Captain Marvel


While I know much about certain comic book characters, I don’t know as much about Captain Marvel. I’ve only read Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel comic book run, which is similar to the movie version. Otherwise I’ve learned about her through Avenger’s stories, X-Men, Ms. Marvel, or character synopsis. So, I was curious to learn what story they’d try to tell with her. Overall, I think the advertising campaign helped keep that a mystery. Something many may not know is that this takes place mostly in 1995.

The movie starts out with Vers (one of three names for Captain Marvel in this movie), played by Brie Larson, waking up from a dream. She goes to spar with Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), where he tells her she needs to focus on controlling her emotions. She talks about how she doesn’t seem to recall her past. They talk about some of Kree society on the planet Hala, which they’re on. We learn of their enemies the alien shapeshifters, the Skrull. Soon enough they get into a conflict with them and Vers is taken captive. The Skrull begin to explore her memories. She eventually frees herself from the Skrulls and crash-lands on Earth.

Some Skrulls follow her to Earth and soon she is met by Agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). Fury and Coulson are understandably apprehensive about Vers’s story of space travel and shapeshifting aliens. They’re soon shot at with an alien weapon from the nearby roof. Vers chases after a Skrull. After the chase, it becomes clear to Fury that Ver’s story is real. So Vers and Fury end up teaming up to deal with the threat.

After seeing this movie, I compared it to other Marvel movies. I think this one feels most closely related to Thor. They’re both powerful characters from alien societies. I think they learned from Thor that having a “fish out of water” character isn’t necessarily enough to tell a compelling story, when there are now numerous origin stories. So, they added more action and supporting characters to make a relatable narrative. The story is less overwhelming than it could have been, as introducing two alien societies is a lot to explain in one movie. We could have ended up with several more societies, and that’s hard to keep track of.

There is a lot going on in the movie with three prominent species. The character of Carol Danvers really has a lot of complexity to her as well. I personally think they could have spent multiple movies introducing her prior to Avenger’s: Endgame. Doctor Strange was the last Marvel character to be fully introduced in their own movie and I think his story felt less rushed in comparison. One problem with the character is that they explain early on that she’s supposed to stifle emotion from her Kree training. So, I suspect we’ll see a different version moving forward. I do think this movie nailed the points it needed to for the bigger universe. It’s a fun addition to the great Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rated PG-13.

Ryan

Advertisements

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I’m a comic book fan, so I’m a bit biased towards the genre. Honestly, I prefer older Peter Parker as Spider-Man as I’m used to him. So Spider-Man: Homecoming was a good movie to me, but lacked some of the things I’m accustomed to in the comics. After seeing the end credits of Venom, I wasn’t sure what I’d get as the scene was so silly. While this movie does have some silliness, there are many reasons why it won the Oscar for best animated film in 2018.

Right from the opening, alternate credits give a feeling for the raw style this movie is going for. The movie starts off with a recap of the life of Peter Parker (Chris Pine) over the years. It’s very similar to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man but it has some clear differences. We get a feel for a very triumphant life of Peter vs the evil he faces. Then we cut to Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and his daily life. Very early on we get the feeling of a teenager struggling to fit in. He wants to be ordinary at public school, but his parents want him to strive to be better at a highly exclusive private school. After school, Miles goes to see his uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali). They have a good rapport together and eventually go to a hidden area to do some graffiti. There Miles gets bitten by a spider with the number 42 on it.

The next day Miles wakes up feeling off. He ends up getting his hand stuck to a girl’s hair who is played by Hailee Steinfeld. Then he ends up in his room reading a Spider-Man comic. He sees that he appears to be going through the same things as Spider-Man. Later that night, he goes to the same place he was bitten by the spider and investigates it. While he’s there he gets drawn into a fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Spider-Man is moderately successful against Goblin and The Prowler, but then things go wrong and Peter gets trapped under some rubble. Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) proceeds to finish Peter off leading to a shocked Miles fleeing only to have the terrifying Prowler pursue him.

Later at Peter’s grave, Miles bumps into someone wearing part of a Spider-Man suit who can shoot webs, played by Jake Johnson. Miles accidentally knocks him out and we get the chase scene used to promote this film found at the end of Venom. There’s a lot more to the movie than this. We get to see more incarnations of Spider-Man as many promotional materials have shown. Each character has their own interesting take on the lore and many are played by well-known actors.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse really does a great job bridging the gap between comics and accessibly through its animated format. It’s funny, action packed, and even has some deeply emotional scenes. The animation style is a bit jarring at first and I was worried about it being an issue. After a minute or two, my brain adjusted to the movement. The style overall lends itself to creating a feel like the comics with even noise lines coming out of a character’s mouth when they laughed. With how well it’s critically received, I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes the standard to measure others against. I saw it three times in theaters, so I really enjoyed it, and I’ve not heard anything negative from someone who has seen it. Rated PG.

Ryan

Aquaman

DC movies have largely met with mixed feelings in recent years. Going into this I wasn’t sure what I’d get. Wonder Woman reinvigorated the brand and I think Aquaman continues that trend in solo movies. Much like Wonder Woman, Arthur Curry is from a society that doesn’t live with humans. Unlike her, he lives with his human father on the shore. We start with a bit of a background on how this character came to be.

The movie starts with Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) finding Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) unconscious on the rocks near the lighthouse he mans. He nurses her back to health and they initially struggle to understand each other, but they learn to get along. They seem to fall in love and they have Arthur. When some others from Atlantis come to take Attila back, she realizes they’d keep pursuing them and put her family in danger. She leaves promising one day to come back. She doesn’t return, and we’re introduced to Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) who saves a submarine from pirates including Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). Manta swears revenge as his father dies.

After Arthur performs a rescue we see him with his father, Mera (Amber Heard) approaches him warning Arthur he must come to try and claim the throne. He decides not to go with her but then the surface world is attacked by a giant wave that hurts Arthur’s father. It’s sent by Arthur’s half brother King Orm (Patrick Wilson). He partially agrees to Mera’s plan but doesn’t seem interested in finding the Trident of Atlan to prove he’s the true king of Atlantis. After things go wrong, Arthur and Mera begin a quest to find this powerful artifact lost to the ages. This is all the setup to what feels like a story from mythology.           

The movie overall has a few story lines all centered around Arthur Curry, which often can go awry in other films. Here though it just seems to weave together a more elaborate story without getting weighed down by side plots. It’s a story about King Orm, Atlantis, Arthur, the quest for the Trident of Atlan, and Manta. This movie has solid special effects, some beautiful scenery, and overall just speaks to an epic adventure. It barely feels like a super hero movie as it’s more focused on the journey than the action. It’s just a great adventure movie that you really don’t need to know much about the character or universe to enjoy. Rated PG-13.

Ryan

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

This is the third movie released in theaters of this series. Since 2010 How to Train Your Dragon has been a popular series. There have been several TV specials, direct to DVD specials, and a Netflix series with 6 seasons. It’s also based on a book series by Cressida Cowell. To say this series is popular is an understatement. While DreamWorks creates the movies, this is the first trilogy ever to have three different studios release them. Paramount released the first, 20th Century Fox released How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Universal Studios released this one.

The movie starts off set a year after the second one. The team of dragon riders such as Hiccup played by Jay Baruchel and Astrid played by America Ferrera are working as a team to stop the dragon hunters. Valka, played by Cate Blanchett, acts as a mentor to the group of the young dragon riders on these missions. The group of dragon hunters band together, sick of the riders of Berk, and hire a mercenary called Grimmel, played by F. Murray Abraham, to capture Hiccup’s dragon Toothless to help them control the other dragons as Toothless is a king of dragons. Grimmel seems to be a brutal challenge with his own subdued dragons under his command. Grimmel has killed every night fury (the type of dragon Toothless is) and is determined to hunt Toothless down. ragons. Grimmel seems to be a brutal challenge with his own subdued dragons under his command. Grimmel has killed every night fury (the type of dragon Toothless is) and is determined to hunt Toothless down.

Toothless was thought to be the only dragon of his species left. They discover a dragon that has a white coloration of a night fury. It’s a female version of his species they nickname a “light fury”. Toothless is interested in finding out more about her. After a particularly dangerous attack by Grimmel, Hiccup decides to leave Berk with the rest of the village and their dragons to take them to the legendary home of dragons his father told him about, The Hidden World. As they travel they keep encountering the Light Fury and Hiccup starts to come to terms with the fact that he’s not the only one important to Toothless anymore.

The movie had some pretty good scenes and was funny at times. It didn’t feel quite as epic as How to Train Your Dragon 2but it was still satisfying. The ending wrapped things up well even if it’s not necessarily what everyone was hoping for. The series does tell a good story between Toothless and Hiccup. I wouldn’t be surprised if DreamWorks made some more stories for this world, particularly between the movies. So, it’s bittersweet for fans but a good journey. Rated PG.

By Ryan

Introduction

Hello Everybody,

            My name is Ryan and I see a lot of movies. So, I thought I’d try to share my experiences with them. I find that movies are a very good social experience that are fun to watch with someone and talk with people about later. I make it a point to try to see a movie if it sounds interesting or has high enough reviews. Sometimes a small tidbit of information can be the difference between seeing a movie or not for me.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Wreck-It Ralph was a 2012 film that had Ralph (played by
John C. Reilly) a character from a video game struggling with the fact that he was a villain in his game. He goes on a journey to prove he’s a hero and ends up becoming friends with a girl called Vanellope (played by Sarah Silverman). After the events of that story, Ralph Breaks the Internet continues their story with Vanellope bored with her routine. Ralph tries to help her by making a new track one day and the player trying to steer the game ends up breaking the arcade game. When it seems like the game will be unplugged forever, they hear about the internet and a place where they can buy a replacement part.

The characters venture into the recently setup wifi at the arcade into the internet. They journey into the internet where they win a bidding war for their part and soon realize they need to earn money for it. They try a few ways to do so including trying to sell Shank’s car from another video game. Venellope becomes friends with Shank (played by Gal Gadot) as Shank’s racing game is much more intense than Vanellope’s. Ralph and Vanellope move on to try to use ad revenue from videos with the help of Yesss (played by Taraji P. Henson). Ralph starts making money to save the game. While advertising these videos, Vanellope even bumps into the Disney princesses at the Disney sight, with many of them voiced by their original voice actors.

Overall Ralph Breaks the Internet is cute and funny. Some parts could have gotten boring easily, but the movie keeps moving to prevent that. The movie mostly focuses on Vanellope’s journey of still feeling a bit out of place but also wanting more out of life. Ralph struggles with the idea of his friend moving onto bigger and better things. I think many people deal with this be it with family or friends. It’s really a fun movie that stays upbeat at most points. Good for watching with a family. Rated PG

By Ryan