insert limited amount of characters, I'd recommend that you view my full review on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBJ7B-SGC1g
He's fast...strong...and has a metal arm...
I already express the comic book history of Captain America in my "Captain America: The First Avenger" Review so I will just go to the point and tell you what I thought of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So, what did I think of the first Marvel Studios movie exclusively released in 2014? I'm glad to say that this is a ride you'll never forget.
The storyline is set after the large- scale events in New York with The Avengers, we find Steve Rogers living quietly in Washington D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world considering that he was identified in Times Square in the present day. But when an S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes involved in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemythe Winter Soldier.
I'll start with the flaws. Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter presumably the niece of Peggy Carter and is considered a secret agent known as Agent 13 in the Marvel Comics universe seems at first should be an important character to the plot however she hardly has presence in this case. However, if this particular case is setting up her character potentially for Captain America 3, then I can probably forgive this. Certain elements of the cinematography are a bit dodgy due to shaky- camera techniques however this can be considered a minor flaw.
Now onto the good points. The action sequences were brilliant. Especially the hand-to-hand combat scenes. You can clearly examine Steve Rogers's physical potential in this instance. The CGI furthermore is admirable to observe and is executed perfectly. This movie is a good example that a movie doesn't require CGI in order to be amusing to the general audience. In fact, Anthony Mackie stated that they wanted to minimize the usage of visual effects as often as they can and even without the proper usage of CGI, it's still quite astonishing.
There's no denying that the cast that was represented in this movie do fantastic jobs at their portrayals. Chris Evans for example in represented as the 'man out of time' but he's comfortable with the destruction that it brings. Most people would be overwhelmed but because of who he is and where he's originated however he's able to adapt in most circumstances. Additionally, he is in his Secret Avengers costume which I think reflects on the big screen quite satisfactory. This takes cues from the "Super-Soldier" outfit he wore when he served as Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the comics. Stan Lee of course makes a cameo in this instance. He is a security guard at the museum and they show him when he comes across the Captain America sequence. He then states 'I'm soo fired'. It seemed liked it one of his longer cameos. Additionally, I even saw the writer of The Winter Soldier at one point Ed Brubaker as he's a scientist and is witnessing the birth of the Winter Soldier.
As comparison to the Winter Soldier comic story arc, Nick Fury is in this case is obviously in this Ultimate universe look which is not identical to the character art in the original comic story arc, The Red Skull that was associated with the specified story arc wasn't involved with the movie adaptation besides the fact that he is mentioned and showed in "flashbacks" in form of photo archives, Captain America wears his Secret Avengers costume in some cases as stated before, Black Widow is the associate in this case when Sharon Carter was incorporate in most cases in the comic book, Iron Man didn't make an appearance at one point (it makes sense the fact that this focused on Steve Rogers) and Alexander is sort of evolved around Lukin. However those compassion's aren't considered flaws the fact that some elements have to be changed when transferred onto the big screen.
Also, there are two post credit scenes in this case. The first post credit scene involves Baron Von Strucker in his underground lair. Loki's scepter can be found here, as well as two special prisoners: the "twins". These are of course Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (Former Avengers Members and the son and daughter of Magneto). Quicksilver is bouncing from one end in his cell to another while Scarlet Witch is stacking some building blocks with her mind. Watching them, Von Strucker announces "The Age of Miracles" is upon us. And with that we learn the new name for mutants in the Marvel movie verse. Furthermore in the second post credit scene, the Winter Soldier is visiting the Captain America exhibit in the Smithsonian museum. Here he finds the information on James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, his real name. It appears the Winter Soldier now knows who he really was and remembers that Captain America spoke the truth about him.
S.H.I.E.L.D is no more (with the exception that the organization is still operative in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Nick Fury attempted to remove the eye patch, Bucky is on the run and Captain America and Falcon are going to chase him. As far as I see it, Marvel Studios always leaves the general audience wanting more. Overall, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is an amusing movie and is certainly recommended. It contains inventive action sequences, good character development, an intriguing plot, great usage of CGI throughout and as a Marvel Studios Movie, it's quite intense and possibly the most darkest movie in the cinematic universe to date. See it if you haven't already. I give this movie an 8.5/10
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
The Mighty Avenger returns to the big screen!
Thor is a superhero that is created in 1962 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and was published by Marvel Comics making his first appearance in Journey into Mystery #83. Stan Lee wanted to create someone stronger than the strongest man so he made a character that is an actual god. Thor became a big hit in Journey into Mystery and was a founding member of The Avengers in 1963, in fact, Loki (Thor's arch- nemesis and his own brother) was not only the first villain the team ever faced, but was also the entire reason bringing the team together in the first place.
Alright, now that I got the brief comic book history out of the way, I will now tell you what we think of Thor: The Dark World. Honestly, I think that this is one of the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to date and possibly a great superhero movie.
The storyline is set after the events of Avengers Assemble with Loki safely locked away in prisons of Asgard and Thor bringing peace to the nine realms which breaked out into chaos in his absence. While searching for Thor, physicist Jane Foster discovers a powerful ancient force which possesses her body and awakens a dark evil which seeks revenge against Asgard and hopes to plunge the universe into darkness.
First, let me go into the flaws for starters. Christopher Eccelston (who you all recognize as the ninth incarnation of The Doctor in Doctor Who) really sells his part as Malekith. However, the problem wasn't the casting; it was the amount of screen time Eccelston got. He doesn't get as much screen time as Malekith and it's very unclear as to why he was implying his evil intentions. In simple terms, I guess he just wanted to destroy every life form he opposes but like I stated, there's no intentions as to why he's doing this.
Now on to the great achievements. The cast like in the first film were very believable and did a good job at representing their roles. Chris Hemsworth was brilliant as the God of Thunder. His long hair, great build and screen presence makes him look the part. It's clear that Hemsworth hasn't read any of the Journey Into Mystery or The Mighty Thor comic books but even if he hasn't read both series, he still gives a great performance.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki was breath-taking and I'm sure that the fan service for this particular comic book character will agree with me. Tom Hiddleston is clearly loved by every single human being after his portrayal of Loki on Avengers Assemble and in this case, he isn't any different. He's still the God of Mischief; he's one of the most compelling comic book characters in this film and is one of the most complex. I especially loved the interactions between him and Hemsworth; When Thor says that he doesn't trust him anymore; you can see something die in Loki's Eyes. For a second, he seems so lost and vulnerable, but then he puts the mask back on.
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster was actually not that bad in this case. She feels more fleshed out than she did in the original film and actually is connected to plot. The same thing applies to Sif and the warriors three and even Frigga has a great moment. And Heimdall I don't even need to describe on how badass his voice was. Anthony Hopkins plays Odin which is Thor's father and he sells the part pretty well. You can tell why Odin is king and does have a plan and a reason for everything he does. Basically, every single character gets a moment to shine and every single actor cast in these parts are perfect.
The comedic moments fit in perfectly with various environments and are very subtle. I heard some people had problems with the comedic moments and I don't see any flaws with them whatsoever.
The action sequences were absolutely breath-taking as with the special effects. The final battle clearly extends the underground, skies and even different universes simultaneously. The direction was also unbelievable and this was not only due to Alan Taylor's direction, Joss Whedon was also involved in some directions and actually assisted Taylor when he needed it. (clearly, someone needs to give Whedon a medal) The set pieces and the other nine realms talked about in the first film are seen in this particular film and are beautiful. The location of Asgard was even better believe it or not.
As a big fan of Marvel comic books, it's great to see Malekith (despite his different appearance and how the character came to be) and Kurse hit the big screen. Actually, let me talk about Kurse for a brief moment seeing as no one really mentioned him that much in various reviews. In your case, you may say that Kurse can be just as intimating as the Hulk in terms of scary power. In conclusion, he's an overall badass.
The theme of this movie was really dark and it really shows here. While it can have hilarious moments at times, it's still a brave movie with possibly the darkest moments in Marvel Cinematic History.
In conclusion, besides the confusing evil intentions from the main villain, Thor: The Dark World certainly is a brilliant blockbuster. It has a unique cast, superb soundtrack, outstanding action sequences and special effects, the storyline is good and the direction was simply amazing. This film definitely deserves a 9/10.
The Punisher (2004)
I bet they created this movie to "Punish" us...
The Punisher is an anti-hero; a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping and torture in his war on crime. He made his very first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #129 and in that particular appearance, he was determined to kill Peter Parker, who was wanted for the murder of Norman Osborn; this version of the Punisher was shown as an athletic fighter, a marksman, and a strategist. There is plenty that I know of this character but I don't want this review to be flooded with the character's history so I'll just get to the point.
I've been a Marvel and a comic book fan for many years now. To be honest, I've never read a Punisher comic book in my life, same thing applies to Blade and Elektra but in this case, we're talking about The Punisher. So forgive me if I can't tell whether this particular comic book film is faithful but I do know plenty about The Punisher's origin since it's one of the most tragic back stories in the Marvel Universe.
The best way to describe this movie is...not very good. The storyline is that after a undercover operation, Bobby Saint is killed. FBI agent Frank Castle retires. Howard Saint holding Castle responsible for the death of his son butchers Franks family during a family reunion and leaves Frank to his death. Burnt out and taunted by memories of his murdered family, Frank sets out to avenge his family, and he becomes a judge, jury and executioner known as "The Punisher", as Frank Castle sets out to punish Howard Saint and his associates in a one man war. Frank is not willing to give up until those responsible are dead and until he has his revenge.
As usual, I'll start with what I liked about this film. I do admire the action sequence on the war between Frank Castle and The Russian. That sequence took about 2 days to film and I do like the way it was shot. That particular sequence was actually taken from the comic books.
I do like John Travolta as Howard Saint but he ends up making a fool of himself in the end. Howard Saint is not a comic book character by the way, he was created for this film and to be honest, do doesn't pose as a threat whatsoever.
Now onto the bad points. I'm sorry but I don't like Thomas Jane as Frank Castle. He was just not very good as the vigilante assassin. Thomas Jane as The Punisher is not very serious in this case and it shows him smacking people with frying pans. Are you serious? He is a dark, violent, anti-heroic vigilante and even in this film, there's no real rage or anger in his heart. The worst part though is the body count. The body of the film is painfully low, and two of the people most responsible for his family's death fail to die by Castle's hand. This is not how the comic-book Punisher acts.
The rest of the action sequences were not amusing to view to say the least. In fact, there was hardly ANY action sequences in this film! Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this movie suppose to be rated 18? The violence/gore was very tame and this should've been a 15 movie instead. There was one sequence when Frank "manipulates" the bad guys into killing themselves. What? The Punisher is an assassin. It isn't about the head games, it's about the re-con, the gear, and pulling the trigger. This isn't The Punisher I've come to known or expect.
The score was also painful to listen to with the exception of the main theme cause that was actually quite good. It gives the Punisher this corny old Spaghetti western ambiance, and that's a huge no-no.
The origin story is also not faithful in this case. It's not just his wife and kids, it's the rest of his extended family along with his wife's side of the family. This felt very melodramatically forced on us so it can be guaranteed we the audience will feel so bad for him. There was nothing wrong with how the comic books established it.
There were also some scenes that made me cringed a bit. Like for example, Johnny Cash/Wayne Newton is a traveling guitar-bard that shows up and sings a song to Frank Castle about his death. Totally absurd. During this scene, I had a fantasy that Castle pulled out his weapon and shot the guy dead, right in the middle of the song. Now THAT would have been The Punisher I know.
Overall, The Punisher fails to please the fans of the comic books and I wouldn't recommend this even to the general audience. 3/10
The vampire hunter in his very own movie!
Blade is an anti-hero and also known as a vampire hunter in the Marvel Universe and made his first appearance in The Tomb of Dracula #10 which was published in July 1973 as a supporting character. Blade, outside of Tombs of Dracula, fought the scientifically created vampire Morbius in Adventure into Fear #24 which was published in October 1974; he then had his first solo story in Vampire Tales #8 which was published in December 1974 and Blade comics are still being published to this day.
Now there's one thing I should note before I express my opinions on this movie. I've said before in my other reviews that I've read various Marvel comic books. Now for Blade. To be honest, I've never ever read a Blade comic book in my life nor have I read other titles that he has been in so I'm really sorry if I can't compare this particular movie to the original source material with the exception of the origins of the character but I hope that you'll still find this review very useful in someway.
The storyline is when Blade's mother was bitten by a vampire during pregnancy, she did not know that she gave her son Eric Brooks a special gift while dying; He holds all the strengths of a vampire but does not have any of their weaknesses whatsoever and also has a combination of martial art skills. Blade grew up to be a vampire hunter for revenge on his mother's death. The vampires, who managed to infiltrate nearly every major organization, need Blade's very special blood to summon La Magra, the blood god, in order to reign over the human cattle. The plot is very decent and it isn't just another standard superhero origin movie.
Wesley Snipes was great in the role of Eric Brooks or Blade as people would like to call this character. His performance is quite good and gritty; he's mean with his fists and snarls impressively quite a lot. I think that they capture the essence of the Blade character from the comic books really well, he's a skilled martial artist, has superhuman strength and is a swordsman in a lot of cases.
Deacon Frost played by Stephen Dorff was really good in the role. I can see why they decided to put Deacon Frost in this movie considering that Blade has fought him a lot of times in the comic books and was actually responsible for the death of his mother so I'm glad they decided to stay with the source material in most cases.
The atmosphere of the movie is perfect, the scenery is very stylish, dark and corrupting. Blade is not just another faceless hero, we get character development and he is not in the mood to talk about his past and you will find out why. The special effects were good for their time and are still well-crafted in the present.
Action sequences were choreographed very well and they were a ton of fun to view. You may not want to view this film with your little kids or little brothers or sisters because this film has quite a lot of jump moments and is gore in a lot of cases.
The only changes between this movie and the comic books were some notable changes to the screenplay of this movie from the comic book source material, regardless of that, it felt very true and dignifying to Blade the vampire hunter.
The blood and gore was also a welcome addition to the Blade trilogy and I think we didn't actually get that much gore in the comic books due to the fact that comic books are aimed at a teenage audience. If it seems unnecessary, well, just think about this. How else would a warrior fighting against vampires of this malevolence end up looking like? It can't be that easy and polished.
If I had to nick pick some stuff from the movie, it's the animation of the blood in some cases. When Blade injects Deacon Frost with the serum, Frost gets blown up and the animation of the blood in that case was not very good. And I wasn't a fan of the actress who portrayed Karen. She didn't act very well and she had annoying glances and frowns that just made me angry a bit.
Overall, if you love horror or vampire flicks, then you'll love this movie. Fans of the comic books will also enjoy this comic book adaptation; the only changes were made are the screenplays but that change can easily be ignored. The film had a decent plot but could've been improved slightly, action sequences were great, direction was awesome and it stayed faithful to the original comic books in most cases.
The Wolverine (2013)
The Wolverine travels to Japan...
This film is set seven years after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand made in 2006 so please note that this will be focusing on the character Wolverine as it attempts to distance itself from the rest of the X-Men characters. Please also note that this movie is based on the Wolverine mini-series from #1-4 made in 1982. The storyline is that in August 9th 1945, Logan is in Nagasaki as the U.S. drops the bomb on Nagasaki, as most of the soldiers commit suicide. Logan saves Yashida and he is eternally grateful for saving him. Years later, Yukio invites The Wolverine to travel to Japan because Yashida who is dying from the radiation he was exposed to during the war, not only wants to say thank you to Logan for saving his life, but also wants to repay him by offering him a chance to become mortal if he promises to protect his granddaughter, Mariko from the Yakuza, the Japanese mob.
Let's talk about the cast first. Hugh Jackman of course gives it his all as Wolverine like he usually does. I felt that they were doing the character justice this time. This is the first film in which he really uses his claws as weapons for killing. And even without visible blood- spilling, the body-count is quite high and Logan constantly uses his claws to kill someone. What makes Jackman such a great Wolverine is his enthusiasm for the character, it's obvious that he loves the character and has read many Wolverine story-arcs from the comics. It was nice to see a meaningful relationship blossom between Wolverine and Mariko, unlike the comics where it really is love at first sight. Instead here, Wolverine falls in love not entirely with the character of Mariko, but rather with the idea of being a protector; that is a welcome addition to the Claremont storyline.
Next, we have Yukio, she may not have been a mutant who can see the future but that didn't bother me at all, she is still an experience martial artist and to me, that's all that matters and the actress portraying her did a good job. Shingen is also in this film and the way he was portrayed in this film is basically being a jerk. And that is what his character was. Everything Shingen does in this film is completely on par with his comic book counter part. The way Harada was portrayed was also brilliant. In the comic books, Harada was the Silver Samurai for a reason. He became the Silver Samurai for the greater good; he was a bad guy sometimes however he always had a sense of dignity. There were even some instances were he and Wolverine worked together. His relationship is not correct due to the fact that he's Mariko's half brother, not her former boyfriend but that didn't bother me at all.
As far as faithfulness to the Wolverine mini-series made in 1982, there were changes like Yukio is no longer the vague assassin and was adopted by Shingen, Mariko and Logan having no former relationship are just some of the changes that were made. But these are changes can easily be ignored. There are several of the shots in this film that are near recreations of the comic's original panels, and although story lines have been shifted and shuffled in some places, its all there. The action sequences were very creative and the fights were very well choreographed; each sequence has a purpose so it never feels like the mindless action we've come to expect nowadays.
There were flaws of course. Let's talk about Viper seeing how she's one of the villains in this movie. I thought the actress portraying her wasn't given enough script to become the villain. She is quite beautiful, I'll admit that but she didn't really shine as a villain in this film. I felt like she was there just to be in this movie, nothing more. She is different from her comic book counter part the fact that her real name is Madame Hydra however not introducing her as Madame Hydra was understandable. Marvel Studios owns the rights to the name 'Hydra' so they couldn't portray her that way in this particular film. What also bothered me a bit is the fact that Jean Grey had quite a bit of screen time in this movie and they should just let her rest in peace, I'm sorry if I sound a bit harsh but I don't think that they can develop this character any further.
The Silver Samurai in this movie seems to be more based on the second silver samurai from the comics: Shin Harada, who wore a robotic samurai suit since he didn't actually have mutant powers like the original silver samurai did. However the way the Silver Samurai was handled in this film is not the best to be fair. Harada was suppose to be the Silver Samurai due to the fact that was the movie's purpose of doing so. The Silver Samurai actually killed Harada and that was a big slap to the face to be honest. In my opinion, I think that you should give this movie some credit and watch it. It may be far from perfect, but it's still really fun to watch. I would advise to don't bring your kids to this movie considering that there's some blood/gore in this movie and the language used in this movie is not appropriate. Aside from the flaws that villains had, This movie has great direction, the story may be a bit basic but it's still good, the cast do a great job at representing their characters and it stayed faithful to the original Wolverine mini-series. Go watch it! Make sure that you stay through the credits because I was hyped when I saw it! It'll lead up to X-Men: Days of Future Past. 8/10
Not even Jennifer Garner's acting can save this film...
Elektra Natchios was created by Frank Miller and was published by Marvel Comics in 1981 making her very first appearance in Daredevil #168. She is a female ninja assassin and wields a pair of bladed sai as her trademark weapon. She also uses other weapons such as katanas, daggers, staffs and shurikens.
I'm pretty sure most of you are aware that "Elektra" is a spin off of the film "Daredevil" made in 2003 and that was an awesome film in my opinion. Some of you may disagree with me but everyone is entitled to their own opinions. If you want to see my full review of "Daredevil", then please do. I have strong opinions on why Daredevil is an awesome film.
Anyways, back to Elektra. What did I think of the film? It's bad. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. How can "Elektra" can possibly be bad? It's a spin off on one of the most underrated Marvel films! No, believe me guys, it's that bad.
Let's talk about the storyline. So how did Elektra come back to life? Well, after being killed off in Daredevil, she is revived by a blind martial arts master named Stick. She is trained to learn Kimagori, it's actually a technique that brings back the dead. Elektra has been given an assignment to assassinate a little girl and her father but after knowing them for a day, she knows she can't do it and protect them from "The Hand". The Hand also leads another band of assassins, Tattoo who makes tattoos come out of his body and become living things, Typhoid with the ability to poison their enemy, Kinkou who is impervious to everything but trees (Um, what?) and one other assassin that was made up for the film.
OK, here are my problems with this film. How can Stick able to locate Elektra and bring her back to life? It makes no sense whatsoever! Not to mention, Stick was a completely useless character in this film! In the comics, Stick trained Daredevil blind martial arts after the death of Murdock's father! That was actually one thing they could've added in "Daredevil".
The way they killed off Kinkou is very stupid! This guy is impervious to everything but a tree crushes him?! Wha? The way they killed Typhoid is also really stupid! How is it possible to locate a target through a maze and how is the sai not losing momentum going through the maze's walls?
The relationship between Elektra and Abby (I think that's the name of the little girl?) is completely boring. I know you want to develop your characters but don't make it look like it is one of those tired comedy drama series.
The villains I did not care for either as they not pose any threat whatsoever, especially when they get killed off anti-climatic way possible.
So your may be thinking what does this have to do with the film "Daredevil"? Well, they got Elektra and The Hand, that's two things they got in there, but what about Ben Affleck as Matthew Murdock? There is a scene with him but guess what? It was only a freaking dream and it was cut from the movie!
The only thing I did enjoy was Jennifer Garner's acting as Elektra but unfortunately, it could not save this film.
This film is plain forgettable when it comes to the storyline and the villains themselves and is not worth seeing! If you're wanting to check it out, then be my guest. If not, then good; you'll save yourself plenty of time.
Final verdict for this film: 2/10
Iron Man Three (2013)
Wow...is this really an Iron Man comic book adaption film?
I recently watched Iron Man 3 in cinemas considering that I'm a big Marvel/comic book fan and have been waiting for this film for at least 6 months. The primary source of this film was from a comic book called "Extremis" which was from issues Iron Man (Volume 4) 1-4. Were my high expectations correct? Well, as much as I like Iron Man, I'm sad to say that this film was a disappointment... First, I'll start with the good points because there are things to like about this film. Robert Downey Jr. gives an amazing and vulnerable performance as to changed to Tony Stark after the events of The Avengers. Guy Pearce also does a great job as Aldrich Killian, Don Cheadle also gives a great performance as Colonel James Rhodes and Gwyneth Paltrow did a good job playing as Pepper Potts.
The action sequences in this film really deliver here and is a major improvement over the first two Iron Man films with Iron hand-to-hand combat, daring airplane rescue and an all out Iron army vs. Extremis Soldier war with great effects and music throughout. Pepper Potts and Colonel James Rhodes get a lot to do in this particular film and have brilliant moments to shine.
Now, onto the bad points because believe it or not, there are lots of flaws with this particular film. Rebecca Hall as Maya Hansen is the weakest out of the whole cast considering that her character is pretty shallow and not very well written. Ben Kingsley gives an amazing performance as The Mandarin but The Mandarin in this case isn't really faithful to the original Mandarin in the Iron Man comic book series and if The Mandarin is just an actor towards the end of the film, why the hell would he need bodyguards and a entourage? This is a major flaw in my case because I was actually looking forward to The Mandarin (being one of Tony Stark's greatest foes) but his character here is completely wasted and he turns out to be a British actor of some sort. I'm so sorry Ben Kingsley because you were actually perfect as The Mandarin. Also, am I the only one who was wondering where his 10 rings are and every ring is suppose to have a different power? Shane Black, you disappoint me.
Also, the storyline in this film is too weak, poorly developed and completely rushed. The Extremis storyline, the Mandarin and Tony's panic attacks are all merged into one huge storyline. After the events of The Avengers, I honestly expected a better storyline in an Iron Man film. Tony Stark is having these anxiety attacks (maybe it's the technical term for panic attacks?) and then he never resolves them in the end of the film. Magically, his anxiety attacks stop somehow? How is that even possible?!
Moreover, Shane Black may be a good director in other films but he's not good at directing a comic book film! Why? Because he's not a comic book nerd! Tony Stark spends more time controlling the robotic versions of his own suits! I know this movie want to focus on Tony Stark, not his alter ego, but so did the first part and it was a comic movie in the sense of the word.
Also, in the Extremis comics, Tony Stark gets a Extremis dose implanted into his body and that enhanced his abilities and his suit of armor and that alone could give a decent final battle to the Iron Man story but instead, we get Pepper Potts infected by the Extremis and begins to blow anything in her path. After when Iron Man saves about 13 civilians, his suit of armor gets easily shattered by a truck... you know, it's times like this where I want to face palm...Shane Black...into a brick wall. Another thing I would like to add is in the Extremis comics, there's an arc with a villain capable of regenerating himself but instead, we get fire breathing demons for some reason. That's not how the Extremis process works!
The background music from the beginning of the film to the end doesn't belong in an Iron Man film and it doesn't compliment what you are used to from an Iron Man film! The little boy (who I think is the younger version of Tony Stark) doesn't serve a purpose in the film whatsoever.
There's only about 20% action in this film, most of the film involves humor but they're overdoing it in this film. This Iron Man film is suppose to be dark, intense and adventurous, not hilarious and to be honest, some of the humor in this film is not even funny besides Stan Lee's cameo.
The Iron Patriot suit is wasted as is the whole character of Rhodey. The actual suit itself is actually a Dark Avengers version of Iron Man, with Norman Osborn in it, aka the Green Goblin, when he was head of the new version of S.H.I.E.L.D. so why bring the Iron Patriot into this film? It's just completely pointless.
Overall, if you don't know much about Iron Man or don't read the comics, then I suppose you're going to get a blast out of this particular film with intense action sequences (even though there's not a lot involves) and good acting but Iron Man and comic book fans, please stay away from this film, it didn't stay faithful to the original source material, the storyline is really weak, the villains are disappointing, the Iron Patriot suit is wasted and The Mandarin is a complete joke here. Please save your money!
Final verdict: 2/10