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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Movie Review: DOCTOR STRANGE – Marvel’s latest sticks to the format, but Cumberbatch is typically great and the visuals are nice.

dr-strange

As well as having written for Marvel Comics in the recent past, I’ve been a Marvel Comics fan for as long as I can remember.  My interest in their comic books has waned dramatically over the last couple of years, but I still have a soft spot for the company.  One of my first memories of reading any kind of material was the first issue of Spider Man from Marvel UK in 1973.  I was hooked, and the characters and stories became a huge part of my life for decades to come.  This isn’t going to be a giant retrospective about Marvel Comics, but I couldn’t really start a review of Doctor Strange without a self-indulgent opening, right?

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Movie Review: SUICIDE SQUAD – all of the bad things you’ve heard about this movie are true. One of the worst big budget comic book movies ever.

suicide-squad-movie-2016-poster

I have a lot of contempt for the stunning ineptness of how Warner Brothers handles the DC properties.  It’s nothing short of disastrous, and really, there’s no excuse for it.  When it comes to Marvel, Marvel Studios has done a more than decent job with the properties they own; since 2008’s Iron Man they’ve created a robust cinematic universe with mass appeal full of individual properties that more or less have their own clear identities.  Guardians of the Galaxy is a lot different than the Captain America franchise as that franchise is different to the Avengers franchise.  This is not an opinion over quality (I’m critical of their boilerplate plots), just a fact.

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Movie Review: BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE – Stunningly awful adaptation of one of the greatest Batman stories ever.

killing joke

I’ll preface this review with two truisms.  The first being I am NOT a fan of animation, the second being I am a HUGE fan of the seminal graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke.  Oh wait, there’s a third truism – this review is not going to go well.

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