Ready for Endgame: Iron Man & The Incedible Hulk

OK, so, I know we tried this last year and we didn’t get anywhere with it. But this time I have a schedule and a plan, and I’m determined. I am rewatching the MCU and I am writing about it! (HOORAY!)

So, we’re starting at the beginning, whenever possible I’m going to do 2 movies per post with each Avengers movie getting their own post. A few, just by virtue of timing will be getting solo posts.

First up! That first year. Let’s go back shall we? It was the summer of 2008. People were curious about a little film called, Iron Man, and very excited about a movie called The Incredible Hulk. 

Then they came out. It does feel hard to believe that everyone was way more psyched about Hulk, but to be fair, it was the big flashy one, with the movie star lead, not the washed up former addict.

But then you started hearing about it, and that sentence, “Stay until after the credits.” People forget that wasn’t really a thing you did before. I mean, sometimes, there would be cute jokes or teasers after a movie, but nothing you know, essential. But then Nick Fury stepped out of the shadows, and we all knew, something was beginning.

But that wasn’t the only thing about Iron Man, everytime I watch that movie I’m thrilled by how it holds up. It’s funny, and smart, and the performances are universally excellent. The final fight is simple and a bit crude looking in retrospect, but still a fun watch, and really, truly and honestly, Robert Downey Jr. is fantastic. I’ve read complaints a few times that The MCU as a whole leans too hard on Tony Stark, but really, watching the first few movies again, I can see why they went that way. It’s such a committed and lovely performance.

The Incredible Hulk, on the other hand, is simply nowhere near as strong. Edward Norton’s performance as Bruce Banner lacks conviction, Liv Tyler is, well, I mean, Liv Tyler. The CGI is sloppy, the final fight is still fun, but feels oddly low stakes, and it’s just not a good movie. It sets up some intersting concepts that remain constants (pointing the Hulk, Banner trying to control the time of transformation, General Ross)

But then it happens, that amazing moment where Tony Stark walks into that bar, declaring that “the super soldier program was put on ice for a reason,” and it’s a moment of clarity. We aren’t in Kansas anymore, this is something new, something exciting.

It would two years before we got more, and another year after that before the clarity of vision comes into place, but the picture began to form, the big experience was starting, the game had begun, and it all hinged on the one guy. It was about Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it was about charisma, and strong casting and fitting the guy to the suit, not compromising on what makes a hero a hero.

We’ll get into that more next week, when Iron Man 2, easily my least favorite movie in the whole series (like The MCU, not just the Iron Man series,) gets a solo week, because of how this is all working out.

 

Anyone Can Be Spider-Man

Spider-verse

I remember when I first encountered Miles Morales. I’d been around in the early days of Twitter and the #DonaldForSpiderMan thing. I’d been reading Ultimate Spider-Man on and off for a year or so, when suddenly, and without warning, the guy at the comic book store in Scranton, PA handed me a copy of the book and said, “No, you have to read this month’s, they killed Peter Parker.”

Even in my laregly neophyte shoes of those days, I knew that was big. Death stuck in Ultimate, that was part of the deal. Soon enough though, Peter Parker was replaced by a smart ass kid from Brooklyn. Half Black, half Latino, all heart. And most of us were smitten.

Slowly, because you know, comics, and pre Avengers comics at that, the rest of the world caught on to this kid, and he’s been creeping into the mainstream ever since. And Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is his coming out party.

And what a party it is. This movie has everything! Great animation, stunning action, a heartfelt coming of age story, great pizza jokes, meta humor coming out the wazoo, Batman jokes, two badass teenage girl co-leads, Lily Tomlin, a baller soundtrack, mecha robots, a Batman parody, Chris Pine singing, a scary scary villain and John Mulaney voices a pig!

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE SUPERHERO FANS. It’s doing well enough that it won’t be left behind to be whined over like Mask Of The Phantasm, but seriously, this movie is incredible and not to be missed, OK?

Post Credits: Spider-Man of 2099. So, yeah, there’s that.

Rankings!

  1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
  2. The Incredibles 2
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody
  4. A Star Is Born
  5. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  6. Creed 2
  7. Deadpool 2
  8. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
  9. Ocean’s 8
  10. Infinity War
  11. Ant-Man And The Wasp
  12. Venom

Trailers:

The lack of a Captain Marvel trailer was concerning, but otherwise we got some good stuff here

Shazam! Holy Moly, this looks fun. While I am very much in love with Zachary Levi, the kid also looks great.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Lost World (or whatever): Shut up, you’re crying!

Wonder Park: This looks completely and utterly charming. I am down for animated movies about mothers and daughters being creative together.

 

2018 Favorites: An Unexpected List

Hey everyone! Happy (almost!) New Year! So, as promised here’s my list of favorite things from the past year. We’ll get going quickly, I have a few categories, I think it’ll go well.

Favorite Movie (Not Movie Season): Black Panther

I’ll get into movie season movies in a few days. (I have my tickets for the final three.) But in the rest of the year, I don’t think I loved anything the way I loved Black Panther. I saw it in theaters 3 times, a thing I don’t do often anymore, and bought it on Amazon Prime immediately (Another thing I don’t do much anymore.)

Favorite Old Show I Finally Got Around To Watching: Battlestar Galactica

I fill in a bunch of gaps this year, and while this was a toss up, between Battlestar and Deadwood, ultimately I had to go with the Space Opera, and for one reason alone. As much as I enjoyed Deadwood, I didn’t connect to any of those characters the way I did to Kara Thrace. You can check out my Facebook for my thoughts on Starbuck, I love her, I find  her hugely inspirational and wonderful.

Favorite Book I Read: The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

My God, I loved this book. I can’t stop thinking about this book. How sexy it is, how beautifully constructed, how twisted and dark and wonderful. Even it’s really really disappointing sequels (I’m into Taltos now, and it’s fine…) can’t tarnish the shine of how much I loved this book.

Favorite Current TV Show: The Good Place

Holy Mother Forking Shirtballs, you guys!

Friday night, Jess and I sighed about the show, and about how it just made us happy. The Good Place is funny, intelligent and kind, and with the way the world has felt like it was on fire all year, it was a beacon of light every Thursday night, and then Friday morning, when the conversations inevitably began. Plus The Good Place Podcast which gives a wonderful behind the scenes look at each episode. Seriously, The Good Place, y’all.

Favorite Thing I Rewatched And Fell Back In Love With: Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings extended editions

One weekend this summer, when I wasn’t feeling terribly well, I decided to watch The Lord Of The Rings, for some reason they weren’t streaming on any of my services so I was going to have to purchase them off Amazon. It was only a few extra dollars each to get the extended editions, and I think I’ve now watched them like five or six times. They’re nice to have on in the background, I usually watch them in chunks of an hour or two, making it more like binging a series than watching three epicily long movies and that’s a really fun way to revisit this series.

Favorite Broadway Show: Springsteen On Broadway

I saw a lot of theater this year, and I’m very grateful for that, but as I hinted  at earlier this week, nothing quite moved me the way that Springsteen On Broadway did. It’s something so special that discussing it feels moot. It’s just so good, I haven’t rewatched it on Netflix yet, although I’m sure that I will eventually, because revisiting this joyful piece of art will lift me up. A  love letter to his fans and to America, the carefully crafted one man show is The Boss at his broodiest and also possibly his best.

Unfinished Bussiness Being Pushed to 2019

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Nerd Homework: Watch More Anime

Finish Reading Dune series 

Catch Up On The Flash

You’re A Loser, Eddie

Venom

In the past six years, I’ve watched a lot of movies, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. Even the bad ones. I’m pretty good about rooting out stuff I won’t like and find things I like even in movies that I don’t really care for.

Once in a while though, I come across a movie that I watch and think, “my lord this is dumb, and I love everything about this.”

And that is how I felt watching Venom. 

Venom is not a good movie by any objective standard. The acting is hammy, the script is convoluted, the action sequences (save one) are muddy and nonsensical, and the effects are meh.

But boy is Venom a fun movie to watch. Tom Hardy sells the crap out of asshole with a heart of gold Eddie Brock, and Michelle Williams does well with her requisite “sad girlfriend” role, something she could probably do in her sleep at this point. (Though her, “new but not as interesting boyfriend,” is played by the delightful Reid Scott! I gasped and said “BRANDO!” out loud. I was not embarrassed.) (I recently learned that a lot of people’s first Netflix binge was My Boys, which makes me happy because that means more people than I thought are aware of that show.)

Venom suffers for being an attempt to start a Spider-Man connected universe without access to Spider-Man, but otherwise is pretty good, it reminds me of The Incredible Hulk, another totally meh movie that I greatly enjoy everytime I watch it. I’m sure when this pops up on a streaming service I already own I will happily watch it a few times.

As for those mostly only OK action pieces? The car chase in the middle makes up for all of them. Holy crap is it inventive and cool and uses the symbiotes powers in some very neat ways. And that post credit scene kind of encapsulates everything that’s wrong headed about people doing post credit scenes that aren’t Kevin Feige. Though I am, of course, always happy to see Woody. (Seriously, always.)

Anyway, the movie is fun. I’m glad I finally saw it, but also glad I didn’t run out to see it or anything because it’s not great. But it’s fine for what it is.

Rankings:

  1. The Incredibles 2
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody
  3. A Star Is Born
  4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  5. Deadpool 2
  6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
  7. Ocean’s 8
  8. Infinity War
  9. Ant-Man And The Wasp
  10. Venom

Trailers:

Alita: Battle Angel: I can think of few better matches between source material and director than Robert Rodgriguez and Alita. The movie looks bonkers, and I”m always on board for Rodgriguez’s vision.

Into The Spider-Verse: THIS WILL BE THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER. I audiably gasped when Spider-Gwen (Shadow Spider? Right?) showed up.

Aquaman: You know how sometimes you just inhale deeply because someone is so attractive. This is pretty much how I feel everytime I see Jason Momoa, ever.

Glass: Hahaha, hahaha, hahaha. This is the most improbable movie to ever be made and I’m thrilled for it.

He’s In A Rough Place, Emotionally

ant-manthewasp_lob_crd_01_0

I finally saw Ant-Man And The Wasp last night! Hooray! (I’ve also decided to sign up for Sutbs A-List, so that I can get through the rest of movie season with relative ease. Double hooray!)

I really, really loved Ant-Mana lot, it’s probably the most rewatched MCU movie for me. (At least post Avengers…) due in no small part to Paul Rudd’s lovely performance, it’s heart being about fathers and daughters, and Michael Pena as Luis. (Sadly not as well used here)

Ant-Man And The Wasp is not as good as Ant-Man, but it’s still quite good, and makes use of a Partridge Family song, which is a delight. Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer are delightful in both their kinda creepy de-aged versions (prep for a full movie of this effect in Captain Marvel folks…I wonder how it will sustain?) and as their distinguished perfect selves. (Lawrence Fishburn is also good.)

I didn’t think the villain, Ghost, was as disconnected as I’d heard (She’s pretty well tied in to Pym, his legacy and SHIELD.) (Also, like, I love Howard and Peggy, but DAMN, SHIELD SUCKS you guys.) And Evangeline Lilly does well enough, and Paul Rudd is still great, but this is a lower tier one. (This seems to be happening with the second parts of Marvel trilogies regularly. The Winter Soldier being the exception that proves the rule…)

Worth seeing, as it stands alone in a few ways, and it has a damn charming cast, but not going to move mountains or anything.

POST CREDITS!

First in the mid credits, as everyone gets ready to enter the Quantum Realm for some experimenting, only Scott makes it before Janet, Hank and Hope all get poofed. So…yeah…we’ll see what happens there.

Rankings:

  1. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  2. Deadpool 2
  3. Ocean’s 8
  4. Infinity War
  5. Ant-Man And The Wasp

Trailers

The House With The Clock In The Walls: This looks like a delight, and since I now have A-List, I will likely actually see it. (I discovered if I even only go to one movie a week, not even the 3 allotted, the thing will pay for itself.)

Creed II: I would have gone to see this even if it wasn’t about Adonis avenging his father’s death by fighting Drago Jr. But since it is about that, well, now I’ll go see it seventeen times.

Alpha: This movie looks so dumb, but PUPPIES!!!!

Bumblebee: I hope it’s good, since it’s writer is now making the Batgirl movie, but I’m not super confident…

The Nutcracker And The Four Realms: I’ve talked about how excited I am for this movie before, but the new trailer makes me even more so. Seriously, it looks kind of wonderful.

Dumbo: “Baby Mine” will make me cry no matter what, so there’s that, I guess?

You’re Heart’s Not In The Right Place

deadpool 2

I really enjoyed the first Deadpool (It in fact reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the character over all.) and was really  excited for the second one too. And like Guardians of The Galaxy: Vol 2, Deadpool 2 had a tough needle to thread.

It mostly succeeds. The jokes whizz by as fast as the bullets, Ryan Reynolds continues to be wonderful, and I will most certainly wear out this soundtrack (figuratively) over the summer.

The new characters are boatloads of fun. Especially the too cool for school Domino, and Josh Brolin’s excellent turn as Cable. The plot is functional and interesting, if involving a not to gruesome fridgeing in the first act. (It’s handled and subverted pretty well throughout the whole film, and I’m not too made at it.)

The blood and jokes remain the thing, but what this movie does that the first didn’t is ground itself in Wade’s pain. Seriously, it’s a brutal movie, not just bloody and violent, but actually kind of adult and nuanced in it’s subject matter, perhaps even more so than Logan, which, Wade tells us in no uncertain terms, in the first few moments, they are trying to top here.

Deadpool 2 is first rate entertainment, and a very good entry in the super hero cinema canon.

And genuinely, has a soundtrack to kick the asses off both Guardians volumes!

Rankings:

  1. Deadpool 2
  2. Avengers: Infinity War

Trailers:

We were a little late so we missed a couple, but here’s what we did see

Ocean’s 8: I cannot wait to see this movie. Badly, badly, can’t wait. I need it and it’s fancy dresses and talented ladies talking to each other the whole time so badly I can barely stand it.

Mission Impossible: Fallout: Over drinks after the movie we had an extended conversation about Scientology. That is how little I care about this movie.

Bohemian Rhapsody: This comes out on my birthday and also looks amazing. We all need a little Freddy in our lives right now I think.

The First Purge: I will not see this and frankly, I resent that these people have pulled Marissa Tomei into their nonsense, she deserves better.

The Happytime Murders: this looks incredible. Also, selfishly, I want it to do well so that there’s talk of an Avenue Q movie.

 

 

Cosplay Corner: March Disneybound Challenge Week 1

Hey all! So as a way to keep updating in March (since I doubt I’ll read as many books as I did in February. Seriously, it gave me a really good cushion for meeting my goal of 30 books this year!) And as a way to actually get into the work I’m doing (self-care wise) with these Disneybounds, I figured I’d write them up!

Challenge

So, once a week, when I feel like it, I’ll document the ‘bounds I did the week before.

March 1st

Theme: Big Hero Six

Character: Honey Lemon

While I prefer Honey Lemon’s yellow dress look, I didn’t have anything that worked for that, and one of my goals with this month is not to buy things specifically for the bounds. My budget is a little tight lately, and I have SO MANY clothes.

Anyway, all this to say, I have this pink cotton dress and plenty of purple accents so I did her superhero look instead. I’m glad I did too, because seriously, this is a cute outfit that I’m gonna just start wearing more. Also it’s work appropriate! And very springy!

March 2nd

Theme: Disney Sidekicks

Character: Launchpad McQuack

Word of warning: I will be sneaking as much Duck Tales into this challenge as I possibly can. For sidekicks, I went with Launchpad. Green sweater, jeans, and my oversize tan blazer. I didn’t have an appropriate hat, but that’s OK by me.

March 3rd

Theme: Fab Five

Character: Donald Duck

I uh, phoned it in on this one, but mostly because I was cleaning my apartment, cooking and binge watching Inuyasha all day so “what am I wearing?” wasn’t on the top of my list. But I did wear my royal blue tank top, to pay tribute to our angriest and best duck!

March 4th

Theme: Zootopia

Character: Judy Hopps

Sunday, like Saturday, was a quiet day for me, but I at least went to church and grocery shopping so I wore jeans and a nice top. Grey and blue, perfect for our favorite bunny-cop!

March 5th

Theme: Peter Pan Characters

Character: Wendy Darling

I love Wendy. And I particularly love that she wears blue because I have a lot of it! This skirt and blouse look is an oldy but a goody. (The blouse is fairly new, but the skirt I’ve had since high school!) I think the blouse has a bit of a Victorian vibe to it, which works for Wendy, and the skirt is the perfect shade of blue.

March 6th

Theme: Marvel Characters

Character: Princess Shuri of Wakanda

WAKANDA FOREVER!!!!!!!! I genuinely can’t wait to search the tag for the challenge today to see all of the Shuris. Here’s my take on her. The purple dress is one of my favorite pieces I own, and I thought the tunic look of it, and the studs on the neck were very Wakanda, and I added the brown leggings and boots to match her belt in her battle outfit.

That’s this week! I’m having fun with the challenge and it’s helping me get organized and keeping me on top of my laundry.

I Bet You’re Wondering How Thor Got In This Cage

Thor-Ragnarok-banner-3-1-600x372

I think I’m in a minority here, so you’re about to hear a rant.

greatly enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok. I thought it was a well made, wonderfully paced movie with some stellar performances and more than a few surprise tricks up it’s sleeve. Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchet were sublime additions to the cast. (Though I missed Natalie Portman and Jamie Alexander, not to mention Kat Dennings.) Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are fantastic as Thor and Loki, embodying these characters as they always have from minute 1. Jeff Goldblum is a delight. Idris Elba and Mark Ruffalo kill it.

Here’s what I didn’t love. I get that Guardian of The Galaxy was a colossal monster of a hit, and very unexpected, I get that Marvel Studios has never quite known how to pitch a Thor movie. Saying, “let’s make it as much like Guardians as possible,” though? I’m not sure that worked either.

The “jokey jokes” didn’t always land for me, especially in a series that I always felt had some excellent comedy in it. (The scene in the first movie where Thor demands a dog or cat big enough to ride ALONE cements there was always humor here.) The comedy that did work for me were things like Hulk claiming Thor is “Banner’s friend” rather than his. Loki’s discomfort at being in the vicinity of Hulk, as well as Thor’s test of throwing things at his brother to determine if he had corporeal form.

The larger intergalactic plot, of Thor on Sarac, while fun and cool, didn’t engage me the way that the Asgard stuff (Odin’s death, Hela’s invasion, Heimdall evacuating the city) did. That’s always been where the stuff I liked about Thor lived though. (Well, and in his relationship with Jane, which, I get, was a necessary casualty here, because Natalie Portman, the human being, didn’t want to be in the movie.)

Doesn’t mean I didn’t love Valkyrie (Seriously, Tessa Thompson ROCKS HARD!) or most of the big action set pieces. Or our requisite shirtless Hemsworth scene. I really liked it. Marvel doesn’t make bad movies, I just don’t think this one was as drop dead awesome as the rest of the internet does.

Still really good though.

Rankings!

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Battle Of The Sexes
  4. Dunkirk
  5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  6. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  9. The Dark Tower
  10. Cars 3
  11. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi: First time seeing it on the big screen and OMG YOU GUYS! We’re so close, and it’s going to be awesome.

Black Panther: Do you wanna know what’s nice? Ryan Coogler found space for Michael B. Jordan in this movie. (Did we think he wouldn’t?) I’m not sure how to articulate how excited I am for this movie, because it’s deep in my gut.

12 Strong: Siggghhhh, I mean, I love this cast, so, there’s that. Fun that Michael Shannon gets to play a good guy. I may see it.

Movie Season, Moving Forward:

Here’s the deal y’all! I know I’ve been slack this year, it’s for a lot of reasons, but I’ve started a new day job! (This is an invariably GOOD thing. Trust me!) And I’ve got a Disney trip in just over a week! (WEE!) But, the good news is that the new day job is a lot closer to my apartment and pays me more money, so I’ll be able to close out movie season fairly strong, as the Oscar-bait movies come out. (There’s also a small independent theater walking distance from my apartment, so…yeah…)

Aless and I are trying to figure out what we’re doing for Justice League, as I’m leaving for Disney the morning after opening. We may delay by a whole week. (This is WEIRD for us, but you know, it’s DC, we didn’t even do Suicide Squad together…) Coco will for sure happen, and we’ve already got our Star Wars tickets.

 

Stay Close To The Ground

Spider-man

Every time something new started in Spider-Man: Homecoming I thought, “Well, that’s perfect.” From the opening of Peter’s video diary showing his time in Civil War from his perspective, to the pounding drums of The Ramones “Blitzkreig Bop” over the credits (Because QUEENS! You guys, both Spider-Man and The Ramones are from Queens!) every second of Homecoming feels right.

Tom Holland is a treasure, and I feared with a whole movie to cover we met wind up with some Charlie Hunnam/Ed Westwick/Robert Pattinson “whisper to cover the British Accent” thing, but that didn’t happen and his dorky infectious youth is such a good fit for Peter Parker that even the flaws in this movie, of which I feel there are very few, are easy to miss.

Zendaya’s Michelle (MJ to her friends…a little on the “John Blake’s name is actually Robin” side there, Homecoming…) is probably my favorite character in anything in a very long time. Jacob Batalon’s Ned is as endearing a BFF as we’ve ever gotten in the MCU, and of course Robert Downey Jr., Marissa Tomei and Jon Favreau acquit themselves well. Michael Keaton’s Vulture is terrifying and compelling. (Did we expect less than that from him?)

The cameos by Hannibal Burress, Martin Starr and Donald Glover are all hilarious and kind of perfect. (Put. *CLAP* Donald. *CLAP* Glover *CLAP* In *CLAP* All *CLAP* The *CLAP* Things *CLAP*) And a last minute appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow actually had me PHYSICALLY BOUNCING OUT OF MY SEAT! (TONY AND PEPPER GOT BACK TOGETHER! AND THEN ANOTHER THING HAPPENS! NO SPOILERS!)

The action is fun and zippy and not overused, the superhero through the lens of John Hughes is equally great.

Oh, and those Captain America school videos? Further proof that Evans is the best Chris. And that post credit is further FURTHER proof. (This is mostly to shut down my brother, who insists that Pratt is the best.)

RANKINGS!

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  3. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  4. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  5. Cars 3
  6. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Trailers:

The Dark Tower: I mean, I didn’t NOT CRY, when The Man In Black asked Roland if he told the boy everyone who walked with him died. I haven’t been breaking into sobs whenever I think about Jake Chambers lately or anything. (Also, is it just Roland and Jake in this movie? No Eddie and Susannah? I have a lot of questions…I’ll get my answers in a few weeks I guess) (I hope we get Eddie and Susannah.) (Especially Eddie.)

Dunkirk: SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. Also, I didn’t realize Kenneth Branagh was in it. Because I needed more reasons to see this movie.

Daddy’s Home 2: Aside from the perfection of casting Jon Lithgow as Will Ferrell’s father I just do not see a need for this to exist. I would much prefer if they’d done The Other Guys 2 as both Ferrell and Wahlberg were funnier in it, and it’s a better movie.

Pitch Perfect 3: Wooo, a waste of all of these women’s talents is coming out again. (My dislike of Pitch Perfect 2 is deep.)

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: GOD IT LOOKS SO GOOD!

Wonder: I don’t actually want to see this, but it does feature Daveed Diggs as an elementary school teacher, which feels right. And it made me wish Aless was with me (she’s in Italy, whatever!) because I don’t think the strangers around me appreciated my squealing of his name when he appeared on screen. (Look,  they’re lucky I didn’t shout “LAFAYETTE!” in rhythm to “Guns and Ships.”)

 

 

This Unspoken Thing

Guardians 2

Happy Movie Season You Guys!

I think this is the first “official” movie season that actually started on May The 4th.

If you’re new around here, let me explain.

Movie Season is the Blockbuster release time, between May and December. The rule of thumb is that it reaches from Marvel to Star Wars. (Previously, Marvel to Hobbit)

This year’s first Marvel Studios release was the highly anticipated Guardians Of The Galaxy: Volume 2.

One of the many things that made Guardians Of The Galaxy the delight that it was, was the surprise factor. It’s humor, it’s space opera action and that soundtrack all caught everyone off guard. Volume 2 doesn’t have that out of left field leg up, instead has the handicap of expectation. This worried me a little, thinking their might be an Iron Man 2 effect, where the loss of the surprise makes the whole thing feel sloppy.

Not the case. Rather than rehash, James Gunn has built on the foundation he placed 2 years ago. My main complaint about Guardians was always that for a team film, it is woefully unbalanced, giving priority to Star Lord and Rocket, which is fine, but shortchanges Drax and Gamora in a big way, which is a bummer, because those characters are fun, and Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana are fantastic.

Volume 2 balances things a little bit better. The team is split up for a large chunk of the run time, placing Rocket and Groot with Guardian frenemy Yondu, and Gamora, Star Lord and Drax with her sister Nebula, Peter’s father Ego, The Living Planet, and adorable new comer Mantis.

The team relationships are well defined, and the chemistry based but “unspoken” romance between Peter Quill and Gamora is actually very touching. And there’s something to the theme of family of choice, and biological family, or structural family (In the case of Gamora and Nebula) and the ways they intersect and fight with one another.

Visually, the movie is bright, interestingly designed and of course, the soundtrack very very interesting yet again. (You’ll never thing of “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” the same way again. And it makes excellent use of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” as well as “Surrender.”)

It was also the first Marvel Movie that Aless and I could think of that quickly and breezily passed the Bechdel-Wallace test. (A scene between Gamora and Nebula where they discuss Gamora’s plan for her sister does it.) So good job!

Rankings:

  1. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2

Trailers:

Not Wonder Woman.

Dunkirk, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Pirates, yes, but not Wonder Woman.