Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tag: Jack Kirby

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)*

Title: Avengers: Infinity War
Rating: PG-13
Directed by: Anthony Russo, and Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely
Based on the comics by: Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans,
Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt

Release Date: 4/27/2018
Running Time: 149 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

What did you think of this film?
“Avengers: Infinity War” picks up as the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, but a dangerous menace has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, Thanos will stop at nothing to collect all six Infinity Stonesin his quest to wield unimaginable power and his twisted will on all of humanity.

Assembling a team that includes members from every Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, the Avengers and their Super Hero allies must sacrifice like never before in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. An unprecedented cinematic journey 10 years in the making with the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe in play, “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time.


Are There Any Extras During The Credits? No

Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Yes

Click to see whats: after the credits

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Special thanks to Aws, and Mila for this submission

Was seeing Avengers: Infinity War in IMAX, IMAX 3D, 3D or 4D worth the cost?

Fantastic Four Review – .5 out of 5 Stars

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When I finished watching The Fantastic Four, I thought it was terrible but I didn’t really have the strong hatred others had for it. I left the movie feeling numb and willing to give this movie a solid one out of five stars without thinking of it anymore after this. And then, I approached the writing process for this movie and I hit a roadblock. Of the 3 previous times I’ve tried writing this review, each time I’ve ended up transforming it into a giant rant about a specific area. It’s not just that it’s a rant about the entire film, each time for this I have stumbled upon a new tiny aspect of the film that is so shockingly terrible that I had to write a thousand word explaining what is so wrong about it. It was in having to explain this movie that I realized that there is not a single thing about The Fantastic Four thematically or technically that doesn’t either feel pathetic or a part of an absolute disaster. For my money, this will be the worst movie of 2015 that I’ve paid money to go see in a theater. Paper Towns at least had a few, tiny areas that you could not so much appreciate but you could deal with. Focus at least had the charm of Will Smith. There is nothing I’ve seen this year that has had so much wrong with it in comparison to this dead on arrival visit to the cinema.

The “story” is a mess, but to put it into a brief amount of words, a group of young adults including Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and his friend Ben (Jamie Bell), along with Sue (Kate Mara) and her brother Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) create this machine than transports them to another dimension. In this new world, they receive new powers and must face up against an old colleague gone rogue named Doom (Toby Kebbell).

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What is there to be said about this films story? The pacing for the movie is terrible in every meaning of the word. The movie rushes over so many areas that it never really feels like you’re watching an actual film. The actions of the characters are so poorly explained because the movie has no problem skipping over things that would give development to people or any build up as to why something is going on. It’s like The Fantastic Four was a mediocre CBS show that went for ten episodes that someone decided to cut together as an hour and 40 minute movie. There are so many elements here that either aren’t there or feel rushed. You can’t help but wonder if someone, anyone looked at the pieces and actually wondered how they would fit together before they just decided to glue them together haphazardly. That’s what this seems to be, it’s already terrible clips thrown together like a Malick movie in the hopes of producing a story, like a drunk kids half-assed attempt to throw a dart at the center of a dart board. One moment Reed is in some science fair for his…high school maybe? The next, he’s working at some institute for smart young minds. There’s a possible love triangle between Doom, Reed and Sue but you can’t really tell, it’s probably explained better in the TV show they grabbed these scenes out of.

I haven’t even gotten to the cruel and shallow way this flick used the time jump. There is a moment where the gang gets there super powers and they are locked up because of it. This should be the part where we would see them adapting to having new powers or fighting back against the people keeping them locked up. Well, right after they get their powers, we cut to one year later. In one years’ time, we see that characters have changed a lot since we last saw them. Ben has become a weapon for the army and Johnny has gone from being a rebel to this super patriotic guy trying to help the army. Reed is also doing some random science crap in the woods or something but that’s never fully explained or returned to the surface after they show it. It would be like if Iron Man cut out all the scenes where Tony Stark was in the cave or if The Dark Knight Rises cut out all the scenes where Bruce Wayne was exiled from Gotham. There a gigantic chunk of this movie where the audience is supposed to watch their characters change that is just…gone. I look at this and see a solid 30 to 40 minutes of important development that the movie cut out. There are some shows and movies that can use a time jump effectively like Vertigo or Fargo but here it feels like a get out of jail free card for its writers so that they don’t have to work overtime to make sure there movie isn’t borderline unwatchable. This is an example of laziness to the tenth degree. There’s no reason I can think of for them to want to do this other than to further its audience from feeling like they have to care about the transition of our supposed heroes.

And yet, somehow none of that even matches what the film does for its finale. I should first explain maybe the only positive thing in the film, Victor Von Doom. Doom seems like the only person who is sympathetic or even seems like remotely a real person. He’s the stereotype of the lonely intelligent weirdo, but at least that’s better than nothing. On the planet, they accidently leave Doom behind. One year later, he comes back as a goofy, poorly designed bad guy out of a stock Saturday morning cartoon. Of all of the characters, his transition after one year feels the cheapest and most offensively lazy.

Anyways, he shows up in the last 15 minutes and without any real explanation he just wants to destroy the world. In the course of 15 minutes or so, they introduce, fight and kill off their most famous villain. There’s no momentum and then there’s just nothing, the finale is that. The movie suddenly remembers near the end that it’s a superhero movie and it tries to cram all of this stuff in the hopes of wiping clean what you’ve actually been watching for the past hour. Everything from the way it shows characters arcs to the way they explain motives is sloppy. I have no idea how much of this is Josh Trank’s fault or the studios fault but in the end it doesn’t really matter, this is one of the worst stories I’ve ever seen played out on screen and what it does in terms of building and concluding storylines and coming together with something remotely satisfying has no bounds in how awful it is.

And even if the story did make any sense, it sure as hell doesn’t make up for all the other terrible things about it. The characters aren’t helped by dialogue that would seem dead on an ABC sitcom. This movies attempt at humor and charm are so uncomfortably terrible that it bounces back and becomes funny again. Michael B. Jordan has the worst of it as he has to add dimension to such Oscar worthy lines as “that’s what I’m talking about”. It’s the kind of wit that’s created by a sweaty, underpaid team of writers just trying to add something, anything to this story that’s clearly been lost. Besides the comedic angle, all of the lines from the villain and the hero feel copied from far more original superhero films. Every quote you can find from Dr. Doom is exactly like every other clichéd super villain. When the movie needs to pad out its running time, it brings out the overused speech about great responsibility with great power or whatever. Nothing that comes out of a characters mouth in this movie ever comes from a place of sincerity, it all feels fake and manufactured to look exactly like everything else. There is nothing about this movies screenplay that isn’t totally artificial.

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Lastly, the film is technically garbage. With a budget as high as this one, you at least expect to see some visual effects with some high quality. Exodus: Gods and Kings was a terrible film, it at least had some impressive visual effects. This movie makes the CGI in early 00’s action films look decent. Every fight scene with Reed Richards stretching his body is laughably fake looking. It doesn’t look realistic; it looks like it was taken from a low budget 90’s animated movie that tried miserably to use 3D animation. As I mentioned earlier, the design for the new Dr. Doom makes the early 00’s Dr. Doom look intimidating. The Dr. Doom in this movie is so poor that you could honestly convince me that it’s actually from the cheap rip off version of The Fantastic Four, The Fabulous Give perhaps. The music for this movie is just like the music from every other dry, bland action movie. The new world they find is void of any imagination and looks just like every other vague new planet. The entire movie looks like it was shot through a dark blue glass so it could look super serious and grim. Even with a great cast and a director who’s done good work in the past, there is not a single compliment I can give this movie.

Taking the time to write about this film was an awful, long exhausting experience and the same can be said about watching The Fantastic Four. I don’t even want to give this movie half a star, I can’t think of a thing I enjoyed about this film. The story, the characters, the comedy, the effects, the performances, the ideas, the editing and the music are all garbage. The Fantastic Four is a terrible movie and it gets the honor of being one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever given for a film on my site.

Rating:(.5/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 8/7/2015

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell and Toby Kebbell

Directed by: Josh Trank

Screenplay by: Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg and Josh Trank

Based on the Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)*

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Title: Avengers: Age of Ultron (aka. Avengers: Age of Ultron and IMAX 3D Experience and Avengers: Age of Ultron 3D)
Rating: PG-13
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Based on the comic book by: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: 5/1/2015
Running Time: 142 minutes

Official Site
IMDb

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.


What did you think of this film?

During Credits? Yes

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After Credits? No

Note: After the credits we see “The Avengers will return”.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron


Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review – 3/5 Stars

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a film that can only go up due to the last film showing everything that is wrong with the Marvel Avengers franchise. Thor 2: The Dark World stands as one of the most boring and draining action films to be released as of late, without a doubt in my mind it is the worst of the most recent Marvel films. Nonetheless, Marvel shows to be going one step in the right direction at least with at least this time around delivering a more compelling storyline that I’m actually able to care about.

The Winter Soldier continues the story of Captain America (Chris Evans) as he comes to terms with the new America that he lives in as he battles new foes and tries to find out secrets of his past and present.

For as jumbled as the screenplay becomes, I firstly think this film at least deserves some credit for being the most ambitious Marvel Avenger film thematically since Iron Man. CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldierStill18The movie goes in great length about how America’s military and commercialism has changed for the worst and is now used as a shadowy, lifeless function rather than as a service of good and unity. The antagonist in the film is the head of a very corrupt, rich militia and he literally turns Captain America’s kind and generous military friend into a soulless, heartless killing machine. With such huge themes like these, I think this film could work as a thought provoking blockbuster much in the way of most recently the far superior Catching Fire.

However, I think all of the films problems come off of the classic criticism of something biting off massively more than it can chew. Beyond having a thought provoking theme, the film also features countless new characters, plenty of plot twists, a very complex stories revolving around many areas and all at the same time attempts to make a fun, rousing popcorn flick. And frankly, I feel like the difference between The Winter Soldier and Catching Fire is that Catching Fire had much more competent a director and writer working behind it.

Above all things, Winter Soldier still feels like in some ways a user of the lifeless stock format highlighted in The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. The direction, visual effects and dialogue still feels very similar to stuff you’ve seen before in the franchise. And that I think it is the soul perpetrator behind the films failings. The film is going for something very different that thinks outside the box in many areas but the film still is entrapped to a need to stay with the norm. The film therefore sabotages its cool premise with red herrings, a reliance on clichés as well as one sided answers to very thought provoking questions. As for the question of the sudden darkness and change in America, the film blames everything on the stereotypical bad guy excuse and leaves behind no moral ambiguity. The film has so many smaller storylines and aspects that the film ends up rather dumping them or answering them all at the same time in a choppy fashion. How can a film be so daring and yet so undaring at the same time? It’s all highly entertaining but I can’t wash off the feeling that the movie was failed by the naivety of the directors. I don’t even think the film is poorly directed but directors Joe and Anthony Russo are not competent enough filmmakers to be able to tackle something this complex and succeed like that of what Sam Mendes did for Skyfall. Of course some of its works (the relationships between characters mostly) as it is in many times in which a film tackles a lot different stuff but the screenplay and the story of the film fails because it glues everything together using 50 cent bubble gum and big shock…a lot of it ends up falling apart near the end.

Nonetheless, I will say the reliance on cheesy entertainment despite being the films downfall also redeemed the film in terms of being solid entertainment. The action scenes for as unoriginal as they have become in these films were surprisingly original in this one. My favorite scene in the film is near the start when a man is trying to survive despite being shot at from every angle from inside his bullet proof car. The action in the film is shaky and nowhere near as nauseatingly dull as the colorless, thrill less scenes of action shown in Thor 2.

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The film is also in some way very well edited. I think the problems of the film being choppy were less the fault of the editor and more that of the screenplay. In fact, despite being a 2 hour and 18 minute film, this was so competently edited that the film felt like 90 minutes. I found the energy and entertainment held in the editing to be very admirable on the films part even if the storytelling was weaker.

Finally, I thought all the acting was very impressive. Chris Evans’ performance in the film was pretty good and he added a lot of emotion to his character and he seemed to do a great job in sharing dialogue with other actors. Robert Redford played what was a very stereotypical villain but his great ability to act as seen by his most recent role in All is Lost which I went as far as to call the best performance of 2013 allowed his to add to memorability to the character. Samuel L. Jackson continues to be one of the most exciting aspects of the franchise and Scarlett Johansson through great energy and delivery of dialogue manages to be the best thing of this film. I also enjoyed the performance of Anthony Mackie as Captain America’s sidekick Falcon even if the character fell to pieces near the end in terms of his story arc. The cast I would say certainly succeeded in carrying emotion and humor to the movie and I have to say that the performances in the film is the one reason why I could buy a lot of the story throughout despite being a mess, I was motivated to see what happened to these characters.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier has respectable goals and exciting performances as well as some good popcorn fun in the action and in some of the dialogue. However, the screenplay stays way to close to the Marvel checklist and ends up becoming less of a memorable, thought provoking blockbuster film and more of a light yet fun, interesting piece of entertainment that’s more worth seeing when it comes to being able to rent it. It’s always a shame when a film tries so much and achieves so little.

Rating:(3/5)

Review by: Ryan M.

Release Date: 4/4/2014

Rating: PG-13

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan

Directed by: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Screenplay by: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Concept and Story by: Ed Brubaker

Based on the Comic Book by: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby

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