Review – Thor: Ragnarok

Image resultI find it fitting that both Thor and The Hulk are teamed up for this film, particularly while their appearances the Avengers had some of the twos best moments in the MCU; their solo efforts have been mixed. Thor one was an excellent and fun fantasy film that effortlessly transitioned into The Avengers with a great cast involved. While The Incredible Hulk was decent but mostly forgettable, but given the 2003 film; the projector bursting into flames during the premiere was the only way the film could’ve screwed up in a worst way since last time. Sadly while both Avengers were excellent, Thor The Dark World, while becoming the jokey action filled template that the rest of the MCU has been following, suffered due to forced side characters and a boring villain; while Hulks solo sequel….I’ll get back to you on that one.

Look the point is that putting the leads of two of the weaker series from Marvel actually worked in this film’s favour; mainly due to the already established connection Thor and Banner have. Even when the Hulk is given the chance to speak, it gives him a chance for actual character development as well as comedic moments. With this being one of Mark Ruffalo’s best performances as Banner, mainly due to how out of the comfort zone he is. With many multiple call backs to previous films that work well in terms of this character dynamic. And while Loki is mainly here to wrap up and explain his reappearance after Thor the Dark World, he is still a relevant character, once again taking the role of an anti-hero who is dragged around by Thor to help him, but naturally has plans of his own. And once again it’s Hemsworth and Hiddleson’s performances that makes the movie worth watching alone; particularly when the family drama is further pushed into the story. Even if Loki does have the preservation skills of a Dodo bird, seriously what did Odin see in him when the final battle is the only time in this film Loki didn’t get his ass kicked so hard there are Nike symbols embeded in his pelvic bone. When it comes to new characters, Valkyrie went from being a ‘replacement Sith’ to a welcome addition; while both being Asardian warrior women, it’s the care free attitude and dark back story with Hela that makes Valkyrie unique to this movie. Also those news stories about her being bisexual….pointless.

But back to Hela, let’s discuss the villains Marvel has given us this year. Ego and god like living planet that wanted to persuade his son to convert all planets into a giant hive mind. The Vulture was a construction worker that stole some alien tech to sell to criminals for profit. Hela? Yeah if you thought that superhero movies were way too reliant on the villain who wants to destroy the world and kill everyone; yeah it’s that character on a totally different world; regardless whether they’re on earth, Asgard or candy land it still counts. She’s basically Enchantress from Suicide Squad but with a personality, a back story and some clothes bought with a two for one Hot Topic voulter. I mean it: she’s an all-powerful woman with magic powers, trapped away due to said evil powers until accidentally released to the world, where she then takes revenge on those who imprison her with an army of zombies. And like Enchantress she spends the rest of the running time waiting for the heroes to show up while her goons do the work for her. Greatly acted, but not original when compared to the writing of the other villains in the franchise that are in their films to wreck shit.

And plenty of shit does get wrecked, as most the special effects are gorgeous, from the varied locations of Ashard and Sicar, with excellent detail and renderings that make the worlds unique. Even the motion capture and CGI characters like Korg stand out great, especially when multiple effects based characters are given more to do and say when they’re not being wiped of our leads shoes like they would in The Avengers. The Hulk v Thor fight being the key standout in terms of action scenes. But again, I said most of the effects. Because as recent trailers show, there have been reshoots done before the release. Image result for thor ragnarok reshootsAnd there cases, such Hela’s introduction in the alley changed to a cliff, where it shows, as there are scenes altered or once appeared in trailers before being removed. With the main problem being how clearly last-minute added changes stand out against the highly rendered scene, or how obvious it is which shots are done on green screen; especially when already rendered actors stand out agaisnt their surroundings due to having their original background changed. You’d think when an MCU features as much shooting on green screen sets as they do would figure this shit out. With many of the scenes on Asgard, and the introduction of Hela looking like a scene from Phase One of this franchise.

Speaking of being poorly implemented, I like to discuss the flaws of the film’s story structure: the main one being, there fucking isn’t one! Oh sure things happen and lead into each other, but each event is often present and followed on with a ‘and then this happened’ moment. Without spoilers the first act goes as follows: Thor finds out about Loki’s return as the two search for Odin, and then Doctor Strange helps them out, and then Hela shows up as she break Thor’s hammer, and then she gets to Asgard and goes full Kratos on the locals, and then Thor lands on a planet that forces him to become a gladiator….I hope you get the picture. Hell even The Hulk’s appearance feels like a ‘and then’ moment, not just because this movie takes elements from the Planet Hulk story; with the first act and the finale feeling kinda rushed when so much of the story takes place on Sicar. But thankfully the comedy more than makes up for it. While The Dark World felt like it was trying to force a joke in a times. This film far more natural as most the humor comes from character banter, and unexpected moments that work effortlessly given the build up involved; with Hemsworth, Hiddleson and Rufflao doing great with the director involved.

 The major downside is that the writers are way to focused on jokes to contrast with DC’s sombre naturally, frankly alot of dramatic moments ended being cut short by character banter and characters injuring themselves; leaving moments having to regain the weight they just lost in the process. There are moments that meant to build upon a character struggles and character development, and plot development; but are wasted fro the sake of a cheap laugh. Kevin Fiege listen up: joke and comedy are great, and the humor of the past MCU films have been great. But when your spending the majority of your time trying to make the audience laugh in the aim of not loosing their attention., you loose focus on the emotional moments. Deadpool was a comedy, and yet it was allowed to take its time to build upon the relationship between Wade and Vanessa; through those scenes you feel the crushing weight of those two loosing each other. Meanwhile this film is regularly stopping a start its momentum because it spent more time buliding the punchline than the dramatic moments that should take focus. I recommend checking out Just Write’s video on the subject. Yes I know the DCEU should be learning tips Marvel about taking breaks the from the down beat tone; but Wonder Woman has now shown that having moments of drama and comedy can work when you have your scene’s priorities in check.

I just want to say that Thor Ragnarok is not a bad movie, in fact if it wasn’t for Spider-Man Homecoming i would’ve have called this the best film Marvel made this year. With an great balence of comedy and action with a talented cast that wear their roles like golves; which makes the film all the more enjoyable given the large stakes involved this one, regardless of the cliches and exposition is involved. As well as jokes that range from laugh out loud to, why is this here now? If you’ve never stayed through the credits of a Marvel film seeing it on the big screen. Firstly, you lazy, attention spanless prick, and secondly stay for it because the end will leaves you wanting Infinity War more than fans like me already do.

7/10

Thank you for your time.

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Inhumans IMAX Premiere Review

Despite Marvel dominating the big screen while the current iteration of the comics said films are based on, are going down in a flaming nose dive under the egos, heavy political agendas and incompetence of their writing staff;

Want proof?

their works on TV has ranged from great like Daredevil and Agent Carter, to a complete time waste such as Iron Fist and Luke Cage as Marvel pushes the fans patience and time schedules given how much is produced nowadays. So does Inhumans become the now only great Network show on air for Marvel to justify the IMAX screening of its two-part pilot? ……kinda…not really.

For all the potential that adaptation of a series that amounts to Game of Thrones in space Marvel have surprising took the safe route to compensate for the fact that this production didn’t get the truck loads of Disney money it was supposed to get when featured as part of MCU Phase Four.

Not any more!

But the clearly scaled down scope that a project like this would’ve given you steams beyond setting large chunks of the story on earth. But to advertise a team of super powered aliens, and set up these powers as part of the shows status quo; just so you could cripple half the team and shove these guys far away from each other so the villain actually stands a chance. Well naturally, every Marvel show has always featured the characters in a constant schedule of running around the main city looking for shit and twiddling their thumbs figuring out how to save the day together.

What’s that? Our main lead can control her hair like additional arms? Have you seen how much we’ll have to pay the guy to animate that, after Tangled drain our backers wallet. Hey script guy! Let’s shave the bitch and save the call to the wig store. That’ll save us money, and like six pages of script done without the super powered hair. So what about the giant teleporting dog? “Ah just have him sedated and locked away somewhere, what? Infinity War needs another grand to animate Thanos’ left Ass cheek; why else do you think the main costumes look like something bought of cosplay Etsy page? I joke because the money clearly went into the varied locations and the IMAX cameras used to film these two episodes. Particularly when the outer space shots look better designed than the main city itself. Oh its cinematography is excellent, so is the CGI. But when the buildings of this intergalactic moon city looks like the graphic designer was given a tub of Lego and was told to go crazy with the several dozen brick pieces, and then spray painted the result grey; well its no wonder no one has ever found the damn space city when it blends on with the rest of the moon crater its hiding in.

But when the Inhumans do get to use their powers, they look great, particularly Karnak’s ability to reassess, change and calculate his way out of a fight like an episode of Sherlock staring Jackie Chan. Medusas actor was a good choice for the role and when there’s enough budget to use her tentacle hentai hair, the effects manages to capture the details. And while Lockjaws full body shots sends him into the uncanny valley due to being detailed and yet stick out from the live action sets in ideal lighting conditions. But hey, at least the animation more than made up for it. But even the better performances feel like they’re on auto pilot, especially when the mute Blackbolt’s facial acting amounts to expressing stubbornness and confused stubbornness. And yet given his body language, mannerisms and sign language without speaking; his probably the best character in these two epsiodes….no that is a joke about the dialogue.

https://pmctvline2.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/marvels-inhumans-review-abc.jpg?w=321&h=217And don’t even get me started on how under developed Loki…uh Maximus is. Oh sure his a human in a society where not having super powers puts you in working class mines, but outside of becoming Enjoras by preaching about how great things would be if I were in charge; in both scenes we see of said human under class. Was there really that little story in the pre-production notes from the now defunct Inhumans film, that the writers had to go full-blown Killing in the Name Of in terms starting an uprising scene in the first episode, just after establishing a status quo to break it in a time span so short it could be given the chance to direct The Flash movie; and to do so before the writers get bored with writing scenes in the moon palace?!

If these guys were any more desperate to get rid of the man in charge to focus extensibility on the aftermath, they would be reporting for CNN. This story feels like they skipped to the build up for the finale, and are just killing time until Blackbolt takes the throne back in the final episode. Look, I know that TV budget can’t exactly pay for Guardians of the Galaxy level effects every week, let alone for eight episodes in total. But I can’t say I’m surprised that the guy who botched Iron Fist to the point that the fighting was downgraded from Daredevils second season, and the usage of the particular Iron Fist could be counted on one glowing hand. I’ll say this much, at least I could remember the villains name this time. But you’ve established a group of heroes; and decided that the first plan of action was to separate them each on their own separate part of the continent, as they wander around and gripping about how much of a dipshit the guy currently on the throne is, until the plot paths connect at some point. Wow this is turning into an episode of Game of Thrones.

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And despite that, the problem isn’t the path taken by the writers, but rather the way it’s handled. The story is cliché and under development for something that’s meant to kick-start an ongoing story, with actors trying to work with their direction; and how they’re dealing with a cast of characters with little to do since the script is rushing to key plot points and keeping the characters somewhat occupied in the meantime; or is trying to work around moments that would actually need the super powers, that don’t involve the guy who can lever the building with a single belch. Either way you slice it, it’s sad to see that Agents of Shield found more use for the Inhumans as characters, and their abilities, than this show seems to be doing. I admit this could improve and last past the story’s current direction, but then I remembered I watched Iron Fist being made by the same guy who did this and the finale to Dexter……

5/10

Thank you for your time.

Review: Captain America Civil War

From one set of heroes beating the crap of each other to another, we head of to the next big comic book movie release; this time it’s Marvel’s Captain America Civil War, based on the Marvel comic of the same name.

After a failed mission in Nigeria ends up with multiple people dead, the world’s governments are fed up with the damage left behind by The Avengers. The team are presented with a new bill written by the UN called “The Sokvia Accords”. Which requires the team to run by the government, in order to keep them in line with the law. While Tony Stark is willing to comply, Steve Rodgers isn’t so willing to give up his freedom. Thus group is split up in to two factions; as Tony leads an effort to bring the opposing side to justice.

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 17.59.37.pngAs usual with the Marvel films, the cast does an excellent job with what their given. They give great performances and you do feel them in this fight, and you do identify with the reasoning. Robert Downing Jr.and Chris Evans especially, as this is some of the best works as their characters. You feel for them as the story goes on. You identify with Steve’s compassion against the team being mislead by the wrong people; while also feeling sorry for Tony, as his left ashamed by the collateral damage left behind by his friends.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.08.27.pngThe two stand out roles are Tom Holland as Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa (Black Panther). As the two new heroes in The Avengers, you insistently see their capabilities to play these characters. They’re good performers, they’re great during their action scenes, and you really get a sense of the way they fit into the world around them. T’Challa is a sympathetic character who clearly wants justice to be done, even if he has to take things into his own hands. Holland steals the show as Peter Parker, he greatly shows the jokey and cocky side of Spider-man, giving him the funniest lines in the film, while also doing a great job as Peter. This guy is prefect as Spider-Man.

While the story doesn’t follow the comic perfectly, it more than makes up for it with what is presented here. You see and understand both sides of the struggle. Tony wants stop injustices while preventing damage those around him, while Steve believes that having multiple people breathing down their necks will prevent them from getting things done, especially if their efforts are diverted else where; or flat-out rejected. While characters like Hawk-Eye and Ant-Man are clearly here only to get into the airport fight seen in the trailers, everyone gets the right amount of screen time, and you do see where they stand, in a believable away. This film will constantly have you switching sides of who is right; when really, no one is even wrong.

Once again Marvel has knocked it out of the park when it comes to their effects. The CGI is excellent, the costumes look great, and their fights scenes are incredible; with the first big fight between the two sides leaving me thrilled and exhausted from how much is going on, but in a good way. Not to mention how well rehearsed and choreographed everything is, and yet still feels raw and real. It kept up the same style and effort as was seen in the second Captain America film, The Winter Solder.

A pity that the first two action scenes come across with a case of bad shaky cam syndrome. No not hand-held shots where the camera has slightly shaky movements, but shots where the majority of the scene was barely view able given the camera shakes so damn much the scene could be measured on a Richter scale. Dear the Russo brothers, I’d like to inform of s film called Attack the Block, it came out five years before this did, and with the exception of a couple of shots, it didn’t come out as an absolute mess. Yet Civil War apparently has the money to make fifteen other films, and yet it struggled to a do a fight scene in an apartment building, and a street chase scene that didn’t look like the crew were in dire need of a tripod. Again the previously mentioned film did both of those types of scenes on barley a quarter of this film’s budget, and it still looked more presentable. Seriously, these scenes would be laughed out of any other action movie, but given the quality of Marvel’s past action sequences, this is inexcusable. The fact that the airport and final battle between Cap and Stark are the exception was a damn miracle at that point. Oh and the 3D makes it even more hard to watch.

Finally can I just ask why the film needs the villain it featured? I get why his doing what does, but when the film is based around the conflict of two friends in disagreement, do you really need a villain around other than to just give them more reasons to fight? I mean the villain should be the side against the one you’re for. The character they get could have been replaced or removed and things would’ve gone the same way. With out spoiling anything, it’s clear this character is here because fans of the comics will know who he is. The actor does well, and his Interesting to follow, don’t get me wrong, his just not a stand out compared to Loki, Red Skull or Ultron.

With that said, I still enjoyed this movie, great cast, excellent acting, some damn good moments of action and drama; and a I stressing character piece for Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers. While it may not have beaten The Avengers or Winter Solder as many fans have claimed to have done; but this is an excellent follow to the past two Captain America films. Given the new elements it brings to table, I’m more excited to see the movies of Black Panther and the Spider-Man Homecoming reboot, than I was before seeing this.

9/10

Thank you for your time.