Saturday, August 26, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) (Movie Review)

     When I was a little child I was crazy about having my parents read me fantasy based stories. I couldn’t get enough of really classic fables or fairytales, and the first thing that always drew me to them was the titles. Strait to the point with today’s movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a very colorful title and harkens back to classic fantasies that seemed to sum up the whole story at once. Of course this 2016 fantasy adventure is also set in the “Harry Potter” film universe, which I’m a devoted fan of. I’ll admit, after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” wrapped-up the journey of our hero’s, I felt very satisfied and done with the series. It didn’t need anything else, Harry Potter’s story had a perfect beginning, middle, end and I just didn’t find myself that excited for a spin-off movie set in this universe. Well, I sat down, gave it a watch, and it turned out to be an unremarkable but mostly welcome add on to the series. It really builds on the mythology of the universe, explores places never seen before, and honestly ... it brings back the “MAGIC” that I found lacking in the later HP films. Now I loved this series almost consistently but even at their best, the later films just lacked that same magic touch. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” while far from perfect at least brings back the colors, the other worldly atmosphere, and it made me want to explore their wizard world.   

      Set several years before the birth of Harry Potter, the magical community is currently in a state of distress as sinister forces are at large, and hiding secretly in the human world. While most magical authorities are trying to root out these threats, a visiting wizard from England arrives in New York with a very special suit-case. Soon upon arriving, the visiting wizard gets his suit-case accidently switched with a mortal’s identical looking case, and that becomes the start of a lot of problems. Turns out that the case contained several magical creatures that the wizard aimed on returning to their proper homes in America. Well, thanks to this switch of suit-cases the creatures have been unleashed in New York where they run amok. To make matters worse, those other evil forces are causing chaos and using the newly escaped beasts as scapegoats for their actions. Now our visiting wizard must join forces with a female wizard detective to track down all the magic beasts, root out the evil wizards, and the mortal who initially opened the case also gets himself roped in for the adventure. The simplicity of this premise is both a strength and weakness, as it works for an exciting mini-adventure in a larger universe, but it doesn’t leave much of an impression either.

     The concept is actually very similar to an old cartoon show titled “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”, in which several mystical creatures are accidently set loose and need to be put back in their magic box. It’s a set-up that lends itself to many creative possibilities, and it dose fit within the borders of the established Harry Potter universe. The setting of New York also gives us a unique look at how the wizarding world operates in America as opposed to Britain. This helps give the movie its own atmosphere and I love all the details of this universe never explored before. There’s a shady magic pub hidden behind a painting, which reminds me of the alien saloon from “Star Wars”, just with a fantasy makeover. My favorite addition of all is when our hero’s actually enter the magic suit case and discover a whole world within where all the magic beasts thrive. 

The concept of another magical universe inside of a tiny suit-case is sensational, and something we’ve never experienced from any of the previous HP films. The suit case world also has its own magical dream-like atmosphere and visually it’s stunning to behold. In general, the special effects on display are a mixed blessing. I love the set designs, and the overall visual layout is great, but I found the creature effects to be very mediocre. For all the unique creature designs, they just look like cartoons that only exist in a computer. Take for example the winged Hippogriff named Buckbeak from the earlier HP movies, I knew it wasn’t really there with the cast, but it never felt like a special effect, it honestly felt like a real living creature. The beasts in this film by contrast just don’t have the same genuine feel, and I never got the impression that the characters were really interacting with them.  

     Speaking of characters, this is one of the films bigger set-backs when compared to the other HP movies. The characters from the original films are so iconic, memorable and even the smallest side character could stand out. While the cast in this film is clearing giving it their all, and are even likable on some level, they just can’t leave an impact of any kind. I do love the setup of a mortal person going on an adventure with two wizards from opposite sides of the world, and there is even some real chemistry between them. I also like the inclusion of this one female wizard telepath who can’t always control her talents. While she can be annoying at times she also adds something new to the series that we’ve never seen before. With all that said, this is still an average group of characters at best, and I really can’t even remember any of their names. Also part of the appeal from the other films was seeing kids and teenagers going on these larger than life adventures. Putting childish adults in these situations just lacks the same charming touch.  

      My biggest issue with this movie by far is that both the tone and the simplicity of the story aren’t always consistent. Half the time the movie is just trying to be this funny little adventure with these characters chasing down these magical creatures. The other half gets kind of dark and ugly as there’s a subplot revolving around these disturbed kids and their hidden secrets which this bad guy is trying to exploit. It’s so tonally jarring to go from silly shenanigans with cartoon monsters to something that’s trying to be a slightly dark entry in Harry Potter lore. Once we get to the climax, the movie no longer has anything to do with the magical beasts that the film is named after. It’s all about our hero reaching out to this cursed child while also fighting off an evil wizard, and it’s very distant from what the film started as. There’s also pointless set-up’s for other potential spin-off movies that have nothing to do with this film. Then there's random appearances from talented actors like Jon Voight and Johnny Depp who again are just there to hint at other potential films. 

    In the end, I really think this film would have worked better as a standalone movie that wasn’t bound to the Harry Potter universe. The overall simplicity of the story is perfect for a standalone fantasy film, but being tied-in to a classic series like Harry Potter measures you to a high standard where it needs to give me more than simple derivative entertainment. Yes, this film brought back the magic touch I felt lacking in later films, but it didn’t give me much beyond that. It didn’t tell me anything I wanted to know, and to be honest, I don’t think it will hold up for repeated viewings. I watched it once and enjoyed it, then I watched it a second time and found it kind of lacking. This is one of those harmless rentals but it’s not something that left impression either. While not the most persuasive reason to start a new cinematic Harry Potter film universe, it still had its merits and a fine piece of magical entertainment. If you’re curious you’ll get your fill of magic and fun. You Just need to be in the right mind-set for a film of this sort and don’t raise your expectations to the same high Harry Potter standards. My advice, don’t think of this as a Harry Potter movie but more along the lines of the lighthearted fun and magic of “Bed knobs and Broom Sticks”. Certainly not on par with the original Harry Potter, but very magical in its own right, and I’m genuinely intrigued to see where the series will go from here. 

I give “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” 2 ½ stars out of 5.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Game of Thrones: My 10 Favorite Battles

In all my experiences watching TV, and can’t even think of another series that’s felt grander or more cinematic then the HBO series “Game of Thrones”. Despite some controversial content, this is honestly one of my all time favorite shows, largely thanks to its compelling characters, captivating story, complex themes and a large scope that rivals any other network program. Seriously, just about every episode looks and feels like something grand that belongs on the big screen, and no-where is that more obvious then with this shows epic battle scenes. With season seven over and one final season on the way, this feels like the right time to count down my personal top 10 favorite battle scenes thus far from the acclaimed “Game of Thrones” series.

#10 Young Ned Stark vs. Arthur Dayne from “Oathbreaker” (Season 6 – Ep.3) 

Season 6 featured many flashbacks that helped provide us fans with some much needed answers. A personal highlight of mine is seeing a young Ned Stark (before he was played by Sean Bean) in one heck of a cool sword fight. Most of the battles on my countdown are fairly large in scale, but this is a special exception in which it's a small scale fight with only a hand full of people. The sword fighting choreography on display is great, and when the match concludes it puts a new light on Ned Stark’s character. It's intense, and it also works as a prelude for the surprises to come.   

#9 Surprise attack from Euron’s fleet from “Stormborn” (Season 7 – Ep. 2) 

In what was intent to be a good move of strategic planning, Yara’s fleet of boats have set sail, but are suddenly attacked by her evil uncle Euron. This is perhaps the most exciting action scene to be featured in the second episode of a season, and it just closed things with a bang. It’s also a rare treat to see a ship-to-ship confrontation in this show, and while it definitely brings to mind “Pirates of the Caribbean”, it features just enough cracking action without being as over the top as those movies always got.

#8 Brienne of Tarth vs The Hound from “The Children” (Season 4 – Ep. 10) 

There’s plenty memorable one on one duals in “Game of Thrones”, but the one I always found the most memorable and brutal is in the season four finally when Brienne of Tarth fights The Hound for custody of Princess Arya Stark. Not only are both skilled warriors, they’re also both two towering giants with almost matched strength and mass. Kind of the show in a nutshell is how it gets us to cheer for both sides, and it’s especially challenging to decide who to root for between these two fan favorite characters. I also love the fighting variety on display during this dual, as it starts off almost playful with strait up sword fighting, and then things take a sudden left turn with brutally tense fist fighting. It’s a satisfying clash between two great characters, and it ends on a nail biting note.  

#7 Nightwalkers attack Hardhome from “Hardhome” (Season 5 – Ep. 8) 

The malevolent army of frozen zombies called Nightwalkers had been built up big time for the first four seasons of the show. Now at last in this deeply thrilling attack near the tail end of the fifth season, we see just how lethal, frightening and unstoppable this army of the dead truly is. As these magic zombies launch their surprise attack on the base camp of Hardhome, we get a perfect blend of horror movie thrills and spectacular blockbuster action. John Snow is personal one of my favorite characters in the show, and it's here we see both his heroism and skill at work as he fights off the invading beasts. He even manages to slay one of the zombies, which is no small accomplishment. This was one of the more terrifying battles of the show, but it also delivered a powerful, game-changing payoff as John Snow meets the Night King and for the first time realizes who his real adversary is in this war. 

#6 The Battle of the Bastards from “Battle of the Bastards” (Season 6 – Ep. 9)

The penultimate episode of every season usually delivers the best action, and here’s the one that’s described by fans as the greatest battle sequence in the shows history. John Snow makes it on my list again, this time he’s leading an army to liberate his home from the clutches of the Bolton’s and their wicked ruler Ramsay. The set-up for this confrontation couldn’t be better as two half-sons fight for what they believe to be their rightful homes. Not only is the fight itself stunning to behold, but it’s also one of the shows most intense and brutal battles. We have piles of bodies relentlessly being built up, claustrophobic battle field atmosphere, white knuckled fist fighting, and our hero’s are constantly at tense odds. We also have one of the shows best hero’s fighting against one of the most despised villains, and it all ends with some savagely satisfying vengeance to boot.

#5 The Battle of Blackwater Bay from “Blackwater” (Season 2 – Ep. 9) 

While the show had featured some decent action, this was the epic battle that established once and for all the sheer scope, cinematic quality and thrilling tour de force that is “Game of Thrones”. When a massive fleet invades Kings Landing, our favorite dwarf Tyrion Lannister finally shows what he’s made of and rallies the men to defend his home Kingdome. We see a magical weapon called “Wildfire” used to even the odds, sinking several ships, and that’s just the beginning. What follows is one of the most spectacular battle sequences ever featured on television, but it’s also boasted with an equal amount of powerful drama. Seeing Tyrion bravely defend his home and get nothing for it in return made me respect his character all the more, and highlights just how cruel this world can be. 

#4 The Fighting Pit Massacre of Meereen from “The Dance of the Dragons” (Season 5 – Ep.9) 

When Queen Daenerys Stormborn frees the slaves of Meereen, she finds that her actions make dangerous new enemies. The most terrifying of her foes being the mysterious masked killers called the Sons of the Harpy. While viewing a tournament, her coliseum is suddenly invaded by a small army of Harpies, who are intent on slaying her and all her allies. This is a deeply thrilling seen that puts our hero’s at odds, and had me biting my nails wondering how they’d escape. Fortunately, just when all seemed lost, the queens loyal Dragon named Drogon returns and battles the Sons of the Harpy in a fiery spectacle. While we’d seen her dragons many times throughout the show, this was the first full on battle in which we see a dragon in action against lethal foes. Despite being a fire breathing dragon, it’s still an intense battle as the Harpies manage to wound Drogon. Thankfully both Drogon and our favorite heroine escape the coliseum, marking this the first time we see Danny flying on the back of her dragon and just a plain unforgettable moment.

#3 The Night’s Watch vs. The Wildlings from “The Watchers on the Wall” (Season 4 – Ep.9) 

This really is one of the shows most sensational battles because the whole episode is an hour long action packed siege. Castle black is invaded by the free folk from the other side of the wall, who’ve come in greater numbers than anticipated and have freaking giants and mammoths on their side. After four seasons, it was a real treat to finally see a battle featuring actual fantasy creatures like Giants and so forth. Now obviously I’ve praised this show for feeling more cinematic then most other programs, and this battle truly features some of the shows most cinema-worthy visuals. Despite all that, this all-night castle siege ranks higher for me because it’s the first to feature John Snow as the main focus. As he fights to protect his castle he finds himself on opposing sides with his lover Ygritte, who’s leading the rebellion of free folk. When the dust clears, the battle ends on one of the shows most tragic notes as John Snows secret lover dies in his arms. It’s a powerful ending and makes this battle one of the most hollow victories in the shows run.

#2 Fire versus Ice from “Beyond the Wall” (Season 7 – Ep. 6) 

Once again John Snow finds himself battling the Nightwalkers, and while he and his alies try to capture a corpse to show to the Kingdome, they find themselves trapped on a frozen lake. As the situation gets more intense, Daenerys Stormborn comes flying in on her dragon to rescue her friends, and it leads into a very exciting clash between fiery dragons and icy zombies. Holly cow, not only was this a thrilling rescue scene, it was also a dream come true as we finally see a battle between two different fantasy creatures. I also like the novelty of seeing two polar opposite creatures fighting. We also have soldiers with magic fire swords slashing through these icy monsters, which is nothing short of awesome. While the rescue is successful, it all ends in tragedy as one of our dragons is killed by the army of the dead, who then revive the beast as one of their own. This eventually leads to one of the shows greatest cliff hangers as we see the Nightwalkers bring down the wall with a zombie dragon on their side. It may be over the top, and looses the realism the show began with, but for me, a battle between dragons and zombies is just too cool to glance over.  

Before I reveal my favorite battle, here are some other action scenes that deserve an Honorable Mention ... Arya vs. the Waif (Season 6 – Ep.8)
Jaime and Bronn vs. The Sand Snakes (Season 5 – Ep.6)

Barristan & Grey Worm vs. The Sons of the Harpy (Season 5 – Ep.4)

Ned Stark vs. Jaime Lannister (Season 1 – Ep.5)
The Hound vs. Beric Dondarrion (Season 3 – Ep.4)

#1 Dragons attack Lannister convoy from “The Spoils of War” (Season 7 – Ep. 4) 

After a humiliating defeat, Daenerys Stormborn is riding on her dragon and leads an assault on what remains of the Lannister army. Even though this wasn’t a battle from a penultimate season episode, no other battle thus far from this show left me feeling more breathless then this epic surprise attack. We have Dragons in full force setting flames on a powerful army, there’s great tension as new dragon killing weapons are unveiled, and best of all is the thrilling final charge of Jamie Lannister against Daenerys Stormborn. It’s a rare case in which we see two of the shows most iconic characters on the battle field against one another, and naturally we can’t help but cheer for both sides. This is simply “Game of Thrones” at its most pulse pounding and stunning to behold, as this battle is nothing short of an exciting, epic, fiery spectacle.       

The End

All Marvel Comic Movies Ratted (2000 - 2019)

NOTE: While this post was originally dropped in 2017, it's sense been updated for 2019 content. 

I’m a big fan of “Marvel”, I love the comics, cartoons and movie adaptions, so I decided to rate all the live action Marvel comic adapted films from the 2000’s and give them my personal score out of a possible 10. I'll arrange them from their respected series and keep them in arranged order of release, just to see the peaks and valleys they take over the years. I’m just going to give quick comments on these films because nearly 40 movies is a lot to go through. 

The X-Men Movies ratted (In my Opinion) .... 

X-Men (2000)

My personal score is 10/10

While not one of the most re-watchable entries in the series, I'll always regard this as the classic movie that started it all. I’ve always loved the X-Men comics, TV shows and seeing this live action film adaption was a real treat. This is the movie that made me love comic book movies, a big Marvel fan, an even bigger “X-Men” fan than I already was, a big action fan and a fan of the wonders of cinema. Plus this film succeeds in bringing a crowded group of characters together, with charm, humanity and a sharp narrative focus. To this day it’s still one of my favorite movies of all time.

X2: X-Men United (2003)

My personal score is 7.5/10

It's slower, less action-packed then other Superhero films, and is noticeably lacking "color", but well developed characters, a larger story and an exciting premise make this one of the smarter “X-Men” movies.

X-Men 3: The Last Stand (2006)

 My personal score is 8/10

Even though it’s not quite as smart as “X2 –X-Men United”, I think there’s still just enough story and character interaction to hold up the films sheer spectacles, big concepts, ambitious direction, thrilling action scenes, and despite it's rushed pace, I feel this third entry contains more of what I want to see in an X-Men film. 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

My personal score is 6/10

An average revenge story, obvious action cliches, and an origin set-up that shatters the mystery of the franchises most intriguing hero really brings the film down hard. Having said that, Jackman still gives a solid performance, there’s some entertainment and enough beautiful cinematography to make it slightly passive.

X-Men: First Class (2011)

My personal score is 9.5/10

Combining the smart and competent writing of the first two X-Men movies with the massive, explosive and action packed tones of the ladder two films make "First Class" a rare fifth installment that manages to surpass all of it's predecessors. 

The Wolverine (2013)

My personal score is 9/10

Lots of cool locations, action scenes that both thrill and dive into the martial arts cinema, an excellent pace that never feels rushed and a deeper character themed story make “The Wolverine” a worthy stand alone action flick that the classic character has always deserved.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

 My personal score is 10/10

"X-Men: Days of Future Past" highlights the best of the series and gives you more, including powerful performances, an intriguing plot involving time travel, alternate realities, plenty of high stake action and even moral substance at the center, making this arguably my favorite of the X-Men film series thus far.  

Deadpool (2016)

My personal score is 6.5/10

If your not a fan of really rude, needlessly sexual, and overly violent meta humor, you should probably skip this film entirely, but if you like extremely clever, forth wall breaking comic book satire, interjected with lots of style and charismatic performances, then "Deadpool" will entertain the living crap out of you! As for me personally ... I'm caught somewhere between the two extremes. 

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

My personal score is 9.5/10

The "First Classseries concludes in a blaze of epic glory, show casing one of the comics most iconic villains, character depth, the welcome return of old characters now played by young new talents, resonant themes and a final battle that I'll be remembering as one of the franchises shining moments.

Logan (2017)

My personal score is 8/10

Brutally violent, depressing, and some-what inconsistent in passing, but still a poignant, powerfully acted send off for Jackman in his final role as the iconic hero. It's also a deeply thrilling introduction to X-23, making this a "not-perfect" but satisfying and strong entry in the series.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

My personal score is 7.5/10

I still have my issues reserved for Deadpool and his foul sense of hummer, but I'm not going to pretend that "Deadpool 2wasn't a fun time at the movies either, largely thanks to Ryan Reynolds infectious charm, a strong cast of colorful new side characters, white knuckled action, and no shortage of fan-serves and in-jokes for us long time readers of the X-Men comics.

 Dark Phoenix (2019)

My personal score is 7/10

The long running era of X-Men movies under the production of 20th Century Fox comes to a close, and while the final product could have been stronger, it still felt like something meaningful to savor. Sophie Turner owns the screen in her dynamic portrayal of Jean Grey, and some genuine emotional highlights were just enough to balance out an admittedly messy, but except-able curtain call for the series. 

The Spider-Man Movies ratted (In my Opinion) .... 

Spider-Man (2002)

My personal score is 7.5/10

Creative camera work, good casting and a well written comic book story make this a good adaption of the character. It’s not an amazing movie by any means, but it’s still quiet good for what it is.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

My personal score is 10/10

With its spectacular action scenes and a fascinating villain, this makes for a very fun superhero movie. But the deeper, character driven story and morals regarding what it means to be a hero allow "Spider-man 2" to rises above B movie comic book flick and can honestly be regarded as a genuinely great movie (it certainly is in my opinion).

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

My personal score is 7/10

It’s problematic, but at the very least I’d say it’s good. There’s plenty of spectacles to behold, including some awesome action scenes, and the films collection of plot lines keep it from getting boring. With that said, there were still a little too many subplots crammed into one film, several moments when everyone felt out of character, some really annoying hummer and the villains didn't live up to their awesome potential. 

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

My personal score is 6.5/10

While this reboot really wasn't necessary at all, it dose at least have some charm, style, drama and solid performances that bring life to very likable characters. 

 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

My personal score is 7.5/10

While the tone and plot can get a little messy, the movie still delivers what Spider-Man fans enjoy, top-notch effects, sinister villains, epic battles and the captivating on screen chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

My personal score is 8/10

Contagiously charming, colorful, funny and packed with A-list performances, "Homecoming" escapes it's familiar formula trappings and might just be the most "fun" of the web-heads outings to date. 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) 

My personal score is 10/10

Even when Spider-Man movies were at their worst, I’ve always enjoyed them on some level, but none of them could match 2004’s “Spider-Man 2”, which for the longest time was my absolute favorite. Then completely out of the blue comes this animated Spider-Man movie, the first of its kind, a completely original experience with the web-swinger, and it gives my initial favorite some competition. It’s a film that combines bold, human storytelling, with striking animation, solid voice work, and an infectiously lovable cast of various Spider-Man, which all add up to a highly entertaining superhero venture that absolutely delivers all the heart, comedy, action, and a lot of imagination into a perfect whole.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

My personal score is 9/10

Tom Holland knocks it out of the park again with another winning Spider-Man film, and is easily my favorite live-action portrayal of the character to date. This time, his latest adventure is out of his element, swinging in different locations, and facing some deceptive new threats. Also, this series once again proves to have my favorite ensemble of supporting characters from any Spider-Man incarnation. Throw in an nail biting cliffhanger, and I haven’t been this excited for another live-action Spider-Man sequel sense back in 2004.   

The Avengers Universe films ratted (In my Opinion) .... 

Iron Man (2008) 

My personal score is 7/10

Despite the movies lack of action and spectacles, “Iron Man” completely redeems itself with lots of charms, smart writing, a fun sense of hummer, good effects and a solid leading performance from Robert Downey Jr. as the title character.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

My personal score is 6.5/10

While the movie is nothing truly sensational, it's still a huge improvement over the first film, with a far more exciting story, some fine action scenes and best off all is that Hulk is featured as more of a hero then just a mindless monster.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

My personal score is 5.5/10

It features more action than the first "Iron Man" movie, but everything else just feels tiered, suffering from too much empty story, irritating jokes and obvious Easter-eggs that overshadow the actual character development.

Thor (2011)

My personal score is 7/10

Full of beautiful visual effects, an epic mythical scope, a fine amount of humor and a very talented cast, that's more than enough to make "Thor" a worthwhile comic book movie.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

My personal score is 8.5/10

A nifty script with a retro vibe + a cast of colorful characters + some thrilling and explosive action = a very satisfying and enjoyable superhero movie. 

The Avengers (2012)

My personal score is 10/10

Outside of the stellar novelty of having a number of Marvels greatest hero’s sharing a movie together, it’s a very competent film, finding that perfect balance between huge, explosive action scenes, subtle character depth and a fun sense of hummer. It lives up to its hype and stands as solid Marvel entertainment.  

Iron Man 3 (2013)

My personal score is 8.5/10

My favorite of the Iron Man movies by a mile, thanks to some great character themes, combined with all the charismatic hummer that you'd expect from these films, plus some stellar action scenes and a plot that's full of smart twists and turns. 

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

My personal score is 7.5/10

While the story is nothing special and the hummer could be dialed down a little, “Thor: The Dark World” is still a first rate fantasy adventure, with an expanded mythical universe, lots of creativity, and some power house action scenes. 


Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

My personal score is 9/10

With an exceptionally smart story, full of political themes and less formulaic comic book gimmicks, this Captain America squeal knows how to respect it's audience while still entertaining them with plenty of explosive spectacles.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

My personal score is 7.5/10

I didn't know a thing about the comic this film was based on, so I was a little lost on some details, but the films charming collection of memorable characters, colorful space design, light-heart'd tone, thrilling space battles, and overall fun factor made this movie a sheer delight that brought out the inner child in me. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

My personal score is 8.5/10

Further developed characters, a menacing new villain, and no shortage of super-powered spectacles, allow this squeal to live up to the high quality standards of it's predecessor, and in many ways surpasses it.

Ant-Man (2015)

My personal score is 8/10

With creativity, imagination, charming performances and a smart script that can overshadow even this films thrilling actions scenes, it makes "Ant-Man" a refreshing, small scaled superhero adventure

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

My personal score is 10/10

Now this is what you call a truly "great" Superhero movie, as it abandons the common hero movie formula, and cliched super villains for a real down to earth story that's laird with subtext, moral debates, conflicting rivals between close friends, yet it still allows the audience to have fun, thanks to some well placed comedy, and striking visuals. Throw in some welcome new comers, including the long awaited appearance of Spider-Man, and one of the most epic hero brawls ever featured on film, and "Civil War" stands as a benchmark among comic book movies.       

Doctor Strange (2016)

My personal score is 7.5/10

Artistically brilliant, visually arresting, highly imaginative and held together with a strong leading performance, "Doctor Strange" brings the fantasy genera into Marvels cinematic universe with style, flare and no shortage of dazzling imagery. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

My personal score is 8.5/10

Now here’s a Blockbuster sequel that respectfully takes a step back from world building or formulaic plots, and puts more focus on characters and in some respects even the human condition, yet it’s still entertaining as hell, with lots of comedy, space shooting mayhem and some of the most gorgeous visuals from Marvel yet ... which is saying something considering how good previous films have looked.   

Thor Ragnarok (2017)

My personal score is 9.5/10

Thor’s movies have been perfectly good, but “Ragnarok” closes his trilogy on a high note that surpasses it’s predecessors by a mile, with a strong other worldly atmosphere, a great sense of fun, imagination, colorful design, and still no shortage of good character development balancing out their funny interplay.    


Black Panther (2018)

My personal score is 8/10

After his thrilling debute in “Civil War”, The Black Panther proves more than capable to hold his own film, not just because of the characters internal struggles, but also the struggles of the main villain. The setting is also a very captivating one, with an intriguing cultural mythology at the center and no shortage of absorbing imagery.  

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

My personal score is 10/10

With the largest roll-call of hero's thus far, and an all-out war taking place in several locations, we fans knew this was going to be a spectacle, but there's so much more to the experience thanks in part to some deeply emotional moments, one surprise twist after another, some really high stakes, and the long-awaited arrival of Thanos exceeded my wildest expectations. 

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

My personal score is 8.5/10

Marvels first partnering of a hero and heroine soars thanks to it's character driven stakes, but more to the point is that this "Ant-Man" sequel takes full advantage of it's wild shrinking/growing concept, giving us the creative action set-pieces, imaginative realms, as well as some welcome new twists, and no regrets for going over board with it's comedic potentials.   

Captain Marvel (2019)  

My personal score is 7/10 

An admittedly formulaic Marvel movie … but the thing is … I love the Marvel formula, and even though this film doesn’t add much new to the Cinematic Universe, it’s still easy to enjoy. The witty buddy cop chemistry between our lead heroine and a young Nick Furry is the glue that holds the film together. Along with some miraculous de-aging effects, nostalgic 90’s references, and just enough seeds of heart make “Captain Marvel” … an unremarkable, but perfectly welcome add-on to this mega franchise.   

Avengers Endgame (2019) 

My personal score is 10/10 

2019 marked several franchise finales ranging from “Star Wars”, to “X-Men”, to “How to Train Your Dragon” and even the “Game of Thrones” TV series, and of all these extraordinary events … nothing left a bigger impact on me then “Avengers Endgame”. After 11 years of solid Marvel comic movies, and arguably the greatest roundup of superhero’s in one mega phenomenon, “Endgame” delivered the spectacle, the laughs, the heavy emotion, the creativity, and a rich sense of finality to this epic saga … in short, it’s one of the greatest final chapters I’ve ever experienced, and it’s an event to be remembered through the ages.      

Other Marvel Movies ratted (In my Opinion) ....

Blade 2 (2002)

My personal score is 7/10

I’m really not a big fan of Blade, but to be fare, this film was an improvement and it made for a fun vampire action flick, with a better story and a sharp leading performance from Wesley Snipes.  

Daredevil (2003)

My personal score is 7.5/10

I thoroughly love the premise of a blind superhero, as it gives me an awesome feeling that someone can use their disability as an advantage over life's obstacles. Plus the film is still full of honest human emotion, a rocking good soundtrack, intense battles with less of a flashy comic book style, and has a little more down to earth tone. 

Hulk (2003) 

My personal score is 3/10

Hulk” is just a painfully boring and uneventful film, with dull action, wooden performances, and the constant comic book style editing can cause the biggest headaches. The character himself doesn’t even qualify as a super hero, he’s just a super being with a bad attitude, how can anyone possibly be interested in that?  

The Punisher (2004)

My personal score is 2.5/10

A distasteful killing spree with no real action, story and dull passé make “The Punisher” a weak comic book adaption. 

Blade Trinity (2004)

My personal score is 3/10

This is another dull sequel that doesn't offer anything special for the series, and is honestly more forgettable then anything else. 

Elektra (2005)

My personal score is 4/10

This honestly isn’t the worst comic book movie ever made, but all the same, it still takes itself too seriously and offers little worthwhile enjoyment or action, plus this is just a lousy fallow up to “Daredevil”. 

Fantastic 4 (2005)

My personal score is 4.5/10

The casting is okay and there’s some mild enjoyment, but nothing worth looking at again. It needed more action, a far better story and less silly jokes. I really wanted this to be as good as “X-Men” because I’m a big fan of the “Fantastic 4” comic books, but unfortunately it was a missed opportunity! 

Ghost Rider (2006)

My personal score is 6/10

While “Ghost Rider” isn’t exactly a good movie, it certainly isn’t terrible, in fact there’s just enough visual flare that it can pass as derivative entertainment.

The Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)

My personal score is 6.5/10

An okay improvement over the first film with better action, visuals, and fast pace entertainment, but the hummer was still bad, the story is average, and the characters just aren’t as interesting as they should be.

Punisher: War Zone (2008)

My personal score is 3.5/10

There’s some fun gun shooting action, and the Punisher comes closer to being an interesting anti-hero, but the film suffers from too much pointless, over the top violence, a dumb plot and painfully cliché villains. 

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)

My personal score is 2/10

Not only was this a pointless sequel, but it’s also a completely brainless film that suffers from stupid villains, uninteresting characters, hammy performances, a rushed plot, ugly landscape and a very annoyingly shaky camera. Personally, it’s my least favorite movie to come from Marvel, because it offers nothing special in its long run time. 

Fantastic 4 (2015)

My personal score is 3.5/10

While thankfully not burdened with dumb jokes, this mediocre origin film still favors set-up and exposition over little things like character development, storytelling or even exciting action, making this a completely forgettable and pointless superhero outing.

Venom (2018) 

My personal score is 5/10

Venom certainly looks cool on screen and it's a treat to see him throw-down, but without his heroic adversary Spider-Man, it just feels incomplete, and everything else just feels like average comic-book flair, when it could have (should have) been so much better.