Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) | Movie Review |

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has swung back into theaters with the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. The twenty-third entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees Jon Watts return as director and he’s accompanied by returning stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, and Jon Favreau. As the last entry of Phase 3 of the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home follows up on the events of Avengers: Endgame and sees New York City’s favorite hero take on a world-ending threat while vacationing in Europe. Spoilers after the trailer.

Mysterious Multiverse

Don’t let the trailers fool you, Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) foe in this film. Beck claims that he’s from another universe and Thano’s Snap aka The Blip tore a hole into the universe and he’s come here to protect Earth from the Elementals, a group of villains that have the power of various elements such as earth, wind, water and fire. Once Mysterio arrives on the scene, he tells Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smuthers) that they do not want any parts of the Elementals.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
IMDB/Spider-Man: Far From Home

Gyllenhaal’s performance as Quentin Beck/Mysterio is one of the best performances as far as villains go in the MCU. In the first half of the film, Beck is living up to his villainous alias by keeping his character’s true motives a mystery. Gyllenhaal was perfectly cast because once the film decides to reveal Mysterio’s secret plan, his demeanor does a complete 180 to fit within the confines of the story. Beck went from a loyal, heroic, cool uncle-like figure to Peter Parker to an unhinged, sycophant madman who wants to be the next Tony Stark.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
IMDB/Spider-Man: Far From Home

The ethos of the Mysterio character shines throughout the film. From Beck’s background to Mysterio’s costume including his signature fishbowl helmet, Mysterio looks like he stepped straight out of a comic book. The intricate details include the fog in his helmet, the eyes on the pins of his cape and the mastery of his illusions which combine into making this film a spectacle to watch on the big screen.

Spider-Man: Far From Home proves its ambitiousness when Spider-Man takes on Mysterio and the Man of Mystery gets the best of the wall-crawler. The visual highlight of the entire film is when Mysterio creates an illusion that not even Spider-Man’s Spider Sense aka Peter Tingle can detect. During this scene Mysterio changes the environment, Spider-Man’s suit and manipulates everything around him.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
IMDB/Spider-Man: Far From Home

Quentin Beck was just a mere mortal but Far From Home does a fantastic job at making him feel like a foe to Spider-Man. Mysterio’s mastery of illusions is up there with the God of Mischief and the Master of the Mystic Arts which makes him more impressive. By the film’s conclusion you’re not even sure if he really is dead.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Uncle Ben is nowhere to be found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far), but his mission statement — “with great power comes great responsibility” — is ever so prevalent throughout this film. Following the events of Avengers: Engame, Peter Parker just wants to enjoy his summer vacation in Europe and not deal with the responsibilities of being Spider-Man.

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
IMDB/Spider-Man: Far From Home

The ethos of the Spider-Man character and what makes him relatable is that he just wants to be a normal kid but he has the world thrust upon him.

Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
IMDB/Spider-Man: Far From Home

Final Thoughts

Like its predecessor, Spider-Man: Far From Home’s mid-credit and post-credit scenes end in a cliffhanger that sets up many possibilities for the Wall-Crawler’s future within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Far From Home is a fun, comedic sequel that does not disappoint, and as far as solo franchises in the MCU, Spider-Man has the best one and two so far, most MCU solo films have disappointed in their first or second entry. Director Jon Watts and returning screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna did a fantastic job at capturing the high school charm that made this version of Spidey enduring in Homecoming without it ever becoming a parody of itself.

Promoting Mysterio as a hero from another universe was a unique twist and creating the idea of there being a multiverse in the MCU was a clever selling point for the trailers. Not going the route of the multiverse was a smart move by Marvel Studios because that would have weakened the impact of the deaths in Endgame. Having Mysterio turn out to be the villain is on par with his comic counterpart, and his death is still open enough for Gyllenhaal to return in a Sinister Six film (we can dream!).

Spider-Man: Far From Home was a perfect way to end Phase Three of the MCU while setting up Phase Four. At this time we do not even know what the next film in the MCU will be but our Spidey Senses are tingling for another appearance of the Web-Slinger in 2020.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Spider-Man: Far From Home was released in theaters July 2, 2019.

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Brightburn (2019) |Movie Review|

What if Superman crash landed on Earth and used his powers for evil? Director David Yarovesky’s newest film Brightburn, attempts to answer that question. The superhero-horror is written by Brian and Mark Gunn and stars Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Jackson A. Dunn. The film follows a young alien boy who realizes he has powers and begins to terrorize the citizens of Brightburn, Kansas. Spoilers after the trailer.

It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Disturbed Kid

Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman) are a couple that want to have a child but they are experiencing infertility issues, unexpectedly, their whole life changes when a spaceship containing an alien boy crashes on their farm. The Breyers adopted the boy, named him Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn), and raised him as their own. Fast forward twelve years and Brandon is going through this weird phase of puberty where he hears voices in his head and discovers that he has super strength.

 

IMDB/Brightburn

 

While cutting the grass, Brandon discovers he has superpowers once he tries to crank the lawnmower and throws it hundreds of feet away. This was a smooth way to show the change in his body and show the audience he has super strength. He puts his hand on the spinning lawnmower blade and jams it. This establishes the moment that he realizes he’s different from humans. Brandon was sleepwalking later that night after the voices in his head drew him to the barn, which is where his family had hidden his spaceship. His mother takes notice and catches him trying to open a trapdoor and wakes him up. Later in the film, when Brandon violently kills the chickens in the barn, his mother, who at this point KNOWS SOMETHING IS UP WITH HER CHILD, is comically naive and thinks that wolves broke into a locked barn and slaughtered those chickens. More on this later.

Rotten Tomatoes/Brightburn

Another positive that Brightburn has is its leading actor Jackson A. Dunn, who made a decent debut in his first leading role in a feature film. A big part of this movie relies on him pulling off the weird/strange kid vibe and he successfully does that.

There are times where the horror aspects of the film are effective. The scene where Brandon becomes his alter-ego Brightburn and murders Erica (Becky Wahlstrom) at her diner does a lot with a little. There is a piece of glass that is stuck in Erica’s eye and as she’s panicking and slowly pulls it out, it creates the most tense scene in the film.

Kryptonite

The superhero aspect of the film is where the movie falls apart. This film functions as an origin story for Brightburn and there are moments where Brandon states that he wants to be good but the movie never shows us an example of him conflicting with the morality of the harm he caused. The movie doesn’t even explain why Brandon starts misbehaving in the first place, instead he becomes evil because the script says so and it’s very jarring. Jackson A. Dunn’s character never felt fully developed and during the 90 minute runtime there was so much going plot wise by the end of the film you do not care about any of the characters because they end up being forgettable.

When it comes to the costume for Brandon’s murderous Brightburn alter-ego, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, James Gunn stated:

“Trying to create a really truly iconic horror movie character in the same way that Freddy Krueger is, or in the same way that Leatherface is, or in the same way that Jason is. Trying to create something with that same sort of feel that is instantly scary [and] plays with the superhero-ness of it all but at the same time is most definitely rooted in horror.”

IMDB/Brightburn

The costume pictured above is the final result and for me this costume looked goofy, like something you would expect in a parody or a superhero-comedy. The idea is that a kid would create a costume like that but even children are more imaginative than this. There’s a scene in the film where a character says that it looks creepy but if this movie took place in the real world Brightburn would be ROASTED. For Gunn to mention Krueger and Leatherface in the same sentence as that is an insult to those iconic characters. The movie establishes that Brandon is intelligent, demented and has a twisted mind and his costume would’ve been a great way to show that, instead we get a kid who looks like he put his head in a crocheted sock with laces on it. Sigh.

IMDB/Brightburn

Outside of the film’s terrible costume design, the writing is this film’s ultimate kryptonite. In Superman lore the most hokey thing is that the people (mostly reporters) who know of Superman and Clark Kent cannot tell the two apart even though all he does is comb his  hair and take off his glasses. Brightburn doubles down on that type of idiocy with its most frustrating character, Tori Breyer.  A recurring trope of a supernatural kid horror film is that one of the parents can never believe that their baby could do such a heinous act – usually the child ends up killing the other parent and OF COURSE that happens in this film too – Brightburn wears that trope to the ground.

Tori has adopted an alien child that CRUSHED the hand of another student at school and lacks remorse about it; she’s seen him be drawn to the alien spaceship in her barn where her chickens are slaughtered and she thinks that it’s a wolf; and her husband as raised legitimate concerns about their son’s behavior after Brandon chewed up a fork like his mouth was made of a garbage disposal. Through all those things listed she still did not want to believe that her alien son was a monster. It was nauseating to watch her in denial when all the evidence was there and with better writing then – maybe – the audience could understand the disbelief that she had. Her character was introduced as someone that was having fertility issues and somehow by the time you walked out of the theater you realized that Darwinism was working because not everyone should be a parent.

Final Thoughts

With superhero content being a trend that everyone is attempting to cash in on these days, Brightburn ends up being as disappointing as the (latest) films that the main character is loosely based on. Hopefully, one day there’s a superhero-horror film that delivers on the idea that this film attempts to execute. The Gunns have a lofty idea, but this movie turns out to be disappointing and boring at times. The horror works at times, the glass in the eye scene is tough to watch for those that are squeamish. The film doesn’t delve into the superhero aspect enough outside of Brightburn having Superman’s powers, everything else is halfway thought out. The character development is non-existent and the film doesn’t offer any depth to Brandon Breyer or why he’s evil outside of him going through puberty. Clocking in at 90 minutes, the plot is rushed, which is why it’s hard to feel any sort of emotion for Tori Breyer once Brightburn finally kills her. In 2019 alone, there have been plenty of horror films released with parents in denial, and films where the mother of a supernatural boy who didn’t make her denial of her son’s evil deeds feel as tiring. The gorey moments are fun to watch, but overall, this one wasn’t worth the price of admission. The film ends with news reports of Brightburn causing havoc on the rest of the planet to possibly set up a sequel. On top of that the song that starts with the ending credits is ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish, which couldn’t even be more on the nose.When James Gunn’s brother Brian and cousin Mark came together with the bright idea of creating a superhero-horror, the final results crashed and burned like the pod that Brandon Breyers arrived in.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Brightburn was released in theaters May 24, 2019.

Like. Share. Discuss: @PeliculasCosas

Review: Amazon’s Latest Original Series, ‘The Boys’ Brings Sardonicism To The Superhero Genre With A Tolerable Pilot | Small Screen |

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the pilot episode of the upcoming Amazon series The Boys

All aboard the hype train that is the superhero genre and its coronation of becoming a staple in American pop culture. From movies, traditional television shows, video games, comic books to web series, superhero content has transcended media in a single bound at the speed of a locomotive and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Comics were once called funny books and now studios are laughing all the way to the bank, at the time of writing this article, a film based on superheros is the fastest film ever to gross over $2 billion dollars. With this financial success, the most valuable company in the world has launched a new, darker take on the genre with The Boys, a show that is based on the Garth Ennis comic book series of the same name, on their Prime Video streaming service.

In The Boys, the ‘supes’ are not goody two-shoes or noble, instead they embrace their darker side, and are corrupted by fame, their ego, engage in reckless behaviors and let their powers go to their head. Behind the scenes the dark-comedy is in good hands as it was developed by Preacher duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and Supernatural creator Eric Kripke. The cast includes Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Elisabeth Shue, Erin Moriarty, Antony Starr, Jessie Usher, Dominique McElligott and Jess Salgueiro. Spoilers after the trailer.

What A World

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, the pilot episode mostly focuses on world building and informing the audience on what type of characters our heroes are. Vought is an defense contractor that owns The Seven (a la Justice League) and hundreds of other heroes and teams. Vought contracts out heroes to various cities, towns, and organizations to help maintain peace and protect citizens all across America. The Seven are the “best” of the heroes that Vought contracts and they’re a complete parody of the Justice League. The Seven are lead by Homelander (Antony Starr), who is a parody of Superman. Other members include an Aquaman parody known as The Deep (Chace Crawford), a Flash parody named A-Train (Jessie Usher), a Wonder Woman parody named Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott), Black Noir (Alex Hassell) an Invisible Man type hero, and Starlight/Anne January (Erin Moriarty) the newest member of the crew.

The first 10 minutes of the series hits you in the face with what to expect for the rest of the series. Queen Maeve stops an armed robbery in progress in the most traditional superhero wey, even with a superhero pose, yet the show is self-aware of the collateral damage the heroes cause. Once we are introduced to “Wee” Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid) the show fully embraces it’s sardonic, grimey, adult, and dark nature in the most unexpected way. Hughie and his girlfriend Rachel (Jess Salgueiro) are a young couple filled with optimism and discussing their dreams, planning out their futures with each other until things become tragic. Rachel is talking as there is a tight shot of Hughie’s face as he’s listening to every word she says until blood just splatters across his cheeks and we don’t hear Rachel talking anymore. Trachtenberg and the effects team did a fantastic job at capturing that captured grief in a comedic way.

A-Train, who runs at speeds that are comparable to Flash, ran through Rachel and this is the catalyst of the conflict between Hughie and our heros. Hughie is offered $45,000 by Vought to sign non-disclosure agreement, an offer his dad (Simon Pegg) tells him to take, but a sadden Hughie feels that Rachel’s life is worth more than that, plus A-Train didn’t even sound like he had a single ounce of sorrow when he apologized for the incident.

The show hammers home that these superheros do not care about anyone but themselves and being a “hero” is just a job to them. No moral code of conduct, no big speeches about great power and responsibility, just a bunch of overpowered employees who acts as worst as any human would. The B-plot focuses on Starlight’s initiation into The Seven. Starlight is from Des Moines, Iowa, she was in hero pageants, and grew up idolizing The Seven, and when she finally gets chosen to join this is her and her mother’s dream come true. In this dark and twisted universe, things aren’t as bright as the seem for Starlight when she has a #MeToo moment with The Deep, a hero that was her favorite ever since she was a child. How the series manages to explore and follow up this moment in future episodes is either going to make or break this series. When it happens in the pilot it’s used as a comedic moment so the resolution for Starlight’s character in a future episode has to have weight to it for this plot point to be worth it.

Made In A Lab

The most promising moments of the first episode of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series happen when Hughie and Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) interact with each other. Hughie is a self-described Simon and Garfunkel type of guy, one that doesn’t like confrontation or violence and Butcher is the complete opposite of that. Butcher knows about what happened to Rachel and poses as an FBI agent to gain Hughie’s trust, so he can help Hughie scheme up a plan to enact revenge on A-Train and all the insanely egotistical heros at Vought. Which leads up to a violent yet predictable fight scene by the end of the episode.

Image

The pairing of Urban and Quaid were the funniest part of this episode. The oddball pairing have good chemistry and their humor bounces off each other. Urban plays the role of the unpredictable wildman effortlessly and Quaid’s portrayal of the lack of self-esteem nerdy compliments him perfectly. Another dynamic performance comes with Erin Moriarity’s portrayal of Starlight. Moriarity knows how to balance her character’s naivety,apprehensive while showing signs of being fierce in possible future episodes.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Boys brings sardonicism to the superhero genre with its tolerable pilot. The show has moments that are genuinely laugh out loud funny, yet it manages to get in it’s own way and stumbles at moments. It brings the graphicness and crude humor in a similar way as Kick-Ass and Watchmen and at times feels like something that should’ve came out during the time when those two were on the big screen.

The Seven/IMDB

As a pilot episode, it does a serviceable job at building the world for future episodes which is all anyone can ask for. One thing that The Boys has going for it are the minds behind the scenes, the love for superheroes in popular culture and another comic book based series to compliment the critically acclaimed, The Tick. When The Boys drops on Prime Video in July, it’ll be worth checking out, but hopefully, the rest of the series is closer to the highpoints of its pilot episode.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

The Boys is scheduled to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on July 26, 2019.

Like. Share. Discuss on Twitter @peliculascosas

Avengers: Endgame (2019) |Movie Review|

ATTENTION: First, this review is GOING TO CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!  If you have not seen Avengers: Endgame yet then you can check out this SPOILER FREE REACTION here.

With the release of the full Spiderman: Far From Home trailer, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, aka The Russo Brothers, have announced an end to the spoiler ban today. In honor of the ban being lifted, here is my full spoilerific review.

Disassembled

This section is for the people who went into Avengers: Endgame without seeing the previous twenty-one entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). If you’re someone who has only seen Avengers: Infinity War or is unfamiliar with the way these characters have developed over the past decade, and view Endgame as a standalone, then it probably hits you differently when it comes to your expectations. As a standalone film then I would rate this movie as a FUEGO because the first two acts of this film require you to understand what has transpired in previous films to understand the grasp of the situation. The rest of this review is for the people that have been there since Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) built his first suit in the middle of a cave

Act I: The Fallout

The first hour of Avengers: Endgame picks up right where we left off after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, half of life in the universe has ceased to exist, thanks to The Snap heard around the world by Thanos (Josh Brolin). The first twenty minutes of this film are captivating for various reasons. If you were expecting this film to start off with a bunch of explosions and superheroes doing all the superhero things then lo siento, you’re going to be upset about the start of this film. For a comic book film, Endgame is a masterpiece when it comes to humanizing these characters.

The film opens with Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) teaching his daughter the ways of archery, and then his family turns into dust. Hawkeye is wearing an ankle monitor because of the fallout from the events of  Captain America: Civil War.  Details like that are what can make or break a film because it shows that the filmmakers took their time and cared about continuity. Oh and Linda Cardellini stopped ghosting and returned as Hawkeye’s wife.Jeremy Renner and Ava Russo in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Fast forward twenty-one days, after getting a beatdown by Thanos on Titan, Tony Stark and Nebula (Karen Gillan) are playing a game of paper football. This scene conveyed a lot of development for Nebula because her personality has been humorless and sadistic, which Tony calls her the latter, throughout her appearances in the MCU. Just showing them playing paper football to pass the time as they’re drifting out in space was a great way to humanize both of their characters and create some sort of relationship between two people who are practically strangers. Tony’s heartfelt message to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) would’ve been far more impactful if the film’s trailers didn’t have him in future scenes. At least that would’ve given off the impression that he died on the ship, but Robert Downey Jr. sells it well, so you’re caught up in the moment and convinced he won’t make it. Seriously, doesn’t this look like a man that’s about to die?

Robert Downey Jr. in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

When he and Nebula are saved by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and return to Earth, the film becomes more dramatic. Tony and Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) finally reunite for the first time since the events of Civil War and the emotions are running wild at the Avengers headquarters. Thanos won in Infinity War and every single one of the living heroes in the room, individually, felt like they were the reason that he succeeded with his plan. The temperature in the room is somber, sad, bleek, depressing and the ego of Stark causes more friction between him and Rogers. Their superhero alias aren’t just names, they’re personality traits. Iron Man is a man who is extremely strong willed with his ego and his beliefs versus Captain America, the man that will do whatever he can in the name of freedom even if it isn’t always in the best interest of the universe. The pair squabble and there is a reference to a conversation from Age of Ultron, where Captain America says, “They’ll lose together too,” yet this loss has cost the team and the universe everything. Tony’s arc from the first Iron Man is that he wanted to put the safety of the Earth and its people before anything else, – whatever it takes – by any means necessary. Seeing Earth in this state and going through what he went through during his clash with Thanos on Titan has broken Tony Stark.

Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The one character that is taking things the hardest is Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and he is, arguably, the one that has lost the most. When Stark arrived at Avengers headquarters he even had to ask what was wrong with Thor. Pictured above, Thor has the look of someone who is poised, angry, focused, and ready to unleash a fury unbeknownst to anyone in the room. The ever so arrogant Captain Marvel wants to bring the fight to Thanos, she even tells the group they didn’t have her in their previous battles. The film has some self-awareness when a character wonders where Captain Marvel has been this whole time and she states that other planets in the galaxy don’t have Avengers. Whenever the eventual Captain Marvel II comes out, hopefully we get an  in-depth look into what Carol Danvers has been doing over the past 20 years.

For the people who come for action, Endgame rewards you around the fifteen minute mark. Personally, I enjoyed the slow burn because if the film rushed into the action it would have undermined everything that happened in Infinity War. The emotional journey of creating everything as bleak as possible early on is what makes the third act remarkably rewarding.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

When Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet, he did what he said he was going to do: sit down and watch the sunset. This was his destiny. He has a planet to himself, he’s gardening, retired his armor and used it as a scarecrow, until Carol and the gang ambush him and eventually kill him. After the Mad Titan tells them that he destroyed the stones, Thor unleashes all of that pent up anger and  “goes for the head” the same way Thanos told him that he should’ve done in Infinity War. That action works two-fold because it gives the audience a reason to laugh and fits the narrative of the film. The first act of this movie does a good job at intertwining humor with its dramatic tone without it ever feeling misplaced.

Five Years Later

Fast forward five years and no one has come back to life since Thanos destroyed the stones, half of life is still gone, all hope has been lost and our Avengers are back to coping as best as they can. The always optimistic Captain America is hosting counseling meetings for the survivors of The Snappening in a similar fashion to Falcon (Anthony Mackie) working with veterans at the VA. During this scene the Russo brothers, in the most bottom of the barrell way humanly possible, introduced the first gay character in the MCU, and one of them even used that character as an opportunity to make a cameo.

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

While Captain America is helping others, and finding different methods to cope with the events that have transpired so far, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is out there looking like an ACTUAL WIDOW. Of all the characters we’ve seen so far since the five year time jump she is looking the most disheveled. Her red roots have grown out and she looks like she’s doing her best Rogue impression. I’m not sure if that was on purpose, but it is fitting that one of the world’s best assassins, who has been known to go rogue, ends up looking like Rogue. The scene of her eating a peanut butter sandwich just adds to the stress that Black Widow has to be feeling, she went from shwarama to peanut butter sandwiches – no jelly.  Just look at her:

Scarlett Johansson in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Again, the film knows when to mix in the humor to lighten things up without overdoing it. Thanks to a mouse, which had to be a play on Disney’s flagship character, Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is saved from the Quantum Realm. Ant-Man’s reunion with his daughter five years later is one of the most heartfelt scenes in the film – if you’ve seen the other Ant-Man films then you’ll know why. When he goes to Avengers headquarters and reunites with Rogers and Romanoff, the three of them bounce off of each other well. The chemistry between Evans, Rudd and Johanson picks up right where it left off in Civil War.

To counter Roger’s selfishness and Romanoff’s sadness, Tony Stark has moved out to the countryside, raising his daughter with Pepper Potts. Just seeing Stark living in a log cabin is such – sorry for the pun – a stark contrast to how the futurist has been living throughout the rest of the films in the MCU. This is Stark’s second chance to have a family and live out his life. When Stark was trapped in that cave in Iron Man, Yinsen told him “don’t waste your life” which is why he tells Rogers and Romanoff that his main concern is his wife and his daughter. Stark has finally found happiness and he is going to do whatever it takes to keep it and this begins the transition to the film’s second act.

Act II: Time Heist

The second act is where the film’s tone and moods start to shift into a more plucky and optimistic role as our heroes come up with a plan to save the universe. Rogers, Lang and Romanoff eventually got Stark’s help to devise a plan to commit a time heist and travel back to the past to fight Thanos. Romanoff recruits Barton, who is in Japan acting as a vigilante named Ronin, and he’s killing criminals as a coping mechanism for The Snap that killed his family.

After getting the green beat out of him during Infinity War, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) has become one being, known as Professor Hulk. Hulk went from being ostracized from Earth to being a loveable figure where kids come up to take pictures. Instead of saying cheese, Hulk says, “green,” it’s again another way the film effortlessly blends into comedy without disrupting its flow.

Unlike Banner, the past five years have not been kind to Thor. He is far from the angry demeanor he had early on in the film. Now the God of Lightning looks like The Big Lebowski’s stunt double and this is one of the best things that Endgame pulled off. It makes sense that Thor is taking things even harder than he was earlier in this film. He killed Thanos with Stormbreaker but everyone is still dead. He feels like the ultimate failure. Asgard experienced Ragnarok, his parents, step-brother, and half of the people that he was supposed to look over are all dead.

Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The tragedy of Thor, perfectly coincides with his depression, PTSD and weight gain. When Thor reunites with Rocket and Hulk after creating bonds with both characters in Ragnarok and Infinity War, respectively, the drastic shift of his personality is just as seismic as his weight gain. The way that Hemsworth and the Russo brothers pulled this off is one of the film’s greatest feats. Hemsworth is just as hilarious as he was in Thor: Ragnarok, but the humor is laced in the grief that he has experienced in Infinity War.

Forget What You Know About Time Travel

Time travel in films can be tricky and can create problems the size of a Chitauri worm if the film breaks its own rules. Endgame addresses its audience by using a conversation with its heroes to establish the rules of time travel.  The characters tell us to forget everything you know about time travel and the film ends up creating a time heist that uses alternate-realities and universes versus the traditional paradox method.

Captain America goes back to 2012 and fights himself; he also goes back to 1970s and captures a glimpse of Agent Peggy Carter; Thor goes to 2012 gets to see his mother and wields Mjolnir once again; Nebula gets to confront the atrocity of her 2014 self; Iron Man has one last conversation with his father in the 1970s and Black Widow makes the ultimate sacrifice for the Soul stone in 2014.

Seeing the Ancient One assist the Avengers in 2012 was a welcomed, small touch but it makes you wonder why she did not do more if she was there for the attack on New York. The 2012 version of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) manages to escape custody, which opens up ideas for a future show/movie. The second act for this movie is vital because it was a way to fleege out the Marvel Cinematic Uni- MULTIVERSE. Another reason why Endgame is such a vital film and changes everything about the MCU and what we’ve seen so far.

Act III: AVENGERS . . . . ASSEMBLE

The third act is where Endgame excels more than any other comic book film in the history cinema. Tensions have risen as 2014 Thanos ambushes the Avengers at their own headquarters. It is symbolic of how Iron Man and company ambushed Thanos on his home planet, Titan.  Seeing Thor, Iron Man and Captain America do their best at trying to defeat the Mad Titan leads up to one of the best moments in comic book film history. Captain America wields Mjolnir for the first time in the MCU and this scene is shot in a jaw dropping way. Rogers is in center frame as the powers of Thor course through his body and he attack Thanos with the hammer.

Chris Evans in Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Unfortunately, the Mad Titan wasn’t easily defeated and this builds up to the emotional checkpoint of the film. Captain America, a man who can do this all day, has his back against the wall, it is just him and Thanos until he hears Falcon say “Cap, I’m on your left” which is another call back from Winter Soldier. When the rest of the heroes returned from the dead and did their hero pose on the battlefield, that’s when things got real. Captain America finally said the words that fans have been waiting for…. “Avengers.. Assemble”

Avengers Assemble Avengers Endgame GIF - AvengersAssemble AvengersEndgame Avengers GIFs

A moment that felt overwhelmingly rewarding when I saw this movie the first time. This is a feat that a decade ago seemed impossible and for this movie franchise to build up to this moment in time could not have been executed any better. Marvel Studios was able to project the imagination of every kid that plays with toys onto the silver screen. When the dust started to settle and the action sequences began to reach its conclusion, the man that kicked off the MCU was the one that ended up snapping to defeat Thanos. At the start of the film and at the end of the battle, Thanos stated that he was inevitable, and after snapping, Stark told Thanos, “I am Iron Man” which is a call back to the end of the first film in the MCU. This was the best way to kill the Iron Man character. Having Stark’s last words being a quip was a marvelous choice by the film’s editors and they deserve a huge raisethe film’s editors and they deserve a gigantic raise.

Robert Downey Jr. at an event for Avengers: Endgame (2019)

The Endgame

A masterclass in character development will be something that many will overlook about Endgame. Like the reactor he created in his first film, Tony’s character arc is one of a kind yet it might be the best character arc of any character over the course of multiple films. This 3 hour and two minute film wasn’t just about Tony, other characters have some type of closure to their character arc as well. Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, War Machine (Don Cheadle), Nebula, Hawkeye and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) all have moments that further develop their character or complete their arc from previous films. The build-up from 21 other films is what makes Endgame such an enjoyable film and I cannot wait to see  what’s next for these heros in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Avengers: Endgame was released in theaters April 26, 2019

Hellboy (2019) |Movie Review|

Rising from the depths of hell comes a reboot that the devil himself wouldn’t want to watch. Based on the Dark Horse Comic of the same name, Hellboy is a reboot of a film franchise from the early 2000s that no one asked for. Instead of having Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman return to continue the franchise for a third installment, the studio and executives decided to go in a darker direction for the character with an R-rating and excessive gore. This version of Hellboy stars David Harbour as the titular character, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, and Daniel Dae Kim. Neil Marshall replaces Guillermo del Toro in the director’s chair for this outing. Spoilers after the trailer.

THE  ANGhElLIC

Not everything about this film was terrible. The biggest praise goes to the makeup and costume design team for the designs of the characters that capture the fantasy aspects of the film. Hellboy (David Labour) looks like a character that stepped right out of a comic book. From the red flesh to the sawed off horns, his design is ass accurate of an adaptation you’re going to get.David Harbour in Hellboy (2019)The star of the film wasn’t the only one with a cool design. Sometimes the CGI was spotty, but when it came to the side characters the creativity was there.  You can tell the design team put a lot of thought and imagination into  bringing these characters to the silver screen.screenshot_20190414-193510_youtube.jpgscreenshot_20190414-193439_youtube.jpgScreenshot_20190414-194150_YouTube.jpg

What The Hell

There isn’t much to compliment this movie on but David Harbour, Milla Jovovich and  Daniel Dae Kim all had good performances, and they did their best to elevate the script but there are many times where the movie makes you ask – what the hell am I watching?

First of all, this movie suffers from trying to stuff too much into a 2 hour film to the point that characters spend most of the movie just telling the audience what is happening. There are a few characters that are just plugged into the film just to give exposition and die, it’s comical at points. The relationship between Hellboy and his adoptive father Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) feels forced and the jokes are more eye-roll than funny. The chemistry between McShane and Harbour is as existent as Hellboy is the actual universe that we live in. The biggest problem with this is that their relationship is what plays a big factor into the film’s climax scene and when everything happens the payoff isn’t there.

Even with the bad CGI, the terrible jokes, and the sloppy plot, the most insulting thing about Hellboy (2019) is the complete misuse of its R-rating. Some studio executives were (probably) sitting in their offices when they saw the wads and wads of cash that an R-rated comic book movie can make; said “Look pal, let’s do this but take away everything that made it a success” and here we are. The – and I use this word loosely – jokes and the humor in this film try to be edgy but come off as lame as if this movie is cosplaying a superhero film. With the R-rating comes an opportunity to make the action and violence more graphic, but Hellboy doesn’t even do that. Instead we get a film that uses the most fake looking CGI blood in a non-ironic way and again, makes you ask, “What the hell am I watching?”  It would be one thing if Hellboy functioned as a parody of the genre it was in, but the film takes itself seriously and when it tries to show its humor the jokes aren’t funny. The scoring is jarring and some of the choices for songs distract and do not match up with the tone of the scene. If someone told you that this movie was made in 2002 and was released today then there would not be a reason to not believe them.

Final Thoughts

It’s fitting that an alleged work environment from hell created a film that felt like it rose from the pit of hell in Hellboy. The issues that happened behind the scenes made their way onto the screen and was perhaps the biggest waste of 50 million dollars in 2019. Director Neil Marshall did not have the opportunity to have the last say to the final cut of the film, and by what reports suggest the film had too many cooks in the Hell’s kitchen. There were rewrites on There were a couple fun action scenes but the plot went everywhere (the on-set rewrites didn’t help) and our hero went to all corners of the earth with it. Wait for this one to come on the small screen if you must watch it. Fun fact: I stayed for the post-credit scenes too and if this movie thinks it’s going to get the sequel that it tried to set up then it’s going to be a cold day in hell before that happens.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Hellboy was released in theaters April 12, 2019.

Shazam (2019) |Movie Review|

Some heroes are zapped and modified – SHAZAM –  that may have been a reach, but this was a Christmas movie that I didn’t know we needed. Originally named Captain Marvel, Shazam has had a long history in Americana culture, he was the first live-action superhero movie, but 1941 was a long time ago and his popularity has dwindled in the nearly 80 years since. Shazam stars Zachary Levine, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer and Mark Strong, and the David F. Sandberg directed film is based on the DC hero of the same name. The film is the seventh installment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU)  and follows Billy Batson (Asher Angel),  a foster teen who is granted the power to reach his fullest potential known as Shazam (Zachary Levi). Spoilers after the trailer.

 

Magic Is Down To A Science

Going into this film, I did not know much about Shazam outside of him being the original Captain Marvel, but as far as his character and history, like its Marvel counterpart, this film serves as a proper cinematic introduction to him. The various trailers for this movie did a great job at selling its humor and creating an interesting world, which is something that the DCEU has been struggling with in most of their films, so far.

Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)
Freedy Freeman and Billy Batson

I can without any hesitation say that Shazam is by far the best film in the DCEU so far. What makes this movie fun to watch is the chemistry between Shazam and Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Freddy Freeman and Billy Batson (Asher Angel). Both of these pairings are important to the plot of the film and if they do not work well then the film won’t work well. Opposites attract, Freddy Freeman is a nerd and a smart-ass and his personality compliments Billy Batson’s serious and headstrong attitude throughout the film.

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)
Billy Batson as Shazam and Freddy Freeman

Batson is summoned to the Rock of Eternity, where the ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) bestows his power on the young Billy Batson, and that’s when the film’s comedic aspect elevates. Billy Batson transforms into the best possible version of himself, a champion named Shazam (Zachary Levi) – an acronym of the Gods that his powers come from: the Wisdom of Solomon, Strength of Hercules, Stamina of Atlas, Powers of Zeus, Courage of Achilles, and the Speed of Mercury – and Billy has to turn to his nerdy friend Freddy on what to do with these new powers. This makes Freddy his de facto sidekick and hijinks ensue.

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer in Shazam! (2019)
Shazam and Freddy Freeman at the store

Since Billy appears as an adult when he summons the powers of Shazam, he and Freddy take advantage of this and buy beer, go to the strip club, and excuse themselves from school, y’know typical juvenile things. Another fun thing about this movie is that it’s aware of superhero film tropes and adds its own stroke of lightning to them. When the pair go to a store that is being robbed they make light of the situation and use it as a way to test Shazam’s power. There’s a mugging scene that is used to add to the laughs and the light-hearted nature of the film. By saying “Shazam” Batson transforms and there is an abundance of jokes about what Batson should call himself. Zachary Levine does a phenomenal job at capturing the mindset and attitude of a teenager and he comes off as an extension of Asher Angel’s Billy Batson.

 

Questionable Motives

A superhero film is only as good as its villain, and the big bad guy in Shazam is Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), a successful physicist who was summoned by the ancient wizard to be the next Shazam, but was not chosen, so he spent the rest of his life searching for the Rock of Eternity to confront the wizard. Shazam introduces us to Dr. Sivana when he was a kid and he’s being extremely annoying to his brother and father while they’re on a snowy road to somewhere and that’s when the ancient wizard summons him. The wizard gives him a test to see if his heart is pure and Dr. Sivana fails because he cannot resist the powers of dark magic and he gets transported back to the backseat of his father’s car. He continues to be annoying and causes a car wreck that leaves his father paralyzed.

Mark Strong in Shazam! (2019)
Dr. Silvana 

All of this happens to give the audience backstory to why Dr. Sivana ends up killing his father and brother approximately 30 years in the future after gaining power from the Eyes of Sins, an evil version of Shazam’s powers. It’s an underwhelming backstory for this character because Dr. Sivana was a scrawny, frail looking kid, turned into a successful adult, his family had everything, he was the one that caused most of his problems that he had, yet his big gripe is that the wizard told him he wasn’t special, and you should never tell a kid that he’s not special. This bares repeating, Dr. Sivana caused the car wreck that left his father paralyzed, the same father he later killed in the film.

Mark Strong and Zachary Levi in Shazam! (2019)
Dri Silvana and Shazam

Outside of his complete lack of accountability, Dr. Silvana’s dark and serious nature is a solid choice of antithesis for Shazam’s kid-like personality.  There’s a fun mall chase scene between the two that provides some good site gags and laughs. The writers use his confrontations with Shazam to call out a few other tropes in superhero films. For a PG-13 film there is a death in this movie caused by Silvana that is really dark for the tone of the film, no complaints about that. As always, Mark Strong makes the most out of any role he is given and I don’t think a lesser actor would be able to pull off this character. Strong has a deadpan way of delivering his lines that is intimidating yet funny, which is why his role fits cohesively.

A Family Affair

A major theme in this film is the idea of what is a family? Billy Batson lives with five other foster kids, Thaddeus Sivana has an estranged relationship with his family, and the Ancient Wizard is the last living protector of the Rock of Eternity since his siblings have died. Billy’s siblings and foster parents are all character tropes for the most part. Unlike most tropes in film, Shazam makes it work for the most part, with only one sibling getting left out of the film. This is the kindest foster family that’s ever hit the silver screen, they all support each other, the parents are always putting the kids interest first and it makes wonder why Billy keeps running away from them. There is a heartbreaking scene when Billy reunites with his mom and things don’t go as planned.

Grace Fulton, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, Jovan Armand, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Ian Chen in Shazam! (2019)
Shazam: A Family Affair

The one foster kid that doesn’t get much screen time might as well be a background character. If there wasn’t a fun twist at the end of the movie then I think he would’ve been. His character just spends most of the movie lifting weights and there is a moment where he implies that he’s gay. The actors and actresses that portrayed the kids did a marvelous job and I hope they return in a sequel. This family came across like one big loving family, ala the Brady Bunch, and when that big twist happens that’s when Shazam solidifies itself as a Christmas movie.

Final Thoughts

By no means is it a perfect film but Shazam gets more things correct than it gets wrong. It’s ironic that the comic that was sued by DC Comics for copying Superman (holy ending scene Batman) has created a far more enjoyable theatrical experience than the Man of Steel has in three decades. This one is definitely worth viewing in theaters. Shazam is a fun film and a huge transition from most of the DCEU. Just like the lightning bolt on the hero’s chest, this film shines bright. It was an electric jumpstart to a cinematic universe that was on life support.  The cast and crew were obviously passionate about this movie and as a viewer you can always tell when the people behind the scenes care about what they are creating, and it just goes to show how adding zeal attains magnificentness – SHAZAM!

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Shazam was released in theaters April 5, 2019.

Captain Marvel (2019) |Movie Review|

International Women’s Day 2019 coincided with the release of Marvel Studios’ newest film, Captain Marvel.  The twenty-first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first one with a female led hero, introduces us to Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel, the most powerful hero in the MCU, so far.  Directed by Anna Bolden and Ryan Fleck, the film stars Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson as the titular character in her MCU debut.  Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, Lee Pace and Djimon Hounsou reprise their roles as Nick Fury, Phil Coulson, Ronan the Accuser, and Korath, respectively.

Lay It On Thick

Recently, nostalgia has, ironically, become the newest trend in comic book films. If you’re a millennial who loves nostalgia, then Captain Marvel is a wet dream. Set in 1995, the film is filled with 90s references from its scoring to all of the out of business brick and mortar stores that make a cameo. In the trailer, Captain Marvel crashes into a Blockbuster which is used to effectively set the time period of the film, and this is shortly followed by RadioShack returning from the dead. Somehow, Circuit City missed the cut when it came to retail resurrections. With RadioShack and Blockbuster the film finds a way to incorporate them into the story, so they don’t feel like they’re just thrown in, unlike the scene where Captain Marvel goes full Terminator 2.

Subtleness be damned. Reader, did I mention that this film was released on International Women’s Day? Did you know that Captain Marvel was a woman? This film ensures that you do not forget that a woman is kicking ass in this movie. ‘Just A Girl’ by No Doubt is playing during a major fight scene and it’s jarring because the song does not fit the mood of the scene. Since Captain Marvel is a film where our heroine cannot remember details of her past life, the movie uses this trope as a way to show that most of her memories are of her being put down for being a woman. Even in the Terminator 2 scene referenced above, the biker tells her that she needs to smile. This brings me to my biggest issue with Captain Marvel.

Write To Show, Not To Tell

Being that film is a visual medium, what your audience is seeing is just as or if not more important than what they’re hearing. The visual gags from Captain Marvel work well because they’re woven into the story of the film. The technology of the 1990s are not just sight gags, they’re used to show how inferior life on Earth is compared to the alien life on other planets. When the leader of the Skrulls, a shape-shifting alien race, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), arrives on Earth, he calls our life primitive. We’re using pagers, dial-up internet (shout out to AOL), AltaVista, Floppy Disk, CD-Roms and his enemy, Captain Marvel, is out here with a universal translator.

Between the screenplay and the story, this film is credited with having five writers and the inconsistency is all over the place. It seems that they all had different ideas about the characters when writing the film. Talos starts out as a serious threat to Vers (Carol Danvers) and her Kree, a race of noble warrior heroes, during the film’s opening scene but once he arrives on Earth that seriousness gets thrown out the window. Not sure if it was the G-force through Earth’s atmosphere, but Talos turns into a comedy character. Credit to Mendelsohn’s performance because he does get to show off his range as an actor. Talos, the other Skrulls, and Carol Danvers have been on Earth for approximately 22 hours and all of them are doing goofy earthling things that you would see in a 90s sitcom.

Danvers’ Fury

When it comes to the MCU, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury is severely underrated for what he brings to these films. He brings that seamless chemistry that he has with the rest of the Avengers to his role in Captain Marvel. Whenever Jackson and Larson are paired together on-screen is when this film is at its best. The pair are charming, funny, and make it feel as if a real bond was created by the end of the film. We find out the reasons behind Fury’s motivations in the previous 20 films in the MCU. Things like how he lost his eye, the reasoning behind the name of the Avengers Initiative (was kind of forced), why he doesn’t trust bureaucracy, and background information were all answered in this film. The EFX department did an incredible job at deaging Jackson and he actually looks 25 years younger.

On the other hand,  lead actress Brie Larson, did not sell me on the movie from the trailers and by the end of the film I was still disappointed. When she was paired with Jackson she was funny and charming but whenever she was  solo, paired with Jude Law or other characters, Larson comes off uninspired. Part of this is her dialogue because she’s not given much to work with and part of it is her acting because she’s not bringing much to the table. She was questioned by the Supreme Intelligence (Anne Benning) during the film’s opening 15 minutes and  Larson just seemed dead inside when delivering her lines. It’ll be interesting to see how she interacts with the rest of the MCU when Endgame hits theaters in April.

Final Thoughts

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the opening credits in this film is perhaps my favorite of any movie in the MCU and the Stan Lee cameo is awesome as well. The special effects, especially for the aliens, in this film are among the best in sci-fi and shows how ahead of the curve that Marvel Studios are when it comes to their competition. The makeup of Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos and the other Skrulls is phenomenally done and doesn’t look like something off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Speaking of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there was a cringe line where Samuel L. Jackson referenced the title of the show.

Clocking in at 124 minutes, the film covers a lot of ground when introducing her to the MCU, but at the same time the movie feels like a filler film until End Game‘s release in April. As far as origin films go in the MCU, Captain Marvel pushes the needle in the wrong direction and tries to replicate the success of 2018’s sleeper hit but ends up being lackluster like MCU films from over a decade agoCaptain Marvel doesn’t have an angle that makes it an engaging movie and that’s what ends up making it forgettable. Outside of her being the first woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s nothing about this film that stands out. Black Panther is afrofuturism; The Winter Soldier is a political-thriller; Guardians of the Galaxy is a space-exploration comedy; Dr. Strange is a science-fantasy; yet Captain Marvel’s theme is just, she’s a woman and that really sells the character short. Since she has amnesia the ingredients were there for this to be a mystery-comedy superhero film, but unfortunately the film doesn’t even take advantage of its strengths. There’s already been a strong female-led character that wears red, gold and blue and her film managed to make a statement while being entertaining. When Captain Marvel gets a sequel, I hope it lives up to her name and is a marvel to watch.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[así así]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Captain Marvel was released in theaters March 8, 2019.

Aquaman (2018) |Movie Review|

To “Unite the Seven,” we have to take a deep-dive into the sixth installment in the DC Extended Universe. The James Wan directed film about the aquatic-human known as Arthur Curry to some and as the titular hero, Aquaman, to everyone else. Jason Momoa stars as Aquaman and the movie serves as an origin story, a Justice League sequel and a soft reboot of the DCEU because it separates itself from the Snyder era of films. The film deals with Curry’s journey from being a hero to the obstacle of transitioning from heir to King of Atlantis. Like the trenches of the deep-sea, this review will start with the best aspects of Aquaman and I’ll dive deeper into the things that cause this film to sink to the ocean floor. Spoilers after the trailer.

The best thing about Aquaman is that the production crew took their time when designing the sets, costumes and the visual effects. Atlantis is vibrant, full of color, and the movie explains this in a smart way by saying that underwater the Atlanteans’ have night vision, which allows everything to light up on the ocean floor. The costumes for Aquaman, Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), and Ocean Master (Patrick Wilston) were well done and contributed to the film looking like a cartoon come to life. Check out some of the images below.

Image result for aquaman atlantis movieJames Wan’s direction behind the camera should not go unnoticed. If you’re familiar with the Saw series then you’ll notice some of the interesting long takes Wan uses to keep the action moving. There’s a fun take around the second act where Mera (Amber Heard)  is fighting a few henchmen and Aquaman is fighting Black Manta in Italy, and Wan uses this long take to show two fights without using a single cut. It’s arguably the best fight scene in the film. Earlier on, there’s a smaller scene where Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) fights off a group of henchman and Wan uses this same filming technique which was fun to watch.

Aquaman’s leading actor, Jason Mamoa, seemed to be the only one on-set to know that this was a superhero movie. He seemed like the only person who was having fun during the duration of the 2 hours and 23 minutes of the movie. His character’s “bro” demeanor  was a continuation of his portrayal in 2017’s Justice League and Aquaman needed more of that to give it some personality. Mamoa’s character had a lot of quips when the quips were needed and those were some of the genuine laughs the film offers. His relationship with Amber Heard’s Mera does not feel authentic at all and the pair comes off as forced.

When we deal with the characters in Atlantis, everything is too serious, which makes the film feel dull. When Patrick Wilson’s character sets his sights on uniting the seven seas of the ocean and one of his goons tells him that he will be “ordained as Ocean Master,” the dialogue and delivery are unintentionally hilarious. Later, Wilson says that “I am the Ocean Master,” and that would’ve been a PERFECT time for Aquaman to ad some type of quip for humor purposes.  Willem Dafoe is wasted as Nuidis Vulko. Knowing that Dafoe is an incredible actor, the role could have been given to anyone, as a mentor to Aquaman and the results would’ve been the same. Even the surfaces characters are laughable. When we’re introduced to Black Manta he’s telling Aquaman, he’s scoured the seven seas and that’s why their paths have crossed, while sounding like Captain Hook. Manta gets treated as a small character in this film and it’s a shame because, as mentioned above, the costume design team did such a marvelous job designing him.

There’s too much going on in this movie to the point that Aquaman never settles into a cohesive tone. The scenes that Arthur Curry spends with his father early on in the movie are fun. The writing laid the King Arthur semblance extra, extra, exxxxtraaaa thiccc. At that point I was waiting for a character named Merlon to come out of hiding. I’m not even sure how Atlantis could be that deep in the ocean but have characters that come off as dry. The scenes that happen above the surface try to have their charm, but outside of the action scenes they’re not that fun either. The Titanic, or the biggest wreck of the film, is the fight scene after Aquaman makes his journey to receive King Atlan’s mighty trident. There’s CGI everywhere, and the screen is cluttered to the point where you don’t know who’s good and who’s bad. There’s crustaceans fighting crustaceans, some are good, some are bad, some that have dialogue and we’re supposed to care about them… but we spend NO TIME with them during the rest of the film, so when they meet their demise, it’s like oh oooookay.

The DCEU has been struggling to keep up with their Marvel counterpart when it comes to making a quality superhero film. With Aquaman, it was better than Sony’s attempt at a live action superhero, but that bar was lower than the Mariana Trench. There are a few wrinkles that DC needs to iron out before making a sequel to this film. Aquaman may have benefited if it was released in January of this year or in the summer of 2017, because Thor: Ragnorak  and Black Panther are everything this film tries to be. Those films did a phenomenal job at world building and the characters matched the tone the films were set in. The positive is that with Aquaman the DCEU might be heading into the right direction. I am not 100% confident in saying that, but based on the trailer for the upcoming Shazaam, I think if future films continue on focusing on having some sort of balance and personality then they’ll be a more enjoyable experience.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[a si a si]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Aquaman was released in theaters December 21, 2018.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) |Movie Review|

After being turned into dust, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has made his theatrical return, but this Spidey is from a different universe. From the studio that has made some questionable decisions when it comes to the wall-crawler’s lore, comes Spider-Man’s first animated feature film. Sony’s newest film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows the Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as he takes the mantle of Spider-Man in his universe.

Counting Venom, Into the Spider-Verse is Sony’s eighth outing of the Spider-Man franchise, and this is arguably one of their best Spidey films. As a child of the 90’s one of my favorite episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series was when Peter Parker met the other Spider-Men from a different universe, and this movie delivers on that premise in a big way. The Spider-Verse consists of different Spider-People across multiple universes who come together to stop the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) of Miles’ universe from destroying their individual universes. The film focuses on seven Spider-People and they’re animated based on the universe they come from. The Looney Tunes-esque Peter Porker/Spider-Ham, the anime-inspired Penni Parker/SP//dr, and the monochromatic noir styled Peter Parker/Spider-Man Noir never seem out-of-place when paired next to Miles or the other Spider-People (Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman, Peter B. Parker/Spider Man). Being able to blend in the different animation styles amongst each other while keeping the feeling of a comic book is why this film was so fun to watch. Even the small details like the sound effects captions that are sprinkled in really felt like a comic book come to life.

For an animated movie, Into the Spider-Verse, created an authentic representation of Brooklyn. There’s constant movement, people walking across the street, subways are always moving, background characters are diverse, and the city truly feels like it never sleeps. A perfect origin story for those who are notfamiliar with this version of Spider-Man. Miles Morales is an Afro-Latino teen, and unlike most versions of Spidey he has both of his parents. His African-American father is Jefferson Davis (Brian Tyree Henry), a police officer who doesn’t like Spider-Man because Web-slinger’s heroics undermines the men and women that wear the blue. Rio Morales (Luna Velez) is his Puerto Rican mother, and her opinion on Spider-Man is a sharp contrast to her husband because she thinks he’s doing good for the city. The film does a fine job of incorporating both of their heritage into Miles. Miles wears Nikes, does graffiti, and acts just as anyone would act if they experienced a life-changing event that turned them into a superhero. The New York vibe is not only apparent visually, but sonically the soundtrack used to score the film never misses a beat. Miles’ uncle Aaron Davis (Mahershala Ali) aka the Prowler is a petty street criminal and a bad influence on Miles. When he’s introduced in the film the music changes to gritty New York hip-hop that fits him perfectly. Overall, the sound of the movie is New York and compared to other Spider-Man films this movie got that right. I’m not well-versed in the boroughs, but the other films that are set in Queens do not come off as authentic compared to the way Into the Spider-Verse does for Brooklyn.

Lorde and Miller produced this movie in a way that not only does it take place within the different multiverses presented within the film, yet other Spider-Man movies take place in alternate universes. Pulling this off isn’t an easy feat, but Lord and Miller made it happen. The post-credit scene in Venom showed a clip from this movie with a caption of “meanwhile in an alternate universe,” and during this film it referenced Sam Rami’s Spider-Man films of the early 2000s. There’s a running joke where the monochromatic Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) cannot see color since his universe doesn’t have color. Spider-Ham can do all the slapstick humor that a typical Looney Tunes cartoon can. All of these things are alongside SP//dr Penni Parker from the anime universe and everything is organic. If there is a sequel and they incorporate live action Tom Hardy as Venom or Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, I think Lorde and Miller could pull it off with ease.

Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson) isn’t from Miles’ timeline is the Spider-Man that never got his life together. Whereas the original Spider-Man (Chris Pine) from Miles’ timeline is the antithesis of that. Seeing both of these characters in the same movie shows how easy it would be for Peter to make a mistake and his life does a complete 180. Comparing MCU Peter Parker to the ones in this film kind of shows where he would be if he didn’t have Tony Stark as a mentor to count on. Even the Stan Lee (RIP) cameo in this film has meaning to it. It’s not just your typical Stanmeo, and with his recent passing it adds emotional weight to it.

The way Into the Spider-Verse is structured so it sets up many possible sequels. The characters are written in a way where you want to learn more about the universes they come from. Since the MCU has Peter Parker under control for now, I think there are enough versions of Spidey that could focus on different iterations of the character. I’m here for a Nick Cage as Spider-Man Noir film or an anime SP//dr film. Even if the big screen isn’t an option there’s room for a tv/Web series involving these lesser-known characters. This film untagles webs of the past and works as a perfect origin story that swings forward for the future.

Fin.

Fin.

RATING

[Fresh Horchata]

[Fuego]

[Bueno]

[a si a si]

[Basura]

[All Mames Wey]

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was released in theaters December 13, 2018.

Captain Marvel (2019) |Trailer Thoughts|

Update: Check out the full review here.

After much anticipation, the second official trailer for Captain Marvel was released last night. The film will be the twenty-first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first to be set in the 1990s. This will also be MCU’s first movie with a female lead as Brie Larson flies into action as the film’s titular heroine.

 

The film’s aesthetic looks in line with the comics. There are vibrant colors throughout the trailer, and the film doesn’t look like it’s CGI overkill. Carol Danvers’s origins seem to be inline with the comic as well, just based off the clips given. Samuel L. Jackson makes his return as Nick Fury, and I think we’re going to finally learn how he lost his eye, could it be by that cat at the end of the trailer? The only thing I have reservations about is Brie Larson’s performance. Just based on both of the released trailers, something sounds off, and she comes off as boring, but hopefully that won’t be the case. Overall, I’m looking forward to Marvel’s  next space adventure/ retro film and how it furthers the plot for Avengers 4.

Fin.

Captain Marvel is scheduled to be released in theater March 8, 2019