Movie Review – Avengers: Infinity War

IMDb Summary

As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment – the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain.

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Avengers: Infinity War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, is the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Not since the lead up to the first Avengers film released in 2012 has an entry in this ambitious cinematic universe been so anticipated. Thanos (Josh Brolin), the villain of this feature, was first teased in a post-credits scene of that film, leaving fans to eagerly anticipate his appearance as a main villain. Most MCU films since have teased, introduced, and/or involved infinity stones since then as well, all in preparation for this massive crossover event. The cast is honestly too expansive to list; nearly every hero makes an appearance to fight this threat on different fronts. I was highly anticipating the film myself, though cautious about how effectively an effective story could be told with such a large cast of characters in play.Read More »

Movie Review – Black Panther

IMDb Summary

T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.

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Black Panther is the eighteenth film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and the second film featuring the character since his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War back in 2016. The film is directed and co-written by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther. Going in I found it interesting to consider it as a follow-up to Civil War in the same way that Spider-Man: Homecoming was; the respective characters both debuted in that film and the events of it directly affect their first feature. Black Panther was in a unique situation, however, as his origin has not been explored in depth on screen before. To many movie-goes he’s a rather new character. Though excited regardless, I was curious to see how they would craft an accessible first film while building off of the character’s first appearance.Read More »

Movie Review – Thor: Ragnarok

IMDB Summary

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok, the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization, at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela.

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Thor: Ragnarok is the 17th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the third Thor film. Released November 3, 2017 and directed by Taika Waititi, the film stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Cate Blanchett as Hela. I’m fairly certain an MCU film has never failed to capture my interest so far, but there was something particular about the direction Ragnarok seemed to going in that held me a little more. Though typically a more fantastical Avenger, with funny moments thanks to him often being a fish out of water, Thor had usually been a rather self-serious character before now. With this sequel they were definitely going for a more swashbuckling tone, which had me optimistic, but with the baggage of two prior films I wondered how things would work out.Read More »

TV Series Review – The Defenders

IMDB Summary

Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.

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The Defenders is a Netflix miniseries set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), bringing together Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (Michael Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand aka Iron Fist (Finn Jones) from their respective series to team up against a common enemy. This crossover series has been teased since before any of the Netflix series began, and has been slowly building with each new series. It’s here that we see the culmination of unresolved plot threads and the growth of seeds planted from these previous stories.Read More »

Movie Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming

IMDB Summary

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, is the sixteenth and latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is the second appearance of Spider-Man in the MCU, but his first feature. Once again we have a reboot of Spider-Man on film. It’s hard not to understand the cynicism around that, considering this is the second reboot in the span of a decade, and the third interpretation. Despite this, I’ve never felt that negatively about it. I love the character generally, his appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year was promising, and his joining the MCU pretty much guaranteed for me this film was going to be a unique take on him.Read More »

TV Series Review – Iron Fist Season One

Summary from IMDB

Danny Rand returns to New York City after being missing for years, trying to reconnect with his past and his family legacy. He fights against the criminal element corrupting his world around him with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist.

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It’s always troubling to see ideas in a story that could be really compelling but are executed upon poorly. While I did not hate the show, I constantly had this struggle with Iron Fist. There were elements that did work: supporting characters that grew on me, some stand-out actions scenes, villainous characters that got under my skin, and themes that came across decently well. There were good motifs and themes apparent enough to pick up on too, even if they weren’t done as effectively as they could have. If I had to pick one issue above all others that holds this series down it’s the plot, which as it developed fell nothing short of a disjointed mess.Read More »

Movie Review – Doctor Strange

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Doctor Strange is the latest film produced by Marvel Studios, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The film follows Dr. Stephen Strange, a supremely talented surgeon who permanently injures his hands in a car accident, effectively ending his career. After trying everything that modern medicine has to offer, exhausting his fortune in the process, he turns to more mystical sources after meeting a man with a permanent spine injury who miraculously regained the ability to walk. He directs Strange to seek a place called Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he begins training in the mystical arts under the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Through her tutelage he begins learning how to magically travel great distances, cast spells, and manipulate reality.Read More »

TV Series Review – Luke Cage Season One

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Luke Cage is the latest superhero series created for Netflix set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The series was created by Cheo Hodari Coker and stars the titular Marvel Comics character Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter. Having gained unbreakable skin and super strength from a sabotaged experiment in prison, Luke Cage is a fugitive from the law trying to live a low-profile life in Harlem to keep his past from catching up with him. When violence in the community hits close to home Luke risks being exposed, using his abilities to fight the criminal element that exploits and threatens the community.Read More »

Movie Review – Captain America: Civil War

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Captain America: Civil War, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, is the third film in the Captain America series and the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Disagreement over the Sokovia Accords, which would have the Avengers controlled and overseen by a United Nations panel, fractures the team to two opposing sides, one led by Steve Rogers and the other by Tony Stark. When Steve’s old friend Bucky, the Winter Soldier, resurfaces as public enemy number one, he must fight against these new restrictions in order to protect his friend.Read More »

TV Series Review – Daredevil Season Two

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Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Daredevil season two continues the story of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), a blind lawyer who fights crime as the hero Daredevil in the Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood of Manhattan, New York City. This season sees him crossing paths with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), a lethal vigilante that goes by the name The Punisher, as well as the return of Matt’s former lover Elektra Natchios (Élodie Yung), who was only briefly mentioned in season one.

I’ve heard criticism for the first season in the year since it came out, discussing how it dragged on a little too much and certain characters didn’t quite hit the mark, among other things. While I feel more positively about it than those critics, its weaknesses became more apparent to me as I watched season two. Not without its own problems, the second season of Daredevil presents a great story that builds upon what was established in season one, taking the show to greater heights.Read More »