Archives for category: Superhero

Call it what you want! The Avengers Revamped. The Avengers Outlaw Edition. Not Another Marvel Superhero Flick.

Regardless, you can’t go your whole life without spending 2 hours of your life flexing your laughter muscles and revisiting good old classic 70s-80s songs.

That is what Guardians of the Galaxy will give you. You won’t regret it.

GuardiansoftheGalaxy_Poster***NO SPOILERS***

What is this film?

“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) is the newest superhero franchise that Marvel Studios has seen fit to spew out off its every churning movie machine.

Not that I mind that they do, but at some point you’ve got to wonder how many more franchises are there in the depths of the Marvel cartoon library (I am sure someone could answer me that).

Basically a bunch of thieves and bounty hunters accidentally have to join forces as an evil man is trying to get his hands on a strange ball (I won’t say what it is).

It looks and feels a lot like “The Avengers”, albeit with antiheroes and a trailer that promises a lot more silly fun.

 

What is the buzz?

Nerds and geeks all over the world are a-buzzing. Even 9gag had a poster with a demand that you go see it pretty high on the Hot list when it came out. Now there are loads of other great Guardians of the Galaxy posts 😉

My cousin called me straight after exiting the cinema to tell me that I NEEDED to go to the big house and experience it for myself.

It is THAT funny! It is THAT great!

Naturally, my expectations started to get very high. And often that leads to a crash and fall.

 

Is it any good?

Don’t get me wrong here. I absolutely loved the movie. It’s been a long time since I had THIS much fun during a trip to the cinema. Because there is no doubt that this is a funny movie.

This movie hits the perfect balance between silly and serious. Enough silly so that it feels continuously funny, and enough serious so that it doesn’t become a parody but actually it’s own movieverse (“universe in a movie” for those who don’t read “merge”).

It’s just that I know I would be absolutely raving about this movie IF I hadn’t seen “The Avengers” first.

It has the same saucy and snappy feel to it as “The Avengers”. Good and entertaining dialogue, interesting and unusual character traits (at least unusual for the sci-fi genre) and a dysfunctional group of superheroes who, by force of circumstance, have to work together.

They are not strickly speaking superheros as they don’t have explicit superpowers. They are thieves, bounty hunters and robbers (mostly), so they come off more like antiheroes than superheroes.

But those are minor details and don’t steal from the comparison.

 

Is it better than other Marvel superhero flicks?

To me, the multiple protagonist stories of Marvel function better than the single protagonist stories. For instance, I loved Iron Man as a character in “The Avengers”, but find him annoying and too self-absorbed to be identifiable in his own series of movies.

The fact that “Guardians of the Galaxy” is another take on “The Avengers” formula, makes it instantly superior to 90% of the Marvel Studios productions.

So it has that going for it.

It also has a cast of fairly unknown (the definition is: unknown to those who don’t read cartoons) characters which are actually original and funny.

For instance, Peter Quill (also known as Starlord, at least by himself) has an obsession with a tape of 70s-80s songs left him by his mom which lends itself as soundtrack to the entire movie. A refreshing new sound for a sci-fi.

Interestingly, the soundtrack, “Awesome Mix, Vol. 1”, reached number 1 on the US Billboard, the first soundtrack to do so made up of zero original songs.

 

Which superhero did I love the most?

In these cast movies, one feels obliged to choose a favourite.

Although I have preached strong females before, and the green-skinned Gamora (Zoe Saldana, who plays blue alien in Avatar) certainly is a strong female character whom I admire despite her skanky clothes, this time it was not to be the obvious ones that became my favourite.

The other contender I had was Rocket, the Racoon. Although he is genious (both literally and as a character), he didn’t steal my heart this time around.

I would also like to give a shout-out to Drax the Destroyer (played by Dave Bautista) who plays surprisingly emotional and soft for being a big, tattooed brute.

 

Groot – my surprise favourite character

It is the big, clunky tree. The Chewbacca of Marvel. The superhero Treebeard. It is Groot that was to become my favourite.

And it is not just because the only words he can speak are “I am Groot”.

He surprised me. I mean, after seeing him fight, I kind of want to be a tree. He had so many tricks up his sleeve, I always thought that I’d seen the end of his powers, and then he whips out a new one.

All hail Groot!

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

You should definitely watch this in the cinema.

There is a reason why they keep producing these special effects heavy, superhero-flying, action-on-top-of-action-with-an-extra-dollop of-mayo (for good measure) blockbuster movies (and sequels and prequels). They lend themselves terribly well to the cinema.

A giant screen, superb surround sound and a bucket of popcorn is just what you need to take this movie to the maximum of what it could be.

And, as I have already mentioned it is funny, you get the added bonus of sharing many, many laughs (I had a few proper out loud ones that lasted long) with all the other geeks and freaks who managed to drag some people with them to the cinema.

Make a day out of it!

 

Should you watch it in 2D or 3D?

I watched it in 3D and there were actually a fair few moments when stuff was falling on you.

Space usually lends itself well to 3D, and in this instance I think it enhanced the experience. I say I think because I was at this point deeply drawn into the story and couldn’t care less if I was watching in 2D or 3D. And I was never distracted away from this “suspension of disbelief” (as the scholars call it).

That is ultimately the best thing!

 

What mood should you be in?

You need to be in the mood for something funny. Though be aware, I almost cried twice, so there is more to this movie than funny one-liners.

And you should be aware that after watching this, you will have to go and watch the sequel which is literally promised (in words) at the end of the movie.

 

Further watching

Watch the entire credits and get a few extra seconds. It seems fairly pointless (that is, it doesn’t immediately hint towards what a sequel would be about), but I am sure some people who know the Marvel universe better than me will be able to decipher some meaning.

I mean, who is the duck?

I on my part will watch “The Avengers” (2012) again and try to determine which one is my favourite. Currently it is Avengers, but it might be circumstantial. Time will show!

 

If you like what I write and have a need for reviews now and then, follow my blog and I will give you a new review every week.

Next week will be another Guilty Pleasure movie; “The Devil Wears Prada“.

In the mean time, you can read last months Guilty Pleasure “Mrs Doubtfire” or whether or not you should go see “How to train your Dragon 2” in the cinema!?!

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Groot

Who am I?

I’m a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies.

If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it!

And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie currently in the cinema in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve so much of your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great. But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

Guardians of the Galaxy” was released in Norway on 1st of August (a bit late on the New Release this month) and it is still going strong with both 3D and 2D screenings.

Want to get my next blog post? Follow my blog and get an email next week when I reveal another Guilty Pleasure movie!

 

Advertisements

If you’re good at something, never do it for free

– The Joker –

The Dark Knight poster

It’s all very very dark

***minor SPOILERS***

 

What is this film?

The second instalment of the “darker” Batman trilogy by Christopher Nolan (the guy who likes mind twisting you with Memento and Inception). It is definitely, by a solid mile, the best of the trilogy.

This is the first superhero movie to win an Oscar for a creative rather than technical award, namely the Best Supporting Actor award given posthumously to Heath Ledger.

It was nominated for a full eight awards, and is thus the superhero movie with the most nominations, although not for Best Picture, which didn’t sit well with fans of superhero movies.

It is also, interestingly enough, the only movie to rank number one on the ImDb top 250 list only two days after it’s release. It has dropped a little since then, as most movies do, but has remained in the top 5, which is impressive.

 

Do I think it is good?

Just like everyone else, I love this movie.

And to be honest, it takes quite a lot to make me go from “OK” to “Brilliant” when it comes to superhero movies. There are so many of them, and my interest is so saturated that there is no in between. There is only “Meh” or “God-damn-effin -genius”.

“The Dark Knight” is never boring, it always keeps moving forwards at a rapid speed with gadgets, and funny one-liners, and a story that twists and turns in directions you could never have fathomed in your wildest dreams.

And there is one character who makes all of this possible, puts pressure on time and creates a lot of horrendous fun.

 

The ultimate villain – The Joker

Heath Ledger makes this superhero movie more than just another superhero movie. And not all of the credit can go to his genius portrayal of the Joker.

The appealing nature of the movie’s villain is basic and goes as far back as choices in the script. Ask yourself, what does the Joker want? A usual villain will want something. He will want money, power, revenge or all of the above. The Joker doesn’t want anything but the chaos he is already creating and revelling in.

Some men just want to watch the world burn

– Alfred –

Thus he become impossible to stop, you have to kill him. And the number one rule of Batman is; he doesn’t kill anyone.

The funny thing is that we get equally mind fucked by the Joker.

The Joker tells the other criminals how his father put a knife to his face and made a permanent smile on his face. We obviously sympathise. He has been through a lot of hard times and is obviously scarred from bad parenting. Later at the fundraiser for Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), the Joker tells Rachel (the journalist love interest) the story of how he got his scars…

And now it is totally different!

We realise we put our sympathy in a pathological liar. No one knows what is true. Maybe not even the Joker. This betrayal is paramount in building the Joker as the ultimate villain.

 

Will it stand the test of time?

I think it will.

I hope it will.

After six years, it still feels fast, and it is still funny. Heath Ledger’s The Joker still feels iconic and his death has lent it even more eeriness than originally intended.

Heath Ledger himself might be the very reason why this movie has become iconic and the ultimate superhero movie. It has dug out its place at the top of the ImDb top 250 list and will probably stay there for as long as I am alive.

And I 100% think it deserves the spot.

 

What mood should you be in?

You can be any kind of mood really.

Regardless this is a great movie and it will suck you into its vortex whether you like it or not.

 

Further Watching

The other movies in the trilogy, although not up to the same standard as “The Dark Knight” (I mean, they don’t have The Joker so how can they), are definitely worth a watch and specifically in order.

Batman Begins” (2005), the first one, is a bit longwinded as origins stories go, but it has Liam Neeson in it so no complaining. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) lives in the shadow of its predecessor, but is an entertaining watch.

Batman” (1989) by Tim Burton is worth a watch, if nothing else to look at the a wildly different take on the Batman universe and Jack Nicholson as The Joker.

Other than this I would watch some more of Heath Ledger. I can particularly recommend the movie that made me love him as a teenager, the guilty pleasure movie “10 things I hate about you” (1999).

Or check out “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). A bit overrated, but definitely worth a watch!

 

Further Reading

For an overview on superhero movies that have been nominated and/or won an Academy Award, check out this article “Oscars Celebrate Superheroes“.

 

Enjoy following the top 250 ImdB review? Subscribe and get a notification for my next blog post.

Next week, I will get my ass to the cinema and watch a new release so I can tell you whether or not it is worth the money to go 😉

 

Why so serious? Poster with the Joker of the Dark Knight

The truly genious element of “The Dark Knight”

 

Who am I?

I do not work for ImDb, I just have a nerdy need to make sure I watch all the movies people claim to be good. In this way I can make up my own mind about whether or not they are a hype.

This is not a per se recommendation from the ImDb Top 250 list, but rather a statement about the movies on the list that hopefully will make you want to watch the movies again, or watch the movie and make up a mind of your own 😉

Or avoid it a movie like the plague.

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as a 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

You can watch “Batman Begins” (and “Batman”) on Netflix Norway, but none of the other movies. I see what they did there. It might however stream on your local Netflix.

It’s not like you’re going to get tired of watching it, so flesh out the measly £7-£8 and buy The Dark Knight on crispy Blu-Ray for your collection.

 

Once a month I will review the top 250 movies on ImDb and determine whether they still deserve to be on the list or not. Have they stood the test of time, or are they just there out of habit or historical significance (which does not a good movie make). I start from the top because there is less change in the top films than at the bottom of the list.

Look here for my judgements on #2 on top 250 ImDb “The Godfather” and #3 The Godfather Part II.

Other Fridays of the month, I will look at “New Releases – is it worth a cinema ticket”, “Guilty Pleasures” and I will also be “Unearthing the Best Movies on Netflix”.

 

I have used several sources in writing this post among them ImDb trivia.

Sign up with your email and get a notification next week so that you don’t miss the next blog post or my next ImDb top 250 review. Next month we will have a look at number 5,  “Pulp Fiction”!

No. Although my boyfriend will disagree with me, so I guess if you like action regardless of story, then you won’t mind spending the cash.

I will follow the fold of comments already out there, and state that you probably should already have watched (and loved) the previous X-Men films to have any sort of enjoyment from this latest instalment.

And to be honest, you probably won’t need to watch it in the cinema, unless you want to support the franchise so they can get better direction and script for the next one.

 

Poster of X-men: Days of Future Pasts

The future and past founding fathers of X-Men. And Wolverine and Mystique who just never die. Ever. Maybe Mystique should get her own film too. At least now when she is played by JLaw

 

What is this film?

“X-Men: Days of Future Pasts” is the latest addition to a long line of X-Men films. If you count the Wolverine spin-offs, this will make it the seventh in total, the second of the reinvented X-Men where the story started from the beginning.

It is directed by Bryan Singer, who directed the first two films of the original trilogy. This initially gave me some hope that this film would recover what was lacking from “X-Men: First Class”, a movie that I found so bad I couldn’t shut up about it in the cinema. My boyfriend was thoroughly annoyed.

There are too many familiar faces in this movie, I will just name them by their character names.

 

Where does this movie start?

“X-Men: First Class” left us with Charles Xavier wheelchair bound after Magneto (also named Eric Lensherr) accidentally bends a bullet into his spine. He is determined to start a school for mutants. Magneto has left with a whole bunch of the other mutants, including Mystique.

“X-Men: Days of Future Pasts” starts with a gang of mutants we don’t already know who defeat some crazy, adaptable robots by transporting one of their party’s consciousness back in time to warn them of the attack.

The old gang of mutants from the original trilogy, find out about this skill and want to use it to send Wolverine back in time. He is to prevent the incidents that led to the rise in mutant hostility and the production of the robots that have now made nearly all mutants instinct.

Wolverine travels back to a moment in between “X-Men: First Class” and the original movies, so there is some time there where only comic book fans will know what was going on.

 

Is it worth a cinema ticket?

You would think that a large franchise like X-Men, with their spectacular effects and even 3D, would in it self make me want to recommend that you buy a ticket. And that was my presumption when I chose this movie for this month’s “Is it worth a cinema ticket?” entry.

Alas, this is not the case.

They forget that I want to feel something. Specifically I want to feel the community and friendship that made me want to go to Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters in the first films. That’s what made me want to be a mutant. That is what made me love the franchise.

I realize that the school is not up and running, and that where there before was a clean-cut divide between Xavier and his students, and Magneto and his minions, it is now a blur of different shades of grey as to who is with whom, who is good or bad.

But it should still be possible to find other elements that will drive home those feelings that this movie sorely needs.

 

Is it worth a 3D cinema ticket?

The 3D is not put to any good use other than to vamp up the ticket price. And that is only a benefit for everyone else but you.

I know that cheesy 3D effects make you loose the plot, are inadvisable and frankly belong in a theme park, but when you are surrounded by mutants with all different kinds of powers that involve things hovering in the air, I do find it odd that I didn’t find the 3D beneficial.

Just 2D it and buy a bigger size popcorn.

 

Is it entertaining?

My boyfriend loved it to bits. But then again he loved “X-Men First Class” so he is obviously blinded when it comes to X-Men (sorry beau).

To me, the fact that he loves it, is another notch in favour of the fact that only people who have already seen and loved the X-Men franchise, will recognize enough elements in the story to be satisfied.

There is a lot of: “Oh, who is that one again?”, “I loved that in the old ones”, “Yeah that ties up neatly with [insert fact].”

However, there is nothing wrong with making a movie just for the fans. As long as you have enough fans.

 

Why isn’t the movie good enough?

I love all the actors in the film; James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Hugh Jackman, and of course all the other characters from the old universe.

So, this movie has all the pieces that I need to love a movie: great concept, exceptional talent and interesting relationship dynamics. They just don’t quite get there.

I want this movie to be better than it is. I want it to achieve the greatness of the reinvented Star Trek franchise. I want to be enraptures, sucked in, a believer.

Instead I am left mildly entertained and wanting to watch the old movies one more time to remember how good it used to be.

Fail.

 

What mood should you be in?

Unfortunately, the only mood you will be in need of is “Braindead Action Movie Mood”.

Perhaps be prepared for a slightly complex understanding of time travel and how that works in this film. It is fairly interesting and does create a sense of urgency towards the end.

 

Cool new mutant powers

For us who haven’t read the comic books, it is always a treat to see what kind of new powers we will witness in action. And it is often surprising powers that prove the most useful in combat situations.

Blink, an Asian mutant from the futuristic group of X-Men, can open portals anywhere. Now, this might only sound cool for escape situations or a lovely, flight-free vacation, but I will have you know that lil’ miss Blink knows how to use those powers to basically make every evil robot kill themselves.

In addition, we are introduced to Peter Quicksilver, who is very fast. And boy can you have fun with people when you are very fast. You can even break into the Pentagon, which in this plot is inherently useful and highly entertaining.

I, for one, also have some more respect for what Xavier can do with his powers. The visualisation of telepathic powers has been kicked up a notch compared to the old films. They come across cooler than before (although they are inherently the same).

Xavier is also not a 100 % good character in the new movie, a refreshing touch. I even read that there are some X-Men stories where he goes really dark, a dark side he constantly struggles to suppress. Now that would be something to watch.

 

Further watching

I did an X-Men marathon this week because of this film. I needed to be reminded of why I love these characters and that I did.

Which mutant power would you like to have (you can only have one)? I’m liking this portal conjuring power.

Next week I will take a look at a “Guilty Pleasure” movie. I define a “Guilty Pleasure” movie as a movie not considered great, often of the romantic comedy, comedy, slasher horror or brain-dead action persuasion, but which for some reason makes you watch it over and over again.

I will try and identify the elements of a “Guilty Pleasure” movie that make you want to watch them again and again and again.

Sign up and get an e-mail when my next blog post comes out.

 

The Young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) tries to open the Cerebro, where he can connect telepathically to any human on earth, after years of using a drug that favours his legs over his abilities.

The Young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) tries to open the Cerebro, where he can connect telepathically to any human on earth, after years of using a drug that favours his legs over his abilities.

 

Who am I?

I a freelance writer who likes to go to the movies. But I don’t like it when I waste my money on a bad film. I need to bitch about those movies. If I see a movie that is absolutely worth the trip to town, 130 NOK ticket (£13/$20), popcorn and drink expenditure, then I need to rave about it! And since I want to watch all the movies in the world, you can waste less of your time, check in with me and only watch the good ones.

In these New Release blog posts, I will pick a movie in the theatre in Norway at random, and tell you if it was worth a cinema ticket. It might be good, but does it deserve your time and money, and does it benefit from a big screen and a huge crowd?

I actually buy tickets myself (unless I can get my boyfriend to be generous) and don’t have the luxury of being invited to pre-screenings, so my New Releases will be a bit late. Hopefully they will still be in a cinema near you 😉

 

Why do I think I can talk about movies?

With an over average interest in movies since watching Star Wars as an 8 year-old, and with some background in the industry, I know at least a little bit about what it takes to get a movie made, and have loads of opinions about what makes them great.

But no matter my merits, it is whether or not you agree with my taste in movies (or my boyfriend’s, whose opinion will be noted if opposing my own) that will make these reviews beneficial to you.

 

Where can you find the film?

“X-Men: Days of Future Pasts” was released in Norway last Friday (23rd of May), and given the grand franchise, I don’t think we were late in release, so it should be in a local cinema anywhere.

The rest of the X-Men series can be found in practical box-sets for next to no money (it is 399 NOK for all 6 of them on Blu-Ray in my local DVD shop Platekompaniet)

 

If you like what I write, please give me a shout in the comments or sign-up to read my next “Guilty Pleasure” blog post next week 😉

%d bloggers like this: