Tag Archives: Superheroes

Venom, American movie (2018)

I think it’s a safe bet to say that even if you don’t like comic books, everyone has probably heard of the name Spiderman. One of the most popular comic book characters ever created, he has been webslinging his way throughout hundreds of comics as far back as 1962. Every superhero of course also needs some foes to fight, and Spiderman is definitely not an exception to that rule. Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, Vulture are just a few of the names that our friendly neighbourhood spider has had to face over the years. However, there will always be an enemy that is just a little bit more memorable than all of the others combined. And for Spiderman that foe was introduced way back in 1988: Venom. This horrific looking character became an instant fan favorite, and fans were overjoyed to hear that he would be making an appearance in the Spiderman 3 movie from 2007 starring Tobey Maguire. Sadly the movie wasn’t very good and Venom himself was woefully underused. Okay, enough with the history lessons. This year Venom has finally gotten his own movie, weirdly enough with his nemesis Spiderman being absent. So can a movie like this work like that? Well, the short answer is: yes, it most certainly can.

D55B2435-685B-463D-AA77-802C30A9B301
Sometimes you just need to have a civilised talk to work things out.

Eddie Brock is an investigative journalist that seems to have it made. He is soon to marry the love of his life Anne Weying, and he has a job that seems to be going very well for him. As is usally the case when things go well, it’s all about to come crashing down on him. The Life Foundation, a bio-engineering corporation that Anne works for, has been conducting experiments with something they have found in outer space. It’s CEO, a man named Carlton Drake seems to be a very benovelent man, but this is all a front. Eddie has become very suspicious of him especially when he is approached by one of the employees of the company, Dora Skirth. She tells Eddie about the experiments that have been going on and helps him enter the building one evening to find proof. However, while investigating, the hapless journalist inadvertently becomes infected by a parasitic lifeform. Not just any lifeform though, but one that gives him powers that have never before been seen on Earth. It has yet to be determined if the entity that calls itself Venom is a friend or a foe though. Meanwhile Carlton Drake will stop at nothing to get his lifeform back, no matter who will die in the process….

975907E4-36E0-4C12-81A4-D65F5A5E52B2
This is exactly the reason why you should always wait for your turn at the counter.

I’m seriously beginning to hate the critics these days. This movie has been torn to shreds by pretty much every single one of them and I have to wonder if some of them have even seen the movie. I said it quite recently in a review for Skyscraper I think that in general the critics have made it a sport to trash films that only offer fun. The problem is though that when people start to read those “reviews” their mindset is already influenced and some might even avoid going to the film altogether. Which would be a real shame as Venom is simply put a really fun film.While it’s certainly not perfect, it doesn’t deserve all the bashing that is currently directed at it by the so called experts. Eddie Brock is played by one of my favorite actors from the current era, Tom Hardy. He is a man who can pretty much handle every role they throw at him. In this film, he plays a character that is a bit of a loser for lack of a better word, but still comes out on top by becoming a (anti-) hero. I wouldn’t say it’s his best performance if I’m honest, but still he looks like he had a lot of fun in playing the role.

D9CB7C16-8225-4D56-A036-64FEC5838B62
Honestly he really is a nice guy once you get to know him.

But besides playing the role of Eddie, he also performs the voice of the alien symbiote Venom. The scenes where he is having discussions with himself and his alien alter ego provided some of the funniest moments in this movie. I love it when Venom just wants to go all out and eat people, but Brock tries to reason with this monster. It was surprising to me that this film contained a lot of (dark) humor. I honestly did not expect to find that in this movie, but it really worked. The rest of the actors in this film just simply don’t have very memorable parts. Michelle Williams who is always an accomplished actress plays the love interest of Eddie. But her role was to small for her to be able to really shine. The relatively unknown actor Riz Ahmed was cast as the villain Carlton Drake but I honestly didn’t find his role very impressive. It was too flat to really have that evil edge so to speak. Then again that also could have something to do with the script which wasn’t one of the strongest ones I have seen in these type of films.

24-4-2018
Talk to the hand…..

However the action and CGI sequences more than made up for this. When you first see the full Venom suit make an appearance it is really an extraordinary sight. It serves as a welcome reminder to see how much computer generated special effects have really progressed. The film was a bit slow in the first half hour or so, but then kicks into full gear, and I really found myself entertained for most of it’s runtime. Another complaint I have heard a number of times is that this movie didn’t get an R-rating. Granted Venom’s character certainly is violent, and the film had most of that violence shown off screen, but that didn’t mean that the movie was any worse because of that. So in the end Venom is another example of how the critics again rather unfairly treated this film as total garbage. It’s not the best superhero movie ever made, nor is it perfect, but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable film that’s well worth seeing in the theatres. In other words, don’t always believe everything people write (including this post). Just go and see it with an open mind, and form your own opinion on it. You might be very surprised…

I give Venom a 8 out of 10 score.

Advertisements

Suicide Squad, American movie (2016)

I don’t think that I am the only one when I say that I sometimes like a good bad guy even more than a hero. And if I am the only one that says that, well then I guess I must be weirder than I thought. Anyways all crazyness aside, I just love a good villain. And in comics we certainly have a host of those. Even better, we don’t just call them villains, some we even call SUPER-villains. But are all of these so called bad guys, really bad? While some certainly are pure evil and have no real redeeming qualities, there are also those that have a moral code that we might even identify with. Let’s also not forget those that are, pardon my french, just bat shit crazy. As I tend to sometimes be a little bit crazy myself, I usually enjoy those the most. So, at some point someone thought it would be a good idea to make a comic that teams up some of the major bad hombres in the DC comics universe and let them save the world. In the history of terrible ideas, that one really seems to be at the number one spot right? Well…no. Because it worked and of course it’s no surprise that at some point a movie was made too.

9DAC7810-0052-4C22-B675-304FAD0D7EB2
I could make a really bad caption here, but I guess I’d better not.

Suicide Squad takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. The world is left without it’s greatest hero, and humans try to do what humans do best: they try to find a suitable replacement. Because really what if the next Superman/woman, turns out to be not such a benevolent being? Intelligence officer Amanda Waller has an idea that at first seems totally nuts, but might just be the key to protecting the Earth from new threats. Codenamed Task Force X, it’s a team comprised of some of the worst criminals that are contained in the Belle Reve Special Security Barracks. Chief amongst these are hitman Floyd Lawton also known as Deadshot and the totally insane Harley Quinn. But of course it wil not really come as a surprise that they are not jumping at a chance to become heroes. Nonetheless when an ancient threat appears in the form of the evil witch known as the Enchantress, the team is sent on it’s first mission. A mission where the stakes are very high. How high you say? Well how about the continued survival of the entire human race?

0ED7A33E-62F7-472F-AA3A-DF4F612581CE
I’ve been thinking of dying my hair green as well. It seems to be all the rage these days.

This movie is already almost two years old, and I have only just seen it. Yup. I know, that is just crazy, really what am I doing with my life. Okay enough jokers, erm jokes. Let’s dive into my thoughts on this film. It’s hard not to compare a movie like this to The Avengers. The only difference being that in this film we don’t have superheroes teaming up, but a bunch of bad guys. That we don’t know much about. And that is one of the biggest problems this movie has. When the first Avengers film came out, we already were introduced to the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Here though, we get  a bunch of characters that people who like comics might certainly be familiar with. But the regular audience probably doesn’t know much about them. And they are thrown at you with an incredible speed in the beginning of the film. That in itself would not necessarily be a bad thing. But some just had too little back story to really form an attachment to them. Sure, they look cool, but still it wouldn’t have hurt to maybe find out a little bit more about them.

6169B854-2258-4228-8385-F1F41EC483BA
Why are you looking at me like that girl?

Luckily though, there are two characters that really carry the movie. It has to be said, Will Smith playing Deadshot does a phenomenal job with this role. He really steps up to the plate in bringing to life a character that is supposedly evil, but honestly really isn’t. It’s one of those truly anti-hero type of characters, who does everything for his daughter, and that you just want to see come out on top. And then there is Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. She is absolutely amazing. Harley is portrayed as a seductive, sexy, complete whackjob of a woman. However she is probably the most human character out of this entire ensemble. Her love for the Joker (In this film played by a criminally underused Jared Leto), drives her forward. Don’t underestimate her though, because she is lethal as hell as she shows in many of the films most badass scenes. The rest of the squad is comprised out of a lot of cool characters that I would loved to have getten to know better, but alas, that was not to be.

3BE3BFBB-FDA7-4F99-B09B-5AE30D788D8F
Yep…she is looking at you. Best not look back, that might not end well for ya.

Suicide Squad doesn’t really feel like a movie to me. It has some great ideas, and there are definitely a couple of scenes that were fun to see, but it just almost felt like I was watching a bunch of clips woven together. The storyline, such as it is, is just really thin. We have a threat that just doesn’t feel like much of one, simply because it lacks enough background to really feel dangerous. The film is mostly comprised of a two hour long, cgi filled, shoot-em up. The saving grace of this movie really are the terrific performances by Smith and Robbie. Those two alone make the movie still worthwhile to watch. This film really could have been gold. It has a great premise, with a bunch of fun characters, but it ultimately falls short. So, once again DC unfortunately fails to really go to war with their biggest rival Marvel. But then again, who is keeping score anyway. Ultimately, it’s still a movie worth seeing at least once. Just don’t expect to see anything earthshattering here.

I give Suicide Squad a 6 out of 10 score.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, American movie (2018)

One of my favorite parts of going to a movie theatre, besides eating snacks, is the previews. It’s always exciting to see new and interesting trailers for movies that will be coming out later in the year. However these days, trailers have changed a lot from what they were years ago. While the main purpose of one is of course getting you excited for an upcoming film, nowadays I think that trailers quite often just give away too much. Sometimes whole plotpoints are revealed, and at times this certainly make me regret looking at one in the first place. Now I know what you are going to say: Why watch them then? I think that is a very good question. A good trailer for me, is one that shows you scenes to give you enough of a tease to look forward to a film, while at the same time holding back enough to not ruin the movie itself. It’s an art that not every one seems to have mastered. So why bring this up right now? Well, I will answer that with another question. What if a trailer shows you the entire film in a little over two minutes? Don’t think that can be done? Think again!

56898320-7191-47E8-B1D0-E8A7E441EA5F
Wait….wasn’t this movie called Ant-man? This looks more like Giant-man!

With all the succes Marvel has had it gave the studio free rein to experiment with characters that are not as well known to the moviegoing audience. Three years ago we got Ant-man, a film that I went to the theatres for with little to no expectations. It ended up being a very nice and lighthearted film, with a lot of humor, some great special effects and a terrific lead in the form of Paul Rudd who played the role of Scott Lang. After this year’s incredible Avengers Infinity War movie (yes I know I still haven’t written a review for that one yet lol), the question on everybody’s mind was: where was Ant-man? Erm, well on some people’s minds anyway. Ant-man and the Wasp answers that question, at least sort of. In any case, we again meet up with Scott Lang, who has been under house arrest and is very close to the end of his sentence. He is trying to be a better father for his daughter, and it seems he is succeeding on that part.

2754815A-C413-4553-9C04-1E965366E063
That’s more like it. Was getting confused there for a second!

But of course eventually, as it always does, bad stuff starts to happen again. His former love interest Hope, has been trying to find a way together with her father to bring back her mother who disappeared into the quantum realm several years ago. But wait, wasn’t she supposed to be dead? Well…yes, but after having Scott return from that place where nobody is supposed to return from, it gave Hope some much needed erm…hope. Of course, our favorite mini sized hero eventually gets dragged into this, and just in time as well, as a new player appears on the scene in the form of Ghost. While in the middle of a deal for trying to obtain an important piece of technology in order to gain access to the quantum realm, Hope gets attacked by this mysterious figure. Just who is Ghost, and what is he or she trying to accomplish? Whatever it might be, it seems to tie in directly to Hope’s mother…

42E88AC3-A23E-4BB8-9F83-7F95AB8C4277
Is it just me, or does this seem like a character that looks like it walked away out of an anime?

Now, I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned the fact that a full movie can be shown in a trailer. Antman and the Wasp’s trailer accomplished it. There was nothing, and I really mean nothing, in this movie that was a surprise. The trailer really shows you everything, and there wasn’t a single scene in the film that showed me something that I wasn’t expecting. I really thought this was maybe just me, but a friend of mine who had also seen the movie, said the exact same thing. And even well known You Tuber Tyrone Magnus (If you don’t know him yet, go check him out. He has over 1.2 million subscribers, and is totally awesome), made a video review pointing this out. Now I don’t exactly know what this says about the movie itself though. Sure the trailer maybe showed too much, but thinking back on it, I don’t know how they could have done it in any other way. As really there wasn’t anything else worth showing to tease the movie going audience into seeing this film.

D27542B6-1B48-4CF3-9B1E-1530805D30EE
I guess they both smell really bad as they both have masks on. 

Does this mean that this is a bad film though? Well….for one thing this is a comedy movie. And as many of you know I’m not a fan of those. Where the first movie really had some delightful comedic moments, it also had a serious edge to it, and the comedy served simply to lighten the mood. Here it was the other way around: it was full on comedy mode, with jokes that sometimes worked, but also a lot of times fell flat. Without spoiling too much, the humor also felt out of place especially when you find out the nature of this film’s villain. And to be honest, that “villain” wasn’t the best we have seen in a Marvel movie. After all the darkness of Infinity War I can understand that Marvel wanted something lighter to follow in the wake of that movie. But I don’t know if this film completely succeeded at that. But it has to be said, it really isn’t a bad movie, as there is also enough to enjoy.

91927328-964B-4165-B322-6C484C920DBD
I’m as shocked as you are about the final score: Are you crazy?!

Paul Rudd certainly once again serves up the magic as he really brings to life his character in the best way possible. He really does a great job to show he is a father who would do anything for his daughter, and his on screen chemistry with Evangeline Lily who plays Hope aka the Wasp, is also a delight to see. Michael Douglas is always a solid actor, and I really liked the way he evolved his character of Hank Pym into a more symphatetic and likeable one. Criminally underused was actress Michelle Pfeiffer who just had a very small part in the film. I really would have loved to see more of this incredible actress, but sadly that was not to be. Oh well…there is probably always the inevitable sequel. The action scenes and special effects were great, but there certainly weren’t many of them. This is a small movie for Marvel standards, and one that seems befitting to the size of it’s main character. Overall, I was disappointed by this one. But it could be I was just expecting too much or the trailer just ruined it for me. While I was still entertained by the film, it had just too little to offer to make this one of the better Marvel films. If you like comedies, you can add another point to the overall rating below.

I give Ant-man and the Wasp a 6 out of 10 score.

My Hero Academia Season 1, Anime tv series (2016)

Yes people I am back, here to kick things off with the first of the requested reviews for the anime theme month My Hero Academia. I did not expect to become totally addicted to this series. In fact I got addicted to this series so much that I immediately went on an impulse shopping spree buying the first season limited edition dvd boxed set, as well as the first issue of the manga. Well, hey I never denied the fact when I fall I completely in love with something I can do crazy things. Right…but where are my manners. Let’s first shed some light on the two bloggers that requested this review in the first place (yes, in a strange turn of events the random numbers generator selected this anime twice in a row, go figure).

image
Really? Two times? I find that very hard to believe.

Jiraiyan’s blog Otaku Orbit has been a blog that I have been following for quite a long time now. It is a very diverse blog that focusses on both anime and manga. As I am pretty much a noob when it comes to manga (well, yeah I can hear you saying it: “you are a noob at anime as well” So for sake of argument I won’t dispute that :)), I found it to be a rather helpful blog at discovering manga titles that are worth reading (Now if I could only find some time to read them, that would be awesome).

The second request for this anime came from Merlin. Another truly diverse blog that will satisfy all your geeky needs it features an astounding amount of topics ranging from books, anime, movies and television series to name but a few things. All of the posts are top notch and just as the blog mentioned above it is run by a very friendly host. If you have yet to discover these blogs, go do that now. This post can wait…no really, do that first. And ofcourse hit the subscribe button too if you are not a follower of either of them. Right…all done? Okay then. Let’s put on our superhero costumes and dive into the world of My Hero Academia.

image
Okay, I’m ready to start taking some notes now. Doubt this post will be interesting though….

Unless you have been living under a rock (well I have to admit I did, as I was very late to discover this anime gem), you must have at least heard of this show. But helpful as I am let me break the storyline down for you in case you have yet to see this. No worries as always, I will do this spoiler free. In the world of My Hero Academia 80% of the population has manifested some form of superpowers. Let’s let that sink in for a minute. Imagine living in a world like that, and you yourself don’t have any of these powers that are called quirks. It’s the nightmare that young Izuku Midoriya has to live with though. Even while he is ridiculed by his classmates for having dreams of one day becoming a superhero despite his lack of powers, Izuku refuses to give up. One fateful day his highschool bully Katsuki is attacked by a villain and Izuku is the one that tries to rescue him. Just when things start to get grim, his childhood hero All Might, the world’s mightiest hero shows up and intervenes just in time to save both Izuku and Katsuki. All Might is very impressed by Midoriya’s courage and in the end decides to bestow upon him a very special gift. A gift that will change Izuku’s life forever and allows him to enter the prestigious U.A. High School, a special school that trains the next generation of superheroes. Izuku is about to find out though that the life of a superhero isn’t that easy…..

image
Hmm, that guy on the left truly gives a whole new meaning to the word handjob.

Now I know there must be a few of you that after having read the synopsis above are probably thinking: do we really need another superhero show? In a world that is currently being dominated by superhero movies there are quite a number of people that are experiencing the so called “superhero fatique syndrom”. And honestly I don’t blame them. But let me try to convince you though that it is in your best interest to really check out this show. Nothing could have prepared me for the addictive nature of this series. After watching just one episode I was hooked. This series has a way of drawing you in, and never letting you go. So what is it about this anime that sets it apart from your usual superhero stuff? Well, let’s start with the characters. You are going to love them. The cast is huge, but never seems to overwhelm you in any way. It gradually introduces new characters in every episode, and pretty much all of them are awesome in their own way. The anime’s lead character Izuki is almost impossible to dislike. I think we can all identify with someone that has dreams, and tries to realise them, without ever giving up, even though it might at times seem like a lost cause. All Might, the world’s mightiest hero, is just amazing. He has a vulnerability in him that you will grow to love, when you find out more about him.

image
Yes we look weird, what’s it to you?

Now I could go on and describe even more of the cast, but I will leave that for you to discover. Suffice it to say though that these characters are the main drive of this anime. That and the relationships between them. This show has a heart to it that comes to the fore in the bonds that are established between these wanna be heroes. While it might seem cool to have a superpower, it certainly has it’s downsides as well. This first season lays the foundation for the world of My Hero Academia. When it ends, you can almost feel that there are even greater things to come. Which brings me to another selling point and that is the storyline. While most superhero shows focus on the heroes banding together to fight a common foe, this isn’t the case in this anime. Yes ofcourse there is a threat and there are some very cool fight sequences between heroes and villains, but at it’s heart this is a show that has much more to it than that. You will have moments where you will laugh out loud, and then there are also moments that are very touching and downright scary and exciting as well. I love it when a show combines all these different kinds of elements and succeeds in blending it into a wonderful and very potent cocktail.

image
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s….naw…not going to head into that territory….

My Hero Academia is a series that I can’t recommend enough. If I haven’t managed to succeed in convincing you that this series really does try to do something else with the superhero genre, just give the first episode a shot. If that episode doesn’t hook you in, then chances are that the rest of the series won’t either. But I doubt that will happen though. This anime is a gem, and I honestly can’t wait to get started on season 2 which I hope to be doing somewhere in the upcoming weeks. With a cast of loveable and quirky characters (yes…pun intended), a truly unique and wonderful storyline and some great action sequences added to the mix, this anime has very little not to like. In fact after having thought about it for a while I can’t think of any things that I did not like about this series. And thus we have reached the end of the first post for the anime theme month. Next up is Baccano! another anime that I have heard a lot about but haven’t seen yet. For now though, keep your dreams alive: Plus Ultra!!

I give My Hero Accademia Season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

 

Deadpool, American movie (2016) : A special Valentine’s Day movie review (sort of…)

Today it’s Valentine’s Day. You know that special day where you are doing extra sweet things for the one you love, making him or her feel extra warm and fuzzy inside. Where you go out for that romantic boatride, that lovely candle light dinner or that extra cuddle. In short it’s the day that is filled with romance. Yes people I am a romantic guy at heart. But for us singles it’s that one day that comes back every year and makes that feeling of still being alone extra tough. (Yes, let’s hear those sad violins now). Seriously people, don’t feel bad for me or show any kind of pity. It’s all right. I’m happy for everyone that is lucky enough to spent this day with their soulmate. So what better way for me to bring that feeling of romance right to you, by giving you this special Valentine’s Day review. And it just can’t get any more romantic than this. What we have here is a movie that is about a man who will do anything for the woman he loves. Including slicing and dicing up people that stand in his way when he wants to achieve that goal. Erm….yes this is a romance movie, I guarantee it.

image
Awww….reading a love letter. See, I told you this was a romantic movie.

Meet Wade Wilson. He is a dishonarably discharged ex-special forces operative that now works in New York as a mercenary. But then it happens. He meets the escort Vanessa, and sparks begin to fly. Romance blossoms, clothes come off and go flying in all kinds of different directions, and generally it seems like they are a match made in heaven. But just when they are about to tie the knot, tragedy strikes. Wade gets diagnosed with terminal cancer, and their lives are turned upside down. Eventually Wilson decides he doesn’t want to expose Vanessa to see him slowly dying, and leaves. When a mysterious recruiter approaches him and tells him there might be a way to cure his disease, Wade is at first very skeptical. But in the end he relents, especially as this might be a chance for him to be with his true love again. He meets up with a man named Ajax, who has an experimental serum that can awaken latent mutant genes. But there is a catch to this. In order to make it work, Wade has to undergo truly horrible and very sadistic forms of torture.

image
Oh yeah. There are X-men in this film too. Here’s one that’s out walking his poo(d)l(e).

Every day it becomes worse, but eventually while nearly getting asphyxiated, an incredible healing power is activated. Now he is able to cure any kind of wound, even loss of limbs. It leaves him horribly disfigured however and almost completely unrecognisable. Now, Wade is out for revenge, and wants to get back at the man who did all this to him. And thus Deadpool is born, the “Merc with a mouth”. Wade’s only mission is to find a way to reverse the process, and get back to Vanessa. But this is easier said than done, especially as the man known as Ajax is not only hard to catch, but also has his own plans for Deadpool. And those plans are to completely destroy him, no questions asked…..Yes people, this may sound like it’s just another superhero movie. But I can assure you that it’s not. It’s so much more. Deadpool is absolutely freaking hilarious. It is a brutal R-rated movie that has more F-bombs in it than one might hear in a single week. But oh my god is this movie a lot of fun.

image
This is one of those staring contests. The one who laughs first gets to punch the other.

One only has to take a look at the marketing campaign for this movie before it came out to see how different this one is. The movie banner that is above this post, made it look like a Valentine’s movie, and just the perfect love story to enjoy with your loved one on that special day. And I imagine that a lot of people even fell for it. To tell you the truth though, it really is a romance story at it’s core. Deadpool even says so in the beginning of the film. (But then later he changes his mind by saying it’s a horror). Wade’s love for Vanessa is real, and their relationship is definitely at the heart of this film. But that’s where it pretty much stops. This movie really deserves it’s R-rating. Body parts that go flying all over the place, blood, gore, nudity, foul language, it’s all included in here for your viewing pleasure. And I do say pleasure, because everything is just so completely over the top, that it’s pretty much impossible not to laugh at this. It completely rewrites the superhero genre, and gives us an anti-superhero by making Deadpool one of the most hilarious comic book characters ever created.

image
This guy has terrible bed side manners.

All credits for this have to go to actor Ryan Reynolds. He already played the character once before in the first X-men origins movie: Wolverine. That however was a completely different take on the character, and could not be more dissimilar from what we see in this film. Ryan lives and breathes this character. His often completely crazy one liners, lewd comments and even moments when he talks to us as a movie audience are worth it alone to see this film for. But on the action front it’s a joy to watch as well. Gory fight sequences, gunbattles and chase scenes are all executed to perfection. The film did not even have a very huge budget, but they made it look as if it did. So was there anything negative to report about this film? Well honestly, I don’t know. Not every joke works I guess, but that is something that is very common to comedy. That’s always personal. But other than that, I would have to go do some nitpicking which I am not going to do.

image
Pop goes the Deadpool.

Deadpool is a film that is so unique in the superhero genre, that it just simply doesn’t feel like a superhero movie. If you are easily offended by cursing or gore, than I guess you had best not watch this. But if you don’t mind that, this is a film that is just a hilarious rollercoaster ride from start to finish. And of course a perfect film to watch on Valentine’s Day. And I say: why not? It always seems that it is automatically assumed that every girl loves chickflicks or cheesy romance films. And before you start accusing me,  of course there is nothing wrong with that (remember you are talking to the guy who watched Titanic nine times in the cinema). But if you like to see a different and quite hilarious take on a romantic film, this is the one you want to check out. For all of you that are in love, I wish you a heartfelt beautiful Valentine’s Day. And for all of you that are single, hey…don’t give up. True love can be found everywhere….just ask Deadpool.

I give Deadpool a 9 out of 10 score.

 

Spider-Man Homecoming, American movie (2017)

Spiderman, Spiderman..Does whatever a spider can. Spins a web any size…erm, sorry about that. This song has been stuck in my head for quite a while now. Can’t imagine why, but it might have something to do with the newest Spiderman movie. Yes our friendly neighbourhood spider is back in action. When I first heard of this project my reaction was one of complete and utter shock. I really thought Marvel (or Sony in this case), had lost their minds for doing yet another reboot of this beloved character. But luckily Spiderman Homecoming doesn’t waste it’s time with yet another retelling of Spiderman’s origin. No it pretty much picks up straight after the events of the third Captain America movie, and it has resulted in one of Spidey’s best movie adventures to date.

image
Because of budget constraints Iron Man only has his helmet on for this movie. 

Peter Parker is very excited. After helping out Tony Stark with the fight against Captain America, he is expecting a call anytime now to join the Avengers. Yes…any time now….but the weeks pass by and the phone doesn’t ring. Peter meanwhile goes back to school and slips into his every day boring and, quite frankly, pretty geeky life. In his after school hours, he fights local crime in the guise of his alter ego Spiderman. But then one night he comes across a bunch of thieves that are robbing an ATM with some pretty hightech weaponry. While he succeeds in foiling the robbery, the thieves do manage to escape. Peter decides to find out where the weapons are coming from. Spiderman soon becomes the target of the nefarious arms dealer named Vulture, who is none to happy with Peter interfering with his business. With nobody to help him out, young Parker might have bitten off a little bit more than he can chew. But it might also be his best chance to prove what it really means to be a hero….

image
This is not a good movie if you have a fear of heights. 

If I could use just one word to describe this movie it would be the word fun. This movie breathes out a very happy atmosphere right from the start, and doesn’t let up once during it’s two hour plus runtime. For starters there is a lot of humor in this film. While I am not a really big fan of comedies, it just works very well for this movie. There is always room for a great oneliner during a fight, or just some comedic banter in other situations. While the Marvel films were never as dark as their DC counterparts, there were certainly a few that did adress a few darker moments in the Marvel Universe. Here though, that never happens, and while I certainly would not label this one as a comedy, it is truly one of the most lighthearted Marvel films to date.

image
This is the part where we find out Spidey is Iron Man’s son….erm, no not really. 

The cast is another reason to go and see this film. Tom Holland’s brief appearance in Captain America Civil War already made an impression, but here he really gets to shine. I can say without a doubt that he is certainly the best actor to have put on the Spiderman costume to date. He has a natural charm and wit about him, and that works very well for this character. Michael Keaton who plays the Vulture, manages to portray a villain that is very human. Yes, he is the bad guy, but it’s not a bad guy that you can’t relate to, or is necessarily very evil. He’s just a man that will do anything to provide protection for his family, and Keaton’s performance is simply outstanding in the way he manages to get that across to the moviegoing audience. And then ofcourse there is Robert Downey jr. as Tony Stark, a role he has played to perfection for the past decade. Even though he appears in only a few brief scenes, they are very important in the development of Peter Parker’s character.

image
I’m Batman….whoops wrong movie. 

The story for the film, while it won’t win any Oscars, is good enough to entertain, and provides a decent enough platform for the film’s action sequences. As with every Marvel film, the special effects are fantastic. Without giving away any spoilers, the ferry scene is especially cool, and showcases how much Hollywood has grown in providing very believable CGI. I can honestly say that this was a highly entertaining entry into the Marvel cinematic universe. I keep being amazed at the level of quality that Marvel keeps providing for their movies. I have yet to see a truly horrible Marvel film and with so many movies that will still be coming out in the years to come, I can only hope they manage to maintain this. If you love superhero movies, than this is definitely one you don’t want to miss. It is a fun, lighthearted film, that will let you leave the cinema with a big smile on your face. And that really is all you need, right?

I give Spider-Man Homecoming a 9 out of 10 score.

Wonder Woman, American movie (2017)

As a kid I loved comic books, even though I started reading them at a pretty late age. I think it was around the age of 12 or 13 that I was first introduced to the world of superheroes, when I bought a whole stack of those comics for a very low price. Pretty much all of these were from Marvel comics, and needless to say, because of that I am a Marvel fan at heart. Lately though I am also beginning to enjoy the DC universe. I think that unless you have been living on a completely different planet, almost everyone is aware that DC is playing catch up to Marvel when it comes to movies. DC’s latest effort to settle the score is Wonder Woman. The movie has been receiving very positive reviews everywhere, and some even say it is one of the best superhero movies ever made. What did I think of it? Let us first start at the beginning and find out what the film is about, before I share my thoughts on it.

image
No, you are not watching season 7 of Game of Thrones.

On a hidden and mythical island called Themyscira, we meet up with the young girl Diana. Themyscira is home to a race of beautiful Amazon women warriors, created by the gods of Mount Olympus. Even at a very young age, Diana was always eager to learn how to fight, against the wishes of her mother the queen. Eventually though, her mother has no choice but to accept the fact that her daughter is destined for greatness and allows her to be trained to become a warrior. Years later, Diana has grown up as a fully trained fighter who possesses remarkable skills. One day, while out for a walk on the beach, she witnesses a warplane going down in the ocean. Without hesitation she jumps into the water and manages to rescue the pilot, a young man called Steve Trevor. It is not soon after that Diana learns about a great war that is taking place in the world. Steve describes it as “the war to end all wars”. Diana cannot help but be intrigued, but also because she feels that an ancient enemy of her people is behind this war. She decides to leave the island together with Steve, and offer her assistance. But Diana will soon find out that the world she leaves behind is far different from the one she is about to enter….

image
And no this also isn’t the Good, the Bad, and the Wonder Woman.

Even though I try to not let myself be influenced by reviews, either positive or negative, I can’t help but get excited when a movie is generating a positive buzz. Wonder Woman was no exception. That is why I was all the more disappointed by the fact that I definitely expected more from this movie. Don’t get me wrong, this film wasn’t bad at all, and there were enough things in it to enjoy. But for a movie that was made out to be one of the best superhero movies ever made, I think I found myself watching a very different film. There were quite a few moments in the movie, where quite honestly, I was bored. I don’t mind the fact that they were slowly developing characters, in fact I welcome that even. But for a movie that lasts almost two and a half hours, I do expect to be entertained during the entire runtime. And that did not happen.

image
No Chris, you are not playing Kirk here, so your manly charms won’t work on women.

Let’s get one thing straight though, the one thing that makes this movie well worth the watch, are actors Chris Pine who plays Steve, and Gal Gadot as Diana aka Wonder Woman. Their on screen chemistry is the true highlight of this film, and works incredibly well. Gal Gadot, already impressed in Batman V Superman, even though she had only a very small part in it. Here though she gets her chance to shine even more, and she truly carries this movie on her shoulders. But Chris Pine also does a great job in his role as the spy who wrestles also with some moral questions. I find Pine to be an actor that continues to improve with every role he portrays, and this movie was no exception. The rest of the supporting cast, that included the likes of Robin Wright and Danny Huston, were good, but had relatively minor roles. As such their characters were not really able to form a lasting impression.

image
Yes….it is time to be afraid now.

The greater part of the film took place during World War I and that really was a unique setting for a superhero movie. The story took it’s time to develop however, and that, for me, was it’s greatest weakness. Even though I knew what the filmmakers were trying to achieve, in my opinion they did not succeed completely. In this digital age, you know a movie like this will feature CGI. The special effects in this film were at times stunning, but there were also moments that I found them to be utterly unconvincing. Maybe my expectations for this movie were just too high. As mentioned, it really was not a bad movie, and I still recommend seeing it in theatres. The only advice I can give though is to not expect to see the best superhero film ever made. Because that will cause some bitter disappointment. And not even a true wonder can change that fact.

I give Wonder Woman a 7 out of 10 score.

Agent Carter season 2, American tv series (2016)

If you have been following the Marvel cinematic universe, you should know who Peggy Carter is. For those of you that do not, let me give you a small introduction. Peggy was the love interest for Captain America when he was fighting the good fight in World War II. When the Captain tried to save the day, he died leaving behind a grieving Peggy. But ofcourse as we all know Captain America did in fact not die, but was recovered many years later perfectly preserved in ice and fully alive. Carter is a courageous and very independent woman, especially during a time when men found  themselves to be better than women. The character of Peggy Carter was so popular that Marvel gave her her very own television series. I will be doing a review of the second season, which unfortunately also turned out to be the last one.

image
They are looking at a flamingo. No…really they are. 

After the events of season 1, Peggy Carter is still at work at The Strategic Scientific Reserve, or SSR for short in New York. Even though she saved the day in the first season her male colleagues still don’t give her the respect she deserves. One of her close friends, Daniel Sousa now works in the LA branch of the SSR, and got promoted to chief. It is not long before the two friends are reunited to take on a murdercase. But this is not a normal murder case, as the body has been found in the middle of a frozen lake, even though the weather at the time is a scorching heatwave. Peggy has to find out the truth, but that truth might be more than even she can handle. With people trying to undermine her work in every way they can, and an old enemy showing up to make matters even worse, the case might be over before it has even begun….

image
They are all still in shock because they got cancelled. 

The second season of Agent Carter was almost as much fun, as the first one. Haley Atwell, who plays Peggy, is simply put amazing. She really breathes life into the character, and she is definitely one of the main reasons why Carter is so popular. But the supporting cast is also every bit as good. James D’Arcy, who plays Edwin Jarvis the butler of Howard Stark provides all the comic relief, and his scenes with Peggy are all a delight to watch. The chemistry between those two is absolutely perfect, and it is almost impossible not to smile at some of their comedic banter. Enver Gjokaj also does a great job as the charismatic Daniel Sousa, who has a much bigger role this season. The relationship between him and Peggy is a very interesting one to say the least.

image
No….they won’t change their minds to give you a third season Peggy, please hold back. 

The story this time around, though enjoyable and featuring a few terrific and tense moments, was not as powerful as the one in the first season. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it did not have me on the edge of my seat as much as the experience I had during season 1. Sadly, even though most of the storylines are luckily completed, the final scene of the show is a cliffhanger that unfortunately won’t be resolved. The show looks absolutely amazing, and really recreates post war America. But this is also one of the reasons the show got cancelled in the first place, the very high costs of building all the sets. That, and ofcourse the ratings that were not high enough to get a third season.

image
Yep that is Tony Stark’s dad. No idea what that thing in the sky is, but it’s probably nothing. 

A real shame if you ask me, because Agent Carter is just a very fun show. Even though it does not feature any superheroes, it gives a very unique background story for the Marvel cinematic universe. To round it out it also provides one of Marvel’s favorite female heroes, even though she has no superpowers. If you have yet to experience Agent Carter, I would recommend you start by watching Captain America: the first Avenger. After this you can simply bingewatch both seasons of this great show. Even though there are only 18 episodes in total (not counting two short Marvel one-shots), this series is an absolute blast to watch. Especially if you want to watch something completely different than the usual superhero stuff and you like strong women in lead roles.

I give Agent Carter: Season 2, a 8 out of 10 score.

Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2, American movie (2017)

Unless you have been living on a completely different planet for the past few years, it is almost impossible to have missed the enormous amount of superhero movies in the cinemas. Marvel ofcourse has released so many comic books over the past few decades, that it is almost impossible to know every single character contained within these comics. The fun thing about the release of the movies is that many of us get to meet a few of these characters for the very first time. Three years ago, we were introduced to a new team of heroes: the Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a pretty unique Marvel movie, seeing that the team was made up mostly of aliens (and a talking raccoon being one of them, just don’t let him hear I called him a raccoon). Also the action did not take place on Earth but in outer space. It was a pretty big gamble on Marvel’s part. But the gamble worked, as the movie became a huge success. And you know what happens when things are a success right? Correct: enter the sequel.

image
The new Nintendo controller now comes complete with a talking tree (batteries not included)

The action in part two sees the Guardians being much more of a team than in part one. Ofcourse there is still the occasional disagreement, but mostly we see a tightly knit group that works well together. When the team has completed an assignment, Rocket steals a bunch of batteries from their former employers. These people are less than amused by this action, and soon set off in pursuit. During their escape, they come across a mysterious individual, who comes to their rescue. Soon after the man introduces himself as none other than Peter Quill’s father. This is the beginning of a new adventure in which the word family becomes ever more important. Just who is Peter’s dad? And what are his goals? The answers to these questions will come, but they might not be as much fun as they may have expected…..

image
No……I am your father! Wait, wrong movie. 

I absolutely loved the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It had a very cool storyline, great music, fantastic characters and most of all it had the word fun written all over it. This second part certainly contains a lot of these elements. The Guardians themselves are still every bit as enjoyable as they were in the first movie. Baby Groot really takes centre stage in this one, and there are some seriously funny scenes involving this very popular character. The already pretty big cast is joined by a couple of new heroes, most notably Mantis who has some of the craziest scenes in the film. Veteran actor Kurt Russell did a great job in his role as Peter’s dad. Kurt is just one of those actors that can handle pretty much any role, and it was fun to see him play this kind of character.

image
Never leave your home without a big gun.

The story of the movie itself though, was one of the weaker points. Basically the film deals with three different plots, that eventually come together. There is a lot going on at the same time, and that sometimes made it a bit hard to follow. I certainly felt at times that they tried to put too many things in the movie, and if they had let a few things out it would have been a more streamlined film. There is enough action in this movie to fill a galaxy though, and some these scenes were very enjoyable to watch. Coupled together with some great special effects, humour and terrific music, you still get a film that definitely has enough entertainment value.

image
Really, you should take a breath mint. 

If you liked the first movie, you will enjoy this one as well. While it isn’t as good as the first part, there is still plenty to enjoy in this sequel. Just like almost every Marvel movie to date, it pays to not leave the theatre after you have seen the credits for the movie. I am not going to give away spoilers here, but suffice it to say that there is more than one scene before the credits finally come to an end. In closing I would just like to say: I am Groot! What’s that? You want a translation for that? Oh well, just go find Rocket, he will tell you.

I give Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 a 8 out of 10 score.

 

 

Deadpool Omnibus volume 1, a Marvel Comics Book (2012)

Last year’s Deadpool movie was seriously one of the funniest superhero movies that has ever graced the cinemas. The real kicker is that even though I really like superheroes a lot, I had never even heard of the character before the movie (and if Deadpool were here, he would probably dismember me for saying so). Even though he is now one of the most popular Marvel characters I really had to play catch up with a lot of comics in order to find out more about him. Last year I had received a very cool collection of the 2012 version of this briljant comic for my birthday. (And thank you again for giving me this wonderful gift, you know who you are). Collecting issues 1-12 from the 2012 Deadpool series, this one has been a blast from start to finish.

image
Never accuse Deadpool of taking half measures. 

In the first half of this book Deadpool has to deal with the dead Presidents of the United States of America. Yes, you read that correctly, that really is the plot of this insane story. Some of America’s greatest Presidents have been brought back to life, and are hellbent on bringing death and destruction throughout the world. All that stands in their way is Deadpool who has been enlisted by S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop them. After this crazy story, the second half of the book deals with the aftermath of this, and has Deadpool trying to stop the demon Vetis from trying to take over hell. At the same time he is also trying to save a friend who has been accidentally trapped inside his head. Yup, this really is every bit as nuts as it sounds.

image
Yep, Thor also makes a brief appearance.

This book was seriously enjoyable. Everyone who has seen last year’s movie, knows that Deadpool is completely insane. And in the comic book he is even worse. Talking to readers, talking to himself, and pretty much never shutting up will at times bring tears to your eyes from laughing. Most of the art for this book comes from the hands of artists Tony Moore and Mike Hawthorne. Both of them do a great job of bringing this book to life. The art looks great, although this one is definitely not for the faint at heart. Some of the panels contain some very bloody and gory scenes with Deadpool slicing up his enemies (or getting sliced up himself).

image
Hmm, that hole in his head definitely looks painful. 

Needless to say I loved this book. Both the art and storylines were great, and my only regret is that the last issue ends with the dreaded sentence: “to be continued….”. Besides that, there is simply nothing here that I disliked. Everyone who enjoyed the Deadpool film, and wants to find out more about “The Merc with a mouth”, should consider buying this book. It is a highly enjoyable read, and will have you thirsting for more by the time you have finished it.

I give Deadpool Omnibus 1 a 9 out of 10 score.