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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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 – 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.

 

Review – Spider-Man Homecoming Trailer

Another week and another trailer has arrived. Last Saturday we got the all new trailer for the “Justice League” film that hits theatres on November and today a new trailer for the “Spider-Man Homecoming” Trailer has made its way into our screens as the movie gears up for its release on perhaps the best date ever, 07/07/17. Before we go into the trailer I just want to point out that alongside the X-Men, Spider-Man has always been my favourite comic book and Peter Parker is among my favourite characters in comics. Thus it is not a strange thing that I get really excited about Spider-Man movies and as such coming into this trailer I was incredibly excited.

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First let me say that I believe the casting of Tom Holland as the new Spidey is perfect. I believe he really captures the essence of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, capturing the fun and toughness that is Spidey and personally I believe he stole the show on “Captain America: Civil War”. The casting of Michael Keaton as the Vulture is I believe also a great and he will be able to do a great job in portraying this iconic villain. My first thoughts for this movie are that so far it looked great on paper and I had faith that Marvel and Sony would be able to deliver an Amazing Spider-man (pun very much intended) movie.

The trailer I have to say was GREAT. I loved it, I thought it provided us great insight to what promises to be a fantastic fun movie. It seems to have a really good balance of fun and more serious drama. Whilst it could be said that the trailer does show probably a bit too much of the movie I still think that it did a great job in promoting the movie. I do love the fact that they are using Tony Stark as a means to teach Peter Parker about being a hero, which makes sense since in this universe Tony has already gone through his own personal crisis. The suit he wears at the beginning looks great and I also enjoy the metaphor they are establishing of him having to win back the tech suit by learning how to be a hero.

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Teenage Peter Parker has always been a long-time favourite of mine and while I do love the first Spider-man movie and I thought Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good I always thought that it was a shame we did not get to see of the awkwardness of Peter in school and this movie promises to deliver that. That fact combined with what so far seems to be great action (the ship battle scene promises to be action packed and fun) and an amazing villain has me really excited about this movie. No other character or group, beyond the X-Men, can get me this excited for a movie. I have always related to Peter Parker a lot and it is just amazing to see him back on screen on what seems to be a very faithful adaption of the character.

Between the “Justice League” trailer and this one all I can think is that it is a great time indeed for us nerds, for us comic book fans.

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Review – Justice League Trailer

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So after a long wait and a lot of hype being created by Warner Brothers the trailer for the “Justice League” is out. “Justice League” will come out on November of this year and for the past few days we have seen small teasers of the characters before finally getting the first official trailer of the movie. Now before I talk about it let me state that so far I have not really enjoyed the DCEU films so far. I thought “Man of Steel” was good but “Batman v Superman” was very average and Suicide Squad in my opinion was downright bad.

That said I enjoyed very much this trailer. The action looks good and the most important thing is that they seemed to have listened to fan feedback and have changed a bit of the tone adding a bit more fun in the dialogue and in the action. The films so far have been too dark and gritty. Dark and gritty does have an important role to play and it is great that they are darker than those of the MCU but in movies like this we also need a bit of light hearted moments from the characters so that we can relate to them.  Being dark fits the character of Batman but for others such as the Flash this would not be a good fit so it is great to see that they are changing their approach for this film.

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The trailer so far has me excited for this film. The characters, except for Cyborg who looks a bit shoddy (but the CGI will probably be fixed, hopefully…), look great and the trailer gives us plenty of epic moments that seem to come straight from a comic book. I especially love Aquaman, played by Jason Momoa who seems to have really taken to the role and might be one of standouts of the film. I was really happy that they have not shown Superman in the trailer. We all know that Superman will be in the film (probably towards the end) but they need to keep some surprises for the actual movie, something they did not do for BvS. The standout moment of the trailer in my opinion was seeing those two armies clash. Seeing the amazons and others clash against the parademons was pretty cool and the interaction between the characters seems to be fun and epic so far.

My only gripe with the trailer is the use of the colour palette by Snyder. I understand he loves to do that as he does it in almost all his movies but I honestly miss seeing some bright colours, especially considering that they are fighting such an evil destructive force led by Steppenwolf. The use of brighter colours could have given us a better contrast between the heroes and the villains. Brighter colours would also highlight better the awesome costumes being worn by our heroes especially Flash and Wonder Woman. It would be a very welcome addition to have a bit more colour in the film.

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That said it is a very minor gripe and overall I thought the trailer was pretty good. I am excited to see this movie but I will admit to being cautiously optimistic since with other entries of the DCEU I loved the trailer but not the films so much. I truly hope this film and that of Wonder Woman knock it out of the park. As a long time comic book reader I want to have a great MCU and DCEU.

Wonder Woman – A Comic Book Icon

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The new Wonder Woman trailer just dropped on us and I have to say that beyond those weird accents it looks awesome. I have to come clean, in terms of comics I have never been too much of a fan of DC. While I do enjoy some of their comics’ especially great ones such as “The Dark Knight Returns” or “Kingdom Come”, I have always had difficulty relating to their heroes. DC characters tend to be similar to Greek gods, flawed but incredibly powerful or intelligent and for some reason that has made it difficult for me to enjoy the comics. However if there is one character that I have generally always enjoyed that has been Wonder Woman, especially her run in last 15 years.

Wonder Woman is without a doubt a comic icon and a feminist icon. She is without a doubt the most famous heroine in comics and a famous pop culture figure. Wonder Woman, at least in her most recent origin, is the daughter of Amazonian queen Hippolyta and Greek god Zeus. She was raised in Themyscira alongside the other amazonians and became an incredible powerful warrior capable of going toe to toe with Superman. She wields mighty weapons including the famous Lasso of Truth and just as Superman represents, or used to, the “America Way, she is a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman prefers peace and love to war and violence despite her incredible abilities, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment.

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Lately she has also become an icon for LGBT as in her stories in 2016 she has officiated a same-sex wedding and has been revealed in DC Rebirth to be bisexual. Through all of this information that I have written I am trying to convey the idea that she is a character that has gone beyond the comic book media. As such it has always been a tragedy that there has been no good portrayals about her in film or TV. The arrival of her movie is in my opinion a very welcome and needed action and I have really high hopes for this movie.

Let’s all be honest, the DCEU has not been great so far. The movies have not resonated with the audience and have not enjoyed the critical success that Marvel movies have had. Whilst I do not think they are as bad as people make them to be, especially “Batman v Superman” they are still very flawed movie that in my opinion, have not been able to fully capture the magic of the characters. However with that said I believe Wonder Woman was the brightest and best part of BvS. Whenever she was on screen, she stole the scene and her role during the fight against Doomsday she was portrayed perfectly, her smiles, her joy at fighting whilst also being worried about other and being a heroine, was the essence of what has made this character so great.

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It is high time we get a movie with Wonder Woman. She is a member of the Justice League and alongside Batman and Superman forms the Trinity of DC, with the three of them being the most famous characters in DC and probably all of comics. I can’t wait for this movie and I truly hope it is a good one that finally becomes the critical success the DCEU has been waiting for. On June 2nd we will find out if her character has been done justice in film.

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Star Wars Theories and Fandom

I have always enjoyed thinking about Star Wars theories. All of the many books, encyclopaedias and comics I have collected in Star Wars (most of them now considered part of the EU) have been bought in a quest for me to know more about that galaxy far far away that has enthralled me so. Having read so much and seen the movies so many times one of the aspects I enjoy about Star Wars is coming up with theories about what will happen in the future. That I said I believe that lately the whole theorizing with Star Wars has gotten out of control!

As soon as Force Awakens finished I was already thinking about who Rey really was, who Snoke might be, why Luke was alone in that planet or what might happen in the next Star Wars movie. If you are a Star Wars fan that is unavoidable, our love for the story, for the world its set on makes us want to know more and more and more and that is of course a very good thing (especially for Disney since they know we are going to devour anything Star Wars related.) However I have the feeling that lately that this tendency is slowly becoming harmful, and it is not just exclusive to Star Wars.

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Theories on who Snoke is, the parents of Rey etc…are found everywhere. People use the tiniest of possibilities to present us theories that become too far-fetched but also very interesting. The problems lies with the fact that when some of this awesome theories (not the ridiculous ones like Snoke=Mace Windu) do not become true fans are disappointed even though they were never a possibility. I have seen this happening with Game of Thrones, the theories some fans came up with are incredible and sound really interesting, however when they don’t come to fruition, since they were really far-fetched, fans become angry about it and disappointed in the show/film. I feel like there is a danger of this happening with Star Wars and the current amount of theories floating around. There is also the danger of spoiling yourself too much, some of the theories might actually be correct and fans who read them when they go to see the movie might find themselves disappointed since they had predicted that would happen.

The internet is a wonderful thing that has allow us to communicate with people all around the world but it has also made us really impatient and overeager to have an immediate response and knowledge. We need to find a balance with coming up with theories and also waiting to see how the movies surprises us. I personally can’t wait to see the movie and be surprised by all of it.

Meanwhile I will be kicking back confident in that Rey is a Skywalker, Mara Jade will feature in canon and Snoke is secretly an ewok wanting revenge for the Rebels bringing death to their home.

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