Category Archives: Super Hero

Logan

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

Logan is set in post apocalyptic (for the mutants) 2029 with Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) both in ill health and in hiding.  While there’s tons of good action this is also a more thoughtful and somber super hero movie than most dealing with  issues relevant in today’s society.

Patrick and Jackman give excellent performances with the Professor having seizure/mental issues and Jackman  shows different emotions  and he still wrestles with his issues of how to handle  the destruction he causes and hurting those he cares about.   Dafne King also does a great jobs as a young mutant on the run.  This probably could have been tightened up a bit to be closer than two hours and while I liked the plot at times it was predictable.

As with Deadpool last year, this is not for kids – tons of bloody violence.  But for those who like a good action movie this is worth seeing.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Deadpool

Bill I’s Review – 4 out of 5

I went into this film with almost zero awareness of the character Deadpool, who is from an adult X-rated comic book. Interesting note: the first X-rated movie I ever attended (back when you actually went into a theatre to see an X-rated movie), was Fritz the Cat, based on the X-rated comic book. My mother brought me!!! So I am open to the genre, and wow, Deadpool blew me away with its comic book violence enhanced by slow-motion, freeze-action, special effects, combined with Ryan Reynolds’ sarcastic, funny, dialogue and audience asides. This is an origin story, where you see his character earning money as an intimidator for hire, who then meets his soul mate (played by Morena Baccarin, who plays the beautiful, somewhat boring wife on Homeland, and is perfect here), then gets some bad luck and turns into the mutant super hero (anti-hero?) that he ends up calling Deadpool. Fun surprises abound, including martial arts star/actor Gena Carano  as a kick-ass villain (called Angel Dust I found out, which I don’t think was verbalized during the movie). It’s a combination of spoof of typical Marvel super hero films, but also a model for how to make the genre more exciting and more fun. I recommend this to the guys, but women may not love it. Kids, wait a few years, not for you just yet!

Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5

While the movies I tended to go to with my mother were the likes  of Mary Poppins and Elf I am in total agreement with Bill on Deadpool.  It was a unique and funny super hero movie (although Deadpool would not call himself a super hero).  As Bill said, the action was  really good with it’s use of slow motion and use of shifting angles (like NFL coverage where they start a play from one perspective and shift to a different one mid replay).  Unlike many movies you could tell what was happening.

I don’t have much to add to Bill’s review.  If you want to see Gina Carano in full kick ass mode check out Haywire.  Dead pool is definitely worth checking out (if you don’t mind violence, etc.).

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

Avengers: Age of Ultron was an ok action/sci fi film but not as good as the original.  While the action was pretty good they got a little carried away with figuring out how many different ways  and with how many of the other Avengers they could utilize Captain America’s shield.  I also found Tony Stark’s stubbornness annoying.  Despite that the movie flew by and overall was an entertaining movie.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

avengers_age_of_ultron_2015_movie-wide

Guardians of the Galaxy

Bill C’s Review – 4.25 out of 5

Guardians of the Galaxy is joy to watch. It’s a  Marvel based super hero movie with lots of humor, great energy and music and with  good action.

A toned Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation is the excellent lead of a good cast that includes Zoe Saldana and the voice work of Vin Deisel (‘I am Groot’) and Bradley Cooper.  This is a lesser know Marvel set of unique characters and  it includes a super hero tree and fox but the filmmakers definitely made it work.

I did not see the 3D version so  I don’t know if that adds anything.  As with seemingly all Marvel comics this had an extra scene at the end but there were a lot of credits so you need to decide for yourself whether it’s worth the wait.  After Boyhood this has been my favorite movie this summer.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

index

X-Men Days of Future Past

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Things are looking bleak for the X-Men sometime in the future.  They are losing a Terminator like war as humans have come up with these killer machines.  So what are you going to do?   Time to send an X-Men (X-Man?) back in the past to try to unite the X-Men at a pivotal time in history and alter the key event that led to the present situation.

I didn’t think this was the best X-Men movie but I thought it was a pretty good one.  The action was good  and included some humorous action (although the first time travel sequence was sort of confusing to  me until they explained it).

At this point you know the key characters pretty well with Wolverine, Raven/Mystique, Charles and Magneto getting most of the screen time.   Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence stand out with most of the tension coming from the need to get Magneto to conform.  Jackman has been playing Wolverine for almost 15 years now and you wonder how much longer he can do that role but so far he can still handle it.    While a ton of X-Men are in the movie some just have cameos (Rogue/ Ann Pacquin being  probably on screen for about 5 seconds).   Peter Dinklage handles the evil non mutant role and they find a Richard Nixon impersonator for some of the scenes in the 70s towards  the end of the Vietnam war.

I did not see this in 3D although I heard that was pretty good.  If you’re a fan of the series you should definitely see this one.  If you have an extra 8 minutes stick around for the closing credits  and teaser for the next X-Men movie (and let me know what it means).

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

X_Men__Days_of_Future_Past_13838035762671

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Bill C’s Review – 2.5 out of 5

I’m definitely in the minority as I just considered this an ok super hero movie.  Maybe if I was more of a Captain America fan I would have liked this more.

I enjoyed the first half better but the film lost me as more of the character motivations and plot were revealed.  I simultaneously thought some of the plot was too over the top while other parts were too predictable.   Other movies have done a better job of commenting on current events like shrinking freedoms in a dangerous world and disclosures of government secrets.

While the action was ok I also didn’t think that was outstanding.  Maybe the great reviews and my anticipation of the first summer blockbuster (summer keeps coming earlier and earlier! ) set my expectations too high.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

15-action-packed-photos-from-captain-america-the-winter-soldier

 

Wolverine

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I had almost no expectations that this would capture my attention the way it did. It must be due to Hugh Jackman, as the plot is fairly laughable, especially at the end. But it’s an exciting adventure with believable characters (except maybe the Japanese grandpa), and perfect for a summer night’s entertainment.

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

Bill is right on with this one.  It was a decent action movie with a pretty ridiculous (and predictable) plot.  Jackman carries it with more to do than just his action scenes. I found the other Japanese woman more interesting than the granddaughter of the grandpa and they sort of set it up so she could come back in any sequels which would be good.  If this had been animated I would have recommended Mr. Burns from the Simpsons to play the grandpa.

This also seems like the summer with a lot of robots in movies – this one, Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3. Have I missed any?

I saw this in 3D and I didn’t think it added much.  If you see this stay for the closing credits.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Iron Man 3

Bill C’s Review – 3 out of 5

Iron Man 3 has a good combination of humor and action and makes a good, but not great, movie to start the summer movie season.

Robert Downey Jr. has the role of Tony Stark  down pat and does a great job with both the action and the comedy.   Ben Kingsley has the meatiest (and probably most fun) in a supporting role with a strong cast that includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau, Guy Pearce and Rebecce Hall.

The action and special effects (including non-action sequences) were good.  Keeping the special effects fresh is a challenge for the third movie in a special effects driven series but they pulled it off.   I saw this in 2D but in retrospect I wished I had gone for a 3D viewing.

The plot was ok but but suffered a little from the James Bond plot device of never having the super villain take the easy solution when he has the opportunity.

Iron Man 3 is better than the second installment in the series but not as good as the first Iron Man.

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

Thoroughly entertaining, with Robert Downey Jr. given lots of time out of his suit, and Gwyneth Paltrow playing a bigger part than in the past. The plot was a stretch for me, such as what’s the bad guy’s mission other than to exact revenge on the world for ignoring him when he was a wanna be inventor. And while Iron Man has developed a cool new feature that has his suit assemble itself onto him in pieces, it was hard to believe the pieces could travel 750 miles to do so. That’s some seriously precise guided missile technology. Rebecca Hall is a pleasure to watch as a former “love” interest, seen below:

while Don Cheadle is the buddy you can’t live without. The plot moves fast, and the 2 hours 20 minutes never seems too long.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

Iron-man-3

The Dark Knight Rises

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

The final entry in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is a good but not great finale. Set eight years after 2008’s The Dark Knight, this is a satisfying ending to the trilogy and ties up loose ends nicely. After the events at the end of The Dark Knight, The Batman has retired and Bruce Wayne has become a Howard Hughes-like recluse. However a new menace faces Gotham City and The Batman is lured out of retirement.

The new menace, Bane, is good but not nearly as entertaining as The Joker in the last movie. Bane has a contraption over his face to help him avoid pain. With it, my son thought he sounded like Winnie the Pooh, while I thought it made him sound more like Darth Vader. The two characters who I thought really stole the show were Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young, idealistic police officer and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman/Selina Kyle.  The Catwoman storyline was as interesting as the Batman one.

While they did tie up loose ends, I had forgotten most of the plot points about The League of Shadows and Liam Neeson’s character from the first film, Batman Begins.  Remembering that would have helped in following some of the plot. It was interesting how Nolan has weaved in some themes here about things like the Patriot Act and wealth inequality, but that should not wreck the movie for anyone, no matter where you stand on these issues.

The movie begins with a good action set piece aboard an airplane and there is some good action throughout.  There is also some that is just chaotic. The movie is long – 2 hours and 44 minutes – but went pretty quickly and was worth seeing.

Bill I’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

I agree with Bill C, good but not great film. It’s great in some respects: special effects, acting (also agree, Anne Hathaway is tremendous, and some other smaller characters also excellent, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine as always, Gordon-Levitt, e.g.). And Bane’s voice did sound like Darth Vader. His character is evil incarnate combined with an MMA fighter’s sensibility (what, no need for guns when you’re jacked like that?). Now let me outline where I was bothered, and it wasn’t in minor ways (some of these may be considered spoilers, but I will try to minimize what I give away): 1) Gotham is clearly NY City in this film, and I have no stomach to watch my city get terrorized and bombed once again. The Muslim jihadists will love this aspect, and after the Colorado movie theatre real-life massacre as well as innumerable accounts of innocents being slaughtered, I have no desire to see this dramatized in fiction for our entertainment. I felt the same way about Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards which has the Nazi social elite being burned to death trapped in a movie theatre while the “good guys” enjoyed their triumph. And this film takes a NY Giants-like football stadium and shows off it’s fantastic special effects while bombs go off and the players get swallowed up, we are supposed to be enjoying this vicariously. This was enough to sour me on this film. 2) I do not buy into its portrayal of New Yorkers, or any Americans actually, being subjected to a madman dictator/terrorist so easily. I bet this is what Osama Bin Laden dreamed about, tearing down Wall Street and major infrastructure, unleashing the masses of lower class poor people, and seeing our society turned into chaos and the rich people being thrown out on the streets. Maybe when the Nazis marched into Poland, but not here. Whoever wrote this crap and thinks we will think it believable is just patronizing us by assuming the movie going public will believe this scenario. 3) Hold NYC hostage and have the federal government reduced to delivering relief packages? Come on, where’s the effort to communicate with the captive New Yorkers, to infiltrate the city? There’s no way you can isolate the city like this. And the fact that Bruce Wayne, Robin and Commissioner Gordon all are aware of exactly when the ticking clock will expire is not also known by our army? What is this, Gerald Ford again telling NY to “drop dead”? That’s enough of my blowing off steam, but you can tell I was seriously bothered by these aspects of this otherwise great film.

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes

The Amazing Spider-Man

Bill C’s Review – 3.5 out of 5

While there was no real need to reboot the Spiderman franchise so quickly, this is a good, but not great retelling of the origin of Spiderman. The story is not exactly the same as the n the Tobey McGuire 2002 version and focuses more on the mystery over the disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents and his coming to realize the responsibility to use his powers for good. It’s fun to see him learn how to control his powers. For some reason in this version, Peter Parker is a high school genius and invents his string power instead of it being a natural byproduct of his gaining other powers. I didn’t think his super villain was the greatest but he got the job done.

Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman and Emma Stone as his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, were good. Spidey has had different girlfriends over the years, so no use in retreading the same girlfriend character (Mary Jane Watson) from the earlier movies.  Since Garfield/Stone are an item off-screen, the couple had good chemistry on screen as well.

The special effects were good. I didn’t see this in 3D but could see how they could use this to good effect with him swinging back and forth all over the place.

This movie isn’t a must-see, but if you like the genre it is worth watching.

Note 1: Stay through the closing credits.

Note 2: The picture below has nothing to do with the movie. These people had their wedding reception at the Alamo Drafthouse and they were posing for pictures by the Moonrise Kingdom setup while I was getting ready to go into Spiderman.  I asked our waitress if they actually watched a movie as part of the reception. They did: The Princess Bride!

IMDB

Rotten Tomatoes