TL;DR – This does what any
good first episode of The Punisher
should, it shows Frank minding his own business until someone comes swinging in
to wreck his life.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Starting the episode for the first time provoked two very different emotions, the first is that I was not ready to see Stan Lee’s name even though I knew it should be there, and also the way things are going I am starting to watch the last season of The Punisher. You know you try to ignore any external factors when reviewing something, but whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes they barge in on you. So is this the last season of The Punisher, who knows, probably, well if it, if this episode is any indication, they are going down swinging.
So to set the scene, we open in on Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) covered in blood racing down a street only to get cut off. Surrounded there is only one thing Frank can do, he pulls out a machine gun and removes the problem. Cut to two days earlier, and we see Frank enjoying the music in a bar in a small town in Michigan. He is laying low after Season One staying one night here and there, making sure not to get noticed. But in a moment of happiness, it all gets messed up. Now we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be [SPOILERS] ahead.
TL;DR – A masterpiece in animation, in incorporating comics into film,and exploring all the emotions, a must watch.
Score – 5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene and the credits are a technicolour dream coat
When I first heard that they were going to do a new Spider-Man animated film outside of the MCU I honestly didn’t have a lot of hope. It felt like a plan of a company that is trying to scramble while not doing anything new with a property that had stagnated for years. Then they announced that the story was from Phil Lord, and that piqued my interest, and then that first trailer dropped and I knew instantly that I was going to have to eat my words. Now that I have seen the movie proper I can honestly say that this is not only one of the best films of the year, but it might be the best superhero film I have seen in a while. This has been a bumper year for Spider-Man with Infinity War, the Spider-Man video game from Insomniac Games, but Into the Spider-Verse is the crown achievement and I have never been so glad to be wrong.
TL;DR – Season Three pares everything back to the core and by focusing on our trinity and a truly phenomenal big bad.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
So this is an interesting moment, I don’t think I have ever been halfway through watching a series and finding out that its two sister series has been canned, but that is what happened here. I was two episodes in and then bam bye Iron Fist and then three more and then bam bye Luke Cage. So besides inserting something witty about the Thanos snap, it should have ripped all the wind out of my sails to make it through the rest of Season Three. However, it didn’t, not even close, because Daredevil Season Three might be the best Netflix MCU series since … well maybe since the very first Daredevil all the way back in 2015.
TL;DR – There are moments when Venom comes together and is a really entertaining film. However, those moments are spread in-between a dull story with some bland action, and an anti-climactic ending.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene, and a post-credit trailer thingy (that you should totally stick around for)
I don’t think I have seen a film that gave such a bad first impression in quite a while. As a rule, I try to avoid trailers where possible, because of both the spoilers and also because they could taint my view of the film before I have even walked into the cinema. But even with that policy, it was hard to escape the “like a turd in the wind” quote, one of the worse lines of dialogue uttered in a blockbuster film in recent memory. Add to this the filmmakers are trying to build a universe around just Venom, after failing to do the same thing with Spider-Man. All of this was a recipe for disaster. However, walking out of the cinema I have to admit I might have been a bit too harsh on Venom … well, only just a little bit.
TL;DR – A good first episode that has me quietly optimistic for the rest of the season.
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The first season of Iron Fist was … well, it was a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. You can read all about in our past review (see here), but the TL;DR, and we are all about the TL;DR here, is that every part of the production felt rushed. It was clear to anyone watching that Finn Jones had not enough time to prep the action sequences which were the hooks that the show was using to propel everything forward. Were there moments when the season got interesting? Yes, but not enough to really recommend it. Well since then we have had The Defenders (see review) which was a step in the right direction, and Finn popped up in Luke Cage and was actually engaging for a change. All of this had me hoping that they had learnt their lessons and would take their time with pre-production this time around, and from the first episode, I think they have.
TL;DR – A fun self-contained romp in the MCU that has all the charm of the first film with a bit more focus and a more interesting opponent.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene
Ant-Man (see review) was a bit of an odd duck of a film when it first came out. It followed on from Avengers: Age of Ultron (see review) as a kind of epilogue to Phase Two even though it didn’t kind of fit there. As well as this, it had the misfortune of being one of the two films in Phase Two where Marvel had big director missteps, with Edgar Wright stepping away from the project. It had all the makings of Marvel’s first big complete failure, yet it wasn’t. Indeed it was a fun little heist film with a lot of charm. Part of this has to be the groundwork Edgar laid down, but also the commitment of the actors to just go for it. Ant-Man was also one of those crystallising moments that showed that Marvel needed to work on a few things behind the scenes and the fruits of those decisions have been films like Black Panther (see review) and Thor: Ragnarok (see review). With this in mind, today we look at the first direct follow up which fixes one of the issues from the first film, and we see that right in the title because today we are looking at Ant-Man and the Wasp.
TL;DR – This does everything you need the first episode of a new season to do.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
The first season of Luke Cage (see review) started off so strong, with such an amazing cast, and the first big dive into African culture for Marvel in the lead up to Black Panther (see review). However, like many of the Netflix/Marvel TV Shows it lagged in the middle, but unlike the other shows, it just could not stick the landing, with one of the most underwhelming season finales so far. However, while there were real issues, there was also such an amazing potential which we got to see a bit of in The Defenders (see review). So today we take our first steps in the follow-up season as a new player enters the scene in Harlem.