2018

Avengers: Infinity War

 

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FILM INFO

The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. The biggest gathering of Marvel superheroes is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo under Walt Disney Pictures.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benecio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, William Hurt & Letitia Wright.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

WHAT I LIKE?

If you are a die-hard fan of the Marvel universe, Avengers: Infinity Wars will easily be your most favorite superhero movie of all-time as it offer a quality level of entertainment from beginning to end. If you have watched all other movies since 2008, you will feel that emotional attachment especially that Infinity War is a major turnaround of the franchise. Don’t worry, this review is SPOILER-FREE so I won’t be leaking any major points and scenes in the movie. I will purely assess its technicalities and the emotions I have felt after watching this amazing movie. Plot-wise, I have set my expectations outside the Comics version. I have followed the whole Marvel Universe based on the movies released and not whats written on the comics. Primarily, the movie has set a trend of reinventing the version expected by its fans. Well, who loves the element of surprise and twists anyways. The movie did an amazing job in bringing all the superheros together (with the absence of Hawkeye and Ant-man based on the poster and billing). Who could have imagined bringing them all together. That fact alone is worth your admission ticket already. If you have a background of the other previous movies, you will easily pick up the pieces and the rational behind their characterizations and even connections with the other Avengers. I loved how the Russo brothers played with the whole Avengers and interconnected them on their worlds. Of course, all of them leads to fighting the biggest villain so far – Thanos. It is amazing how everything perfectly fits despite a very jam-packed movie. I mean, a lot has been happening but this is primarily because its a huge movie after all. Despite many characterization, Russo Brothers brilliantly executed all scenes in unison with the film’s premise. Action sequences are the best so far in terms of Hollywood Movies of the same genre. CGI effects are impressive. Amidst its gigantic production design and cinematography, the Marvel humor is still there to lighted up the mood every time. Avengers: Infinity War is rightful conclusion and build-up of the previous Marvel movies 10 years ago. For us fans, its a great delight to seem them all together in one whole movie. As per the emotional aspect, hats off for bringing in a whirlwind of emotions. I won’t spoil why but the movie was able to affect me so many ways. It is worth-watching all-over again.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

– NO SPOILERS HERE –

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn.

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2018

Black Panther

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FILM INFO

“Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T’Challa’s mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. This is directed by Ryan Coogler under Marvel Studios.

Casts: Chadwick Boseman, Michael Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Sterling Brown, Angela Bassette, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, John Kani, David Lee.

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure

WHAT I LIKE?

Black Panther is perhaps the most solid superhero movie in the Marvel Universe in terms of source material and story-telling. The foundation of this movie is its Modern African-inspired fictional country named Wakanda and a very compelling storyline of King T’Challa and some of Marvel’s dynamic supporting characters. What I liked about Black Panther is its superb Production design especially the Wakanda scenes. By far, this is their best in terms of a fictional superhero country portrayal. I fell in loved with how modern technology and African culture mixed well in this country. Costume-wise, Black Panther never failed even an inch. The costume choices were very creative and very much apt to the whole concept of an advanced world. Aside from visually-engaging setting, the movie also boast of impressive and well-executed action sequences. Every action scenes were great. It was great to see less CGI effects during fight scenes. What I also loved is the involvement of women in the movie. The movie actually showed women empowerment. With great narratives and sequencing of events, Black Panther seems to be flawless and engaging scenes that will keep you on your seats for the whole of its running time. If it is Marvel, there must be humor. Although Black Panther has less humor compared to other MCU movies but the comedy parts were in perfect timing on most scenes. Acting chops from talented actors and actresses were amazing and impressive to say the least. Glad to see a celebration of African-American culture without being too racist. Chadwick is such a good lead actor. Michael Jordan was a great Villain too. Lupita and Chadwick’s chemistry is quite strong. Danai and Daniel were also a good support to the talented cast. With the balanced amount of romance, drama and action, Black Panther is truly my most favorite MCU movie so far. WAKANDA FOREVER!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

The fact that I won’t be able to see WAKANDA in real life is the only negative review I will be giving.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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2017

Thor: Ragnarok

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FILM INFO

Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – -the destruction of his world and the end of Asgardian civilization at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. This Marvel Movie is directed by Taika Waititi under Walt Disney Pictures.

Casts: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Jeff Goldblum, Clancy Brown & Ray Stevenson.

Genre: Adventure, Science-Fiction, Action

WHAT I LIKE?

Thor: Ragnarok has the most dynamic plot of all Marvel Movies as it offer a visually-stunning masterpiece topped with pure entertainment that is worth every cent of your admission ticket. The plot of the movie is just simple. Its all about the Prophecy of Ragnarok or the Fall of Asgard – Thor’s home. What makes it more special is how the Director played humor very well in almost all scenes. Indeed, this is action-comedy flick done very right. It is very easy to digest and its generally light-hearted. If you are in for some pure cinematic fun and wanted to enjoy a superhero movie in a whole new level, Thor: Ragnarok might be your favorite film. Its downright hilarious and enjoyable from beginning to the end credits. Aside from its creative approach on its plot, the movie is packed with impressive visual editing. The CGI Effects are pretty cool and the soundtracks are really bad-ass. Other than that, the movie offers new characters that had a fresh take on the whole new Thor Franchise. I actually like all the new characters especially the Grand master and Valkyrie. Also, I love new alien characters introduced in the movie. The support of Loki, Hulk and Doctor Strange are also a good addition to the whole success of the movie. My most favorite new character in this movie is Hela played by Cate Blanchett. She is just awesome and an effective villain on-screen. Her scenes are almost done with perfection. Thor: Ragnarok broke the barrier of a hero film and could easily become your favorite Marvel Superhero movie to date.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

If you are expecting a 60-40 ration of serious and fun formula for this superhero movie, you might get disappointed. I must say its 90-10. More of the fun feels.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns

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2017

Spider-man: Homecoming

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FILM INFO

Peter Parker got a taste of being an Avenger during the movie Captain America: Civil War wherein the Avengers were torn apart. After that memorable experience, Peter returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the supervision and monitoring of Tony Stark, Peter starts to embrace his identity as the Spider-man. He is trying to live a normal life until an evil vulture emerges to threaten everything he holds dear. The second reboot of the Spider-man Franchise under MCU is directed by Jon Watts under Sony Pictures.

Casts: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Tyne Daly, Laura Harrier, Bokeem Woodbine

Genre: Action-Adventure, Science-Fiction

Previous Marvel Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 LOGAN; Doctor Strange; DeadpoolCaptain America: Civil WarAnt-man & The Avengers: Age of Ultron

WHAT I LIKE?

Spider-man: Homecoming is a refreshing reboot of the Spiderman Franchise under Sony Pictures. It was actually a decent franchise with lots of new things to look forward in one of the well-loved superheroes in the big screen. Let’s start with Peter Parker himself. Tom Holland was actually fit for the role. I like his vibe as a teenager and a normal high school student that is naive and innocent as a whole. He was actually the youngest Spiderman. Tom was impressive and I think it was a best choice to let him portray this iconic superhero. Story-wise, there are really lots of new things on this second reboot. Overall, it was actually good as the movie picked up after the recent Captain America: Civil War. You must watch it to know the reference of that film to the recent Spiderman adaptation. At some point, it was also good to include Iron Man as he plays a very vital role in mentoring Peter Parker in being an Avenger soon. I must commend Michael Keaton on this movie. He was just the best villain among all other Spidey franchises. Action sequences were great. I love the cinematography and the succession of scenes in the movie. Particulary, I love the Ferry and the Monument scene. The good thing about the movie is it portrayed the KID SIDE of Peter Parker. Ordinary scenes in the classroom and even while preparing for Prom, the movie gave that feeling that Spiderman is just a normal kid like us. Aside from that, the KIDDIE Portrayal was very effective to bring out the vulnerability of Peter Parker in making big decisions at a very young age. In that aspect, Spiderman Homecoming was on-point. Overall, it was a great Spiderman movie.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Being the 6th Spiderman movie ever made, you can’t help but compare the latest movie from all of its predecessors regardless pf the Film Studio that adapted it. Sadly, Spiderman: Homecoming doesn’t quite live up to the hype of this iconic superhero. There is no problem with Tom Holland. He was a good Spiderman. Somehow, I just find him too young for this even though the whole premise wanted him to be that young. I was bit off with the whole story itself. At some point, the methodology of Spiderman was forgotten and the focus was placed more on Tony Stark mentoring Peter Parker and Peter Parker pleasing him to be part of the Avenger. I am missing the old Spiderman who doesn’t have to please a higher being like an Avenger to be recognized and to find his worth as a superhero. Spiderman should have that innate instinct to know what is right for him as shown in all other previous films. I understand that it was a refreshing take on the franchise but we all need to go back to our roots sometimes. I am also a bit bothered of the casts in the movie. Ned as a best friend is funny but I don’t like his personality in the movie and in reference of Spiderman itself. Also, Liza was a good lady interest but they seem have a lost connection with Peter at times. Aunt May was also cringe-worthy in the movie. I expected an older and conservative Aunt May here. Aside from that, the movie do not have a family connection. It is really important for a Spiderman movie to have that since superheroes have weak spots. It felt like it was more of Iron Man than Peter’s family. Some action sequences could have been better. Although the Ferry scene was my favorite but it lacks intensity and destruction feels enough to give way to a vital scene of Peter and Tony after that. The Climax was not that good as well. It failed to give that sense of accomplishment for me. Despite all these weak points, I still enjoyed the movie.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorns.

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2017

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 is more than worthy to be a follow-up. One of Marvel’s best and most exciting franchise so far.

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FILM INFO

Guardians of Galaxy returns in this 2nd installment of galactic adventure in the Marvel Universe. As the Guardians are fighting their way with a recent planet they have served, Ego, Peter’s father, surface to the scene. Peter soon discovered his real powers and the back story of his life he has been wanting to hear. Along the way, the Guardians will encounter twist and turns that will test their relationship and even trust with each other. This movie is written and directed by James Gunn under Walt Disney Pictures.

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Kurt Russell, Sean Gunn & Pom Klementieff.

Genre: Science-fiction, Adventure, Action (PG 13)

Past Movies of Chris Pratt: PassengersJurassic World

Past Movies of Vin Diesel: The best installment so far. Fate of the Furious made a bold move in renewing its long overdue plot. The move was worth it.

WHAT I LIKE?

Just when you had a worlwide blockbuster hit, the 2nd installment takes on much of the pressure and shoes to fill in. In the case of Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2, it was never a single problem at all.  As expected, the 2nd installment brought a whole new lot of excitement and adventure we loved during the first one. This time, its a lot more dope and a lot more bad-ass stuff. The Director effectively played along Volume 2’s plot that focused on the real identity of Peter. If you’ll recall the first movie, his identity remained a mystery. On this phase, the movie has managed to play around using the same effective formula that made GOTGV appeal to a global audience. The comeback of the characters such as Nebula, Yondu and Groot (who is now a baby) really added to the film’s vibrant phase and strength. The 3 characters above have established themselves on Volume 2 and has made relevant contributions as well to the plot. Groot is now more adorable as ever being in a small and baby figure. You will even loved him on Volume 2. For the comeback characters, Nebula and Yondu both have interesting to offer for fans. On the other hand, watch out for exciting nee characters such as Ego, Mantis, Taserface and Kismet and her golden-skinned people. Not much of the spoilers but these new characters really have their own shining moments in the film and are major contributors as well to the fate of the Guardians of Galaxy. Moreover, the film still has the same bad-ass and infectious cast we loved – Peter aka Star Lord, Gamora, Drax & Rocket. Still, loved their variety and their chemistry together. Plot-wise, it was very well crafted and presented. Volume 2 has more fun and humor than ever. I loved how everything seems so light all the time. Aside from eye-popping action sequences and galactic war scenes, the film is a visual-spectacle from beginning to end. Aside from its trusted comedic timing, the film is as emotionally-engaging too at some point. The conflict of the film was on point and was on the right phasing. Generally, its more action-packed than the first volume. A lot has been happening almost all of the film’s running time. The phasing was really dynamic. At least, never a dull moment. Production Design was superb and sound engineering was good. I still loved the consistency of their 1980s feels. Star Lord still got his Sony Walker the least. Volume 2 is worthy to be a follow-up of the worldwide smash hit. And yes, Volume 2 is the most exciting Marvel movie franchise ever made. It keeps getting better and better. Highly-recommended to all fans and even non-fans out there.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

For the record, I still loved the visuals and action scenes setting of the first film though Volume 2 has really great graphics too. Maybe because the set-up was more on the planetary system this time. Well, this does not necessarily have a bearing on my review.

RATINGS:

10/10 pocorns.

Thank you SM Lanang Premier in Davao City & Walt Disney for the Advance VIP Screening of GOTGV2 last April 21, 2017 at IMAX Theater.

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2017

Save the best for last. LOGAN changed the tone of superhero genre. But…

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FILM INFO

In the year 2029, all Mutants are nearly gone. An isolated and weary Logan is hiding in a remote area of the Mexican boarder with his companions – Caliban and Professor X. When an extraordinary girl came into his life, he was forced to secure the girl’s safety at all cost. Everything changed when a young mutant, engulfed by dark forces, started to search for them. The last X-Men movie is written and directed by James Mangold under 20th Century Fox.

Casts: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen

Genre: Action, Adventure (R for Violence)

Check out my latest review of a X-Men Movie: X-Men: Apocalypse

WHAT I LIKE?

If you are a die-hard fan of the X-Men series and Wolverine himself, you can find this film generally satisfying. This final saga has somehow changed the tone of superhero films and will surely pleased fans especially those hungry for violent and bloody Marvel fights. Logan did not disappoint on that aspect. With its superbly executed action sequences and wolverine stunts, the movie has already gave your money’s worth. The overall tone may be a bit different than other Marvel movies but Logan was able to impress its audience with the brand of violence and action expected from the film. The concept of the child was predictable. But the child’s performance was outstanding. Loved some fight scenes with Logan and the child. Hugh Jackman on the otherhand delivered his best Wolverin and X-Men performance and perhaps all of his career.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Well, I must admit that I got bored a few times which is not my normal thing especially when its Marvel. I just didn’t like the tone at all. Aside from a confined and limited setting, the movie lacked the superhero impact caused by previous films on me. How I wish the formula was tweaked a bit. Oh well, its Wolverine. At least, this is still better than the Batman Series. But if I am to compare it to Batman V Superman, I must give it to DCU this time.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorns.

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2016

Doctor Strange

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Deep. Wildly imaginative. Thought-provoking & visually-entertaining. Doctor Strange never disappoints to be one of the best films in the Marvel Comics Universe that gave sense and meaning to superpowers & parallel dimensions. It changed the tone of MCU Movies as it explored Marvel’s mystical and galactic side of the superhero series the Inception way. Hats off for this for being technically impressive in all aspects. Superb editing and visual effects that I must say a breakthrough in Mainstream film-making as well. It was a cinematic masterpiece of engaging conversations, impressive action sequences & superbly acted by Cumberbatch, McAdams and the rest of the cast. Never a dull moment. It may be a little bit heavy to some but the movie will leave you in awe until the end. It will let your imaginations fly too. Highly-recommended. 5/5 stars.