Showing posts with label Marvel Comics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel Comics. Show all posts

Friday, March 1, 2019

Dark Phoenix Trailer - Review and Reaction

sophie turner dark phoenix movie poster image picture wallpaper screensaver

We got the second trailer for the long awaited and supposedly the closing chapter to the Fox's long-running X-Men franchise. As readers know, Disney bought Fox and the merry mutants are now part of the Marvel group under the supervision of Kevin Feige.

Dark Phoenix is directed by Simon Kinberg, the producer and writer of some of the X-Men movies. Joining the established cast (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp and Kodi Smit-McPhee) is Jessica Chastain as Smith.

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer is better than the teaser trailer that debuted a few months ago. The movie still looks a bit underwhelming, but I still enjoyed at least two scenes in the trailer: The first in which Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix is trying to crush Magneto's head using his helmet and the second in which Eric uses his mutant powers on the machine guns for an all out assault on the titular character.

Yes, I am a big fan of Michael Fassbender's Magneto and his performance continues to be the highlight of the series. Despite the fact that he does not look as invested in the role as in the previous movies (especially X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of the Future Past), still he manages to own the screen as the Master of Magnetism.

As for the rest of the trailer, the movie seems to suffer in production values. Looks like Fox was not sure about the movie and made severe budget cuts. The results are obvious and the movie often gives off the vibes of being staged and executed like a TV show. Further, Simon Kinberg is making his directorial debut and may not have the experience to pull off a comic book based  movie which is not only epic but whose main character literally wields cosmic powers.

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Among the actors, only Jessica Chastain looks to be having fun. Most of the other cast members either look too serious or seem to be phoning it in. Even the always reliable James McAvoy seems to be on autopilot mode.

Here is what I made of the plot: Jean Grey is manifesting her Dark Phoenix personality and Smith is mentoring/manipulating her. When the X-Men try to reason with her, she (mistakenly) kills Mystique. This would explain the cemetery scene with Beast (who goes on to join Magneto's team), Quicksilver having a go at the Dark Phoenix and most importantly, Magneto forming his new Brotherhood of Mutants to take down the woman, who is responsible for Mystique's death. As can be expected, Prof X tries to stop the baddies from harming his beloved student and has Cyclops and other fellow minded folks to help him on his mission.

Speaking of Mystique, I am glad that the movie (hopefully) does away with her. I have nothing against the character per se, but am not a big fan of the way in which Fox made her the lead character just because of the actress who played the role. Mystique is a great character and I genuinely loved Rebecca Romijn as the blue skinned shape shifting mutant in the original trilogy. I especially loved how they portrayed Mystique: as an integral part of Magneto's team and her animosity towards Prof X and his X-Men.

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Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique neither has the necessary physique to pull off the character nor does her character arc is loyal to the comics. Since the last movie, Jennifer Lawrence has been in full Katniss Everdeen mode spouting motivational speeches like: Let's go to war”, “You are not students any more. You are X-Men!”. It is just pure nonsense on the part of the studios to have her train the X-Men (Scott Summers/Cyclops is always the leader of the X-Men in my humble opinion) and she should definitely not be the moral compass/role model that Storm (yes the great weather controlling Ororo Munroe herself) should look up to for inspiration. I mean what would Black Panther say to that?

So hopefully this movie would get rid of this monstrosity and cleanse our palate. Simon Kinberg may not be Bryan Singer, but if he kills off this version of Mystique, he earns brownie points.

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Plus give me a few great action sequences of Magneto vs Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix and I am sold on this movie. Fingers crossed that Simon Kinberg and his crew/actors can pull of a miracle and give a proper send off to what has been (for the most part) a great and enjoyable movie franchise. Kind of what Logan did for Wolverine.

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Image Sources: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners' Company, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Trailer - Review/Reaction

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Marvel Entertainment has released the teaser trailer for the second standalone MCU movie starring Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker.

The newcomer to the ensemble cast including Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Samuel L. Jackson and Jon Favreau is Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/Mysterio.

Check out the trailer:

Peter Parker is going on a vacation to Europe in the hopes of finally getting some downtime from the the responsibilities of the wall crawling titular superhero.

Trouble follows him in the form of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Reluctantly, Peter joins the fight against an as yet unnamed adversary who can seemingly grow in size by absorbing the matter around him.

Initially I thought it would be Sandman (played by Thomas Haden Church in the much maligned Spider-Man 3). But then he also took the help of water and knowing Sandman's vulnerabilities against water, Absorbing Man came to mind.

Given that Quentin Beck is in the movie and he is a master at creating illusions and special effects, it is quite possible that this villain himself could be his handiwork.

Speaking of Quentin, Jake Gyllenhaal joins Michael Keaton as the second Batman actor to play the villain in a MCU Spidey movie. Granted that Jake has not been officially cast as the The Dark Knight, he has been long been an favorite to star as the caped crusader in the movie to be directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, War for the Planet of the Apes).

The other highlights of the trailer are Happy Hogan spying on Aunt May, and the growing romance between Peter and Michelle Jones.

The only minor gripe I have is that Marvel Studios is trying too hard to link these Spider-Man movies with the bigger MCU Universe. Characters compare Quentin to being a cross between Iron Man and Thor and Nick fury takes over the mentoring responsibilities from Tony Stark this time around. Perhaps the latter is because of the rumored departure of Tony from the MCU in Avengers: Endgame or may be RDJ demanded too big a paycheck.

I wish that Marvel Studios would make a stand-alone Spider-man Movie as just being a friendly neighborhood wallcrawler. Sure, there would be the inevitable cameos from one or two fellow MCU superheroes. But I would like to Peter Parker grow into his role as Spider-Man without the involvement of the Avengers/S.H.I.E.L.D. folks.

Something along the lines of Iron Man 3 or Thor: Ragnarok. Well, we can always dream...

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Image Sources: Sony Pictures Releasing, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

Monday, July 24, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok Trailer - Review and Reaction

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We have our latest trailer of the next Marvel Cinematic Universe offering - Thor: Ragnarok.

Taika Waititi (Boy, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) takes the directorial duties for the first time in MCU and looks to have done a great job. In addition to the  regulars (Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson), we have a few newcomers: Cate Blanchett as Hela, Karl Urban  as Skurge and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie.

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer succeeded in selling the movie as a colorful and fun joyride with characters we are familiar with. The color palette looks very similar to Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a movie I would spend money to watch in the theaters.

There is no grim mood or overly serious faced actors populating the screen. Plus the movie is shot in glorious colors that prevents the movie from being an eyesore. In short, this is NOT a DC Films movie.

Speaking of colors, the movie sports a strong hue of green. Hulk is not getting his standalone movie - Mark Ruffalo confirmed this recently. So Marvel Studios decided to make what should have been a solo Thor adventure into a Thor/Hulk buddy movie. Marvel Comics fan would be able to identify the “Planet Hulk” storyline. 

An animated movie of the same name was also released in 2010. That movie was fantastic and if this movie is even half as entertaining as the animated version, then Marvel has a huge winner on their hands.

Chris Hemsworth is his usual self as the never-too-serious but noble God of Thunder. Towards the end of the trailer, Thor looks like Raiden (with his white eyes) from the Mortal Kombat game. Raiden himself is based on Raijin, the Japanese God of Thunder.

Cate Blanchett seems to be having fun as the villain. And she has the reliable Karl Urban in sidekick mode. If this is not enough, Loki is back and this time Loki has not only applied his usual hair gel but also some kind of facial lotion that make his face look weird.

The movie introduces another character: Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson. Tessa shot to prominence after her performance in Creed. No doubt, Valkyrie will play an important part as the events unfold in the movie.

Yet another character of note is Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Though not featured in the trailer, I am sure he will make an appearance since his magical powers will fit in nicely within this universe of Gods and Monsters.

The special effects are done well. In a nutshell, this is the typical Marvel movie that respects the source material and gets the much deserved love from fans and critic alike.

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Image Sources: Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Trailer - Review/Reaction

robert downey jr tony stark mentor peter parker spiderman homecoming poster wallpaper screensaver image picture

The second trailer for the first solo MCU Spidey movie is here.

Directed by Jon Watts, the movie features Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Michael Keaton as  Adrian Toomes/The Vulture and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan.

Check out the trailer below:

This looks like the first dud to come out of the Marvel assembly line. The only redeeming feature is Robert Downey Jr. No wonder the studio has marketed his presence so much.

I was not a fan of the Andrew Garfield version but did like the Tobey Maguire movies from Sam Raimi. Despite being a bit old to play Peter Parker, Maguire successfully played the webslinger in two great movies and one OK movie.

Tom Holland is the latest actor to portray the character. And I am not sure about his performance. I have not see Captain America: Civil War in its entirety, but have seen the airport fight scene in which Spider-man makes his debut in the MCU Universe.

While that fight scene was superbly orchestrated and Spider-man was definitely a highlight (the other being Black Panther), it was just Tom Holland's voice-work that was in the scene. This trailer is the first time I have seen him as Peter Parker and the performance was just serviceable.

The reason we root for Iron Man/Spider-Man/Hulk is because we are invested in the particular actor's performance as Tony Stark/Peter Parker/Bruce Banner. And in this aspect Tom Holland seems to be more in the Ben Affleck/Henry Cavill/Andrew Garfield mold rather than being as memorable as RDJ/Tobey Maguire/Ed Norton.

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Speaking of RDJ, he is as good as ever as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Looks like age is catching up with him or may be it is deliberately pronounced to showcase Tony as an elder mentor to the young Parker.

Marisa returns as Aunt May. It is not clear if the Daily Bugle will be part of the movie. Perhaps, Parker would join the company at the end of the movie or in a mid-credits scene. If that does happen, it will be interesting to see who gets to play J Jonah Jameson. J K Simmons played the role with aplomb.

Speaking of Simmons, he has jumped ship and is playing Commissioner Gordon in Justice League. As if to counter that, one-time Batman and recent Birdman, Michael Keaton is playing the bad guy in this movie. But even he does not leave much of an impression.

Marvel has not delivered a dud so far. This movie may not bomb but does not look like it will get the critical acclaim that people lavished on The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

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Image Sources: Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital (as LSC Film Corporation, LLC), Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Studios (in association with), Pascal Pictures

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Logan (2017) Trailer # 1 - Review and Reaction

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The first trailer for the (supposedly) final Wolverine movie, Logan is here.

After directing The Wolverine, James Mangold returns to the director's chair. In addition to the series regulars (Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart), we have a few newcomers: Richard E. Grant as Dr. Zander Rice a.k.a Mister Sinister, Boyd Holbrook as Donald Pierce and Stephen Merchant as Caliban (a younger version was played by Tómas Lemarquis in X-Men: Apocalypse).

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer comes as self-serious. Gone is the humor and wit that Hugh Jackman displayed in the X-Men movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past. Appropriately, the trailer is set to the song “Hurt” covered by Johnny Cash in 2002.

Patrick Stewart appears as an aged Charles Xavier. This is what I have understood so far about the movie: It is an apocalypse-type scenario and mutants are being hunted down. Logan has advanced in terms of age and there is a female clone (X-23) in the fray.

As usual, it is upto Logan to save the world of mutants. This time, the bad guy is Mister Sinister. I am not an expert on X-Men mythology. I have not read the comics and my only exposure is via the two animated series: X-Men and X-Men Evolution apart from the movies.

From what I have seen so far, Mister Sinister would make an interesting villain, given his skill sets. Plus, hopefully we won't get Magneto lifting bridges, cars etc...

Another good thing about the movie's trailer: At least there is no Jennifer Lawrence. It would be nice if Rebecca Romijn makes at least a cameo appearance as an aged Mystique.

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Image Sources: Donners' Company, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Friday, March 18, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer # 2 - Review and Reaction

x men apocalypse team movie poster image picture wallpaper screensaver

The second trailer for the X-Men: Apocalypse is here.

After helming X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer returns to the director's chair. In addition to the  regulars (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult), we have a few newcomers: Oscar Isaac as the titular antagonist En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse, Tye Sheridan as  Scott Summers/Cyclops, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm, Ben Hardy as Warren Worthington III/Angel, Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee, Olivia Munn as Betsy Braddock/Psylocke, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler and Tómas Lemarquis as Caliban.

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer seems to take a leaf out of the recent trailers/TV spots for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and is very action packed. The special effects in this movie definitely look better than what we have been seeing in the Zack Snyder directed one.

Unfortunately, the comparisons do not end there. Just as the trailers have been mostly soulless and joyless, this trailer also gives off similar vibes. Plus, it does not help that Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique is given way too much screen-time.

This obviously comes at the expense of other more important characters like Prof X and Magneto. The only one to survive the Jennifer Lawrence onslaught and come out relatively unscathed is Oscar Isaac's Apocalypse.

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The trailer starts off with Erik and Charles repeating a famous exchange between Ian McKellen's Magneto and Patrick Stewart's Prof X in the chess scene in the climax of the 1999 X-Men movie.

The focus then shifts to Apocalypse. We briefly see his origins and cut to the present where he is recruiting his four horsemen: Storm, Magneto, Archangel and Psylocke. These scenes are adequate.

The trailer goes downhill from here as the YA theme kicks in with the song and Jennifer Lawrence in full Katniss Everdeen mode spouting motivational speeches like: Let's go to war”, “You are not students any more. You are X-Men!

The action scenes look adequate, but somehow the trailer failed to capture my imagination. The movie looks to have been made by a committee that has provided a checklist to be followed: A movie with YA credentials (to capitalize on the Twilight, Hunger Games, The Divergent series fans). This is obvious in the way presenting Jennifer Lawrence in full-on Katniss Everdeen avatar and a cast full of young faces.

All this has been achieved at the cost of delivering a proper X-Men movie. When stalwart characters like Charles Xavier and Magneto are given a couple of token lines (at the beginning) only to give way to a Mystique who leads the X-Men now, it is clear that the studio's priorities lie elsewhere: making profits at the expense of making an actual X-Men movie.

Bryan Singer has been a reliable director on his X-Men movies and other ones like The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie. His X-Men movies are my favorites in the comic book movie genre, right along with Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, Sam Raimi's Spiderman Trilogy and Richard Donner's Superman.

As a fan of most of the X-Men movies, I hope this one too will be good. But my instincts indicate otherwise. Looks like Bryan Singer has bent to the studio system and has delivered a mass product rather than one borne out of his passion and imagination.

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Hopefully, one of my favorite mutants shown above would at least get some money shots showcasing his awesome powers, if not proper character development. Cyclops is the best!

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Image Sources: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners' Company, Mel's Cite du Cinema

Saturday, December 12, 2015

X-Men: Apocalypse Trailer - Review and Recap

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The first trailer for the upcoming X-Men movie is here. And it looks promising.

After helming X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer returns to the director's chair. As is typical of a X-Men film, this one has a large ensemble cast. Joining the regulars (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult) are newcomers: Oscar Isaac as the titular antagonist En Sabah Nur/Apocalypse, Tye Sheridan as  Scott Summers/Cyclops, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp as Ororo Munroe/Storm, Ben Hardy as Warren Worthington III/Angel, Lana Condor as Jubilation Lee/Jubilee, Olivia Munn as Betsy Braddock/Psylocke, Kodi Smit-McPhee as Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler and Tómas Lemarquis as Caliban.

Check out the trailer below:

The trailer manages to get one's attention without giving too much of the plot (or) crucial plot/character developments away.

Here is a synopsis of the trailer: Jean Grey is having visions of mass destruction across the globe. She is not comforted by Charles Xavier's assertions that her premonitions are just dreams and will not come to fruition. Moira informs Xavier about a mutant who could quite possibly be the very first one to walk the Earth.

Unfortunately, Jean was right in her thoughts and Apocalypse is here. He has a definite purpose in mind: to destroy the world and create a better one in its place. To this end, he recruits Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke to be his four horsemen. Nice touch there with Moira contending that the Bible took this idea from the mutant himself and not the other way around as Havoc thinks.

We get a look at some of the destruction caused by Apocalypse and his horsemen as the X-Men struggle to prevail over such an powerful enemy. The trailer concludes with James McAvoy's Charles Xavier getting his full bald look. McAvoy makes a fantastic Xavier and I prefer his version over Patrick Stewart's. This decision by Bryan Singer wins brownie points for the trailer right away.

If there was one mutant who gets a bit shortchanged, that would be Michael Fassbender's Magneto. He has no dialogues at all (kind of like Henry Cavill's Superman in the Comic Con trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

On the other hand, if there was a mutant who gets too much attention, that would be Jennifer Lawrence's Raven (not Mystique). The significant aspect is that Lawrence does not have the blue body-paint at any point throughout the trailer. I guess the studio and producers want to capitalize on having Lawrence in the movie rather than the fact that she is playing Mystique. Even the first shot featuring her with others deliberately reminds one of her character Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games.

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The trailer also gives us a look at the new and a younger X-Men team consisting of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Nightcrawler suited up for action. As a fan of Cykes, I enjoyed the brief but powerful scene of Scott Summers going full optic blast against an unseen opponent/obstacle.

Finally, we come to Apocalypse himself. He looks and sounds very much like what a God-like mutant would do. There were complaints about the character being not big enough in the promotional images so far. Bryan Singer seems to have paid attention and we get a beautiful shot of just how big En Sabah Nur can get if needed. His motto is: Only the Strong will survive.

Apocalypse is the main antagonist to X-Men just as how Darkseid is to the Justice League or Doomsday is to Superman. Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder seem to be either clueless or just plain lazy with regards to Doomsday as the recent trailer suggests. Bryan Singer shows us how to pull off such an important super-villain in the right way. Live and Learn, Warner Bros.

Other points of interest: More Quicksilver, which is a good thing.

Bryan Singer's X-Men released in 2000 started the current Hollywood craze for Superhero genre. It is also the longest running Superhero movie franchise. Despite a few hiccups here and there (mainly X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the series has produced some of the best movies in the genre.

Credit to Bryan Singer who has been the driving force behind these movies. He has been instrumental in making the casting choices that have made these movies so great - From the great Ian McKellen, Rebecca Romijn, Hugh Jackman and James Marsden to the current crop of actors including James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Evan Peters. Hoping that he would have the same luck with the new set of actors cast as the younger versions of mutants.

The X-Men movies also enjoy a good blend of humor and pathos, like Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie and Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. Unlike both the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies that tend to be too jokey or the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movies that are too serious for their own good.

In Bryan Singer, we trust.

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