Movie Review: AVENGERS: ENDGAME – impressive, emotional end to the Avengers saga, but where can the studio possibly go from here?

Just about a year after Avengers: Infinity War was released, the second part of the story, Avengers: Endgame has descended upon the Earth, much like the kind of invading alien force audiences are all too familiar with, ironically, because of movies just like this.  I write this on Saturday, April 7 – opening weekend – and the movie is projected to have an opening weekend gross in excess of $1 billion, and that’s in addition to other cinematic records it is crushing.  Of course, the age-old question asks: is it any good?  My reaction is similar to that of Infinity War: it’s really good, and I really liked it, but it doesn’t get 5 stars, and left me with questions about the future of the entire Marvel franchise.

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Movie Review: SHAZAM! takes a lighter approach than recent DC movies, but the script is a horrendous, weak mess.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing this is the second Captain Marvel movie released this year, even though Brie Larson’s titular character was never actually called by that name, and Zachary Levi’s character doesn’t even have a name – but yes, the guy in the red costume and yellow lightning bolt is actually named Captain Marvel.  Marvel Comics won the copyright battle on that one, and so from that day, he’s been referred to colloquially by his activation word, Shazam! I will not even try to give you a canned history of the character, as I didn’t grow up reading him and don’t have any particular affinity for him either.  In fact, the only personal relationship I have to a version of this character is to the British rip-off character, Marvelman, so a little more of that later.  But right here, all you get is the movie.

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Movie Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL – the latest in the Marvel Studios juggernaut is enjoyable thanks to Brie Larson’s charm, but lightweight.

Carol Danvers, much like Tony Stark in 2008, was a comic book character largely unknown outside of the increasingly insular world of comic book readers, but thanks to her inclusion in the cinematic Marvel Universe, now over $1 billion worth of people know the name worldwide, bringing with it untold fame and riches for its Oscar-winning star, Brie Larson.  More importantly, the movie introduces Marvel’s first female headliner and positions the character as potentially the most powerful in the entire franchise.  Unfortunately, in today’s sociopolitical climate, the very notion has been met online with the kind of outraged-male bile all too common.  I’d have preferred not to put this kind of spin on my reviews, but it’s unavoidable.

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Movie Review: Like Venom, AQUAMAN has done amazingly well at the box office – like Venom, I have no idea why.

I was way off in my prediction last year that Aquaman, starring Game of Thrones‘ Jason Momoa, would be a disaster.  In fact, it’s made around $1 billion worldwide.  That’s one billion dollars.  So what do I know?  Nothing.  I don’t even think my prediction was based on the trailers, just an opinion that formed after watching Justice League, a movie that I didn’t hate,  but didn’t care for either, but when I did catch the trailers, I felt pretty justified in thinking the way I did.  Box office bomb waiting to happen.  Nope.  Again: One Billion Dollars.  But like Venom, which has also made a ton of money, receipts don’t equal quality.

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Movie Review: VENOM – other than Tom Hardy’s enjoyable turn as Eddie Brock, this movie flatlines everywhere else.

Two Spider-Man related movies in two weeks (for me), and the hands-down winner is Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse, a movie that just about succeeds in every department.  In contrast, Venom, the second live action appearance of this character from Marvel Comics (the first being 2007’s misbegotten Spider-Man 3), falls flat just about everywhere, with only the character of Eddie Brock saving the movie from being a complete bore.  A lot better than being a disastrous piece of crap like Bird Box and Holmes and Watson, but still nothing to get even mildly enthusiastic about.

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Movie Review: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDERVERSE – fantastic animation and art design + a smart script + well defined characters = best Spider Man movie yet

If you’ve been following my reviews, you know I trend toward genre movies, and as someone who has written for Marvel Comics, I’m predisposed to seek out superhero movies, even if I don’t think they’ll be that great.  Hey, I’m a nerd, what can I say?  I don’t remember hearing about Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse until about a month before it dropped – the fourth quarter of 2018 was a busy one for me – and at that time I hadn’t seen Venom, so I missed out on the post-credits preview too, but I finally saw it just after Christmas, and I have to say it’s my favourite Spider-Man movie to date.

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Move Review: INCREDIBLES 2 – the Parrs are back after 14 years, but the overabundance of superhero movies makes it seem all-too familiar.

14 years is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially for such a beloved movie as The Incredibles, but when you think about it, the pressure to deliver a worthy sequel isn’t of the same variety as the normal two-year gap between franchise installments where everything is still pretty fresh in the old Gulliver.  Only a few 18 year-olds would remember seeing this in the cinema if they ever saw it at all, and for those that did, the passing of time likely watered down the enthusiasm.  I speak mostly of the feelings I had when I first heard of the sequel: about time, and it better be good.  I enjoyed the first movie a lot, but it didn’t achieve greatness for me – this one didn’t either.

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