Review – Justice League

The long awaited Justice League movie has finally arrived and I went to see it as soon as I could. DC has not had a great track record with the only movie in the DCEU that has had critical acclaim being Wonder Woman, however with Justice League they hoped to alter the course and have a box office and critical hit. In Justice League we have a world that following the death of Superman is faced with an alien threat that forces Batman and Wonder Woman to recruit other heroes to defeat the threat they are facing in order to save the Earth.

Coming into this movie I had a lot of mixed feelings. I had not enjoyed most of the DCEU films and had found them to be very flawed. The tone of the films was not a tone I enjoy and the portrayal of characters like Superman was in my opinion very disconcerting and removed from what the character should be like. Thus I was in a way very apprehensive about the film. That said I was also really looking forward to this film since it was about the Justice League, the premiere superhero team in all of comics with some if not the most iconic heroes of all time. I have always been more of a Marvel comic fan but the Justice League had me really excited.

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So, did the movie deliver? Well the answer is not a simple one. By no means is this a bad movie, it is fun and entertaining and I think it stands above the other DCEU films, except Wonder Woman. Yet despite this, I felt that it was lacking something and that it was not a good a movie as it should have been. Whilst I did enjoy the film at no point was I blown away by it, there was nothing spectacular that spoke to me or made me really excited.

The movie overall is fun and has a great pace. The interaction between the characters really work, Aquaman played by Jason Momoa was all kinds of awesome, the new Flash was great, Cyborg worked for me and Gal Gadot was incredible and remains the strongest asset that the DCEU currently has. I also found that they have improved the characters of Batman and Superman compared to the previous instalments. Another aspect that I enjoyed was the lighter tone yet still dark enough to make you feel the stakes. The action in the movie was also another bright aspect as it was well paced and shot.

However the movie had some issues. First of all the CGI was sometimes really bad. The moustache debacle with Henry Cavill is very noticeable and Steppenwolf (besides being a bad developed villain in the film) looks awful and fake. The other issue I had with the film was that it lacked a spectacular moment. The return of Superman should have been a monumental moment but it was somehow lacking punch, it did not feel as big as it should have and this can be said for most of the film. We had some of the greatest most iconic characters on screen together yet at no moment did it feel huge, it was just OK.

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A small pet peeve I had and it might be ridiculous is that they incorporated in a quick moment the Batman 1989 theme and John Williams Superman Theme. The latter especially is a favourite of mine and hearing it used so quickly and in a small moment only served to remind me how much better and epic it would have been if they had included it on the film.

Overall Justice League was a fun enough movie and good step towards a better future for the DCEU, they improved the tone and the action was great. That said the movie was lacking in “epicness” and that is something they need to work on. They need to work on that, on making the big moments feel bigger. Hopefully with the next DCEU movies they continue improving this and by the time Justice League 2 comes around we will be awed by the film.

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Review – Wonder Woman Film

Finally, after a long wait, “Wonder Woman” hit theatres in Spain and I quickly went to see it. I have already seen this movie twice and have had time to digest my thoughts and find myself ready to write about them. First of all let me start of all this by commenting on the fact that I was not a big fan of previous entries into the DCEU world. Yet despite my lack of enthusiasm for this film universe I was cautiously optimistic with this one, the trailer had impressed me and everything I had read, heard or seen about this movie was good. I was hoping this would be the film to finally have widespread critical and fan acceptance and to see a film that I would love. So after seeing it twice I can gladly say that I LOVED this film. Before I delve into an in-depth review of the film let me just warn you that there will be plenty of SPOILERS.

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Wonder Woman had everything I wanted on a comic book movie. It was bright and colourful (something with which I have struggled in past DCEU films), it had great action scenes, it was fun, the titular character was amazing and it had a great hopeful message. One of my biggest issues with movies like “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman”, was the dark tone bereft of hope. It is a tone that fits Batman but doesn’t fit Superman. Comic book characters, especially heroes and heroines are meant to inspire us, to show us that despite how hard things get to be, how awful things can get, we can still raise above it. This movie perfectly portrayed this message and I was happy to see it.

Themyscira was beautiful and everything I hoped to see in an adaptation of the comic books. I loved the setting, showing us a paradisiac location where the amazons are able to prepare for their goal. The amazons themselves were amazing portrayed as fair, intelligent women who are also incredible warriors. The battle scene at the beach with the German soldiers was incredible and inspiring, full of amazing set pieces and stunts. Watching that and thinking about the trailer we have seen for Justice League, I for one can’t wait to see the amazons fighting against the parademons.

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The acting was great throughout the movie. I was surprised at seeing Robin Wright play such a physical role but she was splendid in it. She portrayed the toughness and physicality of the character beautifully and added great gravitas to the cast. The supporting characters were great in general and I loved the portrayal of Ares done. However there has to be a special mention for Chris Pine and Gal Gadot who had an amazing chemistry throughout the movie. Chris Pine was great in his role, playing perfectly his character and giving us great moment and Gal Gadot in my opinion owned the character. She was able to perfectly show both the toughness and vulnerability as well as the naiveté and idealism of the character. She has given us a perfect Diana Prince and a perfect Wonder Woman and I can’t wait to see more of it.

Patty Jenkins did an amazing job in shooting this film. Many of the scenes are beautiful and the action is shot perfectly, allowing you to feel the intensity of the moment without missing a beat. I also loved all the nods to the first Superman film (the glasses, the revolving door and the bullet scene in the alleyway) and how she was able to subtlety introduce them. She has done a great film and I hope that this opens the door for more female directors filming comic book movies.

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However the greatest thing about this film was the titular character.The character was amazing and inspiring and very similar to the essence of the character in the comics. She was shown to be as this idealistic warrior who is naïve but full of love and willing to fight for her ideals to the utmost. The message she gives is cheesy, but comic book are and will always be cheesy. I loved that she was fighting to end a war, to stop the violence, and doing so in the name love. I fell in love with the character throughout the film as she fought in a war, but also against gender roles and against an internal struggle. Throughout the film we see the character develop and grow but still remain true to herself. In my humble opinion she is one of the best character adaptations from the comics seen in film.

The already iconic scene in No Man’s Land was great. Seeing a female superhero charge the lines and have this amazing action moments was incredible and inspiring. Both times I have seen that scene I have become emotional and have seen it with a huge grin on my face. This film has finally given us the female superhero we deserved, a strong, feminist women who is able to change the course of history. Scenes like this are awe-inspiring and will be remembered for a long time.

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“Wonder Woman” was a beautiful film. It is not perfect, no film really is, and does have some flaws (the third act is a bit weaker than the rest of the film) but it was a great movie, with an amazing protagonist who I hope becomes the inspiration for many. “Wonder Woman” has certainly inspired me and the message of love in the movie is beautiful. Hopefully this movie, which is killing it at the box office, will be the first of many films with heroine protagonist and action films starring women in active roles. After watching this movie I am a bit more hopeful for the DCEU and I will with a bit of luck be able to see a sequel of this movie as it is more than deserving. “Wonder Woman” stands now in my top 10 comic book movies of all time and I can’t wait to see Justice League so I can see more of this wonderful character.

Wonder Woman: 9/10

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May The Fourth – An Ode to Star Wars

Today is Star Wars Day, or in other words, May The 4th, and in honor of that I thought I would do a quick post explaining my love for Star Wars and why it is an important part of my life. Star Wars has for a long time been one of my favourite worlds to visit and throughout the years I have been lucky to be able to have a lot of Star Wars Memoribilia including a Star Wars encyclopaedia which is really awesome (although useless now that most of it is not canon).

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Star Wars has always been very special to me. Ever since I discovered it as a kid, when my father introduced me to this wonderful world, I have been amazed and in awe of the movies, of the universe, it has always been an inspiration and a source of dreams for me. As a kid I loved the original trilogy and whilst the prequels are not as good, I still think they are entertaining and fun. Star Wars opened my eyes to science fiction, even though it is more of a fantasy and space opera, and I will always be thankful for that.

As a kid I dreamed about becoming a Jedi, about exploring planets like Hoth, Tatooine or Yavin IV, about having a mentor like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Yoda or about having a best friend like Chewbacca. Star Wars showed me a galaxy, a time, where I could lose myself. I remember being in awe of Darth Vader, fearing him and yet loving him (I mean everytime he appears he has his own theme song, how could I not love him) and most importantly having a great time everytime I saw the movies.

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I loved so much that galaxy far far away that I would devour all information I could about Star Wars, I would read the comics, the books, spend hours upon hours on websites dedicated to Star Wars and think about the universe, about the force and play the videogames obsessively. Star Wars was a second home to me, a place where I could live vicariously through other characters and enjoy their adventures.

I was giddy with excitement when the new films were announced and even though it rendered pointless a lot of the knowledge of Star Wars I had gained for years, I did not begrudge them. How could I? They were taking me back to a galaxy I had loved for almost all my life, giving me new characters and bringing back old characters. Star Wars is back with new, exciting and fresh films that are expanding the mythos and allowing me to experience new movies at the theatres.

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This May The Fourth, this Star Wars Day, I will think about how many good times George Lucas and LucasFilms have given me throughout the years and how great it is to go back to that galaxy far far away that has always felt like home to me.

May the Force Be With You

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Review – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

The first of the MCU movies that will be released this year has finally arrived and it is one of my most anticipated movies of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. The first Guardians of the Galaxy was an incredible movie that surprised us all with its humour and heart. It was a great space opera and still stands in my opinion as one of the best films in the MCU. Thus this new entry into the story of Star-Lord and company had a big shoes to fill and a hard challenge ahead. As I give a short review of this film I will attempt to give the minimum amount of spoilers.

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So did it manage to maintain the excellent level of the first one? Well in my humble opinion, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 was as good as the first one, although different in many ways. First of all the music was great, but that was to be expected. Whilst perhaps not as famous as the ones we got to see in the first film the song choice was perfect and they were a great reflection of the tone of the film as well as what the characters were facing. I for one loved the more subdued song choice in this film and thought it really reflected tone of the film.

The humour was great. The film was fun and had great dialogue with, Drax the Destroyer, played by Dave Bautista, (yay wrestling!) stealing the show with the humour, as he was impeccable in his delivery. The film was fun and had great action scenes, although it was a bit slower than the other one. The start of the film is great and it already sets you up for a great fun film that will entertain you and make time fly.

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However what makes this film so good is the characters and its heart. In this film we are already familiar with the characters so we can immediately delve into them and their emotional state. This film despite the action, the humor, superheroes…is really about family and how family is defined, almost all the Guardians in this movie face that question and this provides a lot of heart and emotion to this movie. This is something that they are able to do great in the movie, they combine humour with emotion perfectly, showing us that a fun movie can be also emotional. This is what I am seeking in comic book films (except in Batman). Comic books are a fun media, a media that is entertaining and colourful with occasional emotional moments and high stakes that add to the story. I feel like Marvel comics could really learn from the MCU in adapting this tone that has been sorely lacking in comics over the past couple of years.

In conclusion I loved Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. It was a fun movie that had me laughing but also crying at some points. Most importantly it had me hooked and invested in it. The new additions are great, Kurt Russell did a phenomenal job, the cameos throughout the film are fun, the easter eggs for us comic book fans were awesome (The Watchers exist in the MCU!) and the story was great, allowing you to learn more about the characters. This movie does have its flaws but in my opinion it did everything it was supposed to do, entertain me and make me fall in love with the characters even more (Baby Groot is incredible, and I loved Gamora in this film). I recommend you all go and watch this movie as soon as you can!

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Trailer Review – Star Wars The Last Jedi

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So the most anticipated trailer, at least for me, has finally dropped. We finally have our first teaser trailer of The Last Jedi that has come out during Star Wars Celebration. Before we delve into talking about it let me point out that this review will more than probably have no objectivity whatsoever. Star Wars brings out the fanboy inside of me and it has remained one of my greatest loves since I was a kid. Watching Star Wars Celebration on my computer I was very excited and sensing the trailer arriving I was jumping around my apartment so as you can imagine it was going to be very difficult for me not to enjoy the trailer.

Without a doubt I absolutely LOVED the new trailer. It had everything I wanted and more as it made me excited about the film without revealing too much information as I do not want to know a lot about the movie before I actually see it. The trailer with the use of music immediately took us to that world we all love, to that galaxy far far away that has become a second home for many of us. When I see a trailer or a movie the most important thing for me is that it delivers emotionally and this trailer definitely did that.

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If we go into details the trailer seems to be building towards a movie in which the central figure will be Luke Skywalker and his personal struggle, all of this while Rey is trained by him and Finn, Poe and Leia continue the struggle against the powerful First Order. The Last Jedi will show us, as seen in the trailer, Rey training in the planet where the first Jedi Temple was created Ahch-To. We have seen in a quick scene what appears to be some of the first books written by the Jedi and in my favourite scene from the trailer we see Luke over watching Rey training with her lightsabre. The trailer is action packed as we also see several scenes of the Resistance fighting against The Last Order in different planets and a classic and must happen in any Star Wars movie, spaceship battles.

 In this movie we are finally going to see Luke Skywalker interact with the new generation of characters and from the trailer we can clearly see we are going to have a jaded Luke. The destruction of the temple where he was training the new generation of Jedi, seen in a flashback in the trailer, has clearly changed him and he seems to have come to the conclusion that the way of the Jedi is wrong (maybe reading those books he realized that the original Jedi teachings have changed and they must return to those) and seems in the path to becoming a Gray Jedi. As seen in the dialogue during the trailer the balance in the force in this movie is going to be found somewhere between the light side and the dark side and this is highlighted in that scene in which Luke seems to be guiding Rey through meditation and she sees images of Leia, Kylo etc…all accompanied by whispers of other characters like Yoda, Obi-Wan and what seems to be Padme.

The trailer has worked perfectly for me and has delivered in every way that matters. I am incredibly excited to see this movie and happy about the way it seems to be going. The wait for the movie is going to be very long and I can’t wait for December to finally come. As I wait all I can do in the words for Luke Skywalker is “Breathe, just breathe” and rejoice in the fact that in 8 months my favourite movie saga, Star Wars, will be back with its new instalment, Star Wars The Last Jedi.

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Trailer Review – Thor Ragnarok

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Over the past few weeks a number of amazing trailers have dropped including some from comic book franchises that promise to be amongst the most talked about movies of the year. The trailers for “Wonder Woman”, “Batman v Superman” and “Spiderman Homecoming” all came with much hype and expectation and those trailers in more ways than not delivered upon the expectations. This week the trailer for “Thor Ragnarok” came out in a surprising manner since Marvel had not announced that the trailer would come out this week. With that in mind I have decided to give my quick thoughts about the trailer and the impression I got from it.

Thor Ragnarok gave us a trailer which shows that they have completely overhauled the tone and look of the Thor movies as in this one we see it become more light hearted and colourful. The colour palette of the movie is completely changed from the previous Thor movies and it has a feel similar to that of old Jack Kirby comics. I have not been a big fan of Thor movies before this one as I felt they were a bit boring and that Thor as a character on his own was not working, although he was great in The Avengers movies, so I for one do welcome this change.

The trailer is action packed and looks really great as it promises to tell a very intriguing story. In the trailer we see how Hela, goddess of death, attacks Asgard and destroys Mjolnir in an incredible shocking moment of the trailer leading to Thor being captured and having to fight in a gladiator arena against Hulk in a short scene that might have stolen the whole trailer as it highlighted the new tone of the Thor universe, colourful, fun and with epic action.

Cate Blanchett has been one of my favourite actresses since I discovered her in “Lord of the Rings” and in this movie she looks incredible as Hela and I believe is going to portray a character that will quickly become iconic and break the pattern of weak Marvel villains (with Loki as an exception). The trailer has me really excited for this movie and I love the fact that it is expanding the MCU and introducing us to new characters as well as taking us to new locations around the galaxy. This movie looks action packed, Thor is wearing his classic helmet, Hela looks awesome, Loki is back and the Hulk vs Thor fight promises to be such a great fun and epic fight that I think we will all be talking about it for a long time!

I for one can’t wait to see this movie that will drop around the same time as the Justice League in what promises to be a great month for comic book fans! Hopefully this movie will not disappoint us and this new foray into the mythos of Thor in the MCU proves to be entertaining and fun.