Category: movie review

Marvel Movie Rankings

When Marvel’s Blade reached the big screen my world changed. Below are my rankings of all Marvel movies since 1998. I’ve rated on rewatchability, characters, plot, and special effects. I generally ignore how closely it follows a comic plot as long as it maintains the same spirit.

 

 A  2017  Logan
 2016  Captain America: Civil War
 2016  Deadpool
 2014  Guardians of the Galaxy
 2014  Captain America: The Winter Soldier
 2012  The Avengers
 1998  Blade
B  2017  Thor: Ragnarok
 2016  Doctor Strange
 2000  X-Men
 2015  Ant-Man
 2017  Spider-Man: Homecoming
 2008  Iron Man
 2017  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
 2002  Spider-Man
 2014  X-Men: Days of Future Past
 2011  X-Men: First Class
 2002  Blade II
 2012  The Amazing Spider-Man
 2008  The Incredible Hulk
 2003  X2
 2015  Avengers: Age of Ultron
 2004  Blade: Trinity
 2010  Iron Man 2
 2003  Daredevil
C  2013  The Wolverine
 2004  Spider-Man 2
 2011  Thor
 2014  The Amazing Spider-Man 2
 2011  Captain America: The First Avenger
 2016  X-Men: Apocalypse
 2006  X-Men: The Last Stand
 2007  Ghost Rider
D  2009  X-Men Origins: Wolverine
 2013  Iron Man 3
 2005  Fantastic Four
 2003  Hulk
 2013  Thor: The Dark World
 2004  The Punisher
F  2011  Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
 2007  Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
 2008  Punisher: War Zone
 2007  Spider-Man 3
 2005  Elektra

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Gen13 – A Sexy Saturday Morning

Image Comics came out of the blue, a company created by names such as Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee who unlike other major publishers, allowed the artists to retain rights to their properties. In 1993, Gen13 became one of those titles and seven years later, it would be released as an animated movie. Much like the tone of the comic, the animation remained geared toward young adult, but like with many superhero titles of the 90’s, it featured narrow waists, large biceps, and breasts. While looking lie it’d be perfect for Saturday morning cartoons like its WildC.A.T.’s counterpart, it would have given my parents a slack jaw as we watched.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the movie’s plot is somewhat of a mess. Trying to condense seven years worth of story into an hour and a half is tedious at best. The story follows Caitlin Fairchild who is given a scholarship to attend a National Security Council school. School is a loose term. They train like soldiers. They study like Harvard medical students. Their social interactions are awkward. Caitlin meets Grunge, a surfer dude with horrible voice acting and Roxie, a shy mischief who is constantly looking for her next cigarette. There are shower scenes, near naked scenes, hell, even wearing clothes it looks as if breasts may tear through the fabric causing an animated nip slip.

When Caitlin discovers her parents were part of a secret organization, she finds herself the sleeping victim of a gene therapy in an attempt to make her “go gene active.” It’s only later when confronted by a fight or flight response, she grows and finds herself with superhuman strength. Her breasts literally tear themselves from her suit. Apparently the breasts earlier were foreshadowing. From here, the plot runs wild as we discover a man seeking to be their mentor and giving information bout Caitlin’s parents that seems oddly placed and useless to the plot. She frees herself and flees the facility only to turn around and run back in a final show down. We see Grunge use his material-synching abilities shortly thereafter but it’s Roxie who seems to have the “aha” moment despite being a throw away character.

At an hour and twenty minutes, it feels like the last thirty minutes are a story trying to wrap itself up. It doesn’t feel rushed, it feels like a hot mess on the television. If the dialogue wasn’t terrible, the motives are, and even the fights themselves seem out of nowhere. I wanted to like this film, a slice of my childhood, and maybe it would have worked when I was sixteen, but as an adult, it lacked coherence. Unfortunately, not even sexual innuendo could save this superhero animated film adaptation.


Things Better than BvS – DC Fan Films

K&K Productions wins the fan film award. I thought this was a cheeky (yes, I said cheeky) way to pay homage to the superheroes we all love and adore. The special FX are pretty spot on and hold up to the CW standard of superheroes. My only gripe, how long was he walking? He got through three hours of tv on a leisurely stroll? The soundtrack however, quickly makes up for any short comings!

The only fault in this Wonder Woman fan film is that I saw it after seeing an amazing performance by Gal Gadot. With that being said, I’m impressed with the level of special FX done by Rainfall Films and the stunning embodiment of Princess Diana. In just a few short minutes it tells a heroic tale, features her abilities, and presents the duality of the Amazon caught between Themyscira and the world of man. Amazing work on all fronts!


X-Men Fan Films Determined to Keep Hollywood on its Toes

I’ve been recharging my creative battery by consuming an uncanny amount of superhero pop culture. I went on a hunt for extreme geekery and what I found was a plethora of fan made films. People with as much love for the X-Men as myself have taken it upon themselves to bring the source material to life. Of the dozens I watched, these are the two most impressive.

CHRONICLES OF HOPE

The folks over at K&K Productions upped the bar quickly with their interpretation of the events post Messiah War. The petulant child and her cybernetic father-figure are on the lamb, dodging the time traveling traitor of the X-Men, Bishop. It’s not enough for a gun battle between Hope, Cable and the Purifiers, the amazing special FX of Nightcrawler rival that of X2. I hope they continue the series. I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for more.


RAIN

Ororo Munroe is often considered a fan favorite. Being the secondary leader of the X-Men for years and later besting Scott Summers without her powers, she has proved that women have earned their spot in the limelight. But what could be better than a fan film featuring Storm, a Goddess of Nature? A punked out version of Storm who abandoned formality and gave into to her darker side. Where the big budget is lacking (and the fight scene a bit rough), the story is tight and the effects perpetuate one goal, to prove Storm is the badass of the X-Men.


What Happened to Monday? or Seven for the Price of One.

More often than not, I’m aware of great science fiction movies long before they reach streaming services. Netflix shoved this movie in my face multiple times and I finally bit. I bit and I didn’t stop biting until the closing credits.

In a short montage and little explanation we are transported into the not-too-distant future where the human population has reached critical mass and people are starving from the lack of food. To combat this, genetic crops are created and wheat is made plentiful, however the crops pass along their mass producing qualities and families surge with twins and triplets. Seeing a crisis in the making, the Child Allocation Bureau rises in power and operates without oversight. Limiting families to a single child, the remaining children are put into cryosleep until they are able to be brought back.

The story begins when a mother dies giving birth to septuplets.

Noomi Rapace (Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) astounds the audience with a phenomenal performance as not one, but seven distinct characters in this science-fiction mystery. Named by her/their father, played by William Dafoe for the days of the week, all of  Rapace’s characters are forced to live in a loft for their young lives. Only once he feels they are capable of working as a unit does he award them to opportunity to leave the loft, all seven sisters forced to become a single woman, Karen Settman. Bringing each of their distinct personalities to the role of Karen Settman, the sisters flourish beyond the walls of the loft, despite only connecting with the outside world once every seven days.

The mystery begins when Monday doesn’t come home from her stint as Settman. Tuesday must proceed to assume the mantle, unsure of the previous day’s activities. When Tuesday is detained by Cayman, head of the CAB, played by Glenn Close, it appears something is amiss as the politician knows of the sisters. With the secret out of the bag, the sisters must defend themselves while unraveling a mystery about the disappearance of Monday. Thrust into the middle of a conspiracy that could rip the government apart, they pool their resources in an effort to survive.

The logistics of their lives are filled in by flashbacks where Dafoe teaches them to work as a single unit. Requiring them to “debrief” each night explains how seven different people could so completely embody a single persona. Even moments when we see them testing makeup colors, matching blood shot eyes, and donning the “Settman wig” explain most of our questions. The saying, “What happens to one, happens to all,” is reflected here as Dafoe is often forced into the role of being a villain-esque father. It builds to explain that the sisters are different, but operate as one.

The movie has roots in the dystopian science fiction realm, but it remains fairly light on the actual science fiction. This keeps the movie grounded and provides us a vision into a possible future that has the potential to become a reality. Unaware of what the movie might hold, when the premise and dilemma is presented, a vast many questions arise. Who is Karen Settman? How do they each navigate a single persona despite their unique personalities? The writes foresaw these questions and made sure they would be answered in a way that let the script flow in a logical manner.

The shortcomings of the movie are few and far between. The idea that the existence of the seven sisters could be the downfall of a politician’s career, despite her reign of absolute power is a bit far fetched. However, we find ourselves along for the ride in this familiar alien world. While Rapace does an outstanding job acting against herself, at times conversing with six other versions of herself, the characters are cliches. A lesbian, a computer nerd, a vixen, a leader, an artist, a fighter are all archetypes we’ve seen before and with so many characters, its hard to introduce a diverse cast and give them depth beyond stereotypes. However, if we think of them as a whole, the sisters stole the show and left us wanting more. I was only taken out of the story by the lack of reaction to the violence on the screen. I expected more terror or horror at the atrocities being uncovered, but due to the fast paced nature of the movie, I’m not sure the characters were ever given the opportunity to grieve.

Out of left field, this movie left me stunned, wanting more, and impressed with how a single actor’s range could create such a movie. A mystery movie with sci-fi undertones and knee deep in a dystopian world, I felt myself sucked in, excited to see what would happen and who would persevere in such a harsh world. A must see.

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