X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

X-Men: Apocalypse
Director: Bryan Singer
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Based on: The Marvel Comics series
Sequel to: X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas HoultOscar IsaacRose ByrneEvan PetersSophie TurnerTye Sheridan, Lucas Till, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy, Alexandra Shipp, Lana Condor, Olivia MunnZeljko Ivanek, Hugh Jackman, Stan Lee
Seen on: 25.5.2016

Plot:
Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) is busy with running his school for mutants and finding misunderstood and mistreated mutants around the world with the help of Raven (Jennifer Lawrence). In the meantime, Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) has decided to disappear into a quiet and very normal life. But when an immortal, very dangerous and most powerful mutant, En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac), finds himself returned to consciousness after millennia of sleep, it becomes clear that they can only oppose him together.

So far, I really enjoyed this generation of X-Men movies and X-Men Apocalypse was a another thoroughly satisfying entry into the series. Especially after my rather lukewarm reaction to Captain America: Civil War, it was nice to get a superhero movie that manages to keep the quality of its predecessors, even if it doesn’t really add anything new to the story.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain America: Civil War
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Based on: the comic by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr.Sebastian Stan, Scarlett JohanssonAnthony Mackie, Don CheadleJeremy Renner, Chadwick BosemanPaul BettanyElizabeth OlsenPaul RuddEmily VanCampTom HollandDaniel BrühlFrank GrilloMartin FreemanWilliam Hurt, Marisa TomeiJohn KaniJohn SlatteryHope DavisAlfre WoodardStan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 1.5.2016

Plot:
After the recent events surrounding the Avengers, the UN feels it necessary to institute some kind of regulation for the action of superheroes. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who feels guilty about all the damage, destruction and death that happened on his watch and due to his decisions, thinks that’s a very good idea, while Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) fears that they will cease to be an effective task force, bogged down by bureaucracy, if they have to wait for approval by somebody else. And who’s to say that that somebody will make the right decisions and work for the right things? This disagreement causes a schism in the Avengers – a schism that only gets broader when Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is accused of planting a bomb in the UN meeting where the regulation is to be discussed and Steve wants to protect him at all cost.

I like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, the films were always entertaining, even if varying in quality. With Avengers: Age of Ultron, [or with Guardians of the Galaxy although that isn’t that closely connected] they started to stumble, though and those smaller missteps are starting to get more notable the longer the series goes on. Civil War proves that: while it was far from awful and delivered on many counts, I felt more unsatisfied with it than with most of the earlier MCU films.

captainamericacivilwar

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Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four
Director: Josh Trank
Writer: Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg, Josh Trank
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Cast: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Seen on: 17.8.2015
[Here’s my review of the 2005 Fantastic Four film. Or rather, my drunken tweet-along of said film. And its sequel.]

Plot:
Reed (Miles Teller) has been working on a teleporting device ever since he was a kid. With the help of his friend Ben (Jamie Bell), he has even some success to show for it. But nobody takes his attempts seriously – until Dr. Storm (Reg E. Cathey) comes to his science fair to recruit Reed for his secret interplanetary travel project. Also working on that project: Storm’s daughter Sue (Kate Mara), his son Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) who otherwise would only engage in high risk behavior, and finally the volatile but brilliant Victor (Toby Kebbell). Within a short amount of time, the four of them manage to establish a connection to a planet and in a clandestine nightly operation, the guys invite Ben along and the four of them give it a go. But from that trip, Victor doesn’t return at all, and Reed, Ben, Johnny and even Sue who got them back, end up changed beyond belief.

I had heard bad things about Fantastic Four before seeing it, as did probably everybody else on the planet. So my expectations were low, but I decided to give it a chance anyway, thinking that maybe there was some mob mentality going on and maybe the film isn’t quite as bad as hyped. But I should have believed all those negative reviews. And I should have brought alcohol. Because Fantastic Four is an astoundingly bad film.

Fantastic-Four[SPOILERS]

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Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Based on: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Mackie, Judy Greer, Abby Ryder Fortson, Michael Peña, David Dastmalchian, T.I., Hayley Atwell, Wood Harris, John Slattery, Martin Donovan
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 5.8.2015

Plot:
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is released from prison and determined to go straight, at least for the sake of his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder-Fortson) who lives with her mother Maggie (Judy Greer) and her new boyfriend (Bobby Canavale). But getting a foot on the ground as an ex-con is difficult and when Scott’s former cell mate Luis (Michae Peña) promises a riskfree way of getting some starter money, Scott gives in. What he doesn’t know is that Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) set him up to do just that because he wants to make Scott the new Ant-Man, a miniaturized superhero, despite the protestation of his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) who wants to take on the role herself. In any case time is ticking because Hank’s protégé Darren (Corey Stoll) is working on his own shrinking technology and is becoming more and more unhinged.

With all I had heard about Ant-Man before seeing it, I didn’t expect much. It turned out that it was more entertaining than I anticipated, but also completely infuriating in its choice of main character.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
Based on: the comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Sequel to: The Avengers
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett JohanssonJames SpaderAaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth OlsenPaul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Linda Cardellini, Claudia Kim, Thomas Kretschmann, Andy Serkis, Julie Delpy, Stan Lee
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 26.04.2015

Plot:
The Avengers – that is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – have become quite a team. In their most recent take-down of Hydra men, they managed to get back Loki’s scepter. Before Thor can take it back to his world, Tony and Bruce ask to analyze it and they discover a form of intelligence inside of the scepter. They decide to use it to try and create an AI as a defense program. They succeed and said program – Ultron (James Spader) – comes to life. Unfortunately he has his own vision of what a safe world looks like and the Avengers have to face Tony’s and Bruce’ creation.

I really loved the last Avengers movie, and this sequel has many of the same strengths. Unfortunately it also has a lot more problems than the first one, especially when it comes to plot and character development. Nevertheless I really enjoyed myself.

avengersageofultron[SPOILERS] Continue reading

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Big Hero 6
Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer: Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
Based on: Steven T. Seagle‘s and Duncan Rouleau‘s comic
Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk, Maya Rudolph, Abraham Benrubi, Stan Lee
Seen on: 01.02.2015

Plot:
Hiro (Ryan Potter) is super smart and spends most of his time with robot battles and getting into trouble for it. His big brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) tries to convince him that he should join them at the robotics department of their university, where Tadashi himself studies. Hiro is not really excited by the idea – until he visits the campus and sees what everybody is working on, although Tadashi’s medical robot Baymax (Scott Adsit) is the least impressive thing. So Hiro gets to work to get accepted into uni. But the day this happens, catastrophe strikes and Hiro finds himself alone with Baymax, trying to style him into a superhero who can make things right again.

Big Hero 6 was a thoroughly entertaining film with a great sense of humor and a love for the superhero genre in general. I really loved watching it.

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4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Mark FrostDon Payne
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Sequel to: Fantastic Four
Cast: Ioan GruffuddJessica AlbaChris EvansMichael ChiklisJulian McMahon, Kerry WashingtonAndre BraugherLaurence Fishburne, Doug Jones, Stan Lee

Plot:
Reed (Ioan Gruffud) and Sue (Jessica Alba) are about to get married. But being a superhero couple makes having an undisturbed wedding rather difficult, especially since a series of global disturbances just caught Reed’s attention. But when a mysterious silver surfer crashes their wedding and causes a lot of destruction in New York, they realize that the disturbances are not actually limited to Earth itself.

I was talking with Arysuh about never having seen this film or the one before and that culminated in me watching and livetweeting both films while drinking vodka. You can read the entire thing after the jump, in lieu of a proper review. For a short summary know this: 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is abysmal. Not even alcohol makes it funny and I was cringing throughout most of the film. It’s sexist and boring. If you value your sanity, stay away.

fantasticfoursilversurfer[SPOILERS]

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Fantastic Four (2005)

Fantastic Four
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Mark Frost, Michael France
Based on: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby‘s comics
Cast: Ioan GruffuddJessica AlbaChris EvansMichael ChiklisJulian McMahonHamish LinklaterKerry WashingtonLaurie HoldenStan Lee

Plot:
Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) and his partner Ben Grimm (Michael Chilkis) have been studying cosmic clouds but their funds have run out, just before such a cloud passes the earth. So they go to Victor von Doom (Julian McMahon), an old and very successful colleague of Reed’s. He decides to support their research and together the three of them, Sue Storm (Jessica Alba) and her brother Johnny (Chris Evans) head into space to look at the cloud up close. But then things go wrong and when they finally make it back to earth, they are changed forever.

I was talking with Arysuh about never having seen this film or the sequel and that culminated in me watching and livetweeting both films while drinking vodka. You can read the entire thing after the jump, in lieu of a proper review. For a short summary know this: Fantastic Four is not a particularly good movie, but it is sufficiently entertaining. Watch it with friends and/or with alcohol, and you’re going to have a good time. Just don’t really expect anything much from the script, the actors, the story, the director, … At least you can expect to see Chris Evans topless and Jessica Alba’s boobs a lot.

fantasticfour[SPOILERS]

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Director: James Gunn
Writer: James Gunn, Nicole Perlman
Based on: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning‘s comic
Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Peter Serafinowicz, Sean Gunn, Stan Lee, [and – see if you can find them: Emmett Scanlan, Nathan Fillion, Alexis Denisof, Josh Brolin, Seth Green, Lloyd Kaufman]

Plot:
When Peter (Chris Pratt) was a little child, he was abducted by aliens. Now he is a smuggler, always looking for the next thing he can steal and sell. But his latest acquisition is also sought after by Ronan (Lee Pace) aka The Destroyer – which does not bode well for Peter. Ronan sends assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) after Peter and at the same time bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel) try to collect the price on Peter’s head. In the ensuing confusion they are all arrested, which in turn forces them to work together – first for the money, then to keep Ronan from realizing his destructive plans.

I was really looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy. The trailer looked good. The first reviews were very promising. The cast was great. I was counting down the days to its ridiculously late Austrian release. And then finally it was time to see the film and… it was a mess. A sexist, boring mess.

GuardiansoftheGalaxy Continue reading

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Sequel to: The Amazing Spider-Man
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Jamie FoxxDane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Marton Csokas, B.J. Novak, Sarah Gadon

Plot:
Peter (Andrew Garfield) enjoys his life, just having graduated from high school and dating the girl of his dreams, Gwen (Emma Stone). Oh, and of course fighting crime as Spider-Man. But the question of why his parents abandoned him still haunts Peter and his investigation only makes things more confusing. Plus, there is something going on at Oscorp that seems directly related.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an extremely entertaining, funny film – but one that does have some major flaws. That makes the film a weird mixture of enjoyable and disappointing, though I’m leaning more towards enjoyable.

The-Amazing-Spider-Man-2[SPOILERS]

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