Movie Review – Dark Phoenix (X-Men: Dark Phoenix)

TL;DR – In what might be the last major release of a Fox X-Men film, instead of going out with a bang, it goes out with a meh.     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Dark Phoenix (X-Men: Dark Phoenix). Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Review

With Fox being bought by Disney we know that the current X-Men film franchise is going to be reaching its end sooner rather than later, and with the New Mutants film having a difficult production, there is a chance that this is the last time we will see these characters on the big screen. With that in mind, there are many words I have used to describe the X-Men films in the past. There have been the highs of X-2, Deadpool, and Logan. There have been the lows of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand, and Apocalypse. However, today I have a new descriptor for an X-men film, and unfortunately, that word is dull.

So to set the scene, we open with a young Jean Grey (Summer Fontana) back in the 1970s driving with her parents when tragedy strikes and she becomes an orphan. Back in the present day of 1992, the Space Shuttle Endeavour has been hit by a solar flare and the president (Brian d’Arcy James) has only one team he can call. Since the time of Apocalypse, mutants have come out of hiding and the X-Men have become almost celebrities, using their powers, to help save the day. While in space, they discover that it was not a solar flare, but some kind of entity. While Jean (Sophie Turner) is trying to keep the shuttle together, the entity attacks and is absorbed by her. Back on Earth, she seems fine, but slowly they find out that this is not the case because Charles (James McAvoy) did something to her back in the day and that secret just burst forth.

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Map-It – Mapping Infinity: The Cartography of the MCU (2019 Update)

TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during all of Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three

The Avengers Image Credit: Marvel

Article

Today Avengers: Endgame was released in cinemas, and well since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to update our map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases from Iron Man in 2008 to Endgame in 2019. This means that there are some slight spoilers for Endgame here, but only their locations which don’t really give anything away, but if you are super cautious please be aware.    

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Movie Review – Avengers: Endgame (Full Spoilers)

TL;DR – Now all together “Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, barrrrr bup bup barrr baaar bomp barrrrrrr, Baaaaaaaar bar bar bup barrrrr, barr barrr, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, ba dum, Baaaaaaaar”

Score – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit sequence and a hint at the end

Review

Wow and here we are. Honestly, when I sat down to watch Iron Man in cinemas all the way back in 2008 I don’t think I really comprehended just what it was that I was watching. I didn’t know it would spawn a 20+ movie franchise that would take us into the past, into the deep reaches of space, and create one of the biggest events in movie history. In many respects, it feels like this is my generation’s Star Wars moment, and I have not seen queues like this to go see a film in a long time. Well, today we take the plunge and see if they can work out one of the biggest cliff-hangers in movie history and can this be a film that gives closure to the films that came before it.

So to set the scene, at the end of Infinity War the one thing they were trying to stop happening actually happened, as Thanos (Josh Brolin) obtained all the infinity stones after ripping the mind stone out of Vision’s (Paul Bettany) head and snapped his fingers. All at once across the galaxy, 50% of everything turned to dust and we had that gut-wrenching moment as everything literally fell apart in people’s hands. Indeed Peter (Tom Holland) looking desperately at Tony (Robert Downey Jr) pleading that ‘I don’t want to go” is one of those moments that just stays with you and it stays with the cast. Because as we start everything is in a bad place. Tony is trapped with Nebula (Karen Gillan) on a ship running out of fuel, air, and food, and those Avengers that survived are counting the losses on Earth where no one has been left unaffected. However, one should never give up all hope, because you never know when deliverance will come from an unlikely place, and then hope is lost again. Now with today’s review, we will be doing something a little different. In this review, we will be looking at all of the film so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead. This is for people that have already seen the film and want to explore the ending of Endgame. If you have not seen the film and would like to see a no spoiler discussion Endgame you can go HERE. Also if you have already read the no spoiler review and want to skip to the discussion on the ending, it is the chapter starting with the big [SPOILER WARNING] below.         

Before we dive into the story and character aspects of the film, I want to first take a moment to talk about the production side of things. In this film, they have left nothing on the table when it comes to the lighting, production design, and effects. That opening scene as Tony is sitting in the ship waiting to die while bathed in a light blue light from the nearby stars was one of the most beautiful lighting techniques I have seen in quite a while. This extends throughout the entire film, with harsh contrasts at times, natural light in places, relentless oppression in other places. Every part of the film is well designed, even when they are using sets from the previous film, it has been amended to make it feel right in the new context.

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Movie Review – Shazam!

TL;DR – By finding a focus, Shazam! shows that DC can really make great films when they focus on something, in this case, the role of family.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Shazam! Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

By now, I am sure you have heard about the issues with the DC Extended Universe, in the race to get that big multi-film spanning Cinema Empire they jumped the gun too early and rushed forward before finding out if people wanted what they were giving. During its First Run, there was only one film that was both a critical and commercial success, Wonder Woman, this was because it had its own heart and was not just here to push a cinematic universe, and it has something to say. Since then we have had Aquaman that while not perfect was at least trying to do something interesting, and today we get a look at the next film that found that fun is fine, but heart is more important.

So to set the scene, we open as a young Thad (Ethan Pugiotto) is on a car trip with his unpleasant family in the 1970s when he is sucked into another realm run by Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) the last of the council of wizards left. He is trying to find someone pure of heart to be his successor, but alas Thad is not the one. Fast forward to December 2018 when we find Billy Batson (Asher Angel) helping the police out, but it a ruse to get into their computer because he is trying to find his mum that he lost as a child. Well, it didn’t work out and Billy is put with new foster parents Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa (Marta Milans), not that he plans to stay long. However, everything changes when a subway trip leads him to a dark cave and he yells out the word Shazam becoming someone completely else (Zachary Levi).

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TV Review – Daredevil: Resurrection

TL;DR – This is a more quiet character driven episode than pilot episodes of the past, but all that means is that the actors get a platform to shine.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

 

Daredevil. Image Credit: ABC Studios/Netflix

 

Review

Well, we are back to where it all started, the very first entry into the Marvel world on Netflix was the first season of Daredevil all the way back in 2015. For many people, me included, that the first season is still the high water mark for the Netflix project, so there is both a hope and a trepidation when you start that first episode. Also, it felt like just last week we got a new Iron Fist, and I am wondering is it all getting a bit too much. Well, today we explore if Daredevil Season Three can be the touchstone that it was.

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TV Review – The Defenders: Season 1

TL;DR – a concise story, with strong action, and continues builds upon the world that has been created across the different boroughs of New York.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

The Defenders

Review

After five seasons we have got there, the big team up in New York, as Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and the Iron Fist (Finn Jones) come together to battle The Hand. Now The Defenders was always planned out to happen, so in one respect it has had a smoother road to creation, but it has also been a rocky one at times.

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Movie Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

TL;DR – Volume 2 takes everything from the first film and elevates it with an interesting story, beautiful visuals, and some of the best humour in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but your mileage may vary depending on a couple of factors.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. There are 5 mid/post credit scenes

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney.

Review

Back in 2014 Marvel undertook the biggest experiment yet in this whole expanded universe, it was an ensemble cast which they had not done outside of an Avengers film at that point, its main lead was still a mostly unknown Chris Pratt. Seriously when he was cast he was mostly known as that quirky dude on Parks and Rec, two of the main cast were CGI and one of those only said I am Groot and it was amazing. It was funny, but emotional at places and that opening still makes me tear up, and until Captain America Civil War came along it was my favourite film in the MCU, or maybe still is, I go back and forth a bit here. So it would not be a surprise to say that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 might be the film I was the most looking forward to in 2017. Now this as a reviewer is something you have to be careful with, you need to make sure your rose-tinted glasses are not blinding you to the flaws, or conversely that you don’t hype it up so much that it is a disappointment no matter how good it is. But I have just come from the cinemas and overall I really loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but I can also see areas that may put people off. So with this in mind let’s start the review.

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