Movies are awesome

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

Post by Sparky Prime »

Spider-Man No Way Home trailer is up!!

I'm really excited to see this movie.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Nice!!! I can't say I care about the Eternals or Shang Chi, but Spider-Man is one I'm looking forward to.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I pretty much went into this movie with no expectations, since I really have no idea who this character is. I know he's supposed to be a master of kung fu, and he's the son of a villain (originally Fu Manchu in the comics) but that's about it. For the film, his father seems to be an amalgamation of Fu Manchu and The Mandarin. With out getting into spoilers, he's the true head of the Ten Rings organization first introduced in Iron Man, and he's got ten mystical "rings" he wears on his arms. They don't appear to have the same abilities the rings in the comics have, but then, they also kept details about the rings vague. I gather they'll probably go into more detail about them in future movies, but given this was "the Legend of the Ten Rings", I'd expected more background on them in this film. Even so, I felt this was a better portrayal of the Mandarin than what we got in Iron Man 3.

For the most part, I'd have to say I enjoyed this film. It works well enough as an introduction to the character while somewhat fixing the Mandarin. But there were a few details I felt like they glossed over that they shouldn't have.

And a couple spoilery things I wanted to bring up...
Spoiler
I was pleasantly surprised Trevor (Ben Kingsley) was in this film, reprising his role from Iron Man 3. I know there was a short some years ago to explain that there actually was a real Mandarin which he was in, but it was nice to see this film acknowledging it.
Bruce Banner (and Captain Marvel) has a cameo, which is fairly interesting... His arm is still in a sling after what happened when he used the Infinity Stones, but he's back to being human Banner, no longer Hulked out.
Last edited by Sparky Prime on Tue Sep 07, 2021 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Justice Society: World War 2 - This is the first animated DC movie I've bought in some time, since a lot of what they've been focusing on is New 52 continuity movies, which I have no interest in. But I always enjoy the JSA, and a movie with them in their prime during WW2 seems like a winner. However, while this movie isn't bad at all, they just couldn't quite avoid playing it safe and including Barry Allen/Flash as a main character who interacts with the JSA, consisting in this movie of Wonder Woman, Hourman, Hawkman, Black Canary, Jay Garrick/Flash, and that's about it. No Green Lantern, no Starman, no Wildcat, none of the expansive roster. Dr. Fate gets a cameo that's fairly disappointing. Steve Trevor has a major role in the movie. Barry Allen travels to WW2 in Europe and helps with a mission, and there's lots of punching Nazis and rescuing civilians, when a secret message sends the group off to the Bermuda triangle....

... where the second half of the movie becomes the JSA vs. a mind controlled Aquaman, invading New York with Atlantean troops and various sea creatures, including some giant beast that could probably smash the city by himself. All the WW2 flavor is pretty much gone at this point, and to top it off, even though the various members acquit themselves well in the fight (and a few die), it's Superman who shows up and singlehandedly stops an invasion by Nazi bombers, so the JSA don't really even ultimately win at the end of their own movie. They contribute to the win, but it's not quite the same thing. At least Batman never once puts in an appearance or gets a mention, so I guess that's something. Aquaman and Wonder Woman square off in a big brawl. Basically this movie feels mis-titled, it's not so much a JSA movie as a Wonder Woman/Flash movie with the JSA as supporting characters and Aquaman as the main villain, albeit mind controlled. It's perfectly enjoyable superhero action, and it's good to see any of the JSA in animation, it's just not exactly what it advertises on the cover.

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JediTricks
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Black Widow - meh. It finally hit Disney+ and was just ok, kinda sloppy and not a great focus on the titular character despite a lot of pretenses. There's not much in the center of the story, so they have David Harbour do his best to pick it up, but as fun as he is, they don't give his character enough of a core either so it's equally shallow. Certainly not worth risking COVID over this.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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JediTricks wrote:
Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:09 pm
Black Widow - meh. It finally hit Disney+ and was just ok, kinda sloppy and not a great focus on the titular character despite a lot of pretenses. There's not much in the center of the story, so they have David Harbour do his best to pick it up, but as fun as he is, they don't give his character enough of a core either so it's equally shallow. Certainly not worth risking COVID over this.
I tend to agree with your evaluation of the movie. I'm finally watching Black Widow now that it's available on Disney+ for free (I'm about 2/3 of the way through), and it's been fairly underwhelming. You can tell they're setting up Natasha's "sister" as a replacement character now that Natasha has been killed off, and the other characters in the "family" get way too much screen time when presumably we're here to see Black Widow in action. It's okay, but not all that good.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I bought Black Widow on blu-ray for my Marvel movie collection. I'd agree with the two of you. It was alright but just kinda meh. It was kinda fun seeing Natasha's "family", but I didn't really feel they ever payed it off. It really felt like the whole point of the movie was just to introduce Yelena.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I do like the ending, and it feels like there's some genuine emotional payoff between the two "sisters". I like how determined Natasha is to save Taskmaster rather than simply kill her. There are some good moments at the end, so I'm thinking the story in the middle is the problem, with having to introduce three new characters and make the audience care about them and the relationship between them, a bit too much to pull off in a single film. They make a good attempt, but it doesn't quite work. Seems like something that needed to be an arc over several movies to give it time.

But in the end it's Yelena that matters, and her story with Natasha worked the best, so I guess that's what was important. We're clearly going to see her again soon enough.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

Post by andersonh1 »

Spider Man - No Way Home: it's hard to review this without spoilers, so I won't try.
Spoiler
- It does as good a job as I've seen of juggling multiple lead characters and even more villains in a solo film. I think the Avengers movies have been useful here in letting the studio make multiple movies of this type.
- The movie brings back both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, though not until over halfway through. The ending lets all three "brothers" get some time to shine, and even lets Maguire and Garfield's versions get a little closure from their own films on some things.
- So good to see Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina back, and all the other actors as well, though those two are my favorites. It's fun to watch characters who never met but who know of each other interact and compare notes. Octavius is shocked to see Osborne since he died, and Sandman notes that both of them died by the time he showed up.
- Dr. Strange is essential to the plot, none of it could have happened without him.
= Matt Murdock makes an appearance early on, and I think it's the guy who played him in the Netflix series.
- the post credits scene is Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, talking with Venom about everything that's happened in the MCU. Maguire's Spider Man mentions fighting an alien made of black goo, so his version of Venom is mentioned.
- So many good little character interactions.
- The only thing I'd like to have seen is more from Maguire and Garfield, but all in all this was a good one, and only the second MCU movie I've actually gone to see in the theater, mainly to see the old characters return played by the original actors, and the movie didn't disappoint.
- there's a downer ending that leaves hope for the future. Let's just say one problem is solved but another is created.
It's well worth your time. Go see it, enjoy!

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Wonder Woman 84 - I really like the character as portrayed by Gal Gadot, which always surprises me since I've never been all that interested in WW on the printed page. I really enjoyed this movie, and after some of the other DC movies were needlessly cynical and grim (BvS, as much as I like it, is undeniably dark in tone), I have enjoyed the contrast that the Wonder Woman movies offer. WW84 was full of heart and full of characters looking for love or fulfillment rather than looking to put the beatdown on the villain. That the ending features Diana using the lasso of truth to make everyone see the truth and to appeal to their better natures may be a little overly saccharine, but that's perfectly acceptable from time to time, and it's nice to see some optimism in a super-hero movie.

- I thought the way Steve Trevor was brought back was interesting. It's a little uncomfortable thinking about the implications, but the fact that neither Steve nor Diana spend much time doing so fits the theme of the film, having to choose to embrace either lies or embrace the truth, no matter how much it hurts. For most of the movie they just go with it, because they have what they want, each other, but in the end they have to let go of the lie, which proves to be difficult. I enjoy this on-screen couple and how well they work together, and reversing the usual role by having the woman be the super-powered protector makes a good change of pace, though Steve doesn't stand around waiting to be rescued and certainly accounts for himself well.
- After two seasons of the Mandalorian where he's constantly hidden under a helmet, it's odd to see Pedro Pascal's face for more than a minute or two. I thought he played the part in a way that worked for the movie, even though he's not much like the smooth, snake-oil salesman of the comics. Despite all the things he does and the near collapse of civilization he causes, he remains sympathetic somehow.
- I liked Barbara/the Cheetah's character arc, going from funny, kind and likeable to fiercely determined to cling to her new power. My wife didn't know who the character was, so she was surprised when she showed up in full Cheetah mode. Like Max, I'm glad she got a redemption in the end. Unlike some other films, neither villain in this movie engenders much hate or any desire to see them get their comeuppance. Everyone needs to be saved from themselves and to refuse the easy way out of their problems that the wishing stone seemingly offers.
- I enjoyed the Lynda Carter cameo at the end.
- I caught the Duke of Deception reference. I guess he's the ultimate villain, even if he's never seen, since he created the wishing stone.
- Nice to revisit Paradise Island, even in flashbacks.
- There's less action than I might have expected, but then the first movie did the same thing, even holding the full Wonder Woman costume and exercise of powers back until an hour into the movie. I like that we have a genuine story to tell here, not a plot that's little more than a prop for a series of action scenes.
- I couldn't help contrasting the scene where Wonder Woman learns how to fly with the one in Man of Steel. When Superman learns he can fly it's the one real joyful scene in that movie, and one of my favorites. Here it starts out as Diana expressing her grief and turns into a way to connect with Steve's memory, so it's more bittersweet than triumphant. But it's still just as good in its own way.

Overall, I thought the movie was very good and avoided any sort of formulaic approach to super-hero movie storytelling in favor of exploring the main characters having to choose between truth or lies, or between taking the quick, easy way out or the difficult, sacrificial way. Moral dilemmas, even fantasy ones, can make for compelling storytelling and they do here.

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