Category Archives: Marvel Comics

REVIEW: “DARK PHOENIX” (2019) 20th Century Fox

As a die-hard X-Men Cartoon fan, the movies have definitely made it harder to keep up with my beloved teen-time cartoon.  Walking into “Dark Phoenix”  realizing with shame, I had no idea where the last film actually left off.   ‘Logan’ while being the last one in theaters,  is actually a spin-off of the Wolverine character.  So which one was it really as again the franchise has jumped around in its own history, undertaken a few time travel stories and even recast many characters while keeping others the same. This makes it a little hard to pin down which films follow which, and which are set in which timeline. Alas, “X-Men Apocalypse” is the last one, but in all honesty, it’s tough to remember exactly what happened, where it left off and what time-line frame it was in though a quick bit of research reminded me it was a 1983 timeline.  Moving on…

Dark Phoenix is set mostly in and around 1992, though we do go backwards in time to where the movie actually starts us off  with a young Jean Grey getting in a car crash with her two parents. After the rescue, we find out that her powers were responsible and she feels guilty for killing her mother but with her memory unclear and Prof. Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) to the rescue,  Jean comes to his children’s home for mutant kids.  From here we dramatically switch over to an Apollo spacecraft being launched and in profound trouble in space with the President enlisting the help of Xavier, Beast/Hank Mc Coy (Nicholas Hoult), Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Scott Summer/Cylops (Tye Sheridan), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Peter/Quicksilver (Evan Peters), and Kurt/Nighcrawler (Kodi Smit–McPhee) are all aboard when they realize that the ship with the astronauts is being spun by a cosmic force, and lest we forget that this film storyline is all about Jean Grey aka Phoenix, she steps in to save the last of the crew while being enveloped completely by this cosmic force.

It doesn’t take long for this to start affecting Jean’s life and the life of everyone around her.  And while I won’t say who lives and who doesn’t, there are a few major deaths in this final story as most would expect there to be.  Once Jean realizes with this new found cosmic powers that make her the more powerful than ever, she finds her dad,  John Grey (Scott Shepard) is alive and that Charles has lied to her about her both of her parents being dead. What Jean doesn’t realize yet is that Charles lied because her father didn’t want her anymore. Getting really edgy at this point and as we see that her dad is still alive through her mind-reading flashbacks with Charles, she escapes the mansion via an emotional roller-coaster to find him.  With no where to go, she ends up on Erik/Magneto’s (Michael Fassbender) private island given to him by the US government, but soon wears out her welcome there also when he finds out what she did when leaving the mansion and this sends Magneto on a rage after her also.

You might think this telling is off-kilter in so many ways,, but this is truly how the film is moving along.  Everything is jumping time-lines and places again, though not so simply followed as in previous films.  We finally get to the point where we realize what Jean’s powers are really meant for when we meet aliens Vuk (Jessica Chastain) and Jones (Ato Essandoh).  They need her to restart their planet and their people with said power.

This films cast is stacked high with star profile, but there is also moments when you realize they have failed somewhat to do the hard work of character development that the cartoon and the comics both accomplished.  It had been around a long time before the Dark Phoenix saga of Jean Grey had even begun and we felt we knew her character well enough to care.  In the cartoon/comics this story kicked off even more adventures for the X-Men, giving the characters time to come to terms with Jean Grey’s transformation and the damage inflicted.  With this film, we barely know Turner’s version as this is only her second showing, and yet, a whole film is devoted here.

But this new movie isn’t the beginning of another chapter, it’s a definitive end.  Amid the  expected ending of an all in/all out CGI battle between the X-Men and aliens not being up to par with what we have come to expect with such films,  the aliens that aren’t done in a way to make them exciting in the least, though they do shape-shift into humans, we can say the same about the mutants.  It’s an ending that could have led into something so much more spectacular had Fox not been sold to Disney and we now know a hard reboot is happening and everything is going to change. The rest of Dark Phoenix‘s plot is very much taking liberties with the original saga in order to contain and connect the narrative, for better or worse. And for better or worse we can only wait and see.

Grade: C

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Media Review Screening: Monday, June 3, 2019 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

‘DARK PHOENIX’ OPENS IN THEATERS WORLD-WIDE – FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2019

REVIEW: “DEADPOOL 2” (2018) 20th Century Fox

So yes, in case somehow you’ve been stuck under a rock or living in Wakanda and you’ve missed all the wonderful promos leading into the release of this film, yes, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) as his alter-ego DEADPOOL are back for another round. And while the laughs and action are still there, your going to be hard pressed to find a movie more over the top than “DEADPOOL 2”. Director David Leitch takes this one to a whole new level entirely and it works namely because the violence here is just creative vs. all blood, guts and gore. And sure, it defies all logic most of the time, but you can’t help but laugh at the zingers being thrown at you left and right throughout and Reynolds’ charm is undeniable.

We come into the film with Williams having settled into something resembling normalcy, kinda right where you expected him to be – spending his days dispatching villains now that he can with those mutant healing powers – they allow him to recover from gunshot wounds or worse. His nights are spent with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), the love of his life. But some terrible things happen, leaving a depressed Deadpool to crash on the couch at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters making for some hilarious camp X-Men jokes fall in to place.

We have a mix of some of the old friends, the CGI Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Blind Al (Leslie Uggams), and of course our favourite taxi-driver-wanna-be-super-hero Dopinder (Karan Soni). But we also have a whole new fun group come into play, albeit for some it’s not for long journey – but Peter (Rob Delaney), Zeitgeist (Bill Skarsgård), Vanisher (Brad Pitt), Bedlam (Terry Crews), Shatterstar (Lewis Tan), and Black Tom Cassidy (Jack Kesy) add a fun plot point to the whole film. They are all part of the newly recruited/dubbed ‘X-Force’ group, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but sadly and hysterically I might add, they are gone in quick succession. My personal favourite and one of the last standing through it all, is bad-ass Domino (Zazie Beetz), whose superpower is undeniably “luck”. Our villians could be one of three very different people at various times throughtout. Cable (Josh Brolin) comes into to try to kill Russell aka Firefist (Julian Dennison), who might or might not be ready to step into villian shoes in a big way, or can we call the creepy Headmaster (Eddie Marsan), the biggest villian of the film. That will be for you to decide and see what happens as telling more of this story just defeats the purpose of the fun you will have while watching it. Also, there are cameo moments galore and I hope no one ruins them for you beforehand because they are just plain fun! While I wasn’t crazy about this storyline in comparison to the first one, the one-line zingers are comedy gold. Pay attention as they go fast..very fast.

That being said, go into this movie knowing that it is a campy, corny, over the top superhero/action/comedy that is just about crazy shooting sequences and one-liners, and you’ll be fine. Do not go into this movie expecting deep plot, meaningful conversations among characters, or anything remotely resembling a serious action or drama movie – because that’s not what it’s all about. And yes, this one features the best post credits scene EVER – so don’t make the silly mistake of walking out when the film is over..stay for both sequences..you will be glad you did.

Grade: B+
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Media Review Screening: Monday, May 14, 2018 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
DEADPOOL 2 WILL BE OUT IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE/WORLDWIDE FRIDAY, MAY 18, 2018

REVIEW: “LOGAN” (2017) 20th Century Fox

First and foremost – you don’t need to stay for the end credits! And with that important piece of information out of the way…. We all know that Wolverine solo films are always a completely different type of story, sometimes good and sometimes so-so, and in some way or another do link themselves up to the X-Men films. This one is no different and I’m keeping it simple and not spelling out the whole plotline or giving out spoilers, because no one ever should and every X-Men fan should just be able to go watch for themselves.

For seventeen years, we’ve been watching the life and career of Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in the movies. And we have all grown a bit older. Nevertheless, it is surprising to see that mutants also grow old. And then what? This film answers a lot of questions about what happens to the mutants when the many struggles have left scars on the body and soul that no longer heal. Like the dementia that has struck Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Who ends up caring for them as they really have no family other than each other. These questions are all answered for you in James Mangold’s third part of the Wolverine series as it presents not only its history, but a storyline of the how the X-Men concludes.

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To start off with, Logan plays 25 years in the future in the year 2029 and in an America that appears almost post-apocalyptic. Trump’s wall is not built, there are the old border fences. But otherwise the society seems to be one in which, if perhaps unintentionally, could well be the result of the new American policy. The mutants have been persecuted for a long time and only a few remain. Those who do, hide. Logan himself is now a limousine driver on the American-Mexican border. His residence: remote Mexico in an old factory. Here, with only the albino-mutant tracker Caliban (Stephen Merchant) to provide care, he hides Professor X, on whom dementia has taken a toll which leads to problems with his telekinetic brain. If he is not constantly medicated with the drugs that Logan is getting on the black market, his attacks can and do trigger seismic activities that can kill hundreds of people. Logan himself is as he always was: cranky, constantly pissed and always on guard. But he too is aging. His powers have been dimishing now for some time, his body is littered with scars. And with declining healing power, the adamantium he was injected with years before is slowly poisoning him and he relieves the pain with a constant consumption of alcohol. It feels as though these last few mutants are just waiting for the end to happen when there will be none of them left.

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But then comes Laura (Dafne Keen). The young girl is a mutant, even if an artificially created one, who escapes the Transigen labroratory she’s been created in with the help of a nurse, Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez). She needs Logan’s help to quickly get to a certain place in North Dakota, which she knows only from the old X-Men comic books. Of course though, there is an army of mercenaries from the lab lead by Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) and Dr. Rice (Richard E. Grant) after them.
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Logan is a somewhat unusual hybrid film. What first catches your eye is the violence that this film entails. It surpasses the predecessors in a big way with this. And it’s the one part that truly bothered me as it’s done mostly with kids. Not 13-15 year olds, but kids around the ages of 9-12 years old. I found it somewhat disturbing to say the least watching countless people slaughtered here, by kids. Dozens of times we see claws hitting heads, limbs are cut off, people mutilated. Trust me when I tell you this is no “family-friendly” film here, Logan has been given an R rating and is worthy of it. While the film has kids in it, it’s not a film to take your children to.

Oddly enough with all the violence of the film is somewhat counteracted as Logan goes a very different way. Apart from the usual slaughter, there is hardly any use of mutant forces. It’s much more melancholy than I’ve ever seen an X-Men film be. Logan is a work about the aging, about the pain which determined the last days of these mutants, who have lost everything even though they tried so hard to save it all. It is a film about people who are tired and the world has nothing left to offer and who no longer have the power to revolt against a society they do not want. Logan and Xavier are tragic heroes in the classic Shakespearian sense. Their common friendship, which is almost that of a father-son relationship, is what makes Logan really interesting on a human and emotional level. The two have only each other and Logan nurses him at the end of his days. It is quite unusual to see these once powerful characters as they are here in this film weakened by age and illness.

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Mangold pulls the perfect ending for the X-Men. Of all the mutants and superheroes, they have always distinguished themselves as those who have fought for their dignity and humanity during their lives. And while the film has a few points at the beginning that didn’t flow well right off, it’s a satisfyingly dignified and yes, surprisingly sad finish.

Grade: B
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Media Review Screening: Thursday, February 16th, 2016 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Nationwide Release: Friday, March 3, 2017

Thanks all for taking the time to give this a read. Let me know your thoughts if you liked this film or not. Don’t forget to give this page a follow or a follow on twitter as well @pegsatthemovies. Cheers!

REVIEW: “DEADPOOL” (2016) 20th Century Fox

For those of you who, like me, who might not be so familiar with the “DEADPOOL” series of Marvel, just going to give you a heads up ~ this movie is extremely over the top graphic in terms of sex, violence and humor, and that’s exactly what I loved about it! What a breath of fresh Marvel air this movie is. By far the one of the funniest ones from the Marvel Universe I’ve seen since…well Guardians of the Galaxy, and I simply loved that one. But it is also the bloodiest, and well deserving of it’s R rating – take note – this one is not for the kids.

But alas, there are many things I’m not going to tell you in this review because as any true Marvel fan should know.. spoilers are not cool. I will however tell you from moment one of the opening ‘introductions’ of the cast (which you MUST take note of) you will be rolling with laughter in your seats.
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Speaking of that cast of characters, Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a skilled special forces operative turned mercenary. And he talks a lot, a whole lot, doesn’t really ever stop! To some this be annoying, while to the rest, myself included, it’s like music to our ears, mainly because of the hilarity of everything he says. But you have to really pay attention to keep up with every innuendo that’s flying at you. And trust me, he breaks all the boundries – meaning he’ll talk to you the audience as if you’re there. But what’s even more epic than that is the fact that he is AWARE of the universe that he’s in and the universe that you’re in, and those two collide in the most epic way possible. And while Reynolds body really is sheer perfection, the fact that yes Ryan Reynolds’ character, Wade Wilson, makes fun of Ryan Reynolds the actor and also mocks Ryan Reynolds’ previous poor decisions like Green Lantern and People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive cover, is just sheer amusement.
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Morena Baccarin is Vanessa, a prostitute who shares his fondness for dark humor steps up to the plate well here as the girl Wade/Deadpool falls in love with. T.J. Miller as Wade’s sometimes side-kick appropriately named Weasel, adds in some good back and forth banter. But once Colossus (v/o Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) show up and the battle between them and Angel Dust (Gina Carano) and Ajax aka Francis (Ed Skrein) is truly the only time the film turns a teensy bit cliché. And by now you know my ‘villain motto’ because yes, “you’re only as good as your villain” ~ well Skrein, who let’s face it, wasn’t so good in the Transporter film, really brings his A-game here as a truly good love-to-hate character showing us that action films really do seem to be his forte.
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I think everyone is going to have blast with this one as it’s smart, brash, fast and a whole lot of fun!  And of course it goes without saying – STAY FOR THE END CREDITS – you won’t regret it as after all, its a Marvel film riiight??!! 😀

Grade: B+
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Review Screening: Thursday, February 4th, 2016 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Nationwide release: Friday, February 12, 2016

REVIEW: “FANTASTIC FOUR” (2015) 20th Century Fox

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With so many superhero/comic books films coming out over past decade at this point you really need to ‘dress to impress’ if you’re going to put one out there. With this being a well known fact – the question looming on most everyone’s mind regarding this film:
‘Is Fantastic Four..well..Fantastic?’
With only a few ups and many downs, the answer sadly is no. How you ask can this happen? Well oddly enough it’s the sheer lack of an exciting story.

We open on brilliant child scientist Reed Richards, (Miles Teller) who is on the verge of discovering how to both transport matter to another dimension and then bring it back though they don’t know where it goes or comes back from. Jump to a few years later at his high school science fair and he and the project while being dis-qualified from the fair are being recruited by Professor Franklin Storm (Reg E. Cathey).
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With this Reed is given the resources and help by Storm’s children, the brother & sister team of Sue Storm (Kate Mara) and Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) along with Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbell), to finish what he started all those years ago in his garage. When they finally crack inter-dimensional travel, Reed invites his childhood friend Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) to travel to the other dimension/world along with him and the team. An accident causes their physical form to drastically change. Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben must learn to harness and use their powers and work as a team to stop Von Doom who is now hell bent on destroying Earth.
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You would think this could all be exciting right? Well it’s actually a rather dull and plodding affair which was surprising as with most of the cast here notably Teller, Jordan, Bell and especially Toby Kebbell are all actors who have had some damned notable roles in their perspective careers.
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While I could have used more Von Doom, it probably still wouldn’t have saved this lifeless movie as the whole storyline is just weak with a finale that will impress no one. I expected so much more.

Grade: D+
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Screening: Wednesday, August 5, 2015 courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Opens Nationwide: Friday, August 7, 2015

REVIEW – “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY” (2014)

 

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“I AM GROOT” – ha!  It’s truly the perfect way to start a review of this fun fun movie!! I seriously wanted to just say this and leave it at that.. Because that’s how fun it is and no one wants to ruin this movie with a long boring synopsis and all …riiigghhtt??!!!  Well, okay, I will also mention Chris Pratt.. no..seriously, when did Chris Pratt get this hott??!! 😀   He’s always been the cute, funny guy in the back ground, but here he takes center-stage as “Peter Quill” aka “STARLORD” and he not only looks great at doing it as it’s clear they made him get in some amazing shape for this movie, but it’s like this role was truly meant for his type of comedic chops.  starlord

As with all comic book quasi-superhero movies like this one, there has to be a reason at the beginning of why/how everything becomes as it is and this one is no different.  We see a young Peter Quill being brought to his dying mothers bedside where she gives him a last gift before she passes. As he runs screaming, crying out of her room into a big grassy field, he stumbles & falls, a blinding light shines on him and POOF!!! you got it… he is taken away by a spaceship.  26 years later we see Quill as an intergalactic outlaw who attempts to go by the name “Starlord”.  He is part of a clan who call themselves ‘Ravagers’ and while on a paid mission to collect an ‘orb’ he runs into “Korath” (played nicely in a supporting comedic turn by Djimon Hounsou) who works for “Ronan” (another fav. actor of mine playing a bad guy *sigh* ~ Lee Pace :)) an evil Warlord who wants the orb to do what else..control the Galaxy, specifically the planet Xandar, where his arch enemies live & it’s ran by none other than “Nova Prime” (Glenn Close).

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Peter of course gets the orb, but not before he double crosses the very people who took him to this intergalactic wonderland, “Yondu Odonta” (played wonderfully by TWD’s Michael Rooker) who then does what all double-crossed outlaws do and puts a bounty on Peter’s head.  Now the fun starts as everyone starts hunting Peter including, the oh-so-green assassin who is actually working for Ronan, “Gamora” (Zoe Saldana), “Rocket” a genetically engineered hysterically funny, raccoon (voice of Bradley Cooper) & his partner “Groot” his walking & regenerating tree friend (voice of Vin Diesel). who only can say 3 words..annndd you already know what those are..”I am Groot” ~ in other words..hello huge payday for Vin Diesel for yes, uttering 3 words. ha!  Well to cut to the chase, in the land of all things comic books they all get caught..sent to a maximum security prison where they all start to of course, work together along with a new ‘friend’ “Drax” (pro-wrestler Dave Bautista) who really only just wants revenge on Ronan for killing his family.  All this comes together as they make an oh-so-fun escape and get to the town of ‘Knowhere’ so they can sell the orb to “The Collector” (Benicio del Toro).  But when they find out what the orb can really do and why Ronan wants it so badly..and what should really be done with it..well…what will the now-appointed “Guardians of the Galaxy” do??!!  Well, you will have to see the movie for that, because I don’t want to spoil all the fun here…really, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE.. as from moment one it’s truly one of the most humourous, action-packed, visually stunning, and just plain damn FUN Sci-Fi fantasy movies I’ve ever had the pleasure to see so you should too.  Oh and it wouldn’t be right if I  forgot to mention the freaking fantastic soundtrack to this movie!! From the open-sequence on you will be rocking in your seat and just plain laughing.. Who doesn’t want to do that during a movie and be totally entertained??!!  Well, if you are one of the few, then yeah..don’t see it..for everyone else.. go get your groove and laughs on I say!!!

Grade: B+

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Grading Scale: A = Oscarworthy;  B = Above average~must see;  C = Average~should see;  D = Don’t waste your time or money;  F= Yeah, no, just don’t see it  (+ or – give it a bit up or down)