Avengers: Endgame Review

It’s time to look at Endgame. This is the big Marvel film to end the first era so it’s definitely a movie where you wanted to be careful to dodge spoilers. I definitely think it’ll be awful tough for those who are not seeing it in the first week, (especially since even football players are tweeting spoilers) but I suppose if you stay offline you’ve got a decent chance. It’s a very good film while at the same time being a very disappointing one. Infinity War was at the pinnacle of the MCU as it built off of all the old films and turned it into one of the biggest MCU crossovers. Endgame doesn’t make the most of the opportunities it was given.

The basic plot of Endgame picks up where Infinity War left off. Thanos won and showed the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. Now the heroes want to try and undo the damage that he has done, but it won’t be easy and most of them are out of hope. It may be up to Ant-Man to finally give the heroes a fighting chance. He may not be the First Avenger or the Mightiest Avenger, but he’s got one thing that the rest don’t, Hope.

Lets preface this review by remembering that Endgame is one of those rare films that has characters from a bunch of different titles. It would be extremely difficult to make this a bad film which is partially why it’s disappointing. No matter what this was going to be a really fun film with the Avengers finally getting to interact again as a team and all of the other characters running around. As expected the writing is pretty strong here. There’s a lot of good banter between the characters and the dialogue is strong. The characters are mostly all in character and the jokes forced the way that they were in Age of Ultron.

The humor is mainly on point so you’ll be grinning for most of the film. Ant-Man definitely gets most of the stand out scenes both when it comes to humor and just in general. He’s surprisingly my favorite character in the film by quite a bit. He steals pretty much every scene he is in which isn’t easy. He does a good job of reminding the heroes of their roots and isn’t really caught up in the crazy cosmic shenanigans. This allows him to really get a good hold on the situation.

The first scenes of the film are still really epic as you’d expect. These are the parts that are captured in the trailers and was teased at in the end of Captain Marvel. It’s also certainly one of the best scenes in the film. I always like to see Captain Marvel’s confidence and considering her power set it isn’t as if she hasn’t earned it. The films have made it abundantly clear that she is the strongest Avenger. While her screen time is extremely limited she does spend most of it outshining everyone else.

We don’t have any new stand out tunes here, but we do get quite a few of the old songs. The classic Avengers theme pops up numerous times and they also got the old Guardians of the Galaxy song I believe. I think there were a few other retro tunes as well. They all certainly work well in their respective scenes. As always the special effects do not disappoint either. The final battle is definitely amazingly well done and does a good job at making it feel like the largest scale battle in the series. It’s definitely one of the best climaxes in the series even if I may not put it as literal #1. (That’s definitely Infinity War) Again, there’s almost nothing I can say about the climax, but it’s certainly excellent with a lot happening, but good camera work so you’re never having a tough time seeing what you’re supposed to.

Now for what went wrong with the film, well a big part is certainly how Thor was handled. I can’t really go into it without hitting the spoiler territory, but he is actually used as a main source of comedy here. Thor has shown that he is quite adept at good humor in his banter like in Ragnarok, but that’s different from actually being a comic relief character. This film takes him the opposite way. If you liked Thor in any of the films prior to this one there is a good chance that this can take you out of the movie entirely. It’s terrible what they did to him and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it did ruin a good portion of the experience. His scenes were still funny and he kept the banter, but the cost for the jokes was way too high. I dare say that this character arc would have made more sense for the Hulk.

I think fans of Ironman, Captain America, and Hulk will be pleased though. While Hulk doesn’t get as much action as you’d like, he has a reasonable end to his character arc. Both Ironman and Captain America get a lot of stand out scenes as well. Hawkeye’s more than a bit iffy though. I wouldn’t say he looked particularly good here, but Black Widow certainly did so on the whole most of the original members looked solid. Thanos doesn’t get as big a role here as he got in Infinity War for obvious reasons, but he still makes his presence felt.

Overall, Endgame was a lot of fun and this score is definitely a bit harsh. It’s got the quality of an 8, but it just made so many wrong moves that I wouldn’t even want to re-watch it too soon while with the other films I was ready to re-watch it almost immediately. I think it’s the kind of film that I’ll enjoy more over time with re-watches and such, but then again maybe not. I can’t think of a time where a film had such an easy set-up which would be an instant 9 and then threw it away like this one. Endgame sacrifices character development and plot for easy laughs. Its replay value will be considerably lower than the other titles as a result. It’s just not a particularly satisfying conclusion in a lot of ways. I’m keeping this review spoiler free so there’s a whole lot that I couldn’t touch on here hence the short length. I’ve decided to follow up with a spoiler review which will come out within the next few days. It’s the first time I’ll have what is effectively a double review for a film, but I think this is so far the one exception because of how much the marketing kept away. I don’t want to ruin any suspense for those who have not seen it and my spoiler review will be very well tagged so you won’t get spoiled by accident. I certainly still do recommend you check this film out for yourself. There’s a really good chance you’ll like/love the movie, it’ll all just ride on whether or not you like how this all played out. I can definitely see the film being divisive but at the end of the day between Infinity War and Endgame I don’t expect we’ll ever see another comic book crossover quite this large on the big screen. (Not so much in terms of characters, but with significance and the 10+ year build up)

Overall 7/10

Captain Marvel Review

It’s time to look at Marvel’s latest installment in their expansive MCU franchise. Thanks to an early screening my brother got tickets to I was able to see this film a few days before it came out. It’s definitely a solid film that delivers on all fronts. It has all the classic MCU trends for success; strong dialogue, solid action, and quick pacing. The film doesn’t slow down the tempo and by the end you’ll be satisfied.

The film starts off with an early mission with Carol and the other Kree operatives. It’s a classic extraction mission as they need to get one of their agents out of a hostile environment. The situation does not go as expected and deteriorates quickly. Carol now finds herself on Earth and must confront memories that have haunted her recently. Are the Kree keeping secrets from her? Whether she likes the answers or not, Carol knows that she has to seek them out.

There’s naturally a lot more to the plot than that, but that’s a pretty general description so you won’t have anything spoiled. This is an early review so I’ll be even more careful than usual to avoid spoilers. Now, there is a general feeling among many reviewers that it’s bad to be predictable. A feeling where if you know exactly what’s going to happen in a film then it did something wrong. I don’t agree with that. Captain Marvel isn’t particularly subtle. All of the twists and turns are very predictable and you’ll always know what’s going to happen next. You’ll know which characters are the villains and which ones are the heroes. As Carol tries to figure out her past you’ll end up figuring it out first. To call it the most predictable superhero film may be pushing it, but there aren’t any surprises here, at least when it comes to twists. That’s likely due to a mix of the MCU formula telling you what to expect and general context clues.

I’d argue that this isn’t a bad thing though. What’s important is the execution. As long as the film does a good job of getting to its goal then knowing where it’s going isn’t a bad thing and that’s what the film does well. It’s always a fun adventure. This is thanks in no small part to Carol herself. She holds the film quite well as a lead. I buy into her tough persona a lot more than previous heroines like Black Widow and Gamora. I’ve always liked characters who are fairly aggressive and Carol here is like Hal Jordan or Wonder Woman. Nobody’s going to push her around and anyone who tries eats a photon blast. Captain Marvel is consistently defiant throughout and that’s always a good thing. She’s a lot smarter than other leads as well in a practical sense as she doesn’t fall for an obvious trap near the end of the film that I think many others would have. I look forward to seeing her in End Game. The only concern naturally is how powerful Captain Marvel is. She’s closer to fighters like Superman and Supergirl than someone like the Hulk. It’s easy to see her quickly taking down someone like Thanos here. I think the writers are going to have to be extremely cautious with how her character is portrayed going forward. It’d be pretty annoying to see her nerfed or losing a fight for no real reason.

Another plus for the film is the writing. MCU films are always a action/comedy blend which aim for a 50-50 split. The top notch films like Infinity War, Avengers, Winter Soldier, etc have a good blend. It’s the case for most of them to be honest as the franchise has been consistently great. The only exceptions have been films like Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which were on the weaker side. This one is a great example of how to do it right. There’s a lot of solid banter throughout and quality jokes. The humor scenes are funny though and aren’t forced. They also don’t take away from the fights. The heroes aren’t joking during battles, they take the stakes seriously and only joke before/afterwards.

This also contributes to the film’s quick pacing. It has quite a bit of replay value here since no act drags on. The film’s always moving and that’s always important. A film shouldn’t just be good the first time around, you should be able to re-watch a movie and still enjoy it. That won’t be a problem with this one. The action scenes are solid and the film’s rapid humor style ensures there isn’t a large build up before the jokes that would be harder to sit through if you already know the punchline.

I’d say that the effects look solid as well. They certainly aren’t for everyone as the higher-tier the fighters get the more obvious the effects become. It’s why people didn’t like Man of Steel’s effects despite being incredible. The colors are flashy here and the suits look good. Captain Marvel’s costume is incredibly accurate to the comics and stands out. The action scenes great and seeing Marvel fly through space blasting away at enemies is really cool.

Naturally there is an after credits scene here so be sure to stick around. It’s definitely one of the better ones. I always particularly enjoy when these scenes further the plot along. It’s one of the more direct continuations though so I’m wondering if they’re going to have to show this in the actual End Game film as well or not. I’d appreciate the boldness of not doing such a thing of course as at this point you should be able to stick around for an extra minute or two to see what scene is at the end. I can understand skipping the more comedic ones of course, but since you don’t know which scene it’ll be you just have to test your luck.

Of course the supporting cast here is solid as well. Nick Fury’s always been a fun character and it’s nice to have a younger version of him running around. He gets a pretty big focus here and is certainly right in the middle of many of the events here. He’s always quick on his feet and supports Carol pretty well despite having no powers. Coulson also shows up here although it’s more of a guest appearance than anything. He doesn’t do anything particularly big, but it’s always nice to see him around. There’s also Goose, the cat from the trailers. He’s naturally a lot of fun and I’m always up for having animal show up so long as nothing bad happens to them.

Then we have the Kree operatives. Yon-Rogg makes for a very capable commander. He’s a solid combatant and always thinks strategically. I definitely thought he was a good character. There’s also the sniper Minn-Erva who is pretty ruthless. You can quickly understand her character which speaks to the writing. She doesn’t get many scenes but definitely ends up being one of the most compelling Kree members. The rest of them don’t make much of an impact. Meanwhile for the Skrull there is really only one major member. He’s decent, but not nearly as interesting as the Kree.

I like how the Supreme Intelligence was shown here. It’s definitely a tough character to adapt and the way it was handled here makes a lot of sense. They also gave it a good amount of character even if you wonder how much of it is genuine. It’s definitely pretty cool. If Captain Marvel gets a sequel then I definitely see it getting more of a role. Of course, I would definitely have some serious questions about its appearance. You will have some questions by the end as this film takes place in the 90s as advertised. A lot has happened since then after all.

The film has a lot of inspirational moments as expected. Between the standout visuals and the music there are definitely a lot of memorable moments here. While the 90’s music may not pop the same way that the first Guardians did, the tunes are good. I liked the song that plays during one of the final fights. It was really unexpected, but that partially plays into why it was so successful. There’s a lot of quality choreography during the fights as well. These villains don’t go down so they just keep re-entering the fight. Makes for an extended climax which is always good.

Overall, Captain Marvel is definitely a great film. I really had no complaints with it. It managed to succeed in all categories. Putting aside the crossover films it’s definitely one of the MCU’s best titles. If we don’t count sequels it’s certainly in the top 5 debut titles for a hero. I definitely recommend checking this film out in theaters. It’s also the kind of film that certainly benefits from a big screen so you can really take in the epic visuals. It’s always tough to continue making solid film after film so Marvel definitely deserves a lot of credit for that. Now the wait begins for End Game. The trailers have been pretty lackluster for that one, but it is nice that Marvel’s trying to keep the film pretty hidden. They did a good job of that for Infinity War as well as I managed to duck all of the TV spots. I’m definitely expecting a lot of fights for End Game.

Overall 8/10

Avenging Spider Man The Good The Green and the Ugly Review

Looks like it’s time to review one of the volumes in the Avenging Spider Man series. I’ve read many Spider Man comics and I’ve heard about how they have gone downhill recently. A solid team up series is a good way to gauge how good they were from this point in time compared to the old days. The writing is pretty bad, but the art is good and we get some action scenes so it’s definitely a mixed bag. That being said, this is certainly a good comic to check out, even if Spider Man’s portrayal is not great.

This collects a few Spider Man team ups so each adventure really has to stand up on its own. First, we get a comic with She Hulk. Spider Man decides to help her fight some villains for no reason in particular. It appears that he’s just bored so he tails her to a party that he wasn’t invited too. One thing leads to another and some villains appear. They unleash a Cat god who now wants She Hulk to be her herald. Let’s hope that Spider Man is up to the task!

It’s a decent comic I suppose, but Spider Man definitely looked pretty desperate here. He just wanted to follow She Hulk around no matter what, which was pretty out of character for him. The writing in this issue was the main reason why I disliked it in the collection. Some of the lines would give me a headache although I did read it pretty early in the morning. They just didn’t make sense or maybe it was the way that the font was set up. As far as team ups go, Spider Man can do better.

The next pair of issues revolved around a team up with Captain Marvel. (I prefer the old title) Spiderman and Captain Marvel are trying to bond by exchanging secrets when a mysterious girl appears. She is being chased by robots/the government. She claims to be Robyn Hood and she seems to be insane. Spider Man decides to handle her while Ms Marvel takes on the robots. The mysterious girl has some dark secrets that rapidly change the situation.

This comic was better, but it still suffered from its share of problems. Spider Man doesn’t look too good since he’s in total panic mode the entire time and he cops out on his secret. Captain Marvel says hers and then Spider Man avoids the question until the very end. The writers seemed to be unsure of what to have him say so it’s naturally not on screen. The villains were fairly generic and they didn’t offer much to the story. Robyn Hood was an interesting character I suppose and it’ll be interesting to see if she ever appears again. There wasn’t a lot of action here though.

The final comic definitely had the most fighting and Spider Man got to finally team up with Deadpool. This is certainly a duo that we’ve been wanting to see for some time. Deadpool lets Spiderman know that a telepath is trying to get into his head so they are 4 levels down in his dreams. They have to beat the boss at the end of each level to rise higher and higher until Spider Man is fully conscious. That shouldn’t be too bad, but can Deadpool really help Spider Man wake up or will he just make the situation worse.

This comic was probably the most fun one in the batch. Seeing Deadpool without his mask can still be nauseating though so I wish that he would keep it on. Some of the lines can definitely be a little unsavory or just gross as you may expect from an issue with Deadpool in it. That hurts the overall issue a little, but it still manages to be the best in the batch.

The artwork is pretty decent although it’s definitely not very good. It feels like a TV show tie in comic so the quality is just very low. They were probably able to make this comic really quick and the effort just doesn’t seem to be there. It’s easy to read and you can easily tell who everyone is, but the animation definitely won’t be causing you to take a step back in disbelief. It’s not the greatest, but it doesn’t hamper the story.

As I mentioned, Spider Man doesn’t look very good. He still jokes around a lot, which can be good, but he doesn’t do anything to dispel the rumors that he is pretty weak in the newer comics. She Hulk intimidates him a lot and he doesn’t handle the Robyn Hood situation well at all. He looks pretty good in the Deadpool team up, but it’s not really enough to save his character. Finding the right mix of strength and jokes can be tough and this author couldn’t pull it off.

She Hulk actually looked pretty terrible in her issue. She goes off the handle very quickly and she seriously overreacts when she grows a tail. She yells exclamations more than once, which doesn’t seem to be in character and she’s just not likable at all. I don’t know how she can keep her job as a lawyer after this case is all over. She wasn’t apologetic about wrecking the party.

Captain Marvel looks good in her issue even if she isn’t able to fight all that much. Her strength isn’t diminished, but there just aren’t many opportunities for her. She gets to talk tough to one of the robots though and she’s clearly stronger than the rest of them, but there was not an opportunity to take the villains down. They were protected legally after all. Captain Marvel just didn’t get a lot of character though, but that still beats She Hulk.

Deadpool was true to form and that’s always good to see. He’s still on top of things and he has an answer to everything. You can never tell what he will do next and he never lets an enemy try to pull the wool over his eyes. When the terms of his deal change, Deadpool doesn’t accept that and quickly gets down to business. He’s still a villain despite how sympathetic he can be at times, but at least he helps out for the money once in a while. Agreeing to get stabbed as part of the heroes’ plan was pretty nice of him since it was a bit much to ask for.

Robyn Hood was pretty insane and the writers didn’t seem to know what to do with her, but she was an interesting villain. She definitely needs more character if she’s intends to stay interesting for future issues, but she did all right for her first appearance. I definitely liked her more than the hypnotist from the final issue. It’s impressive that he did so well in the fight against Spider Man, but that was mainly due to a lot of external factors. His ability is definitely a great one and it will be fun to see him appear again some day. Depending on the writer, he could probably be a lot of fun. As for the cat god, I’m definitely not a fan.

This review probably seems more negative than a lot of Spider Man’s other comics from the past and a good reason for that is the simple fact that it isn’t quite as good as the norm. The writing just isn’t good and the art is sub par. Some of the characters just don’t look as good as they should and the collection is really light on action. That being said, it still earns a positive rating on the fun factor. It’s still pretty fun to read and while it may not seem that great in retrospect, you’ll be blasting through the pages. There are no real stakes here, but seeing what the heroes do on their downtime can be fun as well. The action scenes that we do get also have some potential to be better if not for the factors that were previously mentioned.

Overall, Avenging Spider Man is a pretty good idea, but Marvel fumbled a little in the execution. With a proper amount of hard work and a good staff behind it, this could have been the next Brave and the Bold. As it stands, it’s still a decent comic to check out if you want to see Spider Man team up with some of the heroes in a nice throwback to the old days. This certainly won’t make you a big Spider Man fan so take his portrayal with a grain of salt. I recommend this to all superhero fans who just want to see them fighting and having fun, but a Spider Man comic that you would prefer is his “Cosmic Spider Man” trade paperback.

Overall 6/10

Drax The Destroyer vs Captain Marvel

This is definitely a tricky match. I do think that Captain Marvel is one of the stronger fighters in the Marvel Universe and he can match all of Drax’s abilities. That basically means that it will be down to can out muscle the other guy. Either physically or with their energy blasts. I think I’m leaning towards Captain Marvel here thanks to his speed, but it’s definitely a very close bout. Captain Marvel wins.

Captain Marvel vs Ramrod

Ramrod may be pretty powerful in terms of physical strength, but that won’t be enough to stop Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel can fly and I would still go for him if this was a boxing match. He’s no pushover in the power department either and his durability is much greater. Ramrod is just outmatched and he drops down the blog ranks with this loss. Captain Marvel wins.

Captain Marvel vs Captain America

Captain Marvel is pretty tough and I’d say that he wins this round easy enough. Captain America is a tough guy when he wants to be, and he can really throw that shield around. Still…it may not be enough to take on the mighty Captain Marvel! Captain Marvel wins.

Captain Marvel vs Thor

Captain Marvel is an extremely powerful fighter and is a lot stronger than one would suspect! His energy blasts are intense and his speed is good as well. Thor has his incredibly powerful hammer, but I fear that it won’t be enough to win this time. Thor takes a loss. Captain Marvel wins.

Ocean Master vs Captain Marvel

Ocean Master is a pretty calm and collected character! Of course he lacks the power and speed that Captain Marvel has! Captain Marvel can do some pretty massive damage with just a single punch! Not too mention that his speed would be far too much for Ocean Master. Captain Marvel wins.