Tag: marvel

MOVIE REVIEW | X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A silly little comic book movie, about people with silly super powers, running around in silly costumes.”

 X-Men 1.jpg
“You are all my children, and you’re lost because you follow blind leaders. No more false gods. I’m here now.”

While the DC movies make insane money at the same time as absolutely everyone talks about how much they suck…  While Spider-Man continues to get re-booted roughly every seven minutes…  While the Marvel universe grinds its way to swallowing cinema as we know it…  While all of that happens, the franchise that started it all bubbles away, never standing out, but never going away either.  If hundreds of millions of dollars of blockbuster can be a quiet achiever, the X-Men series is just that.  And it’s here to remind us all once again that it exists, before being lost in the dust of whatever Marvel rolls out next, with X-Men: Apocalypse.

A decade after the world learned of the existence of mutants via the climactic events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s the 80s, and all of our heroes and villains are laying low.  Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X (James McAvoy) continues to nurture young mutants and teach them to control their powers at his school for the gifted, aided by original student, Hank McCoy, AKA Beast (Nicolas Hoult).  Meanwhile, bad guy Eric Lehnsherr, AKA Magneto (Michael Fassbender) works anonymously in a Polish steel mill.  While reluctant hero and mutant poster woman Raven, AKA Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is a mercenary with a heart of gold, saving young mutants from things like slavery in underground fighting pits. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Captain America: Civil War (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I really wouldn’t consider myself a Marvel or comic book fanboy, but as I read my own gushing praise and geeky enthusiasm for this movie, I might have to rethink that.”

 Captain 1.jpg
“This job… We try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody.  But if we can’t find a way to live with that, next time… Maybe nobody gets saved.”

Marvel Studios really has cracked the code.  I read comic books for a few years as a teenager, but I’m in no way an authority of devotee.  To me, the already massive, ever expanding Marvel cinematic universe is filled with movies that are all basically the same.  The names of the characters might change, and the objects of desire they’re trying to keep from their interchangeable villains might be different, but strip away the surface level stuff, and there’s really no difference between a movie about The Avengers, compared to one about The Guardians of the Galaxy, or the latest offering starring Thor.  Yet for all of that, I can’t help loving the ride every single time I take it.  Which just happened once again, with Captain America: Civil War.

After the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron saw an entire city ripped from the earth, raised to the sky and thousands killed, the US government, represented by Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), decides it’s time for enhanced humans like the Avengers to come under the control of the United Nations.  The two alpha Avengers are split on this, with Iron Man / Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), in favor, and Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) firmly against. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Ant-Man (2015)

ant man movie 2015

“Sorry I’m late, I was saving the world. You know how it is.”

As the Marvel movie juggernaut rolls on, seemingly unstoppable, they have to dig deeper into their comic book roster of characters top populate this ever expanding world.  With mega popular characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four tied up with other studios, last year Marvel took a gamble on the little known Guardians of the Galaxy, and it paid off big.  I was skeptical of that movie, then found it amazing fun.  But even with that hindsight, and even with the always delightful Paul Rudd in the lead, I found it hard to look past the corny premise in the lead up to Ant-Man.


Scott Lang (Rudd) is released after a few years in jail for some Robin Hood style embezzling from big business to pay back exploited employees.  With a young daughter as his inspiration, Scott is determined to stay on the straight and narrow and find straight work.  But when his record as a felon makes that impossible, he takes one last job as a cat burglar so he can make the cash he needs to gain visitation rights with his kid.  He robs the house of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and finds a mysterious suit locked away in a heavy duty safe.  When curiosity gets the better of him, he tries the suit on and discovers it gives him the power to shrink to the size of an ant. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Ant-Man (2015)

ant man movie 2015

“Sorry I’m late, I was saving the world. You know how it is.”

As the Marvel movie juggernaut rolls on, seemingly unstoppable, they have to dig deeper into their comic book roster of characters top populate this ever expanding world.  With mega popular characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four tied up with other studios, last year Marvel took a gamble on the little known Guardians of the Galaxy, and it paid off big.  I was skeptical of that movie, then found it amazing fun.  But even with that hindsight, and even with the always delightful Paul Rudd in the lead, I found it hard to look past the corny premise in the lead up to Ant-Man.


Scott Lang (Rudd) is released after a few years in jail for some Robin Hood style embezzling from big business to pay back exploited employees.  With a young daughter as his inspiration, Scott is determined to stay on the straight and narrow and find straight work.  But when his record as a felon makes that impossible, he takes one last job as a cat burglar so he can make the cash he needs to gain visitation rights with his kid.  He robs the house of Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and finds a mysterious suit locked away in a heavy duty safe.  When curiosity gets the better of him, he tries the suit on and discovers it gives him the power to shrink to the size of an ant. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Big Hero 6 (2014)

Big-Hero-6-character-poster

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?”

The comic book adaptations are coming at a crazy rate these days. The bad news is, it means we basically keep getting the same movie over and over again. But the good news is, as each movie studio looks for the next big hit, they’re digging deeper and deeper into the lesser known comic book properties. Last year, it was the mega hit, billions of dollars making Guardians of the Galaxy. But just before the new year, another one snuck in. A perfect combination of comic book action and Disney animated fun at it its best, Big Hero 6.


At just 13 years old, Hiro (Ryan Potter) has already graduated from high school. But he’s bored, and hanging with the wrong crew, building and fighting robots in seedy, underground , illegal tournaments. One night, after beating the wrong person, he’s about to have his ass kicked when he’s saved at the last minute by his big brother, Tadashi (Daniel Henney). Also a bit if science protégé, Tadashi is studying at prestigious college where he and his classmates are developing the next wave of tech. There’s tough as nails bad girl Go Go (Jamie Chung), the wide eyed and nerdily hippyish Honey Lemon (Genesis Rogruigez), the meticulous and goofy Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr), and waste of space Fred (TJ Miller). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor-the-Dark-World
Of all the movie super heroes, Thor was the one I was least familiar with before his first movie came out in 2011.  At first glance, the comic book Thor looked like the hardest to adapt to the screen.  In a genre of goofy costumes, his is by far one of the goofiest.  His whole Norse God origins make him seem out of place in the Marvel world built on scientific geniuses, science experiment mistakes and characters like Spiderman, The Hulk and Iron Man.  Everything about the character seemed to be everything that makes people dismiss the entire genre.


Then I watched the first movie and everything about it was done right.  Enough of a wink to the camera to let us know that director Kenneth Brenagh, and his cast, all knew they were making something kind of goofy, but they weren’t gonna half ass it.  The fish out of water angle with Thor coming to Earth for the first time was the perfect excuse to openly joke about his character’s goofiness, while still making him a part of this world, ready for the massive Avengers movie that would come the following year.  So was everything I liked about Thor based on its exceeding my very low expectations?  Would Thor: The Dark World be a disappointing sophomore slump, or prove that this is a legitimately entertaining character, strong enough to carry his own franchise?

After the events of The Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back in crazy space world, kicking ass and cleaning up the mess left buy his adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is now in a dungeon, deep below Asgard, the home of Thor, Loki, their dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and mum, Frigga (Rene Russo).  But even the sweet taste of ass kicking won’t help Thor forget Natalie Portman’s Jane, the hot piece of tail he tapped in the first Thor movie, then had to leave behind, until a love interest was needed for this sequel.

Long ago, before the beginning of time, there were some dark elves who had some bullshit.  The bullshit is actually called the Aether, but it’s such a cookie cutter, clichéd and standard comic book movie item of desire McGuffin, that they might as well have just called it ‘some bullshit’ and moved on, instead of wasting the four to six minutes it took for the writers to come up with ‘The Aether’.

After one hell of a coincidence, Jane is possessed by the Aether and Thor needs to release Loki from prison so they can form an uneasy alliance to take on the dark elves who are back, dark elvier than ever.

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki continues to be the most resilient comic book movie bad guy since Ian McKellen as Magneto in the X-Men franchise.  Which is an interesting comparison, because it proves something more comic book moves need to learn.  You don’t have to kill your villain at the end of every movie.  Sure, McKellen and Hiddleston’s crowd pleasing performances are probably the main reason they get to come back again and again, but it’s also the characters they play.

If the good guy gets to win without killing the villain, it means you can build on these major characters and the increasingly interesting relationships between them and their nemeses.  If not, you get something like Spiderman or Batman,  where you need to reboot the entire franchise every few movies because they keep blowing their bad guy load in two or three movies.

Whether it’s the kind of piecemeal, hodge podge of the ever growing ­X-Men series, or the meticulous studio calculation and corporately synergised machine of the Avengers world, I think both series prove that playing long game makes for more interesting movies.  And more than that, they’re just fun.  Batman and Spiderman can have all the dark and tragic back stories they want, but when I’m watching a movie about cheesy super heroes, give me the goofy fun of Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers and Thor any day.

Thor: The Dark World
Directed By – Alan Taylor
Written By – Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely 

MOVIE REVIEW | Iron Man 3 (2013)

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A soldier going through serious P.T.S.D…  Now that’s an interesting jumping off point for a super hero blockbuster that will probably make more money from kids buying action figures than it will from tickets sold at the box office.  It’s also something that makes Iron Man 3 stand out a little from the overly saturated super hero crowd.   Director and co-writer Shane Black had a tough job on his hands…  Take over an established, crazy successful franchise and try to keep his one, single character entertaining and interesting after we’ve all seen the awesome team up fun of The Avengers.

The movie opens in the early 90s with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as his bodyguard Happy.  This is Tony Stark back in his cool days, pounding booze and bangin’ broads, like any rich playboy should.   He also rudely dismisses a scientist played by Guy Pearce.  But that’s OK, I’m sure his revolutionary theories will amount to nothing and his anger and jealousy towards Stark won’t manifest as a crazy revenge plot.  Oh snap, I was wrong.  That’s exactly what happens.

Cut to the present day and Tony Stark is obsessively tinkering in his work shop building new and improved Iron Man suits.  We learn pretty quickly this is all a coping mechanism as he tries to distract himself from the horrible things he saw in New York in the Avengers climax, and the dark thoughts about what might be next.  He’s eventually snapped out of his funk by the prospect of throwing down with new global terrorist on the block, the Mandarin, played by an awesome Ben Kinglsey who chews the scenery gloriously every second he’s on screen.  Don Cheadle is in his own Iron Man suit, rebranded as the Iron Patriot after a red, white and blue paint job and shows up just enough to add to the movie in fun ways without ever overstaying his welcome.

Through a series of events, Tony Stark spends a lot of this movie out of the Iron Man suit.  That’s not a bad thing.  If he’s not in the suit, it means we’re not constantly being hammered with crazy fight scenes and mass destruction.  By resisting wall to wall action, it makes the few set pieces hit that much harder when they do occur,  like the squadron of Iron Men that appear in the movie’s big climax.  Even though I’d seen it in the trailers, the site of a couple of dozen Iron Men all flying to Tony Stark’s side for the last big battle still gave me a bit of a charge.

Shane Black’s screenplay brings plenty of great Shane Blackness to this world and helps give this character a new and interesting perspective.  He knows how to write dry sarcasm better than anyone and Downey knows exactly how it should be delivered.  I wouldn’t say this is the best Iron Man movie, but it’s more fresh and entertaining than anything you’d expect this deep into a franchise.  And it’s definitely better than Iron Man 2.

Iron Man 3
Directed By – Shane Black
Written By – Shane Black, Drew Pearce