Thursday, 26 June 2014

Blockbuster Season: Winter Soldier, Spider Man 2, X-men & Godzilla

This year's Summer blockbuster season is chock full of films that I've been hankerin' to see. Now I haven't seen all of them yet (Guardians of the Galaxy doesn't even come out until August) but here are my thoughts on the ones that I have seen so far:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Ah, good ol' Cap'n Murica. Other than my excitement for the Winter Soldier being in this film I went into it with very low expectations since I've never found The Captain particularly interesting in any of the cartoon adaptations I've seen. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is dead set on changing that for me, and I think they have. These movies show him having a side to him that is funny and charming which I had never really associated with him before. So far of the phase 2 movies Winter Soldier has been the best. It takes a far more serious tone than all the others and actually pulls it off, while still keeping some of the humour that worked so well in The Avengers. Many of the zingers came from Black Widow which made me happy that they actually gave her some development instead of being a damsel in distress. In fact she saves Steve's butt on more than one occasion in the movie. Their introduction of The Falcon was great, rather than getting bogged down in a whole origin story flying with his wings was just what he did for the military and he happens to still have them. I really hope he becomes an Avenger. Don't even get me started on how much I liked Bucky though, he barely spoke, but is now one of my favourite Marvel movie characters.

For making me care about a character I wasn't all that interested in I think Captain America: Winter Soldier wins at Summer this year. (That may change with Guardians of the Galaxy however)

The Amazing Spider Man 2

Once again we venture into the world of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, with tragic results.  Our main villain of the piece is Electro with The Green Goblin coming in second and The Rhino last, by a long shot (although if you look closely you might just recognize the actor). Jamie Foxx did a great job of creating someone who you both felt sorry for and found creepy. Of course the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was great once again and the writing was nice and snappy. It was a very enjoyable film that even managed to make me tear up a bit towards the end when the inevitable happens (if you are a Marvel comics fan you know what I'm talking about). I would say that my biggest criticism would be the lack of character development given to Harry Osborne, he didn't have a close enough relationship with Peter to make me care about the betrayal. It felt like they barely knew each other before accusations of not caring about the other start flying.

X-men Days of Futures Past

Definitely one of my favourites so far. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy until I watched them reprise their roles as the Master of Magnetism and the Master of the Mind. The movie had me hooked the whole time and while it did feel long, at no point was I looking at my watch wondering when it would finally be over. The time travel aspect still left some plotholes that always crop up when people go to the past, it did allow for the franchise to have endless possibilities in coming films with things resembling the comics a bit more. One thing that was unwise in the film was using the post credits scene in The Wolverine to explain how Magneto got his powers back and Xavier even exists again since you can't guarantee people would have watched The Wolverine after seeing how terrible Wolverine Origins was. Aside from that little hiccup the movie pulled off something that based on the promo photos I didn't think was possible. They made Quicksilver awesome. When remarkably what looked like a cheap halloween wig and plastic jacket/pants in photos worked when in motion, he just looked like some kid who liked rock and roll rather than someone in a haphazard store-bought costume. What sold him though was Evan Peters' portrayal of the reckless, self-centred, happy-go-lucky hero/villain. Why I doubted he would be able to pull it off I don't know, maybe him not being a main character in season 3 of American Horror Story made me forget about his abilities, but his scenes are the ones that I keep running through my head weeks after watching the movie. Hopefully he'll get more screen time in Apocalypse.


This was how I celebrated Father's Day with my Dad, since father daughter dates to action movies are our special thing to do together. Well Godzilla definitely entertained. The creatures were great, it was especially smart of them to keep closer to the original design. It was also great that it stayed with its roots by beginning the story in Japan and avoiding the cliche of destroying New York. While it was a very low benchmark, this Godzilla blew the most recent one out of the water. That being said I do have some qualms with it, mainly the lack of the titular character in most of the film, but that wasn't the only part to disappoint me. Without spoiling the plot for anyone lets just say that the actor I was most excited to see in the film (also the character I found most intriguing) died before it was even half over and the plot could have been more interesting. The best decisions the filmmakers made though was making Godzilla the good guy because anyone going to see a Godzilla movie wants to cheer for him, even if he destroys a city people will still want him to win because a giant lizard is pretty much as cool as it gets.

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