Movie

Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblee

Bumblebee (2018)

Director:

Travis Knight

Starring:

Hailee Steinfeld

Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

John Cena

Plot:

On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

Review:

I did not grow up watching Transformers, but it felt really clear that this movie was written by a fan. There seemed to be a lot of care and attention taken with the history and Transformers, but by far my favorite part was Charlie, Hailee Steinfeld. It was so clear she was written by a woman, Christina Hodson. When her mother’s boyfriend gave her a book telling her to smile, oh man, that was too real. I loved it.

Charlie has lost her father, but her mother has moved on, and Charlie feels further abandoned. She’s a brooding teenager and unable to see past her own hurt. That is until a VW Bug appears in her life and, oh yeah, turns out to be an alien.

The relationship between her and Bumblebee was super sweet. I loved that even though Memo, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., had a crush on her it barely progressed. There were much bigger things going on.

Bumblebee was a pretty awesome reboot to a franchise with some troubling issues, I’m curious to see what comes next.

4/5

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Director:

Peyton Reed

Writers:

Chris McKenna

Erik Sommers

Paul Rudd

Andrew Barrer

Gabriel Ferrari

Starring:

Paul Rudd

Evangeline Lily

Michael Peña

Hannah John-Kamen

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michael Douglas

Laurence Fishburne

Plot:

As Scott Lang balances being both a Super Hero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover secrets from their past.

Review:

Scott aka. Ant-Man, Paul Rudd, is nearing the end of his two year house arrest. Once that’s over he’s just going to have three years of parole, which lets be honest is a pretty light sentence for the damage he did in Civil War, especially as he’s already an ex-convict. Putting that aside, he’s got plans and it looks like his life is finally getting into order. He’s got a good relationship with his daughter, his ex-wife and her new husband are on good terms with him, and he’s got a new business that looks like it’s going to do alright.

Hope aka Wasp, Evangeline Lily, and her father, Michael Douglas, are a bit pissed at Scott right now. Because of his actions they’re on the run, but it’s brought them closer together. With the knowledge learned from the last movie they are working to find Hope’s mother who has been lost in the quantum realm for thirty years.

Basically, Hope is a bad ass who kicks some major ass. She’s incredibly confident and smart, easily holding her own with her father even though he’s smarter than she is. She’s cunning, but not cut throat. Scott is the heart, I guess. He’s smart, though, that’s not very clear in this movie. He’s capable in a fight, but she’s got all the training. He is loyal, but he often makes the wrong decision, just not in a way that makes me hate him more in a dude I get where you’re coming from just use your brain sort of way.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is significantly better than the last movie. It’s got the wonderful Michael Peña in a much more prominent role than last time. It has two villains, but really only one. I have a hard time viewing the Ghost, Hannah John-Kamen, as a villain. She was used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to become a killer and was just trying to get help for herself. Yes, she was willing to do unspeakable things, but she was in constant pain, and she didn’t actually succeed in doing them. I wouldn’t necessarily trust her a tight spot, but I wouldn’t count her a villain.

I’m excited to see Scott in Endgame, I’m curious to see if he’s the one that saves the day. I’m also looking forward to an Ant-Man and the Wasp 3. I hope they don’t just set these heroes aside, I feel like they’re owed their own ending.

4/5

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Writers:

Christopher Markus

Stephen McFeely

Starring:

Robert Downey Jr.

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Evans

Chris Pratt

Mark Ruffalo

Don Cheadle

Benedict Cumberbatch

Tom Holland

Chadwick Boseman

Tom Hiddleston

Anthony Mackie

Sebastian Stan

Bradley Cooper

Paul Bettany

Vin Diesel

Scarlett Johansson

Zoe Saldana

Karen Gillan

Elizabeth Olsen

Danai Gurira

Pom Klementieff

Letita Wright

Gwyneth Paltrow

Plot:

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Review:

Thor, Chris Hemsworth, and the Asgardians that escaped from Hela have been decimated by Thanos, Josh Brolin. Well, half of them, I’m going to assume Valkyrie got away with the other half because she’s not seen in the movie. Thanos beats the shit out of The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, and for what might be the first time The Hulk gets scared and for the rest of the movie refuses to come out which puts our heroes at a disadvantage. Bruce may be smart, but they needed brawn more than another brain.

Tony, Robert Downey Jr., is settling into life, still not really facing his fears, but wanting to make a commitment to Pepper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and become a family man. I feel like I think he’s got certain issues, but he believes he has other ones entirely, and that’s why I never get to see any movement on his PTSD and anxiety. Seeing him and Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch, interact was one of the highlights of the movie. I also really enjoyed how each group or individual still had their own style. It was very clear when you were with Strange or the Guardians or the others, which I appreciated.

Star Lord, Chris Pratt, is the real fuck up of this movie. Everyone else is heroic, but he decided to lean more toward his roguish nature. He reacted entirely in character, which is annoying, cause everyone else rose to new heights with this challenge, but he was an ass and ruined everything.

Is Thor the mightiest Avenger now? I think there’s got to be a strong case for him. The Hulk is hiding inside Banner and Thor withstood the power of a dying star, after surviving floating in space for an undetermined amount of time. He’s grieving but still did what was necessary, plus he’s a cross between an angel and a pirate, I’d read that romance novel.

The final battle takes place in Wakanda, but Black Panther and his crew probably have the least amount of screen time, with maybe Cap and his people coming in next. There are a TON of people in this movie so it’s not entirely unexpected but I’m hoping that they all have more of a part to play in Endgame.

So many people are “dead” but you don’t see a lot of them actually disappear on screen so who exactly is gone isn’t quite clear. I believe the directors may have confirmed a few people, but I refuse to believe that Loki, Tom Hiddleston, is actually dead. He’s died too many times and he had to know what Thanos was going to do, he’s alive somewhere in the universe.

This movie felt more inspired by the older movies, so some of the things I’ve loved in the last few movies weren’t here. Thor was still awesome, but apart from Gamora, Zoe Saldana, and Scarlett Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, the female representation was light. Scarlett Witch and Vision, Paul Bettany, and their relationship felt really weird, in my opinion. I’m assuming it was something in the comics. I guess it was teased in Civil War, but it came off as more Vision being kind of creepy and Scarlett Witch being polite about it in that movie. I don’t know, they’re probably my least favorite characters, so while their story plays a key part to the movie it’s my least favorite. It doesn’t help that this is the most we’ve ever really spent with them so there hasn’t been as much buildup.

The end credit scene is nothing but hype for me, especially after watching Captain Marvel. Seeing Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, and Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, again was just so exciting!

Infinity War is technically a complete story, but not really. We all know there is no way all of those heroes are staying dead and that Thanos is going to win. It just can’t/won’t happen. It is basically a two part story with an excellent first part, but what happens in Endgame is going to make a huge impact on it and could completely change my opinion of Infinity War. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Original Review

4/5

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Writers:

Ryan Coogler

Joe Robert Cole

Starring:

Chadwick Boseman

Michael B. Jordan

Lupita Nyong’o

Danai Gurira

Letitia Wright

Winston Duke

Plot:

T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.

Review:

T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, has come home to be crowned the new King of Wakanda after the death of his father in the events of Civil War. His ex is a spy for Wakanda and he can’t face his coronation without her because there is clearly love still there. Everything goes swimmingly with the coronation, though, there is a challenger that makes T’Challa work for it.

Still, things seem to finally be calming down for T’Challa. He’s mourning the loss of his father, but death appears to be a positive thing for Wakandans. He’s thinking about the future of his kingdom and whether to reveal their true nature to the rest of the world, when suddenly a notorious criminal responsible for the deaths of many of his people, shows up. Naturally, he must go after him. It ends up snowballing when Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan, shows up and takes the crown.

Here’s the thing, what makes Black Panther so incredible is the cast and the development given to their characters. This is easily one of the most creative Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, if not the most creative. It wasn’t just Black Panther’s costume that was created and imagined it was an entire country. It was incredible the amount of detail that was included. I would watch a TV show or read a book that had nothing to do with Black Panther set in Wakanda.

Women appear to be treated equally, Okoye, Danai Gurira, is their best fighter. Shuri, Letitia Wright, is the smartest person in the country and possibly the world. She certainly puts Tony and Bruce in their places in Infinity War. Even Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o, pushes T’Challa to be better and he listens to her. Each of the women here have personality and character and history. They aren’t just there to support the lead, though there is that, they are their own people.

Okoye is a general and stands by her oath to the very end, even when it goes against her wishes. Shuri doesn’t appear to back down from anyone, facing everything head on with her brain leading the way. Nakia loves T’Challa but refuses to compromise her career for that love because she believes what she’s accomplishing with it is more important and T’Challa knows that. He is able to find a compromise for them at the end. They are all strong, capable women, but with their own strengths and weaknesses, and they aren’t just props to further along T’Challa’s story.

This movie means so much to me because of those women. We’ve had Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, to a lesser extent Valkyrie, and a few others, but these women are the first time that I feel like we’ve gotten some fleshed out female superheroes and it’s just been one movie. They make me so excited for what’s to come for the MCU future.

Original Review

5/5

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Director:

Taika Waititi

Writers:

Eric Pearson

Craig Kyle

Christopher L. Yost

Starring:

Chris Hemsworth

Tom Hiddleston

Cate Blanchett

Tessa Thompson

Mark Ruffalo

Anthony Hopkins

Jeff Goldblum

Plot:

Thor is imprisoned on the planet Sakaar, and must race against time to return to Asgard and stop Ragnarök, the destruction of his world, at the hands of the powerful and ruthless villain Hela.

Review:

Thor, Chris Hemsworth, is having nightmares. Asgard ending nightmares. So he searches for the cause, ends up adding a new item to the Asgard collection, and then finally learns that his brother isn’t dead, but his father is missing, and oh yeah he’s got a sister that’s the goddess of death. Oh the life of a Norse god.

When confronted with impossible odds Loki, Tom Hiddleston, runs away calling a bridge, which allows their sister access to Asgard. Thor and Loki are both kicked off the bridge and wind up on Sakaar, where time is funky. Then the real fun begins.

Actually, the movie is fun from the minute it starts with Thor in a cage talking to some bones, it just gets better from there. The 80s feel, the humor, the story this movie takes all the previous Marvel movies and perfects them. It’s got the great music, excellent humor, shirtless SHORT HAIRED Thor, and two amazing female characters.

Some more female representation! Valkyrie, Tessa Thompson, is, well she deserves to have at least her own TV show where she bums through the galaxy trying to move on with her life after finally getting out of her drunken stupor. Her rapport with Thor and Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, are great. She’s much more serious than Thor, but doesn’t go too hard into it like Black Widow. She does have a tragic backstory, but that just means she deserves to find her own happily ever after.

Hela, Cate Blanchet, is terrifyingly beautiful as the Goddess of Death. She is pure evil but I don’t feel like they pushed her over the top into comic book villain (lol). She’s crazy, but not deranged, she is pissed the fuck off more than anything. She’s been locked up, erased from history by her father, and she’s back to finish the job he wouldn’t let her.

The buddy comedy feel of Hulk and Thor is something I desperately hope we get more of. Hulk and Iron Man has nothing on a Hulk and Thor team up. We also seem to be back at Bruce Banner changing into the Hulk when he’s stressed, not just angry. There’s also the added element of Hulk sticking around for two years instead of receding and letting Banner take over. The two personalities seem to be becoming more separate.

I’m honestly having a hard time thinking of anything negative to say about Thor: Ragnarok. It’s a nice balance between serious and funny, it has representation from women and POC though it could use more, the story is interesting, and it ties into the overarching plot but is still complete on its own. It is easily one of my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, if not my favorite.

Original Review

5/5