MOVIE REVIEW: THE AVENGERS (Joss Whedon, 2012)

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I know a lot of Marvel fanboys will hate me and tell me to lighten up but 30 minutes into the movie and I was bored. Just like any ensemble movie, it took forever to provide a refresher on the characters’ back stories. Besides, it seemed like the Hulk alone could have saved the world, I’m not sure why we had to gather the entire team. Robert Downey, Jr. lit up the screen and stole all of his scenes. It made me wish they made an Iron Man sequel instead.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 4, 2012.)

MOVIE REVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (Joss Whedon, 2015)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Avengers: Age of Ultron:

1. The biggest problem with an ensemble cast of big stars (both the actors and the characters they play) is that it’s hard to give everyone equal screen time. In an attempt to pacify fans (and any bloated actor’s ego), Josh Whedon decided to pepper the screenplay with supposedly witty/funny one-liners for each character as highlights, most of them flopping with a resounding thud.

2. Sure, superhero movies should have the right dose of humor (worked for Iron Man, right?) but with or without, this one was still one big bore. We got the occasional big fight scenes to wake up the senses but there were still too many lull moments in between.

3. Obviously I’m not a huge Marvel fan (strike huge) but I’m wondering if the fanboys still liked this sequel.

4. Was Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing the same Quicksilver that was played by Evan Peters in X-Men: Days of Future Past? Why was Johnson’s version zapped of all personality?

5. When Thor hit the ground with his mighty hammer, why was everyone affected except for Captain America? Was this the reason why he felt uneasy when it was the latter’s turn to test if he could lift the said weapon?

6. Hulk had shades of Shrek in this sequel. And why don’t his pants fall off when he turns into a human again? (I know I keep asking this question but it’s not an excuse to see Ruffalo’s butt. I swear.)

7. I wished they utilized the Predator creature more. Actually, I wished that there would be a crossover movie with the Avengers vs Predator.

8. I was happy to see Hulk listening to some opera to soothe his emotions. I’ll probably try that at work next time.

9. The whole Ultron travelling in cyberspace thing gave me that Lucy/Transcendence nausea.

10. Does Stan Lee play a different character in every movie? Will we ever see all of his characters in another sequel?

11. Wait, how did Quicksilver die if he was faster than the bullets?

12. Apparently, merong forever. It’s trouble, according to Nick Fury.

13. Is this the last Avengers movie with Iron Man? Why would the most interesting character leave? The new batch doesn’t even seem likable.

14. Why do people leave as soon as the credits roll knowing that there’s always a within/post-credit sequence in every Marvel movie? And then they start blocking the view of everyone else that patiently waited for the said scene.

15. I’m so happy I watched this movie for free. Get your SM ePlus cards now!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

(Originally published May 4, 2015.)

MOVIE REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2016)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

My notes on Captain America: Civil War:

1. I had no clue who Doctor Strange was but that awesome trailer made me wish it were November already. Did I just sound like a die-hard Cumberbitch? Probably. But what really sealed the deal was Tilda Swinton looking like a cooler version of the Last Airbender.

2. Was it just me or did this actually feel like a Bond thriller (or a Bourne thriller, or any thriller for that matter)? You could have replaced the Marvel superheroes with real common people and it would still have been completely enjoyable. Sure, the climactic battle scene wouldn’t have been as fun, but my entire point was that this was a good film.

3. Everyone knows that I’m not the biggest fan of action movies, but I really enjoyed all the fight and chase scenes here (the drone shots were really impressive). The movie delivered on its trailer’s promise of an epic battle between the superheroes. I guess I was so used to Fernando Poe, Jr. movies where the bida and (lead) kontrabida have a match-up of their own while the minor characters get their own one-on-ones (with the women relegated to their own eye-scratching and hair-pulling). I really expected a bitch fight between the (balimbing) Black Widow and Scarlet Witch, but I was actually happy it didn’t happen. Each superhero was able to demonstrate his/her strengths and weaknesses by battling every other superhero from the opposing team. Definitely worth the wait.

4. I actually thought that Robert Downey, Jr. discovered the Fountain of Youth when his younger self appeared onscreen until his real more scruffy-looking (and better-looking, right?) other walked out and started discussing the wonders of BARF (was this the same machine used by Clementine to erase the traumatic memories of ex-boyfriend Joel? If you got this reference, you have great taste in films).

Also, that scene with him and Alfre Woodard made me want to start singing “Walk Like A Man” (if you still got this reference, I love you already). And, RDJ was so good in that big reveal scene. *sob*

5. I wonder how King T’Chaka’s campaign would have been if he ran for President here. He would have needed a really good manager.

6. Chris Evans looked so pale, like he stepped out of a Twilight movie. With that said, he still decimated my remaining self-esteem when he started flexing his biceps and flaunting his ripped upper torso while holding on to the runaway helicopter. No wonder Captain America only needed a shield when he already had those big guns. (Emily Thorne, you lucky girl.)

7. The proposed UN agreement regarding the need for supervision of superheroes was reminiscent of the Mutant Registration Act in the X-Men movies. One of them said it best with “If we don’t put limitations, we’re no different from the bad guys” and of course, my recently quoted “You’re wrong. You think you’re right. It makes you dangerous.” Who knew that choosing if you’re #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan would actually reflect one’s political views?

8. I know that one character mentioned it but why were Thor and Hulk really missing in action? The Incredible Hulk going head-to-head with the giant Ant-Man (Hantik Man! Har har!) would have been a real showdown. Also, I wanted to see Pepper. Please tell me she’s really pregnant. Everyone has a gimmick now, right? I hope that would be hers.

9. The movie felt like it was really made for grown-ups. It took its time (read: felt overlong) to explain everything and some might find these parts a bit dragging. I’m still a kid so yes, my mind wandered a bit during all the pseudo-philosophical discussions. It was a giant (bold) step for Marvel movies, though. (Wait, why was this a Captain America movie when it felt very much like an Avengers movie?)

10. I was amused by Peter Parker and his onesie but he will forever be Andrew Garfield to me. Also, the fall of War Machine was eerily similar to the death of Gwen Stacy.

11. Daniel Bruhl will have more screen time in the next movie, yes? Yes?

12. If I were the Winter Soldier, the key words that would trigger my inner rage would be: SIR. WALA. PONG. BREAST. PART.

What would be yours?

Rating: ★★★★☆