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Showing posts from November, 2017

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) - Teaser Trailer Reaction

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Ten years after the release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios is commemorating the anniversary of their Cinematic Universe franchise in a big, special cross-over bonanza Avengers: Infinity War, featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, the Vision, the Winter Soldier, the Falcon, War Machine, Spider-Man, Black Panther, the entire Guardians of the Galaxy team...and I think I've missed quite a few out still. This a huge event film, with a reported $500 million budget (or $1 billion combined with Avengers 4) and massive fan anticipation. Will it all be worthwhile? I guess we'll find out next April.

The teaser trailer opens with Nick Fury's line from Marvel's Avengers Assemble (yes, I know its just Marvel's The Avengers in the US, but I'm British): "There was an idea...to bring together a group of remarkable people...to see if we could become something more...so when they needed us, we could fight …

Justice League (2017) - Written Review

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After the doom-and-gloom of last year's 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', this soft-reboot of DC's cinematic shared universe of characters (that apparently isn't called the DC Extended Universe) balances Zack Snyder visuals with Joss Whedon humour in a slightly uneven, but ultimately fun action blockbuster. Gone is the narrative and character complexity of 'Wonder Woman', but gone too is the dour humourlessness of 'Man of Steel'. This is a film built on entertaining the audience, not challenging them, and in many ways lacks the artistic integrity of Snyder's previous entries.

There's a more pleasing colour palette to this film, although the visual effects feel rough and uneven in many places. The film's main antagonist Steppenwolf looks awkwardly placed into scenes, while Snyder's over-emphasis on CG landscapes and creatures causes particularly the final act to feel lacking in terms of geography. Where Batman and co. are at diff…

Marvel's Inhumans - Episodes 2-4 Review

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Originally I planned to write reviews for each episode of Marvel's Inhumans. Needless to say, that hasn't happened, and I simply don't have the interest or energy to actually go back over each individual episode. I didn't watch Episode 2 - or at least, I didn't watch the TV version of Episode 2 - but given I've seen the IMAX 'movie' version, I didn't feel the need to. If there's any key differences to be found, I'd be interested to know, but I can't see myself finding the urge to watch it if I don't need to.

While re-watching the first episode of Marvel's Inhumans was interesting, I found watching the third and fourth installments to be utterly tedious. I originally found the 'movie' version to be an interesting launching pad for the show, if not an entirely successful one, but was interested to see what would happen next. Two episodes later and I can see exactly what people were moaning about with the first.

There is so…

Marvel's The Punisher - Episodes 1-5 Review

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With the characters' popularity in the second season of Marvel's Daredevil, the Punisher makes his way to the small-screen in this thrilling new Marvel/Netflix series...regrettably after a string of misses for the streaming franchise: Luke Cage received a lukewarm (get it?) response; Iron Fist was annihilated by critics and fans alike; while The Defenders was received positively, but was clearly hurt by Iron Fist's reception. Thus, as I sat down to watch the first few episodes of The Punisher on November 17th, I had some mild trepidation. This was a series supposedly delayed by Netflix after similar real-life events, and the critical response had been mixed in build-up to the series. What's surprised me in particular though was the lack of attention the series received over its opening weekend. While all of the previous Netflix shows had been the focus of Internet attention as soon as they released, The Punisher hasn't had any of that - perhaps because DC's Ju…

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) - Written Review

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For those who've seen the original John Wick (2014), you'll probably already know how brilliant that film was. Granted, it was a simple cheesy action thriller, but it reveled in the knowledge that it didn't need to be any more than that. What was actually surprising was how well-defined the characters and world of John Wick were, providing ample material for its sequel John Wick: Chapter 2. So, does this hold up to the original? Or are we left with another disappointing sequel?

John Wick: Chapter 2 is bigger, badder and bolder than the original, with some interesting character development for our titular lead and a great expansion to the world established in the first film. That being said, Chapter 2 feels underwhelming in that it can't quite capture the magic of the first film. Part of this is because this is the bigger sequel: there's arguably far too many characters to explore, and one can't help but notice the awkward pacing throughout. The first film was 1…

First Look at 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'

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Today we received our first look at the latest installment in what has been dubbed J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and I have to say that I'm very intrigued by this upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Now, a criticism (come on, I'm a fan, you knew there'd be at least one) I have with this announcement is the title: why isn't it Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald? Why separate the two titles? Seeing it written down in Tweet form seemed a bit odd to me, although when I loaded up the film's official logo, I noticed something. The Fantastic Beasts part of the title is very much a heading to the film, whereas The Crimes of Grindelwald is the actual title of the film. This is obviously what J.K. Rowling would have called it, but because Fantastic Beasts is now a multi-million dollar franchise, the franchise name needs to be maintained. It's a sad but true fact when it comes these bl…

First Thoughts on 'Arrow' Season 6 (Episodes 1-4)

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First of all...we're up to Arrow season 6? That's...terrifying. I've now watched more than five seasons, well over one hundred episodes of this show. It's a scary prospect given the huge dip the series took in its third and fourth runs, but thankfully season 5 was the welcome return to form the show needed, establishing new story-lines and characters in a "back to basics" story. Season 6 endeavours to continue directly on with these elements, albeit exploring some questionably controversial ideas: Oliver now becoming a father and no longer Green Arrow, and the whole "Olicity" romance making a return to prominence.

That being said, the "Olicity" romance doesn't feel quite as forced in this season so far. There hasn't been much focus on it, and despite setting it up at the end of last season, we don't get a proper "Olicity" episode until episode 4 - practically a record by season 3 and 4 standards. There's no contr…

First Thoughts on 'Supergirl' Season 3 (Episodes 2-4)

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Okay, after poor start to this season, Supergirl suddenly took off in its second episode 'Triggers'. While 'Girl of Steel' had been repeating story beats from The Flash, 'Triggers' was very much a Supergirl episode, in which Kara had to face both a physical and mental threat in the form of villain-of-the-week Psi. Gone was the general doom-laden melancholy of Episode 1, and while subsequent episodes have proven that the show is striving towards character drama, the sense of fun isn't being pushed to the side. Supergirl has never been gold-standard television, but it doesn't need to be. If it aspired towards that...well, look at Man of Steel - is that the kind of Supergirl show you want?
'Triggers' is possibly the best episode of Supergirl for a very long time though, with an interesting story exploring a Kara who's trying to be Supergirl, but is threatened by herself, suffering from panic attacks that heighten the powers of Psi, weakening h…