TL;DR – A absolute delight that understands how not to outstay its welcome through charm and joy.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review –
When you hear the word ‘Holiday Special’, there can be a certain dread. That is because history is littered with failed examples, sometimes infamously failed. In my experience, they are, at best okay. However, today we have a model that might buck that trend.
So to set the scene, back in the past, we find a young Peter Quill (Luke Klein) and Kraglin (Sean Gunn) setting up their own little Christmas tree on the Ravanger spaceship when Yondu (Michael Rooker) walks in and trashes it because it shows weakness. Back in the post-Endgame, post-ditching Thor present. The Guardians of the Galaxy have bought Nowhere and have started bringing it back to its former prime. However, the gang feels that Peter (Chris Pratt) is still sad about losing the love of his life. Well, it is Christmas time, and Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) have a plan, let’s kidnap Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon).
Back in 2018 we had a look at ranking all the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films from best to last. We at least, what ranking they were for me. Well I have just walked out of Endgame and as there are no more films (that we know of) left for 2019 it is time to revisit the list.
With these lists, I don’t rank them 1-10 as I feel that does not adequately reflect my feeling about each of the films and where they fit in relation to each other. As you can see in our X-Men countdown (see here) what we do is the group the films into categories Fantastic, GreatGood, Ok, and Trash.
Fantastic are those films which get as close to perfect as we can on this side of Heaven, with compelling characters stories and visuals. Great are those films which I thoroughly enjoyed but they did not move me emotionally. Good are solid films that while they have some issues they still work and are still enjoyable. Ok are films that work, they have some good moments, but you can start to see some of the flaws that almost scuttle the film. Trash are those films which just don’t work, whether it is the story, the characters, the visuals, or a combination of all three, they are simply letdowns.
Also within those categories, I have listed the films not in a ranked order but in chronological order of when they were released.
So let’s dive into a world of gritty spy thrillers, fun heist films, moral tales on not watching your AI experiments as you steal alien technology, high school drama, a Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the greatest collection of Chris’ since the invention of the word Chris.
Also be warned, at the time of writing two of these films are still in cinemas, so be careful with [SPOILERS].
TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.
Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.
Films that are beautifully constructed
Films that mean something to me
Films that are always re-watchable
Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema
With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.
TL;DR – This is cool animated series that sways between the absurd and heart whelming in a way that shouldn’t work but totally does.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
I went into Final Space with absolutely no idea of what it was, bar the fact that it was animated and was set in space, and since some of my favourite TV shows of all time fall into that particular Venn diagram I thought I would give it a watch. Now from the opening titles I didn’t have the greatest opinion of the show, but hey they are only half an hour I can give this a look, well ten episodes binged in one sitting later I am really glad I did.
TL;DR – Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars (this is a tentative score, it might change after Part 2)
Post-Credit Scene – There is an end credit scene
It should be no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the new Avengers film. In preparation not only did I map out the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) but I also ranked every film released in the build-up (see here). However, if I am to be perfectly honest, part of this stemmed from a nervousness, could they stick the landing, could they create a story that would give justice to all the desperate characters they were involved, could they actually bring on Thanos? Well as you can probably tell I have seen the film now, so I can now answer those questions … sort of. Now a quick note today, there will be [SPOILERS] for several of the recently released Marvel films including Thor: Ragnarok (see review) and Black Panther (see review). As well as this, I will try to avoid most of the major spoilers until a paragraph at the end when we discuss the ending, but because of how quick the film moves this is just a general [SPOILER] warning if you have not seen the film yet.
When I was putting together my map of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (see here) as a way of ignoring the fact that Infinity War is coming this week and I’m not ready, I knew that at some point that I would have had to look at the MCU as a whole. There is always trepidation when looking at lists like this because first how do you actually nail down your top five and then not want to change it moments later. As well as this, these are deeply personal films for people and my list is not going to look anything like your list, maybe, maybe not.
TL;DR – Today with the next Avengers release imminent we take a look at where on Earth we have visited during Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three
I like I think a lot of people have been sitting around with nervous excitement/suspense for Infinity War that drops next week at the time of writing and I thought it best to funnel that nervous energy into something productive. So since I like maps and I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I thought it would be interesting to map out where the MCU has visited during its three phases up to this point.
TL;DR – Despite the fact that none of this should work, it is surprisingly touching and quite funny
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a Mid-Credit scene
This is a film that shouldn’t really work at all. It is smashing storylines of what feels like two completely different films from different genres together and it should be an unmitigated mess, yet somehow it all kind of works. So today we will take a look at what makes Blockers work when it really shouldn’t.
TL;DR – Today I explore and muse on the current Marvel Exhibit at GOMA in Brisbane
One surprisingly warm winter day I went for a walk from the Central Business District across the River and down to Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct nestled along the river front. Among the brutalist style buildings that include the Lyric Theatre, State Library, and State Museum is GOMA or the Gallery of Modern Art. Now I am not just here because winter in the subtropics is a beautiful time of year to go for a walk, no I’m here to explore one of the exhibits they have on at the moment, ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’. Before we start just a heads up that there will be more than a few images in this article so you may want to double check that you have your phones on wifi, not mobile data. Continue reading →
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
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.