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?
Season 1 of Ash vs Evil Dead was a great throwback to the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness franchise. It cemented itself as the perfect installment for fans of old and new. I thought season 2 would have been more of the same approach, but I was thankfully wrong.
Sure there was some of the B movie humor, which had me laughing hysterically at one point (The Morgue scene when Ash is going after the book). But there was also some sincerity to it in a very Evil Dead 1 sort of way. When Ash is in the asylum it is downright creepy. Baal vs Ash in a mental battle was fun to watch. Ruby joining the team was a step in the right direction of adding tension and mistrust. Pablo becoming the book was interesting. Lee Majors as Brock (Ash’s father) was perfect casting, and it made me miss his old 6 million dollar man days.
Then they took a completely unexpected turn and went back to prevent the events in the first movie from ever happening, only to change them for the worse. My question is who picked up the Necronomicon in the post credits scene? If the writers wanted to really throw the viewers for a loop they would make it one of the kids from the remake a few years back. In that movie Ash shows up to pick up the surviving girl. With that epilogue and him in the shadows there, it could easily be explained that he brought her in as a new team member. This would make that movie canon. Even if it was not a good interpretation it would still fit in what could become an even more exciting series.
I mean there really isn’t anything I can complain about here. If B-movie horror/comedy isn’t your thing, then you won’t like this, but for any fan of the original films I highly recommend it. I give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think of Ash vs Evil Dead season 2?
The Alien franchise has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. Each installment has me on the edge of my seat waiting for release. Well I finally got to sit down and watch Alien: Covenant, and found it to be familiar, yet refreshing.
Slight Spoilers ahead…
At first I found myself confused thinking that they wouldn’t even touch on the events in Prometheus, but thankfully they wrapped up that story fairly well, and in a shocking way. It explains a lot for the rest of the series.
The twist with David and Walter at the end however was slightly predictable. I saw it coming a mile away. The whole premise to the crew going to the planet that Prometheus had been on was a little far fetched. You would think for a technologically advanced crew of astronauts, that there’d be some sort of record of what happened to the crew of Prometheus or at least where they were going. There were also a few places where the CGI seemed off to me, but not terrible. I’m just used to the original films where the effects were all practical.
That was the only real faults I found with the movie. On the positive side, Michael Fassbender is becoming one of my favorite actors. His dual roles in this movie were spectacular, and Katherine Waterson’s female lead was as likeable as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley.
The high points for me were the explanation of where the Aliens came from and how they were engineered. They aren’t yet the species we meet in the first Alien movie. They are something else, but by the end of the movie we see where it is going to lead. I’ll admit that the white colored alien was downright eerie to see. It gave me the creeps.
One thing that I really like is that this is definitely NOT the movie that takes place right before Alien. There obviously has to be another film to explain more. While it answered quite a few questions, it opened the door for more lore. I still would like to see one more adventure for Ellen Ripley, but if I can’t get that this is just as good.
Overall I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. It’s be no means a spectacular film, but has an important place in the franchise. It was fun, and you could feel the mortality of the characters involved. What did you think of Alien Covenant?
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?
Fairy tales have certainly influenced my writing of children’s books, and even come to life to some extent in my novels (particularly BONES AT BREAKFAST). It is no secret that I enjoy them, but am very picky about what I choose to watch. Once Upon a Time has always grabbed my attention because of its inclusion of not just Disney versions of the tales, but also classic literature.
While Season 5 was a big dud in my mind, it had its high points. Season 6 goes back to what made Season 1 so good, and included more classics. It escaped the fairy tale world and made its way into some great fiction literature.
The Good: The additions of Aladdin, Mr. Hyde, Count of Monte Cristo, and a few others worked quite well, while characters like Cinderella finally got a proper back story. The Evil queen vs Regina started out a little rough, but by the end I liked what they did with it. The whole season provided a great canvas to end the current run of characters and it properly sets up season 7 as a reboot with Henry being an adult.
The Bad: There were still flaws with some of the narratives. I feel that the Wicked Witch was wasted here, and Rumpelstiltskin was slightly under used, even though they both played a key role. Emma and Hook were great together, but to me it seemed very redundant with Emma’s role this season. Her performance didn’t move me at all, nor her story. Even though they used other classic tales, I feel like it still lacked for the most part in diversity (as far as types of stories).
Overall: It wasn’t the best season, but way better than the worst. The fact that they are rebooting next season is a welcome addition, but I’m still cautious with my hopes. It could go two ways… 1) it could end up being a fantastic reboot, pretty much ignoring or only referencing the original characters. Using them as cameos as fine, but I no longer want to see those people as a focus (except Henry’s story). Although I wouldn’t mind Regina and Rumple still having significant roles. They have a blank slate where they can go more horror with Dracula, more Frankenstein, etc etc that would really make it feel new. Or 2) They could just rehash the same formula and have nothing new to bring to the table. I’m hoping for the former, but in the meantime I’ll rate Season 6 with 4 out of 5 sCrypt coffins.
What were your thoughts? And Where would you like the series to go from here? Comment below.
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.
Okay, I know I’m behind on this one, but best things come to those who wait, right? I’ll keep this review fairly brief.
Season 1 of Stranger things was a hesitation on my part. I didn’t want to watch because everyone said such great things about it, that I didn’t want to be let down. This is part of the reason why I never watched Lost, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or Walking Dead (past season 1). I just think things get taken out of context and hyped too much.
For Stranger Things though, I can say the reviews were mostly right. I am stuck wondering if this is a generational thing though. The show was nostalgic for me, and reminded me of how life was when I grew up in the 80s. Okay, maybe not the upside down, or monster aspect, but the way childhood and family life was handled. There were less worries about people being bad, and more about the fantastical.
Some of the show’s narrative was predictable at parts, but mostly it was given a good level of suspense and story telling to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat. Credit must really be given to the cast. Each of these actors and actresses were outstanding and convincing in their performances.
I don’t want to review much about it because it takes away from it if you haven’t seen it. All I can say is that it is easily binge worthy, and I can’t wait to see what season 2 has in store. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 sCrypt coffins only because some originality was lost due to nostalgic things, but this is not at all a flaw with the series. In fact, I think it is part of what makes it what it is. What did you think about Stranger Things Season 1?
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.