MARVELous Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

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“Well, Thanos is fucked.”
Anjie J Han/ Twitter

Release: 8 March 2019
Rating: 12
Length: 2Hr 5min
About: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

The Good

  • Fury’s Benjamin Button trick. I don’t know how well it will hold up to repeated viewings, but I was very impressed with the CGI retro-aging of Samuel L Jackson. In fact, I loved Sam Jackson taking centre stage for an outing on the whole.
  • Brie Larson makes for a sound Captain Marvel and she works well with the script and story she’s given. Larson is able to balance the tone between conflict and humour really well. I’m looking forward to seeing what else she has to offer in the upcoming Endgame.
  • Ben Mendelsohn’s duel character of Talos and Keller.
    Mendelsohn has well established himself as a Hollywood ‘bad guy’ over the last few years. Without going into detail regarding his character’s impact on the plot, Mendelsohn seems to truly enjoy himself in the role. It was awesome to hear his native accent too.
  • The cat, Goose! Move over Groot, we’ve got a new cutie in the MCU. There’s the nice little nod to Top Gun with his naming and he gets added points for reducing Fury to baby talk.
  • 90s vibes; its good to see the 90s in cinematic form. From the costumes, settings and pop culture references its a comfortable setting that brings the fun. The best part is the use of music throughout the whole film. While still not on par with Guardians’ Awesome Mix, it gives it a good fight.

The Bad

  • Coulson’s Benjamin Button routine is not as flawless as Fury’s. Perhaps not as much money/time was spent on Clark Gregg’s youthful glow but it does stand out as a computer rendering.
  • Jude Law gives a good go as Veer’s mentor and he’d even be up in the category above if it wasn’t for the bloody trailers. Yet again, outsourcing the trailer production reveals plot points the film conceals from the audience. It throws off the intended story and takes away any shock factor the director intended.
  • 90s vibes- I feel old! When did the 90s become nostalgia?! I’m not ready to look back on the 90s as if it was 30 years ago. It was only last year we were freaking out about the Millenium Bug, and there’s nothing you can say that will change my mind.
  • Other than Coulson and Fury, it felt a little short on the Easter eggs. If a film is going to retcon an entire franchise, I’d like a little more connections; even just a nod to Stark Snr and Stark Industries would have been enough.

The Ugly

  • Another origin story. It’s old hat now and Spiderman has shown viewers that MCU is more than that. It feels too formulaic 10 years in and I’m really tired of the check-box approach to plotting.
  • The storytelling seemed clunky, messy and, at times, painfully slow- the first 40 minutes really needed a good editing. While I like its use of flashbacks, it felt a little bluff on a double bluff by the time Larson lands on Earth.
  • The comedy is as jarring as ever. This time it was a dick joke: do we really need Fury checking out the dead dudes junk and comparing sizes?! I laughed, don’t get me wrong. I laughed louder than anyone else, but it was hollow and cheap; leaving a bitter after taste.
  • As always, the film falls down when it comes to its villian/s. The motivation or even the origin of the ‘bad guys’ is rather unclear and is left somewhat unresolved; which doesn’t help this film fit within the MCU timeline as smoothly as we were assured it would.
  • The dedication- this being the first movie out since the great Lee’s passing, Marvel have something heartfelt for the franchise’s creator. It had me ugly crying

Final Thoughts

It’s not the amazing outing it could have been. While there’s things I know of Captain Marvel that could come into play when we come to sit down for Endgame in May, I’m not certain there was anything in this film that gave me hope that she’ll be the saviour audience’s say she’ll be.
What I will say, if a character is going to take the glory from any of the long standing Avengers, it better be that damn cat!

Have you seen it?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments.

Love Han x

Marvelous Movie Reviews: Iron Man 2 (2010)

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“The suit and I are one.”
Tony Stark

Release: 30 April 2010
Rating: 12
Length: 2Hr 4min
About: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from all sides to share his technology with the military. He is reluctant to divulge the secrets of his armored suit, fearing the information will fall into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) by his side, Tony must forge new alliances and confront a powerful new enemy.

The Good

  • The biggest highlight for me is the casting; both Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell are amazing as this installment’s bag guys. I’ll admit, I still struggled to hear everything Rourke was saying but I didn’t mind once the subtitles were on.
  • Tony is even more Howard Hughes than ever and I love the entrance to the Expo. Its a brilliant way of showing his approach to his superhero life.
  • The humour in the court hearing is rather pitch perfect. It’s on the right side of tongue in cheek; from the comment that nods to the casting change of Rhodey to the responses given to Senator Trump Stern.
  • I don’t think I picked up on this in the first outing, but I love the Red Dwarf-like robots Tony has in his basement.
  • We get more Happy and Black Widow’s introduction is rather subtle for newbies, allowing them to be on side with Stark, while remaining perfect for fans in the know.
  • The CGI of the wrecked car at the Monaco Grand Prix is still as breath taking as it was on the big screen. It’s hard not to wonder what went wrong with the graphics department down the line.
  • As Tony becomes reckless, it allows Rhodey to have more to do. There’s a few scenes between Rob DJ and Don Cheadle that are rather beautiful, sincere and something I feel is missing from some of the later movies.
  • Have to give a shout out to Queen for the vocals to the fight sequence between a drunk Tony and Rhodey. THIS was a better Civil War than, well, Civil War.
  • “I don’t want to join your super secret boy band.” – I love the relationship between Stark and Fury. It’s like an angry uncle and a rebellious nephew. It’s something the film could have done with more of.
  • Okay, I briefly mentioned Sam Rockwell at the beginning but of all the anti-heroes, Justin Hammer is quite possibly my favourite. Perhaps its because his motivation is pure stupidity and a drive for power that he should never have. He’s the guy you meet wherever you work, shop or play. He’s the guy who thinks he means well, has charm but he wouldn’t think twice about throwing his nanna under the bus. He’s a big dick; a brilliant, snivelling, brown nosing dick. And who better to handle this character than Sam Rockwell?!

The Bad

  • What is with Mickey Rourke’s Corey Feldman skunk stripe?! Don’t get me wrong, Rourke has my admiration for The Wrestler and I’m sure it’s more to do with the costume department, but I want to chop it off.
  • The opening exposition wasn’t as clear as with Hulk and, as a result, I missed Ivan’s beef against Stark. It was over an hour in before I made sense of his one-man war path.
  • Paltrow’s Pepper Potts is a little too loud and shouty in this outing. Her freaking out in the car really doesn’t fit with what was otherwise a flawless scene.
  • Coulson was a bit pointless in this. It felt too forced “Hi, I’m coming to tell you I can’t stay.”…. okay. I get the feeling it was to prepare the way for the sting, but he wasn’t required in the film proper for that to happen. That said, I do love Gregg Clark so I shouldn’t really complain.
  • Happy and Black Widow! We so need more of those two together. It was the best part of the god damn movie.

The Ugly

  • I feel as if there’s a bit of a continuity error when it comes to Stark’s involvement in the Avengers Initiative. He was very much involved within the sting of Hulk, but this film seems to ignore that.
  • Its still the same ending; bigger, meaner version of the hero. Only this time they pressed the copy button. It’s already feeling stagnant when it comes to the bad guys.
  • This could be where the problems with Black Widow start. Both Happy and Tony fawn over her; even Potts mentions how it was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Final Thoughts

My opinion has improved some what since the first, and last, time I watched this. To be fair, I was so bored that I left my boyfriend-at-the-time in the screen and went for a walk. Twice. What I will say though is that I wasn’t the hard core Marvel CINEMATIC Universe fan until Joss Whedon gave me Assemble.
It still has its faults, but I must say I actually enjoyed it much more… even if I did have to watch it in two sections.

Next up, as the sting revealed, is Thor.

Love Han x

MCU Retrospective: Incredible Hulk (2008)

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Length: 2Hr 15
Rating: 12
About: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him into The Hulk. Cut off from his true love Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and forced to hide from his nemesis, Gen. Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), Banner soon comes face-to-face with a new threat: a supremely powerful enemy known as The Abomination (Tim Roth).

The Good

  • Ed Norton, upon reflection, was quite a good Bruce Banner. He brings the angst and turns it into a fine art; guilt, longing and regret are high and it gives you all the feels. While he’s not as good as Mark Ruffalo’s Assemble/Ulton Banner, he’s much better than the clusterfuck that is Infinity War. Norton’s strength comes from him being able to show how much of a toll the change takes on his physical self; something I feel has been shelved in Phases 2 and 3.
  • I love how the film ends; yes it feels like he hasn’t made any progress by being back on the run, but I love that he seems much more at peace with himself; that smile and green tinged eyes say it all.
  • We get that Tony Stark sting. It doesn’t fit for me with what I know of SHIELD and what’s to come. That said, its Rob D J! I’m not going to sniff at that.
  • EASTER EGG!!! We get Stan Lee (Obviously), but the geek touch that adds to this is having Lou Ferrigno in a small cameo.
  • Liv Tyler is a brilliant addition to the film as Betty Ross which makes me feel like a traitor as I loved Jennifer Connolly in the original. Tyler makes the character her own, brings an element of ‘bad ass’ Connolly’s version lacked and I had a chuckle at her freak out that is reminiscent of the melt down she has in Empire Records .

The Bad

  • Tim Roth makes for an excellent anti-hero, and I welcome his presence for *most* of the movie. Unfortunately, he makes for a piss poor villain. More on this later.
  • Well, General Ross is beyond a dick and I really hate that there’s no resolution of the character. He isn’t redeemed, he isn’t completely vilified. By the end of the movie he’s asked to join Stark on a SHIELD project. This would all be fine if there was a payoff in a later movie, but there’s not. I’m just so frustrated.
  • The story is decent enough; there’s the McGuffin of Mr Blue and Banner’s desire for a cure. However, the execution feels a little too “been there, done that” when it comes to the villain, especially after watching Iron Man directly before it. Again, I’ll come back to this in a moment.

The Ugly

  • I really didn’t like Bruce Banner testing the size of a pair of pants on the backside of a larger lady. Not cool, Banner, not cool!
  • Abomination! Its an ironically apt name. As I said before, Tim Roth is a good choice and a brilliant anti-hero, but Abomination is a CGI nightmare. Riffing Iron Man’s final act; it’s the ‘bigger, scarier, more teeth’ version of the Hulk.
  • Emil Blonsky is set up as loyal military man so I just don’t understand why he goes against General Ross so quickly. When he becomes Abomination, he retains his thoughts and understanding (or at least that’s what is implied) so he is exactly what Ross wanted. So why on earth does he go on a rampage. Hulk has more motive to attack General Ross. I also don’t understand his motivation for attacking Hulk. Yes, before he doesn’t like what Hulk represents, but as Abomination they’re fucking brothers.
  • There’s no explanation of what modifications have taken place for Abomination to be so different. Why is he talking and why is the voice so shit?! And why, oh why, is it only Banner who takes responsibility for the actions that led to the existence of Abomination?!

Final Thoughts

Ed Norton isn’t too shabby as Bruce Banner, but on the whole it really isn’t the best installment in the MC universe.

Love Han x

Avengers: Infinity War (12a) With Major Spoilers

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Release Date: 26.4.2018
Summary: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Time: 2hr 36


The Good

The first good I really need to talk about is Thanos. He’s the first decent villain in the Marvel Universe (Loki is an  anti-hero, not a villain in my eyes) and he does up the stakes a little more.
The crew count was handled well. Certainly much better than Civil War, which felt very bloated and overwhelming in terms of characters. This film upped that count, but was as strategic as a game of chess in its placement of characters and relied heavily on perfect smaller team ups than aiming for everyone on the screen at the same time.
The humour was on point! Those beautiful one liners and the films play on language; from Peter Parker’s pop culture references to Thor and Steve’s misunderstandings, it’s the perfect lift to a film that has very heavy emotions throughout.
Spoiler (This is the ONE I wouldn’t want spoiling so highlight the section at your own peril)
DINKLEDGE!!! If you didn’t know, I have major love for the Dink! He’s just amazing in everything he does and he’s the kind of bloke I’d love to sit and have a drink with and put the world to rights, you know? So having Dink play a giant who towers over Thor was just a stroke of genius. 
Spoiler
For once, we where light on the romance, save for already established pairings. It was great to not have that trope in play, meaning any romantic gestures in play had deep rooted meaning and purpose.

The Bad

While the handling of the cast was good, it didn’t escape without casualties. Black Widow is reduced to mere window dressing and it doesn’t do one our long standing heroes justice. It was almost to the point where I wish they’d benched her until the second outing.
Some of the CGI was ropey. If you’re truly into a film, you possibly don’t notice until watching at home. However, I’m a little concerned that there were bits I picked up on (namely the Hulkbuster Iron suit) on my first viewing. Not because I wasn’t engaged, but simply because they stuck out like sore thumbs.

The Ugly

The ‘deaths’. So there’s two separate deaths in play here. Firstly, we have the one that the Russo brothers had declared of one main cast member ‘there’s no take backs this time’. I believe this is the opening sequence death of Loki. It lacks the punch that it could, mainly because that dude has played dead so much it feels like a bit. It didn’t have any emotional resonance for me.
Nor did the final rug pull of the Infinity gauntlet dusting genocide. I’ll admit, I did gasp at the first character’s disappearance and I was close to tearing up. That was until we lost pretty much everyone who has been confirmed for a solo outing film in the next however many years. To me (and I know its not everyone’s thoughts. A student was unimpressed that I did not warn her about the ending), it takes away any jeopardy for the characters. It’s a shame, because this was the first film in a long time that made me feel there was something at stake.

Side bar- this isn’t the fault of Infinity War. The biggest problem was Avengers Assemble and the choice to resurrect Agent Phil Coulson. Damn, that death meant something. That death gave the assembled heroes something to avenge. Most of all, that death had me crying like a bitch. I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t prepared. I was begging the screen for it not to be true. I mourned the character who had been given a place in my geek heart.
Then in a ‘it was all dream’-esque twist of fate, my tears had been wasted and I vowed never to cry over a Marvel death again.

Except Yandu! Damn, that was a harsh blow and was more about his words preceding his death than anything else. I sobbed like a baby with that one too.

Black Panther

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The Good

What. A. Cast. Not only do Marvel have a phenomenal cast of colour, led by Creed director Ryan Coogler, they have pulled together amazing women and British talent. It’s release couldn’t be timed better. It’s award season and people of colour and women are thrown the PC bone. It can be argued that there is a lack of a body of work to gain the nominations.

Well, here’s a film showing what can be done if money allows for it and mainstream Hollywood takes the archaic rod out of its arse and fucks off the Weinstein’s of the world.

The plot doesn’t take itself too seriously, but also wraps itself in wonderful African culture and tradition. It stands out from all other Marvel films, and that’s its charm.

From veteran actors Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker to up and coming Michael B Jordan and Lupita Nyong’o you cannot fault the acting. It is Letitia Wright, playing the Panther’s sister who steals the show. Part Q, part royal pain, she is the lightness any action film needs and I look forward to seeing her reprise her role.

The Bad

As with many Marvel movies, it’s the villain that often has the film faulted. The problem this time is not the motive, but the execution of the primary villain. He’s revealed a little too late and at the expense of another. It’s a shame as it came across a little convoluted.

The Ugly

I’ve never been a fan of origin stories, the feel full of baggage. It’s not that I don’t need to know it, it’s that they either cram too much in or set the sights on the sequel.

Now, Black Panther tries to avoid both of these, but just can’t quite remove itself from the origin territory simply because it’s not only setting up a character, but a new world in which he lives.