Movie Review: BLACK PANTHER – Marvel’s latest cinematic property captures the zeitgeist of today – it’s flawed but good in all the right places.

I have to admit, I don’t place “importance” on genre movies, and I’m mystified by those who do.  Both Wonder Woman and Mad Max: Fury Road were described in such glowing terms when they were released, and I flat out don’t get it – especially given that both movies had major problems, and were not really that great.  Both movies had strong, well portrayed female heroes, and while that’s a great thing, it’s not a strong enough attribute when so much else is weak.  Now it’s the turn of Marvel Studios to capitalize on strong public sentiment, with Black Panther!

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Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE – DC’s answer to the Marvel juggernaut is phenomenal only for the sheer lack of quality.

I finally saw Justice League last night – on the backs of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Wonder Woman, I can’t say I had a lot of interest in seeing it on opening weekend, and from its relatively disappointing opening domestic gross ($90 million), I wasn’t alone in putting it off.  As it turned out, it was the worst possible night to see it: winter finally roared into the Twin Cities, and driving back to my new home was a tense nightmare, thanks to 25 feet visibility and an icy, sleety mess.  Serves you right, the elements seemed to say, serves you right

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Movie Review: THOR: RAGNAROK – Marvel’s latest franchise entry succeeds by taking the comedic route, but at the expense of a compelling story

I confess, even though I had a busy November (moving, buying furniture, Thanksgiving, tight deadlines on other projects), I mostly am only just getting to review this movie due to laziness, having seen it way back on opening weekend.  Movie watching is also down, but I hope to bounce back bigly in December.  ANYWAY, here is what I have to say about the latest Marvel movie, and specifically the latest Thor movie!  Enjoy!

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Movie Review: SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING – not the greatest title, but this latest version of the character is a BIG step up from both Maguire and Garfield’s.

Since I watched Spider Man: Homecoming, The Amazing Spider Man 2 has been on heavy rotation on TBS, and I’ve caught a few sequences over the past few days – enough to remind me how mediocre it was – indeed, some parts just descend into outright awfulness.  I was never a fan of Andrew Garfield’s two movies – the first one was serviceable, but I joined the naysayers because of the rebooted origin.  If there’s anyone alive who knows the character, they already have the origin story down.  Dressing it up a little differently and adding a veneer or familial mystery didn’t disguise the fact it was a stupid idea to essentially reboot the character as if the Raimi movies never happened.  At the very least, this is what Spider Man: Homecoming gets right.

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Movie Review: WONDER WOMAN – Gal Gadot’s fine turn as the titular heroine prevents the movie from complete mediocrity, but only just.

I don’t want to say that Wonder Woman is a politicized movie, but for some odd reason, it’s become a lightning rod for people on both sides of the gender divide.  I suppose it’s inevitable in this sociopolitical climate that any genre movie with a lead female character is going to become this year’s feminist icon – I remember the massively overblown praise for Mad Max: Fury Road, as an “important” feminist action movie (I saw a movie with that title, but I don’t recall that version), and even the mostly awful Ghostbusters remake was hailed for pretty much the same thing.  Well, now it’s Wonder Woman’s turn, and when Marvel eventually get around to toplining Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, the same plaudits will be flung around then too.

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Movie Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL.2 – a sequel that’s better than the original, with a surprisingly strong, character-driven slant.

As soon as Kurt Russell was introduced as Ego, in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2, one specific thought came to – how was he going to die?  Now, to anyone who reads comics, especially those who remember when comics were a good, fun read, it’s no spoiler to say that Ego, The Living Planet is historically one of Marvel’s cosmic villains.  First introduced on the final page of the September 1966 issue (#132) of The Mighty Thor, Ego is defeated in the following issue and vows to never attack anyone else … of course, over the decades, Ego has returned again and again to threaten lots of places and superheroes.  But the specific story I immediately thought of was Fantastic Four #235, a few issues into John Byrne’s legendary run as writer and artist.  And, as it turns out, I was right on the money.  So what does this have to do with the review?  I’ll get to it a little later.

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Movie Review: LOGAN – thanks to the violence and an R rating, Jackman’s final Wolverine movie is the best X-movie since X2, but doesn’t transcend PG-13 roots

logan

Logan is the R rated Wolverine movie that people were clamouring for, and thanks to the breakout success of Fox’s other X-Men property, Deadpool, it’s finally here.   It couldn’t have come at a better time, actually.  Less than a year after Deadpool, the Ryan Reynolds hit is still fresh in the minds of many moviegoers, certainly fresh enough to counteract the bad taste left by X-Men: Apocalypse last summer.  But does the R rating make it good, or just enhance an already good movie.  There’s definitely a difference, and for me it was the former, not the latter.  It is NOT an adaptation of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Old Man Logan storyline, in any way, shape, or form – not even a loose adaptation.  I’ll get that out of the way first.

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