Ant-Man And The Wasp (2018)

Have you seen Infinity War? If the answer is no, avoid this, or just leave after the actual plot concludes. The final scene to this will make absolutely zero sense if you avoided Infinity War, and it seems like this film references Captain America: Civil War more than it does the first Ant-Man movie. It’s a shame as the first Ant-Man movie was a lot of fun and is severely underrated when people talk about the MCU. This one feels important, but in a way where it’s not going to be known how important it is until the next film, which is a problem with Marvel films lately, they’re not self-contained so the endings are usually the equivalent of “Tune in next time”.  You know what this reminds me of? When a massive video game has been released and a year later they release a few new levels as an expansion pack/DLC, it’s that. It doesn’t stand out on it’s own at all, it’s the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to Infinity War’s Hamlet (Or The Lion King 1 1/2 to The Lion King if you prefer). But the thing is; it doesn’t even do that that well. It would be good if it had a few subtle background references to it running throughout. But it doesn’t, it comes in at big points in the film, but not often enough. So it somehow fails at even that. Okay, “fails” is a very harsh word to use, because if it wasn’t for the Infinity War stuff, I would consider this a great film, it’s funny, looks fantastic, has INCREDIBLY inventive action set pieces, and the performances are good.

Now Marvel villains are either incredibly amazing (Thanos, Loki, Killmonger) or completely forgettable (that guy, the other one, the yellow one). This comes soooo close to being the first one. She has a tragic backstory which makes her sympathetic, her motives are logical but she’s also terrifying, and she’s not just “the good guy, but bad!” which seems to be the general template to make a villain in Marvel films. But she’s not used enough, and her ending is woefully unsatisfying and seems like it came because the writer needed to get home early so just wrote “and then MAGIC!”. It’s a shame as one thing this does very well is it gives a lot of the background characters moments to shine, even if a lot of their moments could be cut and nothing would be affected (particularly Bobby Cannavale and Judy Greer, which is a shame as I love both their characters, I just wish they had more to do). The star of the show is still Michael Pena though, who maintains one of the best side characters they’ve created, which of course means he’s probably going to be run into the ground through overuse in the next one, or killed.

So should you see this? I’d say yes, but not yet. Watch it as part of a MCU marathon, it lacks enough context to survive on its own.

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Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (Spoilers Version)

Well I said I was going to put spoilers in this, so here goes:

Bruce Willis was dead all the time

Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze

Clark Kent is Superman.

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Oh, I suppose I should talk about the spoilers in this film. I have quite a bit to discuss about this, the ending in particular, so I had to do a different blog for it. It would be unfair to spoil the film for those who hadn’t seen it, but there were certain things I couldn’t discuss without spoiling the ending. I think that’s kind of cool though, spoilers mean something again. Because the studio put a lot of importance on not letting the ending go, it meant that people who watched it put that importance on too, plots matter again. I like that.

But this specific ending? Holy f*ck. In case you haven’t seen it here it is: pretty much everyone dies. Spiderman, Black Panther, Star Lord, Drax, Groot, Samuel L Jackson, all dead. Which is kind of odd considering that pretty much all of them have been announced for sequels. This brings up my first point; as emotional as the ending was, it won’t last. It won’t be a film that in years to come you’ll think of as emotionally devastating films. The reason for this; the ending won’t stick. It can’t stick, they’ve announced a Spider-man sequel for one. So as emotionally crushing as the deaths were, everybody knows they’ll be back. Look at articles about it, they’re not discussing “oh no, how will the surviving heroes cope with such horror?”, they’re saying “which of these will stay dead?”, which sucks. The default setting in films should be when a character dies, they stay dead, coming back from the dead should be the exception, not the expected norm. So it’s hard to feel too emotional about this, as there’s a part of you that thinks “meh, they’ll be back” or “I’ll save my emotion for when I get to the next movie and see what happens”. I mean, yeah, I am intrigued as hell as to how they’re going to do it. Personally, I think it will have something to do with Thanos using the time stone to rewind time and kill Vision. Have a feeling that once someone can get hold of that they can use it to rewind back to the rewind (if that makes sense). This means the ones who died before that ((Gamora, Loki (seriously for the love of all that is good kill Loki and keep him dead. He’s a good character but is emblematic of the “no deaths count” thing MCU has)) will stay dead, whereas those that died after the snap (Spider-man, Bucky, Brooklyn 99) will come back.

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It is coming back, right?

No idea who’s gonna do that though, I’m guessing Captain Marvel will have something to do with it but can’t say for certain as I don’t know what her powers are as I’m not too familiar with the character. Maybe it won’t be the heroes, maybe it will be the scientists, we have no idea if Selvig is still alive, if he is given the technology seen in both Ant-Man and Black Panther he could create something great. That’s if he’s still alive though. That’s something I have a problem with in this, outside of Nick Fury (and not-Robin from HIMYM), all the deaths were major characters from this film. Marvel has had A LOT of side characters in their films, did any of them die? Will we ever find out? How was this received by people who had ABSOLUTELY no idea what happened? Random people just going about their day etc when their friend suddenly disappears? I guarantee people thought it was the rapture or something. But we don’t know, because we didn’t see it from a civilian standpoint, we got a small insight with the post-credits thing where cars and planes crashed, but nothing that shows their pure visceral terror. How much more impactful would it have been if we had a character hadn’t seen in years come back for a random scene, only to die? I have a slight feeling that we’ll see that next time we see Hawkeye, that his family all disappear and he goes on a vengeful warpath. I guess what I’m basically asking in all of this is this; is Ned okay? That’s all I want to know.

 

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We love Ned

 

Why We (Already) Love Captain America: Civil War

Erm, because it’s good? That’s it, blog’s over everyone, go home and play with your food, eat your wives and make love to your xbox (side note: Ex-Box is a truly vile nickname for someone’s vagina, don’t use it, you’re better than that).

But yeah, this film. It’s……amazing. Pre-hype for this was pretty intense, until Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn’t You (Forget About Me), then people started to get concerned. Was easy to see why, it seemed like Civil War was following a lot of of BvS mistakes: they released a trailer that seemed to give away the plot, then another one which introduced a character people weren’t certain if was going to be in it, and they seemed to be introducing a lot of new characters in one film. I’ll admit, I was really disappointed that they put Spider-Man in the trailer. I thought “but it would have worked better if it was a shock, stupid idiots. I hate them all! Burn them!” But here’s the thing: I was wrong. Spider-Man came in waaaaaay too early in this film for him to be a surprise character. Besides, if that happened then people would walk out talking about “Oh my God, I can’t believe Spider-Man was in that!” as opposed to how good the film is. Plus that information would have leaked in the first screenings, even if you tried to avoid it you’d see it everywhere on facebook when you woke up on release day. So in the end it made sense, so so much sense. God damn I loved this movie, probably my favourite Marvel film so far, had everything: sensible plotting, good characterisation, good action sequences, just, everything you want. Anyway, enough pointless random conversation: let’s get started on purposeful random conversation.

1. Spider-Man

He’s one of the characters I’ve never really liked in films, he’s always supposed to be a teenager but is never played as one. At least, not an actual teenager, he’s played like the leading man in a teen drama where “anxiety” and “shy geek” just means “is friends with the most popular girl in school but hasn’t dated her yet” and the only sign of their geekdom is that people with letters on their jacket shove them into lockers. This Spider-Man however is a teenager, he geeks out over superheroes, he messes up, he gets overexcited (which then leads to more mistakes). More importantly: he’s fun. He’s a funny, engaging character whom is inherently likeable.

2. Black Panther

This film is not just Spider-mans, it’s not even fully Captain America, this film belongs partly to Black Panther. This film is his origin story. Which is fantastic news, A LOT of people have seen Civil War, which means a lot of them are now familiar with the character, so now when he has his solo movie (which thanks to this serving as his origin, should be able to avoid the whole “boring first movie” syndrome that plagues so many films) a large number of people who ordinarily wouldn’t go to see the film now will. They’re invested in the character, they’re invested in the story, and they want to see what happens next.

3. The Villain

I’ve seen one or two people annoyed that the villain in this movie is just a guy. He’s not a very rich guy, he’s not a powerful or influential guy, he’s got no powers at all. He is, just, a guy. But to me that’s perfect. Who better to show the Avengers the damage they’re doing to the man on the street than a man on the street? A man who has suffered personal loss due to the actions of a few self-appointed übermensch’s. Superhero movies needed to find their humanity again, they needed a human touch (not the human torch, nobody needs that guy). The characters needed to be shown the consequences of their actions, they needed to create their own villain, not through a mistake, not through an accident in a lab somewhere, but by their very actions which make them heroic. This guy realises that he can’t beat the Avengers, he needs them to defeat themselves, and he sets it up beautifully (which is another thing I like about this film, it doesn’t really have a happy ending, everything’s not fixed, this film truly changes the dynamic of the group).

4. The Airport Scene

Possibly the best action sequence in a Marvel film so far. Every character is given a chance to shine and showcase their abilities. We see why Tony Stark wanted Spider-Man so much, we see Ant-Man do…..well, trust me it’s amazing. So much better than the action sequence which opens the film (which to me was a little too jerky and didn’t really flow properly. Why do so many directors move the camera during action sequences now? It very makes us feel like we’re really there, instead it just makes it dicking difficult to focus on the scenes they’ve spent months working on). One of my biggest problems with Age Of Ultron was that the fight scenes felt pointless, there were too many moments which felt like someone high up said “ok, we need an action scene here otherwise people will get bored” instead of “we need an action scene here to develop the story”. This doesn’t really have that, there are quite a few action scenes, but they’re well placed within the story and they all make sense. Plus there’s a certain uniqueness to them; the character’s are all slightly holding back. They’re going more for showmanship and intimidation than “I am going to kill you” (with the exception of one rather notable three way fight) which brings a different dynamic to the scenes.

5. Next time.

I’m already excited for the next one. There’s so many questions I want to ask (but not in a “this movie didn’t answer these questions and I’m unsatisfied way) and so many things I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m already excited for films that won’t be out for years to come. THAT’S how good this movie is. Basically: here’s the things I’m looking forward to seeing/finding out:

  • How will Captain America cope now he doesn’t have his shield?
  • What will happen with Martin Freemans character? He’s too big an actor for such a small part so I assume they’re doing something big.
  • How will people react to Iron Patriot? One of America’s soldiers is now paralysed due to superheroes, American’s are perfectly okay with foreign civilians dying, but when a soldier is shot at? Shit goes down.
  • What’s the villains next step? Does he even have one?
  • How will Hulk and Thor react?
  • What will the next stage of the MCU films be like? This film changed the dynamic of them completely: the heroes can no longer operate in the open, they are now forced underground. We won’t get the good guys teaming up with the military from now on, we’ll have the military shooting at the good guys.
  • Will other countries use the superheroes as an excuse to declare war? All, say, North Korea would need to do is stage a scene of massive devastation and frame someone from South Korea for it and claim they’re a superhero and it would be a pretence for war (with international approval as well as South Korea has disobeyed international law).

Oh, and spoilers btw. I, probably should have mentioned that earlier. Whoops.

Musings On Marvel: Day 12 (Ant-Man)

Director: Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Yes Man)

Budget: $130million

Box Office: $519million

  • “If only you protected Janet with the same ferocity” That line only exists to get along plot details.
  • “I’m not going back, I’ve got a daughter to take care off” the same daughter you had BEFORE you went to prison? Or is it “well, she needed changing then, now she can look after herself”
  • Is he being shamed for working at a Baskin Robbins? Yeah, how dare he have a job to support his family. Shame! Shame! This is a big issue actually, certain jobs are seen as demeaning but people need to do them. People make fun of the server at McDonalds yet go in at 1am demanding that same person provide them with a burger.Jobs need doing, and these jobs need to be done by people. Don’t act all high and mighty like certain jobs aren’t “good enough” for people. You don’t want to do a job because you see it as demeaning? Then starve to f*cking death. Now, tis is different obviously from “this job makes me work 12 hours a day with no breaks and they pay me in stinging nettles”. That’s management being dicks, in which case, yeah, gain superpowers, sneak into manager’s house, pick them up and drop them in an active volcano.
  • Things I’ve spotted in the Baskin Robbins bosses office: an employee of the month sign above the sink, a microwave that isn’t plugged in, a rubber chicken, a wicker ball, a metal bucket.
  • “An Ant-Man” Hey! That’s the title of the movie.
  • Did nobody think to title them “small soldiers”?
  • “the ultimate combat advantage” wouldn’t it be more advantageous to be 10 times larger? There’s no good hitting people if nobody knows what’s hitting them as they won’t quit. You make them larger and entire armies will see it and give up.
  • That bunny is terrifying.
  • “He’s so ugly, I love him” My girlfriend says the exact same thing.
  • “you’re her hero”, how? She’s 5, he’s been in prison 3 years. Even if she could remember him she wouldn’t have enough to build him up to hero status.
  • This guy peed without shutting the bathroom door. He deserves to die.
  • This is a perfectly viable weapon that again is never used. I mean, he has a handheld weapon that can kill someone with no mess. No blood or anything, so no evidence. You literally flush the evidence down the toilet. That alone is a great weapon.
  • I have a feeling this montage of finding out about the “job” seems like one of the parts written by Edgar Wright.
  • This reference to Titanic also seems like Edgar Wright, it also seems exactly like the kind of thing I do: random pop culture references in middle of scenes which have no need for them. I would argue that point but I once put a critique of Love Actually in a scene which was basically a massive argument.
  • That door falling down still created a hell of a lot of noise.
  • If he is the size of an ant, surely that guy would still notice him in the bath? Would you not notice an ant in the bath?
  • This guy who’s entire dialogue is “what the hell” is comedian Garrett Morris who had the first appearance of Ant-Man in Saturday Night Live.
  • “set up a five block perimeter” for a petty theft? Are you kidding? He’s not exactly caused harm to people so that’s not a good use of resources.
  • This escape thing is fine, but you know what else would have made sense? Michael Douglas parking his car nearby with the window open so he could just go in there.
  • I know someone who saw this film and thought “just step on the Bullet Ants, how painful can they be?” Well, to answer that, bullshit. Bullet Ants are terrifying. It’s called a Bullet Ant because its sting feels like being shot. The Schmidt Pain Index is a real thing, and this is really high on it. Also, they shriek at you before attacking, because that’s not scary. Certain tribes use them as an initiation into manhood. They weave sleeves with hundreds of this things in, the stings facing inwards. They then wear them and get stung to holy hell. That’s not an exaggeration, this causes the arms to become useless for a few days, and cause spasms through the entire body. So THAT’S why you don’t just f*cking step on them.
  • So you control ants and make them put sugar in your tea? That’s just lazy.
  • The bald guy from House Of Cards is a dick to tiny sheep
  • “I think we should call the Avengers” So do I! In fact, I’d call them for everything. Changing my light bulbs, fixing my internet, getting the person in the queue in front of me to just MOVE FORWARD ALREADY!
  • “this is not some cute technology like the Iron Man Suit” Unnecessary shot!
  • “Plus they’re too busy dropping cities out of the sky” That was Ultron and you know it, dick.
  • Why ants? I’m serious, it’s never explained why he specifically can converse only with ants? Surely there’s other small things he could talk to, grasshoppers, lice, aphids, spiders. You’ve had this research for decades and figured out how to talk to ants, yet you have no incentive to push it forward to other species? Is it because it was called Ant-Man and you really hate not going with themes?
  • Where are the rest of the Avengers? Have they all gone home for the holidays and left one guy as the security?
  • Ant-Man punches Falcon too much. Literally all he needs to do is get his visual apparatus off, then he won’t be able to see him so he can just sneak in easier.
  • Next time you might want to start with “I got the thing” instead of leaving it until it’s suitably dramatic.
  • “I fought an Avenger and didn’t die”. Well, technically you fought an Avenger. But Falcon’s only an Avenger in the same way as Barcardi Breezers are alcoholic beverages. Technically right, but nobody counts it.
  • “this is the work of gypsies” That’s racist!
  • There is never a good reason to whistle “It’s A Small World”. Ever.
  • Can you even hit an ant with a bullet? Wouldn’t physics push the ant of the way?
  • Are those guys being attacked by Bullet Ants? If so it would be a lot more than “ow, slight pain”, they’d cry.
  • Hank Pym dies whilst I was writing that last one, I think.
  • Oh wait, he’s standing up.
  • Ok this is one of the best uses of music in Marvel movies, plus it’s The Cure.
  • Why is this guy so focused on killing Paul Rudd? Couldn’t he just move on with his life and sell the weapon and still get shit loads of money? This just seems like a distraction.
  • Where did those ants come from?
  • Ah, the old “throwing trains at the enemy trick”. So cliche, you know that’s exactly how the Roundheads beat the Cavaliers in 1651.
  • Can ants survive getting that big? Wouldn’t their exoskeleton collapse or something? It’s like how King Kong wouldn’t be able to run, or barely move.
  • “that’s a messed up looking dog”. Surely you can tell it’s an ant? I mean, it would be weird for us to see an ant that size, but we don’t have superheroes in this world. They do. Everybody could wake up and find their feet have been replaced by Big Macs and it still wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the universe.
  • Imagine watching this whilst really stoned or under heavy medication. That would make a brilliant blog series actually: Medicated Musings. Exactly like these blogs, but recorded whilst either high or drunk.
  • She’s feeding that thing under the table. Does she want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.
  • And the post credits scene is a teaser for Avengers 3. I mean, Captain America: Civil War.

Musings On Marvel: Day 2 (The Incredible Hulk)

Director: Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me, Grimsby)

Budget: $150million

Box Office: $263million

  • Damn, this isn’t the Ang Lee one. Which is a shame as then I could have made the “Don’t make me Ang Lee, you wouldn’t like me when I’m Ang Lee” joke. Now I can’t 😦 I hate life and everybody in it.
  • Random fact, the director wanted Mark Ruffalo as the lead but was declined. As such we will now never ever know what Mark Ruffalo would look like as The Hulk. Never, ever, ever.
  • Entire origin story takes place during the opening credits. Thank god for that otherwise it would have added like an extra two hours onto the run time.
  • “The best way to control your anger is to control your body”. It’s taken him years to be told this? I’d have thought that would be the first lesson.
  • One slap round the face gets him that annoyed? If I got that annoyed everytime I got slapped in the face it would just distract me from the prostitute I paid for.
  • Edward Norton is being smart and scientific, you can tell this because he’s wearing glasses.
  • How did he miss that REALLY obvious blood on the bottle?
  • Everyone’s looking at him like he’s crazy, as if we’re supposed to think that everyone doesn’t know why he’s worried about his blood getting in the drink. Even without it being Hulk blood, that’s still not something a business wants in their drink. And I know “but they’re a Brazilian company, they don’t have health codes like we do”, maybe, but even Coca Cola wouldn’t want blood in their drink, and they’re practically Satan.
  • “get lost, gringo” That’s racist, I think.
  • “You wouldn’t like me when I’m hungry”. Ok, let’s get this clarified: “Angry” in Portuguese is either: Irritado, com raiva, zangado, furioso, colerico, or amarrado, whilst “Hungry” is: com fome, faminto, esfomeado, avido, ansioso, desejoso, pobre, esteril, arido, or pouco productivo. There’s no way you can mistake the two in that language, it really only works in English. You’d think Edward “Everything Must Be Perfect Or Else I Will Stab Everyone” Norton would have picked that up. Cute joke though.
  • “another failure” The exact same language was used by my family when they announced my birth.
  • “living with gamma poisoning not safe”. Thank god for scientists, I never would have known that.
  • Hey Tim Roth’s in this movie.
  • Oh god, Tim Roth’s in this movie. Poor Tim Roth.
  • Still, better than United Passions.
  • Sure, just shut down your laptop. Don’t wait for him to answer or anything. Dick.
  • These guys didn’t even check the exits? They’re awful planners.
  • Tim Roth shoots a dog.
  • Yeah, that’s good, hide your identity and then stare straight at the the guy hunting you. You’re an idiot.
  • “Do not lose him” oh really? Well I was going to just let him escape but now you said that.
  • I’ve never had to run across rooftops to escape people, yet it seems to happen in almost every film.
  • All those coke bottles behind him, Holy product placement Batman!
  • “Not so tough now are you?” Yeah, you show what a strong guy you are by hitting him when two other people holding him down. You big man, you very very strong man.
  • We’ve already established this factory is not doing that great financially, repairing all this damage could bankrupt it. People talk about the damage done to New York in the Avengers movie, but they’re able to pay it off. This company is ruined.
  • “who’s this woman in this newspaper clipping?”. Wait, so you didn’t even take a look at the newspaper clipping and see that this woman has the same name as the guy giving you orders? You suck, Tim Roth (please note the punctuation there, there’s an important difference between “You suck, Tim Roth”, and “You suck Tim Roth”).
  • “He threw a forklift truck like it was a softball”. No Russian person who was raised in England would ever use the word “softball”. At all.
  • “Days without incident: 1”. No, it’s zero, he had an incident just before, it doesn’t count as one if it’s on the same day. You wouldn’t say “I haven’t had chocolate for a whole day” just because you’re not eating chocolate right at that moment.
  • Distance between Brazil and Guatemala: 3,000 miles. How on earth did he go that far without people noticing?
  • Music from the original Incredible Hulk series reminds us that this is in fact, a movie. Maybe that’s the problem with this film, everyone is really familiar with the character, a lot more than they are any other of the characters from the MCU. So everyone goes in with preconceptions about the character which makes it hard to bring something new to the table.
  • “In WW2” Don’t be that guy, just say “world war 2”. Don’t say “WW2”, you sound like a prick and it takes longer to say, it’s like double the syllables.
  • “he thought he was working on radiation resistance. I would never have told him what the project really was”. That’s the perfect way to get accurate scientific data, have them attempt something else.
  • “that mans whole body is the property of the US army”. Sounds a bit rapey.
  • Edward Norton is using Norton antivirus. Hah!
  • Yeah, that’s it Liv Tyler, walk out on your date without saying a word. Rude!
  • Rain powered entirely by emotion.
  • “he wants to make it a weapon” A weapon he can’t control or order around. Having an army of Hulks would cause a lot of damage, yes, but a lot of it would be to your own army. It would be like having an army of bears.
  • Note to self: find army costumes for bears.
  • Ok, this is a visually impressive set-up, the whole “Hulk in the glass covered room which is full of smoke”, but it’s not really done effectively. They showed the transformation and the view from inside the room. What they should have done is the last we see is him as Banner, then silence, and then Hulk bursts out of the smoke.
  • Why does everyone keep shooting him? Surely after the first shots have absolutely no effect you’d think of a different tactic?
  • So this takes place on a University campus in middle of the day, and there’s only two bystanders? There were more bystanders at college when a car crashed into a lamp-post.
  • Do they ever use these sonic cannons again? Does every Marvel film feature a fantastic weapon which for some reason is never used again?
  • This movie is pretty much responsible for keeping rain machines in business.
  • Jesus how much did Coke pay to be in this film so much?
  • So he can swallow a usb stick and it still works? Yet I have one in my pocket for a twenty minute walk to uni and it stops.
  • Wait, so he can’t have sex without hulking out? What about masturbation? So he hasn’t jacked off for years? That might be why he’s so angry, I stopped for two weeks once and committed a small genocide in Rwanda.
  • Can The Hulk get high? Serious question, couldn’t he just get really really stoned? Or maybe he tried and that’s why he’s so green.
  • “I had to make more” Wait, you can just make more blood? Then why the fuck do the NHS keep asking for mine?
  • “I will never forgive what you’ve done to him” for some reason I hate that sentence. It just sounds really clunky, like it’s been translated into english from a foreign language.
  • “The mixture could be……….an Abomination”. Hmmm, I wonder which Marvel character Tim Roth will turn into.
  • I’ve realised where I know that guy from: he was in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmdit.
  • Unbreakable. They alive, damnit. It’s a miracle.
  • I love that show.
  • Ooooo season 2 came out a few days ago. Yay.
  • Bruce’s blood landed on his head wound, what are the odds of that?
  • “That’s impossible”, oh so now you start to question things.
  • So the lead character has to fight someone with the same superpowers as him? Just like Iron Man then? Or Thor. Or Ant-Man
  • “You think a rifle’s going to hurt that?” Most logical sentence in this film.
  • So his plan involves jumping out of a plane with no parachute? I tried that once, I didn’t save anybodies life and now I’m banned from British Airways
  • Hulk and Abomination just holding onto each other. Now kiss!
  • Did Hulk just stop the fire by clapping? I’m going to try that next time I see a fire heading towards me. If it doesn’t work and I die, someone sue Marvel.
  • Look, we know you’re in the Army but “reload” instead of “another drink”? Just makes you sound like a twat.
  • This is the only Marvel film without a post-credits scene. Instead it puts it just before the ending credits, like a normal film does.

Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (so far)

So yeah, Captain America: Civil War is out in 14 days. There’s 12 films, you know what that means? Yup, it’s time for the as-yet-untitled Marvel Version of my hugely unsuccessful Nightmare A Day series. What, you don’t remember that? Don’t worry, shall all be explained tomorrow. But until then, I still have to blog today, so what will today’s be? Simple, this will be my last normal blog until Civil War is released, so is really my last chance to do this and make it relevant. So here goes, all opinions are my own, but if you disagree you are wrong.

12. Thor: The Dark World

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I saw this film at the cinema and yet can barely remember anything about it. The trouble was that it’s kinda dull and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Plus by this point it was obvious that the character of Thor isn’t as interesting as his own villain. Loki dominates this film, just as he did the previous film, only this time it’s a lot more clunky in terms of why he’s there. It also completely wastes Christopher Ecclestone. The first film to really be skippable.

11. The Incredible Hulk

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A film that only ranks so low because it doesn’t really mesh with the others. The only thing tying this into to the rest is the cameo of Tony Stark. If it wasn’t for that, (and if it was released first instead of second) then they could just ignore it and pretend it never happened, like the world does with Godfather III.

10. Thor

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Yeah, maybe my personal bias is showing, I don’t like Thor. Mainly because the rest of the MCU tries really hard to be realistic and scientific, and then suddenly this guy shows up and smashes that to pieces. Also I feel his character just displays wasted opportunities. They have a character who is a God, they could do films based on how the world reacts to this, how does religion react to the existence of A God, but not Their God? None of this is shown, at all. Oh, and Natalie Portman’s character has all the background and charisma of a see through piece of tissue paper. Oh, and they wasted Idris Elba. Plus, Thor basically tried to kill Captain America in Avengers movie. Yes, the shield stopped him from being smashed with a hammer, but Thor didn’t know that would happen! From his perspective he just jumped at someone and tried to smash their face in with an unbeatable weapon. That would be like me launching nuclear weapons at a school but it turns out it’s okay as Fuzzy Felt stops explosions (it doesn’t by the way, I can 100% confirm this, sorry Nagasaki).

9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron. 

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This film highlighted a problem with a lot of modern super hero movies: pointless fight scenes and action sequences. Not just that, but poorly made action sequences too. There’s so many moments in this where action sequences just happen for no reason other than the studio thought “Action sequence goes here!”. Which is a shame as other than those it’s actually an okay story. I mean, the trailer did that annoying thing where it showed an awful thing that turned out to be a dream sequence. If it wasn’t for those two things it would be rated much higher (probably top five).

8. Iron Man 2

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Mickey Rourke is good in this, as is Downey Jr. But that’s kind of the biggest problem too. It’s so heavily dependent on performance, that it forgets to carve a good enough story. The villain is too similar to the first one (although don’t get me wrong he is better). The scene where Tony Stark is called into congress to explain himself is fantastic and says a lot about the nature of heroes, but then it just dissolves into casual action fare. Plus it’s hard to imagine THIS Tony Stark being the same one who (maybe, if they go close to the source material) advocates government registration of superheroes.

7. Iron Man

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Ok now we’re getting into awesome stuff. This is the film that launched not only the MCU, but superhero movies being fun again. After Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy it looked like all future superhero movies would just be fifty shades of grey and dark blues (and just as painful as that sounds). A great origin story, brilliantly directed by Jon Favreau, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. was a master stroke. It was a risky decision but one that paid off.

6. Ant-Man

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Very, very fun. Paul Rudd is very funny. Yes, it would have been better if Edgar Wright stayed on but still. I saw this soon after Age Of Ultron, and the action set pieces in this were a lot better, featuring the best use of Thomas The Tank Engine I’ve ever seen in film.

5. Iron Man 3

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F*ck you I liked it. I know a lot of people don’t, and I understand why. But this was the first time the series tricked me. I’m a pretentious film student so I recognise plot twists early, but this one genuinely came out of left field, but in a way that made sense, it wasn’t one of those “and the killer turned out to be the goldfish all along!”. Yes, it still sucks that Iron Man films have had the worst villains so far but meh. This one also should be commended for actually showing character growth, Tony Stark is haunted by the actions of the Avengers movie, he’s basically suffering PTSD, sadly this was pretty much forgotten about by Age Of Ultron, very disappointing.

4. Avengers Assemble

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I rate this higher than the second one only because the action sequences aren’t as long, and at the time it was new. Plus it resurrected The Hulk as a character after two previous attempts to make a live action film about the character. This film established Loki as THE best villain in the Marvel Universe, which counts both for and against it. For because in this film he’s a charismatic, logical villain. Against because they can never hope to do that again.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger

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Yes, other films have been better, but this was the moment where the series grew from “action fare” to “cinematic genius”. The first (and best) use of cinematic emotion in the series. Usually when people say “Superhero movies are grown up and mature” they show things like Deadpool etc, things which are “adult”, but not “mature” (and yes, there is a difference). This would be a better option, exploring themes of identity, loss, and the commercialisation of war heroes to raise money instead of winning the war. The casting of Tommy Lee Jones in it added authenticity to the film, oh, and Hayley Atwell is superb. This is the first time they went beyond the “superhero saves world” story and focused on the hero themselves, a truly touching tale that was a worthy introduction to the character.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Probably the best example of a comic book movie transcending the genre. This film is almost like a cold-war era spy movie. Has the best plot of any of the films, fantastic characterisation, and is just all round brilliant. Amazing but not too comical, this film is not “look at this ooooo moment”, it’s not spectacle, but it is spectacular.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

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A part of this is because everybody expected it to fail. When it was announced people were certain this would be the biggest flop in Marvel history, more so than SuperLee, a superhero who fights crime with sarcasm and bitterness, which was invented by me, in my head, just now. But this film is amazing, it’s funny, smart and perfectly acted. It’s odd that Marvel has made better characters from a tree that only says three words than a lot of films manage with entire monologues. A space opera which is definitely the most fun film from all of them, and overall that’s what films should be: fun. It’s not the film with the best story, or the best acting, but it is definitely the one you’ll want to watch the most.

5 Reasons Deadpool Has Been A Success

Well let’s get it out of the way first: it has been a success, the biggest R-Rated opening, so far earning £228 million (or almost 40 billion Jamaican Dollars). So there’s no denying it has been a success, and a big one, with a sequel already being written. Last year’s superhero films can only be described as a disappointment, with Ant-Man, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and of course, Fant4stic which we will never mention again because it was so awful it actually started a war in Mexico. The last film the character of Deadpool was in was X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which everybody hated. So expectations of this film were low, with some people saying it could be the first flop of the year. There were people practically salivating at the thought of this film crashing and burning, and these people were all ready to piss on the corpse of this film, and the entire super-hero genre. So why has this film done so well? How did this:

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Become this:

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1: It’s Really Good

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, the film is really really good. It’s funny and brilliant (as our monday article stated). People love this. In my social media life I’ve seen the reactions to the release of The Hobbit, Avengers, and a little known film called Star Wars, all eagerly anticipated franchises. Yet none of them received as much universal praise as Deadpool. Everybody seems to love it, from the hardcore geeks through to the casual film goers. I mean, even Betty White likes it, and she’s god.

2: Ryan Reynolds.

I could talk about the whole cast, T.J Miller is funny in it, Brianna Hildebrand and Gina Carano are pretty damn fantastic too, both bringing a unique feeling to their differing roles, and the only complaint about Leslie Uggams is that she’s not in it enough. But let’s be honest, this is all about Ryan Reynolds. He’s just brilliant in this. When you watch it you don’t think: that’s Ryan Reynolds playing Deadpool. You think: that’s Deadpool. You can tell he really likes this character and has put everything into it.

3: The Marketing.

This film has had some of the best marketing I’ve ever seen. Not just the trailer, but the social media stuff as well. Ryan Reynolds has been on form with the marketing, launching himself fully into it. I actually thought the non-trailer marketing did a better job than the actual trailers. There were loads of odd videos featuring Deadpool celebrating Australia day, telling you to check your testicles for lumps etc. Very weird, very funny, very Deadpool.

4: The Timing

As previously mentioned, last year was disappointing for comic book films. The genre kind of needed this. Comic book films come in two flavours: Dark Knight, and Kick Ass. Dark Knight is super serious, everything’s grey and there’s a lot of rain. Kick Ass, there’s a lot of colour and it’s super violent. Last year saw too many films attempting to be Dark Knight, they just weren’t fun, they needed to be taken down a peg; and this is perfect for it. This film mocks superhero films, and does it in a brilliant way.

5: The Hype

Let’s take you back to a dark time: July 2014. ISIS were causing a major kerfuffle in Iraq, Lucy made film watchers brains explode (at least; viewers with the scientific knowledge of at least a toddler), and S Club 7 reformed. A time before Deadpool. The chances of a film made featuring the character were astronomically low, then test footage was leaked. The reaction to this is solely responsible for the film being completed. This film wasn’t made to cash in on something popular, it was made because people were excited and really wanted to see it. The leaking of the video turned the film from “it would be nice but will never happen” to “release date announced”. This characterised the entire film really, it was really made for the fans. You can tell this even down to the rating, this film really earns it’s rating, it’s violent and brilliant. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

So that’s that. If you’re still here I assume it’s because you’re waiting in the queue for Deadpool to start. Subscribe, comment and like for more sarcastic film-goodness from us

 

Films Worth Seeing from 2015: The other genres

Action/adventure/thriller
(or everything else)

Sicario

The best kind of thriller; nailbiting, bleak, and full of characters you actually give a shit about. The director of the amazing Prisoners and Enemy solidifies his place in the Western filmmaking world with this all-star thrill-ride. Hosting an Oscar worthy Emily Blunt, a shit-ya-pants Benicio del Toro, asicario_ver8_xlgnd an oddly chilled out Josh Brolin who adds the much needed levity between all the torture and mutilation. Directed with a Finchian level of detail and pristine, it follows by the books SWAT officer Emily Blunt as she is submerged into the murky work of the War on Drugs, and is tasked along with the mysterious Benicio del Toro to bring down the head of the Mexican Cartel. Sticking well clear of action tropes this isn’t a glorious, FUCK-Yah-‘Merica tale of beating the bad guy, this is a twisted, gritty, and dark morality tale that tells us that rarely the right thing to do, is the best thing to do.

 

 

The Martian

17vZ0fzI know this is basically a comedy, but it is also an intense Sci-fi thriller and if I didn’t put it here this section would be pretty spare. Ridley Scott’s best film in years (though I think I’m the only guy with a soft spot for The Counsellor), is a beautifully shot adventure following a marooned astronaut on Mars and his optimistic fight for survival. Now I don’t think there’s much more I can say about this, its just a damn good film, Matt Damon reminds us why he’s a superstar, and “Science the shit out of this” is destined to become an obnoxious over used phrase. But what allot of people I think fail to mention, is just how damn fun the Earth team is. Yeah the focus is on Damon, but maxresdefaultJeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and their team on Earth are just as engaging to watch as they have to ‘Science the shit out of it’ there end, to work out how to get to Damon before he dies. If you haven’t caught it already, it’s more than worth the two hour plus run time.

 

 

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Screw the next film on this list, THIS was the funnest action film of the Kingsman_The_Secret_Service_posteryear. Essentially a spy flick parody with a real plot and its gun barrel firmly planted in its cheek; it’s bloody, stylish, and with a perfect twee British sense of humour. It’s like if the Pythons directed a James Bond flick, but not without some studio supervision. Taron Egerton proves himself a bankable action lead and rising star in Hollywood, and I can’t wait to see where he goes next; while Colin Firth does a clean 180 and flawlessly reinvents himself as a very convincing action star without losing an of his preppy Britishness we’ve come to love and treasure. The bad rep this seems to be getting from some critics should be completely ignored as high-brow snobbery and the last thing I’ll say is go in expecting something silly but amazing, and be ready for some ultra-violence

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Because it Mad Max fucking Fury Road. The action is kinetic, Charlize Theron is jaw dropping, and it tells us more about it’s world with barely any dialogue than three Star Wars prequels could. What else needs to be said?

 

 

 

Ex Machina

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God damn I love me some good old Sci-fi mind fuckary, and I love Oscar Isaac. This was his other big Sci-Fi film of the year, you know apart from…you-know-what, and in my opinion it’s the stronger of the two. In almost every way a closed box thriller, Domhnall Gleeson plays a dweeby programmer brought to an underground house by his eccentric bro-y boss to perform a turing test on a Female robot he’s created, and work out if she really can feel. And from that it breaks out into a tense psychological game of cat and mouse and fox, and I won’t ruin who gets eaten.

 

 

Ant-Man

Ant-Man-Comic-Con-PosterWho knew the best super-hero film of 2015 would be Ant-Man. Plagued with production issues for years, worst of all being the walk out of geek god Edgar Wright from directing, but despite all that Ant-Man STILL came out kicking. Helped by a great cast led by an always loveable Paul Rudd and an enjoyably cranky Michael Douglas, Ant-Man found its strength by keeping the comedy present throughout, in character scenes, exposition scenes, and action scenes, it always stays funny. Which makes it’s few moments of seriousness hit that much harder, him shrinking to the quantum realm was truly amazing, and gave the film the weight it needed. Is it perfect? Far from it; but it was a fun ride, with good action, and a much needed breath of fresh air for the quickly staling Marvel verse.

 

482955It Follows
Easily the best horror film of the year. A real 80’s throw back to the likes of Halloween and Nnightmare on elm street, you can practically see Wes Craven’s fingerprints. With a focus on building atmosphere and tension over moderns mindless jumpscares, an actually likeable cast, and an intriguing story, It Follows will leave you glancing over your shoulder and watching off into the mid-distance.

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrowland

tl_busshelter_frank_v3_lgDoes this have problems? Yes. Are all of them made up for by pure retro-charm and heart? YES. I don’t know what people went in expecting with this film; some epic Sci-Fi drama that would change the world itself? Who knows? But if you went in just looking for entertainment, you got it in space-spades. A glories throwback to science fiction films of the 1940-50’s when the future was still fun, Tomorrowland may be slow to launch, but when it does it rockets through so many awesome set pieces, ideas, and so much enjoyable pseudoscience and alternate history bollocks , you can’t help but be charmed. Britt Robertson proves herself to be more than Jennifer Lawrence light, George Clooney shows he can wear the old curmudgeonanigif_optimized-19156-1425927260-1 hat with panache, and Raffey Cassidy is becoming one of the most unique child stars acting today. Is it a perfect film, no, but not everything has to be! We seem to be living in a world where if something isn’t ‘#tHeBeSTThInG_EVEEER’ then it’s terrible…No. Not everything has to be perfect in every aspect if it wasn’t trying to be. This film wanted to be nothing more than a fun family adventure with a good message, and it was hung because that’s all it was.

 

 

Oh and like Star Wars happened I guess. It was pretty good.2015-12-16-1450300622-8118374-Star_Wars.png