Film News – Clark Gregg On Captain Marvel

Anyone would assume that, when Agent Coulson died in The Avengers, Clark Gregg would no longer be playing this character. However, he actually did get the opportunity to continue playing Agent Coulson in various Marvel properties.

For instance, Clark Gregg has had a prominent role in the superhero TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and, thanks to de-aging technology, he played a younger Agent Coulson in Captain Marvel, the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In an interview with Collider, Clark Gregg had the opportunity to speak about Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel

Here is what Clark Gregg had to say about what it was like to work with de-aging technology for Captain Marvel:

There’s not much going on, on the day. You look like yourself with some dots and more hair, both of us. Hilarious thing was his dots were white and my dots were black, which I thought was very like ebony and ivory.”

Yet, that’s it. And we’re kind of looking at each other, grizzled veterans that we are, and going, ‘Oh, shit. We’re younger. We’re younger. I gotta remember to act that.’ So sometimes I’d kind of feel like I let a little old, grizzled, traumatized, beat up Phil Coulson slip into it, and I’d be like, ‘Wait, wait, whoa, whoa. Let me start over.’ Because this is a guy who isn’t even really sure what exactly he signed up for yet.”

He just knows that this guy Fury is cool, and he wants to learn from him I feel like it’s the moment when he’s realizing, ‘oh this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is my destiny, is to be part of this, and to work with this guy.’ That’s the process of this movie, which I think is a cool moment in anyone’s life.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Kevin Feige Discusses Guardians of the Galaxy 3 + Avengers: Endgame

Recently, Kevin Feige discussed Captain Marvel and, in the same interview with Collider, he had the chance to also speak about Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and Avengers: Endgame.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will be the first Guardians film without James Gunn as the director and Avengers: Endgame will be the superhero movie that ends Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Both films are important for the MCU for different reasons.

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Kevin Feige said this about whether James Gunn’s script for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will actually be used:

Yes, we are. That’s as far as I’ll go in terms of anything past Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, in terms of what we’re doing when. Because as you know, we’ve wanted to focus on Captain Marvel, Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Finishing out these 23 MCU movies. We have a grand plan going forward. We want to talk about it after Endgame and Far From Home. But as we’ve already confirmed and said, it’s James’ draft.”

Avengers: Endgame

Kevin Feige also spoke about choosing Endgame as the title for Avengers 4 and keeping it a secret for such a long time:

Well, I think I’d said that it all had gotten blown out of proportion to some extent. But it was a spoiler, because if you knew before Infinity Warcame out that the next movie was called Endgame, then you know that there wasn’t an ending to Infinity War. But that had been the title of the movie from the moment we conceived of doing the two films. In large part, because…it’s seeded right there. I mean, it’s seeded in Ultron.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Kevin Feige On Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel, the next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), is about to be released and it is one of the most anticipated movies of 2018 for a lot of film fans. This is particularly the case when you consider that it is going to heavily play into Avengers: Endgame. Fans of the MCU owe Kevin Feige a lot of gratitude for this superhero movie franchise and, in an interview with Collider, he spoke about Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel

Here is what Kevin Feige had to say about the use of de-aging technology in Captain Marvel and whether any discussions have taken place in regards to movies taking place in earlier decades like the 1960s and 1970s:

Well, this was the movie for a long time that, because of our experience with Hank Pym, as you know, with Tony Stark, making those characters younger in limited scenes.”

Peggy Carter, we did in the top of the first Ant-Man film. We said, ‘We think the technology has gone far enough that we can do an entire movie, that we can have a main character in an entire movie de-aged.’ It helped that the characters, as I said at the press conference, was Clark Gregg and Sam Jackson, because those two haven’t really aged like normal human beings over the past 20 years.”

But I think it was tremendous the way it worked in Captain Marvel, and yeah, I think looking for new ways to use it is fun. I think we used to believe, and I think it used to be true, that you really could only do it for a scene or two. But we got to the point in later stages of finishing this movie, where we forgot. Where we were just used to it.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Kevin Feige Discusses Eternals

In the next two months, we will have the pleasure of watching both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame in cinemas. These Marvel superhero films will close out Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and lay the foundation for Phase 4 of this comic book movie franchise.

One of the many MCU movies that will come out in Phase 4 is Eternals and, in an interview with Collider at a press day for Captain Marvel, Kevin Feige had the chance to talk about Eternals.

Eternals

Here is what Kevin Feige had to say on what the plan is for introducing a film like Eternals into the MCU and how the movie will heavily lean into the source material by Jack Kirby:

Everything after Endgame, and after Spider-Man: Far From Home, will be different and be unique, as we try to make every film. But seeing returning characters is certainly something we’re gonna do and want to do.”

But also introducing characters that the majority of the world has never heard of, much like Guardians, much like Avengers before we made Avengers. And there are lots of them.”

Eternals are one group, but we like the idea of introducing an ensemble, doing an ensemble movie from the start, as opposed to building up as we did with the first Avengers. More like Guardians, not tonally, but in terms of introducing a new group of people.”

You were asking about ’60s, and ’70s before. Jack Kirby did an immense, amazing epic with Eternals that spans tens of thousands of years, and that’s also something we haven’t really done, which is why that among many other things post-Endgame, we find appealing.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Film News – Lashana Lynch On Captain Marvel

Before we witness the end of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Avengers: Endgame, we have Captain Marvel to look forward to. Brie Larson stars as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and one of her co-stars is Lashana Lynch who will play Maria Rambeau in this Marvel superhero film. In a roundtable interview, Lashana Lynch was given a platform to discuss Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel

Here is what Lashana Lynch had to say on what Marvel has allowed her to say about Captain Marvel and her involvement in this comic book movie:

That I’m a part of Marvel now. [Laughs] That’s it! Thanks guys. It’s been great! [Laughs] That she is Maria Rambeau, the mother of Monica, who I know you all know and love like myself. She is a fighter pilot, very strong, very bold, very in control of herself.”

I’d say, in high demand with the industry that she’s in. Her and Brie’s character Carol Danvers are very close friends. They’re best friends, in fact. She had to go through a lot of grief when Carol disappeared and then suddenly she’s back, and she has to kind of reverse that grief and make it work for this picking up of a friendship, which is kind of strange but ends up really beautifully.”

And she’s just an incredible character to play. It’s nice to see someone on the page who doesn’t yet have a fully fleshed personality who you can then inject wherever you want to, and that’s quite a treat for a Marvel character, you know?”

Carol Danvers

Lashana Lynch also talked about what the relationship is like between her character and Carol Danvers:

They have a very dry humor together. You know when you love someone and you pretend like you hate them? They have that. A little bit of a slightly unlikely boisterous, yet very loving, deeply loving, caring sister love. They have a sisterhood about them that is really nice to see in a Marvel movie.”

Carol Danvers is someone who is an aunt to my child, like she is family and that’s why her death takes such a big effect on her life because she actually is her life. They’re in a male-orientated environment and industry. All they have is each other as female fighter pilots. So yeah, they’re extremely close, extremely.”

Thank you for reading this article! You can find my other articles here at theturnertalks.com as well as my reviews which you can also all find at sp-bx.com.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Film Review) – An Enjoyable MCU Movie

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a superhero film directed by Peyton Reed and it is a sequel to Ant-Man. It is also the twentieth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Paul Rudd reprises his role as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Evangeline Lily reprises her role as Hope van Dyne/Wasp. Michelle Pfeiffer, Randall Park, Laurence Fishburne, Abby Ryder Fortson, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Douglas, David Dastmalchian, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Bobby Cannavale, Walton Goggins, Judy Greer and Michael Peña round out the rest of the cast for this movie.

The story of Ant-Man and the Wasp is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War and focuses on the duo of Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne/Wasp. They are working with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the original Ant-Man, to retrieve Janet van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the original Wasp, from the Quantum Realm.

My Expectation For Ant-Man and the Wasp

For many years, I was just a casual fan of the MCU. I liked the franchise, but I did not have a deep love for it like a lot of other people did because I never read any Marvel comic books. As such, I never had a lot of attachment for the characters in the MCU which prevented me from liking the films in this franchise to a greater extent than I did. However, recent films such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War have really made me a bigger fan of the MCU than I ever have been before.

Certainly, I would have usually ignored a film like Ant-Man and the Wasp but I do not have this mentality anymore. In fact, I went back to watch Ant-Man for the first time as preparation for this sequel. I really liked Ant-Man. It is not the best movie in the MCU but there is a lot to like in it. Corey Stoll as the villain is not one of those things, but there is a lot to like in Ant-Man. The humour, action, visuals and performances by Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily, Michael Peña and particularly Michael Douglas are great aspects of that movie.

Quantum Realm Ant-Man and the Wasp

As a film that is coming off the brilliance of Avengers: Infinity War, my hopes for Ant-Man and the Wasp were raised but I was not expecting this to be a top tier MCU movie. Instead, all I was hoping was for Ant-Man and the Wasp to maintain the quality of what made Ant-Man so entertaining while improving on its weaker aspect; the villain. I was also interested to see how the events of Avengers: Infinity War would play into this film.

My Thoughts On Ant-Man and the Wasp

Overall, Ant-Man and the Wasp is an enjoyable film. However, if I had to choose between the two, I do slightly prefer Ant-Man. One thing that this film considerably improves over the original is the villain. This was not an especially hard thing to do but I liked how Ava/Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) had a more relatable and personable motivation for her actions than Corey Stoll’s Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Ghost is not one of the best MCU villains by any means though.

Hannah John-Kamen as Ava/Ghost in Ant-Man and the Wasp

Moreover, I would contest that some of the strongest aspects of Ant-Man are a little bit weaker in this movie. While the performances from the returning cast, as well as the humour in Ant-Man and the Wasp, are still at the same level of quality as they were in Ant-Man, the action and visuals in this film are slightly worse. Ant-Man and the Wasp also has worse pacing than Ant-Man. This movie did not flow as well as the first and some parts felt quite sluggish.

The core story in Ant-Man and the Wasp is what you expect from where the first film left off and it is good. But, it is not as compelling as the story in Ant-Man and it is a bit disposable when you think of the larger narrative being told in the MCU right now. However, Ant-Man and the Wasp absolutely works as a palette cleanser for the serious and heavy Avengers: Infinity War and, once again, the de-aging technology is outstanding. I love this technology as it opens new doors when it comes to storytelling not just in the MCU but for any film.

Evangeline Lily as Wasp and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man in Ant-Man and the Wasp

My Final Thoughts On Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp also has a great mid-credits scene which, as you can imagine, links into the events of Avengers: Infinity War very well and it sets up some interesting things going forward in the MCU. While I prefer Ant-Man, everything in this film combines to make a good and enjoyable instalment in the MCU. If you are a casual or hardcore fan of this franchise then you should absolutely see Ant-Man and the Wasp because you will, at the very least, be entertained.

Ant-Man and the Wasp Film Review Pin

Avengers: Infinity War (Film Review) – A Phenomenal Cinematic Achievement

Avengers: Infinity War is a superhero film directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and it is the nineteenth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film boasts a huge ensemble cast which includes Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Josh Brolin.

The story of Avengers: Infinity War takes place two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War which tore the Avengers apart. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has given up the mantle of being Captain America and Thanos (Josh Brolin) has come to Earth to acquire the remaining Infinity Stones and attain access to the full power of the Infinity Gauntlet. This will give Thanos the ability to bend reality to his will and he can accomplish his goal of destroying half of the universe’s population to, in his view, achieve balance. The Avengers must unite once again and join forces with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos.

My Expectations For Avengers: Infinity War

When the MCU began with Iron Man in 2008, no one could conceivably imagine what was to follow over the next ten years. Comic book fans marvelled (hehe) at how the MCU progressed to a stage where the possibility of seeing films such as The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: Civil War actually became a reality. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear to see that the MCU has been laying the groundwork for a culmination of the franchise as we currently know it.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner and and Benedict Wong as Wong in Avengers Infinity War

I contest that the untitled Avengers 4 will be that culmination seeing as this will end Phase 3 of the MCU and usher in Phase 4 which, from all accounts, is going to be radically different than anything we have seen so far in this franchise. Still, I can see why Avengers: Infinity War is being classed as this type of film. Never in the history of the MCU have we seen all of our heroes unite in one film to face a common enemy that has been teased since The Avengers.

Thanos Needed To Deliver For Avengers: Infinity War To Succeed

I am, of course, talking about Thanos. Until the most recent MCU instalments, this franchise has, for me, been incapable of producing amazing villains on a consistent basis. Thankfully, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther provided fantastic antagonists in the form of Vulture and Killmonger respectively. Because of the build-up Thanos has had since The Avengers, a lot of pressure was on Avengers: Infinity War to deliver on his villainous potential.

Indeed, he has been marketed as the main character of Avengers: Infinity War. Hence, if he succeeded as a compelling character, then the film would succeed too. I was going into this film pretty confident that it would be both good and, at the same time, subvert expectations when it comes to events. I would have no problem with this because I go into every film with an open mind about how the events on-screen will transpire.

Josh Brolin as Thanos in Avengers Infinity War

Moreover, it seemed like we, the audience, would not be prepared for what was to unfold in Avengers: Infinity War. Nothing was off the table when it came to this film. I could not wait to experience what I hoped would be an amazing, unique theatrical event as well as an MCU film that had the potential to rank amongst the best in this remarkable accomplishment of a franchise.

My Thoughts On Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War has supplanted Guardians of the Galaxy as my favourite MCU film. It is a phenomenal cinematic achievement that works on every major level. It succeeded beyond my wildest dreams when it came to its story, humour, themes and its villain. Certainly, Thanos is one of the best villains I have had the pleasure to watch in the MCU. While his aims are abhorrent, I completely understood his motivations. I related to him in the film when it came to his belief that what he was doing was right based on his past experiences.

Thanos had a lot of depth and, to be honest, Avengers: Infinity War was his film. He was well fleshed out as a character and I also thought that his relationship with Gamora (Zoe Saldana), his adopted daughter, was really enhanced with this film. Their relationship has been referenced in previous MCU films but not explored and developed in the way it was in Avengers: Infinity War.

The Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers Infinity War

The scenes between these two characters were amongst the best in this film, particularly when it came to an incredible sacrifice Thanos had to make in order for his mission to succeed. It was a heart-breaking thing to witness and it weighs heavily on Thanos which helped to increase my sympathy towards him in the process.

For a film to make me care and relate to the struggles of a vllain in the way Avengers: Infinity War did with Thanos is an incredible feat. He is absolutely alongside the Vulture, Ultron and Killmonger as being one of the best MCU villains. For the most part, I have been really impressed with the most recent villains the MCU has given us and I hope this streak continues for as long as possible.

A Compelling Story With A Great Blend Of Comedy, Action + Drama

As I previously stated, Thanos would be key to the success of Avengers: Infinity War as a film and he absolutely worked as a villain. It was then fantastic to see that everything else in the film worked just as well as Thanos did. Indeed, from the very beginning, the story in this film is compelling and leaves you reeling at just how ruthless Thanos is. Because of this, I had no idea what was going to happen as Avengers: Infinity War progressed from its gut-punch of a beginning and the film never lets up from that point.

Josh Brolin as Thanos using the Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers Infinity War

For one, the stunning cinematography kept me engaged from a visual perspective and the story had a superb mix of comedy, drama and action which kept me invested throughout. A big part of the success in this blend was down to the ensemble cast. The interactions between our heroes were the best I have ever seen in an MCU film. Whether it was comedy, action or drama, all of them shone in at least one of those aspects and, in some cases, all three.

For me, the MVP’s of Avengers: Infinity War were, besides Thanos, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). I loved the arcs that Thor and Doctor Strange went through in this film and they were well developed as characters to a much larger extent than they already had been. While I would have loved for Captain America to have had a larger role than he did because he is my favourite character in the whole franchise, I can accept him not being the focus in Avengers: Infinity War.

A “Part 1” Film With A Definitive, Crushing End

This is because he, as well as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), will have a larger role to play in Avengers 4 given what we saw at the end of this film. Indeed, Avengers: Infinity War is, in my opinion, a “Part 1” film that, remarkably, has a devastating, definitive ending. So, without further ado, let us get into some major spoiler territory. Both Iron Man and Captain America survive the events of Avengers: Infinity War. While this was a relief given how much I like them as characters, it also signifies that their roles in this story are not finished just yet.

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier in Avengers Infinity War

However, that is about the only positive outcome that came out of an absolutely crushing ending to Avengers: Infinity War. Indeed, in this film, Thanos went on a journey to complete his mission of obtaining the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of all life in the universe and he succeeds. Despite the best efforts of our heroes, Thanos wins and it gives us an ending which, in isolation, was incredibly ballsy. I was speechless during the credits as a result of what happened in the final moments of this film.

Because Thanos succeeded, a lot of our heroes perished. They literally turned to ash and I was shocked to see that characters such as T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) among many others all perished. Important characters in the MCU such as Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Gamora had also died well before the ending of Avengers: Infinity War which was also shocking to see.

A Great Ending Undermined

As I said, this film is quite ballsy in the way it killed a lot of important characters and its ending left me speechless but this was only the case in isolation. Sadly, the announcement of future MCU films in Phase 4 such as the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Black Panther 2 undermines the impact of a lot of the deaths in Avengers: Infinity War. This is because some, if not all, of those who turned to ash in the final moments of this film are very likely to be resurrected in Avengers 4. Certainly, I would be amazed if Black Panther or Spider-Man stay dead.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Avengers Infinity War

It is not the fault of the film that the impact of the ending is undermined. Instead, it is the known slate of Phase 4 that unfortunately does this. Still, this only dawned on me some time after I saw Avengers: Infinity War. It does not take away from what was an incredible cinematic experience in addition to a film which, like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I have no huge issues with. It succeeded on every major level it needed to succeed in and it became my No. 1 MCU film in the process. I cannot wait to see what will happen next in the MCU and to see Thanos and our remaining heroes return in Avengers 4.

Avengers Infinity War Film Review Pin

Black Panther (Film Review) – A Top 5 MCU Film

Black Panther is a superhero film directed by Ryan Coogler and it is the eighteenth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Chadwick Boseman reprises his role as T’Challa/Black Panther alongside an ensemble cast that includes Martin Freeman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Winston Duke, Andy Serkis, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan.

The story of Black Panther takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and T’Challa returns to Wakanda as King after the death of his father. However, he finds his sovereignty challenged by Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan). A conflict ensues between the two which has the capacity to have severe ramifications both in Wakanda and beyond.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Black Panther

Every time another MCU film is about to be released, I am pretty confident that it will be a good and entertaining as an absolute minimum. Black Panther was a different story. This film had a lot of potential to be amazing and one of the best MCU films to date. Everything I had seen from Black Panther looked unique and fresh. I was excited to see what was in store and, once the film was receiving universal critical acclaim, all it did was increase my expectations for Black Panther.

Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T'Challa in Black Panther

Another thing which filled me with a lot of hope that Black Panther would be something special was the directorial talent behind the film. Appointing Ryan Coogler as the director of the film was a great choice. His work on Fruitvale Station and Creed cemented him as being one of the most promising, up-and-coming directors working in the film industry today. He has had a great career so far and to think that he is only 31-years-old and has so many years ahead of him is exciting to say the least.

The cast for Black Panther just speaks for itself. Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Chadwick Boseman among other talented individuals should entice any film fan to see the film they are in. Everything was in the favour of Black Panther to be something that could transcend the superhero genre, especially with its social, racial and political themes which are extremely relevant in today’s climate. I wanted this film to be rich and have an abundance of depth. Moreover, I hoped Black Panther would be at high enough level of quality where it would be one of my favourite films in the MCU.

My Thoughts on Black Panther

Truly, I cannot remember the last time I was as emotionally invested in an MCU film as I was with Black Panther. Without a doubt, this film is in my Top 5 favourite MCU films and Ryan Coogler continues to impress me as a filmmaker with the incredible work he did in Black Panther.

Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger and Daniel Kaluuya as W'Kabi in Black Panther

A variety of reasons exist as to why I love Black Panther as much as I do. Let me start with the biggest positive of the film; Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger. For me, the biggest flaw of the MCU has been its inability to consistently produce compelling and/or sympathetic villains/antagonists.

In my mind, it is clear to see that the MCU struck gold with Killmonger. For me, he is one of the best MCU villains. This is because you identify with him due to his past struggles and how he wants to reveal Wakanda to the world and put an end to their isolationist tendencies. However, he goes about things in the wrong way and his methods would do more harm than good to the situation. Because of this, even though we know that he is the bad guy, we feel for KIllmonger throughout the film and it makes certain scenes towards the end of Black Panther that more of a gut punch.

He was the strongest aspect of the story in Black Panther and the story itself was very engaging and superb performances from the cast helped to bring it to life, particularly when it came to the actresses. For me, the women of Black Panther were huge standouts. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright) were phenomenal and really pulled me into the film from an emotional standpoint, particularly in the third act.

Dora Milaje in Black Panther

Excellent World-Building + Timely Themes

Make no mistake, Chadwick Boseman was great as T’Challa/Black Panther. He was captivating in the lead role but the women around him, as well as the villain, elevated both him and the film. Moreover, an element of Black Panther such as the Dora Milaje, a team of special forces which Okoye was the leader of, helped to flesh out Wakanda.

Certainly, the amount of world-building was immensely impressive, especially as it was all done in one film. You see how vast and rich the lore and nation of Wakanda is and it pulls you into the film. Additionally, the story being told deals with some extremely relevant social, political and racial themes which also elevates your experience with the film. Undoubtedly, Black Panther is a timely film which has a lot to say beyond its superhero plot.

It is an important film to watch because of what is going on in the world nowadays which helps Black Panther transcend the superhero genre. Scenes in the film which proved how well it becomes more than just a superhero film include Killmonger’s conversation with his father, played by Sterling K. Brown, as well as his final scene with T’Challa. Both scenes were incredibly powerful and showcased the themes of the film in a great way.

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T'Challa in Black Panther

Other Highlights of Black Panther

As you can see, I have been incredibly positive about Black Panther so far and that is not stopping now. The use of colour was brilliant, the score and its use of percussion was excellent and it fitted in well with the film. The humour in Black Panther, like every MCU film I have seen, was more hit than miss. This is especially the case whenever M’Baku (Winston Duke) or Shuri were involved.

The only criticism I would have of Black Panther is that the lighting for the action scenes could have been better so I could see what was going on more clearly than I could. Still, that is a small gripe in an otherwise amazing film which ranks amongst the best in the MCU. Moreover, it has made the wait for Avengers: Infinity War more unbearable than it has been and I cannot wait to return to Wakanda and these characters in that film.

Black Panther Film Review Pin

 

Thor: Ragnarok (Film Review) – Another Fun MCU Film

Thor: Ragnarok is a superhero film directed by Taika Waititi and it is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is the third individual Thor film in the MCU and it stars Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Karl Urban, Idris Elba, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth.

The story of Thor: Ragnarok focuses on Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who is trying to save Asgard from Hela (Cate Blanchett) and the prophesied Ragnarok. He enlists the help of The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to do this.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Thor: Ragnarok

I went into Thor: Ragnarok with no baggage when it came to the individual Thor films in the MCU. I have never seen Thor or Thor: The Dark World and those films have been divisive. Some say that Thor is great, others say it is okay while Thor: The Dark World is considered to be very mediocre and one of the worst films in the MCU.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor Ragnarok

As a result, my only exposure to Thor in the MCU has been through films such as The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron which I thought were very good and I liked Thor in those films. Chris Hemsworth, for me, has always done a great job at portraying the character he was seemingly born to play. I was looking forward to seeing him in Thor: Ragnarok as well as the rest of a great cast.

Certainly, I would argue that Tom Hiddleston portrays one of the better villains in the MCU as Loki and to see him in a sort of anti-hero role intrigued me. Obviously, Cate Blanchett is a phenomenal actress so I knew that she would deliver as would Mark Ruffalo who I feel is severely underrated as an actor. Moreover, to see Anthony Hopkins and Tessa Thompson (both starring in Westworld) in Thor: Ragnarok was sure to lend some more class. Oh, and Idris Elba; brilliant.

Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in Thor Ragnarok

Everything seemed to be pointing towards Thor: Ragnarok being great. Certainly, from the marketing, the film looked to be very funny and when you see that Taika Waititi is directing Thor: Ragnarok you must know that you are not in for a typical, conventional film. Before Thor: Ragnarok, the only Taika Waititi film that I had seen was What We Do in the Shadows and I really enjoyed it. It is weird but very funny and it showcases his type of humour quite well.

If he could bring that humour to Thor: Ragnarok, then I was in for a good time with this film and it would cap-off a great year for films in the MCU. Indeed, 2017 has seen the release of both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming which were very entertaining films and, for me, they rank amongst the best that the MCU has given us. I hoped that Thor: Ragnarok would continue this trend of non-stop entertainment before we get to more serious entries in the MCU next year in the form of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.

Surtur in Thor Ragnarok

My Thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok

My hopes were realised. Thor: Ragnarok is hilariously entertaining and, once more, the MCU continues to give us fun, consistently good superhero films. From the very beginning, the film established the beautiful cinematography, tone and type of humour we would be getting and it never lets up from there. There were so many brilliant comedic moments that I was surprised Marvel let Taika Waititi get away with some of it.

In fact, I would strongly argue that Thor: Ragnarok rivals Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of pure entertainment. Whether it was the brilliant cameo from Matt Damon or Loki’s reaction to seeing Hulk again after their “incident” in The Avengers, I was laughing at various points throughout the film. All of the characters in this film have their moments of humour yet, to be honest, I have to say that Korg was the stand out character in this regard.

Taika Waititi as Korg in Thor Ragnorok

Korg was actually played by Taika Waititi in Thor: Ragnarok and, by far, he was my favourite thing about the whole film. He had so many great lines in this film and I pray to god that Marvel sees that they have a gem on their hands with this character. I hope he has a much bigger role in MCU films in the future, especially in Avengers: Infinity War because he could provide some great comedic relief in a film that I expect to be very dramatic.

Thor and Loki

While Korg was my favourite character and part of Thor: Ragnarok, that does not take away from the great work that the rest of the cast did in this film. Chris Hemsworth once again proved how great he is as Thor and his dynamic with Loki really showcased how great their chemistry is with each other. Moreover, seeing Tom Hiddleston as Loki in an anti-hero role was a nice thing to see after his villainous role in The Avengers. His character and relationship with Thor was really fleshed out in Thor: Ragnarok and it made the film better as a consequence.

Tom Hiddleston as Loki and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor Ragnarok

The Hulk was another character who had some brilliant moments in the film, especially with Thor. Indeed, seeing these two argue like petulant brothers in one scene was hilarious and credit should go to Mark Ruffalo in this regard. It is not easy to play what is essentially two different characters in Hulk and Bruce Banner and he found the right blend of being funny but also dramatic and poignant when he was wrestling with his identity in the film. He has done this brilliantly in previous MCU films and he did it again in Thor: Ragnarok.

I mentioned that Matt Damon had a small cameo in Thor: Ragnarok but that was for comedic purposes rather than something that would further the story. However, another cameo in Thor: Ragnarok was important in this regard and that was the small role that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) played. We essentially saw an extended version of the post-credits scene that we saw in Doctor Strange and it was cool to have these two films connected like this.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk in Thor Ragnarok

More importantly, I think that the interaction between Thor and Doctor Strange has established a relationship that will have importance in future films in the MCU. It also led us to a great scene between Thor, Loki and their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Clearly, Anthony Hopkins brings a lot of gravitas to any role he is in and the scene that took place in Norway between Odin and his sons was very poignant. In a film such as Thor: Ragnarok, you needed a good blend of comedy and drama and the moments that involved Anthony Hopkins as Odin gave the film the dramatic heft that was required.

The Negatives of Thor: Ragnarok

Still, this brings me onto something that is not really a negative of Thor: Ragnarok but it did hinder my appreciation of it. Seeing as I have not watched Thor or Thor: The Dark World, my appreciation for moments in the film such as the one between Odin, Thor and Loki were not as big as they could have been bigger. Moreover, some stuff in the film that involved Loki as well as Heimdall (Idris Elba) kind of went over my head because I do not know what happened with these characters in Thor or Thor: The Dark World. So, it is not the film’s fault that I did not appreciate some of the stuff in it but my own.

Cate Blanchett as Hela in Thor Ragnarok

Nonetheless, one element of Thor: Ragnarok that I believe was a negative was Hela. Marvel has always had a problem with its villains. Most of the time, they come across as one-note and bland. While I think Cate Blanchett gave a good performance as Hela, the arc that her character went through in this film was not one that allowed her to shine or have a lot of depth. Overall, Hela was quite forgettable and, to be honest, so was Jeff Goldblum. I enjoyed him in the film because he is Jeff Goldblum but I could never take him seriously. He was more of a caricature than a character.

My Final Thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok

On the other hand, one character who was not forgettable was Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). Some film critics/pundits argued that Tessa Thompson was the best thing about Thor: Ragnarok. While I give that accolade to Korg, there is no denying that she was great in the film and her character went through every scene she was in with a drunken swagger that was very entertaining.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie in Thor Ragnarok

Indeed, the whole film is entertaining and it solidifies 2017 as a great year for comic book films. If you have not see Thor: Ragnarok, then I urge you to do so as soon as you can because it also caps off a year where the films in the MCU have been funny but also dramatic where it needed to be. Now, we look forward to Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War which I am sure will be just as good if not better than the MCU films of 2017 but in different ways.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Film Review) – Thoroughly Entertaining

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a superhero film directed by John Watts and it is the sixteenth instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Tom Holland reprises his role as the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man/Peter Parker after his debut in Captain America: Civil War.

The cast for Spider-Man: Homecoming also includes Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. The story of the film focuses on Peter Parker as he tries to find the balance between being both Spider-Man and a teenager at high-school while also dealing with the looming threat of The Vulture (Michael Keaton).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Spider-Man: Homecoming

To say that Spider-Man: Homecoming has been a film that I have been highly anticipating would be an understatement. My excitement for Homecoming mainly comes from how much I loved Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. To me, his scenes and Spider-Man himself were the best parts of a film which, overall, I found to be good but overrated.

I hoped that the good foundation that was laid for Spider-Man in Civil War would be built upon in Homecoming which would also further the MCU in the process. Additionally, I could not wait to see the continuation of Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s relationship with Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and I was curious to see whether The Vulture could buck the trend of underwhelming villains in the MCU. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive so, with all of this in mind, I was expecting good things from Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Spider-Man Homecoming

My Thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, I thought that it would be tough for any superhero film coming out in 2017 that is in the MCU to be better. Spider-Man: Homecoming achieves this. This film is so entertaining and it is another success for Marvel. I was smiling from beginning to end and the film is a fantastic blend of being a superhero film and a coming-of-age film. In fact, Spider-Man: Homecoming did remind me at times of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and a direct reference to that film is made in Homecoming which was nice to see.

A big reason why Spider-Man: Homecoming is so great and enjoyable is because of Tom Holland. He continues right where he left off from Civil War and comes across as a real teenager. We can see that he is struggling with all the normal pressures of puberty, adolescence and high-school in addition to his superhero abilities. It is very easy to connect to Holland’s Spider-Man/Peter Parker and he is so likeable, awkward and funny in Spider-Man: Homecoming. I cannot wait to see more of Spider-Man as he has become one of my favourite characters in the MCU.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Tom Holland as Peter Parker in Spider-Man Homecoming

Moreover, his relationship with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) was another highlight of the film as it felt extremely natural and authentic. I also liked Michelle (Zendaya) as she provided some enjoyable dry humour and seeing Donald Glover in his small role was cool to watch. Still, my favourite interactions that Tom Holland had in Spider-Man: Homecoming were with Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.

Since the MCU began with Iron Man in 2008, Robert Downey Jr. has been consistently brilliant and he continues this in his small but important role as Tony Stark/Iron Man in this film. We had the perfect amount of Robert Downey Jr. and, instead of overshadowing, he enhanced the character of Spider-Man/Peter Parker. This gave Tom Holland the chance to successfully lead this film.

A nice surprise in Spider-Man: Homecoming was just how good The Vulture was as the villain in this film. Michael Keaton does a fantastic job in portraying one of the best villains in the MCU to date because he is a very sympathetic character. While he is committing bad acts, the motivations and the reasons why he is leading a life of crime is very understandable. He is much more layered than other villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which means that he ranks amongst my favourite villains in the MCU.

Michael Keaton as The Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming

Other elements of Spider-Man: Homecoming that impressed me were the action and the visual effects and, in this regard, I must give a lot of credit to director John Watts. I knew nothing about him going into this film and I feel like he is going to get a lot more opportunities after how well he directed Homecoming.

He crafted a film which is another entertaining chapter in the MCU and elevates Spider-Man to a place where he is now an integral part of this franchise. I know that this is the second reboot of this character and that may put you off seeing this film. I urge you to reconsider as I guarantee that you will leave the cinema much happier after you have seen what is, for me personally, one of the most entertaining films of 2017 so far.