TV Review – Daredevil: Season Three

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

 

Daredevil. Image Credit Marvel/Netflix

 

Review

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.

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Movie Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp

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 and the Wasp. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

 

Review

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.

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Movie Review – Black Panther

TL;DR – Wow, just wow, every part of this film comes together to make something people will be talking for years to come.

Score – 5 out of 5 stars

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

Black Panther banner

Review

I was expecting Black Panther to be good, all the Marvel films so far have been at least ok and this was tracking to be better than average. However, nothing prepared me for just how good the film was going to be, and also just how challenging it was going to be, it does not hold back, not one single bit. So today we will explore the world of Wakanda, the people, history, and locations. But before we do that, can I suggest if you have not seen the film to go do that right now, without reading on, you will be much better to go into Black Panther with as little pre-knowledge as possible, well other than it is really good.

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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 – Spider-Man: Homecoming

TL;DR – A brilliant relaunch of a much-loved character, which tells an origin story without telling an origin story

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

P.S. – There is a Mid and Post Credit scene.

Spider-Man Homecoming

Review

So here we are with our first big standalone Spider-Man feature now that he is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before we go on, we should probably take a moment and talk about how amazing it is that we actually got Homecoming at all. Indeed a lot had to fall into place to make this work. I’ve not seen companies work like this, and as well as this since, well maybe since Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Props have to be given to both Sony and Marvel to being able to put aside their differences and making this work, because that would not have been an easy set of negotiations, but they have made the integration almost seamless. So let us begin as we swing into the world of high school proms, alien weapons, explosions, and award conversations about life changes when you become a teenager.

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Movie Review – Fantastic Four

TL;DR – This movie is a train wreck that will make you look back fondly on the camp amusement that was 2005 Fantastic Four.

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

(warning: the trailer is edited in such a way to give an impression that this is a action film, nothing could be further from the truth)

Review

Fantastic Four has not had the easiest life in development, it is a film that only exists to fulfil a contract and avoid movie rights reverting back to Marvel. Now interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened with the Fantastic Four, also this is not necessarily a bad thing. X-Men First Class was in the exact same situation, but while that was an exercise in innovative storytelling, this is an overly protracted and ultimately boring film.

"We gave you six years, and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing" strangely prophetic words given how the film turned out.

“We gave you six years, and millions of dollars, and you gave us nothing” strangely prophetic words given how the film turned out. Image Credit: Fox

 

As with most reboots, Fantastic Four is an origin film, we see how all the main players get their powers and how it changes their lives. One should point out, no one asked for these powers, like Spider-man this is caused by an accident. This is a really interesting set up because you didn’t get to choose, the powers get thrust upon you and you have to decide how to react. But here we come across the first stumbling block of the film, lazy writing. This film is full of clichés, (Spoilers Ahead: Jump To The Next Paragraph If You Wish To Avoid), like how one character constantly argues with their father only to regret it later, seriously, if you have to declare “I’m an adult now” during a middle of a temper tantrum, you’re not an adult. Then we also we have the two characters are presented to be best friends, then enemies, then best friends again … because of the story. Also, good writers can foreshadow future events or give little winks to the audience who know what’s coming (see King Joffery’s Crossbow), bad writers literally go in the first 5 minutes of a character’s introduction “wow you’re like Dr Doom”. Also, while I am always ok with an adaption changing something from its source material to make it work, if it improves the adaption, or makes it work in a new medium, some of the changes (which come down to the core of the relationship between the FF and the world) feel forced and unnecessary, bar for the need to add tension for no suitable reason.

 

What is this mess

What is this mess. Image Credit: Fox

 

The casting also is a bit of a problem, they cast the film way too young, Julian McMahon may have been overly theatrical with his performance of Dr Doom in the 2005 film, but at least he had some gravitas behind his performance rather than whiny angst.  Now, in this case, I don’t blame the actors because you can see some of them are really trying, but whether through the script, or the directing or the editing it just falls flat. Out of all the cast Miles Teller (Reed Richards/ Mr Fantastic) and Jamie Bell (Ben Grimm/ The Thing) work the best, however, the way they frame Kate Mara’s (Sue Storm/ The Invisible Women) performance makes it almost feels like an afterthought that they added in, and Michael B. Jordan has all the bluster of the Human Torch, but with none of his charm.

This film is so bad that the trailers for the film are edited in a way that gives the impression that the film is going to be a much more action focused global film when nothing could be further than the truth. At best it is misleading and worst it is simply lying to a potential audience. There is a simple reason for that, the films pacing is really slow at the start and never really ramps up until it hits a sudden unsatisfactory climax, and then just kind of ends with this sort of staging for the sequel, which I doubt is a done deal atm and also reinforces how uneventful the rest of the film has been.

 

What a waste of a good cast

What a waste of a good cast. Image Credit: Fox

 

Now it is not all bad, some of the effect are really amazing and given you have Weta Digital on the payroll that should come to no surprise, it is just a pity that you don’t see more of it.

There is much more I could say but I think at this point you can get the general feeling I have for this film, in the end, Fantastic Four, I’m not really upset with you, I’m just disappointed.

Directed by – Josh Trank
Screenplay by – Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg & Josh Trank
Based on – ‘Fantastic Four’ by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Starring – Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey & Tim Blake Nelson
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Ireland: 12A; NZ: M; UK: 12A; USA: PG-13