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Posts tagged “Infinity Gems

Review and discussion: Guardians Of The Galaxy

GOTG-posterIf you don’t want to be spoiled as to certain plot points, then I recommend skipping to the last paragraph to get my overall spoilerfree review.  Otherwise, from here on out the discussion will be about major points in the movie, and I invite those who have seen it to comment below and add to the discussion.

I was always aware of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics, but never followed the characters or plots until the relaunch last year, where I picked up trade paperback to catch up and familiarize myself with them.  One of the taglines for this movie has been “The Star Wars for the current generation”.  I have to agree, but at the same time this movie is something that is very new and hasn’t been done before as a whole.  Sure, there are elements rehashed here and there, but if you want something fresh and unique, then stop reading now and go see it if you haven’t.  All happiness aside, I do have a few complaints about elements in the movie, so I’ll do a breakdown of the good and not so good (notice I didn’t say bad), and speculate on a few things to come.

The Plot was intelligently written, with plenty of action, humor and suspense.  The effects were visually stunning (though I can’t imagine seeing this in 3D.)  In regular format this was breathtaking but the fights (especially with Drax involved) were shaky camera at times, and the spinning spacecrafts in the aerial battles were dizzying at times.  I’m not saying this was bad, because it made you feel as if you were a part of it, but the problem with this is that for some people it is a turn off.  Myself included if I’m trying to follow whats going on screen.  In 2D it is great, but I think I’d puke in 3D.

The soundtrack was just plain awesome.  I loved all the songs in there (I’m partially biased because I grew up listening to a lot of those), and it worked, also setting up a new similar soundtrack for the next movie.  The Easter Eggs and tying into the existing Marvel Comics movie universe were fanboy/girlgasmic.  I’ll get into that in my character breakdown, which begins now:

Peter Quill/Starlord: Chris Pratt plays the sarcastic, egotistical Quill very well.  He brings the perfect amalgamation of Captain James T Kirk, Indiana Jones & in his own words “Marty McFly” together.  The movie shows his evolution from a shy kid to what will become a decent leader.  I personally could have done without the over the top cheesy dance sequence in the beginning.  After Spiderman 3 I could do nothing but put my head in my hands when I saw this happening at the beginning.  Somehow, I didn’t mind it as much during the final faceoff with Ronan.

Gamora: Even with prosthetic facial enhancements and green skin, Zoe Saldana is still appealing to the eye.  Aside from her beauty though, she kicked some major ass, just as you would expect from the adopted daughter of Thanos.  I even enjoyed the little bit of tension between her and Starlord.  I just hope they don’t give into it too much in the future.  It’s nice to have that unresolved extra angle in there.

Drax The Destroyer: I’ll admit that when I heard Dave Bautista was going to be Drax, I shivered.  I didn’t want to see a wrestler whom I felt had little to no acting ability taking on a character like Drax (who has little to no personality).  Yeah, you see my problem there?  I was wrong.  Bautista nailed the part.  I actually wanted him to have more screen time.  My only problem with Drax in this movie was some of his lines in the beginning.  They seemed a bit too forced but this was a writing issue.  I know Drax speaks strangely, but the first few lines he delivered were sub par in dialogue.

Groot: While I held out hope that Vin Diesel would play a big baddie for Marvel at some point, his delivery of “I Am GROOT” was awesome each time it happened.  It wasn’t overdone, and Groot’s special effects looked amazing.  I am left wondering though if some of his abilities in the movie were indeed in the comics as well.  I’m not too familiar with the character other than I knew he could be planted to grow again once destroyed.  Speaking of which, the end of the movie, while unnecessary made me smile.  I really enjoyed watching baby Groot swinging to the music.

Rocket Raccoon: I wish we’d have had a little more background on Rocket himself, but his presence was welcome for every second.  I forgot Bradley Cooper was doing his voice because he seemed like his own little furry personality.  A little bit selfish, a little bit of a dick, and just all around rabid feistiness made his part of the team the highlight.

Ronan The Accuser: I remember this villain from many Fantastic Four comics, and knew how menacing and deadly he could be.  My problem in this movie wasn’t the portrayal of him.  I think Lee Pace did an excellent job.  The problem for me is that they are building up Thanos to be a massive badass (which he is), and the guardians plus an entire planet of Nova corps could barely beat Ronan.  So then how the hell will the universe be able to battle Thanos at this point?  I can’t imagine a movie big enough to do that.  With my faith in Marvel I will have to wait and see.  His presence proves that the body in Agents of SHIELD tv show was a Kree alien, so now with that cleared up we will have to wait.  I loved his look in GOG and the wise use of his hammer and abilities.  Even Drax couldn’t stand up to him and that was before Ronan used the infinity stone (gem).

Yondu and Nebula: Both of these characters played by Michael Rooker and Karen Gillan respecitvely added to the whole plot, and I’m glad that they will both be most likely playing a role in the sequel.  I really loved the space pirate feel that Yondu gave off, and Nebula’s battle with Gamora was something I could watch over and over just for the tactics alone.

The Nova Corps:  While I cannot stand John C Reilly, he surprisingly didn’t irritate the hell out of me in this movie.  I thought his presence would have dumbed it down, especially with his delivery in the trailers, but again I was proven wrong.  He was used well, and while I didn’t see him as a serious Nova Corps member, he was a welcome addition.  There was plenty of setup here with Glenn Close’s Nova Prime and the destruction of most of the city that a path has been paved to have the main Nova (Richard Rider) become a defender of earth in the sequel.  Especially with Yondu and Quill’s dad probably wanting to destroy the planet in the sequel.

The Collector: Benicio Del Toro’s role was smaller than I anticipated, but it was more than a glorified cameo.  In fact, his entire base of operations was full of cameos including: Slither, Howard The Duck, and Cosmo the Spacedog.  Oh yes and one of multiple references to Celestials.  I can’t wait til the dvd to pause and see what else is in there.  I understand that Adam Warlock’s coccoon (first seen in Thor 2 ending) was now open, leaving his presence open for the future.  The infinity stones (gems) were finally explained here.  I’ll touch on that in a few minutes.

Thanos: I’m not sold on the whole CGI thing, but Josh Brolin’s delivery and the life he brought to Thanos is downright frightening.  The fact that this could end up being the most powerful villain we’ve ever seen on screen is a scary thought, but one I’m anticipating greatly.

That being touched upon, what do we know and where can it go?  The infinity Gems.  Let’s see.  The Tesseract from Captain America and the Avengers movies was the Space Gem (now in the hands of Loki who also has the gauntlet used to contain the gems).  We know that now.  We also know that Malekith The Dark Elf was using the Aether to change the universe in his image and liking.  Hence the Reality Gem (In the hands of the Collector).  Ronan used the Power Gem in Guardians of the Galaxy to give him enhanced powers (in the Nova Corps safe).  Loki’s Staff in the Avengers had the Mind Gem in it.  This was not confirmed by Marvel, however they said that it could be.  It only makes sense, AND I can argue this with anyone and prove it if they want to debate it.  I’d invite the discussion actually.  Anyway, the Mind Gem is in the presence of Baron Von Strucker (we see this at the end of CAptain America 2.)  Now with there being six gems in all, that leaves the Soul Gem and the Time Gem.

I think one of these (most likely the soul Gem) will be used in the Doctor Strange movie.  It’s been confirmed for 2016 this movie will be an “acid trip” unlike any other movie.  Delving into magic and the soul will make this movie completely unique and it only makes sense to tie in this gem with whoever else will be a part of it.

As far as the Time Gem, I don’t want to speculate too much about Avengers Age Of Ultron, but if they do anything similar to the comic storyline of Age of Ultron, then Time Travel could be involved.  Did earth somehow get a hold of the Time gem to use?  Why do I say this?  In the little footage we have seen of this movie, there is a scene where everyone but Tony Stark is dead.  That’s what it appears to be.  Could he reverse time and change that or maybe Scarlet Witch will alter the probability that this is what happens.  Who knows.  The Antman movie is supposed to happen around the same time as well, so maybe Hank Pym will have had it in his lab and is studying it.  Only TIME will tell.  🙂

There are also 5 unannounced films coming before 2019 by Marvel, and that is in addition to Captain America 3 and Guardians of The Galaxy 2.  One of these will obviously be Avengers 3.  Another I think would HAVE to be Black Panther.  Thor 3 is also in there as most likely.  So what about the last 2?  I’d like to see a female Ms. Marvel movie in there.  All of that should come before the last 2019 movie, which could be called “THE THANOS IMPERATIVE”.  It’d be a great long buildup to a part one movie.  This could literally be centered around Thanos gathering the gems.  It would be a part one and then for 2020 they could bring in part 2 “THE INFINITY WAR”.  Now…. the ONLY way that this can happen and even be thinkable as a way to defeat Thanos with his gems is to have everyone in existence team up.  No, we don’t need people like Hawkeye or even Captain America.  What we need is Thor, Hulk, Adam Warlock and Nova, Ms. Marvel, Doctor Strange, and a few others to go against Thanos.  Maybe even Loki who will want the power for himself will join in the attack against the Mad Titan (after all, Thanos will have to steal from him to get what he wants).  I even hold out hope that some of the rights to other characters will revert to Marvel, but who knows.

So what do you think?  After this long winded review and speculation, I have to give it a rating.  Originally I was going to give this movie a point lower, but BECAUSE of it’s originality and the ballsy move that Marvel made taking the chance on such a masterpiece, I’m going to give it 8 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.  Please, comment and feel free to discuss your own speculations and feelings toward the movie.

 

 

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Review: Thor The Dark World

thor_2_the_dark_world_2013-wideReview by Rick Pipito, with input by Dan Pipito

It’s Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings in another epic Marvel movie.  I could just tell you what I think of the film, and give it a rating, but then I wouldn’t be able to explain a few of the things I picked up and speculate on it.  If you want my rating, and no spoilers, then skip to the last paragraph; otherwise, you’ve been warned… There are Major SPOILERS ahead.

The characters are a great starting point.  We’re already sold on Loki and Thor.  Hiddleston and Hemsworth are these characters incarnate.  I cannot (nor do I want to) see anyone else fill their shoes (at least for a very long time).  Hemsworth’s commanding posture and voice mirror the pages from the comics, while Hiddleston’s smirks, his emotion, and sly comments are ones to make you cheer for the badguy.  Aside from them, the rest of the cast performed as well as they.  Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith was a wonderful choice for villain; especially with Kurse at his side.  I particularly love how their “origins” (at least for how they look in the comics) was shown.  I thought it was creative, and thrown in quick enough without focusing on it.  Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Renee Russo, as well as the Warriors Three were of an average performance (certainly not under or overwhelming, but decent).  Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif I felt was underused, but I’d assume she’d play a larger role against an enemy like Enchantress in the future.  Idris Elba as Heimdall is always amazing, and although the portrayal of Erik Selvig was cheesy at best, it somehow worked.

The Plot was interesting and made the audience feel the seriousness of the situation at hand.  It flowed well, and I don’t feel that there were any unnecessary nods or side steps.  From the opening scene until the credits rolled, I was glued to what was happening, and didn’t miss a beat.  My only problem is that I figured out the Loki not being dead from the moment it happened on the battlefield (this I’ll explain in my theories in a few paragraphs).  I was also shocked during a few moments of the movie with things I wasn’t expecting, which was good.  There was a perfect blend of humor and action as well.

Sound and Visuals: I have no complaints about the score of music.  Even the visuals were great in most places, but there were a few spots where something didn’t look right.  In the scene where the two jets are flying, as well as when the realms were aligning, something just felt off there.  It almost looked fake, but for a mere second.  It’s probably just me being nitpicky, but it was something I noticed.  Also, the scene where Thor jumped from the balcony and shed his robe to fly off in the distance looked a little cartoony, but overall not bad.  Keep in mind, this was a very visual effect heavy movie, so if these are my only complaints, then it isn’t really an issue beyond me being stubborn.

Easter Eggs and Continuity: The Avengers was referenced nonchalantly multiple times, so it is well established when this takes place.  Stan Lee’s cameo was hilarious yet again (I love that man).  The surprise of Loki’s illusion of Chris Evan’s Captain America was both exhilarating and funny.  The Infinity gems are now pretty much established as part of the whole saga, obviously leading up to an infinity gem war with Thanos in Avengers 3.  The Collector appearing in the mid credits was a lot of fun especially since it will lead right into guardians of the Galaxy.  All in all, the film was full of them, and done well.  Hell, even the end credit scene brought some closure to the story, and though it wasn’t needed, it sort of showed that some “cleaning up” needed to be done on earth.  Not necessary, like I said, but welcome being there.

Overall feel and speculation: Thor the Dark World fit well, it stood equal to what the Avengers and prior movies already established, and it more than made up for some of the faults of Iron Man 3.  So where do we go from here?  Here are my thoughts…. Keep in mind, this is just speculation, but I think a semi intelligent deduction.

1)  Loki DID die.  Before he died on the battlefield, he told Kurse “I’ll see you in Hel.”  Anyone familiar with the comics knows that this is HEL, not HELL.  Asgardians die and go to Hel, which is run by Hela.  In the comics, Hela and Loki were related.  I think Loki was not fearing death.  He had a plan.  Remember, he is the god of mischief and trickery.  He died, and in Hel, he made a deal with Hela.  This deal was to allow him to return to life, but in exchange, he would give Hela a more powerful entity for her realm.  So as he returned, he killed Odin.  Hela gets the most powerful Asgardian, while Loki gets the throne he always wanted.  BTW, I turned to Dan during the end when “Odin” was speaking to Thor.  I could see from his stance, and his manner that this was in fact Loki; so when the reveal came, I wasn’t at all surprised, but pleased.

2) The gems.  So far we have the Mind Gem (which was in Loki’s staff in avengers).  This is in SHIELD’s possession.  Then we have the Space Gem.  I didn’t think the Tesseract was anything more than just a cosmic cube, but apparently now we know (from the mid credits scene) that it is a gem.  It had the ability to open portals to anywhere in the universe.  What does this mean?  Well Red Skull just teleported away, as I previously assumed, and he isn’t dead.  Neither are anyone else who was “vaporized” by it in Captain America The First Avenger.  The Space Gem is in Asgard’s vaults.  Finally there is the Aether from this movie.  It was in fact the Soul Gem.  Sure the colors are all off, but that doesn’t matter.  It infected the Soul, and the soul was referenced by the Asgardians.  The Collector mentioned the 6 gems.  Three have been covered.  Guardians of the Galaxy is rumored to be taking place in the future (at least part of it).  This could explain the Time Gem, which leaves the Power Gem, and the Reality Gem.  It will be interesting to see where this all fits.

3) Enchantress, Surtur, Hela… there is plenty of room for more Thor movies, and I’m sure we’ll see it.

4) Agents of SHIELD… okay, so this strays, but it’ll be interesting to see how this movie affects the series, which I believe will tie in around episode 8 of this season.

Final Rating:  If I rated Thor a 7, then I have to give Thor 2: The Dark World 8 sCrypt Coffins out of 10.  It was a better sequel, it opened up more comic mythology, and it stood as a sequel and standalone movie to ALL of the Marvel Universe movies.  Intelligent, funny, and action packed, this goes up high on my list of Great comic book movies.

What did you think of Thor The Dark World?  Do you have any predictions?  Comment below, and thanks for checking out our review.