“Spider-Man: Far From Home” REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent! (Rotten Tomatoes)

Critic:

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame as well as being the final film in Phase 3 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This film deals with the aftermath of Infinity War and Endgame, which as we can see in the film- those movies have huge repercussions. People who were affected by Thanos wiping out half of all life in the Universe suddenly get brought back, and it messes up the status quo that was in effect for the five years after the snap. This film also deals with the fact that since Tony Stark isn’t available to help anymore- it’s now Peter Parker’s responsibility to carry on Tony’s legacy.

I will say that most of the jokes in this film don’t work as well, especially in the first half- but there were some stuff that made me chuckle quite a lot. What I really liked was that this movie was mostly a teen romance film, laced with super hero moments. In this film, Peter is on a school trip in Europe and he has this elaborate plan to ask out Mary Jane- but it goes horribly wrong when things out of Peter’s control become involved… mostly by either a rival of Peter’s who also likes MJ, or Nick Fury who wants Peter to stop this catastrophe that happens to be where his school trip takes place at.

What I also really enjoyed was Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio. Mysterio claims to be from an alternate dimension and he starts bonding with Peter and serves as a sort of big brother figure for Peter. For those of you who have read the comics and are confused on the marketing for Mysterio- don’t worry… they do Mysterio right! (That’s all I’m going to say without spoilers.)

I liked the second half of this film more because the action scenes were more impressive, the movie flowed better- and the relationship between Peter and MJ are more natural.

There are two end credit scenes in this movie: the Mid-Credit scene is the best one in my opinion and you’ll lose your mind when you see it! The second one is alright in my opinion, but it’s still pretty important.

Grade:

I’m going to give “Spider-Man: Far From Home” a 8/10 or a B.

The first half had some humor that didn’t land most of the time, but the second half and Mid-credit scene helped the film from suffering too badly.

Hellboy (2019) REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge (IMDb).

Review:

I was a big fan of what Guillermo del Toro did with “Hellboy” and “Hellboy: The Golden Army” he made great use with practical and a bit of special effects in his film to make an interesting story, but his concluding third movie got the kibosh and instead we got this reboot, so- with bad word of mouth, what do I think of it?

I’ll start off with the positives: David Harbour was a pretty good Hellboy (even though I still prefer Ron Perlman) and I thought the creature designs were pretty cool- especially the pig demon henchman. I also liked the father and son relationship between Hellboy and Professor Broom.

Now, let’s traverse the 9 Circles of Hell that make up the bad portions of this film:

There’s some pretty bad CGI that’s noticeable. The swearing and the gore (especially towards the end) felt like it was there just because the film is rated R now with no real purpose (this film feels like it’s trying WAY too hard to be edgy), and the story is very incoherent. Another problem I had is the main villain, the Blood Queen played by Milla Jovovich and she’s a bland villain that wants to destroy the world because she was cut into pieces and put inside boxes, she’s a boring villain that lacks any real personality.

The way they ended this movie introduces a character in a very hokey way and it leaves it open for a sequel that I’m betting money isn’t going to happen.

Grade:

It’s not the worse thing I’ve seen in the world, but it’s not great either. I’m more angry at the fact that Hellboy 3 died for this when no one was asking for a reboot.

I’m giving Hellboy (2019) a 6/10 or a D.

Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel ii. Lost Butterfly REVIEW

Plot Synopsis:

“The story focuses on the Holy Grail War and explores the relationship between Shirou Emiya and Sakura Matou, two teenagers participating in this conflict. The story continues immediately from Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel i. Prestige Flower, following Shirou as he continues to participate in the Holy Grail War even after being eliminated as a master (IMDb).”

Review:

As someone who’s become a fan of the Fate series, this was honestly the movie I’ve been the most excited to see this year- and thankfully this didn’t disappoint me at all!

Heaven’s Feel is the third route in the Fate/Stay Night visual novel, and it’s been regarded as the darkest route- and after this movie, it could not be more apparent as it explores dark elements and themes from the visual novel.

After rewatching Heaven’s Feel i. Prestige Flower last night, I’m glad that this movie immediately picks up from where the first movie left off. Compared to the first film, I honestly have to say that I like this movie more.

Ever since Studio Ufotable came in to adapt the Fate franchise, starting with the prequel, Fate/Zero, they’ve done an amazing job adapting these stories. The animation in this film is absolutely gorgeous, and honestly- there’s a lot of shots that can be used as desktop backgrounds or even wallpapers. The score in this film is amazing. And the fight scenes in this film are breath-taking, especially the fight between Saber Alter and Berserker- which to me is the highlight of the film as far as fights go.

However, where this film truly shines is focusing on the relationship between Shirou and Sakura. It’s a relationship that’s believable- but also heartbreaking at the same time as we begin to unravel Sakura’s past- seeing how much pain she’s been hiding underneath her care-free exterior.

Grade:

I feel like I have to grade this movie on a curve- because as someone who’s a fan of the Fate franchise, this is easily an A. However, if you’re just an average audience with no knowledge of the franchise- this movie is going to confuse you… especially if you haven’t seen part one of this three part adaptation.

So, for me personally, this movie is a 9/10 or an A.

As a Fate fan, this was everything I wanted, and I can’t wait to see the last part: Heaven’s Feel iii. Spring Song, whenever it’s released!

“Glass” Movie Review

Synopsis:

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men (Rotten Tomatoes).

Review:

I was a big fan of “Split” and I thought the idea of making a superhero movie that’s grounded in the real world like “Unbreakable” was cool… and after three years of waiting for the concluding story in this trilogy, I found myself a bit disappointed with this film.

To start things off, I thought the first act of the movie was great! The scenes with Kevin Wendell Crumb AKA The Horde was suspenseful, and I thought it was cool that David Dunn’s son (who is also the same actor from “Unbreakable”) worked with his dad at his security store to keep tabs on crime in the area.

The second act was kinda slow to me, and you could argue “Well the movie “Unbreakable” was slow so it makes sense.” But my problem with that is it felt like it didn’t fit with the movie that was set up in the beginning.

Mr. Glass, Samual Jackson’s character in the film is in a catatonic state for most of the film, but he has shifty eyes, and you can tell he’s planning something- but you’re unsure of what it is.

Now here’s some of the major problems I had with the film: There’s no way that you have these three potentially dangerous patients in this insane asylum, and have employees that are this incompetent. Another thing I wasn’t too crazy about was during some of the fight scenes, there’s some POV shots that are used- and in concept it should work, but it doesn’t really work in execution.

Sarah Paulson plays a psychiatrist but she mentions comic book facts to try to dispute the fact that these three individuals aren’t superheroes and I felt myself getting annoyed because I was thinking in my head “I know how comic books work, you don’t need to stand here and say these things like you’re dropping some knowledge on me.” And the last thing I didn’t like was the ending… without spoiling anything it’s confusing, messy, and makes no sense.

One thing I’ll mention that I liked before I give my rating was the tender moments between Kevin and Casey, the girl that Kevin let go in “Split” and you feel like there’s a real connection between these two characters.

Grade:

To recap my TL;DR review: The beginning was cool, the middle was too slow, and the ending was sloppy and made no sense. I debated between giving this either a C or a D so I’ll go 6.5/10 or a D+. I don’t know what happened, but this could have been a lot better.

“Reign of the Supermen” Movie Review

Synopsis:

Following Superman’s sacrifice to defeat Doomsday, the world reels from the superhero’s death. Several different versions of the hero pop up on Earth to take his place, including Superboy, Steel, Cyborg Superman, and Eradicator (Wikipedia).

Review:

To be honest, this was an unplanned review from me, and y’all can thank the snow for me being able to see this film.

This film is the sequel to “Death of Superman” and serves to complete the famous comic arc, and as an animated adaptation- this is as faithful an adaptation that we’ll get because the DC Animated movies have always been great 9/10 (we don’t talk about the animated “Killing Joke” film.) So I feel like if this got a live action adaptation, it wouldn’t have been as good.

The voice cast in this film does its job well, and I have to give credit to Patrick Fabian as Cyborg Superman for being able to capture the madness the character possesses, this also goes to the animators for being able to physically twist the character in certain shots to truly show the audience the torment and shear madness the character is going through.

Another thing I’ll say about Cyborg Superman is I understand his motivation- I don’t agree with his methods, but I get where he’s coming from.

Another character I really enjoyed is Superboy voiced by Cameron Monaghan, (famous for his portrayal of Jerome in the TV Series “Gotham”) the thing I liked about the character is he’s cocky and arrogant, and feels like he has a chip on his shoulder, but over time he acts more mature in the film, especially when he learns vital information about himself.

The one thing I was hoping to see that I was excited about was the debut of the black suit, mullet Superman- and it was worth the wait in my opinion. Superman isn’t fully powered because of the process used to revive him, so his fight with his cybernetic counterpart becomes more nerve-wracking.

Grade:

DC has always excelled at their animated features, as opposed to their live action counterparts, and after seeing this back to back with Death of Superman… it’s a sequel that serves its purpose whilst also telling its own narrative. I felt like Steel was shafted, but that’s the only negative I have with the film, so I’ll give this a 8.5/10 or a B+

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Movie Review

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Plot Synopsis:

Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality (IMDb).

Critique:

 I’ve got a weird relationship with Sony Pictures Animation… They’ve made great movies, like “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, and they’ve also been responsible for the atrocity known as “The Emoji Movie”- so I’m sure you understand why I went into this movie being extremely cautious.

The first thing I’ll say about this movie is I really dug the visual style they went for as far as the look of the movie goes. It has a real comic book look to it that I really appreciated, however- that same style also made it difficult to see what’s going on in about the first ten minutes of the film. There were certain shots where it looked like it was supposed to be in 3-D, but it wasn’t finalized- however after that, the film looked fine to me.

Going back to style and look of the film, I appreciated the fact that there were comic book elements added, such as mental dialogue being shown in a boxed format, and some of the actions are written out like a real comic book- and I really appreciated that added touch. Speaking of which, there’s comic book-like origin stories for some of the other Spider-Men characters like Spider-Gwen, Penni Parker, Spider-Ham, and Spider-Man Noir (who’s voiced by Nicholas Cage).

There’s some Spider-Man references meticulously placed into this film in the form of quick visuals that if you’re keen to it, you’ll pick it up, if not the film will just move along.

Spider-Man is normally a funny character, and that’s certainly no exception with this film… this movie is laced with humor that works most of the time for me, and it reminds me of the comedy style in “The Lego Movie”, which is ironic considering that Phil Lord, who directs this film, also directed “The Lego Movie”.

The last thing I’ll say about this movie is while it’s super funny, there’s also some touching and serious moments in this film. When someone bites it, the impact is felt significantly- and it helps raise the stakes in the movie, you know besides making sure that the universe doesn’t end because of the space time continuum collapsing. The stakes are felt, and as an audience, we feel that.

Grade:

The movie visually appealing for the most part, and it tells a great story while also balancing superhero action. It’s got plenty of humor and heart, and while I still can’t forgive Sony Pictures Animation for “The Emoji Movie” I will applaud their efforts in this film and give “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” a 9/10 or an A.

 

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Review

Plot Synopsis:

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world (Google).

Critique:

This is the second installment of the Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts… or as I like to call it, the Harry Potter Pokémon series- and I gotta say, it’s not as bad as some of the critics are saying it is.

Some of the things I really like about the film is that David Yates does a good job directing this film. There’s some beautiful shots, and the visual effects look amazing in this movie.

Another thing I liked is that some of the creatures in this film are more interesting to me than some of the creatures in the first film. For instance, a creature I really liked was the Zouwu, which is this Chinese creature that’s a mix of a lion and a dragon.

Out of all his recent performances, this is Johnny Depp’s best as Grindelwald- he’s a charismatic villain with a silver tongue, and unless you’ve seen some of his heinous actions in the beginning of the film, you could fall under his spell.

Dan Fogler reprises his role as Jacob Kowalski, and I was annoyed that they brought him back at first, but I actually liked him a lot more in this movie. In the first Fantastic Beasts film he was the comedy relief, and in this film he’s often times the voice of reason. There’s even a scene I like where he’s giving Newt advice on how to talk to a girl he likes, and their dialogue together is hilarious!

The last thing I’ll say is there’s a major plot twist in the end that I did not see coming, and I’m interested to see how that plays into the next three films.

Now it’s time to get into the negatives: the story in this film feels all over the place to me, and it feels scatter brained, like there’s no consistency between ideas. Another issue I have is this film has way too many expositional scenes, or scenes involving flashbacks. There’s one scene where we’re given about five minutes of exposition, only for a character to say “actually this is how it happened” and we get ten minutes of flashbacks.

Grade:

I’m hoping that this film is just a bump in the road, and that the next three films sort the story out, because this series doesn’t have any source material like the original series had.

If you’re a die-hard Harry Potter fan, you’re going to like this a lot. If you’re just a casual viewer, this probably won’t be your cup of tea.

I’m giving “Fantastic Beasts 2” a 7/10 or a C.

Overlord (2018 Film) Review

Plot:

With only hours until D-Day, a team of American paratroopers drop into Nazi-occupied France to carry out a mission that’s crucial to the invasion’s success. Tasked with destroying a radio transmitter atop a fortified church, the desperate soldiers join forces with a young French villager to penetrate the walls and take down the tower. But, in a mysterious Nazi lab beneath the church, the outnumbered G.I.s come face-to-face with enemies unlike any the world has ever seen. From producer J.J. Abrams, Overlord is a thrilling, pulse-pounding action adventure with a twist. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Critique:

I’m going to be honest, when I saw the trailer to “Overlord” I thought they were making a live action version of the anime series… after that clearly didn’t become the case, I was skeptical about it because the zombie genre is one of my least favorite horror genres because of its over-saturation. I was also worried when I saw J.J. Abram’s name attached to it, because I thought they were gonna connect it to the convoluted Cloverfield series. And I’m here to tell you, this movie is actually pretty bad ass!

The movie hooks you right from the jump with this amazing plane sequence that’s chaotic, grisly, and violent… and it sets up the tone of the movie perfectly! The beginning of the film is all about getting you attached to these characters, that way when some of them meet their demise, it hits you hard. The thing I really like about this movie is that it presents real people- no one seems like a character to me. They all have their own personality that helps develop them as the movie continues. And the two characters I was attached to the most were Pvt. Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Cpl. Ford (Wyatt Russell).

This film to me is 80% a World War II Film, and 20% is actually the zombie film. These zombies aren’t the slow walkers from “Night of the Living Dead” or “The Walking Dead” these are super soldiers that are fast, strong, and extremely dangerous. The zombies amplified the story without getting in the way, and I really appreciated that. The actor that played the villain, Pilou Asbæk, played a smarmy, vicious Nazi Captain, and he perfectly caused tension in the film.

Grade:

Thankfully there was no Cloverfield connection, and this film balanced action and horror in a way that didn’t seem over-bearing. I’m going to give Overlord a 9/10 or an A.

It’s a fun popcorn film that embraces its B Movie status, and doesn’t try to be anything more than what it wants to be. So many movies try to be Shakespeare when they’re not, and I respect this movie for just going in, doing its job, and getting out.

“Venom” Movie Review

Plot Synopsis:

Journalist Eddie Brock is trying to take down Carlton Drake, the notorious and brilliant founder of the Life Foundation. While investigating one of Drake’s experiments, Eddie’s body merges with the alien Venom — leaving him with superhuman strength and power. Twisted, dark and fueled by rage, Venom tries to control the new and dangerous abilities that Eddie finds so intoxicating. (Google)

Critique:

Venom is an interesting character because of his relationship with Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man- and it’s a shame because this movie didn’t seem to care about that fact.

I’m gonna start off with the positives… don’t worry, it won’t take me long. The movie is shot well, Tom Hardy seemed passionate about this character, and the relationship between Eddie and the Symbiote is interesting.

Now let me talk about the problems this movie has:

First off- SONY, you have a Spider-Man problem, you need counseling. SONY seems so dead-set on making movies that are Spider-Man related, and it’s painfully transparent that they fail every time they have something Spidey related. I also find it hilarious that they put ‘In association with Marvel’ in the opening credits twice, you think you’re being clever- but I see through it.

The tone of the movie is all over the place: it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a horror, a comedy, or a superhero film and because of this, the movie seems unbalanced and unfocused.

Some of the dialogue in this film goes from either being decent, to being goofy, to just being plain awful. When I found out the screenwriter also wrote the “50 Shades of Grey” series, I wasn’t shocked, because those films are infamous for having bad dialogue.

The CGI in this film is pretty spotty in some scenes, especially in the huge fight scene between Venom and Riot, that scene in particular I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on because of the CGI mess and the poor editing- speaking of which…

The editing is all over the place in this film, you can definitely tell this thing has been through the cutting room a bunch of times.

The final problem I have with this film is something during the mid-credit scene…

Woody Harrelson plays a pretty important Venom character, but they put a wig on this man, and it looks awful- it honestly looks like they put a red chia pet on his head, and I busted out laughing when I saw that.

Consensus:

“Venom” suffers from being a mediocre superhero film that has tonal issues, poor dialogue, and that PG-13 rating killed this film. Venom is a violent character, and the R rating would’ve helped establish it as a dark, gritty film.

Honestly, this film seems like the knock-off movie to “Upgrade” which came out earlier this year, and was a way better film for having a smaller budget. Venom describes his movie perfectly: an armless, legless, faceless thing rolling down the street- like a turd in the wind.

“Venom” get a 6/10 or a D.

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Plot:

Ethan Hunt and the IMF team join forces with CIA assassin August Walker to prevent a disaster of epic proportions. Arms dealer John Lark and a group of terrorists known as the Apostles plan to use three plutonium cores for a simultaneous nuclear attack on the Vatican, Jerusalem and Mecca, Saudi Arabia. When the weapons go missing, Ethan and his crew find themselves in a desperate race against time to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Review:

It’s rare for me to watch a movie where I’m so engrossed by what I’m watching, that I’m actually gripping my seat out of nervousness… and that’s honestly the biggest compliment I can give this film.

This is the sixth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise, and this is probably one of the darkest films in the series, there’s a lot of twist and turns, and you have no idea who to trust in this film.

The characters in this movie are more human than they’ve ever been in the previous two films in my opinion because there’s consequences for every action, and a situation that you’re normally prepared for gets more complicated whenever a small detail is overlooked, or not thought of ahead of time.

Speaking of characters, I really liked Henry Cavill’s character, August Walker- because he’s the polar opposite of Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt. Ethan Hunt prefers to be more covert, and stealthy- and if August isn’t punching something, he’s not interested in it. He’s aggressive, dangerous, and once he’s made his mind up on something, he doesn’t let anything deviate him from his goal.

The reason why I gripped my seat so much in this film was because most of the action was done practically by the actors, especially Tom Cruise- who has made this gimmick of his an attraction to see the films… so when you see someone jumping off roofs, planes, and motorcycles, it’s very nerve-racking to watch knowing that it’s the actors, and not stunt people doing this.

The only problem I had with this movie was I wasn’t feeling the villain in this film… to be honest though, I don’t think any of the other villains can be as good as Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Mission Impossible 3.

Grade:

I had a lot of fun in this film, and if you’ve enjoyed any of the MI films (except Mission Impossible 2, we don’t talk about that film) then I think you’ll enjoy it too!

I’m giving “Mission Impossible: Fallout” a 8.5/10 or a B+