Currently browsing the "Marvel Comics" tag.

Quickie Review: Dark Phoenix

Dark Phoenix is like a low-calorie, less-filling Endgame. It’s designed to bring closure to the X-Men franchise as we’ve come to know it, before a possible reboot under new (Disney) management. I think I’ve seen nine of the 12 films that Fox has released under the X-Men umbrella since 2000. I won’t attempt to rank them, but I can say with some confidence that Dark Phoenix isn’t the best or the worst of the bunch. It’s a must-see for devoted X-Men fans, a doesn’t-hurt-to-see for MCU fans, and a no-need-to-see for most everyone else.

Review: Venom

I don’t think the trailer does this film any favors. It makes Venom look way worse than it is, at least for anyone (like me) who doesn’t have a clue about this Marvel Comics character that is part human, part superhero, part alien blob. Don’t get me wrong. The film is a hot mess if you try to add up the sum of its parts. But a few of the parts are surprisingly entertaining. Okay, one part is surprisingly entertaining: Tom Hardy as disgraced investigative reporter Eddie Brock and his parasitic alter-ego Venom. When the two chat internally amongst themselves, the film is downright funny. Is it supposed to be? No clue.

Deadpool

Deadpool is a dark, funny, twisted, wince-inducing, sarcastic, anti-superhero movie that breaks all sorts of rules – including an invitation/permission for critics to review it several days in advance of its wide release. From the hysterical opening credits, all the way through to the so-so post-credit bonus clip, the movie celebrates, embraces, rejects and mocks the very genre it is part of… the Marvel comic universe. It’s entertaining in a ‘what-did-I-just-see and why-am-I-reluctant-to-dismiss-it-even though-it-was-such-a-strange-ride?’ sort of way. It truly defies description. But here’s the gist:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

First things first: Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spidey) and his on-and-off-screen love interest Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) are disgustingly cute together. And it totally works. In fact, their chemistry is key to this sequel to the 2012 reboot, especially for those who aren’t well-versed or deeply invested in the superhero/supervillain comic universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’m always a bit torn when it comes to Captain America, the first Avenger. Chris Evans wears the suit extremely well, but his storylines never seem to grab – or entertain – me the way Iron Man (my favorite Avenger) does. CA: Winter Soldier is thin on plot and heavy on fight scenes, so it’s more of a means to an end for advancing Marvel’s Avengers franchise and less of a stand-alone movie. Here’s the gist of the plot as far as I could discern: Oh wait. First, a quick refresher: Captain America, aka Steve Rogers (Evans) was a scrawny kid transformed by a super serum into a super-soldier during World War Two. At some point while battling the evil HYDRA organization, Steve fell into some ice. Fast forward a couple of decades, and a newly-defrosted Captain America is struggling to reconcile his time-honored morals, sensibilities, and tastes in music with what’s evolved in the modern world. It’s classic ‘fish out of water’ stuff.

Iron Man 3

The plot of Iron Man 3 is wonky. But when you’ve got Robert Downey Jr. donning the suit, it doesn’t really matter. You’re in for a fun ride – especially if you’ve seen the previous two Iron Man movies and The Avengers, one of my favorite flicks of 2012.

This time around, wealthy industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey) finds his Malibu complex reduced to rubble and his loved ones (most notably, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts) threatened by a menacing terrorist known as The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).

Captain America: The First Avenger

Holy androstenedione, Batman! Or whatever else it is that’s in the experimental serum that transforms a scrawny kid from Brooklyn into the ultra-buff Super-Soldier known as “Captain America.” He’s really hot, but the movie’s just luke-warm.

Thor

Thor isn’t a chick flick by the classic definition, but it is two hours of harmless fun with the very easy to look at Chris Hemsworth in the lead. So I think chicks in the mood for a mindless cinematic escape will enjoy spending a little time with the God of Thunder.  (Although be forewarned, as one of my friends insisted on pointing out, he takes his shirt off just once in the entire movie.) If, however, you’re looking for something a little more meaningful, you can skip it without a second thought.