Netflix surely has a hit with its Marvel TV shows, but that doesn’t mean they have all been great. Daredevil season 1 and 2 as well as Luke Cage were outstanding. Iron Fist started strong, but underwhelmed in the latter half of the season. Jessica Jones had a great concept, but could have been done in 4 episodes because 13 was much too long and drawn out. So with the Defenders coming out I had a bag of mixed emotions. How did it fare?
The Defenders had an amazing first two episodes. They filled in the gap of what was happening with each character after we last saw them all. It was story building at its finest. People complained that they all don’t even meet until episode 3, but they obviously have no desire for substance. It is well worth the wait.
At that point I was worried that with such a great buildup, that the last 4 episodes would fall short. They did not. The action sequences and story held up to standards, and even though the post climax was drawn out, the 8 episodes made for in my opinion the best Marvel Netflix show yet. Even at the end of the credits we get a surprise teaser trailer for the Punisher coming later this year.
There were plenty of twists and turns, and a few things left unsaid. The ending left me wondering whether the Hand was done, and who survived of the four stuck at the bottom of the shaft? Surely Matt Murdock could not have escaped on his own. So, who got him to the surface?
As for the characters individually here’s how I see them:
Luke Cage & Daredevil were as expected. I think both were flawless and exactly how portrayed before. Jessica Jones was still herself at the core, but her interactions with the other characters, in particular Matt Murdock, were so much more likeable. She worked better with a team than alone. Iron Fist finally made that transition to hero. He was much more deserving of the title in this than his own show, making it more exciting anticipation for his next season. Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Karen Page, Foggy, Trish, and Stick were all used sparingly enough to not overcrowd the plot.
Overall it was an enjoyable and fun ride. I’d call it the Avengers for adults, and am eager to see them all team up again. I’ll give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?
My season end reviews kick off with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 4. I did a review mid season, so I won’t get into too much detail other than a few minor spoilery things, and general thoughts.
Overall, this season was superb. The writing strayed from campiness and into darker territory. While this can be a curse for a lot of shows or movies, the darkness worked here because of Ghost Rider’s inclusion and the Dark Hold. Both were handled very well.
The second half of the season gave us an alternate “What If” world created by AIDA. Her role as Madame Hydra was surprising, but also a welcome addition to the plot. Usually I’m not for the combination of characters, but in this case it was handled well. The emotional buildup especially with Mack and the loss of The Patriot, gave the show a more realistic feel.
It’ll be interesting to see where it all leads next season. There’s Mack and Yo-Yo who will obviously be in a strained relationship, but they aren’t the only ones. Fitz and Simmons have an interesting new dynamic with Fitz’s dark side having affected everyone, and Coulson and May also have some places to go.
We are left wondering a few things: 1) Where are they at the end? Is this a SWORD installation in space? 2) With the Inhumans on the run again, will this be how they introduce the new Inhumans show? I’d like to see Daisy make an appearance somehow. 3) Where did Ghost Rider go exactly? and finally 4) Who will be the big bad of season 5?
Time will tell. From what was once a cringeable series, it has now become something I look forward to. It’s not quite up there with Netflix shows, but that’s to be expected. Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.
What did you think? Comment below with your thoughts and speculation.
This is one of those movies where the trailer doesn’t do it justice. I went into this thinking there was going to be a corny forced humor that wouldn’t sit well with an overall semi-serious Marvel Cinematic Universe. I was proven wrong. Is that to say there weren’t some moments like that? No, of course there were, but those moments were done tactfully and worked for the moment.
There will be spoilers from here on out, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can scroll down to the last paragraph for my rating.
A flashback to 1980 has us seeing a young Kurt Russell and how his character of Ego met StarLord’s mom. I can’t help but notice something here, and let me know if you think the same. In the 80s there was a movie called “Starman.” It was about an alien man who fell in love with a woman and drove cross country with her. At the end of that movie the Starman left and she was assumingly pregnant because of the sexual scenes in it. The movie to me was a good movie, but left too many open ends never to be addressed. The character in Starman was played by Jeff Bridges. Kurt Russell’s younger CGI self looked almost identical to Bridges in that film. I know they are two different universes, but could James Gunn have used this as inspiration to give answers to a film that never gave them? Who knows, but it made it that much more enjoyable for me.
Rocket, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax were pretty much spot on with how they were at the end of the last movie. Star-Lord realizing he is part Celestial was worrisome, but what was a risky maneuver of changing his comic book history, really played out well. Toddler Groot was a waste to me. I know it was done for the cute factor, and it made sense as he’s more grown than the end of the last movie. I don’t think any other way would have been good for him to be presented, but at the same time he just felt like he was there. There really wasn’t much for him to do. My main example is the battle in the beginning with the alien squid like creature. All Groot did was dance, like Star Lord did in the opening sequence of the first one, which to me was the worst part of the first movie.
Skipping back to Ego, who was my second biggest concern going into this, we get an actual comic book representation of the character plus more. Ego always fascinated me, and to see that they actually showed his full on form and gave him a good origin, made the film. He was easily my favorite part of the whole movie. Everything about Ego made sense and didn’t feel stale.
The true father figure in Yondu was heartwarming, and I think it was wise to have Yondu sent off that way. Michael Rooker is always enjoyable to watch, but his character’s death brings together what was a falling apart team, and then some. Oh, and he had his longer head fin, which was my gripe about his appearance not having it before.
The Gamora vs Nebula story felt strange in a way. I’m still not sure I believe that Nebula would have spared her sister, but the explanation worked. I just think that she’d have been better beside Thanos during Infinity War than against him.
Taserface was exactly what Rocket pointed him out to be. He was nothing more than that, but served his purpose for humor and the slight bump in the road that he provided.
Finally we get the other characters. A Cameo from Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster was only in the scrolling credits, which makes me wonder if he originally had a role in this and in Thor Ragnarok. It was strange placement. Cosmo the Space Dog also only shows up in the scrolling credits. Howard the Duck is present again in another great few seconds of appearance. I love that they do things like this for the fans. The quick spots by David Hasselhoff and Pac-man were silly, but for my generation were great additions.
The post credits scenes were quite a mix. 1) Yondu’s dart impaling Drax by accident was funny, but not really necessary. 2) The reveal of Adam Warlock’s cocoon is huge. Although it was in the last movie as a post credit thing, this time we actually get a good look and confirmation of who is inside. I’m assuming he will start off as a villain for Volume 3. 3) Teenage Groot, while unnecessary, showed purpose. While only a funny throw away, it pretty much confirms that from here on out we will see adult Groot. Teenage Groot was great, but I really think this was done to transition the character. 4) The Ravagers original team headed by Sylvester Stallone was awesome. This sets up a potential union between them and the Guardians for either Infinity War or Guardians 3. If you didn’t know who they were, then the characters (played by well known actors) were: Starhawk, Martinex, Charlie 27, Aleta, Kruggar, and Mainframe.
5) Stan Lee being revealed as one of the Watchers makes a lot of sense, but I feel ripped off. He should have been in Watcher form here like the others. So it begs to question… was he just an informant to the Watchers, or is he an actual Watcher. It’s something that will probably never be addressed again, but time will tell. At least they are tying this in. This also makes for an interesting thought. Watchers can see many realities. This basically says that anything Stan Lee has cameoed in could in some way be tied into the Marvel universe. This includes other studios, versions of characters, etc.
So what did you think? The soundtrack to me wasn’t as good as the first, but is bound to be open to many more things from here on out. Overall it was a very funny, action packed, and visually stunning film that is worthy of being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
Unlike most of my reviews, I’m going to keep this one straight to the point and less in depth. The reason is because of the amounts of positive vs negative the show had. My negatives are NOT what other people complained about. I guess I’m a purist and less concerned about appeasing to the masses, because the negatives that I’ve read is more along those lines. That being said, there is a lot of positive too, that isn’t given enough credit.
Let’s set the record straight. This is not the best Marvel Netflix show. It is in my opinion tied with Jessica Jones for last place, but certainly not bad. The controversial casting is absolute crap. Danny Rand as a white guy has always been. The actor did a great job with what he was given, and I’m hoping his mannerisms are corrected as this is sort of an origin to the Iron Fist character. My complaints? Use a razor. I’m tired of the scruffy look. Danny should in my mind be clean and youthful looking. He was with monks after all. We already have Daredevil, Jessica, and Luke being total badasses. He should be just as kick ass, but not so tough looking.
The Hand played a decent role in the show, with the highlight easily being Madame Gao, and Davos. The latter of these two also had a good set up for becoming the next villain (Steel Serpent). Claire is obviously the glue to bring the Defenders together, so her role although it felt sort of forced, worked for what it was. Colleen and the Meachums were also very good in every scene.
Action wise this played out just like a classic kung fu movie, with heavy story and not a lot of fighting until the end. The problem here is that the fighting seemed subpar. For someone who is supposedly the best fighter in the world, he sure gets beat up a lot.
The first five episodes really had me hooked. Then episode six came and it slowly went down hill. The final episode was great, but then they threw on that extra two minute ending and I wanted to forget everything else. That ending was not good. They threw it there to get people to come back and see what happens next, but it felt disrespectful to everything else it had done over 13 episodes.
In my opinion Iron Fist doesn’t really work on its own. I think it has to be Powerman and Iron fist or a heroes for Hire. That would be worth the time. I wanted to really love this show, and though I liked it, I can’t claim I’d ever rewatch it. Other reviews say Danny should have been an Asian guy. Stop changing races and looks of characters!!! We get that enough. If any thing I’d think that’d be offensive to Asians to be typecast in that role. Danny being trained by Asian monks is what makes the idea work. They just need to figure out how to do all of that.
One final thought… they could have done a little better of explaining how he got his powers. I know, and comic readers know, but any new comer will be left slightly confused by the lack of information.
Iron Fist gets 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me. It is enjoyable at its good moments, and disappointing at its bad ones. These fall 50/50 throughout the whole thing, so I’ve voted right down the middle.
What did you think? Comment below.
Dafne Keen. Remember that name, because she’s a talented young actress in a movie filled with every aspect of the emotional spectrum. I’m going to review Logan in my typical breakdown, so if you don’t want spoilers, then skip down to the final paragraph for my rating. Otherwise, stick around for my character break down and feel free to share your thoughts on the film.
James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine – Hugh Jackman gave us what we wanted. He may not have always had the best material with which to work, but the man cared about what he did. His portrayal of the character in this movie is the best out of them all. The dynamic of his healing factor being practically gone made him very vulnerable. Combine that with his care free attitude, and you’ve got a grumpy old man who is being poisoned by his own adamantium. I must say that I’m happy he perished in the end. I don’t want to see anyone take up the mantle of wolverine for a very long time after this (UNLESS it’s X-23). We will get to that in a moment.
Professor Charles Xavier – As with Hugh, Patrick Stewart always shined in his role as the psychic mutant, but in this movie we are given another shift in the standard. He’s got borderline alzheimers, and needs caring for. I love that they addressed this disease in a mutant. Imagine if in real life, one had his abilities and had no idea what they were doing with them. There was a brief mention that he was the one responsible for the X-Men dying. I’d have loved to have gotten a little more explanation on that, but I think it would have been unnecessary in the long run. I was surprised he died the way that he did, which is a good thing. It happened at a moment that was him confessing his own guilt. What a perfect way to go (not in the manner that he died, but the fact that he’d gotten it all off his chest.
Zander Rice – Although a small role, it suited its purpose. This was more about the characters, than the actual story, so he didn’t need to be doing more than he was. We got his back story, and a nice tie in to the original weapon X program that his father ran. In a way they respected all of the previous movies to an extent, despite the timeline being reset. It shows that some of those original events may have happened the same or slightly different.
Donald Pierce and the Reavers – I was really hoping for Omega Red, a return of Lady Deathstrike, or Sabertooth as the villain. When I heard the reavers were the antagonists, I shook my head and thought it was going to be a failure. I am SO glad I was wrong. They managed to make decent villains that matched the tone of this film in a way that was akin to Mad Max. It worked really well.
Caliban – I loved Stephen Merchant in this role. I don’t know why they recast him since Apocalypse, but he looked very similar, and for anyone not paying attention I’m sure they didn’t notice. He played the part better than his predecessor, but I wish we’d have gotten a mention of his younger years in that way. We were also presented with Zander Rice saying to gather the body, when Caliban sacrificed himself. It set up 2 possible scenarios. 1) Caliban could be cloned and come back as a more deformed version (like in the comics) or 2) in the original Days of Future past storyline (in the comics) they used mutant hound trackers to locate the mutants. This would make sense, as the anti-mutant sentiment was strong in this film.
Laura/X-23 – Remember that name I mentioned, Dafne Keen? Well she played this part so well, that I think we can have a very VERY good version of wolverine from here on out. In the comics, she’s the current Wolverine after the death of her father. They’ve set it up, so I think she’d be perfect in all future incarnations. I’d love to see her as part of the X-Force movie. She did an outstanding job with her rage, caring, and rebellious nature, but when she was crying, “Daddy,” at the end I lost it. I never cry in movies, and I could feel the tears trickling. Excellent job, little lady.
Rictor and the New Mutants – Who were the new mutants? Who knows, but the presence of Rictor could mean an X-Factor reference or set up. While I’ve no real care for these characters in the comics, it’s nice to have this sort of nod in the movies, and despite James Mangold constantly saying this is a stand alone movie, the references to the greater universe seem to be abundant. The use of the children here wasn’t overwhelming, but a decent nod to what’s possibly to come. Could they be X-Factor like I said, or maybe recruits for Cable, or even a set up to what eventually could be an X-Men 2099? Like I said, these don’t need to be all made into movies, but it’s fun for continuity and discussion sake.
X-24 – Here’s what I feel was a low point at first, but then my mind changed. Hugh Jackman is basically younger here and more primal. He’s even got a haircut and style to match what Sabretooth had in the first Wolverine movie. Why then wasn’t Sabretooth used? We never got a final showdown between the two. It would have worked just as well as X-24. Hell he could even have gotten his wish and become X-24 with Adamantium skeleton. (Remember that is what he wanted originally). So I complain about this, but then think to my childhood and how there was once a character named “Albert.” Albert was a robot created by the Reavers that looked like Wolverine. His storyline also involved a little girl that Logan had to take care of. Okay, it got way more complicated than that, but I feel like this is not a coincidence. I believe they used this angle to replace the elements they couldn’t use from the original Old Man Logan storyline.
Enough rambling from me. Here are my final thoughts for potential on what this movie COULD mean for the X universe. Here’s my speculation: GAMBIT is in the works. Where he falls into this all remains to be seen, but he could be a good element to X-Force since Archangel was killed off in Apocalypse. Now that Wolverine is dead, perhaps the film could see this lineup: Cable, Deadpool, Domino, X-23, and Gambit… NEW MUTANTS is in the works as well. Maybe this will center around the new team of kids, but who would lead them? Again, there’s no telling, but if James McAvoy’s run ends then we could see Cyclops, Jean, and Storm leading the new team. I realize there is a time problem here, but when hasn’t there been in these movies, and with Cable involved this is all possible.
In conclusion: Logan was a film made for comic book fans, and movie goers. It reminded me of an old western with comic elements. It was a roller coaster of emotion that didn’t disappoint. There will be bigger nerds than me complaining about certain little things, but who cares? This was the best interpretation of Wolverine yet. Stewart and Jackman played the roles better than they ever have, and Keen showed talent rare for even veteran actors. She’s a natural. I’ll give the movie 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins. What did you think? How would you rate it? Comment below.
Netflix and Marvel successfully do it again. The question is whether it was as good as the other shows, and if it warrants a second season. Here’s my breakdown of the characters in the show, how they factored in, and a little bit of speculation on where it could go from here. There are spoilers, so if you don’t want to see them, scroll down to the final paragraph for my rating.
Luke Cage/Power Man/Carl Lucas: I said it before and this series backs that claim… Mike Colter is the perfect pick for the main character. He looks as if he enjoys his character, and Cage was presented without flaw in my opinion. The back story of Carl Lucas, the references to his classic Power Man costume and name, and the evolution of Luke Cage was spot on. If there was anything I thought could have made it better would be Pop’s barbershop becoming a new place with Heroes For Hire. Although they didn’t show that, the H4H was certainly set up that way. Luke was always a character I liked, but never spent much time thinking about. Now I wonder why he wouldn’t have been the new Captain America instead of Falcon in the comics, but that’s going off on another tangent.
Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes: I’ve never seen Mahershala Ali in anything before, but his acting made Cottonmouth worth watching. He turned what was a very lame character in the comics into a badass. I didn’t see his death coming as early as it did, and who’d caused it. His actions were always a surprise, and though he wasn’t as much a crime lord as Kingpin in Daredevil, he certainly had a great presence. If I’d have changed anything, it would have been how he didn’t seem like much of a threat in the episode he died. I felt he should have gone out stronger than he did. I see why they did it however. It was a way of making you feel for the character right before ripping him away. All in all? Great storytelling regardless of how it was approached.
Mercedes “Misty” Knight: Simone Missick was just proof of more great casting choices. I love the buildup and portrayal of Misty, and felt sorry for her along the way. She was the single character in this whole series that had more to deal with than anyone else. Constantly being stuck in a hard place didn’t mean she couldn’t kick ass either. Aside from her central role in the story we also got a few other comic references with her. When she was shot in the arm there was even mention that she could lose it. This was in reference to her bionic arms in the comics. Her outfit at the end, when she reentered the club undercover was straight from the pages of Marvel, and her tearing the piece of paper from the light post also gave a nod to another character whom she’ll eventually meet, Colleen Wing.
Hernan “Shades” Alvarez: Theo Rossi was irritating in a good way. This was THE character that you hated to love. He’s the type of antagonist that makes the viewer want to see punched in the face, but also never go away. In the comics, Shades had a visor similar to Cyclops from X-Men. I’m extremely happy that they took away that aspect and left him as a right hand man for the bosses. He seemed to have no particular allegiance to anyone, which makes me question one thing… He could pull off being a mob boss on his own, so why does he always end up being someone’s lackey? And what is it about him that scares his bosses? I say that because it seemed he could say anything he wanted to them, and there’d be no consequence.
Willis Stryker/Diamondback: Erik LaRay Harvey was a good pick for the character, but I don’t feel Diamondback was one to be taken seriously. Sure, he was crazy, but that’s what made it seemed out of place to me. His motivations were lacking and childish, and I can’t see why Cottonmouth was afraid of him. Okay, that aside, he was a major threat to everyone in the story, including Cage. The Chitauri metal being used as bullets that could penetrate Luke’s skin was an interesting addition, especially since we got to see how they could possibly do surgery on him. The final battle with Luke gave Diamondback a comic appropriate costume that made sense, and we’re obviously going to have him getting similar powers to his half brother in the second season or Defenders, after that ending. I look forward to seeing him return in a less mentally awkward role, and more of a physical threat.
Claire Temple/Nightnurse: Rosario Dawson’s character finally got some good screen time. She received some more back story, and even talked about how she wanted to help people with powers. This set up her role as the Night Nurse in Defenders.
Mariah Dillard/Black Mariah: Alfre Woodard has to take the prize for best acting in the series. She’s stellar in her performance of the corrupt politician. She’s got motivation and I’m glad to see her overall role remaining a presence. This woman came off as more of a threat than Wilson Fisk did in DD. I’m eager to see what will happen with her if she returns.
Comic book cameo roles: Trish Walker was heard over a radio broadcast briefly. Turk Barrett returned, and though it felt like a forced placement it was welcomed. Comanche played a role as Shades’ partner in prison, and though I can honestly say I know nothing about that character’s comic book portrayal, it was cool to see another D-lister appear in some way. Stan Lee’s poster was seen again in the background, just like in the other Netflix shows, and the references to the incident in Avengers as well as the other Netflix heroes brought it all together.
Various other roles: Detective Scarfe, Pop, and the countless other thug and police roles, as well as the countless musicians involved were nothing but pleasing to see. Method Man’s appearance was downright awesome!
Speculation: here’s what I think. Defenders are set up (all but Iron Fist, but he’s coming). We’ve got Luke Cage, who will obviously get out of prison due to a certain Daredevil lawyer. Aside from those two heroes there’s Misty Knight, The Night Nurse, Jessica Jones, Punisher, and the soon addition of Iron Fist and Colleen Wing. We might even get Trish as Hellcat. But who will be the threat? It was just announced that Sigourney Weaver will be the main villain for Defenders. Who she will be remains to be seen… Perhaps Madame Hydra?… regardless she has a ripe picking of villains to add to her antagonist army… Diamondback will now have abilities, Mariah Dillard, Shades, Kingpin, Turk and I’m sure I’m missing a few. I thought Avengers was highly anticipated when it was coming out, but now I’m beginning to think Defenders will be much the same.
Overall review: The music and acting were superior. Comic book references made old school fans happy. Real world events fit into the storytelling without pushing an agenda. This was some great storytelling with some flaws. It didn’t drag out like Jessica Jones did, and it did give us a good origin for multiple characters. It’s not perfect, but its earned one of the top places in my book for great action and attention. This was the first series of ALL of the Netflix shows that I think I could have literally watched all the way through without stopping in one sitting. I’d never do that, nor have the time to, but it was compelling and really decent. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins for my review. Keep them coming, Netflix and Marvel.
At first I’ll admit (much like I did with Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy) that I wondered how they were going to make a movie from a background character and make it work. I have always loved the character of Ant-Man, but to stand alone in a feature film was another whole story. I had faith in Marvel, and was pleasantly surprised with one major problem in story writing. Here’s my breakdown:
Scott Lang / Ant-Man II: Paul Rudd did an amazing job. He was a criminal with a purpose. He stole in order to pay child support so he could see his daughter. Sure this seems like something a derelict would do, and does, but in this case you could actually see Lang cares immensely for his little girl. She’s his world. Once he is unexpectedly in this micro sized world of Ant-Man it takes a lot for him to become a hero. I like his struggles and lightheartedness despite the serious situation. It was also set up for him to become Giant-man later down the line because of the fact that he was able to make it to the feared micro-verse and come back. Supposedly there was an easter egg hidden in the microscopic world, but there was so much to take in I missed it. The visuals were absolutely stunning.
Hope Van Dyne / Wasp II: Evangeline Lilly played the part well, and I echo her words in the mid credits scene “It’s about time.” This is in reference to her becoming the Wasp, much like her mother before her but in an updated suit. I have no problem that this skips over the whole original Wasp for the most part. It makes sense in this movie universe.
Paxton, Luis, Kurt & Dave: The Paxton character made sense and was a welcome part, but Luis and Dave seemed a bit too goofy for me. Sure I know it was supposed to be (and IS) humorous, but I couldn’t take them seriously… especially Luis. Kurt also bothered me because his accent seemed off. They were fun supporting characters, but short of Paxton I could have done without the others. They DO work in the lightheartedness of it all however, so its less a complaint than it is an observation.
Sam Wilson / Falcon: Anthony Mackie’s surprise appearance in the film tied it in perfectly to the rest of what has happened so far. The fight between Falcon and Ant-Man was epic and a great tease to letting the fans want to see more hero vs hero… He not only setup Civil War in that way, but with Bucky and Captain America at the end it all fell in nicely. Mackie’s character was the perfect choice to take the role here.
Hank Pym / Ant-Man I: Michael Douglas said a while back that he wanted to be in a Marvel movie. I’ll admit at first that I was skeptical of him being Hank Pym. Not because of his acting, but because that meant the Ant-Man I grew up with was going to be much older. They appeased me however by doing some flashbacks. We saw Peggy Carter and Howard Stark in the beginning of the film, and even Pym working along side a costumed Wasp I / Janet Van Dyne. The passing of the torch was played well, and the reason for Janet’s absence was well written.
Darren Cross / Yellowjacket: I thought originally Yellowjacket would be the villain way back when this movie was still in development, but I figured it’d have been Scott Lang in the role with Hank Pym defeating him and making him realize the err in his ways. While I enjoyed the way the character looked in suit and the epic final battle between him and Lang, I was really disappointed. Here we got another repeat villain. A bald mad scientist who is trying to take over a corporation by his own means, and becomes the villain. We saw this in Ironman 1 & 2 practically. We see it in countless other superhero films as well, so why did they go this route? To me it felt lazy. Were the effects and both Ant-Man incarnations not in it, this would have ruined the movie for me. Darren Cross was too predictable and unoriginal for me.
Stan Lee: Probably the briefest cameo he’s ever had, but still fun to see his face. This was for me one of his worst cameos though. This is not a complaint at all. I’m just stating that it wasn’t the best use of such an icon.
All in all Ant-Man was a fun ride. Aside from the villain it felt like a fresh and original movie that still fit in with the rest of the Marvel Universe. I can’t wait to see him link up again as an Avenger in Captain America 3. Scott Lang is the new Tony Stark as far as wit and personality, and it’ll be good to see the onscreen interaction among them all. Marvel does it again! 7 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins for a fun and visually stimulating time.
I decided this year to review all of the live action shows related to Marvel Comics in one article, so it will be more brief, but will contain some spoilers. If you just want my ratings then scroll down to the final paragraph of each break, which will be spoiler free.
First up, Daredevil. What is there to say? A lot, but so little. To me, this is the best Marvel live action thing to date, and that is saying a LOT. Never once have they nailed a character and realism as well as they had with this series. It also opens up opportunities for so much more, and yet still pays tribute to that which is already established. It connects the existing cinematic universe without using it as a springboard and does it tastefully. So, on to the characters:
Daredevil/Matt Murdock is played by Charlie Cox. From the acting, the abuse that the character takes both mentally and physically, and the way he perceives the world through his senses, you can really get a feel for what it is like to be in his shoes. His first costume is on point with one of the comic versions, while his final costume and why he dons it are closer to what we all know and love. Cox really takes us on the ride of not just knowing DD’s origin, but why he does what he does. He’s not just a hero because he has to be… he’s a hero because he WANTS to be.
Wilson Fisk/Kingpin , played by Vincent D’Onofrio, is believable from the start. This isn’t just Murdock’s origin as the hero, but moreso Fisk’s origin as the Kingpin. The look into his childhood says a lot as to why he is who he is, and what he goes through in these 13 episodes shows us why he will become what he has by the end of the season. He is cunning and powerful in more ways than one, and I doubt those bars will hold him for long.
Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, & Ben Urich: These three drive the series home, and while Foggy was quirky at times he grew on me. Ben was absolutely outstanding and I wish we could have seen more of him in the future. Karen proved that she will do what is necessary to survive, and support her friends. Daredevil would not have been complete without these three supporting characters.
Vanessa & Wesley: Like the above 3, supporting characters I can’t stress how much these two were needed for Fisk. Vanessa although falling a bit too fast has a dark side that is well balanced with a lighter side, making the perfect compliment for the lead villain. Every scene that included Wesley was enjoyable because of his dedication and coldness.
Leland Owlsley/The Owl: Bob Gunton always seems to play the same character no matter what his role, but his acting perfection in that role gave Owlsley the life he needed. My only regret is that we didn’t get to see the full comic book adaptation of The Owl, but I understand why. There was no room or need for him to become his better known comic half other than to serve the role he already did in the series.
Claire Temple/Nightnurse played by Rosario Dawson was utilized to the perfect amount. She didn’t need to do anymore than what she was there for, and I’m glad that they got away from the romance between her and Matt that I thought was going to begin.
Stan Lee: Yes I have to include his cameo, because he’s the man. I can understand if you missed it but he’s there in spirit. Behind the main desk of the Police office building there is a framed photo on the wall of who might be the chief of police or some retired police hero. The photo is of Stan Lee in uniform. His cameo and the avengers references were enough to make any fan boy smile.
Stick: Aside from the brief cameo we see by his partner Stone, Stick was crucial to the history of the man who would become DD. His persona is countered by the Catholic Priest and I believe it is both of these things that shape our hero and allow him to know what is right and wrong and which lines to cross.
Madame Gao: There are many speculations as to her actually being the Crane Mother, and they are justified. She knocked DD on his ass and barely had to break a sweat. Then she claimed that she was from a place much farther than China, so the only thing that could be is another realm… not to mention the symbol that is known to be part of the Iron Fist background. All of this aside, her role, and the brief Hand ninja appearance became ground work for the future of this series, and others to come.
All in all, I have to rate DD with a 10 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins. This is definitely NOT for young children, evident by the language and violence, but I think us adults needed something more mature to enjoy in this amazing universe. Kudos to the writers, producers and cast for an outstanding job.
Hayley Atwell breathes life once again into Peggy Carter. From coping with the “death” of Steve Rogers to dealing with the sexism of the time, she proves herself worthy in so many ways. With Edwin Jarvis and Howard Stark there to support her, she rises against the odds, kicks ass, and all while feeling real.
Doctor Faustus & The Black Widow program prove to be the perfect villains for the series while The Howling Commandoes become a wanted sight to assist Carter.
Stan Lee once again appears as a guy getting his shoes shined, and again you can’t help but smile at his presence.
All in all I found the series to be unnecessary, but enjoyable. The cast and setting were a decent escape from the norm, and it provided an origin to the organization that would one day be called SHIELD. That being said, I wish this was a one shot. There is no need to further tackle this subject in another miniseries, but ABC has officially announced season 2. Overall I give Agent Carter 6 out of 10 sCrypt coffins.
It began with a bang, progressed on to more boring issues, then got interesting, but not necessarily great. Then the ending came and the finale went out with a bang. Here are some of the more notable things:
Phil Coulson has become less interesting, and while I’m a fan of everything Clark Greg does, I’m convinced the newly appointed director of SHIELD may have his days numbered.
Carl Creel/Absorbing Man was easily the BEST thing about this season. He was given a mention in Daredevil as well, so I think the powers that be know his worth. The special effects and interesting way that they made him appear (yes even with his ball and chain) had me convinced that this season was going to be absolutely amazing.
The second best thing about this season was the introduction of Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird. She is what the SHIELD team needed to feel more connected to Marvel’s universe. She’s an enjoyable character to watch and more likeable than most of the characters.
FitzSimmons is annoying on a whole different level than they were last season. Fitz has become more likeable, but his memory issue seems to have been a bit overdone. Simmons on the other hand; for the love of God, she needs to go. There was no point to her even being there other than being a very annoying character.
Agent 33 is a mystery. I’m not sure where I stand as of yet on her reliance with Ward, but could she be Madame Masque? If she isn’t I dont see much of a point to her either.
Raina took a back seat through most of this season, but I like that they introduced her as the Raina character from the comics. Sure she may have been a C-rate character, but the usage was done nicely.
Daisy/Skye/Quake is the primary focus of the season, and while she has been revealed as being one of the Inhumans, she is not up to her full capacity yet. This needed to be done with Skye, because if not she’d be another person that would have felt forced if anything at all. I’m interested in seeing her develop more especially since she will be on a team of powered people working for SHIELD next season (at least that’s what they led you to believe).
Cal/Mr. Hyde Definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season. He’s a bit nerdy, a bit psychotic, and a bit melodramatic, but I’d never in a million years have thought I’d see him in a live action adaptation. While I hope for more known characters to appear, Hyde is what this show needs. It is a less than perfect show, so why not use less than perfect characters that will enhance it? He is exactly that but it works well.
Deathlok 2.0 is still meh. I like Mike Peterson, but he is still not the Deathlok I want to see. I only hope that this version of him will continue to evolve into what he should be. We know they can pull it off, so they need to make it happen. I’d much rather see him and mockingbird than the lesser inhuman people.
From characters, to Age of Ultron and movie/tv show tie ins, to the Kree and SHIELD rising and falling, this season had a lot going for it, but also a lot of room for improvement. It has been renewed for season 3, but if they don’t do something interesting fast then it will get the boot. I give it 5 out of 10 sCrypt Coffins for season 2. There was enough to make me interested, but much to forget about.
If 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.