Snarky!Saturday to you, Cinefreaks 🙂
I’ve been promising a massive!movie post about all the comic flicks to hit the silver screen over this past summer and I think I’ve finally gotten it all hammered out (badum-bum!) enough to feel like presenting it to you.
Keep in mind, this is just OUR take on the ones we’ve seen (and that’s pretty much most of them) and your mileage may, in fact, vary. To keep things relatively simple, I’m going to just cover the Marvel/DC offerings, and leave out the other ones (like Transformers…) so I don’t end up muddying the waters.
SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO!
Marvel movies absolutely dominated the theaters this summer, and like practically anything Marvel decides to put its paws on, they were all worthy of your hard-earned money. If there’s one thing that the company does well, it’s movie making, and this summer was no exception:
Kicking off the Marvel lineup was one of MY most anticipated movie events of the season. I will admit a little initial skepticism regarding the casting of Chris Hemsworth (which was immediately wiped out the second I saw what he’d done to his physique for the role) and Natalie Portman, but with Kenneth Branagh helming and Anthony Hopkins stepping up as Daddy!Odin, I quickly found myself desperately wanting to see what would happen.
And, for US at least, it didn’t disappoint.
Chris Hemsworth was phenomenal as our arrogant, charming, drool-worthy Emo!Thor, Sir Hopkins portrayed Daddy!Odin with amazing acuity, and lest I forget, Tom Hiddleston absolutely ROCKED as Misunderstood!Loki. In fact, the only cast member who didn’t do anything for me was Harlot!Jane, and it had less to do with Natalie Portman being a great actress (because she totally is) than it did with my not really being able to believe Jane as an astrophysicist.
The story split the movie between Asgard and Midgard, with major goings on happening in both. Destroyer was an interesting addition to the baddie line up, as was Ymir, and I found myself gleefully squee about Sexay!Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Voluminous!Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), and Hardassed!Heimdall (Idris Elba) all playing their parts to the hilt.
The humor was just the right amount of cheese and snark without overdoing it, and the melodrama wasn’t enough to make me roll my eyes with distaste. Two very very good things. Case in point:
Overall, the story line, while weak in some areas, absolutely blew my socks off in others, and I walked away (after that closing clip) insanely excited about the rest of the Avengers lineup.
X-Men: First Class
I’m going to admit up front that I have never been an X-Men fan. That’s not to say that I’m not familiar with the cast o’ characters (most of them anyway), it’s just that I’ve never sat down and read through an entire story arc for them. My exposure has been mostly bits and pieces, with a majority of it being filled in by Dragon (who IS a fan, btw).
This reboot/reimagining/re-somethingorother of the franchise is both good…and bad.
On the good side: AMAZING performances by James McAvoy (Xavier), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), and Kevin Bacon (Sebastian Shaw). Those three literally stole the show every time they were on stage. It was fascinating to see Charles Xavier portrayed as the charming, cocky young phenom juxtaposed with Eric Lehnsherr’s Bond-esque badass. Their friendship and mutual admiration put to the test by Sebastian’s shenanigans made this movie memorable in at least that respect.
On the bad side: The movie just felt rushed. There were plot holes all over the place, and so many instances where the story could’ve been more effectively developed. I honestly did not like many of the supporting characters (Banshee and Havok excepted) and, had I not had Dragon to fill me in on a few things, I would’ve felt quite lost.
Favorite moment? This one:
The release of Captain America marked the end of the Marvel movie mayhem this summer, and was, perhaps, one of the most anticipated releases so far (not counting the Avengers next year).
This is another movie that I went into knowing very little about the character beyond the super soldier serum, the unbreakable shield, Bucky, Red Skull, WWII and Nazis.
And that, right there above, is pretty much the entirety of the movie too. But do NOT think, for a second, that it isn’t one of the best movies to hit the screen all summer.
Much like Thor, this movie was responsible for introducing us to the last character (or the first, depending on which way you look at it) to need introducing on the Avengers team for the movie next summer. The one that supposedly started it all (even though, I thought Tony Stark was responsible for that).
In any event, this flick may have started out a little slow, but it gained momentum as it went. Chris Evans looked damned good as Captain America (both with and without his shirt), Hugo Weaving was utterly brilliant as Red Skull, and Tommy Lee Jones stole my heart as Colonel Chester Phillips. The supporting cast did a fine job of backing up the trio, and I felt completely introduced to just who each character was.
Particularly in the case of Steve Rogers. As I said earlier, I knew very little about him, and certainly didn’t expect to find myself utterly wrapped up in his story. I don’t know of many other characters within the Marvel universe who are as patriotically inspiring. Seriously. This guy made me want to stand up and be all “Yayz America!”, which is no mean feat. He is truly one of the good guys.
One of my favorite scenes:
Oh, DC. You know how much I adore you. Even after the announcement of the universe reboot event, I still am drawn to you. There was only one big DC movie this year, and I thought it was a solid effort. Everyone is waiting for The Dark Knight Rises, and I totally get that, so DC wanted to introduce another hero in the meantime.
The exposure I’ve had to Hal Jordan and his Green Lanterns has all been through DCUO and the few times he’s popped up in the Batman comics. I know quite a few dedicated fanboys out there who adore all things GL, and I agree that the corps seems pretty badass all on their own.
I am a rabid fangirl when it comes to Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan) and Mark Strong (Sinestro), and do NOT get me started on the awesomeness of Michael Clarke Duncan (Kilowog) and Geoffrey Rush (Tomar-Re). Everyone else in the movie was rather…”meh” to me, but that’s not their fault, really. I blame the movie.
Now, let me say this: The movie was good. I enjoyed the movie. There were great scenes with amazing CGI, intense fight scenes, and a bunch of emo tossed in for good measure. It was a decent movie, with an engaging plot and very visually stunning.
But it fell flat if you were like 99% of the rest of the people who went to see the film expecting it to be some grand epic movie experience. I chose not to pick it apart and enjoy it for what it was.
Visually, the movie was incredible. If they had just done away with most of the plot taking place on earth and focused on Oa instead…I think people would’ve enjoyed it more. However, I understand that many people going to see the flick were like me, uninitiated into the world of GL, so a little bit of background/backstory was necessary.
The story had plot holes and weaknesses, and I hated the baddie (and not because he was a good baddie, either), but it was, if nothing else, entertaining.
As I said at the outset, your mileage may vary, but we actually enjoyed all four of these movies, even with their flaws. 😉
So what did YOU think, cinephiles?
~Go Team MOVIE-SIGN!