Justice League, not great but a step in the right direction

          It’s been about a week now since the much anticipated Justice League movie was released. I have seen a few other opinions on this film some good, some bad and some in between. So I figured I would offer my spoiler free review for those of you interested in the genre. There seems to be a trending movement to hate on DC films recently that I don’t understand. This film was by no means perfect. It was enjoyable despite it’s shortcomings and I believe a step in the right direction when it comes to the DCEU trying to right the ship so to speak. For those who are not in the know this film is DC’s version of the super team a la Avengers which is Marvels super team. Comic book aficionados are no doubt familiar with these characters, but I felt this was another opportunity for DC to take a page out of Marvels book with respect to how they handled their cinematic universe as all members of the Avengers or at least the most prominent ones had individual films to give each a fleshed out backstory. I say this because this may help the general audience care more about the characters and therefor make the enjoyment of the film better. Most people like to know something about the characters to make sense of why they act the way they do. When that is missing some characters may come off as jerks for no reason,and people may dismiss them or ask why they were even included.              ...

Thor Ragnarok: an enjoyable film that falls short

                November has begun with a bit of a bang with much more to come for fans of comic books, comic book movies which have become a trend or just science fiction and fantasy in general. The third Thor film released today with the Justice League set to hit theaters later this month on the 17th, and early next year the long awaited Black Panther hits some time in February. I must admit I was quite excited for this film after the teaser in the end credit scene of Dr. Strange which segues nicely into where this film picks up the trail of the God of Thunder as he and Loki search for their father Odin who’s missing. Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Mark Ruffalo all reprise their roles as Thor, Odin, Loki, Heimdall and The Hulk from the previous Thor films by Marvel studios. They are joined by newcomers to this series by Karl Urban, Cate Blanchette, Tessa Thompson, and Jeff Goldblum who play Scurge the executioner, Hela Goddess of Death, Valkyrie and the Grand Master respectively.         Most of my anticipation for this film as I am sure it was for most people stemmed from the reuniting of Thor with Hulk who have had at best a rocky friendship beginning with the Avengers film which was easily one of the best efforts from Marvel studios to date. I would also add that they should do what ever it takes to give the Hulk the solo film he deserves but I understand that Universal...

War of the Planet of the Apes, a brief review.

                War of the Planet of the Apes heralds the return of Caesar. Everyone’s favorite accidental genius chimpanzee from the new Planet of the Apes trilogy is back. As trilogies go this is a good one. Most trilogies have a good to great first film only to trend downwards into the third. Thankfully this one has a steady quality throughout the three films. At least that’s my humble opinion. Then again I like action science fiction movies as I have been enthralled the genre and even published my very own science fiction novel as a result. Are there plot holes? Senseless ploys for cheap attempts at emotional connection? Absolutely but I believe if you are a fan of the first two films, you will like this one as well. If you have not seen the first two films, stop what you’re doin cause I’m about to ruin…never mind go see the first two before this one for continuity and better enjoyment. Seriously book mark this review rent the first two digitally and go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn before heading into to see their conclusion with this film. Then come back to finish this review to see if you agree with my analysis.           Now for the rest of you that have seen the first two films you already know how Caesar came to be the intelligent leader of the apes in Rise, then the problems that came with his right hand ape Koba who could not forgive humans for the atrocities committed...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the band is back together again!

      It seems that Marvel/Disney has achieved what for many motion pictures is a nearly impossible feat in that the second Guardians of the galaxy movie is as good and possibly better than the first! Now in my humble opinion Volume 2 does not surpass the first film but comes very close. I have seen a lot of reviews saying it was better and while I feel it was a bit more substantive as far as emotional content, it falls just shy of the mark that film hit for me. I am also honest enough to admit that could possibly be due to the attachment I have with our first cinematic introduction to Peter Quill and his band of intergalactic misfits.                         First of if you’re not a comic book fan and have not seen the first film, stop what you’re doing, bookmark this blog, rent or buy Guardians of the Galaxy then go see Vol. 2 if you have not done so already! These are easily two of Marvel’s best efforts to date that have everything even if you’re not into super hero, action, or sci-fi films. These two films have a lot more to offer than awesome space battles and intense action which are two of my favorite things personally but they’re combined with comedy that’s not forced and emotional weight that makes it all easy to relate to despite the fantastical veneer.  In this second installment we are reintroduced to Peter Quill(Starlord), Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot now in adorable baby form...

Ghost in the Shell, the controversy that wasn’t.

  It took me a couple weeks but I was finally able to check this film out despite the angst and vitriol spewed at it in the wake of Scarlett Johansen being cast as the Major. I liked the original anime released back in 1995 directed by Mamoru Oshii based on the manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, neither of which had a problem with the casting by the way. If you’re unfamiliar this story follows the exploits of a leader of an elite team called section 9 who is basically a brain housed inside of a fully synthetic android body. I believe the brain, or “ghost” of the woman who is in the body is definitely Japanese, but the body can be modeled after what ever race you want. Also interesting to add that many anime characters often have European features but the Japanese still consider them as Japanese or Nihonjin in their eyes. Most of the uproar occurred here in the U.S. where it’s at approximately 31 million in revenue yet 96 million worldwide and doing well in Japan. Go figure. That’s not to say I think whitewashing doesn’t happen because I know it does. I just don’t think that was the case with this film.     Getting back to the plot the Major in the anime and loosely in this film is always questioning her existence and searching for a past she only vaguely gets bits and pieces of through flashbacks they call glitches. The film is visually stunning with plenty of CGI but not so much that it gets overwhelming. Where it...

Kong Skull Island, old trope with a slightly new twist.

                                              I wasn’t quite sure how this was going to go given how many times the source material has been used over the years. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised with both the execution and the prospect of expansion they teased with the end credit scene. I won’t spoil it for you but if have yet to see the film stay for the credits. They went away from the old storylines where they take Kong from his home and bring him back to NYC to climb the empire state building and swat planes. I like this latest rendition better than the Peter Jackson version because it strayed from the usual plot line and it placed an importance on Kong not present in other iterations. Kong in this film is more than a huge mindless overgrown ape, and its refreshing. Not to mention that they waste no time in introducing him to the viewers unlike the latest Godzilla film, but it that films case I agreed with it to a degree because that’s what they did in a lot of the Godzilla films. John Goodman plays a survivor of some old attack on a ship from years past who has put together a team of researchers that are looking for a mystical island that for some reason (insert Bermuda triangle cliche) they cannot easily find and travel to where the thing that attacked the ship now resides. With the help of a politician he finds passage and...