I grew up watching Sly Stallone’s movies, and since my hometown Philadelphia Eagles were underdogs in the SuperBowl this year, I wanted my kids to see some great underdog stories. We watched the whole franchise, so instead of rating individual movies, I’m going to go with the boxers in each, and rate them that way. I’ll give a spoiler warning, but if you haven’t seen these movies shame on you anyway 😛
In the first ROCKY film, Sly’s character had a decent story. Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa struggled to make ends meet. He was relatable in every sense of the term, albeit a bit annoying at times with his incessant ramblings. That just added to the character. He comes off a bit strong, and even uncomfortable in his approach to Adrian. Now I won’t get into Adrian as I’m focusing on the boxers themselves, but she is Rocky’s backbone, and their relationship is fun to watch and build. The build of getting to see him rise up to take on a challenge from the Boxing champion of the world, is a long but enjoyable journey starting with his bout against Spider Rico (who shows up later in the 6th film again).
Apollo Creed is a cocky type of character, but it’s hard to hate him. He has used his fame to give a nobody a chance. Although he wins by split decision, he knows he was underestimate Rocky. This is where ROCKY 2 comes in for the rematch. My problem with the first movie is that Rocky doesn’t guard his head at all. I boxed for a short time, and know that leaving yourself open the way he does in the first film makes for quick matches. This was slightly corrected in the second movie, and the fight is a bit closer to realistic. Apollo, despite being angry at Rocky throughout the film still respects the man.
We will skip ROCKY 3’s opening match with Hulk Hogan’s “Thunderlips,” because although entertaining it’s obviously done with humor, and not to be taken seriously. On to Clubber Lang. Now the movies have gone from boxers for sport to having a real bad guy, and it works. Mr. T is way more intimidating than Apollo was, but having Apollo at Rocky’s side as trainer brings a nice full circle to it all. And yes the beach scene with them training is downright hilariously cheesy, but when you’ve got “Eye of the Tiger” playing you can’t lose. Literally in this case.
ROCKY 4 takes a drastic turn here by killing off the still pompous Apollo Creed. I mean we haven’t recovered from Mickey’s death yet, and another favorite bites the dust. There is purpose though because it fuels the hate for the seemingly unstoppable Ivan Drago. Of all the series, this one was always my favorite because it had my attention as a kid and stayed with me. It’s now my son’s favorite of them all as well.
ROCKY 5 is definitely the low point of the series, but it’s not one you should skip. Tommy “The Machine” Gunn is a turd right from the start, but that’s not what these films are all about. It’s about Rocky’s struggle with returning to a normal life after being told he has brain damage, losing his house, and being betrayed by a kid he takes in as his own. It also shows the heart of fatherhood, and how he doesn’t realize he is failing with his son, by taking in this other youth. In the end it sorts out well for the Balboa family, or so it seems. The street fight with Balboa and Gunn is probably what turned people off the most. It isn’t really a boxing story, despite having that as a root element. Still, it’s fun to watch the beat down.
ROCKY BALBOA was an unexpected return to the series over a decade later, and it makes up for what 5 wasn’t in plot. Rocky’s wife Adrian is dead, his best friend Paulie loses his job, his son Robert Jr does what he can to get out of his father’s shadow, and Rocky deals with a lonely life of pain while managing a restaurant. When I saw this in the theater I was overjoyed at having the character return, but in rewatching it I realize how it doesn’t quite hold up as well as the older ones. Sure, it’s one of the best stories about Rocky’s life, but I’m talking about the fight. Rocky jumping back into the ring at 60 years old is a bit of a stretch. Even the training sequences show that he’s no way near as in peak shape as he used to be. His body just can’t do what it used to. Still, watching him trade blows with Mason “The Line” Dixon was fun enough. The much older boxer was able to prove that age shouldn’t hold you down from what you enjoy, and the younger boxer was able to prove to the world that he could handle an icon and isn’t just fighting nobodies.
Now comes CREED, and just when you think the franchise might get stale, we have a successful reboot that brings the saga to a whole new generation. For one, I hope it keeps going, because Adonis Johnson Creed is a very likeable character in much the same way that Rocky is. I find the fight with “Pretty Ricky” Conlan an entertaining enough bout. Apollo Creed’s son seems to have his father’s footwork and some of Rocky’s power. It’s the best of both worlds making each new match feel unique. I love the throwbacks and references, I hate Pretty Ricky because he’s a punk, and even more so I love that Rocky fights once again (though this time against cancer and not an opponent in the ring). The ending is touching, and brings everything full circle. Rocky is the new Mick, and Adonis “Donnie” is the new Rocky.
Speaking of Mickey “Mick” Goldmill, I could easily see a prequel movie about the rise of Jewish boxers in Philadelphia. I have a great story idea that would be a perfect tie in to the franchise featuring a younger Mick, but be separated enough to be something totally new. Call me, Sly!
This franchise is about heart, never giving up, and dealing with the struggles of life. It can’t get any more real than that. After watching the movies, I took my family down to the Art Museum in Philly to run the steps, pose with the Rocky statue, and see the sights. I didn’t even realize that Rocky’s (Stallone’s) footprints are there. My wife grabbed this shot of the city from the top of the steps with the plaque. It was fun to see countless people doing the same thing that we did, and it’s still over 40 years since the original movie came out.
I’ll do a review of CREED 2 when it comes out in October of this year. If you haven’t heard, Ivan Drago is returning sure to put up an interesting interaction between him and Rocky, while Donnie Creed takes on Drago’s son.
What do you think of this series? Which one is your favorite? Do you want to see it continue for years to come? Chime in with your thoughts below.
A freshman season of a superhero tv show that isn’t horrible? That could never happen, right? Wrong. The Gifted made its way in for 13 episodes of really compelling story telling. This is tied in to the already existing X-Men movies, but does a great job of distancing itself.
I do have to clarify the timeline a little. This story takes place as Blink and Thunderbird first meet, but in the new timeline established at the end of Days of Future Past. Confused yet? I’m not done. If you recall, Blink and Warbird (Thunderbird’s brother) were characters in DOFP, so this is a really great way to connect the films to the show. Let’s add in that it seems to take place before Logan, but after the (SPOILER ALERT) X-Men and Brotherhood are apparently killed off by Xavier’s out of control powers referenced in the Logan movie.
So the show plays out with an underground network of mutants trying to survive in a world that hates them. They don’t know what happened to the X-Men or Brotherhood, but it no longer matters. Sentinel Services is on their backs. The organization is tied to Trask industries, but they have acknowledged that the giant robot sentinels were an issue in the past (Days of Future Past), and have moved to smaller robotic drones and hound mutants (brainwashed mutants) to help them.
Comic characters Pulse, Dreamer, Trader, Fenris, and Evangeline Whedon play small roles, while a brand new character Eclipse takes center stage as one of the co-leaders of the mutant underground.
The season plays out a little slow at times, but builds as it goes, and doesn’t make the mistake of harboring on one story line or cliffhangers for too long. It does have a theme throughout the season, which seems to be resolved at the end. (More Spoilers) Polaris seems to be following in her father’s footsteps (Magneto) and joining the Hellfire Club with the Stepford Cuckoos. The remaining mutants are homeless with nowhere to go. Presumably they will take refuge in the sewers and become the Morlocks of comic fame, but that is something for season 2 to tackle. And I’m hoping Dr. Campbell is not dead (He’s Ahab in the comics, so I’m sure he’ll be back in some form.)
What we have is a great X-Men B-list of mutants and humans who are surrounded by decent story telling. The great part of the show, however, is the Strucker family. Not only is their back story very deeply rooted in the source material, but they are characters you care about. All four of them really steal the show along with Agent Turner of the Sentinel Services. They are believable (at least their situations) and solid all around. The comic book connections are just icing on an already good cake.
I can’t wait to see what season 2 brings, as it looks to be more related to the comic books, but until then this was a good breath of fresh air for the superhero genre on TV. I give The Gifted first season, 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think? Where do you think it will go from here? Chime in with your comments below.
When watching any of the CW DC comics shows you have to keep in mind the network that they are on. The writers are targeting a single market, and alienating others. People who have been fans of the comics and these characters for years (myself included) will often cringe at some of the decisions made by the writers. Children that should be able to watch a comic book show just simply can’t because they are all too adult oriented. And if you’ve got a political view that isn’t what the writers want to push, then you’ll be dissatisfied as well. These are shows aimed at millennials, and I’m not using that in a negative term towards that generation. I get a network wanting to appeal to a certain audience, but as a man who went to school for learning how to gain an audience, I know it isn’t a wise decision to exclude any others. If I were making a show I’d want it to reach as many people as possible (especially the long time fans and the next generation of youth). Sadly, this isn’t the case with Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.
Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I follow and watch these shows each week. Do I do it because they are great? No. But there is a small element that gives me hope I will eventually see what I know the DC comics shows could be. After this crossover it could go either way.
Stay with me a moment while I explain. When Supergirl was in its freshman season it was lacking a budget, but the stories were told well. Then it was moved to the CW, and it became something entirely different. It got rid of good characters and changed the sexuality of another. It went from focusing on Kara Zor-El of Krypton to focusing on love lives. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was done right, but the problem is none of the dialogue in the relationships is realistic, and the scenarios feel forced if not acted out.
I preface with that because that is EXACTLY what we got in this crossover. Now, I’m not entirely hating because there were good things about it. For example: The Nazi Earth storyline, the death of beloved character Martin Stein, the return of Red Tornado, Barry and Iris finally getting married, and some pretty fun action scenes to watch with all the shows’ characters coming together in a Justice League B-Team sort of way.
But that is about it. The rest is riddled with plot holes that make no sense, corny moments, ridiculous relationship moments, and a forced political message. Let’s skip the corny moments because they can be forgiven, and talk about the plot holes…
Plot hole 1, 2, and 3: If Nazis won World War II and ruled another Earth, then why is the sky Red there? It’s still Earth right? And to add to that history would have been entirely changed. There’s a good chance that Oliver Queen wouldn’t even exist. Even IF that was possible how would he have become the Fuhrer? Is he a descendant of some high ranking German officer? That wouldn’t make sense either considering his family’s legacy. Not to mention that all existing character dopplegangers should have looked much different, whether it be facial hair, lipstick or whatever. Something would be different.
Plot hole 4: The Nazis have a wave rider. Why wouldn’t they use it to travel back in time on Earth One and change things? Instead they use it to attack civilians running in panic. It’s instead portrayed as less a doomsday weapon that Overgirl was.
Plot hole 5: Overgirl or Nazi Supergirl exploding also made no sense. The yellow sun powers her and Supergirl. Why would flying close to it irradiate her heart and cause her to be dying? Is this a lost plotline from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace? Even that movie had less plot holes.
Plot hole 6: How did this Nazi army do anything to stay in power. It seems that they aren’t very loyal to taking commands. When their Fuhrer says, “Kill them,” multiple times, they just march forward. They have automatic weapons in their hands. All they had to do to listen to orders was to aim and fire. Sure, there would have been some bullet proof people or those who could avoid the barrage of projectiles, but the Nazis would have at least tried. And they would have succeeded in killing a few. Instead we get a group fist fight with little to no guns being used, but lots of superpowers.
Plot hole 7: If Earth One is the Ray’s real home and Earth X is Citizen Cold’s real home, then why would Cold stay on One, and Ray return to X? Relationship aside, this makes no sense whatsoever.
Plot hole 8: Why is Thawne on Earth X? And to top it off, why is he even taking orders? He could easily kill evil Oliver, and outrun Supergirl to other worlds. This just seems stupid.
Plot hole 9, 10 & 11: These are less plot holes and more of unanswered issues, but who was the girl holding the drinks at the wedding? She acted like she knew Barry and is obviously someone from the future, but who? This doesn’t fit in a crossover episode, but should have been in a Flash episode. We have no answer at the conclusion of this arc though and are left wondering. Red Tornado’s return was much better than he appeared before, but are him and Metallo now dead? They both exploded as if they were just henchmen, and I’m still left wanting more of both for Supergirl or whatever show they fit in. Martin Stein’s death leaves another unanswered thing in his wake. Will Jax be useless from now on? My guess is that Stein’s daughter will be able to bond with Jax because of genetic code, and I’d be fine with that. There is a down side to this… it will become yet another relationship to watch on these shows.
That takes us to the relationship part of all of this… Straight or gay it doesn’t matter… the way they were written in felt forced and didn’t make anyone care at all for them. In fact, the only relationship that anyone should care about in this crossover is disrespected.
Relationship 1: Nazi Oliver and Nazi Supergirl – I actually enjoyed this one. It was as much a shock as it was to see Tommy Merlin appear as Prometheus, and it was executed quite well. The only down side is that this chemistry feels off for a so called dictator and a goddess of another world. It weakens their status and while they can and should love each other no matter how evil, it is something that would be done in private, not in public.
Relationship 2: Alex and White Canary – Let’s take the whiniest indecisive character (Alex) and focus more on her fake love life. They spent a season of Supergirl making me hate this character and it wasn’t because she was gay, but because her love life didn’t seem authentic. Everything with her and Maggie was forced from bad dialogue to interactions. So it’s not a surprise when it carries over to hear, and even the characters feel funny about it in the show. Then they put her with White Canary, who at this point must have every STD in the history of mankind. How many women has she slept with throughout history and NOT affected the time line? It’s been way too many to count or make sense. This was my final straw for both these characters, especially Alex. They need to kill her off already because she brings nothing to the show. White Canary is fine when she is acting like a leader, but how disrespectful can you be at a friend’s wedding rehearsal to just ignore the bride and groom because you want a one night stand? ugh.
Relationship 3: Barry and Iris – Poor Barry and Iris. This is one relationship I really care about. I want to see them together, and when they get their chance at a wedding it is all about everyone else and not them (including the point where they get married finally). Thankfully they had their moment, but the writers royally screwed them in the process. It’s a slap in the face to the actors and characters.
Relationship 4: Oliver and Felicity – WTF?! Any respect I had for Felicity is gone after that crap she pulled. Some best friends you are if you can’t even respect their wedding. But no… instead of Green Arrow and Black Canary we get Ollicity… a forced and unsteady relationship that just shows why many marriages end up in divorce. They have no respect for what should matter (the wedding of their friends).
Relationship 5: The Ray and Citizen Cold – I get that the Ray is a gay character. I get that the actor playing Captain Cold is gay as well. What I don’t get is why we had to see this portrayed so forcibly. Put all the sexuality aside and it really doesn’t make sense. Two people in love supposedly, but the one is in prison camp. The other finally shows up to help out? How long did that take? Then they kiss, and there is a drastic change in the mannerisms of Citizen Cold. He goes from being cool and badass to almost acted out like he’s prancing around and smiling all the time. I mean they quite literally stereotyped him right there and changed the character mid scene. Then the end comes and they just decide that they aren’t going to be together on the same Earth? WTF?
This brings me to my final point. The CW is trying very hard to get across a few political messages. Whether you love or hate what is going on in the world, the last place I want to see politics is on a show I want to see. Television is supposed to be a relief from the corruption and political bullcrap that is our current real society. The constant push to make comments like “Make America Aryan again” just doesn’t bring anything to the show. And the primary focus to be on relationships that seem way more forced than natural (gay or straight) comes off as more a message than anything else.
Extra questions I’m left with are “Where is the Hall of Justice introduced in last season’s crossover Invasion?” and “If this world was such a threat then why didn’t they recruit Martian Manhunter and Superman into it, not to mention the rest of the Time Bureau?”
We will see how the rest of the individual shows work out when I do my review at the end of the seasons, but for this crossover it is one you can easily skip. I’ll give it 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that really comes down to a good concept and cool characters being screwed by poor writing and nonsense.
What did you think of Crisis on Earth X? I’d love to hear if I’m the only one who felt this way or you agree.
I won’t spend much time on this because it has already sucked the life out of me. I watched every episode hoping for some pay off, but to no avail. Here’s the basic gist…
- Heroic characters who can’t use their abilities (Medusa gets her hair cut off and Blackbolt is too powerful to show his powers more than three times.)
- Other heroic characters who are not well developed (Lockjaw the dog with horrible CGI, Crystal the teenage girl who could have stopped the problem on her own, but didn’t for some reason, Gorgon the man who you never actually see his hooved legs clearly, and Triton who dies and then is suddenly not dead because of a plan that no one really knows about even when it is revealed.)
- A villain who is basically more hero than the heroes (Maximus is portrayed in just that way, so at the end it almost feels as if the bad guys have won, even though it shouldn’t)
- Karnak was enjoyable to watch, but every scene he was in felt like it brought his character down.
- Atillan, the city on the moon, was the best thing about the show and even that gets destroyed at the end.
- And the Inhumans are now on Earth, so will they cameo in Agents of SHIELD or will we forget about them entirely? If they do cameo, then I hope its done in a way to completely not refer to this show at all because I’m trying hard to forget.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news. I’m not one of those comic nerds who sit in their basement and act like keyboard warriors hating all things done. If anything I’m the opposite. I’m a fan who grew up reading this stuff and am happy to see it on screen, and most of the time forgive the “problems” others have with it all. This was the exception. It was just boring from start to finish, and had no climax at all.
This officially marks the lowest score I’ve ever given to a show or movie, and I feel a pang of guilt for doing it, but I have to be honest. I give this show a 0.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that’s only because a zero would mean I hadn’t watched it.
What did you think? Have you seen Marvel’s Inhumans? Am I being too harsh? Chime in with your comments.
The Marvel and Netflix combo hit again with their newest series The Punisher. My expectations were very high for this show, because I was an avid reader of the gratuitously violent anti-hero vigilante. There was something about the character that went beyond just the gore and killing. He was a decent human being that lost his family. He wasn’t just a murdering psychopath.
We already got a taste of Frank Castle during Daredevil season 2, so going into this I was worried that the audience wouldn’t be able to connect with him. With all the violence in today’s society it is hard to find a reason to see him as a hero, but this show was done perfectly to exude that feeling.
While some may complain that it was way too slow, I think most will agree that the paced narrative was necessary to make the audience cheer for the main character and feel for him. He’s not out for revenge. He’s out for justice. It may not be what the government deems as just, but for the people he’s taking out, it is what he feels needs to be done.
There is a suspension of disbelief seeing him get tortured, beaten, and shot beyond a level suitable for any one human to take, but isn’t that how any show like this would go? There were some references to the comics that were done tastefully. The final three episodes go from story telling to hard core (at some moments almost unwatchable combat). Yes, there was more than one moment where I had a difficult time seeing what was on screen, but it held my attention because at that point in the story the villains really needed to have that done to them.
SPOILER ALERT: The final battle with Billy Russo and Punisher was my favorite scene. I got worried at one point that they’d kill off the big bad. I knew that in the comics he becomes Jigsaw (basically the antithesis to Frank Castle with a horribly scarred face. At one point he even wore a costume similar to Punisher’s). Thankfully, Frank had reason to let him live, and with all the foreshadowing done throughout the episodes, how could he not?
Will we see The Punisher and Daredevil team up again to take down a Kingpin/Jigsaw/Bullseye combo? Who knows, but it’s something that I hope happens at some point. END SPOILERS
At the end of the day it comes down to this… The Punisher season 1 is a well told story. It is a tragic story. It is a love story. It is a story about corruption and justice. It is a story about political agendas and dealing with PTSD. Throw in some really action packed scenes to live up to the name Frank Castle bears, and you end up with something completely new for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. It went beyond my expectations for a good story, and appeased the comic book fan in me.
What did you think of Punisher season 1? Comment with your thoughts and predictions of where they may take the character(s) after this.
I’ll give you a heads up now. There will be some spoilers in this review, but I will try to keep it to a minimum. If you’d like my rating of the movie without all the intricacies you can scroll down to the final paragraph.
Justice League has finally happened, but the reception is once again split down the middle. DC and Warner Brothers are having a rough streak at keeping the audiences happy overall. I could get into why, but perhaps that’s another article. Here’s what I can say…
This movie will make longtime fans of the characters happy. For those who look at plot and effects, well that may be a different story. Here’s a brief character breakdown:
Batman: Affleck looks tired in the role. Perhaps part of what the negativity is comes from him. I still think he’s a great batman and Bruce Wayne, but there’s no passion in the actor’s eyes. That being said, Batman was very enjoyable and seems to have been set up to eventually phase into either an Alfred like role for the team or being replaced by perhaps Dick Grayson at some point under the cowl.
Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot rocks the role again, and she really is the glue to this whole team. I feel they could have used her more in the film, but there’s only so much you can do with this many characters in a two hour movie.
The Flash: I was very skeptical about the casting of Ezra Miller in this part. He doesn’t look like the Barry Allen that fans have come to know, and the one on TV has been prominent in everyone’s minds. From the second he took to the screen however, I was pleasantly surprised. I hate his suit with a passion. For a character that can run at super speeds, you’d think it’d be more aerodynamic and uniform. This looks like a machine more than something a hero would wear. Other than that, I think he is portrayed quite well in the movie as an up and coming hero.
Cyborg: If it weren’t for the horrible CGI on him, I really think he’d have been great. Unfortunately because he is hard to look at at times, and there is not much about him learning each of his upgrades, it’s difficult to enjoy the time he’s on screen.
Aquaman: This is another casting that I thought was strange, but am completely on board with now. He is easily one of the best things about the movie. Like Wonder Woman, he has limited screen time, but I think he was presented well as far as quickly learning back story. He brings quite a bit of humor and badassery to the plot. I also like how they mention it isn’t the fish he talks to, but the water itself. This actually makes a lot more sense.
Superman: Finally, we get a Superman that is closer to what he is in the comics. He has a brighter costume, and less brooding persona. That may not be the case when he is first brought back from the dead, but what we do get is a very cool few scenes. The moment when he is brought back and faces the League is my favorite part of the whole movie. I could watch it over and over and never get bored. It made the comic book geek in me happy that Joss Whedon took over to give it what fans have wanted. If I had to offer one complaint it would be that I really hoped we’d have seen him in his black and silver suit with a slight mullet. In all reality hair does continue to grow after death for a bit, so him being clean cut made no sense.
Steppenwolf: I was surprised to hear he was going to be the main villain, but excited as well. He was one of my favorite villains when I was a kid, and seeing a proper interpretation of him got me stoked. While the Parademons really worked, however, he wasn’t as memorable. The back story we got felt like it was missing quite a bit, but that could have been forgiven if we’d had something visually fun to look at. The biggest problem I had with the movie was him. The CGI was absolutely horrible. When you are given movies like Star Wars and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and you have these visually stunning fake people, why would computer graphics that look like they belong in the early 2000s be involved. All I could see while watching him was the way Hulk looked way back when Eric Bana played him. It was very very hard to watch him speak or see any close up of his face.
The small roles and cameos of a Green Lantern from ages ago, plus Zeus, Lois, Commisioner Gordon, Marc McClure’s appearance, and the post credits with Lex Luthor and Deathstroke were all welcome additions to enhance the story.
A side note… Whoever markets the toylines for these movies should be shot. All my son wants for Christmas is a Steppenwolf action figure to face off against his League. In order to get one, I’d have to buy all the heroes he currently owns. Needless to say I’m not doing that and ebay will hold the answers for me as I get an older version of the character with no stupid CGI barf face.
All the problems with CGI aside, I really found the movie to be a fun time. Would I say see it in the theater? No. I’d say wait to rent it, but don’t miss out. People who enjoyed Batman vs Superman should enjoy what it has evolved into here. People who hated Batman vs Superman should feel happy that it’s evolved into something better. It is not better than Wonder Woman, but I’ll place it above BvS, Man Of Steel, and that God awful Suicide Squad movie. I give it 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. It would have had another star from me if the effects were done right, and another if they’d managed the story better, but I don’t think it deserves some of the hate it is getting. If this is what the DC extended universe is going to start to shape up to be with its characters, then I’m all for it. What did you think of Justice League?
Less than enthusiastic is how I’d rate my reaction when I heard this movie was coming out. Why would anyone make a film about stupid texting icons? Then my kids wanted to make it part of our family movie night this past Friday. I had no choice but to see it, and it really hits the “Don’t judge a book by its cover” note.
It’s an animation geared towards young audiences, but has a very classic Disney movie quality, despite it not being a Disney film at all. What I mean is that it is heartwarming, fun, and has an underlying love story that prevails in the end.
I found myself at times smiling and even laughing at the well played jokes and scenarios. It felt familiar in a “Wreck-It-Ralph” sense. In fact I could even see this and that movie occurring in the same universe. That won’t happen of course, but it has the same sort of feel.
I don’t think I’ll ever see it again, so it’s not something that I personally would tell you to “go see,” but it is a fun movie with the kids, or just if you enjoy this genre. I was pleasantly surprised, and didn’t feel as though I’d wasted time watching it. I give it 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think of the Emoji Movie?
Here we are with another movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and like all its predecessors we hear the line, “Best Marvel movie yet!” Does it hold up to the hype? I guess that’s how you look at it. Here’s my take on the latest adventure for the god of thunder. Warning. Some spoilers ahead:
This third installment didn’t feel as if it fit in the trilogy. While the previous two Thor movies were for the most part serious with small amounts of humor, this went beyond what Guardians of the Galaxy had done. The humor worked, but I’m not sure it was a good thing. Was Ragnarok a good movie? My answer isn’t simple. Yes… it’s a good movie if you are looking for a comedy flick filled with colorful action. Yes… it’s a good movie for comic book fans. Yes… overall it is a good movie, but the comedy and seriousness of it didn’t mix well.
The Hulk worked great! He was a great deal of comic relief, and he worked well because of the fact he is like an over sized five year old. Thor’s humor however felt a bit cheesy. Don’t get me wrong. Hemsworth is phenomenal in the role and he delivered it well, but for someone who is an heir to the throne of an entire world, he’s less a King or prince, and more of the town stooge at times. That being said, he does pull through and become a great leader to replace Odin.
Beyond the strange comedic mix there is quite a great amount of screen play to remember. 1) they combined 3 separate storylines very well (Ragnarok, Contest of Champions, and World War Hulk.)
2) Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, and Cate Blanchett are perfection in every role they play. At least I’m convinced of this, because all three stood out to me. The rest of the cast also delivered well with what they were given with the exception of the Executioner and Surtur. I don’t feel the former was used well at all, because he really didn’t live up to his title, and Surtur was weak compared to what I’d envisioned a creature like him to be.
3) The cameos of the actors in the beginning (Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, and Sam Neil) were a funny addition to Loki’s telling of what happened. Doctor Strange’s inclusion was known, and I’m glad it was on the level it was. He served a purpose quickly and in a glorified way. And Stan Lee’s cameo might have been my favorite one yet.
4) Hulk. We got a speaking hulk. ’nuff said.
Then there’s the questions we are left with at the end. I’m assuming that the Eternal Flame is probably the Soul Stone, since Hela used it to resurrect her army, and Loki to do the same to Surtur. If that’s the case, then there are two Infinity gems that Thanos must have in his possession at the start of Infinity war; not to mention that he has the entire Asgardian refugee ship (including Hulk, Heimdall, Valyrie and Thor) as captives. – Speaking of Hela, since she is the goddess of death (and we know Thanos loves death), is she truly dead? I don’t think so. She probably just will be a bit weaker without Asgard’s existence, but present in some state. – Was the blonde Valkyrie who saved our new scrapper Valkyrie in the flashback, the original comic book version or just a way to pay tribute to her? Either way it was a fun fan moment. – Is Banner gone for good? It sure looks that way, especially since Banner seemed to think that would happen, and his impact with the rainbow bridge would surely indicate he is dead. – Also, without his mighty hammer, will Thor end up getting his Jarnbjorn battle axe? I surely hope so. – And finally, is the Grandmaster dead? I’m assuming that the people would kill and “eat” him, as they tried to do with Thor in the beginning.
There’s lots to discover in the next Avengers movie, but until then, this one will hold us over for a few months. Final assessment? Was it the best Marvel movie? No. The humor and tone didn’t mix well, but separately would have worked. I worry that if Marvel continues to push these bounds, then we may end up getting sloppier work. That being said, this is not a sloppy movie by any means. I give it 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, placing it somewhere between good and great, but not quite excellent. How about you? What did you think about Thor Ragnarok? Speculations? Comment with your thoughts below.
Spider-Man is back at Marvel, but how did he fare swinging into action on home turf? I’ll say this. It was not the movie I wanted it to be. I expected it to be the best of the existing Spidey films so far, but it fell just shy of Spider-man 2, which I feel remains at the top of the list. So what was good and bad about it?
The Shocker felt like a rip off. Which one? It doesn’t matter. Were either of these guys Herman Schultz? Again, it doesn’t matter. It was explained that the technology could shatter their arms, so that’s why the quilted yellow jacket was used. Is it so hard then to put a mask on the men? I’m just tired of half assed villain appearances. Hopefully they bring him back soon.
Zendaya’s character was a waste. Why was she even there? She’s clearly not the MJ that we know as in Mary Jane Watson (At least she better not be). And the whole team going to Washington DC? How did anyone else not figure out that Parker and Spider-Man happen to be in both places? Flash Thompson didn’t seem like Flash Thompson at all.
The Spider-Man A.I. suit is just stupid. Get rid of the computer and give him spider-sense already. This isn’t the hero comic book fans want. And Aunt May is hot of course, but her presence was lacking. No mention of Uncle Ben either, but Peter did say his Aunt had been through a lot, so that can slide.
I know I said the AI suit is a bad thing, but I do like the different web settings. This actually can explain a lot. The spider-tracers were also awesome to see, as well as the search light. I liked the mentor being Tony Stark too. It worked really well.
Adrian Toomes/Vulture, and The Tinkerer were perfect. The way they were handled was done quite well, though I feel the final battle was a bit anti-climactic. Ned was also a good friend for Peter to have and share his secret with.
The scene with Adrian Toomes in the car with Peter was very cool. The little speech Keaton gave was chilling. I’m not sure Liz as his daughter felt right, but it didn’t matter because she too was a welcome addition.
From Damage Control, to Spider-man/Peter Parker himself were great. And shall I say that I think Tom Holland is our best Spidey/Parker yet! I look forward to seeing him many more times in the role.
Homecoming is not the best Spidey movie because so much more could have been done to correct the minor plot holes. That being said, it is certainly not the worst, and comes in right up there with Spider-man 2 as a close favorite. I give it 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.
Where can it go from here? I can easily see Spidey battling the Sinister Six with an ally or two. I realize he’s got a role in Infinity War and more, but why not see what he can do against the likes of: Vulture, Scorpion, Tinkerer, Shocker, and two others. I suggest a proper Rhino and Prowler. It’s clear that Miles Morales exists in this universe, so make him Spidey’s ally and give the fans something to remember. What did you think of Spider-man Homecoming?
It’s no secret that the DCEU of movies has met with harsh criticism, and in some cases rightfully so. Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman were split down the middle by fans and Suicide Squad was an absolute disaster. Even before those the films were less than perfect. Bad interpretations of villains in the previous Batman movies, a heavily CGI Green Lantern film, and the 5 prior Superman films were only good for the first two. So the track record of DC films hasn’t been anything spectacular over the years. Sure there were high points, but it really had me worry for Wonder Woman.
Then I saw it, and while the story felt similar to Captain America the First Avenger, it was Gal Gadot who really made this a great watch. The actress is not only stunning, but connects with audiences on an emotional end, and then turns into a complete badass. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor added a great amount of chemistry and humor needed.
The supporting cast did well, and the visual effects with the lasso were straight from the pages of the comic books. The director’s decision to add more color to Wonder Woman’s costume was a smart one as well. It made her stand out more in a very cold looking era film.
My complaints would be minor overall but still bothersome. Ares was a great villain, but I saw the twist coming from the moment the actor stepped on screen. It was way too predictable. The over usage of Wonder Woman’s theme song grew tiresome, and some of the Amazonian fights looked off in the CGI department.
What I did like is that for the most part this was a true interpretation of the character. I’d watch Gal Gadot in anything, but the comic fan in me couldn’t be happier. I’m not sure I enjoyed the sort of force blast she showed with her gauntlets, but I think this was to show how she can ricochet most attacks that way.
Finally, DC films has something to list as their best movie to date (Yes that includes all other movies mentioned above). We now have a female hero who is both a princess and warrior hero. I give Wonder Woman 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?